My Favorite Celebrity Comic Books

The idea of comic book characters as celebrities isn’t really a new idea.  I think you’d have a great argument that people like Tony Stark and Reed Richards and family were celebrities before they became superheroes.  Going just from that, the idea has been around a long time.  There have been a lot of interesting interpretations of the celebrity superhero.

Celebrities are larger than life people.  They stand out, they’ve by and large achieved some measure of success and people want to emulate them.  If you look at the superhero concept, it’s pretty easy to see how the two ideas can go together. It’s not that far of a stretch.

There are a variety of interpretations of the celebrity superhero.  There is the glory hound, there’s the ones that use their celebrity as a cover, and there have been a number of good and not so good comics that have focused on the issue of celebrity.  For some it’s been a theme and with others it’s more a backstory.  Here are a few of the good ones that have come along the pike in the last few years.

One of my favorites was Hardcase.  Malibu published this initially as part of the Ultraverse line of books back in the early 90s.  Although acknowledged as an actor in his real life, by and large his celebrity status was more a plot device than anything of substance. Still, James Hudnall was able to take a very standard character and add some real depth to him with a very tragic back story and for its time, decent character development.

I’m would be remiss if I failed to mention Booster Gold.  I just love the idea of the character and more importantly I’ve loved the evolution of the character since Dan Jurgens launched him back in the 80s.  Booster was the glory hound.  He had sponsors, and played the role of superhero celebrity.  He was over the top and more of a “Me First” persona when he debuted.

That said, I wasn’t really sold on the character until more recently when I read Infinite Crisis, 52 and his new series by then Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz.  I loved the idea of Booster going beyond that need to be the center of attention and focusing on being the hero he needs to be.  It kept some of the funnier aspects of who the character was and yet there was a real sense of growth and progress.  He’s also one of the characters I’m most curious about with the new 52 and where he stands now.  But Dan Jurgens should take a lot of credit of developing a very modern take on a celebrity superhero.

One of the more interesting takes on the celebrity superhero has to be The Boys. Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson crafted one of the darkest and funniest takes on the whole superhero concept and it almost completely ties into celebrity.  Celebrity is what protects the supes from the regular laws of Joe Public.  Their comics, action figures, their contracts with Vought American, almost makes them gods among men.  In the first arc, The Boys were Terrorizing Teenage Kix, a riff on the Teen Titans concept.

The kids were doing all the things you heard celebrities do in some of most vulgar and perverted ways possible.  Whether it was stealing drugs from a hospital or a night of debauchery at a whore house, you got a taste of the reason why celebrities are featured at the check out line in groceries.

You see everything the gossip rags ramble on in the weekly scandal mag you pick up at the grocery store.  As crude and bleak as it is on some pages in that first arc, the terrifying fact is that there is nothing new that Garth and Derrick are revealing to the world.

There’s a ton of books I’m not mentioning, but whatever the take of the celebrity you like, whether it be rock star or monster, it’s always been an intriguing twist on the superhero idea and I look forward to seeing new ideas inserted into the concept.  One of them being Aspen’s forthcoming series Idolized, which combines the idea of American Idol with the classic superhero team.  Each character was voted on in Facebook.  For more info, check out  It was a fun process.  The book comes out May 2012.

Until then though, check out some of my old favorites.  Chances are they may become some of yours.

Joshua Pantalleresco

My Favorite Celebrity Comic Books