THE BASEMENT BACK IN TIME: “Mighty Marvel Jumbo Fun Book”

As I get older, I find myself getting more and more nostalgic from when I was a child. To be honest, I am actually surprised at how much I remember. Some memories have always been there but others at times get triggered. Perhaps I will see something similar that brings me back. Other times I will see a post of Facebook of something that I had as a child. Either way, the memories are always good.

From the mid-1970s until the late 1980s, I was a comic book reader. I have always been a Marvel fan, not caring much for DC’s offerings. Though I did read their horror comics, and enjoyed their “New Teen Titans” series, when it came to super-heroes I read as much as I could from Marvel Comics. Recently I have found myself revisiting some of the titles that I read so much back in the day, but there were also other Marvel-related items that I thoroughly enjoyed.

From 1976 until 1979, Fireside Books released a series of books called The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Fun Book. Each of the five volumes featured 128 pages of black and white puzzles and games featuring your favorite Marvel superheroes.

I would love to see these become available again, perhaps in a cumulative volume!

The first three were written and assembled by Owen McCarron, who subsequently created all thirteen issues of the full-color “Fun and Games” comic magazine in 1979/1980. The last couple of Fun Books were written and illustrated/assembled by Scott Edelman who isn’t famous for much apart from a very short writing stint on Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #11.

My copy, still pretty intact.

In 1979, Fireside released the subject of this blog, The Mighty Marvel Jumbo Fun Book, that reprinted the first three books of the original series. This book had 352 pages and sold for $5.95 at the time, an absolute steal if you ask me for such a large book.

I can still remember spending countless hours completely lost in this book. It was designed to be for all ages. Some of the puzzles and games were definitely meant for the younger fans but some of them required true knowledge of the Marvel Universe. For me, this is why I was so attracted to Marvel; they were always willing to try new things.

Though it helped to have a vast knowledge of the Marvel Universe, it wasn’t necessary to enjoy this book. There were definitely plenty of things to do and experience. Then, if you got really stuck, all of the answers were in the back of the book. Though I loved this book, I wonder how it would do now. Today’s kids can actually be these very same superheroes in videogames and completely immersive movies.

Times sure have changed. For me, looking back to the pre-videogame days, I had so much enjoyment playing, reading and creating things. It is these things that have created so many fond memories for me to share now. Fifty years from now, will today’s kids be able to do the same?

Don’t forget to read other entries in my BASMENT BACK IN TIME series!

~David Albaugh

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