Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > CR Reviews

Marvel Adventures Two-In-One #18
posted January 28, 2009

imageCreators: Paul Benjamin, David Nakayama, Gary Martin, Michelle Madsen, Dave Sharpe, Marc Sumerak, Jonboy Meyers
Publishing Information: Marvel Comics, comic books, 64 pages, 2008, $4.99
Ordering Numbers:

I didn't mean to lie when I wrote that Shonen Jump is the only new comic book you can buy in Grant County, New Mexico. And yet lie I did. I found this oversized comic book the other day at the Wal-Mart, between two teen magazines. It's confusing only in that I can't find any proof on-line that it exists outside of that particular retail establishment. Even the cover I'm using in this review post is from one of the contributing titles, Marvel Adventures Hulk #8. For the most part, though, I get the idea in a way I don't need outside confirmation on the individual comic boo. This is basically two issues of Marvel's kids books from their Marvel Adventures line put under one cover to make it worthwhile for stores like Wal-Mart to have them taking up shelf face, but enough of a value a kid might conceivably want to buy one.

I don't know either contributing title, although I'm generally famliar with The Hulk and Spider-Man. I guess they're kids' books in that no one gets their arms pulled off or nobody's wife is raped and then murdered by someone else's wife, but for the most part the stories just read like slightly daffy, labored, slower, regular comic books. The Hulk teams with other members of the Defenders to fight a space monster. Spider-Man tussles with the Serpent Society via the Lizard. They're really ordinary comics, easy to read because they're simple, not because they can boast of any special clarity. The only two things I can remember thinking about them was that Rick Jones is obnoxious no matter what kind of comic in which he appears, and that when I was a kid I enjoyed the Peter Parker that had gotten past some of the more boyish aspects of acting like an idiot. It gave him layers, sort of, or at least an equivalent eight-year-old me could appreciate. I can't imagine these comics are making significant inroads here in town. If I'm wrong, I know I shouldn't be. I hope they stick with these efforts for as long as it take to develop talent more naturally suited to this kind of storytelling.