April 23, 2009

Chuck Norris #1 [1987]

For some reason Ruby-Spears decided the world needed a Chuck Norris cartoon back in the mid-1980s, and thus we got CHUCK NORRIS: KARATE KOMMANDOS (presumably because you can't trademark "Commandos"). Then Marvel decided to jump on the bandwagon, and a comic book version of the show was produced for their Star line, and Steve Ditko pencilled the first three issues.

And maybe they had something, because I never noticed before, but my copy of #1 is listed as "Second Printing" in the indicia. Who knew? I'm not sure where this is in the epic arc of Norris' career, whether he was actually hip at the time, or if he was ironically hip. Or has his hipness always been ironic?

Anyway, this issue has the 22-page "The Super Cruiser", and the title doesn't refer to Norris but to a high-tech anti-terrorism vehicle that Norris and his "Kommandos" have developed for the government, which is at the local school where Chuck's young friend Too Much is a student. So we get an attack by ninjas of the Cult of the Klaw (I'm surprised they didn't go with "Kult"), and the Kommandos stage a rescue, and we learn important lessons about doing your homework and how good some book called "The Children's Story" is. And if Chuck Norris recommends a book, you know it must be... something.

Pretty much for the Ditko completist only, although for what it is the art isn't bad, and the big fight scene, with lots of silent panels, isn't too shabby.  Jo Duffy writes and Art Nichols inks.

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