This single review covers a set of four promotional pamphlets produced by Lego in 2012 to promote their new "Marvel Super Heroes" Lego sets.
Very oddly, pamphlets #1 and #2 in this series were small at 5" x 6.7", while numbers #3 and #4 were much larger — nearly magazine sized at 8" x 10.2". All are staple bound, paper cover, with 10 interior pages.
But putting that aside, the next thing I noticed is that issues #2, #3 and #4 all share the same cover art. And when you open them up, the internal pages are also nearly identical!
Page 1: Identical for all four issues. Wolverine fights Deadpool. Thor fights Loki, and we see five new boxes of Lego "Marvel Super Heroes" (6866, 6865, 6867, 6868, 6869).
Page 2: Identical for all four issues. A flying machine causes confusion at the Brooklyn Bridge, and Captain America at his HQ reaches for his trusty shield.
Page 3: Identical for all four issues. One of Loki's henchmen fires a strange gun, but Captain America arrives on his motorbike and stops things with his shield.
Page 4: Identical for all four issues. Promo for the new Lego figures in those boxed sets. There's X-Men and Avengers, but there's also three Ultimate Spider-Man figures from set 6873 (Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Doc Ock).
Pages 5, 6, 7 & 8: Now the content goes its own way.
Book #1: X-Men, Deadpool fights Wolverine, a battle which continues when Wolverine heads off on a motorbike while Deadpool gets in his helicopter. Magneto turns up and fights both of them.
Book #2: Avengers, Hawkeye in a SHIELD 4x4 battles Loki. Iron Man turns up but Loki uses the Cosmic Cube on him.
Book #3: Avengers, Loki is imprisoned in a cell on the SHIELD heli-carrier. Hulk and Thor are guarding him. A magically mesmerised Hawkeye flies a plane and launches missiles at the carrier, freeing Loki.
Book #4: Avengers, in a building overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, Black Widow, Thor and Iron Man see the aforementioned attack by Loki and his henchmen, and go to investigate. Loki blasts Iron Man. Thor arrives and everybody fights everybody.
Page 9 & 10: Identical for all four issues. The Avengers (Hulk, Thor, Cap & Iron Man) arrive at a secret base, and Agent Coulson points at a map on which various trouble-spots are highlighted. The heroes fly away to the variously indicated jungle, deep sea, and desert locations where they find pieces of the Lego Logo. They return with the pieces and complete the Lego club building.
Nobody speaks a word in the entire process. The entire... pointless... process.
Reviewing these books left me feeling slightly nauseous from their utterly vacuous nature. There is no substance. It's like candy floss, but without the sugar hit. It's like homoeopathy, where vital ingredients are watered down a million, million times, until the substance is essentially zero.
Spider-Man doesn't appear in any of the scenes, only as a promoted figure. But then again, you could argue that Hulk, Thor and Captain America don't even really appear either. Yes, their physical likenesses are present, but their essence is entirely absent.
I do love Lego. There's a huge part of me that just cries out "I WANT ALL THIS STUFF!"
In acknowledgement of that corner of my soul, I shall offer a single web.
Spider-Man does subsequently "appear" in the "plot" of the subsequent 2013 promotional pamphlet, Lego Marvel Super Heroes (2013 One-Shot).