Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us worldwide suddenly find ourselves spending a little bit more time at home than before. Thanks to stay-at-home orders and social distancing, people have a bit more time to kick back and try to relax and that means people are finally hitting their to-watch and to-read lists to entertain themselves. But what if you're looking for a little something more to entertain yourself? Forget binge watching that show you've put off and hold up on hitting your pull list. Why not get really crazy and dig deep into some of the strangest comics moments out there -- including some that you might not believe are real?
That's right, for your quarantine entertainment, we've rounded up ten of the oddest comic book moments from DC and Marvel for your reading pleasure. And by "odd" we have a pretty wide range. Some of the books we've lined up are strange because their stories just seem so surprising in a contemporary context as opposed to when it was first published. Others are odd just because the stories do some, well, odd things with the characters and characterizations. There are also a few tossed in on this list because their covers are just so striking (in a wild way) that you can't help but want to open the issue up to see what's going on.
Now, this is by no means a comprehensive list of strange comics. If we tried that, we'd probably be here making this list well after quarantine is over (and our to-read lists are already pretty long) but some of these are just striking, others are almost iconic, and many of them are actually pretty solid reads one you get past the shock value of the covers. You'll also note that many of our selections fall in the "vintage" category, but there's something to be said for appreciating older comics in all their wild, vibrant glory. Nostalgia feels pretty good right about now, too.
So what wild, weird, strange comics did we come up with for a truly entertaining read? Read on for more and be sure to let us know your favorite weird comics in the comments below.
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #106 "I Am Curious (Black)!"
The Lois Lane comic has some genuinely wild stories, but Lois Lane #106 might just take the cake, both in terms of its cover and content inside the issue. The issue features Lois deciding to undergo a major transformation in which Superman turns Lois into a black woman for a day so that she can follow a story about Metropolis' Little Africa neighborhood. The issue is meant to take on social issues and sees Lois experience a life very different than her day-to-day, but it's definitely a strange issue, interesting or not.
Detective Comics #426 "Killer's Roulette!"
A suicidal Batman? That's what it looks like on the cover of Detective Comics #426 but trust us: there's a solid reason that Batman appears to be ready to end it all. The issue's story "Killer's Roulette!" sees Batman investigating the suicides of three wealthy gamblers only to discover that they had been tricked into a game of Russian roulette. It leads Bruce Wayne to pose as a gambler so that he can end up part of one of those dangerous games and, thus, capture the real killer once he switches into his Batman persona. It's a pretty solid issue, even with its tense cover.
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #116 "The Gorilla Reporter!"
This one is pretty straightforward: Jimmy Olsen switches bodies with a gorilla. You read that correctly. The cover on this is just so delightful, but so is the story inside. An invention malfunctions and switches Jimmy with a gorilla and it's not a problem Superman can solve on his own. It's wild, it's wacky, and it definitely earns its spot on this list.
Batman "The Widening Gyre"
Kevin Smith's six-issue Batman: The Widening Gyre as a whole is kind of a wild but issue #6 in particular is especially crazy for one very specific thing: Batman pees his pants. We won't give you the actual context for this (you really should read it yourself) but there's a moment where Batman reveals that he "had a bladder spasm", aka he wet his pants. Wild.
Punisher War Journal #19 "Trauma in Paradise"
Yes, that's the Punisher on a jet-ski. Your argument is now invalid. Seriously, though, look at that tag line: "You've just rented a jet-ski to the Punisher. Kiss that baby goodbye!" There's nothing much else we can say, the cover alone just is bonkers and it's perfect.
Punisher War Journal #36 "Let Them Eat Cake"
The cover to Punisher War Journal #36 is pretty tame. The story itself is a little crazier, with the Punisher going undercover at a mob wedding. But what really elevates this issue to our "odd" list is the moment in which Punisher pops out of a wedding cake, complete with his weapon. I'm not kidding. It's amazing.
World's Finest #186 "The Bat-Witch Must Burn!"
Time travel is always a wild adventure in comics and that's the case for World's Finest #186. As the cover of this issue suggests, Batman and Superman end up well into the past with Batman being mistaken for a witch or a demon and the Dark Knight is very nearly burned at the stake -- thanks, in part, to Superman stirring up the drama. Oh my.
Punisher Vol 2 #42
Pretty much presented here without commentary. The cover of Punisher #42 is just... spectacular. Sorry, kid. The Punisher doens't care about you.
The New Guardians Vol 1 #2 The first (and last) appearance of SnowFlame
The New Guardians #2 makes the list for two major reasons. The first is the story which sees the New Guardians fight the villain SnowFlame and cope with three of the team's members contracting AIDS from the Hemo-Goblin. The second is the first (and last) appearance of SnowFlame -- a supervillain literally powered by cocaine: "I am Snowflame! Every cell of my being burns with white-hot ecstasy. Cocaine is my God -- and I am the human instrument of its will!"
And our last entry is a stunning, shocking, and odd cover that definitely leaves us with quite a few questions. Yes, that's a naked Nightcrawler standing before Wolverine. At the time this issue was published, the cover did get quite a bit of attention for its sexually suggestive nature -- which definitely gets us a place on our list.