You’d think Sports and Comic Books would be natural enemies, and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. But from the X-Men regularly playing baseball games throughout the ’90s to frequent attempts at WWE comic books, the funnybook industry hasn’t shied away from more athletic pursuits… Though usually with less than savory results. Here are five times sports and comic books went together like peanut butter and something that’s not jelly:
While you’d think the most ridiculous part of this comic was that one of the title characters could punch through the other one, you’d be wrong: the two come to blows when alien invaders want to see who is the better fighter, so THAT guy can go ahead and fight their alien champion. We like to think they would have talked rather than fought. On the plus side, Ali figures out something in 72 pages it took Lois Lane decades to decipher: that Superman is secretly Clark Kent. Now that’s some sweet science.
4. Sport Billy
A semi-popular European comic that was later made into a cartoon for NBC, Sport Billy started out on the planet of Olympus, where everyone played sports and was awesome at them. Then Billy had to escape to Earth to evade an evil queen, so naturally he decided to travel through time on Earth, playing sports throughout history with his talking dog. We swear we’re not making this up, too.
3. NFL Superpro
When NFL Superpro – arguably the worst comic ever created – is number three on your list, you know you’re in the land of very bad comics. And NFL Superpro is very, very bad, featuring a former football player and sports reporter who’s given amazing football playing powers after getting covered in radioactive sports memorabilia. Actually, now that we think of it, that was Eli Manning’s origin, too.
2. Strange Sports Stories
Originally a feature in DC Comics’ Brave and the Bold, this title was eventually spun out into its own series, then cancelled after six issues. Highlights of both series include “Challenge of the Headless Baseball Team,” where invisible aliens wearing baseball uniforms try to invade Earth; “To Beat The Devil,” where Satan puts together his own All-Star team of evil baseball players; and one where a bunch of knights play football in full armor. Cool.
1. Super Sluggers
Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza, Ken Caminiti, and Ken Griffey, Jr. head off to an alien planet to play baseball for the fate of humanity. Overly violent for a fun comic handed out at baseball games, and unfortunately marred by the fact that three fourths of the team were rumored to be… Well, let’s say they there was a lot of talk they were using “alien juice” to get their “superpowers” from “anabolic steroids.” Last part may not have been a metaphor.
Alex recently snuck a peek at this summer’s Before Watchmen prequels! Find out which ones he recommended. –>