Learning BASIC with the Marvel Super Heroes

Badass Book Report

Yesterday I looked at the Star Wars Q&A Book about Computers. It featured a history of the computer (through 1983) and some awesome art by Ken Barr. Today, I’m looking at another awesomely vintage computer book, it’s the Marvel Super Heroes Computer Fun Book Two from 1984.

This book is LOOOOOOOOONG and it features A LOT of programs.  I’ll just be looking at some of the more notable programs and artwork.  You can check out my Flickr set to see more.

Marvel Computer Fun cover Marvel Computer Fun cover2

Here’s the cover to the activity book and the intro page telling you what to expect inside.

How to use this book
And here’s the Fantastic Four to tell you how to use this book (in case you weren’t already aware that you used it to, you know, program your computer).

Capt America 900 lines 900 lines 2 900 lines 3

Here’s Capt America reminding you to code your 900 lines.  He gives you 9 examples (there’s another page of code I’m not showing you) of 900 lines from different BASIC environments like the Commodore 64, IBM PC and Apple II.

Cap program
Here’s a program featuring Cap called Menace of the Gray Gargoyle.  It’s a “fence busting” program.  See the code here.  Man, that Gray Gargoyle looks lame.

Iron Man to the RescueIron Man to the Rescue Code 1Iron Man to the Rescue Code 2

This program is called Iron Man to the Rescue.  It’s a game in which Iron Man has to stop a ship from shooting missiles at a school filled with children.  Hope you get them all or the deaths of thousands of small schoolchildren on your head.  Is it just me or does that seem like a needlessly violent scenario for a kid’s computing activity book?

Iron Man's Robot Retriever Iron Man's Lock Problem

There are two other Iron Man programs.  The first is called Robot Retriever. It’s awesome because the title page features MODOK and ROM: Spaceknight.  The other is Iron Man’s Lock Problem.  I like the artwork on the title page.  I didn’t realize Iron Man was popular enough in the 1980s to get three programs in this book.

The article continues below the break…
Thor continue

Training with Prof X

Here’s a program called Training with Professor X. It’s a program you can code to test your response speed.  I like how the artwork features the original lineup of X-Men. See the code for this program here.

Doc Strange
Here’s some great artwork for the program Doctor Strange and the Computer Gremlin.  You can see the code for this program here.

Star Power of ThorThor 1

Thor gets some love too with a program that changes your name (or any name you type in) into thunderbolts.  See the code here.

The Thing's Think TankThing's Think Tank code

Here’s a program called Thing’s Think Tank with some nice Kirby-esque art.  I just finished reading some of the early Kirby/Lee Fantastic Four stories in the Essential Fantastic Four paperback series.  Most notably the original Galactus trilogy.  The artwork and storytelling is just awesome.  Seriously, check out some of the early Kirby/Lee Marvel stuff.  It’s amazing.

Spidey's spectacular exit

That’s all for today.  There are a bunch of other programs in this book featuring Spider-man, Daredevil, Kingpin and Mole Man.  Check out my Flickr set to see them all.  Then check back on Friday to see the third and final look at vintage computer activity books.

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3 Responses to “Learning BASIC with the Marvel Super Heroes”

  1. phillyradiogeek Says:

    I understand the other characters being on the cover, as they’re so high profile, but Hellcat? Really?

  2. phillyradiogeek – My brain didn’t even process that Hellcat was on the cover. I saw she was there, but my brain just discarded that visual information. Wow.

  3. This makes me wonder if my C programming book from college should have featured Alex DeLarge and the Droogs.

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