Saturday, December 15, 2012

Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #1 (Review)

Best of ShowBest of Show by Paul Tobin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Best of Show is the first issue of Marvel comics child-oriented and now-defunct Marvel Adventures line of superhero comic books. These adventures feature the popular heroes of the Marvel Universe in stories and situations more suited to young readers instead of some of the more mature and controversial directions taken by the mainstream series. Usually corny, easily digest, and with emphasis on the fun and funny, some stick-butt fans might find these comics to be in poor taste, but these are the same people who never gave Superhero Squad a try, and that's a pretty good show.

This story stars Spider-Man, Iron Man, and The Hulk without really mentioning their alter egos. It's all heroes all the time, and they seem to be roommates of sorts. This isn't a premise I have a problem with, and it's interesting to see just what heroes do when they hang out together. Turns out they're just like everybody else! Iron Man and Spidey are having a show of just what Webhead can stick to while Hulk is enjoying himself pizza by the handful. It's laid back and a nice break from some of the overly tense mainstream stuff.

There isn't particularly much to say about such a short and lightweight story, though, and I want to try avoiding doing a synopsisview, since that isn't a review and it drives me up a wall. I'll say that while the situation these all-stars end up in is a little far fetched and ridiculous, even for comic books, it does make sense if you're willing to understand that these characters are normal guys. They don't always have to be punching things.

That's what this story explores, and I think it's fun. It treats the heroes as average Joes dealing with average Joe stuff... with a super twist. The characters are all fairly true to a basic and general idea of who they are. Hulk is the most toned down in this regard, being more like a giant child and not a seething mass of rage. Which is actually pretty accurate now that I think about it.

The art is really good. A lot of people will disagree with me, because there's this emphasis on supposed "realism" that permeates our culture, but this is an art style I enjoy. The colors are vibrant and eye-catching, the lines are clear, the people are distinct. It isn't cluttered with detail. It's got just the right blend of basically everything to be good art.

The comic's got some charm to it. It's pretty good. But, like most children's works, it isn't groundbreaking. It's a good ten minutes if you've got a commute to kill, and you don't mind a superhero story that isn't full of blood and grit.

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