Here's a badly kept secret about me: I love Shaquille O'Neal. Always have. I taste-tested every flavor of Soda Shaq, for crying out loud. Ask me to tell you about my never-written script for Caddy-Shaq someday.

Dark Horse editor Jim Gibbons and writer/artist Ethan Young clearly feel the same way. As a palate cleanser to cheer themselves up after collaborating on Young's amazing-looking --- but also emotionally draining --- forthcoming graphic novel Nanjing the Burning City, the two teamed up for another, wholly different project in which the Shaq of 1993 is convinced by former Charlotte Hornet Larry Johnson in the guise of Grandmama (remember Grandmama?) to spring ahead to the year 2030 to challenge a mysterious dictator to a game of one-on-one for the fate of the world.

You thought the NCAA championship game was big? This is bigger.

It's silly as heck. Harry Potter and a Charles Barkley with a cyborg arm are in it. It's clearly the result of two fellows who love basketball and the often-goofy sports culture of the '90s just having some fun and making a quick, nine-page comic. As a result, it's fantastic.

Not since Barkley dunked on Godzilla has a comics b-ball matchup been so enthralling. Here's the star of Kazaam and Steel himself:


For a very different taste of Ethan Young's work, Nanjing the Burning City is out in August from Dark Horse, and tells the story of two Chinese soldiers trapped in the city of Nanjing by the invading Imperial Japanese Army during the Nanjing Massacre of 1937. Check back with ComicsAlliance in the coming weeks for an advance review of that book.