Comics : Ultimate Spider-Man: Jumbo Coloring & Activity Book (Bendon)
This review was first published on: Jun 2015.
These "Jumbo" Coloring and Activity books are produced by Bendon Publishing as tie-ins with the Ultimate Spider-Man TV (2012) cartoon series. There are four different covers ("Villains", "Heroes", "Monsters", and "Spider-Men"), but all four variants feature pretty much the exact same interior content, just with the pages shuffled into a different order.
Ultimate Spider-Man: Jumbo Coloring & Activity Book (Bendon)
Year 2014 : SM Title
The books are 7.8" x 10.8", with 96 pages of black & white printed newsprint. Square-bound glossy cover. Copyright date is 2014.
All of the artwork and content is directly tied to the cartoon series, both in the style of artwork, and in the content and focus. In fact, it's quite likely that the artwork is taken directly from the cartoon series, and just converted into line-art. Many of the other Ultimate Spider-Man Cartoon tie-in books have done pretty much that.
There's the usual mix of word games, mazes, puzzles, find-the-match, along with a healthy helping of good old-fashioned colouring pages.
I haven't seen this particular set of content appear anywhere else yet. But given Bendon's track record, I won't be at all surprised to soon see these exact same pages recycled and re-wrapped in new covers.
I'm always in two minds about the Ultimate Spidey Cartoon. It's silly and superficial. But it does have a snappy undercurrent, and it seems to have struck a popular chord among the current generation of kids.
These coloring and activity pages link loosely into that particular zeitgeist. This ain't your grandpappy's Spider-Man. But I guess it's no less valid for that.
The cartoon series is popular, and these books just offer more of what the market is looking for. It's clean and tidy, fun, and well-priced.
The only significant negative factor is the complete lack of variety between the four "different" books. If mom gets generous and buys all four, little junior is going to find remarkably little challenge in the word puzzles when they have to unscramble "KNIC YRUF" for the fourth time.
But all in all, it's worth Three and a Half Webs.