Marvel Spider-Man: Inside the World of Your Friendly Neighborhood Hero (2017) – Matthew K. Manning

Spider-Man.

For a lot of kids, myself included, Web-Head is our first introduction to the world of superheroes. Over time some of us may leave him behind, some of us stay with him our whole lives, and some come back to check on him time and again, like an old friend.

I think, whether we’re introduced to Spidey through a parent or friend, or come across him on our own, there’s something that resonates with those young literary explorers. They see themselves in Peter Parker. He’s a kid, just like them. Sure he’s a teen (at least he was when I was a kid – and after it too), but he’s dealing with issues that we saw ourselves going through – homework, parental figures, love life, and then on top of that, he was dealing with menaces on the streets of New York, and he did it with wit and strength.

He was, and is a character to aspire and relate to, whether we’re looking at the original Parker, his amazing replacement Miles Morales, or the alternate reality and break-out Marvel character, Spider-Gwen (such a fantastic character, and my favourite incarnation of the web-slinger).

DK Books in their usual stellar fashion captures that in their latest tome on the enduring character, Marvel Spider-Man: Inside the World of Your Friendly Neighborhood Hero. It’s obvious the author, Manning, knows and loves his topic, and the amount of research compiled within these gilt-lined pages makes this yet another prize collection of information from DK Books.

Whether you know his history, or only popped your head in every now and again to check on the character (as I have been prone to doing, though I’ve yet to miss an issue of Spider-Gwen!), this book catches you up, fills you in, and entertains.

dkspidey

With Spider-Man: Homecoming arriving next month, it seems like the perfect time to catch up with the Wall-Crawler.

The book explores iconic moments (the death of Gwen Stacy), important issues (the clone! The introduction of the black suit), familiar characters, and enemies. Speaking of enemies, in all of Marvel, Spidey has the best enemies, in fact after all these years, his baddies are the ones that I remember, they are the ones that endure – Green Goblin, Electro, Mysterio, Sandman, Vulture, Doc Ock, Kraven… and of course, fan favourite, Venom.

All of them are here, and more.

The book delves into terrible and heroic moments, losses and wins. It’s a brilliant read, whether you are going through it cover to cover, or making use of the comprehensive index to read selected articles.

The other thing that I can’t help but rave about, which is something that has been key to all of the DK Books, is the gorgeous art. Of course there are decades of it to choose from, running from Spidey’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962, through to today – style, design, interpretations and costume changes, the book is filled with splash pages, brilliantly coloured images – a fantastic collection of artists bringing Spidey to life.

Swing into your friendly neighborhood book store and pick up DK’s latest gift to pop culture and comic fans today!!

DK Spider-Man

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