Who is Spider-Man? Was he always the friendly neighbourhood superhero or did he try his hand elsewhere before following his right path? Marvel Spider-Man: An Origin Story traces the history of Peter Parker and how he became the Spider-Man, and what made him realise his potential and convinced him to become the saviour of the world.

The best thing about this book is that it doesn’t beat around the bush; it lets you meet the science-loving Peter Parker, how he was adored by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, how his life changed when a radioactive spider bit him, and why he chose to enter the wrestling ring, before anything else.

Yes, it was for his adoptive parents that he wanted to earn money and help them out, but one small mistake saw him lose his Uncle Ben, and that was enough to make him understand the true meaning behind ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’

The text in these 24 pages is simple enough for a school-going kid to read, and understand. No need to get an adult involved, making it an ideal book through which you can transport yourself to Queens, Peter Parker’s home, and then follow him around while he discovers his superpowers and the repercussions of his actions. You will also get to know how Peter Parker developed the web-shooters and how it helped him capture criminals and keep them from running away until the cops took them to their final destination.

The illustrations must be commended for they depict the expressions of Peter Parker perfectly (not Spider-Man, for he is a masked superhero). From the moment he gets bitten to the time he realises that he can climb walls, Peter is shown as an average teenager who has no clue how to handle something that just landed on his lap. His decision to try his hand at wrestling, and later allowing a crook to escape proved costly for him, and helped him find his path, the hard way. Go ahead and visit the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, and follow him on his first adventure, and misadventures before that!

Published in Dawn, Young World, February 27th, 2021

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