As we are less than a week away from my beloved New England Patriots playing in the Super Bowl I decided to pull out a comic book series that celebrated everything that makes
comic books and football so awesome. But since I couldn't find
anything like that, I pulled out my collection of NFL SUPER PRO and read some 'interesting'comics.
Created as a way to combine the popularity of comic books, cards and sports, NFL SUPER PRO from Marvel told the story of Phil Grayfield, a can't miss football prospect that destroyed his knee (and ultimately his sports career) saving a child from a fall.
Written by Fabian Nicieza, the series was filled with silly sports cliches and seemed even then that this was just a cash grab like many of the comic books released in the 1990's.
But as reread the series (all 12 issued and a special) I found it to be not only enjoyable and a tad cringe-worthy, but a series with a little bit of heart and a whole lotta fun.
Licensed by the NFL, SUPER PRO would battle crime wearing a superhero version of the typical NFL uniform. He would battle villains like Instant Replay and Sanction and would always end a story with a football inspired line like "his wave of crime ended with a fumble" or "you just ran out of time".
Many have considered this series the worst comic of all time (Chicago Sports Review in 2005) and Nicieza still hears this from fans, but when i read it again I found as fun as 90's comics like MARRIED WITH CHILDREN and NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK. They won't ever be mistaken for MARVELS or WATCHMEN, but they capture a unique time in comics.