Comics : Amtrak: All Aboard

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: A Word From Our Sponsor

This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

This is a co-sponsored specialty comic that is brought to you by Marvel and Amtrak. Marvel produces a number of these types of comics during the course of the year, as they license their characters for various pro-social and commercial comics that are then distributed to very specific audiences. In this instance, this comic was distributed to young riders on Amtrak trains during 2006.

In Detail...

"All Aboard!"
Amtrak: All Aboard
Nov 2006 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man & the FF
Editor:  Nicole Boose
Writer:  Todd DeZago
Pencils:  Alex Chung
Inker:  Rob Ross
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Review

Marvel's first family of superheroes has agreed to journey on an Amtrak train on their family vacation in order to be seen and relate to a news audience about how great a trip on Amtrak can be. They are met at the station by Aimee, the station supervisor. As Aimee greets the Fantastic Four in the station, Sue Storm informs Aimee that this vacation by train will allow them to not only teach their children about the country, it will allow them to see parts of it that they wouldn't normally get to see. As they are getting ready to board the train, young Franklin Richards is clutching onto a plush Spider-Man doll.

As the FF are ushered aboard Young Franklin indicates that he thinks that this will be not as fun as mom is indicating that it will be, this in spite of the fact that as they walk alongside the train Sue Storm renders part of it invisible so that they can see inside (thankfully we're spared any restroom scenes; this is, after all, a kid's comic). Meanwhile, off in another part of the terminal, our favorite Spider-Hero Peter Parker and that red-headed gal that everyone except the marvel editorial staff remembers that Peter used to be married to are also getting aboard the train. As it turns out Pete is covering the event for The Daily Bugle.

Once aboard the train, Franklin is still grousing about not being in New York, and his uncle Ben Grimm wants to know what's so important that's back in the Big Apple. When Franklin reveals that Spidey is back there The Thing goes suborbital, railing on how he could be part of the FF family and still like that two-bit glory-hound. As can be expected (this is, after all a Marvel Comic) Pete and Whatshername (the redhead) are sitting in the next pair of seats.

As the happily married couple sits there, unobserved by the Fantastic Four, Sue relates a story of how Spidey assisted the FF against the Puppet Master in Washington D.C. Next up, Mr. Fantastic tells young Franklin and his younger sister, Valeria about how Spidey helped the FF against the Mole Man in St. Louis (near the Gateway Arch). Finally, Johnny Storm tells the story about hoe he and Spidey went up against Sandman and Hydro-Man and pooled their powers and abilities to put the kibosh on the two supervillains. Franklin cheers at the story.

Unable to contain himself, and totally jealous that his nephew loves Spidey, Grimm tells a story that casts Spidey in a bad light, Seems that Spidey joined Grimm on the Golden Gate Bridge against the Rhino, and Spider-Man was more of a hindrance than a help, and wound up on the worse end of a beat-down from Rhino. At this point Spidey reveals himself, and chimes in, first by webbing the Thing's mouth shut, and then by telling how that particular story really went down. Much to the chagrin of Grimm and to the delight of Franklin.

In General...

This is another cute specialty comic that plays well to it's intended audience. Nothing of great value here, but it probably proved popular to kids aboard Amtrak trains who had a long trip and nothing to do. One can only hope that it improved the franchise without harming the brand.

Overall Rating...

Like I said, fun, but nothing much here, although it was good to see Spidey as a valued ally of the FF and (still) married to that hot redheaded chick.

Footnote...

This comic also contains a coupon for kids to ride free as well as a crossword puzzle, and a word search.

No, seriously, what is her name, it is like it has been erased from my mind by (dare I say it) demonic forces!