Comics : Discovery Kids: Tutenstein

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: A Word From Our Sponsor

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

Over the years Marvel has produced numerous "specialty" comics that have partnered the publisher with various pro-social groups and corporations utilizing the various Marvel characters to promote specific causes or products. One of these companies that sponsored a comic to tie in with their product was The Discovery Channel.

Tutenstein is a comic book character created by Jay Stephens in 1996 that was eventually translated to the small screen and began appearing on The Discovery Channel around 2000 and apparently is still on the air. The animated cartoon, Tutenstein has gone on to win an Emmy Award and is now shown in countries all over the world in several languages. In this incarnation, he gets to team with Spider-Man and the X-Men.

As for Spider-Man's diminutive co star, King Tut-ankh-en-set-amun is a midget Frankenstein mummy, who was revived when lightning hit a very old Egyptian casket in a museum. As it turns out, the Pharaoh was in charge of the 10 year old mummy, and while King Tut may not be so tall, but his personality is very big. So big that he believes he is the ultimate leader the world in which he is currently living. Tut meets up with a 12 year old girl, Cleo, and her trusty companion, a cat named Luxor.

In Detail...

Discovery Kids: Tutenstein
Year 2004 : SM Guest
Summary: Spidey & the X-Men meet the"other" boy king!
Editor:  Ralph Maccio
Writer:  Chuck Austin
Pencils:  Ron Lim
Inker:  Hi-Fi
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Review

Peter Parker, along with Scott Summers, Logan, Storm, and Rogue and a group of young children attending Professor Xavier's school for gifted youngsters are attending the opening night for the Tutankhamun. They are greeted by Cleo, and Luxor, who are thrilled to be in the company of the X- Men. However, her gushings are overheard by Tut-ankh-en-set-amun who sulks off. Cleo, and Luxor go looking for him, to calm him down. Seems he is upset that Tutankhamun gets all the glory for uniting Egypt.

Cleo tries to get Peter and the X-Men interested in looking at the Tut-ankh-en- set-amun exhibit, but Peter quips that "you've seen one Tut, you've seen them all." This gets Tut-ankh-en-set-amun really wound up, and he pops out to confront the infidels. Only right then a portal opens up and sucks, Logan, Peter, Luxor, and Tut-ankh-en-set-amun through, and deposits a slew of Set's demons into the museum.

Logan (now in costume) is talking to Tut-ankh-en-set-amun when Peter awakes and finds that the four of them are now in ancient Egypt. Peter changes into costume as he is brought up to speed by Luxor and attempts to adjust to the fact that he is talking to a cat. After informing the heroes that he is the real Tut, Tut-ankh-en-set-amun wanders off to deal with Tutankhamun (whom Tut- ankh-en-set-amun keeps referring to as a pretender to the throne).

So while Spidey and Wolverine go up against Set's demons in the past, the rest of the X-Men battle them in the present in the halls of the museum. At this point the god Osiris shows up and tells Tut-ankh-en-set-amun that his hubris has put the entire time stream in danger by attempting to confront Tutankhamun. Osiris shows Tut-ankh-en-set-amun that Set is attacking Cleo in the present, and he now has to decide to confront Tutankhamun for his own glory, or to return to the present to protect his subjects.

Tut-ankh-en-set-amun takes Hobson's choice and banishes the demons attacking them then returns (along with Spidey, Wolverine, and Lexor) to aid Cleo, and the rest of the X-Men at the Museum. Once all things are put in place, the kids finally admit that Tut-ankh-en-set-amun is a pretty cool Tut after all.

In General...

The story was cute and what can there be bad about a Chuck Austin/Ron Lim story. In fact the only real issue that I have is that I really didn't know who these characters were (Tut-ankh-en-set-amun, Cleo, and Luxor) and the story, while well told, really didn't seem to give much about them, but the story was directed at kids, and hopefully get them to tune into the Tutenstein TV show on Discovery Kids.

Overall Rating...

One odd note on the story itself, is that when they are first introduced, the Marvel characters are all in their civvies, and identified as Peter Parker, along with Scott Summers, Logan, and the rest, only while Rogue's real name has never been revealed, Storm's real name (Ororo Munroe) is well known, so why she wasn't properly introduced is something of a mystery.

Footnote...

The 16-page comic also contains four pages of mazes and puzzles.