Comics Entertainment

Super Comics for the Super Bowl?

Perhaps not, if Marvel’s infamous NFL SuperPro comic is any example.

NFL SuperPro debuted in 1991 with a stand-alone special and ran 12 more issues, but it was not considered successful. The first few issues were written by Fabian Nicieza, co-creator of the popular Deadpool character with Rob Liefeld. Even now, Nicieza admits it was an embarrassment, though it did get him some free football tickets. “I just wanted Jets tickets,” Nicieza quipped.

The hero of the series was ex-NFL player Phil Grayfield, who wears a super, indestructible football uniform to fight crime. For the first few issues, he only fights football-oriented crime, which was rather limited in scope.

Later another writer, not Nicieza, penned an issue of NFL SuperPro that created controversy and had to be pulled from the newsstands, which could not have helped sales much.

Marvel attempted to team NFL SuperPro with other popular heroes such as Spider-Man, who guest-starred in the debut issue, and Captain America in issue #8, to no avail.

The series was cancelled after 12 issues, which is a long run considering the modern-day practice of cancellation after 5-6 issues if a comic doesn’t take off. Sadly, there have been few, if any, other comicbook crossovers with the NFL before or since.

However, not all collaborations between the NFL and Marvel were a disappointment. In 2015, Marvel worked with NFL.com to present a fun take on the 32 National Football League team helmets. Though these models were only concept art and never actually manufactured or worn, we can still see the fun the artist had creating them.

Just imagine, with these alternate helmet designs we’d get a Super Bowl LIV featuring the San Francisco Ironmen at the Kansas City Spideys! Wouldn’t that be Marvel-ous?