A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Marvel comics have ratings that range from "all ages" to "explicit content, 18+" for its MAX imprint of adults-only comics. Marvel doesn't offer MAX downloads or subscriptions online, so kids won't find any nudity, strong sexual content, or drug use on this site. Message boards are free of bad language and rude behavior, but the site's blogs may not be squeaky clean. Parents also need to know that the site is product heavy, sending users to toybiz.com to buy Marvel toys and to a Marvel e-commerce site to subscribe to comics.
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What's it about?
Years before Tobey Maguire donned Spidey tights, the Webbed One crawled through the pages of Marvel Comics, home to 5,000+ superheroes and villains. Fans can follow Spidey, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and others on MARVEL.COM, which features blogs, videos, newsletters and more -- all devoted to the Marvel gallery of characters.
Is it any good?
In addition to the meaty stuff for Marvel fans, the site also features plenty of plugs for Marvel toys, video games, and comic book subscriptions. Users need to register to do a lot of the fun things on the site, like download wallpaper, view digital comics, or post on message boards (kids younger than 13 have to get a parent's permission to register).
The coolest feature is the Marvel Universe -- a wiki, or community encyclopedia, of all people, places, and things Marvel. Registered users can add or edit entries; posting guidelines include helpful tips on writing clearly and succinctly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether comics have the same effect on kids as "real" images. Does a shocking or inappropriate drawing make more or less of an impression than a photo or video of the same nature? Families can also talk about their favorite superheroes. What admirable qualities do they have?