The 5 Most Hilariously Misguided Comic Book Adaptations
Nerds like to complain when their favorite comics get adapted to movies or TV and turned to shit, usually with good reason. But we rarely think about all of the far more ridiculous adaptations that go the other way -- comics that get slapped together with the intention of cashing in on a movie, game, etc. by people who had no goddamned idea what they were doing. We're talking about the madness of ...
The Marvel Star Wars Comics Written Before the Writers Saw the Movie
In the '70s, Marvel Comics published the first comic based on Star Wars, but they had to start making it before the first movie was out, meaning that they hadn't even seen the thing they were supposed to be adapting. The results were predictably insane.
For instance, in the early issues, all they had to go on was the script for the film, which, as we've mentioned before, originally included a scene with Jabba the Hutt. Only it didn't really describe what he looked like (they wouldn't come up with the "giant slug monster" design until the third movie), so the comic naturally just assumed that he was a cross between a yellow walrus and a Confederate colonel.
Afterward he ate those two other dudes and the morbidly obese Jabba we know was born.
With issue No. 6, Marvel ran out of scenes from the movie to adapt and had to start winging it. As a result, in the next issue Han Solo goes out on his own and recruits a group of bizarre space mercenaries, including a pudgy porcupine person in green underpants:
Who apparently interrupted Han in a private moment, judging by Chewie's reaction.
A senile old "Jedi" called Don-Wan Kihotay (GET IT?!?):
And Jaxxon, a mercenary from a race of green rabbit people ... so, um, Bucky O'Hare?
OK, seriously, how are there two green space rabbits with a blaster and a red suit out there? Bucky first appeared in a comic from 1984, so they either ripped him off from an obscure issue of a Star Wars adaptation or his creator was smoking the exact same type of dope they had at the Marvel offices in the '70s.
Meanwhile, in issue No. 10, Han, Bucky, Space Don Quixote and all the rest go on to fight a dinosaur that shoots lasers from its forehead:
By the way, Luke Skywalker barely appears in these issues. By No. 10, he doesn't appear at all, and Princess Leia shows up for exactly one page. Presumably this is the point where George Lucas actually got around to reading the comics they were publishing of his movie, because with the next issue they changed the entire creative team. The comic went on to last over 100 issues and is fondly remembered by fans today (it's often said that it saved Marvel from bankruptcy, so there's that).
The Sextacular ThunderCats Comic
Back in the early 2000s, someone had the great idea of reviving the ThunderCats franchise. Since fans of the original cartoon at this point were in their 20s or 30s, they decided to give them a more mature and adult take on the characters. You know, a mature story for guys who still give a shit about ThunderCats. Like this:
We always thought Mumm-Ra would be a bottom.
That voluptuous cat-woman in the Slave Leia costume is this character from the cartoon, WilyKit ...
And suddenly, you feel the urge to self-register as a sex offender.
... all grown up. You see, in this story, years have passed, the evil Mumm-Ra has taken over the world, and all of the ThunderCats have been enslaved and forced to work in mines, except for WilyKit and her twin, WilyKat, who are now Mumm-Ra's unwilling sex slave and regular slave, respectively.
Now, to be fair, Mumm-Ra is a mummy, so science dictates that his dried dick fell off ages ago and is now mislabeled in some museum as "ancient prototype for beef jerky." So he probably only has a slave bride for show. If you want to think something else, go ahead; we have our version, and you have your furry necrophilia porn, Jeffrey Dahmer. Crap, this is a very depressing future; let's hope Snarf shows up soon and lightens up the mood.
Wait, we kind of like seeing him miserable.
Yeah, this story is sad. It's not sad because ThunderCats die or get molested by Mumm-Ra; it's sad because a group of adults, or very close facsimiles, wrote, drew and published this creepy thing. Around half the pages seem to be dedicated to WilyKit and Mumm-Ra role playing 50 Shades of Grey.
"Ahhh, I just ripped an odious mummy-fart. Inhale my greatness!"
Anyway, Snarf resists the urge to drink some Drano and uses the key of the Book of Omens to liberate the imprisoned hero, Lion-O (his imprisonment is what allowed all of this ugliness to occur). You might be wondering why the heck they didn't use the key to let Lion-O out before, and the writer did notice this huge gaping plot hole ... about four issues later. The explanation? Because he told them not to disturb him.
How dare you ask why we left you trapped in there for five years for no good reason?
So, even when Mumm-Ra attacked them, enslaved them and inappropriately touched their children, they decided not to call Lion-O, because he might get a bit angry. Lion-O must be one mean abusive drunk asshole. And Mumm-Ra never considered this turn of events -- when Lion-O is freed, the villain has no byzantine web of intrigue and traps to stop him. Lion-O just walks into his pyramid and kicks his ass, mercifully putting an end to the whole thing.
The Soft-Core Porn Lost in Space Comic
Before we begin, let's be fair and point out that this series lasted for around 20 issues, and many of them managed to tell solid science fiction stories. Others ... not so much. It's even weirder because this series was an official continuation of the TV show with a lot of involvement from the actors, who acted as consultants or even wrote for this series. The result?
That makes us wonder how the consulting thing worked. "So, miss, how hard would your nipples be in this situation?"
Anyway, there are little scenes of weirdness throughout, like this one that reveals Dr. Smith's hobbies:
Actually, that's kinda what we figured fighter pilot school was like.
But other issues exist as a flimsy excuse to let the artists try to see how naked they can get the characters.
Apparently, Frog Face Man has seen better.
Not that they didn't also put something in for the ladies:
"Hello, ladies, I have something that wants to get lost ... in the space between your legs."
Perhaps the best example of these issues is when the dad accidentally sells his daughters into prostitution -- space prostitution. Yeah, it's the issue with the cover we put at the start of this entry.
The family that hoes together, grows together.
Like absolutely no episode of any sci-fi show that ever existed, much less Lost in Space, this story begins with a space pimp looking for some space hoes to add to his inventory. Somehow his ship detects the Robinson daughters and he tricks the girls into his ship in exchange for directions to Alpha Centauri. Never, ever trust someone dressed like the gimp from Pulp Fiction.
"On the plus side, you probably can't catch most of their diseases."
And then, even for a sleazy weird-ass torture quasi-porno story about Lost in Space, this shit gets weird. In one scene, the space pimp's robot sidekick shoots some fumes at Penny Robinson's tits and the pimp snorts it.
"The planet of voices"? On Earth we just call it motorboating.
As the series progresses, the Robinsons finally arrive at Alpha Centauri, only to get teleported by some aliens to random planets and getting even more lost than they ever were before. At this point, the series takes a dive into the deep end of the crazy pool.
The dad gets transported to a planet that looks like 18th century Mexico, if Mexicans were purple, where he starts fighting evil as EL ZORRO. Not to be left behind, Will Robinson and Dr. Smith get transported back to Earth, but to a post-apocalyptic California that has been taken over by gangs of Mexican, Chinese and black people who have killed all the white people and now plan to hunt down the Robinsons for sport, because that's what ethnic people do.
On the racism scale, this is somewhere around two Michael Richards out of Hitler.
The Street Fighter Comic That Was Too Stupid Even for Capcom
If you think the Jean-Claude Van Damme film is the most wretched thing to come out of the Street Fighter franchise, think again == we found something that makes Street Fighter: The Movie look like Street Fighter: The Animated Movie (you know, the Japanese one with boobies in it). In 1993, when Street Fighter II was the biggest arcade game in the world, Malibu Comics published an ongoing series based on it that was so bad, Capcom had to ask them to stop. Why? Well, see for yourself.
The Street Fighter franchise's main strength was never character development: All of the fighters are defined by either their nationality or the type of clothes they wear (or don't). And yet, Malibu still managed to completely botch these characters beyond all recognition. For starters, our hero Ryu is introduced to us as a guy who likes jumping women from behind:
"Lay off my head bra!"
Chun-Li herself isn't much better: Within the space of a few panels, she goes from thwarting a Ryu assault to throwing herself at him.
Chun-Li starts eating Ryu's face, but now it's his turn for a complete personality shift == he brushes her off, comparing her to a tree, "strong, flexible ... but yet rooted in your obsession."
Ryu might be schizophrenic.
The plot follows M. Bison's cronies, Balrog and Sagat, as they attempt to get to Ryu through his best friend, Ken, now retired from fighting. Ken, whose new profession is dressing like Don Johnson, is ambushed by Balrog and punched in the dick.
Ken is weakened by Balrog and then brutally beaten by Sagat == cut to Ryu, meditating in Japan, when a car comes crashing in with a box inside. Ryu opens the box and finds a human scalp inside, which he instantly recognizes as Ken's.
"I'd know that shampoo anywhere!"
The third issue of the series shows the various street fighters mourning Ken's death, each in their own way: Zangief murders two bears, and Blanka, the savage Brazilian beast-man, is so devastated by the news that he nearly drops his spectacles.
At what point in the production process did they learn that "Blanca" wasn't an elderly woman?
Meanwhile, E. Honda fights a shitty Malibu Comics character called the Ferret, for some reason.
Apparently Capcom felt the same way as Honda about this comic, because the third issue ends with a note from Malibu announcing that the series has been cancelled and apologizing for how terrible it was.
Apology not accepted.
2001: A Space Odyssey Comic Featuring Vira the She-Demon and Mister Machine
When legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby saw the end of Kubrick's 2001 adaptation, he, like all of us, said, "What the hell was that all about?" Unlike all of us, though, he had to make an official comic book adaptation for Marvel. Like a true trooper, Kirby made a very faithful adaptation that took its cues from both the movie and the novel. The problem was that it was an ongoing comic, so once he reached the end of the movie, he had to continue the story, and Arthur C. Clarke had yet to write the sequel 2010: Odyssey Two. How did he continue the story on his own? AWESOMELY.
Her weapon is the flaming skull of a fallen foe. For Kirby, that's a feminine weapon.
We are sure you remember Vira from the movie and the impressive performance by Delta Burke that gained her an Oscar ... in some parallel universe only Kirby's mind can access.
Since the movie didn't have many characters whose name you can even remember except for HAL and astronaut Dave, and one of them dies and the other takes a trip into a tie-dyed T-shirt and comes out transformed into a cosmic fetus, that makes continuing their stories kind of difficult. Kirby of course decided to continue the story of the third most memorable character from the movie, the black monoliths. All the issues after the movie story is finished are about the black monoliths visiting Earth in different time periods and helping people defeat bullies like very rectangular Mr. Miyagis.
So like in the novel, this is about the monoliths helping out mankind's development, but since having the monoliths help Aristotle invent physics would be boring to draw, Kirby has the monoliths help some random ancient tribe invent wheels and beat the crap out of their neighbors.
"If do right, no can defense."
Every issue then transports us back to the far-off future of the year 2001 where the reincarnations (maybe?) of the characters from the past get contacted once more by the monoliths and get transformed into space babies. So we guess in Kirby's version astronaut Dave is the reincarnation of the monkey from the beginning of the movie?
This should be a "before and after" ad for antipsychotic medication.
By issue No. 8, Kirby was tired of this shit, so he introduced a new character called Machine Man, the Living Robot! He is an android that receives sentience from the monoliths because ... who knows? They were in the neighborhood looking for more space babies for their collection, they had a few drinks, and giving sentience to random machines is something to do, you know? Fuck you! Don't judge the monoliths, you have been drunk, too!
Hotline to Hades. Horny demons are waiting for your call. Must be 18 or older.
And this is the last time you will ever see the monoliths in the 2001 comic, because after this it's all about Machine Man escaping the lab where he was created and being hunted by the military. What, you want more space babies? Well, then get yourself a giant slingshot and go raid a maternity ward, 'cause Kirby is busy now drawing robots fighting the military-industrial complex. Oh, and then Machine Man got into a fight with the Hulk.
We admire the ambition, but maybe you should start with Hawkeye and then work your way up?
What? You didn't know that 2001 takes place in the Marvel universe? Well, now it does! Somebody really needs to write a comedy about Wolverine, Spider-Man and Thor raising a space baby.
Maxwell Yezpitelok also makes terrible comics, so really he's in no position to judge. Special thanks to Uschi von Buccher for being rad.
For more God awful comics, check out The 7 Crappiest "Superheroes" in Comic Book History and The 8 Most Awkward Sexual Moments in Comic Book History.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 3 Telltale Signs Your Online Girlfriend Is a Scam.-->