Comics : Marvel Ultimate 3D Activities (Parragon)

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This review was first published on: Jun 2014.

Background...

This book is identical in format to the Amazing Spider-Man: 3D Hero Action (Parragon/Scholastic). Note that while the Spider-Man version appears to be available in both Parragon and Scholastic branded versions, this "Marvel Ultimate 3D Activities" seems only to have been published by Parragon on the UK, there is no sign of any Australian printing.

In Detail...

Marvel Ultimate 3D Activities (Parragon)
Nov 2013 : SM Guest
Find ISBN 9781472323316
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Publisher:  Parragon Book Service, Ltd.
Staff Only
Issue
Review

The book is actually a folder. It features a hard cardboard exterior containing a plastic spiral-bound interior. Filofax style partitions group the pages into five separate sections. A pair of red/blue 3D glasses is included.

Section One: "How to Draw" features material borrowed and shared from the various other Parragon/Scholastic "How to Draw" products. It features only eight pages of drawing practice content, plus a sheet of stickers. Spider-Man is one of the characters you are shown how to draw.

Did those eight pages teach you how to draw comic characters and backgrounds in life-like form and perspective? I hope so, because Section Two is "Create a Comic". Eight pages of half-completed comic panels are ready for you to add the finishing touches. Despite Spider-Man and Wolverine comprising two of the four characters you just learned how draw, they don't actually make an appearance in this Avengers/Loki/Baron Zemo battle. If your drawing is still disappointing, another sheet of stickers might cheer you up.

In Section Three: "Super Sketches" crazy red/blue gridded lines provide a whacky 3D background to your pencil work copying the given pictures. Another sticker sheet rounds things out.

Then Section Four "Sticker Story" heads us in a different direction altogether. This eight-page story is a cut-down reworking from the 2011 Thor Origin retelling (from the Marvel: Origin Story Books series). Key parts of the story are missing, and are provided as stickers (one more sheet thereof) for you to put in place and fill out the illustrations.

Finally, Section Five is "Heroes & Villains". A series of fact-file pages tells you more about the key marvel characters. Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus get a page each. The mandatory sheet of stickers wraps up the product.

In General...

The page count comes in at a total of 40, plus five sheets of stickers. That isn't particularly high given the recommended £10 ($15 USD) price tag.

The content is a bit of a shotgun effect. There's a bit of everything, but not really enough of anything to satisfy. There's not enough "How-to-Draw" to really each you much. The Thor story is truncated to fit the highly restricted page allocation. The fact files give you two paragraphs on each character. It's as if the designers were in a real hurry to get to finish the job and go home early for the week.

Mind you, there's certainly plenty of color. And variety too.

Overall Rating...

Jack-of-All trades, master of none.

However, the production quality is high, and there's lots of eye appeal. The format is novel and impressive on the shelves. I'm going to err on the generous side and give this a three-and-a-half web rating.