7 WTF Comic Books Featuring Beloved Pop Culture Characters
A lot of people are involved in the making of a movie or a TV show, but when it comes to comics, it's usually just a writer, a couple of artists, and an overworked editor who's barely paying attention. This means that when a complete maniac is tasked with adapting a beloved franchise into comic book form, there are far fewer people to say, "Wait a minute, are we really doing this?"
That's how famous characters end up starring in comics where ...
Mickey And Goofy Whore Themselves To Exxon
When we told you about the time Mickey Mouse and Goofy became amphetamine dealers, you probably assumed that was the shadiest industry they've ever supported. Well, you were wrong, because they also shilled for an oil company.
Sorry, the pink dinosaur seductively inviting Goofy in doesn't appear in this comic.
In a special comic handed out at Epcot's 1985 "Universe Of Energy" exhibit (sponsored by Exxon), Mickey and Goofy teach kids about how awesome the oil industry is, and how corporate brainwashing is a small price to pay to wait for the line at Space Mountain to thin out a little. Right away, Mickey starts telling us about the wonders of American oil while Goofy behaves like his usual dipshit self. The comic features Mickey showcasing the different ways that the oil industry is benefiting the world, accomplishing the impressive task of making a character whose face has been plastered on every conceivable product seem like even more of a sellout. Watch Mickey explain how the big problem is that we're just not drilling enough:
"My mother huffed gasoline during pregnancy! Hyuck hyuck!"
Another highlight is Mickey taking Goofy to an offshore drilling platform and teaching him about the oil pipeline that runs from the port of Valdez -- only four years before the words "Exxon" and "Valdez" became synonymous with the second-largest oil spill in U.S. history. But that's what you get when you trust a cartoon mouse at an amusement park to teach you about energy production.
"Gorsh. I bet that could cover a lot of native wildlife. Hyuck!"
Don't worry, Mickey does bring up some energy alternatives ... making sure to mention they're super expensive or inconvenient. Like Goofy's stupid fucking bicycle here:
"This is literally your only other option!"
Sonic The Hedgehog's Life Is An Endless Parade Of Death And Misery
The Sonic The Hedgehog games are pretty simple: Sonic goes around collecting jewelry, breaking shit, and spouting catchphrases, like a tiny, blue Mr. T. The comic book version of the series, however, tried really hard to make Sonic's world more realistic -- in the sense that it's extremely depressing and filled with death. Here's Sonic's friend Bunnie Rabbot cradling her husband's body after he's been hit by an explosive:
"Might wanna step away, like 50 gold rings are about to come shooting out of his corpse."
At least that guy only ended up on life support: Another storyline shows future Sonic being forced to travel back in time to change history, thus erasing his own children from existence while retaining all his memories of them. That's a very cruel way of undoing all those fanfic sex scenes, Sega. Check out the look on his face!
Now imagine that dialogue in Urkel's voice.
But death isn't the only thing that makes Sonic cry. There's also all the sordid relationship drama you'd expect from a comic about talking cartoon animals, such as the issue when Sonic's chipmunk girlfriend, Sally Acorn, tearfully breaks up with him because of his unhealthy fixation with Dr. Robotnik.
"Hey, you're the one who said no to the threesome idea."
Incidentally, Sally also died at one point (for like two months, but still). So many of Sonic's friends get murdered that, understandably, he even starts hanging out in cemeteries, presumably while smoking clove cigarettes and listening to The Cure.
Sonic still isn't over Roger Moore being cast as Bond.
All of this at least explains why there's a game where Sonic jumps to his death if you leave him unattended for too long. We're sorry, Sonic. We didn't know.
Ronald McDonald Stalks Children In His Flying Hamburger
Please forget everything you know about Ronald McDonald for a minute, and try to enjoy the following comic as the simple story of a man with face paint who stalks children from the sky. This 1970s comic was supposed to get kids to join the Boy Scouts, but the only thing it ended up promoting was coulrophobia. It opens with Ronald spying on children from some bushes, like someone who shouldn't be allowed within 50 feet of a McDonald's Playland.
Weird how he's facing the other direction, yet you instinctively know his dick is out.
The kids are breaking into an abandoned house when they should be eating triple burgers (or serving them). Presumably because that's the house where he's been squatting, Ronald gets seriously pissed off. His fury then turns into bafflement when he notices that, for some reason, these children are running away from the angry clown who jumped at them from the bushes.
"It's my satanic lord you should fear! All hail Hamb'urrgl Arh!"
Ronald entices the kids with the promise of a ride on his flying hamburger -- literally, a super-sized plate with an enormous, clearly genetically modified patty on it. On top of being insane, that looks terribly unsafe and highly caloric.
The Big Macs have shrunk a lot since the '70s.
Of course, the ride turns out to be a cheap trick to get the kids to pick up garbage and join the Boy Scouts. Don't they need a parent's permission to do that? Yes, but Ronald has ways to ... "persuade" people ...
"Maybe if we smile as we cry for help he won't notice!"
The kids do end up loving Scouting (Google "Stockholm Syndrome"), and when Ronald revisits them, we get a glimpse of how depressingly empty his life is as they all make excuses as to why they can't join him on his burgerplane.
"Bummer. I was hoping we'd get more time before I had to murder you."
Ronald flies away, probably back to that abandoned shack to huff paint thinner until he's back in "McDonaldland" again.
The Transformers Get Drunk And Depressed And Fall In Love
While the cartoon you loved existed simply to sell toys, and the cacophonous movies are just an elaborate excuse for Michael Bay to put young starlets in dangerous situations, the Transformers comics are moving in a surprisingly nuanced and sensitive direction. For a series about talking cars, anyway.
In the series More Than Meets The Eye, the Transformers are more like everyday people, and what do everyday people do all the time? They get shitfaced, yes.
Which is appropriate, because we also try to morph into a truck after a couple of beers
And while you might think you and your significant other are lame, it turns out even badass space robots like staying in and just watching Netflix instead of going to work (in this case, battling other robots).
"I could have watched some relatable human drama, like Challenge Of The GoBots."
Another thing this series added was the ability for Transformers to transform ... their hearts. Also, their sexuality. In More Than Meets The Eye two Transformers (Chromedome and Rewind) become a gay couple -- a surprisingly progressive move for a franchise whose movies are made by a guy who thinks '80s-era gay jokes are funny. Perhaps even more surprisingly, Transformers fans defied the stereotype of the comic book nerd who loses his shit over everything and were totally cool with this revelation.
But they still boycotted the comic because Rewind's left shoulder pad is colored incorrectly.
Danny From The Partridge Family Visits The Set Of A Porno
The Partridge Family, the musical family sitcom, was adapted into comic form for those that liked The Partridge Family but wanted them to shut the fuck up already. Usually, comic book adaptations allow the writers to tell stories they could never do on TV, like sending the Golden Girls into space or giving superpowers to the cast of Frasier. In this case, the one thing they always wanted to do, apparently, was make a little kid watch some adults fucking. Also, dwarfs.
"I thought he was a midget" doesn't fly as an excuse for sexual situations anymore.
In one issue of the comic, the Partridges are shooting a film in a studio when 12-year-old Danny (the cute redheaded kid) is accidentally admitted to an adult movie set, because he's mistaken for a "midget." Yup, if you're a little person, that's basically an all-access pass to porno sets. And if you're in the adult entertainment field, apparently you lack the ability to discern children from grown men.
The artist of this kids' comic then illustrates what it's like on the set of a movie that's going to "get an X rating." We don't see exactly what the actors do to earn that rating, but forcing your filthy imagination to fill in the blanks just makes it worse.
"What?! The whole midget?"
Danny is then taken away by his brother, but his innocence is already lost. Presumably, he then went home and wrote this song. This incident does at least help explain how adorable little Danny became the guy who got arrested for buying coke before a D.A.R.E. event and beating up a prostitute.
He's like the 234th saddest child actor ever.
Leave It To Beaver Has Fun With Deadly Medieval Weapons
Because Leave It To Beaver was the edgiest shit kids in the '50s could possibly imagine, the wholesome TV show got its own comic book series. And, judging by the covers, it was about Beaver training to become a prize fighter.
That's ... exactly how we'd expect someone from the '50s to deal with females, actually.
Don't worry; the comic isn't really about Beaver's dad teaching him to fight -- it's about how the man's neglect led his child to build an instrument of death. In the story, Beaver has to do a school project on "knights" and his dad refuses to do it for him ... or, like, even offer a minimum amount of supervision. That's when Beaver's brother Wally suggests: Why not make a morning star?
"If not, there's a nifty penis clamp on page 15."
Since there are no adults around, Beaver actually makes a medieval weapon out of a baseball bat and a car chain. That's when their dad sees it, tells the kids that's too dangerous, and everyone learns a valuable les- what? He just lets Beaver use the thing inside the house? Huh. Then the chain snaps, and the dad doesn't seem too alarmed when the ball breaks a vase that easily could have been Wally's skull -- which, frankly, would have served him right for suggesting this in the first place.
"See son, in this house we believe in a little thing called natural selection."
So Beaver presents his creation to his teacher and she, what, calls child protective services? Nope! She gives him a prize for making the assignment all by himself. She even encourages him to keep practicing his moves at home, because every single adult in this comic is either a moron or really, really hates Beaver. So how's he supposed to practice? Same way we would: by cracking nuts.
He wants to make sure he goes for maximum impact when he hits his dad's.
Let's hope for their World War II unit, Beaver doesn't come into class with a crudely made landmine.
The Enterprise Crew Gleefully Commits Genocide
Unlike other franchises in this article, Star Trek has a premise that sounds perfect for comic books: a space crew with the mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, and to boldly murder the shit out of it. You may not remember that last part from the show, but it was right there in the very first issue of the comic adaptation of Star Trek.
The story finds the Enterprise exploring a seemingly empty galaxy, when they run across a planet where plant life has evolved into an "intelligent society." Clearly not intelligent enough, though, because they didn't immediately run away when they saw Captain James "Horniest Man In The Universe" Kirk coming.
"Ooh, green people! My biggest fetish!"
Unfortunately, the only female member of the crew, an officer Kirk has codenamed "honey," is captured by a plant monster with tentacles, presumably for some gross Evil Dead-style action.
The classic character Doctor Captain only appeared in a few episodes of the show.
Officer Honey is rescued, but it turns out that the planet is full of spores that turn people into plant monsters, and these spores are moving into space. If this was an episode of the show, at this point the characters would consider the moral implications of their actions before deciding what to do about the spores -- most likely nothing, because as we just mentioned, this planet is in an empty galaxy.
But this isn't an episode of the show, so they just kill the entire planet with lasers.
"Die quickly and ... what's the opposite of 'prosper'?"
J.M. McNab co-hosts the pop-culture nostalgia podcast Rewatchability, which can also be found on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @Rewatchability.
For more insane moments in comic books, check out 5 Superheroes Rendered Ridiculous By Gritty Reboots and 5 Insane Things Comic Books Believe Women's Bodies Can Do.
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