Long-time fans of this website know that my love for Hacksaw Jim Duggan knows no bounds. Not only was he one of my favorite babyfaces back in the day, but I've also had the opportunity to meet him a few times in recent years. He sang the song from "Frozen" to my daughter in 2014, and then chatted with my wife about the incident a year or two later. And a few months back, he was super-nice once again when I met him following his one-man show in Toronto.
So when I heard there was a Hacksaw Jim Duggan comic book floating around out there, I just had to purchase it. RIGHT?
Published by Squared Circle comics, an outfit that have created comic books for everyone from Leaping Lanny Poffo to Nikolai Volkoff, Issue One of Hacksaw Jim Duggan opens with our hero entering the ring at the first Royal Rumble in Hamilton, Ontario. The page one artwork isn't great -- but it's not terrible, either.
By page three, the illustrations become a little more, shall we say, cartoony, as Hacksaw somehow morphs into 2014-era Daniel Bryan. Hacksaw Jim Bryan recalls how, at the first Rumble, he mixes it up with Jim The Anvil Neidhart, Outlaw Ron Bass (who looks suspiciously like Bob Orton) and others until he comes face to face with One Man Gang.
The Rumble continues to rage on, with most of the wrestlers (except for The Gang) not looking that much like their real life counterparts. Hell, Danny Davis could pass for a random villain being punked out by Batman...
As we all know, Hacker won the Rumble that fateful night by eliminating the Gang. But before we continue down his squared circle memories, we're taken back to Duggan's childhood, where he shouted his catchphrase at birth and ate T-Bone steaks that were apparently larger than his head.
Fast forward to high school, where Hacksaw becomes a James Dean-esque stud who has to make the difficult decision about what he wants to do with the rest of his life. His father (who kind of resembles the Maytag repairman) insists that he transfer from one High School to another High School. What drama and excitement!
From there, things really begin to pick up steam, as Hacksaw and his mother meet a recruiter from Southern Methodist University. When they ask him to join their school, both Hacksaw and Mama Duggan look thrilled...
Following that thrilling exchange, our hero begins playing college ball, although he quickly becomes sidelined with a knee injury. He's met by Fritz Von Erich, who hands him business card (which reads "Fritz Von Erich - Professional Wrestler"), though Duggan politely turns down a job opportunity.
We then follow Duggan's gridiron career to The Atlanta Falcons and The Toronto Argonauts (416 represent!), where his football run finally comes to a close. Out of a job and no longer looking anything like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, he pulls the ancient Fritz Von Erich business card out of his pocket. And.... uh, that's the comic.
Wait.... that was IT?!?
A few pages about Duggan's in-ring career and then flashbacks to him as a kid and football player? I know it's probably a lot to ask, but it would have been great had there been more professional wrestling in this comic book about a professional wrestler that was published by something called SQUARED CIRCLE COMICS!
And the thing is... I really doubt there will be an Issue Two, so we'll never get to see Hacker re-live his days brawling in the Mid-South territory, going toe-to-toe with Andre The Giant or smoking pot with The Iron Sheik in comic book form. There was just SO MUCH MORE you could have done with a comic book about a patriotic superhero who clunks people over the head with his 2 x 4 that you'd think this stuff would write itself.
At the very least, he could have sung the song from "Frozen" again...