Monday, May 17, 2010

The Return of Marvel Adventures

I pick up quite a few single issues for the kiddo each month. The Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Super Hero Squad, all based on their respective animated shows, are always on the list, along with miscellaneous other books that either strike my fancy for him while going through Previews or pique his interest on trips to the comic shop.

In my April DCBS box, there were two reboots of the Marvel Adventures line I had ordered for the kiddo: Spider-Man and Super Heroes. I am a big proponent of all ages and age-appropriate comics for kids, and when I saw these in Previews I knew I needed to give them a try and support them.

I don’t regularly read the comics I buy for the kiddo. I’m confident as an informed
consumer of what I’m letting him read, so it’s more about him having something that gets him jazzed about comics. But I couldn’t pass up giving these two books a go for myself. (Plus, I love the look in the kiddo’s eyes when I come to him asking if I can read one of his comics that says, “You want to read something of mine? Sure you can, Dad!”)

Both of these Paul Tobin-written books are a lot of fun. The Spider-Man is one-and-done, but has the feel of something that will have some continuity to it over its run. There’s dirty politicians, a young Captain Stacy, high school drama, and a cranky J. Jonah Jameson. And I think I enjoyed this single Spidey issue more than the five-issue Bob Gale-penned Peter Parker mini currently underway.

The Spidey book also benefits from two Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius backups. The kiddo and I are both big fans of Chris Eliopoulos’ work, so it’s nice to hav
e these here, along with his Zabu (Ka-Zar’s sabretooth tiger) backup set in the Savage Land in the Super Heroes book.

Tobin’s work in Super Heroes is the kind of story you can’t help but get excited about. Inside the Iron Man cover, it’s actually an Avengers story with Shellhead, Cap, Black Widow, Thor, Nova, Invisible Woman, and Vision on the team battling Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants. Based on the “Next Issue” teaser inside the back cover, it looks like Marvel is going to rotate the “headline” character in this book, with Thor getting his turn above the title next month.

Tobin seems to have carved out a nice little corner of the all-ages Marvel Universe for himself, and I couldn’t be more appreciative. The kiddo and I both enjoyed Tobin’s Fantastic Four Giant-Size Adventures one-shot last year, his Black Widow and the Marvel Girls trade paperback arrived in the same box as the Spider-Man and Super Heroes issues, and I have his Spider-Man and the Secret Wars trade paperback on order.

I love having some books that both the kiddo and I are digging. For me, these two single issues were like a wayback machine to the stories I first discovered as a kid. And for the kiddo, I hope these are the books that are among his earliest memories of issues leaving a permanent impression on his comic reading psyche. I hope more people buy these books and keep them going. For our part, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man and Marvel Adventures Super Heroes will stay on our pull list as long as Marvel continues to offer them.

(And, on a similar note, Roger Langridge and the ever-awesome Chris Samnee’s Thor: The Might Avenger, launching in July, is already queued up to join Tobin’s books this summer.)

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