Monday, November 21, 2005
The Huge Big Big Superhero Fun Happy Express Activity Fun Fun Book
What a score! I found this at my local library’s book sale for only a quarter.
As the name implies, The Huge Big Big Superhero Fun Happy Express Activity Fun Fun Book is a huge superhero coloring book with games and puzzles. It is seriously the size of a phone book. You could kill a man with this thing. The copy I got is in great shape, completely untouched and uncolored – and all for a quarter.
This is another relic from my childhood – Young Dave had The Huge Big Big Superhero Fun Happy Express Activity Fun Fun Book and spent countless hours coloring in the adventures of Batman and Robin, Superman, and Wonder Woman. I had actually forgotten about this until I saw it on the shelf at the library sale, and then it all came back to me in a rush of memory more powerful than an acid flashback. Not that I would know what an acid flashback is like…
The majority of The Huge Big Big Superhero Fun Happy Express Activity Fun Fun Book is taken up by a bunch of really stupid superhero stories that you could color and try in vain to make sense of, and then at the end of the book there is a bunch of puzzles and riddles and “super” facts. Here’s a sample of the kind of riddles they had:
The super hero stories themselves hearken back to a more innocent age. Before The Joker had graduated to shooting people in the spine, this was the height of his insane evil (click to enlarge):
“Ha ha! I’ve made someone cry!” What a dick!
I don’t know how crazy that is, but it’s just damn mean. Stealing a kid’s report card? That’s cold. Although the kid should be glad that he just lost his report card and not the ability to walk – if that kid crossed paths with the modern Joker he’d be lying gutshot on the sidewalk, tasting his own blood. And then Dr. Light would come in and – well, it wouldn’t be pretty. Count your blessings, kid.
In the second Batman and Robin story, the Dynamic Duo take on The Penguin and his henchmen, the hideous Crow and the sultry lounge singer moll known as The Canary. I’m not sure what the plot is exactly, but it involves a giant octopus and a hurricane and… and… and man, it’s stupid.
During one of the many inconclusive fight scenes, The Penguin shoots Batman in the chest. “Batman -- you’re hurt!” Robin exclaims. Thanks for the update, genius, I think Batman figured that out.
It dawns on Robin that he’s not going to find a doctor in the middle of the storm, so he – and this blows my mind – he decides to ride out the storm by lashing Batman and himself to a palm tree:
Fortunately, The Canary lounge singer gal finds Batman and Robin in the morning and drives them to a hospital. She had a change of heart, you see, and gave up her life of crime after Batman saved her from a giant octopus. No, really.
The doctors are too busy with the other hurricane victims to help Batman, but they inexplicably will allow The Canary to use their facilities to operate on Batman. You see, she’s actually a doctor:
She’s a doctor, but she decided to become a café singer because “it paid good money.” Okay. And she carries her medical school diploma in the glove box of the car, which she shows to Robin as Batman slowly dies in the back seat. Okay, sure.
With Robin’s help, The Canary operates on Batman and all is well. Robin then beats the crap out of The Penguin and associates. In the end, the former gangster’s moll decides to give up her life of crime and her ultra-lucrative café singing career to become a doctor again. All is well:
Batman is out of his mind on pain-killers in that panel – he doesn’t even know where he is. And why is everybody facing the “camera?” Who are they talking to?
Bah! The Huge Big Big Superhero Fun Happy Express Activity Fun Fun Book makes no damn sense. I know, perhaps I’m being too hard on the book and am applying unreasonable standards of logic and coherence on what is essentially a coloring book. But damn it, shouldn’t coloring books make sense, too?
At least there’s a bunch of fun puzzles and riddles in the back…