If you don't read the Sunday newspaper ad circulars regularly like I do -- it's better than reading the Obits or, for the most part, the Comics Section -- you may a little surprised to learn today's debut of Spider-Man 3 on DVD at many big-box retailers in America has been largely upstaged by an already available video game: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock by Activision and Neversoft.

Of the major Big Boxers in the Austin area, only Circuit City spotlighted the Web-Spinner, but only because of a special wrap-around sheet to the real cover featuring guitarist Slash from Guns and Roses and VR. Conversely, Target made no bones about hawking bundle packs (including wireless guitars for two) for Wii, XBox 360 and PlayStation.

Guess that mirrors the general apathy among critics -- ranging from "entertaining noise" (Houston Chronicle) to "aesthetically and conceptually wrung out" (New York Times) to "pull(ing) off a smartly subversive drag show" (Time) -- and moviegoers.

Of course, it helps that Guitar Hero has a two-day headstart on S3 at stores, one of the many moves made by Activision and Neversoft to compete against its arch-rival Rock Band, made by Hamonix, the original makers of Guitar Hero, according to Wired.

Just the same, being the DVD nutjob that I am, I'll probably buy S3 on opening day anyways for the spiffs -- I'll be looking for the closest Best Buy store near my office that'll be giving away free Spidey masks I can pass down to the grandkids. Of course, that'll happen once they've gotten old enough and I've worn it a few 100 times or so...