Remember ALF? Before he came back in Pog form? Well back in the late 80's and early 90's ALF (short for Alien Life Form, like I really needed to explain) was frustrating the elder members of the Tanner family, trying to eat their cat, and making inappropriate sexual and racist remarks to their daughter.
The ALF comic began in 1988 and ran for an astounding 50 issues, 3 annuals, and 3 specials. To put that in perspective Marvel is canceling the hilarious Superior Foes of Spider-Man after 17 issues. Nextwave, one of the greatest comics of all time, as stated by Warren Ellis, lasted only 12 issues. Hell, the fantastic Thor: The Mighty Avenger only lasted 8.
Don’t watch this video unless you want to completely give up on humanity. Seriously NSFW and decent humans.
ALF the comic was a mix of stories based off the titular character’s time on Earth and his life on his homeworld of Melmac. Somehow the writers of the book figured they could get 4 years worth of stories out of the obnoxious alien hiding from Mrs. Ochmonek. Near the end of the series someone at Marvel thought that this would be a good idea for a cover:
Yes. That appears to be ALF forcing himself on a seal that is almost definitely crying “bad touch”. The text on the cover looks to almost to be an afterthought. As if editorial didn’t have enough time to get the artist to redraw the cover after having seen it and realizing that ALF was taking a marine
animal from behind, so he decided to cover his ass with a lame joke. I would initially have given ALF the benefit of the doubt, this was just an innocent misunderstanding involving a distressed harp seal, but after the video posted above, he’s guilty. So so guilty.
You think this was enough to ruin your
childhood? Read on...
Steampunk Battlestar Galactica - Cause Why Not?
2004's Battlestar Galactica was a landmark television show that featured phenomenal acting, high budget special effects, and subject matter that was usually considered taboo for television. Steampunk is a genre that was popular for about 15 minutes around 10 years ago. Naturally someone at Dynamite decided to chocolate and peanut butter the original Battlestar series (the one with the weird dog/monkey/robot thing) and a genre made popular by cosplayers who had too many extra gears lying around in their sewing room, giving us Battlestar Galactica 1880. Gone are the things that made the relaunched tv series great, instead we get Arch Duke Adama, Cyclonics, male Starbuck (nobody other than Dirk Benedict wants a male Starbuck). Of course what steampunk story would be complete without sky ships? Get rid of the awesome Colonial Vipers, lets have ships that have sails! In the sky! FUCK SPACE!
Forget the fractured and compelling family drama between the Adama’s. The moral quagmire of suicide bombing to push an enemies out of you home. As much as fanboys would LOVE a wind-up Trisha Helfer in real life, they’re not going to find that here. I mean why have badass Adama based off of Edward James Olmos and his baseball mitt of a face, when you can handle bar mustache Adama?
Now this book is actually coming out this August and who knows, it may not suck. It’s written by New York Time’s Bestselling Author Tony Lee, and the art looks…. okay-ish, but let’s be honest, it’s MORE THAN LIKELY going to suck. I mean it probably won’t suck as bad as that last episode of new Battlestar, but still...There’s no real reason for these two ideas to be meshed together. It’s less peanut butter and chocolate, and more peanut butter and trout. The original Battlestar Galactica was a poor man’s Star Wars and mixing that with the styles of a Portland resident isn’t going to help it much.
Speaking of Star Wars...
Star Wars - When Luke Had A Giant Green Bunny For A Friend
Hey Star Wars fans, remember how much we all hate the Holiday Special? Ya know, with Life Day, Bea Arthur, and a Wookie contemplating suicide? Remember how we all thought that it couldn't get any worse? What’s that? Well of course the prequels blew balls. That’s not the point I’m trying to make. Remember the giant green rabbit that came out a year before the Holiday Special? You don’t? Well then…
Luke: “Why are you wearing that stupid bunny suit?”
Jax: “Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?”
Yeah. That’s Jaxxon. A Lepi. The Lepi were a race of space rabbits that in no way resemble Bucky O’Hare. Making his debut in Star Wars # 8, Jaxxon ran with the crew of the Millenium Falcon for a while back when Marvel owned the comic rights. A plucky character who loved by fansJaxxon and had a great impact on the Star Wars mythos. Who am I kidding? He was awful. Giving us such gems of dialogue as:
“Jaxxon. You can call me Jax for short… which I ain’t.”
"Well, hooray for your side! You must'a been eatin' your space-carrots…never could stand 'em myself!"
Makes JarJar seem like Proust, eh? Jaxxon-er Jax’s Wookiepedia entry is waaaaaaay too long for a character this craptacular. In it you’ll find out about Jax’s dislike for space carrots (God help me) and his team up with Amaiza Foxtrain (yes that is a character’s name).
Star Comics adaptation of Thundercats was one of the first comics I read as a kid. While not a particularly good comic it was enough to open my eyes to the comic medium and get me hooked for life. In the early 2000's when I heard that Wildstorm was releasing a brand new comic Thundercats book with Ed McGuiness on art, I was on that like a chubby German child on chocolate confectionery (which was a pretty accurate description of my body type at the time. Chubby. Not German). The first series wasn't bad. It had a feel reminiscent of the tv show. It fit nicely into cartoon continuity without being off putting to new readers. Then for some reason Wildstorm decided with the next series Thundercats: The Return they were going to take your childhood and go full Lucas Indiana Jones Crystal Skull on it.
One more fond childhood memory ruined. Add it to the pile.
Thanks Rule 34.
When Lion-O emerges from self imposed exile in the book of Omens he returns to find New Earth taken over by Mumm-Ra and the Mutants. The planet is in ruins, the Mutants are everywhere, friends have died, and others have been captured. One in particular seems to be held specifically to take care of Mumm-Ra’s everliving wrinkled nethers.
Yup that there is sweet little WillyKit, dressed as many fanfic writers imagined her. Cause I mean who doesn’t want to see the anthropomorphic cat/people from your childhood being held against their will as a 2000 year old corpses concubine?
Married With Children - When You Found Out Al Was Secretly A Terminator, Or Not
Married With Children was the television show that proved that flushing a toilet was funnier than Mel Brooks, Monty Python, and Airplane! combined. So why not have a comic that follows the Bundy family?
Defunct publisher NOW comics made a metric butt tonne (actual measurement) of Married With Children books. Including a very special 3D issue. There were spin-off books starring Kelly, Bud, and the lovable (?) pooch Buck. Cause that’s what the dog from the show needed: An origin story.
One mini-series titled Married With Children 2099 (cause Spider-Man 2099 and Punisher 2099 worked so well over at Marvel), saw Al fall asleep while watching a science fiction movie. He then begins to dreams of living in space and interacting with thinly veiled knock-offs of characters from Star Wars, Star Trek: TNG, and Marvel’s 2099 characters. This miscarriage of a concept went on for 3 issues! 3!!!!! Let’s not forget other spin-off mini-series like Quantum Quartet, Off Broadway, and Kelly Goes To Kollege (I wish that was a typo. God how I wish it).
An origin on par with Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man.
I could go on and on with examples of absolutely terrible books based off of the likes of KISS, Godzilla, or Sonic the Hedgehog. But really, why torture ourselves? It’s hard to get comics based off of tv shows and movies right. Licensed comics have the advantage of having the show or movie’s fans as an inbuilt audience. Most times the book is just a cash grab and has little to do with the creators of the show itself. There are some great branded books out there. Dark Horse set the golden standard with their Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Alien adaptations, and Boom Comics is currently making some fantastic all ages comics based off of My Little Pony, Adventure Time, and their not so all ages Planet of the Apes books. Not to mention IDW’s Transformers, and G.I. Joe, Marvel’s Wizard of Oz books, Dynamite has a great Green Hornet series. Buying licensed comics is a bit of a crapshoot in terms of quality. Majority of the time it’s going to be craptacular like some the books I showed you, and other times you might luck out and find a really good comic that brings you closer to the show that you love. And sometimes, just sometimes you'll find the Holy Grail of comics.
Be sure to follow me, the Comic Hoarder on Twitter @Nick_Ardill to see what books I’m reading, what creators I’m into, and what colour of pants I’m wearing that particular day.