The Super Bowl is almost upon us, and you can practically feel the rustle of energy in the air. For many nerds, though, this Sunday's matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts means absolutely nothing. While every other member of the family is grunting and oh-ing at the action from Miami, they'll probably be thumbing through their comics and thanking genetics from sparing them from idiocy. Is it because jocks beat them up? They could never play football because of a brittle septum and concave chest?
No. They just don't like false advertising. Super Bowl? There's nothing super about it. Nobody has heat vision or superspeed, nobody teleports or duplicates himself or phases through another player. And that, sir, is not a Super Bowl. It's a Performance-Enhanced Bowl at best.
We at ComicsAlliance couldn't take it anymore. The misleading name. The complete and utter lack of cross-dimensional entities. The sheer hubris of those bastards, thinking they're super! We'll show you super, NFL. Compiled below are our choices and scouting reports for the Big Two dream teams, who we will pitch in battle in an epic computer-simulated clash to decide who is truly super! It's Marvel vs DC, kiddies. Seven-on-seven on a mile-long field, with no wimpy punting or flying allowed. At stake: market share. If you thought the Laff-a-Lympics were wild, strap in, Gladice, because we're on a crazy train to Awesomeville.
DC: Booster Gold
That's right, haterz. Still high off of saving the multiverse in "52," former Gotham University star Michael Jon Carter – aka Booster Gold – gets a chance to redeem himself. BG has good footwork, a rocket arm, and is just cocky enough to get away with things he shouldn't. Can be flighty at times, and doesn't like to get hit, but provides any fake meta-team with the chance to win. And he promises, promises not to throw the game.
Marvel: Captain America
Um, natch. Who else besides Steve Rogers could lead the All-Marvel squad? With his keen vision and honed instincts, Cap is the Joe Montana of the UEFL (Useless Excursions Football League), setting the gold standard for every other comic character inexplicably turned quarterback. As Wesley Snipes once almost said, "Always bet on Cap."
How'd that green wall taste, blitzers? How bout those yard-long needles that popped up outta nowhere? Or the ball bearing cloud? I mean, did you really think you were gonna touch my Quarterback?
Yeah. That's what Hal Jordan thought.
At 800-plus pounds of solid rock, Ben Grimm is tougher than nails and as loyal as the day is long (loyal to the 24th power-ed.). Unfortunately, his in-game banter is just above mentally challenged. He yells "It's clobberin' time!" on every snap. At one point he actually said "Don't even try blitzing, numbskulls, or something something my Aunt Petunia."
With his Tasmanian Devil-like abilities, Red Tornado has touchdown potential every time he gets the ball. Tacklers don't know whether to go low or high, and typically get bounced off with an infuriating sound effect. And with the proper programming, our little android will have only one thing on his mind: "GIVE ME THE ROCK."
Agile, athletic, quick and smart, Prince T'Challa of Wakanda can juke tacklers out of their boots, bowl them over, or stymie them with a wicked hard math problem. Bone-crushing defenders are no problem for a man with the reflexes of a cat. Rumors of Vibranium-spiked shoes and pacts with panther deities unconfirmed.
DC: Wonder Woman, Jay Garrick, Beast Boy, Steel
At over six feet tall and quick as hell, Wonder Woman has all the skills to be a dominant wideout. Willing to take a big hit to make a big catch. Drafting Wally West or Barry Allen would be totally unfair, and Coach Superman don't play it like that. To even things out, we have the Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick. Still super-fast and athletic at 70-something years. When he can remember the routes, that is. At Tight End, John Henry Irons provides a solid short receiver and fierce run-blocker. Beast Boy provides lots of matchup difficulties in the slot – have you ever tried covering a spider monkey?
Marvel: Marvel Boy, Nightcrawler, Spider-Man, Thor
Opting for hands and agility rather than size and speed, Marvel's receivers provide big plays after the catch and always make the difficult grab. With Marvel Boy's muscular routes across the middle and Nightcrawler's ability to get open deep, Spider-Man fits perfectly in the slot, taking short passes deep every time he gets his sticky little hands on the ball. At TE, Thor is a strong blocker and decent receiver, but tends to cause problems in the locker room by demanding sacrifices of livestock and wenches. There's always one bad apple.
DC: Lobo, Orion, Deathstroke
Or, as they prefer to be called, "Wham," "Bam," and "Thank you, ma'am." Orion is an absolute monster on the blitz, and despite his depth-perception impediment, Deathstroke is a chillingly astute option in the middle. As the enforcer, Lobo obliterates anyone he comes into contact with. Then violates their corpse.
Marvel: Luke Cage, Wolverine, The Punisher
DC: Green Arrow, Blue Beetle, Batman, Robin
Green Arrows cover method is different – standing in one place and using trick arrows to break up the play – but effective. With the scarab at his command, Jaime Reyes is the definition of a shutdown corner, always adapting to the wide receiver's moves. With Robin (Tim Drake) as a nimble free safety, and defensive captain Batman (Bruce Wayne) as a terrifying presence over the middle, the All-DC defense is a continuity to be reckoned with.
Marvel: Daredevil, Longshot, Reed Richards, Iron Fist
The corner tandem of Daredevil and Longshot is easily the most fearsome in all of Fairytale Land. With his echo-location and deceptive speed, DD absolutely blankets his assignments with Catholic guilt. Longshot is somehow in on every play. Leads the league in interceptions (997) and fumbles (997). At strong safety, Iron Fist is quick and merciless, disrupting plays and laying the wood with his mysterious Tackle of the House of Broken Cranes. At free safety, "Mister Fantastic" is not only the smartest man on the field; he's capable of making plays all over it. Kiiind of a dick.
Marvel defeats DC 1,096 to 1,095 on a missed extra point by substitute kicker Deathstroke. Combined yards: 496,421. Civilian deaths: 49.
[Graphics by Caleb Goellner]