Marvel Super Heroes: Storybook Collection (U.S.) (Story 1)

 Posted: Mar 2020
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


This review is for the U.S. edition of "Marvel Super Heroes: Storybook Collection" published by Marvel Books in September 2013.

To make your book-collecting life confusing, there was another similar-sized hardback book published with the same title in the same month by Parragon Book Service, Ltd.. So let's de-obfuscate up the situation with a review.

Story 'Spider-Man'

The U.S. Edition contains TWENTY (count them) different origin stories. Spider-Man is story #3 and Spider-Woman is story #17.

The Spider-Man origin story is yet another adaptation of the adapted-to-death 2011 book The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story. But the large-format 48 page original has been hacked and slashed to a pale shadow of its former self in this small-format 13 page rework.

Many of the other stories are similarly adapted from the other 48 page origin stories released in 2011 and 2012 – Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, and Wolverine for example had full-length stories that have been savagely trimmed to fit. Others such as the Uncanny X-Men origin have been surgically separated to make two stories herein.

Then there are the tales here such as Spider-Woman and Ant-Man for which I cannot locate the original source material from which they are taken. So I have to assume that they (including specifically the Spider-Woman which interests us most) are printed here for the first time.

General Comments

All of these origin stories are brutally short, and they all suffer greatly for it.

The Spider-Woman story says little more than: "Jessica was very sick, so her doctor parents gave her special Spider-medicine that gave her Spider-powers and now she is a super-hero."

Spider-Man similarly sketches the bare bones only: "Peter Parker was a nerd orphan who got Spider-powers from a radioactive Spider-bite. His uncle got killed and now he is a super-hero."

At least Spider-Man gets some sort of motivation in his story! Spider-Woman just gets a costume.

Overall Rating

The full-length "origin" re-tellings were a breath of fresh air. But these claustrophobic "no-fat, super-trim" versions are cut too hard. There's no heart left in them. It's an attractive and efficient product on the surface, but all the goodness has been removed.

Two Webs.


For comparison, here's the UK book of the same name from the same month.

  Marvel Super Heroes: Storybook Collection (Parragon)
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
See Original Credits, plus...
Publisher: Parragon Book Service, Ltd.
Reprints: The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story
Reprints: The Courageous Captain America: An Origin Story
Reprints: The Mighty Thor: An Origin Story
Reprints: Wolverine: An Origin Story
Reprints: The Uncanny X-Men: An Origin Story

That UK version reprints five of the original full-length origin books in a single volume with full original text (but with some images trimmed).

 Posted: Mar 2020
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)