Monday, October 03, 2011

Superheroes go better with Baseball

...or perhaps that's the other way around. No matter Just recently I came across a pair of Marvel specialty comics that were produced in association with Major League Baseball.

Now, before I go too far, let me digress for just a moment. Marvel Comics — on occasion — will license out its characters to different corporations and companies for “Specialty Comics.” These comics will promote either a product (Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Pizza Hut) or a pro-social idea or agenda (American Cancer Society, literacy, stopping abuse against children). Over the years, the company has produced quite a number of them, making them among the coolest of collectibles for funnybook fans like your’s truly.

Anyways, as I started to say, I recently came across a bunch of comics that Marvel produced in association with Major League Baseball in both 2007 & 2008. These comics were apparently distributed in the 29 Triple-A ball clubs around the U.S. (and one in Canada). Many (if not all) of the ball clubs had variant covers produced for their own club, making well, some 60 comics produced over the two-year period. (Rumor has it that there might have been additional comics produced in subsequent years, but we’ve, as yet, been able to discover them.)

In both years, the stories revolve around several of the Marvel Superheroes attending a Triple-A ball game in their civilian identities, and then having to stop some sort of incident as their Superhero self. Naturally enough the heroes include the usual suspects (The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Spider-Man, The Hulk, and others).

In the first year (2007) Sandman started an incident that set off Bruce “The Hulk” Banner, causing to become his green angry self, necessitating Tony “Iron Man” Stark, Peter “Spider-Man” Parker and others to stop Hulk from ruining everyone’s game. Issue #2 (2008), it is The Mole Man who is angry that MLB rejected his bid for an expansion team on Monster Island that would be staffed by his mole-creatures. Thankfully the FF, Spidey, and Iron Man are able to convince him that attending a Triple-A game is much more fun than destroying the fields (which is what he was planning on doing).

Needless to say, the comics are light, breezy, and well, just plain fun. Something that kids of all ages, baseball fans, and funnybook aficionados alike would enjoy. So, if you were to camp out in the online auction sites, you’ll more than likely find them, and hopefully score some of your own.

Fair warning, they can get to be a bit pricey, so unless you are a total completest-geek, we’re going to suggest that you simply purchase one of each year (certainly try to get your favorite team), but know that, all 30 variants from each year, while the do sport different covers, the insides are the same for each respective year.

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