Mr. T #1 is the debut issue of a comic series published by APComics, written by Chris Bunting, and illustrated by Neil Edwards and Randy Emberlin. Its creative supervisor was Mr. T and it was published in 2005.
To the refrain of Teddy Bears' Picnic, we are introduced to a grim urban world where a young man lies overdosing. A doctor wants to treat him, and his friends admit that he is overdosing on Staz-9, a fictional steroid that is causing problems in the neighborhood. The doctor is concerned but is being intimidated by the pushers of this deadly drug. What is he to do?
Go and read the title.
Of course the solution is easy: he has to find Mr. T, who has apparently gone into hiding after a prison term for a crime he did not commit. Although he is still worshipped, Mr. T is jaded about trying to fight crime in a grim, uncaring world. Will the Doctor be able to talk Mr. T into coming out of retirement and taking up the mantle of a crimefighter?
What type of comic series would this be if the answer was anything but "Yes!". At least I am assuming that is the answer, since this issue leaves on a cliffhanger.
Plot being explained, let me put this issue in some context. In Homestuck, Dave Strider uses Mr. T as the archetype of something that is not cool, and not cool in an ironic way, but that can be cool when given sufficient degrees of irony. This comic was published in 2005, over twenty years of the explosion of Mr. T into popular culture, and at least five years after the rediscovery of Mr. T as a kitsch figure via Mr. T ate my balls, etc. I can't tell what level of irony this comic is written at. Especially since, other than the somewhat stereotypical character of Mr. T as a tough guy with a heart of gold, the comic is well produced. It is on good paper, with a wraparound cover and no advertisements. The art is good and very cinematographic. The writing is well done, if clichéd. So a lot of effort went into this, which is somewhat disappointing since I don't know how much mileage can be gotten out of the entire Mr. T tough guy with a heart of gold thing, especially in this century.
Part of reading comic books for me is the economics of it. At a listed price of $3.50, this comic is about a third the price of a paperback book, but as a comic it only takes about ten minutes to read. Spending $3.50 to view Mr. T to search his heart for his feelings seems to be an unwise move. And to spend $3.50 to ironically do so makes one a fool. I came across this comic because it was in a grab bag of random comics at The Dollar Tree. While someone going out of their way to purchase this is trying vainly to be cool, as a found item for fifty cents, it is the epitome of cool pop cultural discovery.