These five easy readers introduce beginning readers to The Avengers as a group, and Iron Man and Spider-Man individually. Three titles in this set are level 1, the easiest to read. This is Spider-Man introduces readers to Peter Parker, who loves his Aunt May, is bullied at school, and doesn’t care because he has a cool secret: he’s Spider-Man and can walk on walls, shoot webs and stop bad guys. The kids at school think Spider-Man is amazing, but don’t know he’s really Peter Parker. This is Iron Man shows some age-appropriate aspects of the Iron Man character; he’s rich, he has good friends, and a special disc that keeps him alive. He also has a secret – he has a suit of armor he wears to become Iron Man. He has more suits that he’s invented, but it’s always Tony Stark inside of them. These are The Avengers shows six super heroes and their powers. Captain America is strong and has an unbreakable shield, Ant-Man can become small and speak to bugs or become a giant. His partner, Wasp, can also become small, fly, and sting. Hulk is strong. Thor uses his hammer to fly, make thunder, or throw like a boomerang. Iron Man has an iron suit he made that is “full of power.”
Return of the First Avenger and Avengers: Assemble are slightly harder at a level 2. They’re clearly movie tie-ins with the first covering Captain America’s return and the second giving a page or two to each of the movie team of Avengers, their origin or power, and a brief mention of Loki as their adversary.
The text is super simple. Like all easy readers, there’s a limited amount of vocabulary and the sentences are short and clipped. Sentences like “The Hulk is very big and green!” and “Tony has good friends” are representative of most of the writing. The art isn’t outstanding. It’s slick and has a smooth digital finish, but facial expressions are often odd and the pictures are generally forgettable. In Avengers: Assemble the male team members get heroic/action poses, while Black Widow is shown crouching as if she had just landed from a jump, incidentally giving the reader a good look at her cleavage. However, that’s a pretty typical pose for her and the characters are all shown in their signature poses.
On the one hand, the text and art are bland and forgettable and the information about the various superheroes are basic plot and character points that even non-fans will already know. On the other hand, kids are always eager to read about superheroes and age-appropriate material, especially from Marvel, is sparse. The library bound editions are affordable and I purchased some for my library – they had several holds and immediately circulated. So, while I’d like to purchase something better written and illustrated, this is all that appears to be currently available so it’s worth adding for young superhero fans hungry for easy reading material.
World of Reading: Marvel: The Mighty Avengers: These are the Avengers
adapted by Thomas Macri, illustrated by Mike Norton and Hi-Fi Design, based on the Marvel comic book series The Mighty Avengers
World of Reading: Marvel: The Invincible Iron Man: This is Iron Man
by Thomas Macri, illustrated by Craig Rousseau and Hi-Fi Design, based on the Marvel comic book series The Invincible Iron Man
World of Reading: Marvel: The Amazing Spider-Man: This is Spider-Man
by Thomas Macri, illustrated by Todd Nauck and Hi-Fi Design, based on the Marvel comic book series The Amazing Spider-Man
World of Reading: Marvel Avengers: Return of the First Avenger
written by Michael Siglain, based on Marvel’s The Avengers motion picture written by Joss Whedon, illustrated by Lee Garbett, John Lucas, and Lee Duhig, based on Marvel Comics’ The Avengers
World of Reading: Marvel Avengers: Avengers Assemble!
written by Tomas Palacios, based on Marvel’s The Avengers motion picture written by Joss Whedon, illustrated by Lee Garbett, John Lucas, and Lee Duhig, based on Marvel Comics’ The Avengers
Publisher Age Rating: Pre-K to Grade 2