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.”
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.
Ultimate 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., 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.