Thursday, July 14, 2011

I, for one, would like a comic book about Elin, instead. (Thursday's Sporting Lists)

Did you hear that there's going to be an unauthorized biography of Tiger Woods, in comic book form? Titled "Fame: Tiger Woods," the bio comes from a company that's already immortalized Michelle Obama and Lady GaGa in 4-color format, and is a must-not-read for anyone who's not dying to see Elin as drawn by comic book nerds.

Having already once pointed out the NFL's ill-advised foray into comic book-dom, I am what you would call an "expert" on comic books/sports crossovers, if by expert you mean "someone who just looked some stuff up when he should have been working." And so here is my

List of Comic Books That Somehow Involved Sports:

1. Pep Morgan: How'd you like to be the guy replaced by Superman? Pep Morgan was a 1930s comic book version of Don Majikowski (you better get that reference!) or Wally Pipp (and that one): A young athlete who starred in his own comic book series, typically about Pep's playing in team sports, until one day they renamed the series Action Comics, which, with Issue 1, saw Pep kicked out of the series in favor of superheroes, and relegated to a series that lasted only 3 more years.

2. Babe Ruth Sports: Beginning in 1949, the year after the Babe died, this series featured real-life sports heroes in both real and fictional situations.

3. Superman v. Muhammad Ali:
The title, like the cake, is a lie*

*Note: I don't know what The cake is a lie means. I just like to say it.
In that the real fight in this 72-page comic released in 1978 isn't between Ali and Superman; the two only fought because Ali is revealed to be opposed to immigrants taking good Americans' jobs, a stance that is revealed when an alien leader threatens to invade Earth unless its greatest champion beats the aliens' champion in a boxing match. Both Superman and Ali volunteer, but Ali objects that Superman is (a) not from Earth, and (b) has super powers. To decide who gets to fight, Ali and Superman face off, but first Superman has to temporarily deprive himself of his powers, and then Ali has to teach Superman how to box. To nobody's surprise, Ali's teaching leaves something to be desired, and he beats Superman, only to then realize that the alien he's facing has super powers.

Along the way, Earth is almost invaded and Ali learns Superman's secret identity. But Ali wins somehow, too. And it's revealed that aliens are super-tricky: Superman, see, had destroyed the alien's real armada, but then, in a double-cross, the aliens decide to invade anyway, using their backup armada -- a ploy no other armada-using race had ever thought up. I'm surprised that history's tactical geniuses never thought to build two armadas and/or to read DC Comic Books instead of Sun Tzu's The Art Of War.

4. Comic Book Heroes:
Technically, not a comic book at all, the band "Comic Book Heroes" song "Move Out Of The Way" was chosen by ESPN as the featured song for their NASCAR coverage for 2010.





5.
The Guardians: Not that long ago, the NHL and Stan Lee's entertainment group came up with an idea: Make a full new group of Superheroes, one for each NHL team, and then, for each superhero, have "a creative concept that organically and authentically incorporates various NHL elements but is not set in the world of hockey."

Which makes you wonder -- if it's not hockey based, why bother tying it into the NHL? What's the comic-book/hockey corporate synergy that spawned this beast?

But then, before you can wonder that long, you go to The Guardian Project home page, where you can find all 30 Guardians and their bios, and you can find, in particular,


The Blue:





In case you can't read that bio without enlarging the picture, let me summarize: The Blue wears a living trenchcoat and plays a telepathic, mind-controlling saxophone.

But there's also

The Duck:




A wet-suit wearing surfing inventor.

But my favorite Guardian, of the three I read about, is

The Maple Leaf:


A
gentle giant whose main superpower is being immobile, but whose secondary powers are grabbing innocent people and/or shooting sticky sap at them. He's like Lenny from Of Mice And Men, if Lenny were gross.

5 comments:

Rogue Mutt said...

Wow, if that's their superhero it's no wonder the Maple Leafs haven't won the Cup since 1967. So I bet the Red Wings one has red wings? And should hail from Sweden.

It would be more of a Pep/Majkowski parallel if Pep wound up being bounced from a main comic book and wound up in the back pages of some third-rate comic, like how Majkowski wound up backup quarterbacking the Lions in 1995 I think it was. I really need to look that up for my Lions preview article.

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