Just in time for Spider-Man: Homecoming comes 100 Things Spider-Man Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.
Whether you’re a novice or think you know all things Spider-Man, this book is a fun and easy read. I’m at the extreme Marvel fan level — my wedding ring has the Avengers and X-Men on it — and I still found it informative. Triumph Books sent along a review copy for me to check out. It’s cool getting free items I enjoyed enough to buy.
Mark Ginocchio has a breezy writing style that doesn’t read like he’s just showing off his Spider-Man knowledge. In part to the easy to digest capsule presentation, 100 Things reads more like a friend did all the work exploring Wikipedia. The reader has the fun part of just deciding what they want to know about Spider-Man.
Some of the 100 Things are basic like Norman Osborne, The Burglar that killed Uncle Ben and J. Jonah Jameson. Some like how to make Aunt May’s wheat cakes are appropriately silly. Ginocchio also peels back the layers of the behind the scenes drama. Thanks to the ‘totally unauthorized’ nature of the book, Ginocchio doesn’t have to stick to the traditional narrative that paints a more cohesive and joyful relationship with the creators.
The Stan Lee/Steve Ditko factoids is especially interesting. Ditko viewed Lee’s consideration of him as a co-creator to be condescending since he was an equal partner. Other interesting stories include how longtime artist Mark Bagley started his career by winning a contest and how Gerry Conway got over being hated for killing off Gwen Stacy.
I like the presentation of the various facts. They’ve got big, bold numbering with a reasonable amount of photos and useful sidebars. Ginocchio is fairly current with his factoids. Newer additions to the Spider-Man universe like Silk and Spider-Verse are mentioned as well as Spider-Man’s role in Captain America: Civil War. Naturally, Ginocchio devotes several factoids about Spider-Man’s cinematic history right up to Homecoming with Tom Holland.
Stretching across so many generations of Spider-Man’s history allows lapsed readers a chance to reconnect. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for parents and children to educate one another on Spider-Man facts relating to their favorite eras.
Ginocchio runs a blog, Chasing Amazing, detailing his efforts to collect facts for the book and more. Like the book it’s a fun read and worth checking out.
I enjoyed this one a lot and definitely recommend it for any and all Spider-Man fans. You can grab a copy of the book here from Amazon.
Photo Credit: Triumph Books, Marvel Studios