Comics : Amazing Spider-Man: Jumbo 96 Page Coloring & Story Book (Bendon)

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

This review was first published on: 9 Jan 2016.

Background...

I nearly missed picking up this Jumbo book at my local discount store. It was one of a pair of similar books, and at first glance, the two covers seemed identical to the Amazing Spider-Man: Jumbo 64 Page Coloring & Activity Book (Bendon) books that I already owned.

Fortunately I took a second glance and noticed that these are 96 page versions from 2013, compared to the original 64 page books from 2012. And while one of the pair shares an identical cover with its smaller 2012 predecessor, the second in the pair features new cover art.

This review is for that book with the new cover art. Even better, it also features NEW material inside!

In Detail...

Amazing Spider-Man: Jumbo 96 Page Coloring & Story Book (Bendon)
Year 2013 : SM Title
Publisher:  Bendon Publishing International, Inc.
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 Partially Reprinted In: Amazing Spider-Man: Jumbo 96 Page Coloring & Activity Book (Bendon)

Now, you'll need to pay attention here for a moment while I make an important point.

  • The two 64-page books from 2012 are essentially identical to each other, containing recycled activity pages. I covered both books in a single review.
  • The two 96-page books from 2013 are significantly different from each other. I have reviewed each of them separately, in dedicated reviews.

This review here is for the most interesting of the two new books – the one which features the "Right Way Up" Spider-Man on the cover, and which more importantly claims to contain "5 Great Feature-Length Spider-Man Thrillers".

Now, being painfully acquainted with Bendon's current market offerings, I immediately expected this to be yet another re-re-re-re-re-cycled churn of the small pool of Spider-Man artwork which Bendon Publishing International, Inc., Parragon Book Service, Ltd. and Scholastic Australia, Inc. have been flogging to death for the last five years or so.

But opening this book... miracle of miracles! From goodness-knows-where, these books contain a huge amount of new material that I have not yet seen in any other format. In fact, they contain sequential pages of captioned art-work which do, indeed, make up five separate "stories" (if we allow the word to be used loosely enough). These feature:

  1. The Green Goblin.
  2. The Lizard.
  3. Black Cat.
  4. Venom.
  5. The Spot.

In General...

Of course, the stories are pretty mono-dimensional. Villain commits Villainy. Spider-Man Captures Villain. Rinse and Repeat. But as far as I'm aware (and I work pretty hard at keeping an eye on Spider-Man coloring books) this is all NEW material. Incredible!

The art-work is pretty good too. It has a good balance of detail adding interest, while still leaving plenty of space for coloring. Every few pages we pause for an "activity page". But then it's back to the new, original adventure.

Overall Rating...

I have to give all due credit to Bendon. I don't know where this content came from, nor why I haven't seen it anywhere other than at the local "Two Dollar Store". But somehow they managed to magic up some fresh art-work, and they're offering it for a very reasonable price.

The pessimist in me says that we'll doubtless see this "new" content reprinted, re-re-printed, and re-re-re-re-re-re-printed to death over the next few years. But for now, it's new and fresh. Let's grab some sharp new coloring pencils and make the most of this moment while it lasts!

Well done guys. Here's Five Webs.

Footnote...

The 64-page versions both feature the same ISBN number. The 96-page versions both feature the same UPC code (but do not have an ISBN code).