Review by C.J. Bunce
A new PlayStation 4/Insomniac action-adventure game arrives September 7 and it’s anticipated to be one of the best superhero games yet (check out a preview for the game below). Leading up to the launch of the game Marvel’s Spider-Man is a new prequel novel to be published in two weeks by Titan Books as part of its rollout of Marvel paperback novels (see our previous reviews in the series of Avengers: Civil War here and Deadpool: Paws here). Author David Liss has put together a densely packed story finding Spider-Man confronting Wilson “Kingpin of Crime” Fisk seven years after he first tried to put the mobster in jail and eight years after Peter first donned his supersuit. Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover pits Peter Parker and his alter ego Spider-Man up against more than Fisk–with criminals old and new taking a crack at Spidey in the hefty paperback’s 398 pages.
Liss focuses on Peter Parker adjusting to life after high school and college, after his Daily Bugle photographer days and years of taking on supervillains, in the workforce as a scientist–yet the angsty Parker is still the same everyguy struggling to balance listening to the needs of girlfriend Mary Jane, keeping his difficult supervisor at work happy, remembering his breakfast meet-ups with Aunt May (did someone say wheatcakes?), and saving the people of New York. Yep, he still mostly falls short. Although Fisk is the Big Bad in this tale, others are lurking, like Mayor Norman Osborn, Scorpion, Shocker, Tombstone, Electro, the most vile J. Jonah Jameson yet, and Martin Li (aka Mr. Negative). But Spidey’s strangest riddle involves new threats, including a masked deaf woman who calls herself Echo, with mad martial arts skills and a hidden past, and a Spider-Man doppelganger called Blood-Spider, an imbalanced foe who thinks he’s the real Spider-Man (unfortunately for Spidey, he has the moves and webs to prove it).
Peter grows farther apart from Mary Jane when she lands a job at the Bugle, and he meets a new co-worker intern named Anika (who may be a bit of a stalker). And he’s losing his other best friend and confidante as Harry Osborn takes off for a trip overseas. A contact with the D.A.’s office and a driven Misty Knight-inspired member of the police force (Captain Yuri Watanabe) could be his way to more information. But something is just not right everywhere Peter turns, and no facet of his life is getting better. Liss weaves all these characters together for Peter to sleuth his way to the surface. He will lose plenty. What more is he willing to lose to finally put Fisk behind bars?
Readers don’t need to have any plans to play the PS4 game the story leads into to get immersed in this story. Liss knows Parker’s voice and creates a classic Spider-Man tale any long-time fan of the character will love. And like all good Spidey stories, teen readers on up will connect with Peter’s trials at simply getting through each day. For those waiting for the PS4 this is a great Spidey story to keep you busy.
You can pre-order this new Spider-Man adventure novel, Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover, now here at Amazon. Look for it to be released August 21. And you can pre-order the new game Marvel’s Spider-Man here. It’s available September 7. Here is a new preview for the game:
Keep checking this link for pre-order availability of an expansive edition of the game with lots of bonus features:
Marvel’s Spider-Man is the first licensed game created by Insomniac Games.