This Exists! is a semi-regular column about particularly strange, ridiculous, and/or obscure comicbooks I happen to have stumbled across.
One of my continuing comicbook collector missions is to acquire everything Defiant Comics ever published. It's not that vast a library, since the company only existed for about two years, but they're somewhat elusive books. Defiant was founded by Jim Shooter after he had already been ousted as editor-in-chief of both Marvel and Valiant. It appears to have been sort of a vanity project for him, with his name being attached to nearly every project as at least creator and editor if not writer as well. And though they don't tend to be comics of the highest quality, I find them uniquely interesting and would love to someday own them all. They tend to have some genuinely good ideas, but with storytelling that's half-hearted, obvious, and/or absurd, so the results are often unintentionally amusing. I like that, and I want more of it in my life.
My introduction to the accidentally-funny world of Defiant was Splatterball, which I picked up and skimmed at a sale just because of its cover. It was only twelve pages long and seemed colorful and strange, so I figured it couldn't be that bad, and it was cheap enough that I ended up buying it.
Lucky for him, in his own book, The Great Grimmax #0, he has escaped PLASM and is living on Earth as an earnest and naive bicycle delivery boy. Ostensibly this zero issue was intended to introduce the character so that a series could then launch in which he was the star, but according to the Internet, no such series ever existed. It's not hard to see why, because he's a bit robotic for a leading man. His lack of understanding of human behavior is so extreme, it makes it hard to believe that he'd even have a delivery job. And while his dialogue represents total honesty and kindness, he's pretty quick to start throwing punches when cornered. That's too many incongruous details for an eight-page character introduction, and certainly doesn't make me want to read more.
So I started snatching up other Defiant titles after reading these, not expecting quality material but still hoping for enjoyable experiences. Some of what I've found has been better, and some of it has been even worse, but it all hits that sweet combination of decent concepts and poor execution that makes for fun, funny, easy reading. Sometimes you gotta wade through the muck so that the oasis seems even sweeter. Splatterball and The Great Grimmax #0 both remind me what junk comicbooks look like, so I can more fully appreciate the great ones that share my longbox space with these weaker issues.