Apparently, this book came along with one of the films when it was released on DVD. As such, it’s marked NOT FOR RESALE. Note that I am personally not in violation of the law here, I hope, since I merely bought this little book at some book fair or garage sale. Hopefully, I can avoid the affection of the TSA, the BATFE, and the other secretly abbreviated agencies with that disclaimer.
What is the book? It’s a little Marvel Universe lite that focuses on the Fantastic Four. It talks about the members, their enemies, the different eras in the comic books, and the different plot arcs the comics have followed. Unfortunately, since it was bundled with a DVD, it did so in a very small book with freaking tiny print and a lot of italics on a lot of colored backgrounds. That made it very hard to read in places. By “in places,” I mean “on pages.”
That said, when I squinted enough, I got a good flavor of the remembered history eras of the 1960s and early 1970s, the remembered present era of the 1970s and 1980s, and that weird future era of the 1990s and the 2000s. Of course, all references therein are to my contemporaneous reading of comic books. The wild story arcs were much more tolerable and comprehensible when you were reading them issue-by-issue. Of course, in the time I was reading comic books, a lot of the stories stretched two issues. Then they started the longer story arcs over a number of different titles, so you had to buy three or four magazines a month to keep up, and if you missed one, you were lost. And the stories got daft. For example, the Spider-Man Mark of Kane series really turned me off to the Spider-Man titles. I haven’t really read comics since.
But this book makes me think about dipping back in. I have a half long box of comic books I bought in 2007 and a small stack of comics my brother gave me at some time or another. As well as several boxes that my mom didn’t throw out.
Given that I haven’t read any of the other books I bought on September 22, 2007, maybe I will stick to real books for a while yet.