“100 Things Spider-Man Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die” lives up to its name where it is one of the most comprehensive compendiums of Spider-Man history, as well as adding in ways to become a more active fan. Mark Ginocchio knows his stuff. He has amassed one of the most impressive Spider-Man comic collections and hosted the popular Chasing Amazing blog and Amazing Spider-Talk podcast, which chronicled his collection journey.
With a foreword by previous Spider-Man writer Tom DeFalco, it’s evident that this book was made with a lot of love. The completed book reads equally as a love letter as it does as a source of information. Ginocchio doesn’t hold back either, he delves into the outer fringes of the Spider-verse to cover Cloak and Dagger, Aunt May’s wheatcake recipe and seminal reads like Brian Michael Bendis, Steve Ditko and of course, Stan Lee. Comics are only the start with Spider-Man, and Ginocchio weighs the importance of Sam Raimi to the Spider-Man film franchise. Ginocchio also delves into the most recent incarnation of live action Spider-Man, calling Tom Holland THE Spider-Man.
One of my personal favorite chapters is chapter 41. As a lifelong New Yorker, there is nothing more gratifying than a bit of a geographical ego boost. Spider-Man is quintessential New York. Many of the places referenced are perfect for the tourist, so it is with added benefit that on your visit to New York, you get to experience a bit of comic book history. Ginocchio includes issue numbers of what scenes took place where, so you can also stop in a local comic book shop like Forbidden Planet or Midtown Comics and pick up the corresponding story.
Spider-Man has done more than speak to ages of outsiders and awkward teenagers. He’s much more than someone who navigates the perils of high school and the never-ending difficulties of adulthood. Spider-Man is also the character who took down the comics code, cementing his place in history as not just a hero, but as an industry savior.
Ginocchio’s writing is accessible to anyone. While providing facts and tidbits that even the most devout Spider-fan may not know, he invites newer or purely cinematic fans to the mix. The way Ginocchio sees it, is that any fan is a good fan no matter how they choose to enjoy Spidey.
The book is unauthorized, but in no way is it underwhelming. From cover to cover “100 Things” brings Spider-Man to life. Ginocchio leaves no stone unturned in the 55-year history of the character. From Amazing Fantasy #15 to Spider-Man Homecoming, Spider-Man has remained relevant to the times, through the good and the bad. He is one of Marvel’s most beloved for a very good reason, and Ginocchio spells it out simply and