When one of today's celebrities wants to value-add their impactful ego and seamlessly integrate their snackable brand awareness, they just put out a shitty free-to-play mobile game. But since that wasn't possible in the terrifying iPhoneless hellscape of the 1980s and 90s, athletes and movie stars had to settle for tie-in comics. It sounds like a fun idea in theory, but putting real-life people in stupid comic book situations almost always turns out awkward. There's a lot to choose from when it comes to celebrity comics, but we've whittled it down to the most ludicrous the medium has to offer. You won't see anything like Ash Saves Obama or Steampunk Sarah Palin here -- all five of these comics are official, made with the contractual consent of the famous person.
Well, except #1. You'll see.
If you weren't a fetus in 1992, you might remember a weird Nike ad that featured NBA superstar Charles Barkley battling Godzilla for b-ball dominance on the streets of Tokyo. If that sounds like one of those crazy-ass Japanese commercials, that's because it was. Nike liked it so much that they brought it to the US, where it was immediately put aside to be discussed in VH1's I Love the 90s Volume 4. One year later, Dark Horse struck while the iron had been cold for one year and brought out a comic book adaptation of the commercial. Which is like making a live-action movie out of those Batman Hostess Fruit Pie ads.
Since the comic had to take longer to read than the 30-second commercial took to watch, the backstory everyone was asking about was finally revealed. Were you wondering just how Charles Barkley grew large enough to take on a skyscraper-sized monster? Well wonder no more! As explained in the comic, which is set in California, a child gave Sir Charles a magic Silver Dollar, which made him and his clothes and his basketball grow to the size of a man in a suit on a studio lot. To avoid the inevitable destruction of the city *coughmanofsteelcough* Barkley heads to a defunct shuttle site.
And of course, since Sir Charles just happened to have a giant basketball, the two titans' brawl unfolded as a one-on-one basketball game, with part of the shuttle as a hoop. Godzilla turned out to be a natural talent, and just like the ad, the two came away the kind of friends that promise to hang out some day but never really do and their phone number just sits in their contacts forever. In the commercial, Godzilla sported some pretty slick goggles, but comics-Godzilla rocked even radder gear.
After their game, Barkley leaves Godzilla with brand-new monster-sized trainers and tells him they'll meet again in a century. Ignoring the disturbing implications of Charles Barkley's self-proclaimed immortality, the really fucked up thing is how impossible it would be for Godzilla to put on those 20-foot misshapen sneakers with his little T-Rex arms. Godzilla gets those kicks on his misshapen feet with those T-Rex arms. Even if Giant Barkley helped him put them on initially, Godzilla still has to roam the land and seas, while wearing those shoes, for all-time. Maybe it doesn't matter, because "Godzilla Got Busy" is up there with Galactus Elvis as one of the best comic book panels ever drawn.
Remember Chuck Norris Facts? Believe it or not, before he became an overplayed meme, Chuck Norris was once a famous action star. He fought Bruce Lee, co-starred in uncomfortable terrorism hijacking movies with Lee Marvin and also had his own comic book. Chuck Norris and the Karate Kommandos was a kartoon in the mid-80s, and of kourse a komik kame konkurrently. In both cases, CNatKK chronicles what we have to assume was an accurate depiction of Chuck Norris' day-to-day life as he travels the world with his martial-arts entourage, solving complicated problems with his feet.
As you can see, there isn't a conflict in this world that can't be resolved by a swift roundhouse kick. It's... actually exactly what you want out of a Chuck Norris comic, and it's well-drawn to boot. It should be, because the art was handled by none other than Steve Ditko. As in, the guy who created the unbeatable Squirrel Girl and also some obscure nobodies like Doctor Strange and Spider-Man. Despite his great talent and storied catalogue, by the mid-80s Ditko was struggling to get by. If you were desperate enough, you too would resort to drawing comic adaptations of cartoons starring a guy whose crowning achievement is giving a thumbs up in a dodgeball movie.