TITLE: Obnoxio the Clown vol. 1, Issue #1
YEAR: April 1983
COMPANY: Marvel Comics
Script & Art, Letter and Colors by Alan Kupperberg
Editor: Larry Hama
Obnoxio the Clown Created by Larry Hama
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Back in the ’70s and ’80s, comics were not just relegated to the comic books that we know of today, there were also comics featured in satire and humor magazines popularized by “MAD”, “CRACKED”, to name a few.
Marvel Comics had their own magazine titled “Crazy Magazine” which lasted from 1973-1983. While Irving Nebbish was the magazine’s mascot through the ’70s, editor Larry Hama would create a dirty, vulgar, rude clown mascot known as “Obnoxio the Clown” as the magazine’s new mascot.
In April 1983, Alan Kupperberg would create a one-shot for Marvel Comics for Obnoxio the Clown and the cover was sure to grab any comic fan as it features Obnoxio the Clown vs. the X-Men.
The setting is at the mansion and it’s Kitty Pryde’s birthday. Since Kitty is a big fan of “Crazy Magazine”, Professor Charles Xavier hires Obnoxio the Clown to entertain her on her birthday.
But Professor X is startled when Cerebro detects an unknown mutant, who may be dangerous. Cerebro overloads and knocks Professor X unconscious.
This leads to Cyclops and the X-Men to find out if they are under attack.
Meanwhile, as the X-Men are distracted, thinking that Obnoxio the Clown is responsible, a mutant known as Eye-Scream, who can turn into any flavor of ice scream sneaks into the mansion and starts using the Training Room to put the X-Men against Obnoxio the Clown.
The second storyline features Obnoxio the Clown receiving a jury duty summons for the day. While going out for a smoke, Obnoxio the Clown sees a gang trying to steal things in the evidence room. What happens when Obnoxio confronts the gang?
And there is a strip featuring Obnoxio pushing for people to subscribe to “Crazy Magazine”.
Overall, the “Obnoxio the Clown” was an issue I remember very well from my childhood.
While one-shots are commonplace in today’s comic book market and even back in the ’90s when I stopped reading comics, back in the ’80s, I never really came across many one-shots that were released by a comic company and not tied into some retail store (ie. Radio Shack) or organization and this was one of the few I do remember.
It was so out of left-field and seeing this clown on the cover and him holding Kitty Pryde while the X-Men are behind, it was surprising.
Granted, the issue was quite cheesy as you had a mutant villain named Eye-Scream who can turn to ice cream but the issue was no doubt to promote “Crazy Magazine” and to get people to subscribe and get into its rude, vulgar mascot.
But unfortunately, “Crazy Magazine” would call it quits that same year and Obnoxio the Clown is probably a forgotten character although in the Facebook game, “Marvel: Avengers Alliance”, it is mentioned he had been murdered by the Circle of Eight. What a way to kill of a character, through a social media game (rolling my eyes).
While the one-shot is not a must-have, for me, I had to purchase it again through eBay because it was a title I remember quite well from my childhood that the character and story was so odd, I had to get it again.