Caricatures of celebrities aren't exactly anything new in the world of comics -- I'm particularly fond of a 1984 issue of Fury of Firestorm where Killer Frost goes on a crime spree to attract the attention of Curt Nolland, the DC Universe equivalent of Smokey and the Bandit era Burt Reynolds -- but occasionally, things go a step too far. Like, say, when two separate companies arrive at the same, shamelessly obvious joke, and decide to run with it at the same time.

Such is the case with the painful Justin Beaver, which is apparently a pun so funny that both Archie Comics and Antarctic Press are putting out books about it soon. We might as well pack it in now, guys: Comics are pretty much over.For those of you wondering if this might represent a new career choice for former University of Wisconsin running back Justin Beaver -- who has got to be cursing the name his parents hung on him at this point -- I'm sad to report that this is not the case. Instead, these are stories lampooning 16 year-old Canadian pop idol Justin Bieber, whose rise to international fame is based on equal parts catchy songs and a haircut that looks like it could withstand anything short of an exploding shell.

It's the hairstyle that has inspired a nation. Or at least, ComicsAlliance editor Caleb Goellner, who insists that he "had it first."

Either way, Antarctic Press, whose entire output over the past few years has slowly shifted to nonsensical attempts at mashing up Internet trends with blind stabs at cultural relevance in stuff like Steampunk Palin, a comic book that -- against all laws of probability and common sense -- actually exists. And this time, Ben Dunn (creator of Ninja High School) has grabbed onto the easiest joke they could make and dragged it kicking and screaming straight into the Uncanny Valley:

To be fair, this isn't just perfectly in character for Antarctic's downward spiral, it actually makes more sense than their last high profile effort at furrying up a celebrity, Obamouse, in which a mouse modeled after the President of the United States fought the evil avian terrorists of Owl Caida.

Again, and I cannot stress this enough, these are comic books that actually exist.

Of course, Obamouse was a Nick Fury-esque super-spy, so one only wonders what fresh lunacy they've cooked up for Bieber. Admittedly, on the cover it looks like he's still a musician, albeit one who's rocking out on lead guitar, although I cannot imagine this will go down without a scene where he's forced to wail out some tunes by slapping the guitar with his truly disturbing tail.

At least the Archie book looks to be taking a slightly different tact:

Announced today on MTV Geek, the Justin Beaver that's appearing in Archie & Friends #155 is less furry and more "funny animal," although throwing him in with a bunch of otherwise normal kids presents its own problems. Namely, the fact that out of all the cast, only Archie and Reggie seem creeped right the heck out by the fact that everyone's way into a four foot tall singing forest animal in what your grandparents would consider to be "hippity hop"clothes, wearing something that's halfway between Mystical Amulet and Flavor Flav.

I'd be a little worried too, Li'l Archie.

Admittedly, "Beaver" is an easy joke -- and the source of plenty of easy jokes I can't make here at ComicsAlliance, I assure you -- and the actual singer's Canadian archetype only makes it more appealing, but come on. Go the extra step. You could have him be Justin Beaker, who croons about science projects! Or maybe even Justin Beeper, whose auto-tuned voice sounds like Archie's new ringtone!

Sure, beepers are a bit of a dated reference, but, well, it's Archie, after all. And c'mon. "Justin Beaver?" You guys are better than that.

And you, Antarctic, you're... well. Carry on, I guess.

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