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The evil Tefloman has been Adhesive Man’s nemesis for over twenty years. Five years ago he was sent away to prison for his last time. Three issues later he escaped and has yet to be heard of, until now. His focus is still on ridding his world of Adhesive Man, and as usual that doesn’t seem to be going so well. Enter the Adhesiverse...

Adhesive Man History by Ryan Heywood

Greetings Adhesive Man fans new and old to this re-release of some of Adhesive Man’s classic adventures! I hope you’re reading these with all of the anticipation and excitement of somebody who is celebrating the first collected edition, and if not you are clearly reading these adventures for the first time. Oh how I envy those of you who are doing this!

To you new fans (or those simply uninformed), I’d like to share the history of the greatest hero in the history of comics, Batman Adhesive Man!

Adhesive Man first appeared as an original character 1932’s More Fun Illustrated #1, a comic designed to collect newspaper comic strips (including the now infamous “the Cat Burglar Killer” which, as we all know, later became Curiosity, The Cat Killer), but was also the first to experiment with new stories. This Adhesive Man story, “The Origin of Adhesive Man”, was the first to be titled as such and has been used in homage by almost every successful character since. By the next issue, More Fun Illustrated was retitled Adhesive Man, and featured his first nemesis, Solvent Man. Although tremendously successful, many felt this issue was bogged down in continuity and they relaunched the next month with a new number one, also a comics milestone.

Adhesive Man stories continued through the thirties with our hero fighting crime bosses and their ilk until 1940 when Tales of Adhesive Man #6 featured a cover featuring our hero punching Mussolini. This issue featured the classic line in which Mussolini asked “why me” with Adhesive Man replying “the food is better here. I have an affinity for any country having a signature dish you test by seeing if it sticks to a wall. Now TAKE THAT, FACIST!”

Adhesive Man’s adventures with Wimpy Sidekick continued throughout WWII alongside the Pugilist Posse, however with a decline in comic readership in general thanks to the changing tastes of children led to Adhesive Man briefly becoming a glue monster and Adhesive Man becoming a horror comic. It was said when Fredric Wertham saw this interpretation of Adhesive Man appearing as a large sticky white blob it inspired him to start the research into what became the 1954 book “Seduction of the Innocent”.

It was soon after this that Adhesive Man was turned back into a superhero and by his 1958 relaunch he was spearheading the start of the Silver Age of comics in Adhesive Fantasy #1. This relaunch attempted to try and appeal to parents as much as kids by making the books extra flammable for parents that did not approve of them for their children. It was also during this time that Solvent Man was replaced by Teflon Man as Adhesive Man’s arch enemy, as well as Wimpy Sidekick getting re-introduced into the series as traditional sidekicks had been falling to the wayside over the last decade. This era of the comics began utilizing Adhesive Man facing the same kind of problems real people had, like what kind of sandwich he was going to have and Wimpy Sidekick’s having failed Gym Class. These classic adventures led into the bronze age and such “gritty” classics as Adhesive Man Returns, Crisis of Immature Jerks, and Adhesive’s Watch, Man. After 1988 ended, however, Adhesive Man was about to branch into a new form of marketing that almost single handedly killed the comic industry during its greatest boom: Multiple covers.

Adhesive Man relaunched in 1989 with the 23rd Adhesive Man #1, which featured an astonishing 12 variant covers. This was such a success that Adhesive Man was relaunched later in the same month with another Adhesive Man #1 (the 24th, for those of you keeping count) that featured each comic supply chain receiving its own variant cover. Confident, that they had the public’s attention, the team behind Adhesive Man stopped releasing variant covers, confident nobody would ever use a variant cover ever again.

Before long Hollywood came calling. It was a wrong number, but shortly after that a script was sent to Hollywood and Hollywood called again to say yes, ushering in the Cinematic age of comic books. Adhesive Man was a huge box office success, staying in theatres for weeks, earning far more than its budget with a line of toys offered at stores and as prizes in fast food kids meals (sticks to your hands while the food sticks to your ribs!) Unfortunately the original actor couldn’t commit to the sequel, so they hired a new one for the sequel and the sequel to that. This worked so well that the new saying in LA became “nobody plays Adhesive Man twice”.

That brings us to this unassuming volume you hold in your hands. This is a collection of our beloved hero’s greatest adventures. These are tales of adventure, tales of daring, tales of laughter and tales that will stick in your head for years to come. These tales capture the essence of Adhesive Man, Wimpy Sidekick, and the others as well as any ever have. I hope you get as much joy out of them as I have.

Read on, Adhesive Fan.

-Syd

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