March 8, 2012

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Digging into Digital: Bank on the Avengers!

I left my Marvel Digital Unlimited subscription lapse this year due to its incompatibility with the iPad.  However, at the suggestion of my friend Noah, I stopped by their site to check out the free digital comic they created on banking, which you can find here.  It's a throwback of sorts to the days when Marvel used to put out PSA comics, something you rarely see these days.  It's also pretty darn funny, living in a continuity all its own, or perhaps loosely in the Marvel Movie Universe.

The story opens with Spider-Man asking the Avengers for financial advice when he wants to get a gift for Aunt May, who he talks about rather openly for a man worried about having a secret identity.  As the heroes work together to stop a bank robbery by the Mole Man, of all people (I guess he's gotta pay for all that monster food somehow), they banter, make a fair number of bad puns and visual gags, and teach Peter about how the banking system works.  Each Avenger, with the exception of the Hulk, gets into the act, with the best lines going to Black Widow, Thor, and Ant Man/Giant Man, of all people.

The Hulk's role in all of this is comic relief, as he spends the entire story shrunk down and a tool of multiple physical comedy routines.  (My favorite might be when he's smushed by a falling foe just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.)  Though the tone is extremely light, the advice given by the heroes is quite solid.  I have no idea who James Asmus is, but he's almost better at writing these characters than those entrusted to do so on a monthly basis.  Writing a PSA like this is no easy trick, as they often can be so preachy as to annoy the reader.  Here, everything is neatly tied together.

Asmus is aided by Andrea DiVito, who I think I last saw when she worked with Dan Slott on the Thing.  Her art is as good as ever, making the action fit the dialog and making every single member of the team (plus Spidey) look sharp.  The characters look like they *like* being heroes, which is honestly a refreshing change of pace, which is a pretty sad commentary on the state of capes comics from Marvel.

Saving the Day is a cute little comic that gives solid advice to kids without leaning on them too hard, and has enough action and comedy to be worth reading for an adult.  Now if only more of Marvel's regular books did that.  Maybe Asmus can take over for Bendis?  Nah...but enjoy this comic anyway.  It's worth playing on a PC to do so, even if that's not your native digital comics reading experience.  I liked this one a lot, and for the price, you can't beat it.  Give it a shot and see what you think!