X-Entertainment.Com - Next Article --- By Matt - 11/30/'02

I was never a huge comic book buff, and even if I was, Marvel's Secret Wars mini-series came out long before I would've been able to comprehend what was going on. Actually, I still can't really tell what's happening in most comic books. I'm not sure if Neil Gaiman's Death was a sly commentary on the true meaning of life, or just an excuse to draw pretty little goth girls with fluffy hair. Still, between toys, trading cards, cartoons and everything else, I've become pretty familiar with all the assorted Marvel characters over the years. I've got enough knowledge on the subject to get by, but not much else. I don't know what Doctor Doom did in issue #124 of The Fantastic Four, but I do know that he ruled a place called 'Latveria' and had numerous android duplicates of himself so he could confuse the piss out of that stretchy dude who fucks the invisible milf. I wouldn't make it to Final Jeopardy on my expertise, but I found an old activity book that'll at least help me better understand one of the more famous adventures in the Marvel Universe: Secret Wars: The Sticker Adventures!

It's a short coloring/activity book that tells a small part of the Secret Wars story - an epic of which I know very little about. To the readers of this site who were never into comic books at all, you'll benefit by this. I can't make many stupid inside jokes with comic book jargon that'll have you clicking the 'X' in the upper-right corner faster than a speeding bullet, or the Flash, or that guy who lived on Titan with that big silver lightning bolt on his chest. See? No comic jokes. To the readers who were into comics, well, you benefit as well. I'm sure I'll make a dozen mistakes about the lore, affording you the chance to write me a bitchy e-mail about my glaring oversight. I can't say I'll feel particularly guilty if I'm exposed as not being as big of a Kang historian as some might've otherwise believed, but maybe you'll feel better.

I've scanned each of the book's seventeen pages for you to see, but unlike previous page-by-page book reviews, each of this article's sections will include four of the scanned pages a piece. This is partly for brevity's sake, but mostly because I don't feel many of you are willing to click through seventeen pages of website about a 1982 coloring book starring Iron Man. Call it a hunch or my spider sense or the benefits of owning The Time Gem. See? No stupid comic jokes.

Everything is set up like any other old coloring book, save for one minor addition - there were four pages of lick-and-stick segregated stamps for you to place over various characters' body parts and weaponry as you made your way through the story. I've had this book for over years, but didn't lick and stick the stupid stamps till tonight. Let me tell you, twenty-year-old adhesive glue tastes pretty damn awful. Since I'm still breathing, I can't say the stuff was toxic. But by page eight, I began seeing four Otto Octavius heads hovering around our ceiling fan. They were all signing the lyrics from ER's theme song. That's really odd since ER's theme song doesn't have any words. This glue was pretty decent stuff.

The story in the book itself wasn't exactly decent stuff, though. I'm sure it makes the actual comic read like Hamlet. We only get a chunk of the story, with the heroes and villains trapped in some tower in another dimension. They chat, they battle, and just when you're trying to figure out if it's all gonna go anywhere, you hit the last page and everything's finished. Still, it has some esteemed moments that are certainly worth taking a glance at. Okay, it doesn't really, but I've already scanned all the pages and there's no turning back now. So, click the link below to begin your vicarious adventuring with Spider-Man and Captain America as they make their way through the Tower of Doom...


- Matt
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