ack in the olden days when Thundercats weren’t anime and it was still cool to say “I wanna be like Bill Cosby when I grow up” I was a child and as such my birthday warranted presents. One of the BEST presents my parent ever got me was this personalized comic book in which a faceless character with my name appeared as the protagonist! The thing that made this truly awesome was the fact that this faceless version of me was lucky enough to temporally be bestowed the powers of the enigma force which made me one in a long line of people who became “Captain Universe”, a mantle passed down through both heroes and ordinary people which included the likes of Spider-Man and… no one else I could think of.
I’d never heard of the character before the gift.
Still it was a simply amazing gift for a young child who, by virtue of his not super popular name, had never seen it in print anywhere. At amusement parks I would spend so many fruitless hours spent pouring through the staggered racks of pre-made “personalized” license plates to find plenty of “Carmen” or even a “Carmine” but no “Cameron” but now in my little hands I held a book with not only my first BUT EVEN my last name AND spelled correctly. True the character didn’t look like me (or anyone really, his face was blacked out) nor did he express my fondness for the writings of Albert Camus but he did mention my brother Yammas as well as how much I loved extra cheese pizza so as far as I was concerned that was plenty good enough. I loved that comic and I read and re-read into it’s eventual oblivion but even though the book was gone it also came with a trading card (also bearing my name) that I still have to this day. A personalized gift like that was such a simple thing, fill out a form and wait for it to come in, but to this day it remains one of the most meaningful presents young kid dying to become a superhero ever got.
Well in 2015 Marvel is doing it again with its Marvel’s The Avengers: Black Ops Field Guide from Put Me In The Story and their line of personalized children’s books and I don’t mind telling you that this book is the coolest gift you could give to a young comic fan outside of a working suit of Iron Man’s armor. Unlike my flimsy pulp comic from the 90’s that dissolved in the presence of the suggestion of moisture, the Black Ops Field Guide is a well-made hardcover affair which profiles the powers and skills of Marvel big ticket superhero draws like The Incredible Hulk, Thor and even Ant-Man. In addition hidden throughout the book are codes for young crypto-enthusiast to sift through in order find out hidden messages and secret information about some of their favorite Marvel characters straight from Director Fury himself. The book is hardcover and printed in lush and vibrant colors with illustrations from some of Marvel’s top artist.
The cool factor of the personalization this book can not be overstated. It is a blast to see a book that put you in the middle of the super huge and amazing Marvel Universe. If this was a gift given to me as a kid, there would be no end to the elementary school book reports I’d have written about it. It would have stayed in my book bag like loose leaf paper and number two pencils and everyone within the sound of my little kid voice would know in great detail how epic I am. The book that feels substantial and significant in your hands, ready to stand up to the grimmiest 8-12 year old hands and lifestyles and in a sheer example of stepping up one’s game you get to have a picture that you provide printed in a SHIELD badge that a young kid can cut out and lord over their friends as definitive proof that they have the best parents in the universe.
Put Me In The Story has taken the concept of a standard children’s book and have turned it into something infinitely more cool and exceptionally personal with Marvel Avengers Black Ops Field Guide. You can get your own personalized version at PutMeInTheStory.com and be the coolest parent, relative or family friend any kid will ever have. Seriously being the coolest adult has never been this easy.