Comics : Amazing Spider-Man: Colouring Book (Scholastic Australia)

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This review was first published on: Jun 2012.

Background...

Scholastic is a pretty big name in kids publishing. They produced a solid collection of Spidey activity books in 2004 for the Spider-Man 2 movie, but have been kind of quiet since then.

Just recently in 2011 they seem to have popped back into action with a few bits and pieces, including this colouring activity book which appears to be specifically for the Australia//NZ market only.

In Detail...

"Variant 2011 Black Cover"
Amazing Spider-Man: Colouring Book (Scholastic Australia)
Year 2011 : SM Title
Find ISBN 9781742831817
Summary: 24pp
Publisher:  Scholastic Australia, Inc.
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Review

This colouring book is 8.25" x 10.8". It has a glossy card cover, stapled at the spine with 24 pages.

There are 23 pages to colour, each of which has a caption. Together, they comprise a complete story. Or at least, sort of. Depends how fussy you are about stories making sense of any kind.

The "story" goes something like this.

Spider-Man is swinging around Manhattan when Eletctro suddenly attacks him. Electro then ignores Spider-Man and randomly attacks people in times Square, before running into a toy shop, pursued by Spider-Man. Given that Electro was winning the fight, it really isn't clear why he was running.

Electro and Spider-Man fight in the toy shop, including a fight on a giant Ferris wheel. Hey, did you know that Toys'R'Us in New York actually has a giant indoor Ferris wheel? Impressive, eh?

Suddenly, and with no explanation, the fight is over, and Spider-Man swings to the Daily Bugle, changes to his Peter Parker clothes, and takes his photo to Jonah. Unfortunately Peter accidentally drops his photos out of a window. Man, what a retard!

Spider-Man then fights the Green Goblin, and the Scorpion. The Scorpion fight takes place at an amusement park which features another Ferris wheel. I think somebody at Scholastic really likes Ferris wheels!

Spider-Man then goes looking for Electro. He looks in the Aquarium. Hydro-Man is there! Once again, despite winning the fight, Hydro-Man suddenly runs away into the sewer. Electro is in the sewer. Perhaps Hydro-Man was leading Spider-Man to Electro? But it isn't made clear.

In the final scene, Spider-Man tricks Hydro-Man into shooting a water-bolt at Electro, which naturally ends poorly for both villains.

In General...

Now, at this point I need to mention that all of the Electro pages are common with the bulkier Amazing Spider-Man: Deluxe Colouring/Activity Book (Scholastic Australia), which offers a complete Electro tale.

To create this book, a number of changes have been made. Firstly, all of the activity pages were discarded. Then the remaining Electro pages were swapped around slightly, and new pages featuring Hydro-Man, Green Goblin and Scorpion were inserted.

The final result is a silly old muddle. Whereas the original Electro source material provided a complete integrated tale, this "freshened-up" version is just a dog's breakfast. For goodness' sake... is it really that hard to construct a 23-page connected piece of continuity?

Overall Rating...

The line art is great, and the book is good quality for the price I paid.

Also on the plus side, the pages are widely varied in their content, and each ties nicely into the caption. Just a shame that the various captions don't quite form a contiguous narrative.

I'm going to emphasize the positive and go for three webs here.

Footnote...

Note that the original 2011 version of this book had a black cover. A white/blue cover reprint was produced in 2012, and was sold both separately, but also bundled with Amazing Spider-Man: Activity Pad (Scholastic Australia) as part of Amazing Spider-Man: Activity Bag (Scholastic Australia).