The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story

App review by
Jonathan H. Liu, Common Sense Media
The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story App Poster Image
Some violent themes in picture book aimed at young fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The app is simple to use: Tapping nearly anywhere will turn the page. There are interactive elements (when Auto-Turn Pages is turned off) that have instructions included, and a series of mini-games that can be played separately from the book itself.


Peter Parker is bullied at school-- he gets knocked down by another kid. Also, Peter's Uncle Ben is shot by a robber -- this is not pictured, but is described in the text. When Peter (as Spider-Man) catches the robber, the robber has a gun but Peter punches him. While violence is shown as having consequences, it is also depicted partially as a solution when Spider-Man fights criminals.


The bulk of the app does not have links to other tie-ins; however, since it is about Spider-Man, it is tied to other comics and merchandise simply by the nature of the subject matter. On the info screen are links to Marvel's website as well as the developer's website, a place to sign up for Marvel Reads email updates, and a small banner ad with other apps by the developers.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story is a retelling of the well-known tale of how Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man, written to be more of a picture book format than a comic book. It does look like it is intended for younger children than the typical comic book, but the book does include the death of Uncle Ben. There is also some bullying at Peter's school, and Spider-Man punches a robber. The book portion of the app is easy to use, and the mini-games all have simple controls suitable for young players.

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Is it any good?

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: AN ORIGIN STORY takes the familiar tale of Peter Parker and turns it into a picture book with interactivity. The artwork is well done and really looks like a kids' picture book rather than a comic book, and the text is simplified to be more suitable for younger readers. However, because the origin story still involves the shooting death of Uncle Ben (described, but not pictured), younger children may still find it too scary. And, of course, even though Spider-Man is a hero, he still resolves things through punching and fighting. However, the book, like the comic, stresses the famous tagline: "With great power comes great responsibility."

The book does include various simple interactive elements, as well as some simple mini-games that relate to the story. However, perhaps the most significant element of the book is that the narration is read by Stan Lee himself, creator of Spider-Man. His reading of the book is enthusiastic and charming, and parents who are fond of Spider-Man may really enjoy listening along with their kids.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: $6.99
  • Release date: December 9, 2011
  • Category: Books
  • Topics: Superheroes
  • Size: 110.00 MB
  • Publisher: Disney
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.0 or later
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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