Mr. T Comic Book Jibba Jabba: Part Four

June 16th, 2010 by | Tags: , ,

Mr. T’s comic book reign went dormant during 1994 and it would be that way for some time before he’d make his return. Luckily, the internet was starting to build its way up as a major thing and Mr. T would gain a special status of his own through this new medium. Ah, the old days of the internet during the mid-to-late 90’s. Back when everybody had a hit counter. When you got links to web rings. When people had so much time on their hands that you’d find stuff like a shrine to King of Fighters character Kim Kaphwan and other shit like that. What a time it was.

I’m not sure what the very first internet meme was, but I’d like to believe it was “Mr. T Ate My Balls”, which led to a series of other characters eating balls. It was a stupid, stupid meme based on blurry jpgs of Mr. T with word bubbles portraying him as being interested in devouring your balls. They rarely ever showed anything resembling the act, as the gag was more based on him punching someone out while yelling, “I want your balls, fool!” I can understand why someone would find it funny, but I was never into the whole gag, so I’m going to move on.

Shortly after the Balls site opened up, a college student by the name of Peter Bokma used his University of Idaho web account to put together his own inane site that is sadly banished into the internet void, never to be seen again. Through edited images, he made a short story called “Mr. T vs. Superman”. In it, Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman version) asks Mr. T to take care of Superman for him. If he does, he’ll pay him in gold chains. With a determined grimace, Mr. T growls, “Superfool is DEAD!”

What follows is a series of pictures of Christopher Reeve Superman and Mr. T going to war based on whatever is going on in each image. For instance, we’d see Superman holding a missile over his head from one of the movies, with his dialogue saying that he’s going to be using it on Mr. T. The next panel has Mr. T in angry pain, complaining that Superman dropped it on his toe. The fight is soon over with a badly MS Painted image of Mr. T headlocking Superman in one arm and Batman in another. It ends with Mr. T smiling, enjoying how great his new chains are.

It’s one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen in my life, but ridiculous enough for others to follow suit and for me to keep reading. “Mr. T vs.” comic sites started popping up all over, each being made up of MS Paint images and completely formulaic plots. Most of them would be about Mr. T getting in a conflict with anyone from Mr. Burns to the Ghostbusters to the Matrix Agents. These conflicts would come from the antagonist challenging Mr. T, threatening the youth centers or stealing his milk. Through the use of really low quality A-Team stills filled with jpg artifacts, the “helluva tough” Mr. T would go after his enemies. Normally, the only way to momentarily take him out is to drug his milk, but by the end, he’d get his hands on the bad guy and toss them “helluva far”. He’d toss them so far that they’d end up in a volcano, impaled on the Eiffel Tower or even drifting into space.

Other recurring bits included Mr. T being impervious to bullets because they always bounce off his chains. His van would always be touted as being incredibly fast to the point that it even allows him to travel through space. Murdock (as Murdock and not Dwight Schultz) would occasionally accompany him as a sidekick.

I can’t in good conscience call any of them good, but they were fun in their pop culture silliness. Most of these have vanished from the internet for good, but the memories remain. Here are some of the notable ones that come to mind:

– At the end of Mr. T vs. the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, after the two sides have teamed up against Shredder, Mr. T gets annoyed and throws one of the Turtles into the distance. Splinter finishes the story with, “I guess he just got thrown… SHELLUVA FAR! Hahaha! I made another funny!”

– One of the later ones that never really got finished involved Melissa Joan Hart tricking Mr. T, Chris Jericho and Steve Irwin into believing that Britney Spears is evil so they’ll take her out of the picture. I don’t know, there’s something about that trio that sings to me. Even better, Hart pleads for Jericho’s help on the Titantron as he looks on from inside the ring.

– There was one that was about Mr. T vs. Hollywood Hogan that involved the two of them having a match on WCW Nitro. Mr. T has the A-Team in his corner while Hogan has the nWo in his. Face never gets used much in these stories, but he makes an appearance to challenge “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash. In a ridiculous image that still makes me smile and shake my head, he points at Nash and yells, “Hey, Big Sexy! I’m bigger and sexier than you!” I’m sorry. It’s the dumbest shit ever, but I can’t stop myself.

One guy (whose name I’ve been unable to find) actually did a good job with the concept, making a handful of stories that almost created its own little world of continuity. His main stuff is a trilogy of Mr. T vs. Megatron, Unicron and then Galvatron, but it all ties in with other stories like having Newman from Seinfeld – under the orders of Galvatron himself – create an evil and well-spoken clone Bizarro T. Bizarro T commiserates the imbecile that underestimates his might!

When he has a reenactment of Galvatron killing Starscream and saying, “This is bad comedy!” from the 80’s Transformers movie, there’s an asterisk leading to, “This is an ironic statement because this IS bad comedy.” Well put, my friend.

It was a fun ride, but it came to a close when a Street Fighter enthusiast with an actual copy of Photoshop (whoa, quality!) created Mr. T vs. Chun-Li in an attempt to criticize the lack of creativity in the online community. When Mr. T tries to toss Chun-Li helluva far, she reverses it and shoves him down.

Sadly, this attempt to revitalize this waste of time meme fell flat. Why? Probably because the ever-unbeatable Mr. T has finally lost and it’s shattered our beliefs. And he lost to someone as lame as Chun-Li. Well, at least Mr. T wins in the end. No matter how bad the A-Team movie ends up being, it’ll still be head and shoulders above Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. You know it.

Of course, it’s also possible that the whole meme died because it did get tired and that whole Zero Wing translation was keeping everyone on the internet occupied. At least somebody made a couple Newgrounds movies based on Mr. T’s online exploits.

Now, then. What about some more actual, physical, hold-it-in-your-hands comic books featuring Mr. T? That would come in 2005 as English company AP Comics made a deal to make a comic series with Mr. T’s likeness. Let’s give it a look.

See that girl on the right? Yeah, we’ll never see her ever.

The series is by Chris Bunting and Neil Edwards. It comes off as an unofficial follow-up to Mr. T and the T-Force, but only in the sense that both comics are capable of coexisting. Like with T-Force, it takes place in an urban setting with Mr. T as the vigilante voice of reason.

It begins with a shot of an unnamed city, showing the pleasant nightlife, but slowly delving into the harsh underbelly. The narration for these pages is nothing more than the lyrics to “Teddy Bears’ Picnic”, ending with a page showing the aftermath of a kid who’s overdosed on drugs.

His friends call 911 and a Doctor Johnson – coincidentally the same one who delivered the boy when he was born – finds that he’s still alive, but barely. He asks the others what the boy has been taking, but they’re too scared to even tell him. It isn’t even a police thing. They’re just afraid of the repercussions of saying the drug’s name out loud because the dealers are that serious about it. One finally breaks and tells Dr. Johnson that it’s “Shaz-8”.

Dr. Johnson has a brief discussion with Detective Raziel, who really needs information to help stop the Shaz-8 drug scare, but Johnson won’t talk. Walking away from the scene, he’s confronted by the three dealers who sold the Shaz-8 to the kid in the opening scene. He swears that he didn’t say anything and after getting in his face a little bit, the dealers decide to let him go. Dr. Johnson knows that there’s only one man who can save the city.

Dr. Johnson sneaks around the basement of a dark building, searching, when from the shadows, someone grabs him by the shoulder. It’s Mr. T, wearing a lone gold chain with a cross on it.

The doctor needs Mr. T’s help in stopping Shaz-8, but Mr. T is reluctant. Drugs will always thrive no matter what he does and it’s up to the police anyway. Dr. Johnson goes into how it isn’t so simple. The police are out of their element, a woman who became Mr. T’s replacement after his absence (likely that Asian woman on the cover, later identified as Mizz K) has vanished without a trace, the drugs have horrendous side-effects and the people behind Shaz-8 are so dangerous that even the users are too afraid to talk about them to each other.

To help illustrate this a little, the lead drug dealer from earlier is shown talking to his superiors – a very large and muscular man in a suit and a woman in the shadows. The muscular one doesn’t trust Dr. Johnson and wants the dealer to have him killed.

Another cutaway shows an implied English man go into a comic shop and ask for Captain Britain. The shopkeeper, blatantly drawn to look like Comic Book Guy, is too busy reading and gives the guy horrible customer service. He treats him rudely until looking up to see that the guy is a man-mountain. He nervously gives him a free copy and in return gets wrapped up in the metal arm of a nearby Doc Ock statue.

Back to Mr. T and Dr. Johnson, they discuss the effects of Shaz-8.

As they bring up, someone framed Mr. T for a crime he didn’t commit and he got tossed in prison for a while. Few believed that he did whatever they claim he did, despite all the evidence. It’s also said that while in prison, Mr. T helped reform other inmates, but made his share of enemies. That English guy from the aforementioned scene is suggested to be one of those two choices, but considering he’s fighting alongside Mr. T on the cover, I think that solves that mystery.

One of the reasons Mr. T claims he won’t get back on the streets is how good the evidence against him was. Whoever had him put away is still out there and it’s probably best to stay under the radar. Dr. Johnson is kind of disgusted by that. There used to be a time when Mr. T would have gone right after whoever screwed him over. He figures that it’s because the people lost trust in him. That isn’t why.

It’s because Mr. T got out of prison and found that crime goes on and on. It’s like he was never there in the first place. Why fight the drug dealers when it’s so utterly pointless?

“You forgot yourself, my friend. You were quoting the bible. You never lost your faith. And nobody has in you. Well… I’ve got to go.”

“The kid. How is he?”


“I’m thinkin’ it’s a kid you know got mixed up in this mess. How’s he doin’?”

Dr. Johnson walks out the door. “Not too good.”

Mr. T stands in contemplation for a moment, then removes the gold cross from around his neck. Dr. Johnson is immediately assaulted outside by the drug dealers, ready to go for the kill. Suddenly, Mr. T comes from the shadows, shown in the light for the first time in the entire issue and wearing his trademark gold chains.

This whole thing is just a bit too dark. I mean, this is Mr. T for Venom’s sake. We need something delightfully stupid to lighten things up. What’s the second cover have in store?

Stare Roy. That’s fantastic. I’m in.

Mr. T makes short work of the drug dealers and faces down the ringleader. He doesn’t sweat it because he knows Mr. T doesn’t use a gun, doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t even swear. The man has no edge, so what’s to be scared of? A moment later, Mr. T dangles him over the edge of a rooftop and gets him to admit that the Padilla crime family is behind Shaz-8. Mr. T lets the guy live and tells him to leave town.

As Dr. Johnson talks to Mr. T about how dangerous the Padillas are, Detective Raziel and his partner are shown watching from afar.

We meet our main villainess and leader of the Padilla Family, Crazy Katie. She’s a Jackson Pollack enthusiast in a tight dress and… well, that’s as far as her character goes. This is the last issue, after all. The large Brit from the previous issue wants a job with her and Crazy Katie’s angry unnamed henchman doesn’t trust him. The two guys get in a big argument, but the moment the Brit lets it slip that he doesn’t like Mr. T (apropos of nothing), Crazy Katie hires him on the spot.

Here’s a later scene where the two unnamed muscle heads pick up prop comedian Gallagher while the Brit gleefully reads Secret Wars II. Only one of those descriptions was me attempting a joke.

Mr. T discovers some kids delivering shipments of Shaz-8 and tells them to send it back. It’s a scene mainly there to show how far things have fallen and it’s pretty much every issue of Mr. T and the T-Force without the rampage gun disarming. Whatever, let’s move to another interlude that won’t go anywhere.

A guy in a white ski mask is shown in a biker bar, talking to his agent on the phone. He’s shown to be some kind of highly-paid killer and this is lost on the other patrons.

This is the second time this scene has happened in a Mr. T comic. So remember, if you’re in a bar and Mr. T has been seen in the neighborhood, just be polite and you won’t be sent to the hospital.

Mr. T decides to go right for the Padillas and gets into their offices by simply Juggernauting through a brickwall and nailing a guy from behind. It’s pretty boss. Also, according to MS Word, “juggernauting” is an actual word. I had no idea.

Crazy Katie sends her henchmen at Mr. T and he plows through the cannon fodder like nobody’s business. Crazy Katie lets out a sigh of relief when a thrown henchman barely misses her precious Jackson Pollack painting, but then screams in horror when a second one hits it dead on.

She sends Stare Roy to deal with Mr. T. He easily catches a punch with his hand and then sends Mr. T back with a haymaker, exactly like on the cover. The final page is Stare Roy and Crazy Katie standing over a beaten Mr. T while Roy comments, “So much for the mighty Mr. T!”

And sadly, that is it. AP Comics went out of business right around when this issue was released, so it never got finished. I read on Wiki that it found a new publisher in America to finish the series, but it doesn’t name names and I haven’t heard anything about it. I did see a solicited cover for AP Comics’ Mr. T #4 which hyped a Mr. T vs. Mr. T fight that we will never see, so we know that this is a true tragedy.

In all seriousness, I do feel let down that it ended so quickly. Bunting wasn’t doing a bad job with it and I was genuinely enjoying what was there. But hey, it isn’t the true end of things. Chris Bunting would be back in stronger form, writing the one comic series truly deserving of the Mr. T name.

Tune in for this next time.

Similar Posts:

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

5 comments to “Mr. T Comic Book Jibba Jabba: Part Four”

  1. I am going to have to believe that the doctor was mispronouncing “Wilson” as “Williams”, because then that means that Mr T and Deadpool hung out together as kids. And seriously, how cool would that be?

  2. The accent is missing, but the design for the freelance killer looks a little like… Fantomex of all people.

    And considering the lack of anything resembling an accent for the English fellow…

    Mr. T. versus Fantomex. Okay, that cancellation is officially a crying shame.

  3. Hold up, is Mizz K also Crazy Katie? Did she get seduced by the lure of the Shaz-8?

  4. […] finally, in the first meme-nostalgia piece that has really hit home with me, Gavok from 4th Letter revisits the Mr. T vs. blank meme, which stole away more than one of my evenings in seventh grade. Explore posts in the same […]

  5. […] doesn’t need that, really) look no further than 4th Letter: Part one; Part two; Part three; Part four; Part five. Yes, that word balloon seriously says "I pity the fowl," and no, I don't know […]