Sunday, December 9, 2012

Warrior X-Mas is F*cking Crazy!

Slowly but surely I've been reviewing the old Warrior comic books from the mid 1990's. A series of graphic novels based around former WWF professional wrestler The Ultimate Warrior.

For those inclined you can check out my recap of the first book right here as well as the somehow even stranger second issue here. Warrior, both the comic book and the person (Jim Hellwig, the man who portrays the Warrior character had his name legally changed to Warrior) are certifiably insane. So when I first learned that for some reason the short lived series included a limited edition Christmas themed book, I didn't even bother wondering why... I just knew I had to have it.

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And it turns out this book is stranger than you could possibly imagine. My biggest complaint with the other Warrior books was how incredibly incoherent the dialog/monologue sections are. Most of the time you just have to use your own interpretation as to what the hell is going on.

This Christmas book... features no dialog. None. It doesn't even have a story. Just a collection of bizarre drawings featuring the Ultimate Warrior frightening small children and sodomizing Santa Claus (more on that later) To be quite frank, I'm not even really positive that what we are about to look at even qualifies as a comic book. But good god is it single-handedly the strangest piece of Christmas related fiction you'll ever see.

The book is laid out as follows: No story. No dialog. Just a series of two page "fold outs" that involve Warrior and Santa Claus interacting with one another. Typically in an increasingly stranger and stranger fashion. Each drawing was done by a different artist and a couple of them are in entirely different art styles.

I'm going to show you guys every page, because most of them are things that once you see... you can never unsee. You'll see what I mean. If this sentence makes it past the final edit, just assume I'm drunk.
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The first foldout is relatively normal. Considering the source material and the bizarre things coming around in later pages, Warrior dressed in full on Santa attire is entirely passable as normal. Mundane might even be the world I would use to describe this one. Filler material is probably more correct. Let's move on.

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Page two. The wackiness begins. Here we see a borderline racist portrayal of a shirtless Warrior threatening two small black children with candy-canes.Why is Warrior Claus shirtless and coming down a lit fireplace chimney? No explanation is given... but really is one even needed?

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Page three proves my theory of page two Warrior being a racist prick correct. Here we see the same shirtless Warrior Claus sitting around by a tree, happily playing with an RC car while a white kid overlooks.

You may also notice this page features a number of pop culture reference, most notably Star Wars and Toy Story. Why Toy Story? Its important to remember that this comic came out in November of 1996 ... Toy Story was still one of the hottest pieces of property around back then. For whatever reason Warrior decided to include it.

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This foldout is legitimately awesome. No bones about it. Warrior putting the hurt onto The Grinch is just a great concept with an excellent execution. I said all the way back in my review of Warrior #1 that despite how crazy and stupid this comic book series ultimately ended up being... that in the right hands Warrior could have at least been interesting.

Say what you will about the no doubt unlicensed usage of a Dr. Seuss character, at least this panel is interesting.

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Filler Page Alert! Here we have Warrior Claus, complete with horribly out of proportioned legs (seriously look at the size of those things!), looking bored as a bunch of kids wait in line to meet him.

See that sign in the top left, Line Starts 1 Mile Back... oh the hilarity that is the Warrior Christmas Comic. Hint: I was being sarcastic.

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Well then. Warrior has decided to take a page out of what appears to be a White Zombie album cover for our next spread. The story on this page, as far as I can tell, is that of a gigantic purple monster who made an attempt to kill Santa Claus and destroy Christmas.

That is until Warrior showed up and pounded him into oblivion. Complete with excessive blood and guts, and at least one provocative female elf in the top right. This page pretty much sums up everything wrong with extreme mid 1990's culture. The sad thing? This is the least offensive thing your about to see...

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If you thought that last page was strange you've got another thing coming. Behold. Santa Claus, stripped of most his clothing and chained to a tree, as an equally naked Warrior grins with excitement. There is also a pile of dead elf's in the lower center portion of the page.

Also, the North Pole is apparently on fire. I have often wondered what exactly goes on inside the mind of the Ultimate Warrior, but after looking at this page... I'm not sure I want to know. The mid of the Warrior is a frightening place indeed.

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After the horrors of whatever the hell was going on the previous page, here we have Warrior sitting around a bunch of severed Orc heads as a bunch of creepy miniaturized elf's crawl all over Warrior's body.

There is also a vaguely phallic looking sword positioned between Warriors legs. Because if there is one thing the kids love around the holidays is vaguely phallic swords and the Ultimate Warrior. Merry Christmas.

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Back to one of the more relatively normal pages, Warrior delivers goodwill and cheer to a group of homeless people while waving at Santa off in the distance. Clearly the real Ultimate Warrior had no influence on this drawing. It's not near perverse or strange enough for that to be the case. We'll get to that one in due time.

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This one has Warrior lifting a 4x4 minivan as some thugs attempt to rob the Warrior Orphans Home of its gifts. I'm not sure why Warrior would focus his anger on the minivan instead of letting the very clearly fleeing criminals continue to run off with the goods. But hey, compared to the other books in the Warrior comic book series, that is the least of the sets plot holes.

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One more seemingly normal page left before we reach the all out insanity that is the final Warrior Christmas illustration. Here Warrior Claus, whose still not wearing a shirt... mind you, is getting ready to rappel down the side of a roof. Yea, whatever... let's get onto what you guys really want to see...

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Santa Claus, stripped down naked and passed out on the floor with the Ultimate Warrior standing over top of him. Putting his pants on. I'm not sure if I even want to know just what in the holy hell was going through the mind of whoever drew this image, but lord have mercy... Christmas is officially ruined.

I feel really, really sorry for any Children unfortunate enough to receive this comic book as a gift. You guys know as well as I do that some unsuspecting parent stumbled into a local comic book shop and seen this book. "My son happens to be a big fan of the WWF, I bet he would enjoy this Ultimate Warrior themed Christmas book" Was probably the thought process that went behind the purchase.

And come Christmas morning, the poor kid would have been traumatized for life thanks to images of Santa chained up surrounded by piles of dead elf's or naked and passed out on the living room floor.

Why this book exists, I guess the world will never know. Yet it's somehow sort of fitting that the weirdest piece of Christmas material ever created was apart of the Warrior comic book series. I literally cannot wait to review books number 3 and 4.

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