Normally when I do these, I tell you to read a comic. Like in the case of Superman playing scout or the story of Bo Jackson saying no to drugs. Not today, though. Oh lord, not today. Recently I picked up Personality Comics’ Baseball Comics #2: Rickey Henderson.
“But Mike,” I can hear you saying, “It’s Rickey Henderson. One of the most energetic, exciting, flamboyant, and outspoken players to ever play the game. It’s impossible to screw up a comic about that. Plus, it’s unauthorized, so it must be awesome.”
And that’s where you’re wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.
Sure, the cover art looks impressive with oil paints and a determined looking Rickey wearing a generic, logoless uniform, and when you open the comic to the title: “Rickey Henderson: Record Stealer” you even trick yourself into thinking this might be fun. Like Chuck Testa, that’s a big Nope.
The art, which looks like it was created over a weekend with plenty of Mezcal, also suffers from Personality Comics decision to save money by skimping on backgrounds since those would cost extra. Not to mention that every pose is seemingly ripped out of a “Movement and How To Draw It.”
Is that supposed to be a baseball glove? Or a human whose hand has been stung by thousands of bees?
We’re even gifted with a hilarious goof where, when tasked with drawing Rickey Henderson’s new Yankee teammate Ken Griffey Sr, we are given Junior in his classic Upper Deck card pose. Supposedly the artist, writer, and editor (if there even was one) all signed off on this.
Notice any similiarities?
Also, I believe that strange mustachioed cast member of Fraggle Rock is supposed to be Don Mattingly. Don’t quote me on it though.
The story doesn’t help any as it’s like a children’s book report with a string of “and thens” piecing together Rickey Henderson’s life with some batting averages thrown in. At least this monumental moment was included for future eons to look back on:
Really though, I think this whole comic can be summed in one page. Because Jose Canseco is the energy that flows through life, naturally he’s involved.
Who the hell that supposed to be? Rickey Henderson? Jose Canseco? A young John Waters?
The comic did get one thing right, betting on Rickey to play through the year 2000. Considering this comic came out in 1992, already 13 years after Henderson broke into the Majors, I’d consider that a success. That is, if I didn’t also believe it was dumb, drunken luck from a guy who just wanted to turn in his script and go home.
There is one saving grace and it has nothing to do with Rickey Henderson: the coming soon section in the back. Hidden among the upcoming Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax books (which yes, I will be hunting down, reading, and reviewing), and the Shannen Doherty bio (FINALLY), there is a beautiful oil painting of Ricardo Montalban:
If anyone deserves such a piece, it’s you, Ricardo.
Oh, yeah, and there’s also the most disturbingly phallic portrayal of Daredevil you’re likely to witness. Young children, look away. Just to be safe, it’s under the jump.
If that doesn’t start your day off on the wrong foot, brother, I don’t know what will.
For more intersections of baseball and comics that should and probably should not have happened, click here.