Is This Your Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man?

Spider-Man and Friends Cover

Can you get cuter than Super Hero Squad? You can.

If you don’t have kids, you may never have seen these incarnations of some popular Marvel superheroes. Despite being a DC man myself, my daughter loves Spider-Man, so that’s what she plays with (along with her Disney Princesses and My Little Pony).

Yes, Marvel has Super Hero Squad, with cutsey versions of its heroes and villains, but this Spider-Man and Friends toddler board book is in a class by itself.

Don’t get me wrong. The messages conveyed (sticking together, helping those in need, etc) are fine, I just find their choice of heroes to accompany Spider-Man a little… odd.

Spider-Man and Friends splash page

The final page, and incidentally the “climax” to this engaging read. Note Wolverine on the tire swing.

Let’s take a look.

Wolverine: Easily one of Marvel’s most popular heroes. He’s also a badass loner with aggression issues. IN THE BOARD BOOK: He rides a tire swing and gets picked on for being different.

Silver Surfer: A cosmically powered herald for a large planet-eating entity.  Good times. IN THE BOARD BOOK: He loves to explore the world with wide-eyed wonder and curiosity (presumably until Galactus consumes it).

Iron Man: A genius narcissistic inventor of military grade weapons with a drinking problem. IN THE BOARD BOOK: He is smart at school and loves to fly.

And then of course there’s Spider-Man, probably the only really appropriate Marvel character to be in a board book for kids. Especially with his over-used saying “With great power comes great responsibility.” IN THE BOARD BOOK: With great power comes great responsibility. (Yes, it really does say that.)

You’d think that a hero like Captain America would be a better fit for something like this, after all, he practically perspires qualities you’d want to teach a toddler (leadership, teamwork, never trust a guy with a skull for a face…).

What other heroes would work well for little kids? Post ’em in the comments.



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About Ryan

I'm a writer-performer originally from Montreal, Canada where I performed stand-up and sketch comedy. These days I'm an Instructor in the New Media Department at the University of Lethbridge where I indulge in my fascination with creative media and technology. I've written and directed two web series and always seem to have a new project lined up. Busy is good.

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