X-Men at the State Fair: 5 Times Dallas Appeared in Comics

Danger in Dallas!
Danger in Dallas! courtesy Marvel

Comic book stories can take place in any location imaginable; the only constraints are the writer’s imagination. With all those possibilities to set a story, it’s surprising how many times the chosen location is Dallas. Dallas is a city of culture and history, but it’s hard to compare it to the moody streets of Gotham City or the Underwater Kingdom of Atlantis.

All the same, Dallas deserves its own superhero. That hasn't happened, but we’ve had a few visit. So if you always dreamed of seeing a superhero in Dallas and you don’t count that crazy neighbor who wears a cape, this is the list for you.

Spider-Man Dallas Times Herald Giveaway Series
In 1981, the Dallas Times Herald included a five-part series of Spider-Man comics in its paper as an advertising supplement sponsored by Sanger Harris. If you were born within the last 30 years, the only thing you understood in that sentence was Spider-Man, but basically they were free comics to lure children into department stores.

Dallas was an interesting choice to bring Spider-Man. He swings around buildings to get places, so most crime would need to happen within a four-block radius of downtown. In the series, Spider-Man and the Hulk fight crime in Texas Stadium, go to the Dallas ballet, meet the Dallas Cowboys and enjoy the lowest prices with the highest quality at Sanger Harris. Each issue was full length with puzzles and activity pages in addition to the story.

If kept in near mint condition, the most valuable comic in the series, issue No. 3 featuring cover art from legend John Romita, is worth an estimated 8 whopping dollars.

click to enlarge COURTESY MARVEL
courtesy Marvel

Uncanny X-Men at the State Fair of Texas
The X-Men have long battled evil in a world that hates and fears them, but in 1983, they battled ridiculous prices for fried dough at the State Fair of Texas.

In the comic, the X-Men are sent to recruit a new mutant named Danny at the state fair, but the villainous Magneto finds the mutant first, and they fight over who gets to have him. If you’re thinking to yourself right now, “I don’t remember a guy named Danny next to Wolverine in the movies,” it’s because this is only appearance. This mutant Danny was so important that an entire team of superheroes flew to Dallas from New York to fight their arch-nemesis in a crowded thoroughfare, and he’s never mentioned again. His power, by the way, is that he’s half-horse and has some wings.

Although the X-Men wasted a trip, Professor X is taken with the spectacle, saying, “It’s obvious that this fair has too much to see in just one day! We’ll have to return tomorrow starting at the Cotton Bowl.”

"Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys"
Published by Spire Christian Comics in 1971, "Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys" tells the story of Tom Landry and how his faith in God helped him lead the Dallas Cowboys to success. The book is full of inspirational quotes, such as when Landry says, “Regardless of what I read in the paper, I knew God was preparing us for the Super Bowl.”

Al Hartley, the artist known for his work in Archie comics, did the artwork for the issue. Most of Spire Christian's books were religious-based or inspired for younger readers, including titles about Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark and one called "Hello I’m Johnny Cash."

This one-shot title is worth $8-$10. The issues that Jerry Jones bought to draw himself into every panel hold no value.

courtesy Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks Full Throttle
In 2003, the company Ultimate Sports Entertainment struck a licensing deal to produce and sell an action adventure comic starring the Dallas Mavericks. The comics were sold exclusively at Walmart, and the first 3,000 fans at a March 22, 2003, Mavericks game received a special American Airlines Center edition.

The one-shot issue featured players such as Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Michael Finley, with appearances from Dallas media legends like Dale Hansen and the late Kidd Kraddick. In the comic, a monster called Gargamon is discovered living in tunnels underneath Dallas with plans to spread illiteracy all over the city. The Dallas Mavericks, dressed in super suits provided by Mark Cuban, fight the beast in an epic battle. No spoilers on the ending, but if you can’t read this, Gargamon won.

Issues are fairly easy to find, which lowers their value, but books signed by Mark Cuban have gone for as much as $200.

The TV show Dallas in a newspaper comic strip
In the 1980s, the television show Dallas was such a hit that it even got a syndicated comic strip in newspapers. On the same page, you could read about Garfield sleeping, a kid from Family Circus saying something not funny and J.R. Ewing brokering a corrupt land deal.

All the characters from Dallas were featured in the strip, with likenesses of Patrick Duffy, Larry Hagman and Victoria Principal re-created for fans who couldn’t get enough of the show. The strip maintained its popularity for a prolonged run from 1981-84.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.