Comics : Spider-Man: Spider-Man Saves The Day

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Book of the Month Club

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

The 2002 Spider-Man Movie spawned a swag of movie tie-in books, including this pair of books: "I Am Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man Saves The Day". Both are the same "Festival Readers" format, by HarpersFestival (a division of HarperCollins). This is a 6" x 9" softbound format, 32 pages.

Each page is predominantly artwork (drawn, not photos). Inset into each page is a panel containing the text, a paragraph at most. Example: "Maybe you've heard of me. Maybe you've seen me. I am Spider-Man." So, pretty basic stuff on the narrative front.

Note: There's also a U.K. printing of these books. The U.S. book is released by "Avon Books", while the UK printing is under the parent label, HarperCollins. The ISBN for the U.K. version of "Spider-Man Saves the Day" is 0-00-713797-4. Note also that hardcover editions exist of the U.S. editions.

In Detail...

Spider-Man: Spider-Man Saves The Day
Mar 2002 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0694016454
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Writer:  Acton Figueroa
Illustrator:  Ron Lim
Original Screenplay:  David Koepp
Staff Only
Issue
Review

This and its sibling Spider-Man: I Am Spider-Man are two halves of a single story. This book follows on from the preceding story. After giving a quick re-cap of Spider-Man and his powers, it then proceeds to show Spidey stopping burglars, muggers and armoured car holder-uppers. We then see Spidey rescue a couple of people from a fire.

As with the partner book, the artwork, clothing and poses follow closely those in the movie. However, again there's no mention at all of the Green Goblin. Also, when Spidey rescues a mugging victim, she is wearing Mary Jane's brown overcoat, but she isn't Mary Jane. Essentially, the more complex movie elements have been carefully removed, while the visual aspects have been retained.

Now this is a bit odd to some extent. Why go to all the bother to make the book look like the movie? I would say that the book is suitable for four or five year olds, while the movie is recommended for viewers aged fifteen and over. In theory, most of the books target audience will never have seen the movie, so why make them similar?

Well, I guess firstly it simplifies the task of creation if the poses and characters can be derivative. Secondly, maybe the creators of the book have a more accurate view than I do of how many readers will have seen the film. Regardless, again we have a tidily constructed stand-alone story, which will strike a chord with younger kids. Four webs.

In General...

Not too shabby at all. Picking a mainstream publisher like HarperCollins has paid off nicely in this case.

Overall Rating...

A pleasant surprise! Four webs.