Amazing Spider-Man: Trapped by the Green Goblin (Little Golden Book)

 Posted: Aug 2013
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


Little Golden Books are a long-standing tradition, and are popular with children and collectors alike. This is the second "Little Golden Book" to feature Spider-Man, and it brings back the Green Goblin, who also guest starred in the first book.

The "Little Golden Book" format is well-established. Hardback, 6.5" x 8" with a patterned gold-foil tape over the spine, with 24 full-color pages.

Story Details

Spider-Man is patrolling the streets of Manhattan when he encounters three masked men apparently robbing a warehouse. He chases them back into the warehouse where he is attacked by the Green Goblin. It was a Trap! Hence the title of the book. Although, the pedant in me would like to note that at no stage is Spider-Man actually trapped, per se.

Let's see how this ersatz trap plays out. First let's check out what the masked me are going to contribute.

  1. One of the hoodlums attacks Spider-Man with a pair of giant mechanical hands (which Spider-Man easily breaks).
  2. The second puts on a jet-pack and flies around. How on earth he imagined this would help, I have no idea. A jet-pack in a confined space? Surely he's going to spend all his time trying avoid a fatal crash! Fortunately for him, Spider-Man disables his flying apparatus.
  3. The third attacks our hero with a giant steam-roller. A steam-roller? Was he all geared-up to tackle that well-known hero, "Asphalt Man"? What possible good is a steam-roller against Spider-Man? Seriously?

Fortunately for the Green Goblin, his ridiculously-equipped and somewhat retarded henchmen decide to run away, leaving the Goblin to tackle his nemesis alone.

Cue pumpkin bombs, electro-blasts and razor bats. The Green Goblin tricks Spider-Man into "falling into a cage".

Honestly? That was his punch-line? Having Spider-Man FALL into a cage? Mind you, this is no ordinary cage sitting in a pit in the floor. This is a cage of "fast-moving bars".

At this point, I had to stop for a moment. Did I drop any acid this morning? Am I possibly hallucinating the entire story? Let me check the mirror. Pupils look normal. Reaction time is unaffected. I guess the story really does expect me to believe in a cage of free-floating metal bars.

Quite reasonably Spider-Man disassembles the whole moronic "floating bars cage" and webs a line onto the Goblin's Glider. In a poorly constructed and rather disjointed series of images, Spider-Man somehow turns the table on his foe and wraps up the Green Goblin. The details are not clear.

Our hero then "swings off in search of his next adventure".

General Comments

Despite being blessed with richly coloured and highly-appealing graphics, the story and text in this book is ludicrous in concept and mediocre in execution.

The representation of Spider-Man in this tale is about as accurate as a bottle of Spider-Man shampoo, or a pack of Spider-Man Pop Tarts. This book has borrowed the visual appearance and the superficial characteristics of the Marvel Heroes and Villains, while eschewing any attempt to represent the truly unique aspects of their characters.

The only attempt at characterisation for Spider-Man is that he spews an endless series of puns guaranteed to amuse any easily excitable eight-year-old. Frankly, if that's what "Spider-Man" means then I'll do without it, thanks.

Overall Rating

This book is a shallow, confused slug-fest. That said, it does have a few redeeming non-literary features, such as it's classic format, a very reasonable price tag, and stunning visuals.

In a moment of uncharacteristic charity, I'm going to classify the plot as "stupid to the point of irrelevance", and give this book two webs — almost entirely due to the undeniably attractive artwork.

 Posted: Aug 2013
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)