Comics : Spider-Man vs. The Scorpion

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

This review was first published on: Feb 2012.

Background...

This is another "Spider-Man versus ..." book from HarperCollins Publishing. Like the others, it is 6" x 9", glossy card cover, with 32 full color pages. The regular writer and artist pair of Susan Hill and Andie Tong return, as Spider-Man faces... The Scorpion.

In Detail...

Spider-Man vs. The Scorpion
May 2010 : SM Title
Find ISBN 0061626236
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers
Writer:  Susan Hill
Artist:  Andie Tong
Colorist:  Jeremy Roberts
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Peter Parker is on his way to study with Liz Allen at "the Library".

Do kids still go to the library to study? Do libraries even exist any more? Surely nobody really takes a train across town to go to a library when Wikipedia is two clicks away on the interwebs? Oh well, let's agree that this is some kind of historical anachronism, and move on with the story.

There's a delay with the train, so Peter decides to swing across town instead, as Spider-Man. But just as he begins his journey, he stumbles across a bank robber in progress, courtesy of super-villain The Scorpion.

The Scorpion has a new mechanical tail, even more powerful than the last. He is stronger than Spider-Man. So Spider-Man pretends to be defeated. But then the web-head leaps up and yanks Scorpion's tail right off his body. Victory to Spider-Man!

Spider-Man webs up his foe, then leaps on top of a passing train. I guess the transit department must have sorted out the train delay problem by then.

Peter arrives at the library and meets Liz. However, Liz reminds Peter that their original study date was for yesterday. Silly old Peter. But never mind, they can still study today, too.

In General...

These stories are designed as "Level 2, Reading with Help". That means that in order to be successful, they have to appeal to adults, who will be prepared to read them to their children.

As a parent myself, I'm not entirely sure that I would pick this book up by preference. There are a lot of fantastic kids storybooks out there to choose from. And while this book certainly concerns my favourite super-hero, it doesn't necessarily spark my imagination.

The text is straight-forward enough, and it flows well enough for reading. But it doesn't really sparkle, or linger in the mind particularly. Frankly, if this book was sitting among the others on the kids bookshelf at home, I would be far more likely to reach for "The Tiger who Came to Tea", "We're Going on a Bear Hunt", or anything by Dr. Seuss, or Lynley Dodd.

Admittedly sometimes I let the children choose what we read, and I suppose it is possible that a young boy might express a strong preference for a Spider-Man story. In which case, I suppose there are other options worse than "Spider-Man vs. The Scorpion".

These Spidey stories are never going to become classic tales, handed down from generation to generation. But if you have a young Spider-Fan in the house who needs a bit of a motivation with their reading, maybe this will help.

Overall Rating...

Despite the high quality production, slick artwork, and unbeatable price, I'm far from inspired by this book. I can't offer more than a very mediocre two-and-a-half web rating.