Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Spidey Reprints are in! The Spidey Reprints are in!

That’s right boys and girls, the NY Post has resumed issuing the Spider-Man reprints. The current issue is Vol. #19 (reprinting the first half of Amazing Spider-Man #9, staring Electro).

As always, the read was refreshing, entertaining, and brought me back to my youth. Just so you all know, I’ve been collecting a second set of the comics and at Christmas, I gave the first 18 issues to my 12-year-old nephew Tony-o, who has gotten into reading comics over the past few years. Well, I hope that Tony-o is enjoying these comics as much as am I.

If anyone out there is reading this and wants to introduce their kids (nephews, nieces, grandkids, whomever) to comics, and want to be assured that the comics are going to be a) enjoyable, and b) “wholesome” then I would suggest the following Marvel titles:

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane: This book is told from MJ’s point of view, and really doesn’t so much follow the established Marvel Cannon but is more of an off-shoot of the two Mary Jane prose novels that Marvel issued a few years back. Think Betty and Veronica with superheroes, and you’ll get an idea of what this series is all about. Writer Sean McKeever does a most excellent job in capturing teen girl angst in a superhero world.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man (also available in Avengers and Fantastic Four): Here again with the Marvel Adventures titles is a re-interpretation of classic Marvel re-told in an up-beat, modernized way All fun, all-in-one issue stories, where there is no need to worry about continuity or what has gone on before (or even after) these three series are modern-day classic stuff.

In all three series, whatever you generally remember from Silver Age Marvel is essentially true, only the stories place the characters squarely in the modern era (cell phones, computers, etc.) only these items don’t so much detract from the story or enjoyment of the books, but add to their accessibility. As far as the Avengers go, the writers freely pull from virtually all variations of the group, assembling a team that never really served together (including Cap, Spidey, Wolverine, Hulk, and Iron Man, thrown in for good measure are X-Man Storm (who was never an avenger) and Giant Girl (who is actually a Young Avenger).). Still, the stories work, and are quite fun.

I have to say that I’m really happy that Marvel is remembering (finally) that if they don’t do something to engage younger kids in comics, that eventually the only ones in this field will be adults, and there will be no one to carry on this great tradition.

Hopefully some new (younger) readers will discover Marvel and then go not only back and collect the older stuff (either in its original formats, or in the reprint graphic albums), as well as move forward, collecting the newer stuff.

As fans and parents, we can only hope.

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