Saturday, September 12, 2009

Faye Stories Part 5: Spinning Spider Stories

There is nothing like telling old fairy tales with a new twist. My father used to tell me a story where the Big Bad Wolf was a man named Abdul from Cleveland. Marvel has done the same thing, but instead of naming a wolf after a Basketball player, they have put Peter Parker into famous fairy tales from around the world.

"Spider-Man Fairy Tales", written by C.B. Cebulski, is a collection of four stories: "Off the Beaten Path", "The Spirit of Friendship", "Eclipse", and "What You Wish For". These are retellings of "Little Red Riding Hood", "Anansi the Spider God", "Tsuchigumo the Japanese Spider Spirit," and "Cinderella". The stories chosen to be retold says a lot about the character of Spider-Man. Spider-Man, who was destined to be the Totem of the Spider, flawlessly translates into the role of Anansi and Tsuchigumo,they are both totems in their own culture. The spider and the spider-man is not unique to marvel or western culture. The animal exists around the world and has continually captivated imaginations, and therefore, it was right and proper to include tales from around the world.

With the more western tales of "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Cinderella", the comic has its own flare. With Mary Jane as a strong Riding Hood and Peter as a timid woodsmen they work together to save the day. Their teamwork reflects some of their better relationship moments in the comics. Peter then takes on the role of Cinderella to the Osborne family, with Mary Jane as his helper in making it to the ball. Following the Spider-man mythos, the Princess dies while Mary Jane pines for Peter. While keeping the main elements of the Cinderella tale, the comic is loyal to the Spider-man Mythos.

"Spider-Man Fairy Tales" is a creative collection of known stories with a marvel twist. While the graphic novel is a fairly quick read it is worth picking up. Overall, I give it a 4 out of 5.

Watching for Spiders,
J.R. West the Raccoon

1 comment:

Dante's Heart said...


Our fiction editor Ashley Argyle recently directed me to a short story that you might enjoy greatly, as well -- your post made me think of it. Check out Douglas Kearney's story "Anansi Meets Peter Parker at the Taco Bell on Lexington"; it can be found in:

Dark Matter: Reading the Bones. Ed. Sheree R. Thomas. Aspect-Warner Books, Inc., 2004. 89-90.

Very worth a read for any afficionada either of Spiderman or Trickster stories. :)