Superman And Cosplaying Jimmy Olsen Have you ever imagined what it would be like if the Justice League teamed up with the Wu-Tang Clan? Or better yet, if Superman and the Flash had a race against the Dukes of Hazard? If so, then please put down your peanut flavored tobacco and check out these amazing pieces of cover-art drawn by my pal, Rusty Shackles. Go on, give them a whirl. And while you're at it, I'm going to edu-mac-ate ya' on each imaginary cover, one by one, until you're as clued up as I on the facts of comic books and fun.

Forbidden planet

Batman And  Motorhead
Batman And Little Preacher

Batman Fact: Now most people know that Bob Kane gave Batman his detective skills because he was a fan of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle character, Sherlock Holmes. Plus to some extent, some might even know that Jerry Robinson gave the Joker his visual appearance based on the character Conrad Veidt plays in the Victor Hugo filmic adaptation of 'The Man Who Laughs'. But did you know, that the murderer of Dick Grayson's parents, Tony Zucco, got his name from the actor who played Professor Moriarty in the Basil Rathbone series of Sherlock Holmes films, George Zucco? Not many people do.

Motorhead Fact: Even though Lemmy went on record and publicly debased it, Motorhead have their own mass-produced wine, and have given it the name, 'Motorhead Shiraz'.

God Fact: Apart from making numerous cameo appearances in such titles as Preacher, Savage Dragon, the Fantastic Four,  Spawn, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, and God knows what else, God, also known as the supreme being and the one who must be obeyed, has starred in his own comic book, aptly titled 'God Comics', which was written by a heavenly creator and one of his many disciples, Ha!

Hannah ZantannaBlack Cat Marries Mary Jane

Zatanna Zatara Fact: When she was first introduced in the late 60s, Zatanna Zatara was used in a number of individual, yet related, story-lines spread out over a number of titles, inadvertently making her the first character to ever be involved in a cross-over event. She started off fighting Hawkman in his book. She then fought Batman and Robin in Detective Comics. And after that, she teamed up with the Atom, Green Lantern, and the Elongated Man, in the Justice League of America series, tying each of these issues together with a plot-line involving her missing father.

John Constantine Fact: Despite Keanu Reves playing him in the movie, and despite Matt Ryan playing him on TV, the Hellblazer himself: Johnny Boy Constantine, was actually modeled after the eighties pop singer, Sting.

Spider-Man Fact: In his original origin story Spider-man was going to be a television celebrity after a producer spotted him fighting Crusher Hogan in the wrestling ring. However, his fame was quickly sidelined when his Uncle Ben was tragically murdered, regardless of all the effort Peter went through to upgrade his tattered wrestling costume to what we know of it today. 

Justice Luchas Of America
the Justice League and the Wu-Tang Clan

Justice League Fact:  When Gardner Fox originally came up with the idea behind the Justice League of America, he based his team on the first ever group of superheroes that came together in the same comic book, namely, the Justice Society of America. Problem was, he didn't like the word 'Society', as he felt it sounded a bit dated for the times (The 1960s). So what he decided to do was replace it with the word 'League', simply because he was a huge baseball fan and thought that word sounded more popular.

Wu-Tang Clan Fact: When they first formed their hip-hop musical group, RZA and Ol' Dirty Bastard adopted the name, the 'Wu-Tang Clan',  basing it on the 1983 Gordon Liu film, 'Shaolin and Wu Tang'. Ironically enough, over time this group and this genre of film became so synonymous with each other, a series of martial arts based films were re-released under the 'Wu-Tang Clan' banner.

Mexican Wrestling Fact: The term 'Lucha Libre', which is used quite often to define the art of Mexican wrestling, is a Spanish expression that literally translates into the phrase, "freestyle fighting", due to the fact that this style of combat involves high-flying maneuvers, quick sequences of holds, power slams, and suplexes, like the ones you'll see in WWE.

Superman, Flash, And The Dukes Of Hazard
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen -- 80s TV version

Superman Fact: The word's Metropolis and Superman are two words which originally derive from Germanic sources. 'Metropolis' came from Fritz Lang's 1927 sci-fi film of the same name, where as 'Superman' comes from the German phrase, 'Über Mann', loosely meaning 'superior man'. And do you want to know why the two Jewish men who created Superman gave him these attributes? It's simple really. When they first created Superman in 1933, he was supposed to be a bad-guy.

League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Fact: When Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill first came up with the concept of 'the League', initially they wanted to use Sherlock Holmes in it. But alas, due to copyright infringements and other such legal mumbo-jumbo, they were unable to do so and implied his presence instead.

The Dukes of Hazzard Fact: Gy Waldron decided to produce The Dukes of Hazzard for two very specific reasons. Firstly, the 1975 movie about a couple of moonshine boys on the run, called 'Moonrunners', performed very well in the cinemas. And secondly, at the time country and western music was becoming quite popular, and he wanted to cash in on it.

Rusty Shackles Comic Book Buzz

There. And that's that. All you need to know about life, comic books, movies, and well, other stuff. I hope you've learned something by reading this piece. And if not, at least you should be able to appreciate the magnificent pictures drawn by the one and only, Rusty Shackles.


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