Marvel Super Hero Squad: Jumbo Coloring & Activity Book (64pp, Bendon)

Background

Bendon has been busy in recent years with a flurry of Spider-Man/Marvel tie-in activity and story books. This one in particular features the "Marvel Super Hero Squad"... a kids TV tie-in that is the latest reinvention of the Marvel Characters.

Story Details

Physically this book is 8" x 10.5" standard magazine size. It's soft cover, square bound, 64 black and white newsprint pages.

The art work is all the "Marvel Super Hero Squad" chunky cartoon style. The lines are clear, though the art in general is stylized so far as to be rather formulaic.

The mix of content is good, with coloring interspersed with simple word puzzles, games, odd-one-out, and even a recipe for making "Green Goop".

Spider-Man appears on the cover, and also in half-a-dozen of the internal artwork. But as mentioned, don't go expecting any variety... he only has two poses. There's left-handed web-slinging towards the shot, and... umm... right-handed web-slinging towards the shot. Not exactly mirror images. But hardly original stuff.

General Comments

The printed price on the back cover is US$1.00. I have no idea how that works. Can you even print a book for a buck these days, especially one that is "Made in the USA"? Also, very strangely, there's no ISBN number for this book. Curiouser and curiouser!

Overall Rating

I confess to an inner struggle with objectivity. Frankly, I can't stand the "Marvel Super Hero Squad". It represents a dumbing-down, lowest-common-denominator in children's entertainment that nearly brings me to despair.

The artwork is cut-and-paste of the most shameless order, while the story lines are irrelevant in a world of overexposed character cash-in.

On the other hand... hey, it's 64 pages for a dollar!

Let's call it three webs.