6:53am PT by Graeme McMillan
Read the Justice League/TNT NBA All-Star Comic a Day Ahead of Release (Exclusive)
DC Entertainment’s Justice League has some new members — TNT’s Inside the NBA hosts Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, who team up with superheroes Superman, Batman, the Flash and Wonder Woman for a special promotional comic book exclusively debuting on The Hollywood Reporter ahead of its release this Wednesday.
The limited-edition The Justice League Goes Inside the NBA All Star 2015 pairs the TNT hosts with the Justice Leaguers in a race to see which partnership can make it from the Barclays Center to Madison Square Garden first — of course, the race doesn’t go entirely to plan, as you could probably expect given the appearance of the Man of Steel and fellow heroes.
“NBA All-Star is a tent pole event for Turner Sports and we continually look for unique opportunities to place a spotlight on all of its marquee events,” Jeff Mirman, vice president of marketing, Turner Sports, told THR. “This partnership with DC Entertainment showcases some of the brightest stars within the Time Warner family — from TNT's Inside the NBA team of Ernie, Charles, Kenny and Shaq to other pop culture icons Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Flash, we believe fans of both will enjoy this special edition comic.”
Longtime fans of DC will enjoy seeing Shaq team up with Superman once again, following up on O’Neal’s appearance as one-time Superman sidekick John Henry Irons in the 1997 Warners movie Steel. Similarly, Justice League Goes Inside the NBA All Star 2015 sees a return for Charles Barkley to comic books after his 1993 Dark Horse Comics release Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley. (Smith and Johnson can breath a sign of relief — or is that jealousy? — that neither have any similar skeletons in their closet.)
Other TNT commentators get in on the act in the issue, with Kristen Ledlow, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber and Marv Albert making appearances.
In addition to the comic book’s release (free of charge) in stores across New York City, a digital version will be available via nba.com and bleacherreport.com. The official release date is Jan. 21, but THR has the entire issue below.
TNT’s live NBA All-Star coverage includes Feb. 13’s BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, Feb 14’s State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and the 2015 NBA All-Star Game itself on Feb. 15.