Marvel’s Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover Review

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Titan Books has developed a new prequel novel called Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover, and it will lead into the upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive game, Marvel’s Spider-Man. Written by David Liss, this novel brings together the opening story-line that leads into the video game, by introducing characters and the environment that Peter Parker is in.

The Plot

We find ourselves in the world of Spider-Man where Peter Parker is crushing beneath his responsibilities as a young scientist, but also his crime fighting reputation as the Spider-Man. Not only this, but Wilson Fisk has returned as the Kingpin of Crime, and Peter is being encountered by another person who has strikingly the same abilities as himself. In this private life, Peter is with Mary Jane Watson, who becomes engulfed in her worries for Peter’s safety as he fights crime.

Mary Jane herself plays a crucial role in the story as she investigates the on-going business property deal of Wilson Fisk, while engaging in her investigative journalism for the Daily Bugle.

Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover has a huge connection to the Spider-Man universe, bringing together characters like Aunt May, MJ, Kingpin, the doppleganger Blood Spider, and even Harry Osborn, that we can expect to view again the PlayStation 4 game next month. This means that Titan Books alongside David Liss and Marvel are setting the plot and backstory for us so we can enjoy Insomniac’s take on Spider-Man.

The Good

One thing that I truly love about this book is that it doesn’t dwell on Spider-Man’s unfortunate past. Like we saw in the movies with Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield, they spent a lot of time on the story of Uncle Ben and how his demise defines Peter’s reason for fighting crime. Like with Marvel’s newest Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, they acknowledge Uncle Ben, but don’t spend a ton of screen time on providing further details.

While it is mentioned in Hostile Takeover about Uncle Ben and Peter’s lack of using his abilities to save him, the story doesn’t start there, but in fact years after Peter became Spider-Man.

The dialogue and action scenes written by David Liss are true to what you’d expect in a comic book of Spider-Man. They are vivid in detail, and provide tons of environmental descriptions into what’s truly going on with Peter Parker and his enemies.

The Bad

Like with many prequel books, going in you should know a fair bit about the environment and story of which you are reading. For example, if you were to go into Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover without truly knowing who Peter Parker is alongside Mary Jane, this could make reading the book more difficult. Readers could easily get lost in the plot setup without truly knowing who the characters are, and their significance.

Final Thoughts

I don’t truly believe that reading Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover will enhance your Spider-Man PlayStation 4 experience, but it will provide guidance onto what environment and mind-set that Peter Parker is in. The novel is a really good compilation piece, that any Marvel or Spider-Man fan would enjoy, and I expect will go very well with the video game setup.

Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover is currently available directly through Titan Books! In addition, Titan is releasing an exclusive art book for the video game called Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Art of the Game. The book is available in both a normal copy, alongside a limited edition signed book.


  • Didn't Dwell on Uncle Ben
  • Great Dialogue and Action Scenes
  • Good Connection to Comic Books and Games


  • Jumps Straight Into World, Not Much Setup


Story - 8.9
Characters - 7.9
Dialogue/Action - 9
Connection to Comics/Game - 10
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