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‘The Amazing Spider-Man: Web-Slinger, Hero, Icon’ (review)

Written by Rich Johnson
Published by Universe

 

Back in May, I reviewed Rich Johnson’s big ol’ coffee table tome on Captain America here.

I called it “little more than a nicely illustrated $50 cash-grab catalog.”

Sadly, but not surprisingly, Rich’s Spider-Man volume is more of the same.

While I appreciate that there are books like this, clearly aimed at new MCU fans not familiar with the long and complex print legacies of the Marvel superheroes, I am not a fan of the fact that in this series, they’re just trying to sell you current trade paperback collections collecting more recent storylines.

Like its predecessor, this book is a visual treat. If you want to buy it for the art, you’ll find some great modern stuff here. Very, very little by Steve Ditko, though, or John Romita, Sr. Or even John Romita, Jr!

No, almost every story arc given any detailed coverage at all comes from the ‘80s up, with the bulk being from the last 20 years.

As an introduction to the comic book Spidey, that alone makes this book feel pointless to me. Spider-Man has perhaps the richest history of any Marvel character and far too much of it is glossed over or completely ignored here in favor of highlighting more recent—and in some cases not even very well-done—arcs.

What’s here is good, mind you, well-written with even some of the more convoluted parts explained succinctly.

What’s NOT here, however, is any kind of real picture of Spider-Man.

I’m betting The Hulk is up next for similar treatment.

 

 

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