With Bongo Comics releasing what might be the strangest idea for a solo book of all time –Ralph Wiggum Comics #1 – we thought it would be a good opportunity to look back through time, and pick out some other really, really weird solo books… That, for the most part, were also really pretty good. At the very least, in a landscape dominated by tights and fights, these books may not have been pretty, but they had a very nice personality:
You wouldn’t think that Superman’s opposite talking arch-enemy/arch-friend Bizarro would lend himself to supporting a comic book series… And it’s true, he wouldn’t. But he actually served as a host of sorts for DC’s alternative comics hardcovers, Bizarro Comics, and Bizarro World. Thankfully, the entire book isn’t in Bizarro’s mixed-up speak, because that would give us a headache.
9. Johnny The Homicidal Maniac
Jhonen Vasquez’s seminal emo-culture book is, as you might guess, off the wall insane. It’s not just the man-killing main characters, but also even more horrifying characters… Oh, and a short meditation on the meaning of existence.
A six issue series set in the DC Universe, the Keith Giffen created book featured a god banished to Earth, and forbidden from doing, well, anything. The book is by turns strange, funny, and more than anything a refudiation of anything that fans of gods and superhumans like to read about. So yeah, it didn’t last very long.
7. The Badger
Norbert Sykes is a man with multiple personalities… And one of them is a “superhero” named The Badger, who can talk to animals. Maybe. Another deconstruction of the superhero genre, The Badger only lasted four issues, but has developed a sizable cult following since then.
6. NFL Superpro
A football fans gains possession of an indestructible football uniform, and decides to become a superhero, fighting football based crimes. There were twelve issues published by Marvel Comics. Most comics nowadays don’t make it beyond five or six. NFL Superpro? An entire year. That’s amazing.
5. Canterbury Cricket
A man turned into a giant English cricket, the character only appeared in the DC Flashpoint Universe during last year’s mega-event. However, it was enough for him to snag the title spot in a coveted Flashpoint one-shot, where we found out he was magically turned into a cricket. An English one. Anyway, we’re pretty surprised this wasn’t spun off into one of the initial New 52 books.
4. Captain Marvel
Not the Marvel character, or the DC character… But actually an amnesiac robot who, when he shouted the word “Split!” would be able to shoot his arms, legs, and head at enemies. In order to get his limbs back, he would shout, “Xam!” Shockingly, no one remembers he exists.
3. Howard The Duck
Forget the piss poor Hollywood movie, and instead, focus on the comics. Though they bizarrely started as a Disney-style duck in a the slightly more real world Marvel Universe setting, they morphed into multiple appearances and title runs for the cigar chomping mallard; from his own series, to a lead role in a recent Marvel Zombies series. Bonus: he’s the only character on this list who tastes great with orange sauce.
Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart created an Aquaman with nearly no aqua powers – just a wetsuit, and some dreams – for this two mini-series that pit the hero against the Disney-esque Mickey Eye (who really is just a giant eyeball). Surreal, strange, yet surprisingly earnest and heartfelt, the Seaguy series may not be for everybody because of their dreamlike strangeness; but those of us who love Seaguy, LOVE Seaguy.
1. Brother Power The Geek
One of the strangest cult hits in the history of comics, Brother Power was a mannequin struck by lightning who came to life. Dressed in Hippie clothes, and forced to wander the Earth mulling the futlity of his existence, BPtG lasted a total of two issues, but has since turned up in various other comics and stories, including a recent issue of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. And even more to the point, he’s official mascot of MTV Geek! That’s a lie.