…and thanks to the Roku, you can have it! Back in the 1970s before the home video revolution and well before the advent of the internet, the only accessible entertainment that kids had besides the feeble offerings of broadcast television was comic books and records. Power Records, an offshoot of the Peter Pan record label, had the brilliant idea of packaging comic books with a recorded dramatization of the story. Kids could read along as actors played out the story complete with music and sound effects.
They were sort of like the radio plays that filled the airwaves in the decades before television eclipsed it as the source of broadcast entertainment. The advantage of the Power Records product was that it came packaged with a comic book. I wonder why no one in radio thought to combine the two at the same time. There were plenty of costumed crime fighters on the airwaves, but there was never a companion comic that the kids could read along. That would have been brilliant.
My brother and I had the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Spider-Man and Captain America which we played to death. I thought that was their whole lineup, but as it turns out there were many more.
Now thanks to the internet and the wonders of the Roku, there is a whole channel dedicated to these book and record sets from the ’70s. It’s called Helium and it features an ad-supported streaming channel that shows nothing but the comic images accompanied by the original recordings. I just got the channel and so far I’ve watched Peter “Speed Racer” Fernandez do the voice of Spider-Man in a tale of J. Jonah Jameson’s doomed son and a greatly condensed version of Star Wars featuring none of the movie’s cast. It’s quite a bast from the past!