Since Disney took over Marvel, they've been hard at working producing classic "Little Golden Book" format versions of the major characters. Spider-Man is no exception, with this being his fourth such outing.
|Illustrator:||Andrea Cagol, Francesco Legramandi|
All these "Little Golden Books" share the exact same format, 6.5" x 8" with 24 full-color pages in a hardback book. The classic patterned gold foil wraps the square-bound spine.
This particular story begins with one of the most threadbare Spidey story opening gambits, the "Peter Parker is taking photos of a public event for the Daily Bugle and a villain commits a crime in front of him" shtick. Specifically, Peter is photographing the grand opening of a new electric train. Electro turns up and declares his intention to rob a bank in the city, commandeering the train in order to do so.
Hang on. What? He hasn't even robbed the bank yet? He is stealing a train in order to get to the bank? What kind of plan is this? You, Electro, are an imbecile. Did you get dropped on your head last time Spidey webbed you upside-down or something? You'll have every policeman in the city on your trail before you even start your crime spree.
Well, the rest is 20 more pages of banal, uninspired drivel. Peter becomes Spider-Man. Spider-Man fights Electro at the station entrance, on the platform, on the train, in the train control cabin, in the tunnel, and finally they leave the darkened tunnel and go into a car wash.
Yep, a car wash. Because every train tunnel leads into a car wash. The car wash short-circuits Electro.
One of my friends recently purchased one of those Roomba carpet-cleaning robots. Unfortunately, the cat decided to do its business in the living room, and the robot spent two hours spreading the results around the entire ground floor before they came home and discovered the damage.
Definitely, I would rather read this book than clean up the resulting mess in their house. But the expression on my face after finishing was probably pretty similar.
"Sorry to SHOCK you," the villain Electro said, zapping a guard with a bolt of electricity. "But I have a little banking to do downtown, and this electric train will be the perfect getaway vehicle for my withdrawal!"
This story certainly is a SHOCKER. One web.