Country stars, from real-life superhero Roy Rogers and other singing cowboys of yore to the cast of Hee Haw, have appeared in comic books over the decades. Since then, these five stars appeared in print. The comics themselves range from downright silly adventures in time and space to genuine looks at singers’ fame and faith.
With his grizzled appearance, Trace Adkins looks like he could punch crime square in its ugly face at a moment’s notice. This perception got taken in a surprising direction when Adkins’ genuine do-gooder image led to a comic book series for his alter-ego Luke McBain. A short-run series by 12 Gauge Comics paints McBain as a small-town vigilante in the same vein as Walking Tall‘s Buford Pusser.
There’s a couple of noteworthy comic book adaptations of the Man in Black. Spire Christian Comics released Hello, I’m Johnny Cash in 1976. It’s as much a gospel tract as it is a comic book, sharing how Cash overcame drug addiction through his Christian faith. Over 30 years later, Reinhard Kleist told a career-encompassing tale of redemption with 2009 graphic novel Johnny Cash: I See Darkness.
The silliest-looking comic book on this list made the big leagues. Marvel Music’s run of semi-autobiographical looks at recording stars focused on Billy Ray Cyrus in 1995. No surprise, but plenty of comic book bloggers lob mullet jokes at this ill-conceived concept. In brief, Cyrus travels through time to battle ghosts and evil knights in this weird afterthought from his achy breaky heyday.
In addition to its Billy Ray Cyrus comic, Marvel Music issued a Marty Stuart book in 1995. At first glance, it looks ridiculous. Per a press release, Stuart’s “Marty Party in Space” involves “hillbilly aliens and rapper aliens, along with clowns, face painters and dozens of kids.” Considering Stuart’s love of popular culture probably ranks Lost in Space nearly as high as old-time country music, a little outer space silliness hardly seems out of character.
Blue Waters’ Fame series of graphic novels covers the biographies of popular stars. Among the musicians covered are Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood. The latter’s comic is from 2013 and covers her life and career up to that point. There’s no overblown story about fighting crime in space or anything like that. Instead, it’s a well-done nod to Underwood’s success, appropriate for younger readers in need of inspiration and representation.