Comics : Spider-Man: Spider Bite

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

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Among the movie book tie-ins for the 2002 Spider-Man Movie were the two "Festival Readers" books aimed at the 4-6 age band, and also these two stories targetted towards the 6-8 age group. The Festival Readers books were 6" x 9" format, with drawn illustrations and just a couple of short sentences per page. By comparison, these two books are 5" x 7.5" chapter books.

There's 64 pages, with up to 20 lines of text per page, and a photo every two or three pages just too keep up the interest. All of the photos are taken directly from the movie. The other book in this pair is Spider-Man: Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

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-Bite" is 0-00-713799-0. Note also that hardcover editions exist of the U.S. editions.

In Detail...

Spider-Man: Spider Bite
Mar 2002 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0064421775
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Photographer:  Zade Rosenthal
Adaption:  Leslie Goldman
Original Screenplay:  David Koepp
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Review

This books covers the first part of the movie, up to and including Peter's graduation. There is, however, one key omission. While Peter does meet Harry's father, Norman Osborn, all of the Green Goblin scenes are noticably absent.

Instead, the story concentrates solely on Peter. We see Peter as a geek, then Peter gaining his powers, fighting Flash, arguing with Uncle Ben, fighting Bonesaw, seeing Uncle Ben die, and then hunting down the man who did the deed. We close with Peter's graduation, and his resolve to become Spider-Man.

I have to agree that omitting the Green Goblin is actually a smart move. There is plenty enough content without that. Furthermore, it would be hard to bring any resolution to the Green Goblin side of things withough carrying on to encompass the entire film script. Instead, we get a great little self-contained story with a some action, some moral issues, and some resolution. It all works just fine.

Most kids movie adaptation books tend to make me cringe, but this one actually does a pretty good job of pulling in a lot of the snappy dialog from the film, while still managing to retain its own integrity as a readable tale. Four webs.

In General...

This is a thoughtful adaptation of the film, and it works pretty well.

Overall Rating...

Four webs for a job well done on this book.