A few weeks ago while manning the comic shop , I came across something I never though I would see, a relic from long ago. It was hidden off to the side of the “new Comics!” shelf; on the top rack just beyond the new lead figures of the week. What was this mystical artifact that kidnapped my attention?
An Earthworm Jim action figure.
For those of you who don’t know, Earthworm Jim was the start of two phenomenal video games for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis systems. Essentially a way for Playmates Toys to start their own franchise, the game saw Jim, a lowly Earthworm, gain the use of an intergalactic battle suit. Using said suit, he sets off to save Princess-What’s-Her-Name from the evil Psy-Crow, while traversing strange planets throughout the galaxy. From there, Jim starred in an even better sequel (which is my favorite game of all time), a cartoon series, toys, and even a (short-lived) Marvel comic.
But then Jim hit hard times. Earthworm Jim 3-D tanked, and a failed return to form caused the once-awesome character to lay dormant. His once high-selling figures now relegated to the bargain bin. Long have I hoped for the return of the Earthworm, and with the rerelease of his first adventure on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network last year, I started to get excited. Too excited. Surely this must mean he’s coming back, right?
While that question remains unanswered, I now have yet another piece of evidence that Earthworm Jim is returning. Why would a new action figure be released if there was nothing coming up in the future? There have been whispers on the interwebs about Earthworm Jim 4; however, everyone who previously worked on the series now works at different companies. But while I may not get a new Earthworm Jim game anytime soon, how about a comic? IDW would be perfect to usher in the Earthworm to a new generation, and their push could inspire the creators to really get behind a new installment.
This is all a pipe dream of course. The figure was probably commissioned as a one off, a random property they had left over. Or it was created to torment fans like me. Regardless, seeing that figure brought me back to a simpler time, just like whenever I replay those games.