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Review: Simpsons One-Shot Wonders: Kang & Kodos

Simpsons One-Shot Wonders: Kang & Kodos #1
By Various
Bongo Comics; $3.99

As the Every Simpsons Ever marathon on FXX has so amply demonstrated, there are a lot of characters in the Simpsons universe, even if that universe is little more than a single small town somewhere in America. And many of the funniest, most fascinating of those characters aren’t among the five whose surname appears in the title of the show.

In the comics, as in the television show, those characters appear, sometimes somewhat frequently, but usually only long enough for a gag or so. Bongo Comics’ One-Shot Wonders series has attempted to give those characters some time in the spotlight, one one-shot at a time.

This time, it’s Kang and Kodos, the two massive, cycloptic, fanged, drooling tentacled space aliens that first appeared in the second season’s “Treehouse of Horror” episode, when a suspicious Lisa argues over the exact title of a very dusty cookbook they have aboard their ship. The pair have reappeared in every “Treehouse of Horror” episode since, even if only in cameo.

Can they carry their own comic book series? Sure they can! Especially if it’s only one for one issue!

Kang & Kodos #1 consists of three short gag stories and two smaller-still features.

The first story, by writer Ian Boothby and artist Jacob Chabot, finds Kodos about to serve Kang three human children—Bart, Nelson and Milhouse—because Earth children are “only half the calories of regular humans!” This leads to a fight over whether Kang is fat or not, and gives the boys an out, so long as they help the aliens lose weight.

The second is written and drawn by David DeGrand, and it departs most sharply from the TV show-derived house style seen in the rest of this issue’s stories. In it, K & K abduct Professor Frink, but not to eat him; rather, they want him to devise a method for cleaning up the puddles of drool all over their ship.

The third story is by writer Shane Houghton and artists John Delaney and Andrew Depoy. Riffing on the stereotype that it is only the ignorant, uneducated, and rural who ever seem to get abducted by aliens, “Hillbilly Abductshun” features our alien heroes trying to abduct Cletus and his extremely large family. It does not go well for the aliens.

The other features are a one-page advice column, written by Terry Delegeane and drawn by Jason Ho and Mike Rote, a teen magazine-style insert treating Kang and Kodos as if they were members of Five Seconds of Summer (“They may not have taken over Earth yet, but they sure have conquered our hearts!”) and a pair of bumper stickers, one reading “Don’t Blame Me…I Voted For Kang” and the other reading the same, if you replace the name “Kang” with “Kodos.”

Haloween, it seems, has come early this year.

J. Caleb Mozzocco About J. Caleb Mozzocco

J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.

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