When we posted the Marvel preview of Tsum Tsum #1 I had to question whether this was a comic book tie-in to sell more toys or if it was the real deal. Only one way to find out and that’s with a review. Is it good?
Marvel Tsum Tsum #1 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about?
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Tsum Tsums are HUGE! Well, not LITERALLY (they’re actually pretty tiny) but these seemingly cute and cuddly creatures are sweeping the globe! So what happens when these pint-sized piles of fur find their way into the Marvel Universe? After a crate of them falls to Earth en route to THE COLLECTOR, one small group of Brooklyn teenagers will find out! Featuring all of your favorite Marvel heroes and villains, this is sure to be TSUM-thing you won’t want to miss!
Why does this book matter?
For those of you who don’t know (I certainly didn’t) Tsum Tsums are a collectable Disney stuffed toy first released in Japan in 2013. They’re wormlike in shape and have varying looks. They’re not unlike Funko Pop! collectables, but I suppose you can use them as cushions too. Marvel is introducing them as characters in their universe and you can’t help but wonder what this is all about, right?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The heroes do make an appearance.
This is an all ages read so expect it to be a heck of a lot lighter and more for the preteen crowd. With that expectation in mind this isn’t that bad of a read. It opens in outer space with the Guardians of the Galaxy enacting some justice for some space turtles (a funny setup actually) that just so happens to be the reason a certain crate makes its way to Earth. A group of kids encounter said crate and the fun begins. The kids are huge superhero fans and the Tsum Tsums change accordingly.
These kids are the main characters and Jacob Chabot writes them well. They’re total nerds who geek out over superheroes and they’re all equally likeable. Unfortunately for them a certain villain lives in their building which spurs on the cliffhanger at the end of the issue.
The art by David Baldeon (inks by Terry Pallott and colors by Jim Campbell) are clean and easy on the eyes. Baldeon has a good bead on drawing children and the Tsum Tsums themselves are rather cute. The biggest draw of this issue is the funny way the Tsum Tsums look and act and there are plenty of clever panels to convey their cute and absurd nature. There’s also a fantastic full page spread of the kids running down some stairs with panels showing time passing, but the whole page showing the stairway. I’m also getting some Willem Dafoe vibes from the villainous neighbor.
It can’t be perfect can it?
As an all ages book this is mostly harmless cute storytelling. The Tsum Tsums are funny to look at, but it’s content most enjoyed by a younger audience. The opening pages are good for anyone interested in the Guardians of the Galaxy, but older readers will probably mostly find this boring.
I’m not sure the story in this issue shakes the despicable nature of a toy to comic tie-in either. More often than not the pages read like an ad for the Disney toy than anything else. It’s certainly cute, but there isn’t much in this issue that conveys the need for it to exist. When later issues bring in the superheroes themselves things might get awkwardly fun, but so far this is a bland setup.
Let’s be fair, they’re pretty comical to look at!
Is It Good?
Cute and fun, but like a piece of candy it’s devoid of any nutrients. It has potential to be more than a toy tie-in, but this issue doesn’t prove there is a point beyond that just yet.