I remember many years ago… Marvel brought wrestling to comics. Because of the popularity and obvious entertainment element, it worked – for a while. The problem was that there were very little stories to tell. Fast forward to 2012 and the highlight here is UFC, which basically is super-hero fighting with the super-hero component. IDW has announced that the first book to follow the UFC trend is now coming to print.

Mixed Martial Arts Comic JOE PALOOKA is
In Stores Now!

San Diego, CA (December 19, 2012) – The wait for mixed martial arts and comic book fans is over, as the brand-new full-length, full-color MMA comic JOE PALOOKA debuts online via comiXology and in comic book stores across the U.S.A. today, December 19th, 2012. Creator Joe Antonacci promises UFC fans that they will see two familiar faces staring back at them when they look at the back cover of issue #1.

In yet another sign of the massive mainstream popularity of MMA and the UFC, IDW, one of the largest publishers of comics in America, whose top-selling comic book titles include G.I. Joe, Transformers, True Blood, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Godzilla, and the award-winning 30 Days of Night is the force bringing the MMA comic Joe Palooka to fans everywhere.

“I can’t believe we have the book online and in stores everywhere. After sponsoring top fighters like Johnny Hendricks, Jimmy Hettes, Brendan Schaub, and Dan Miller over the past two years, which made MMA fans aware that the book was coming, this represents a huge moment for me,” stated JOE PALOOKA creator Joe Antonacci. “To sign on with a tremendous publisher like IDW, which gave us the opportunity to bring Joe Palooka to comic book and MMA fans worldwide is a tremendous opportunity. We plan to expand our relationship with them by having UFC fighters appear in the comic book as well.”

“Team Palooka is bringing a ton of fire and energy to this book and we think it’ll really strike a chord with comic fans and MMA fans alike,” said IDW’s Chief Creative Officer and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall

The Joe Palooka comic series tells the story of Joe Palooka, an MMA fighter who travels the world desperately trying to clear his name while fighting to earn a spot in the legendary “Legion of Combat,” fight series that features team matches between fighters representing countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Russia, Japan, China, and other nations.

Antonacci added, “I’d also like to thank all of those who helped make today possible, including our advertisers, JACO and Authentic Sports Management, Azad Watches, Pete Morgan and Peerless Boilers, Dragon Door Kettle Bells, and KettlebellKing.com. Of course, Ted Adams, Chris Ryall, and Greg Goldstein from IDW, as well as Ed Catto and Heidi McDonald for their guidance, and my Team Palooka crew: writer Mike Bullock, artist Fernando Peniche, letterer Josh Aitken, and colorist Bob Pedroza.”

“And the comic book has realistic MMA action throughout thanks to our MMA technical consultant, Phil Ross,” concluded Antonacci.

So it looks like we can expect to see something that sounds like super-hero-meets-Mortal-Kombat in terms of the fight series they mention (and I’m thinking the original Mortal Kombat movie than anything…).

What do you think? Will a MMA-based comic succeed? Will you pick it up?