Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours" by Jim Butcher (Published 2006 by Pocket Star)

Yes this is a BOOK review and not a COMIC BOOK review. I have usually stayed away from novelizations of comic books. I'm not really sure why but I think it's probably because I'm a HUGE fan of comic books especially Spider-Man comics. How does that keep me away from the novels? Well, because mainly I believe strongly that the best part of the story-telling in comic books is the artwork along with the written lines of dialogue. Sure the occasional "Thwipp", "Snikt" and "Whack" make for good otomotopeiaic words and look cool when printed in the cool font on the page, but comic books actually have great dialogue and big words. As a side note I knew an English Professor that would "force" his students to read comic books because of the structure and word use.

That all being said, I've just never thought that reading a novel of a comic book hero would have that same oomph. Enter Jim Butcher. I've been reading (and reviewing) Jim Butcher's series of novels, "The Dresden Files," and his adventures of the Wizard Harry Dresden are great books. Harry Dresden is everyman, except he has powers, and instead of going off and getting rich, he chooses to help people with his powers. With great power comes great responsibility.....hmmm....I know that's Spider-Man's credo but that is also what Harry Dresden lives by. So, when I saw that Jim Butcher had authored a Spider-Man novel I thought that it was a sign that I must read it. I'm a Jim Butcher Fan, I'm a Spider-Man fan (btw, I was a Spider-Man fan loooooong before those movies came out) and Jim Butcher knows how to present a hero as a human with a normal life as well as kicking evil villain butt.

I was not let down with this book. The great writing style of Jim Butcher and the life of Peter Parker/Spider-Man turned out to be a very entertaining and exciting read.

In "The Darkest Hours" one of Spider-Man's worst enemies comes back to haunt him, except it's actually that enemy's family that seeks revenge. A few years ago J. Michael Straczynski, the man that brought the epic space opera "Babylon 5", wrote for a stretch of Spider-Man comics and created a villian named Morlun that fed on superhumans that had animal know like SPIDER-Man. Morlun was invincible and nearly killed Spider-Man, but of course Spider-Man came out the victor. Morlun was a what has been deemed an "Ancient." Now three more "Ancients" appear on the scene and seek revenge for Morlun's death.

Spider-Man is warned by Black-Cat, aka Felicia Hardy, which Spider-Man converted her from criminal to "good-guy" and had a love interest in. Black-Cat warns Spidey that the Rhino is rampaging in New York only to get Spidey's attention, so someone can trap the web-slinger. Those someones are the Ancients, and they want to drain Spidey's life force to keep themselves alive and extract revenge.

Spidey seeks out Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, but the good ole Doc can't least not outright...because that would throw off the balance of good and evil. So without helping his major domo slips Spidey some rocks that may or may not help. He also offers the advice that Spidey needs to learn not to work alone.

In order for the Ancients not to harm his wife or millions of other innocents, Spider-Man agrees to meet them with one final battle. Spidey has a few tricks up his red and blue sleeve and with a major battle that can't be missed this book creates all the excitement of any comic book.

Give it a may find it pretty fun. If your first response is that's not my type of book, then you are the first person that should give this book a read. You'll thank me when you do.

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posted by Gil T. @ 8:33 PM Comments: 0