Book Review: Spider-Man: A History and Celebration of the Web-Slinger, Decade by Decade

“Spider-Man: A History and Celebration of the Web-Slinger, Decade by Decade”

Written by Matthew K. Manning, updating previous editions by Peter A. David, and Robert Greenberger
Published by Epic Ink
Review copy courtesy of Quarto and Marvel Entertainment
Review by Steve J. Ray

In celebration of his illustrious and expansive legacy, Marvel’s Spider-Man: A History and Celebration of the Web-Slinger, Decade by Decade is a comprehensive collection of exciting art and expert commentary that brings Spidey’s backstory out of the archive and into the arms of fans worldwide.

Many may already know that Spidey celebrates his 60th year of publication in 2022, so this book is the perfect gift for his millions of fans. Marvel recently released Amazing Fantasy #1000 to celebrate this milestone, so owning a copy of that issue, alongside this gorgeous book should be a must for any true blue Spider-Fan.

Here’s the publisher’s breakdown of the book:

Decade by decade, fans can relive the origin and adaptations of Spider-Man, along with his friends and enemies, through comic books, films, TV shows, toys, and more.

  • Spark your memory with “remember when?” moments (the Spider-Mobile, anyone?)
  • Recall the most interesting and shocking plot points of the comic.
  • Meet the creators who worked on Spider-Man’s adventures throughout the years.

Since swinging onto the scene in 1961, in the pages of Amazing Fantasy #15 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the world’s most famous wall-crawler has captivated the world, starring in millions of comics, over twenty different films and animated series, numerous blockbuster video games, and one Broadway show, as well as appearances in countless other mediums.

 

Illustrated with images from the comics, movies, and other MARVEL Spider-Man–related media, this collection is a must-have for any fan of the web-slinger. This lavish, hardcover volume is the complete biography of one of Marvel’s most beloved superheroes. Explore Spider-Man’s development through behind-the-scenes anecdotes, images, and rarely seen interviews.

Spider-Man: A History and Celebration of the Web-Slinger doesn’t just look back on Peter Parker’s comic book adventures; we also learn about Miles Morales, Jessica Drew, Spider-Gwen, and a myriad more web-slinging heroes from the Marvel Multiverse. This book is fun and fact-tastic!

Completely updated by Matthew K. Manning, and building on the work of Peter A. David, and Robert Greenberger, this is far more than just an encyclopedia. The three writers are comics veterans and, more importantly, clearly fans of our favorite, friendly-neighborhood web-slinger.

Of course, Matt Manning is a friend of Fantastic Universes, and our sister sites Dark Knight News and DC Comics News. I have personally had the great pleasure of meeting and interviewing him on two separate occasions. Not only is Matt a consummate professional, someone who researches, analyzes, and checks his facts, he’s a pro comics writer, and a darned nice chap, to boot.

This is the gentleman who gave us Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles AdventuresAnatomy of a MetahumanExploring Gotham City, and more!

The book doesn’t read like an encyclopedia, either. Yes, we get a ton of dates and statistics, but the fact that this is a book by Spidey fans, for spidey fans, elevates it from being a textbook, to also being a really fun read. The art, stories, anecdotes, and interviews that fill these pages are both comprehensive and enlightening.

Conclusion

After Batman and the Bat Family of characters, the webbed wonder is my favorite superhero. I’ve been collecting Peter Parker’s adventures for over thirty years, and also own collections of his exploits going back to his debut in 1961. Even I learned a ton of new stuff from this book.

Whether you're an expert, a newcomer, or something in-between, this book's highly recommended for anyone who's ever played at being Spider-Man or pretended to spin a web and swing high over the city below.

This would be a great gift for a child who loves to read, adult fans, or even for those who refuse to grow up.

Spider-Man: A History and Celebration of the Web-Slinger will be released on October 11, 2022. $40 USD, $53 CAN

ISBN: 978-0-7603-7563-1 ∙ Becker&Mayer! books

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