Marvel Comics recently celebrated an incredible milestone when it published its landmark 900th issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the hero’s first appearance in the comics, and it’s one for the books!
In the extra-special story, “Better Late than Never!”, Peter Parker eagerly slings into New York Public Library (NYPL) to return a mountain of overdue books after he learns the library is waiving all late fees (which NYPL really did in 2021). But as Peter soon discovers, fine clemency can only go so far when your books get damaged in scuffles with supervillains like the Lizard and Carnage. And he later finds himself in perhaps one of his most harrowing adventures yet: storytime at the library!
Those with keen spidey senses may know this isn’t the webslinger’s first library adventure. NYPL is a regular feature in the comics, including a 1988 story where Spider-Man must fight the library’s famous lions Patience and Fortitude after they come to life. And in a 1974 issue of Spidey Super Stories, Spider-Man teams up with the first Spider-Woman, Valerie the Librarian, who was notably Marvel’s first Black female hero. Spider-Man has even dropped into his own READ poster!
If you’re looking to discover a new comic book adventure, your local library is here to save the day. Many libraries carry a wide array of comics, graphic novels, and manga for readers of all ages. And during Library Card Sign-Up Month this September, now’s the perfect time to check out your library’s selection.
Want more library comics action? Celebrate National Comic Book Day on September 25, and follow the hashtag #CreatorsGetCarded on social media all month long as comics creators share their work and their love of libraries.
As Marvel Comics executive editor Nick Lowe writes in the story’s introduction, “Libraries (and librarians) RULE!” We couldn’t agree more.