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Friday, December 01, 2006

You, too, can be Spider-Man - or not

I got a copy this week of “The Spider-Man Handbook,” the latest superhero training manual from Quirk Books.

Previous versions were devoted to Batman and Superman. “The Batman Handbook” fueled fantasies of being a superhero with handy information on throwing a batarang, executing a back flip and so on. After all, if you could hone your body to perfection and had Bruce Wayne’s millions, maybe you could be Batman.

Since presumably you’re not from Krypton, you can’t be Superman, so “The Superman Handbook” focused on how to be a hero in everyday life. “The Spider-Man Handbook” falls somewhere in between those two books. There are bits of useful info such as sections on “How to Crawl Up a Wall” and “How to Deal With a Nightmare Boss” (as in J. Jonah Jameson.) Other part are just for grins: Step 1 of “How to Build a Web-Shooter,” for example, instructs you to engineer “a highly adhesive, shear-thinning, air-hardening/dissolving, nontoxic, fire-resistant polymer with three times the tensile strength of steel.” Hey, no problem.


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