Comics : Obsessed With Marvel

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Book of the Month Club

This review was first published on: Dec 2015.

Background...

At first glance, "Obsessed With Marvel" is the Marvel Quiz Book/Game we've all been waiting for.

In Detail...

"Test Your Knowledge of the Marvel Universe, 2,500 Questions w/Game Module for one or two players"
Obsessed With Marvel
Year 2010 : SM Guest
Find ISBN 9780811871136
Summary: Spider-Man Chapter
Publisher:  Chronicle Books
Writer:  Peter Sanderson
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Review

The "book" is 8.2" x 8.3" and a whopping 1.25" thick. That's 320 pages worth of quiz questions – a total of 2,500 questions sorted into nine chapters.

Spider-Man gets a whole chapter to himself, as do the Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Men, Hulk, Marvel Knights, Horror Heroes, Cosmic Characters and a generic "Marvel Time" chapter containing all those oddball little questions about classic characters that don't fit into any of the above categories.

A integral part of the book is the nifty "Computer Module" that is integrally constructed into the lower right-hand corner of this book. The Computer Module contains all of the answers (there's no printed version of the answers, only the electronic computer). Even better, you can choose the mode you want to play:

  • Random Answers, or Choose a Starting-Point
  • One-Player or Two-Player

Then for each question simply choose A, B, C, or D as you are prompted. The computer validates each multi-choice answer and keeps the score.

In General...

Writer Peter Sanderson is a long-standing Marvel historian, and he has pitched the difficulty level well. I feel the questions are nicely balanced – not too hard, not too easy. By focusing on classic stories and "permanent" character attributes, he has ensured that questions should remain relevant for many years to come.

Equally, the computer interface is nice and easy to use. The instructions are printed at the start of the book, and are clear and straight-forward.

So where's the problem?

Well, first of all, the content of the book is entirely monochrome printed brown and black. I know color-printing costs a little more than monochrome. But for a US $30 list price, I would have expected to see those classic Marvel cover illustrations in all their glory, not transmogrified into ugly brown blotches.

Secondly, it looks like somebody forgot to quality-check the product. You'll see that by the time you get to the second page – the answer for question 13 is tragically wrong. The Inhumans were created by the Kree, not the Skrulls. I've also see people complaining online that it has asked them to answer question 2501 (which doesn't exist), and others complaining that their computer suffered a fatal hardware failure after five minutes of use – and there's no printed answer list to fall back on to.

Overall Rating...

Great concept, sadly ruined in the execution.

IF the book was in color, and IF the answers were 100% correct, and IF it included a backup paper copy of the, THEN this would receive a perfect Five Web rating. But that's the world of "What If?!" Back in the 616 Universe, the book's egregious flaws are all too real, and must be punished.

Two Webs.