Disney publishing developed and released under the new “Marvel Reads” brand, this little surprise hit the iPhone/iPad Appstore this week. Adapted from Amazing Fantasy #15 by Rich Thomas and most importantly of all narrated by Stan “the man” Lee himself!
A narration driven story with partially animated illustrations and beautiful page transitions. It also includes 8 mini games, 6 of which are done within the story itself.
Seeing that it was clearly aimed at younger readers I was concerned that it would be some “Ultimate” style retelling of Spidey’s origin story, but I am very happy to report that this is not the case. This is an incredibly accurate and faithful retelling of AF#15 made all the more special by the wonderful narration provided by Stan Lee. Reading this with my 3 year old son gave me as much pleasure as it did him. He was delighted at the interactive games and while I have read him AF#15 in the past he seemed to respond to this more.
The artwork is probably the weakest part of the package. While perfectly good and for the most part quite well done, I would have much rather have seen some classic comic book style art done by one of the many talented Spider-Man artists we have seen over the years. The painted artwork was done by a company called “The Storybook Art Group” and is rather generic “Spider-Sense Spider-Man” merchandise quality. However it is not bad artwork at all and does not detract from what is otherwise a wonderful package. The animation and transition are really well done and do add a feeling of quality to the product that partially justify it’s price.
Speaking of which; at $6.99 the price is very steep for a digital book on the app store but I expect to see it on sale at a more reasonable price in the future. I really hope we see more Spider-Man Marvel Reads titles in the future.