The Simpsons might be a seemingly immortal television show, but they've also come a long way in the world of comics. Even though they've had more stories than any other family on television, there's still plenty of other stories to tell. With quite a few different comic series over the years, the first family of satire has had quite a few comic book adventures over the year, traveling throughout time and space, and even meeting up with some familiar faces.
We're looking at some of the funniest issues they've had over the years. And remember, since the ending of a story might just be its best part, beware of spoilers!
10 I'm Not in Springfield Anymore! Simpsons (Comics #111)
For a show as long in the tooth as The Simpsons, it was about time they finally did a parody of The Wizard of Oz. After Lisa gets knocked in the head with a baseball in this Halloween story, she dreams that she is somewhere over the rainbow and only the Wizard (Comic Book Guy) can help her get home. Homer is the Scarecrow, Bart is the Tin Boy, and the Marge is the other guy. Courage. Not enough of it. Needs some from what's-his-name.
The Wizard will only grant their wishes if they kill the wicked witch...Mr. Burns. Who else would it be? In the end, after her friends save her, Lisa realizes she had her family with her all along. That's not exactly a happy ending, but the shock is enough to wake her up. And if you're wondering what the heck this has to do with Halloween, just wait for the last joke.
9 Mr. Sparkle: Destroy All Manga! (Simpsons Comics #45)
Everyone's favorite advertising mascot, Mr. Sparkle, finally has the spin-off story we never knew we needed. After Mr. Sparkle helps a Japanese housewife clean up some dirty dishes, he learns that her mangaka husband is being attacked by a living ink monster, who summons parodies of some of the manga world's most famous characters. Or at least lawyer-friendly versions of them.
Unfortunately, Mr. Sparkle's power is a little too, well, powerful and ends up destroying the mangaka's hard work. But at least the world still has its hero in the war against uncleanliness.
8 An Anime Among Us! (Bart Simpson #12)
Mr. Sparkle could not be limited to one story in a world filled with uncleanliness. He transports Bart to a world where the people of Springfield actually get to become anime characters. Bart steps into the shoes of another perpetual 10-year-old, Ash Ketchum, but gets involved in a story where he has to save a kidnapped Queen (Marge), with the help of some wandering samurai (Homer and Maggie.)
If the real Maggie is such a good shot in the real world, her fantasy counterpart can sure take on a sword. In the end, the funniest part of the story is seeing Smithers embrace his inner magical girl.
7 Hans Across America (Simpsons Comics #167)
After seeing Ned Flanders about to burn a bunch of Han Christian Andersen books, Lisa decides to read them to convince him to give them another chance.
We start off with Marge as the Little Mermaid. That Disney movie is copyrighted so we have to make do with the version where the mermaid ends up turning into foam, but there's still a happy ending: Homer sure loves his foam. Bart's an Ugly Duckling who finds comfort in finding swans uglier than him. And there are even some takes on some lesser-known stories (including one where Lisa finally gives up vegetarianism after turning into a plant).
In the end, however, the Flanders family ends up getting scared and reading "Vegemite Tales." Because Australian food products are the literary craze just waiting to happen.
6 Lisa's Historical Dream (Bart Simpson #8)
When Lisa Simpson falls asleep while reading, she finds the town of Springfield getting invaded by strange historical figures, who all look like people who she knows and tolerates.
Between Homer turning into Queen Victoria and Ralph Wiggum becoming Marie Curie, there isn't much rhyme or reason with whose becoming who, but that's kind of the fun.
With the help of Bartilla the Hun, she discovers that Mr. Burns is bringing people from the past into the present as part of one of his new evil schemes. Their attempt to stop him backfires horribly with everyone turning into Mr. Burns. Of course, the whole thing was a dream. Or was it...
5 The Greatest D'oh! on Earth (Simpsons Comics #7)
When the circus comes to town, complete with promotional shovels, the Simpsons are all excited. Unfortunately, Bart gets grounded at the last second and Homer learns he was banned last year. Don't mock the clowns, people. They remember faces.
Well, if Homer and Bart can't join the audience, they can join the show. Promotional shovels are at stake, after all. The whole scheme blows up, but Bart is still a boy with many tricks.
4 A Trip to Simpsons Mountain (Simpsons Classics #8)
For this holiday story, Abe Simpson delights the family with a tale of Christmas past after the television blacks out. At a time when things were so tough, his mother wished the family could have some magic box that would bring everybody together, little Abe (being played by Bart) has to fetch his father somewhere in the winter snow for the holidays.
Between thinking his own grandmother was Zsa-Zsa Gabor and getting his family mixed up with both the Brady Bunch and the Partridge family, it's pretty clear Abe is getting confused. Luckily, he finds his father in an It's a Wonderful Life parody and all ends all. And by all ends well, the television comes back on, saving the day.
3 Homer Won't Squeal (Simpsons Comics #149)
The comics sometimes help the show address plotlines that were forgotten by the show. Remember Homer's pet pig Plopper? While he eventually returned to the show, there are still some issues left unanswered, like the little issue of him sort of being dead by the end of the movie.
Well, it turns out the family's beloved pig was just living in the local forest this whole time. Okay, it doesn't explain much, but it's something. In this adventure, Krusty learns that Plopper turned out to be his company's most popular mascot. If only he hadn't gotten rid of him! To get back his pig, he announces a million-dollar award to find the pig. So, now Homer has to fight to save his beloved pig from the money-hungry townspeople (all the while trying to win a contest for Springfield's most humiliated person.)
2 The Amazing Colossal Homer (Simpsons Comics #1)
Even if it's a cartoon, the world of The Simpsons usually has some sort of realism. Except on Halloween. The comics kind of let the Simpsons go nuts with their stories. In the first issue of Bongo's Simpsons Comics, Mr. Burns wants to use the power of nuclear science to turn himself into a living giant. But first, he needs a guinea pig...
As if Homer didn't already have enough problems with his weight (the B-plot is about him having to give up doughnuts), now he's outgrown the house and he's living large. Luckily, his underwear grew with him. Eventually, Burns' team comes up with an antidote and Homer even loses three pounds! Bring on the doughnuts!
1 The Futurama/Simpsons Infinitely Secret Crossover Crisis
Years before the cast of Futurama finally guest-starred on The Simpsons, they already met up with each other in comic book form. As you might recall on the show, The Simpsons actually exist as a show in the Futurama universe, so our crossover starts out with Fry reading up with his favorite yellow family in one of their antique (relatively speaking) comics. Thanks to those alien brains, the cast gets sucked into a story where Snowball II has been elected Springfield's new mayor.
In this two-part story, we get to see the cast bounce off each other. Homer finds a new drinking buddy in Bender, Leela beats up Lisa's schoolyard bullies, and, in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, Mr. Burns hits it off with Mom. Also, Amy kidnaps and impersonates Smithers. It makes just as much sense in context.