A common reaction to a child reading comics is that comics rot your brains. They’re not real books, as they’re just pictures, with a handful of words in word balloons.
Let’s examine a recent series of comics from an educational perspective. There was a recent major crossover in the Marvel Universe entitled, Spider-Man: The Other. It covered 12 issues, or approximately 280 pages. 4 of the 12 were marked All Ages, and the other 8 Teens + (Brief summary: Spider-Man was killed, came back to life, and has gained some cool new powers.)
I catalogued all the scientific references, cultural references, and vocabulary words I could find, looking at it from the perspective of a young teenager. It’s been a few years since I was that age so I may have misjudged.
Blue dye canisters
Upper vena cava
Types of spiders: Cannibal, Pirate, Katipa, Redback, Recluse, Orbweaver
Spiders carry young on their backs
â€œTo everything there is a season. A time to live. A time to dieâ€
Anansi, the spider god
Gregor Samsa turning into a cockroach
Leonardo Da Vinci
Sing out Louise
Man of La Mancha / Don Quixote / Aldonza
Tom Cruise / Color of Money
Steinbrenner / Yankees
â€œQueer eye for the dictatorial guyâ€
Back to the Future
Coup Contra Coup
â€œLucy, Iâ€™m home!â€
Magic Eight Ball
Groucho Marx not wanting to belong to any club who would have him as a member
Steven Seagal ponytail
â€œThough I walk through the valley of deathâ€¦â€
How many of you can say you know all of the above without looking them up? If a child’s been properly trained to look stuff up if they come across something they don’t understand, look at everything they’d have learned from just those 12 comic books.