This book was provided to me by HarperCollins.
Simpsons Comics Knockout is the latest Simpsons Comics compilation book from HarperCollins. It’s comprised of five different Simpsons Comics stories; Mall or Nothing, Sandwiches Are Forever, The Flunky!, Homer Drops the Ball! and The “X” Men.
Mall or Nothing
Mall or Nothing was originally released in Simpsons Comics #116 in March 2006. It is written by Chuck Dixon and Elma Blackburn. The story involves a company buying out all the land on Evergreen Terrace to build a mall. Homer refuses to sell his house and the mall is built around their house.
Homer and Bart think living inside a mall is the best thing ever, meanwhile Marge and Lisa dislike it. Whilst Homer and Bart are out having fun, Lisa tries to figure out a way to revert what happened and to get their neighborhood back. She eventually finds out that the land belonged to the Woppakanomie Tribe of which Lenny is the last surviving member of. The mall is sold off and Lenny builds an Indian casino in its place.
The story is funny, although a bit unrealistic. But it’s The Simpsons so that’s to be expected.
Sandwiches Are Forever
The story sees the return of popular Simpsons character Hank Scorpio, who has been in a prison in Turkey for three years. Homer gets put in the same cell as Scorpio for trying to smuggle sandwiches out of the country. After the prison guards get poisoned from the sandwiches, Hank and Homer escape and take the Simpson family with them to escape from the police.
They eventually get to an old Soviet base where they offer to repair the soldiers weapons and technology in return for using the rocket to get to Hank Scorpio’s satellite death ray so Hank can take over Europe. Upon arriving, they find the death ray only destroys cheese now. Hank uses this as leverage to take over France, who don’t want to live in a world without cheese.
Hank Scorpio is a great Simpsons character so it’s great to see him back in Simpsons media. Overall, I enjoyed the story, although some parts did seem a bit long and unnecessary.
The Flunky! was originally released in Simpsons Comics #119 in June 2006. It is written by Scott M. Gimple. After Mr. Burns goes on vacation, Homer causes a meltdown at the Power Plant. The town then decides to boycott the Power Plant. To win the town back, Mr. Burns starts a reality TV show called The Flunky, the winner of which becomes his successor. The show becomes very popular and Mr. Burns is liked for his meanness in the show.
Eventually, Homer wins the contest but instead of becoming Burns’ successor, he is put in a vault in Shelbyville where he can do no harm. Homer leaves the vault, goes back to the power plant and caused a core breach microwaving a burrito.
I feel this story is the weakest in the book. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and didn’t really deliver any laughs to me.
Homer Drops the Ball!
Homer Drops the Ball! was originally released in Simpsons Comics #120 in July 2006. It is written by James W. Bates. In this story, Homer catches a baseball during a game and becomes a celebrity. He uses his newfound status to get free food and TV interviews. Eventually, Marge gets annoyed at Homer for the way he is treating Bart and gives Bart the ball instead.
Many rich people start trying to buy the ball off Homer and Bart but eventually a bird steals it off them. It took it back to the baseball stadium and eventually dropped back at the feet of Danny Dings, the player who hit the ball into Homer’s nachos. Homer and Bart are then thanked for returning the ball.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. It showed off the typical relationship between Homer and Bart quite nicely.
The “X” Men
The “X” Men was originally released in Simpsons Comics #118 in May 2006. It is written by Ian Boothby. In this story, Skinner joins a support group for lonely people who can’t find dates. They eventually find they all enjoy activities that raise their adrenaline and start doing high risk activities.
Homer gets jealous of everyone in the club having fun and wants to join too. Eventually, the whole town gets in on it and decides to hold a mass skydiving event to br broadcast across the whole world. Everyone in the club gets dates who are attracted to their extremeness and lose focus on the skydive, forgetting their parachutes. They all fall to the ground and die. It then turns out this was all a story being told by Grampa.
I rather enjoyed this story as its focus wasn’t on the Simpson family for most of it, but on other side characters. The story was also packed with nerdy references from Star Wars to The Flash and Marvel Comics.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. There was a good selection of stories with interesting storylines with only one story I would call average. Thank you again to HarperCollins for providing me with the book to review.
Simpsons Comics Knockout comes out on February 21st and will cost US$15.99/CA$19.99. I’d suggest picking it up if you’re a fan of The Simpsons.