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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dollar Comic Review: Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos #1

Ladies and gentlemen, Mister Chuck Norris:

You are now 2.7% more awesome.I think we can all come together as a society and agree that Chuck Norris is one of the baddest motherfuckers alive. His very name has become synonymous with the word "awesome," and his feats are legendary. And why not? The guy was Bruce Lee's sparring partner for God's sake, he taught Steve McQueen--one of history's greatest badasses--the secrets of the martial arts, and I'm pretty sure he's the only man who could have defeated Count Dante. But rest assured, their battle would shake the very heavens themselves.

What you might not know about Chuck Norris is that back in 1987, he led a team of martial arts-themed counter-terrorist operatives that answered only to the President. Their adventures were then transcribed into the 100% Factual and incredibly short-lived Marvel series Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos. Sterling recently tackled some of the highlights of #2, but I found myself a copy of the first issue last week, and it rocked me to my very core.

It is the single most awesome thing you will ever see.

I hope you guys like roundhouse kicks."The Super-Cruiser"
January, 1987
Writer: Jo Duffy
Pencils and Cover: Steve "I Created Spider-Man and The Question So You Bitches Can Suck It" Ditko

The Plot

From what I understand, Karate Kommandos was based on a cartoon produced by Ruby Spears Entertainment, the same folks who had Jack Kirby turning in a stack of ideas for Turbo Teen and Roxy's Raiders every day. Sadly, I've never seen it, but I think it's pretty safe to assume that Chuck Norris and his pals--which at a bare minimum include a big fat goofy guy, a scrappy kid, and a fiesty gal--battle a sprawling terrorist organization that never actually manages to shoot anybody. I did, however, manage to find a copy of the show's intro, which I will have played at my wedding.

This issue concerns the aforementioned Scrappy Kid™, who goes by the name of "Too Much." He's so called because he's constantly saying things are "too much," which puts him in the same category as Snapper Carr, only it makes a lot less sense. He and his class are going to take a guided tour of the government's new top-secret counterterrorist weapon, the Super Cruiser, the main feature of which is that it looks exactly like an RV. And it was also designed by Too Much's friend Chuck Norris. I'm not exactly sure why the government is going to let a bunch of schoolchildren poke around a top secret anti-terrorist device, but according to their teacher, it's because of Too Much's "special connection" with Chuck.

We can assume this special connection involves a lot of roundhouse kicks.

Unfortunately, the Sidekicks-esque special connection has its drawbacks as well, and in a nefarious plot to steal the government's shiny new Winnebago, the Super Ninja--and yes, that is his name--sends some thugs to hold Too Much hostage. The Karate Kommandos mobilize, and Chuck Norris beats the living hell out of enough people that everything works out okay.

The Highlights

  • This entire book is a highlight. Things really kick off when Too Much starts thinking about Chuck Norris in class and then daydreams about busting out his nunchuck skills. That's pretty much how I pass the time at work, so I could relate.
  • Too Much apparently deals in the illicit trade of signed eight-by-tens of Chuck Norris, surreptitiously passing them to his friend Tommy while the teacher's back is turned. In the prison economy that is middle school, those things are like gold.
  • Too Much spends so much of his time getting pumped and flipping out that he doesn't do his reading assignment, but is spared humiliation when he's called on by the gun-totin' ninja of the Cult of the Klaw!! bursting into the classroom.
  • Ahem: Badass Panel #1:

Ninja One is my favorite.
  • From what I can understand, the Cult of the Klaw!! is structured thus: Numbered Ninja answer to the Super Ninja, who in turn is answerable only to a guy who sits in the shadows, petting his cat with his metal hand. Apparently the guy who used to fight Inspector Gadget is moving up in the world.
  • The Karate Kommandos! Sumo Guy! Dude with a Katana! Templeton "Faceman" Peck! Some Girl! And Chuck Norris's pet wolf, Wolf.
  • Chuck Norris doesn't waste time with negotiation. Chuck Norris puts on a crazy white vest over his red turtleneck and walks into the middle of a hostage crisis, and we get one of the single best panels in comics history:

You're Goddamn right you won't.
  • Once they've rolled in and demanded that the Cultists of the Klaw!! let the hostages go so they can settle things man-to-cult, the Karate Kommandos pretty much stand back while Chuck Norris beats up eight fully-armed ninjas... by breakdance fighting. Then he gives a little book report and everybody has a good time standing amidst the broken bodies of men foolish enough to challenge Chuck Norris.

Defining Moment

Page One:

He's the best!  Around!  Nothin's ever gonna keep him down!...And that pretty much says it all.

Final Thoughts

Give the man a prize.


Blogger Phil Looney said...

There was also a line of toys. You pushed a button and they kicked or something. I remember a kid at school had the car, which was like a corvette that if you pushed a button, shivs popped out of the rims. Now that's rollin' on blades.

12/14/2005 8:08 AM

Blogger Mark W. Hale said...

One day when I was a kid my mom and I went to visit a friend of hers who had a bratty, horrible son named Eric, and I vidily recall thinking on the way there: "I bet Eric's the kind of kid who has Chuck Norris toys."

And you know what? He did. He so did.

12/14/2005 8:33 AM

Blogger James said...

If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you.

If you can't see Chuck Norris you may only be seconds away from death.

I love me some Chuck Norris.
Ass Whuppin.
He does it all.

More Chuck Norris fun.

12/14/2005 12:42 PM

Blogger Michael said...

Why did they put Jeff Foxworthy on the cover?

"You might be a redneck if you drive around in a new top-secret counterterrorist weapon that looks like a Winnebago."

Word verification: hsfxu, which is the sound one of Chuck's rouhdhouse kicks makes as it slices through the air on its way to your head.

12/14/2005 2:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kept thinking that first page looked like Hulk Hogan, circa "I am a Real American".

And my verification word was "krinczh", which I believe is the sound your head makes when that roundhouse kick connects.

12/15/2005 7:21 AM

Blogger thekelvingreen said...

I love the little "CN" on Chuck's chest there. Presumably to ward off exactly these kind of Hulk Hogan mistaken identity shenanigans.

"Does it say 'HH'? No, because I'm Chuck Norris!"

12/15/2005 10:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You didn't scan the best panel in the comic- the bizarre scene on the last page where all the kids are about to start laughing at Too Much admitting he hasn't read the book. "Tommy, I don't think I'll be able to play with you... till tomorrow afternoon!" There's something Lovecraft-esque about the kids' facial expressions.

12/16/2005 9:58 AM

Blogger floyd webb said...

Hey, Check out my blog on the making of my film, the search for count dante.

2/12/2006 6:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my god, you people acutally believe that he his that great? what a miserable specter, you don't even realize at what a shity actor he is, and honestly all the time you idiots waste thinking of stupid non-true facts about him is just gay, you're all puppets of stupidity

2/17/2006 5:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't actually think Chuck Norris is great. We love him because he's a crappy actor. We love him because he's cheesey. The man's a nostalgic icon. Kindly shut your hole, anonymous sir.

2/22/2006 2:25 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it typical that the only people who always have negative things to say of Chuck and the Normads are the ones who use homosexual insults.

There clearly in the closet, why? Because Chuck Norris dropkicks them BACK INTO IT.

3/20/2006 5:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that water boils faster when Chuck Norris watches it.

3/28/2006 6:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that Chuck Norris doesn't sleep. He waits.

4/05/2006 8:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the best news ever this show currently plays at like 4 o clock in the morning on cartoon network on mondays and wednesdays i belive =)email me at dingking0@gmail.com

4/25/2006 4:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.

2/06/2007 9:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's Chuck Norris?

4/03/2007 11:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you seen the chuck norris toilet paper? http://www.jeremyinc.com

4/06/2007 9:15 PM

Blogger T. said...

Although this blog post is way old and I don't knnow if you'll ever see this comment...that cover up there is by Zeck/Beatty, not Steve Ditko (see the "Z-B" in the corner?

1/02/2008 4:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should check out these Chuck Norris Comics: http://www.themolitor.com/norris-comics

2/01/2008 6:00 PM

Anonymous Zazelby said...

I absolutely love the ninjas' "one bullet" dialogue. It reads exactly like a Chuck Norris Fact, but it was written nearly twenty years before the website existed.

5/29/2010 11:21 AM

Anonymous Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

First time I watched this comic book I thought it was a joke, however after read that, it became in one of my favorites, even overcoming Batman #142.

8/30/2010 2:54 PM

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In my view everybody must go through it.

7/24/2012 7:46 AM

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