Geek Pick of the Week: Illustrated Guide to the Spider-Verse

Our latest Geek Pick of the Week dives into the Spider-heroes, and all their incarnations, in one handy place with Insight Editions’ Illustrated Guide to the Spider-Verse.

As the Holiday season approaches, we’re bringing back our Geek Pick of the Week. Each week leading up to Christmas, we’ll be highlighting a cool product we’ve found that we feel would be the perfect gift for geeks of all kinds. Use these to help fill in your own wish list or find the perfect gift for the nerds in your life. Click HERE to read more about previous Picks of the Week!

Despite launching months ago, the Illustrated Guide to the Spider-Verse is more than worth highlighting for the holidays. Coming from the people over at Insight Editions, it arrived in May to, ostensibly, get fans ready for Across the Spider-Verse. It’s important to notate, however, this book isn’t actually connected to the film(s). Instead, the book offers details on the many Spider-character from the heroes’ vast stable of comics and related media. So yeah, it features characters we’ve seen in the movies, but in a different context.

Generally speaking, the book is a fairly straightforward reference guide. Each page (or so) puts the spotlight on a different Spider-persona and provides details on their backstory, world, and general events. Even better it’s accompanied by some stellar (all new) artwork that does an excellent job of showing off what makes each different Spidey unique.

It’s not Wikipedia deep or anything like that, but still gives readers enough oversight to get familiar with all of these characters, many of whom they may have only glimpsed in the film. What really sets this book apart, is in the approach to how it presents the material.

Rather than being a simple/boring outpouring of facts on each page, the entire thing is written from the perspective of Spider-Gwen! So all the details are presented in her voice, which gives the material a lot more flair and makes for an engaging read. Because it’s from her perspective, we also get fun tidbits of information about her own encounters with certain characters.

It’s not exactly new or groundbreaking, but it’s a fun way to present material that could easily come off as academic. At its core, the Illustrated Guide is still a reference book, and it handles that incredibly well. The writing style makes it easy to pick up and read cover-to-cover, but it doesn’t affect those who simply want to flip pages and learn more about characters they think look cool.

It’s a solid reference guide featuring swanky art and all the Spideys you can handle. It’s definitely a great gift idea for the Spider-Man fan on your shopping list, old and young alike.

The Illustrated Guide to the Spider-Verse is available now in stores and online.

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Jordan Maison
Editor-in-Chief: Writer and cartoonist who went to college for post-production, he now applies his love of drawing, movie analysis, filmmaking, video games, and martial arts into writing.