Look out, here comes the Spider-Man!

Our favorite webslinger, a la Tobey Maguire.

Our favorite webslinger, a la Tobey Maguire.

Hola. Last week’s post had no pictures. I’m going to fix that, promise. I was kind of in a hurry. I probably shouldn’t be doing this now. I should be studying for my exams tomorrow. Procrastination and I are becoming better friends all the time.

Today’s post is a little bit different. Today I’m talking about something some wouldn’t consider literature, but I do. It’s comics. Specifically, Spider-Man comics.

A crash course for the not-as-nerdy-as-me audience. Spider-Man (and yes, it’s Spider-Man, not Spiderman,) first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15, August 1962. Bitten by a radioactive spider, timid and brilliant Peter Parker gains spider-strength, agility, his famous “spider sense”, and the ability to scale surfaces like a spider. Peter unfortunately is fifteen and uses his power to become a television sensation instead of taking the noble course he will later fight to stay on. In a moment of selfishness, Peter lets a thief escape, and returns home to find that the same man has murdered his beloved Uncle Ben. Ben’s death forces Peter to realize “with great power comes great responsibility.”

The final two panels of Amazing Fantasy #15.

The final two panels of Amazing Fantasy #15.

Spider-Man’s instant popularity got him his own series, The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s still going strong. In the early 2000s, Spidey got a revival in the form of Ultimate Spider-Man. It’s a re-imagining of the original story, and is drawn and narrated more like a graphic novel, though it’s still comics.

So which did I read? Marvel collected in huge volumes in increments of twenty their ASM comics, and in tiny little 1-7 volumes Ultimate’s been collected similarly. I asked for them both for Christmas to decided which approach I liked best, and I read them both within a week.

ultspideyUltimate is ultimately easier to for the modern reader to relate to, since it was written in this era, and focuses more on character developement. I like ASM’s art better; it’s more traditional. After reading the 20 ASM and Annual #1, and Vol. 1 of Ultimate, I decided ASM was my personal favorite.asm, though I like Ultimate too, of course.

The comics are funny, suspenseful, and you really find yourself rooting for broke, shy, bullied Peter Parker as well as cocky, sarcastic, witty Spider-Man as they both fight their battles. ASM brings you Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Sandman, among others.

I really love Spider-Man as a character, in film (Tobey Maguire version; the 2012 movie and I have comic-canon issues to discuss…like, a lot of issues, and the more I hear about the sequel the more I worry…) and in his traditional comic format. I get that some *cough weird cough* people don’t like to read, but I encourage giving comics a try. It’s like a watching a movie with subtitles. And if you’re not into Spider-Man * cough even weirder person*, there’s a ton others out there. Captain America! Iron Man! Hulk! Thor! Go forth, young nerd, and conquer!

Lindsay’s Verdict: 5 stars for both

Genre: Comics- available at Barnes and Noble or Books-a-Million

Author: ASM Ditko/Lee; Ultimate Bagley/Bendis

Up Next: I’m thinking Inkheart. Just reread the series and re-watched the movie, so I’m kind of in that mood.


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