Comics : Summer Fun with the Marvel Super Heroes

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: The Magic of Color

This review was first published on: Jul 2012.

Background...

Here's a little something I stumbled on thanks to eBay. There's a store which seems to have an incredible ability to dig up obscure Marvel books from the past - all in top condition (but unfortunately with prices to match).

No, I won't tell you who I'm talking about. The last thing I need is competition!

But I will tell you all about this wonderful little gem which popped up a couple of months back, and which I absolutely could not resist. Just check out Spider-Man, Captain America, and Iron Man sitting in that little roller coaster on the front cover. Ain't that the cutest thing you ever saw?

In Detail...

Summer Fun with the Marvel Super Heroes
Year 1985 : SM Guest
Summary: Coloring/Activity Book (Spider-Man Appears)
Publisher:  Marvel Books, Inc.
Writer:  Suzanne Weyn
Artist:  Phil Lord, Steve Geiger
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Review

Inside it just gets better. This book is 8" x 10.8", 48 pages of aged, cheap newsprint. Nearly every page features black and white line art suitable for coloring-in, while every second page or so also includes a puzzle, maze, quiz, code, join-the-dots or word/number puzzle embedded into the content.

Together, everything strings along to create a single story line centered around Captain America, Spider-Man and Iron Man. After a tough day fighting crime, the three heroes relax at their secret headquarters. Black Cat (Spidey's wanna-be girlfriend) also turns up, and I guess that everybody is just too polite to mention that she is a wanted criminal.

The gang starts talking about what they want to do for some fun, but when somebody mentions "Coney Island", Spidey's spider-sense starts to tingle. So everybody heads off to Coney Island and check out any potential danger.

The danger is the Red Skull, who spots the heroes by complete chance. Supposedly. How convenient then that the Red Skull just happens to have set up a perfect set of traps for the various do-gooders. Iron Man is frozen by a paralyzer gun. Cap is dropped into the basement of the haunted house. Spider-Man is trapped inside a video game.

The Black Cat suffers the most embarrassing fate. The Red Skull waits until she takes a ride on the roller coaster. Then he goes to the coaster control booth and presses the big red button that makes the roller coaster crash.

YOU WHAT?

Are you shitting me? You're trying to tell me that the roller coaster designer decided to finish off his work by adding a big red button to the controls that, when pressed, will cause the coaster to go so fast that it shakes loose of the track?

OK. We just jumped the shark here. I'm not reviewing any more of the story. If you want to know if there's a happy ending or not, you're just going to have to buy a copy for yourself. And good luck finding one... MUAHAHAHA!

In General...

This is brilliant. And yet terrible.

The nature of the content is superb. Some books feature coloring pages, while others have activity pages. This book features pages which are a wonderful mix of both.

Then there's the story. I love it when coloring books contain an original story. I double-love it when they're so utterly, excruciatingly gosh-darn awful that they are unintentionally hilarious!

Overall Rating...

On one hand, it's great. On the other hand it's so bad it's great. Plus it's an ultra-rare classic!

Four and a half webs.