12 of the Most Gloriously Ludicrous Comic Premises in the History of the Medium

Comics Lists Shirtless Bear-Fighter
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12 of the Most Gloriously Ludicrous Comic Premises in the History of the Medium

New Image series Shirtless Bear-fighter —written by Jody LeHeup and Sebastian Girner and illustrated by Nil Vendrell—promises to be the guilty pleasure of the year. Featuring a bear-battling, shirt-shunning, flapjack-inhaling fella, this comic does what comics do best: take an insane premise to its loopiest limits, with no pretension whatsoever. This is no graphic novel or sequential literature, folks. This is a comic book with every connotation of batshit.

In the spirit of hairy chests and fluffy pancakes, here’s a look at some other bonkers comics with equally absurd and/or transparent premises. They won’t impress your snootiest friends, but they will make you happy.

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja


Writer/Artist: Christopher Hastings
Publisher: Self-Published, Dark Horse

Another entry in the Hall of Fame of great comic/character names, this Christopher Hastings production is one of the funniest comics going. One story—“Timefist”—is a particularly wacky treat, as Dr. McNinja must deal with a confusing succession of time travelers, dinosaurs and time-traveling dinosaurs. The best recurring joke might be that his ninja parents are disappointed because he’s a doctor. His best weapon might be chainsaw nunchucks.

Axe Cop


Writers: Malachai Nicolle, Ethan Nicolle
Artist: Ethan Nicolle
Publisher: Self-Published, Dark Horse

Many of these comics feel like they could be written by children—and I mean that in the best way possible. And Axe Cop is written by a child. This comic is a collaboration between brothers Malachai and Ethan Nicolle that began when Malachai was five and Ethan was 29. This loopy, loony series is all id, all the time. You have to love a comic with characters such as Bat Warthog Man, Dinosaur Soldier, Uni-Baby and Fishy Fish. Bonus: There’s a crossover with Dr. McNinja.

Battle Pope


Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Tony Moore
Publisher: Image Comics/Fuk-O-Tron

Robert Kirkman comes across as a serious fellow, maybe too serious, if you go by the comic and TV versions of The Walking Dead. But the dude has a wicked sense of humor, as seen in Battlepope, which is just what it sounds like: a comic about a badass, butt-kicking, oversexed Pope. Oh, and Jesus is his sidekick. Blasphemy doesn’t get much more fun.

Chew: Demon Chicken Poyo


Writer: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory
Publisher: Image Comics

Poyo is the greatest fighter among people or poultry on Earth or in Hell, and he’s starred in several one-shots by John Layman and Rob Guillory: Secret Agent Poyo, Warrior Chicken Poyo and the incredible Demon Chicken Poyo. These comics are spin-offs of Chew, one of the most out-there comics of all-time, featuring a guy who solves crime through psychic impressions derived from eating. But the full gonzo craziness of the series gets turned up to 11 zillion when Poyo gets the spotlight, proving he’s a chicken who can kick anyone’s ass—even Satan’s.



Writer/Artist: Jason Shiga
Publisher: Self-Published, First Second

Suicide is a serious topic, or so you’d think until reading this comic by Jason Shiga. Demon begins with a suicide, as protagonist Jimmy Yee gives up hope and ends his life. But he wakes up after his suicide. So he kills himself again. And again. And again. Finally, he realizes what’s happening: he’s a demon, and every time he dies, he possesses the nearest person. In this ongoing series, Jimmy’s bizarre superpower is taken further than you could imagine, as he becomes the most disturbing protagonist in the history of any genre.

Fatman, the Human Flying Saucer


Writer: Otto Binder
Artist: C.C. Beck
Publisher: Lightning Comics

In terms of on-the-nose titles and absurd premises, this series is the primal predecessor to Shirtless Bear-Fighter. Fatman, the Flying Saucer—created by C.C. Beck and Otto Binder in 1967—is about an overweight man named Van Crawford. After encountering a crashed spaceship, which was actually a shape-shifting alien, Crawford gains quite specific powers: the ability to transform his round body into the round shape of a flying saucer. How has this character not made a comeback? A monthly Fatman title could bring world peace.

Grizzly Shark


Writer/Artist: Ryan Ottley
Publisher: Image Comics

Ryan Ottley is best known as the artist of Invincible, Robert Kirkman’s sprawling superhero series that will soon wrap. In that comic, hero Mark Grayson’s adventures—especially when fighting other Viltrumites—tend to be gory with a side of bloody. But Ottley makes that mayhem seem tame when writing and illustrating Grizzly Shark, an ultra-stupid (in the best way possible) series about hillbillies and other lunkheads fleeing and fighting a plague of land sharks. This is what Sharknado should have been, folks.



Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Darick Robertson
Publisher: Image Comics

There are plenty of comics about murderers, including every Ed Brubaker comic. But this comic about a hardened killer has a twist: there’s a little blue horse named Happy who talks to former detective/current hitman Nick Sax. Unfortunately for Sax, no one else can see Happy. This is hard-boiled noir by way of Bugs Bunny. Amazingly, this series is in development at SyFy.

Head Lopper


Writer/Artist: Andrew Maclean
Publisher: Image Comics

Another entrant in the Transparent Title Hall of Fame, this buoyant action comic by the awesome Andrew MacLean features Norgal, a guy whose signature move is decapitation. And just like the guy in Happy, Norgal has a little blue friend: Agatha the Blue Witch, who is just a head in a bag, though a chatty head in a bag. Can we please make a Happy/Head Lopper crossover happen?



Writer: Fabian Rangel, Jr.
Artist: Logan Faerber
Publisher: Albatross Funnybooks

‘Namwolf features, duh, a werewolf in Vietnam. Written by Fabian Rangel, Jr. and illustrated by Logan Faerber, this series mixes two of the most potent forms of horror—war and werewolf stories—while making an impressively powerful link between the two forms of savagery. In the first issue, protagonist and grunt Marty Spencer learns that lycanthropy, like military service, runs in his family. The result is an ‘80s action movie with a little grindhouse and a lot of actual respect for veterans. Life lesson from this comic: there are worse things than being able to turn into a hairy, unbeatable monster when stuck in a vicious war.

Skrull Kill Krew


Writers: Grant Morrison, Mark Millar
Artist: Steve Yeowell
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Remember when mad cow disease was a big thing in the ‘90s? The collective freakout over hamburger-propelled madness inspired Grant Morrison and Mark Millar to co-write a series playing on a pivotal, but bizarre, moment in the tangled history of Marvel: that time Reed Richards tricked some Skrulls into thinking they were cows back in Fantastic Four #2. Turns out those cows ended up as burgers, and people who ate them contracted Skrullovoria Induced Skrullophobia, an odd condition that grants Skull-like power along with an intense fear of Skrulls. Where was the DSM-V on this one?

The Son of Satan


Writers: Roy Thomas, Others
Artists: Gary Friedrich, Others
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Speaking of the Dark Prince of the nether regions, you’d think a comic called Son of Satan would be one of those bent religious tracts cranked out by the late Jack Chick. But somehow this was an actual Marvel Comic about the genuine spawn of Satan. Daimon Hellstrom (Satan Jr.) is one of the weirdest Marvel heroes in its pantheon, debuting in a 1973 issue of Ghost Rider before landing his own series. In later stories, his last name was changed to “Hellstorm,” which is the only development in this character’s history that makes sense.