If you’re curious about Marvel-Verse trade paperbacks you’ve come to the right place, as I’ve reviewed nearly all of them. From the recent Marvel-Verse: Hawkeye, to Doctor Strange, Shang-Chi, Captain Marvel, Deadpool & Wolverine, Iron Man, Venom, Thanos, and Black Panther, each one features a smattering of stories from the title character’s history. Now it’s Spider-Man’s turn, likely because these collections serve as a taste tester for new readers who like the movies, and Spider-Man: No Way Home is coming out soon. But the real question is, how well does this book serve as a taste tester?
Collected here is Mythos: Spider-Man (2007) #1, Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #32-33, and Marvel Adventures Spider-Man (2005) #2-3. All told, you get a retelling of Spidey’s origin, a classic from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and a kid-friendly Sinister Six story.
The opening story by Paul Jenkins and Paolo Rivera is a great retelling of Spider-Man’s origin story thanks to the painterly art by Rivera. It’s gorgeously done and captures each key scene in a moody, atmospheric, and intriguing way that feels entirely new. It also features Conan O’Brien, which gives it a bit of a modern twist. It’s a story many might have missed so it’s nice to see it pop up in this collection.
Following that is the classic two-parter with Spider-Man lifting up huge chunks of metal as water pours down on him. Drawn by Steve Ditko and written by Stan Lee, this is a classic and deserves a spot here. Key rogues pop here like Kraven and Doctor Connors aka Lizard, but the main foe is Doctor Octopus. It’s a classic people will be reading and rereading for decades to come.
Wrapping up the book is the two-par story by Erica David with art by Patrick Scherberger. The Sinister Six return here and on top of that Spider-Man’s powers aren’t 100% working. It’s got a cartoony look that was clearly geared towards a younger audience. The battle isn’t all that interesting once Peter does face off against the enemies — they split up and let him take each one out one by one — but it serves to give a lighter-toned adventure to the collection.
Overall, this is a decent collection, although it has fewer stories overall than the usual Marvel-Verse collection. That’s partly because this book contains two stories that take place over two issues. Much like the previous volumes of this trade paperback series, it does feel like an odd package. The classic Ditko/Lee stories could probably be picked up in various formats elsewhere, but the other stories are likely harder to find as they’re from lesser-known series.
Two-thirds of this collection is must-read, but the rest you could skip. For just $10, though, you get a decent smattering of stories that’d make a nice stocking stuffer. Marvel-Verse: Spider-Man is now available in comics shops and book stores.
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