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A MARVEL OF THE BIZARRE COMICS PUBLISHER TACKLES THE YEAR IN REVIEW

ZOUNDS! IT was a big year in Marvel comic book land.
Spider-Man got new powers.

The Incredible Hulk survived a gamma bomb.

The Human Torch came back from the grave.

There you have it, just a few nuggets from "Marvel 1989: The Year in Review."

The special comic book, presented in a Time magazine format, details everything that happened in Marvel comics during the past 12 months.

"Originally it started out as a yearbook, but we decided to spoof the Time magazine format," said Bobbie Chase, the book's editor.

She added that this was the first time Marvel has put out such a book, and sales have been strong.

The book's format, imitating Time magazine, begins with a letter from the editor and has a table of contents with pictures and headings such as Cover Story, Nation, Profile, Transition, Milestones, Fashion, Cinema, Business, Food and Grapevine.

The subject matter may be comic book fiction, but the issue details each episode in straightforward prose.

That was the case when the undersea continent of Atlantis attacked America, sending up an army of water-breathing humanoids to invade New York.

Or when the Incredible Hulk survived yet another gamma bomb explosion, albeit with a different look. The Hulk turned from green to gray, but some refuse to believe that Hulk lives.

"Right, and Elvis is at the 7-Eleven in Detroit along with Bigfoot," President Bush was quoted as saying. "Give me a break. Read my lips. He's dead. OK."

1989's comic book news wasn't all bad.

Spider-Man received new powers. Jennifer Walters, the Sensational She-Hulk, was named Woman of the Year. Janet Van Dyne, a.k.a. the Wasp, continued as America's top fashion designer.

The Original Human Torch appeared from beyond the grave, and rumors persist that X-Men are still alive.

The most entertaining part of the Marvel book is the classifieds.

One personal ad stated: "I have eight arms to hold you. Lonely but fun-loving SWM seeking megalomaniacal SWF for serious relationship. Contact 'Oc.' Box 204."

"We're definitely going to do it again next year," Ms. Chase said of the year-in-review comic book.

"We knew the hard-core comics fan would be interested, but it has also attracted a lot of outsiders to comic books."

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