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Review: Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide by Tom DeFalco

Spider-Man: The Ultimate GuideSpider-Man: The Ultimate Guide by Tom DeFalco
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This compendium includes heroes, villains, and civilians from the Spider-Man comics. It covers Spidey’s comics from 1963 (his first appearance) to 2000, and features many illustrations and panels from the comics. The text details the bios and origins of the characters, as well as memorable events in the web-slinger’s history.

The book isn’t well-organized; it’s not always clear what order it follows. The pages aren’t laid out well either; there are blocks of text and captions scattered all over, and it’s difficult to tell in which order you’re supposed to read them.

One thing that I knew about Marvel comics, which this book reinforced, is that no story is final; everything’s open to revision. Characters turn out to be other than they claim, people “die” and return to life; and shocking events are later revealed to be illusions or hoaxes. It’s clear from this book that the writers of Spider-Man created increasingly outlandish stories over the years in an attempt to retain readers.

I read this because Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. Most of my Spider-Man knowledge comes from the 1990s cartoon, so I was unfamiliar with several characters and events in this book. It’s worth a read for Spider-Man fans. I also highly recommend Essential Spider-Man (my review).

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