Oh. Ooooooh. Oooooh nooooooooo
Yeah. Here we are. The ultimate article. There is no physical way I will ever top this. I am at the peak of my creative potential. Get ready for
Are you ready? Wrong. You’re not ready. You have no idea how not ready you are. Forget everything you ever learned about being ready, as well as superheroes, sports, and the medium of comic books as we know it. You know what? Screw it. Forget everything. Just clear out your head, because you’re about to replace everything you know with the god like levels of hype that occur when NFL Superpro does anything, such as exist. Do you know how batshit crazy this character is? His Marvel wiki barely even exists. It’s just a bunch of links to sources for an article that doesn’t even exist, which means that I had to not only scour the internet for more research sources, but I had to go back and read every single one of his comic book appearances, and I’m not even upset about that. Do you suffer from erectile dysfunction? Not anymore, because you just thought of NFL Superpro, and now your junk has mystical qualities. Seriously, don’t have sex, you’ll kill your partner unless they have also thought of NFL Superpro beforehand. Your genitals are the harbinger of the apocalypse, and un-Superpro-ed crotches stand to be obliterated by yours.
Fact: NFL Superpro is the single greatest thing to have ever happened, ever.
Get set. Sit down, make sure you have 911 on speed dial in case your head explodes, because that is highly likely when you talk, read, or even consider thinking about NFL Superpro. If you are pregnant, have back pain, or any form of epilepsy, don’t read this article unless you want to, respectively: give birth to the future messiah, have vertebrae that are quite literally do strong for the rest of your body, or want the surges of electricity in your brain that cause epilepsy fits to manifest as lightning powers.
Without further ado… Let’s fake an education in comics.
I Have Literally Never Been This Hyped in my Life
SCENARIO: There is no possible scenario that could not be overcome by a several hour long rant about NFL Superpro. I don’t care who you are or what you’re talking to someone about, it will get better. Let’s go.
Step One: Get Set to Get Decked
I have no idea what’s happening on this cover. But you know what? It’s awesome.
Do you see that champion of men up there? That perfect, impossible adonis? That’s NFL Superpro. But he wasn’t always that God, that Cadillac of men. He used to a football player like any other by the name of Phil Grayfield, a man who was damn good at the game. And I don’t just mean the game of football. I mean the game… of life. He was critically injured saving a small child from a car or something, but who cares about that, because in no part of that story is he being NFL Superpro. After retiring from football due to his hero injury, he became a sports reporter, because apart from professional domestic abuser or dog fight champion, that’s the only career possible for a former pro football player. One day, while interviewing a fan of his, he is shown a bizarre collector’s item: a weird-ass football uniform. Also, the fan is a chemist of some kind? Look, comics are weird, especially when they’re blatant merchandising tie ins. Anyways, someone immediately bursts in to rob the fan (the superfan, if you will), causing a… fire? It’s unclear. I think the fire may have also been one of the robbers, honestly.
Phil was incapacitated due to not yet being the savior of all mankind, and whilst stumbling around in the blaze, he knocked over some chemicals and got soaked. Now any other man would be immediately consumed in a no doubt spectacular multi-colored blaze of light, but Phil Grayfield is no ordinary man. No, destiny had a special plan for him. The chemicals gave him invulnerability, super strength, and super speed. I don’t remember anything being said about his injury being cured though, which implies that he managed to be a superhero based around football and football skills all while having a detrimental sports-related injury. I don’t know if I’m impressed by his ability to push through the pain and save lives, or insulted by the fact that he probably could have made it through pro football with his injury anyways.
After getting super powers in what is probably the sixth dumbest way possible (Bouncing Boy still holds the title), Phil decides to… for some reason, to… put… on… the suit?
Yes, he puts on the goofy-ass football uniform, which also has powers, I guess? It’s unclear. What follows this series of bafflingly retarded events is without a doubt the pinnacle of human culture: Phil decides to become NFL Superpro. Yeah, that’s… that’s literally it. Because when the entire universe has pulled you into the orbit of the NFL Superpro uniform, you don’t question your imminent transformation into NFL Superpro. So, logically, Phil becomes the greatest hero of all time.
Step Two: NFL Superpro Movie WHEN
Notice how there are 3 recognizable Marvel hero faces on that cover. Notice how only two of them have had film adaptations. Notice how I am filled with barely contained fury.
Now I hear you. You’re saying that a movie about this character is perfect, right? Absolutely. But to silence the, what, two naysayers (?), I’ll give a bit more background on the greatest hero of all time. Just in case you need even more ridiculous one-off gimmick characters, NFL Superpro was actually part of a super team, somehow. They were called the Happy Campers. No, seriously. And that’s not even the wackiest thing about them. No, that honor goes to their members, who, no joke, included Almighty Dollar (a man who shot pennies out of his hands, and whose name was J. Pennington Pennypacker), Calculator (an Asian man whose superpower was, I shit you not, fucking math), Girth (a guy named Tubby who was basically just Fat Albert), and Streak (who somehow got super speed out of being a mortician/jogger). Yeah. Take a minute. Soak all that in. Really get it into your headspace. Get it into your head that an actual team of writers all got together, sat around a table, tried to come up with a team of original heroes, and their most unique character was named god damn J. Pennington Pennypacker. J. FUCKING PENNINGTON GOD DAMN PENNYPACKER. How can you not hate that so much that you immediately circle back around to loving it?! It’s literally too crazy to hate!
In all honesty, if you can tell me that you wouldn’t go see a movie about NFL Superpro and the Happy Campers, then you’re probably not someone worth talking to. Come on Marvel, we all know you have plans for movies up until 2028, but those plans can be flexible! You already have a Spidey movie coming up that wasn’t scheduled earlier, you can fit Superpro in there somewhere.
Besides, it’d be a good opportunity for some levity that doesn’t feel awkwardly shoehorned into one of your movies. Because let’s face it, there is absolutely no friggin’ way someone could take this guy seriously.
Step Three: Super Secret Origins of the Greatest Hero
Now,I’m sure you’re thinking that this guy was probably dreamed up on a drunken weekend after Stan Lee got together with some NFL bigwigs, and you’re probably right on that count. After all, that’s pretty much how we got that one issue of Daredevil where Uri Geller showed up and fought crime with the amazing ability to kind of bend metal slightly with his psychic abilities. But right after that stage is where it gets interesting. See, it turns out that Marvel’s writers were having issues coming up with something that satisfied the NFL. I refuse to believe any other explanation other than the NFL execs had seen a vision of the greatness of Superpro, and knew that they had to force the hand of fate in order to bring about mankind’s new god. So, after rejected scripts aplenty, the editor attached to the project, a mister Bob Budiansky, reached out to someone a bit more talented. That person? Fabian god damn Nicieza. Now, if you read comics “on the reg”, as the cool kids say, you know him as the man behind (at least, partly so) Shatterstar, a TON of important 90s X-books, and most recognizably, GOD DAMN DEADPOOL. That’s right. The guy who helped create arguably the most popular superhero in recent memory also sharted out a superhero designed to sell official NFL merch. Hell, he didn’t just create the character, but he actually wrote the entirety of the first issue, meaning that he essentially birthed Superpro.
Incidentally, if you don’t read comics that often and have no idea who Nicieza is, you might recognize him as one of the freeway exit names in the opening action sequence of the Deadpool movie. Neat little touch there. You can see him right next to Liefeld.
At last, after Nicieza (presumably) labored tirelessly in a pitch black cave, bringing about our savior by way of arcane magicks, he finally brought what will almost certainly be known as The New Gospel before the NFL, and lo, they were at last appeased. In fact, they were so impressed by the first issue that they asked for Nicieza to write the entire series, and he agreed, so long as he got Jets tickets. And lo, through this dark bargain, our hero was born.
But seriously, every single aspect of his creation reeks of corporate product placement and exposure deals. I wish I could say that the comic was any better than the story behind it, but then again, it was about a football player with bland superpowers who hung out with a group of racial stereotypes. Also, they seriously, actually for real named a guy J. Pennington Pennypacker. That’s a name that would only work in the original Sonic the Hedgehog comics without feeling insanely hokey and out of place. Shit, it would probably still feel weird there, because it’s completely ludicrous. But that’s kind of the hidden brilliance of NFL Superpro. See, even the most putrid shit can have a gold nugget of corn hidden in there somewhere, and that’s the best way to approach Superpro. You wade through awful, horrible shit, football puns and poor plotting aplenty, but every now and then, you find something as ludicrously amazing as Instant Replay, a villain with time control powers, or a guy whose name I can’t remember who was a football kicker with ninja training. It’s all dumb, sure, but it’s dumb in the best way, like Sharknado, or a pug.
Step Four: But for Real Though
Just imagine Cap calling out Superpro after Tony called out Spider-man in that trailer. Holy shit.
But in all seriousness folks, now is pretty much the perfect time for an NFL Superpro comeback. Hell, if D-Man of all people can be cool, then we can bring back NFL Superpro. Even if you have to drop the NFL licensing to do it effectively (which you definitely should), he could be a great character. In fact, to totally retread some ground that I tread on reddit a while back, I think that Marvel should bring back all of its dumb gimmicky characters and put them on a team. I’m talking Superpro, the Happy Campers, Combo Man, Adam X the X-Treme, US-1, hell, even Obnoxio the Clown. Shit, ESPECIALLY Obnoxio the Clown. Dude took down the entirety of the X-Men on accident, he’s got potential. Maybe have D-Man lead the team as their role model, a former washed up super-loser who made something of himself. He could be their handler, maybe their government liaison, trying to forge them into real heroes. Now obviously this hypothetical series would have a strong comedic bent (like JLI back in the day, probably), but to be at its best, it would have a strong emotional core, focusing on the insecurities and psychological problems of the “heroes”. Combo Man, for example, would sit most of the original fights out due to being to caught up in a never ending identity crisis from being a composite of a shitload of massively different people. Eventually, he would form a bond with Adam X, who would admit that his “X-treme” (it hurts to type that, guys) persona was just him hiding his true self from the world due to insecurity, and together, they would discover themselves. Also, maybe Adam X would come out as gay and start dating Combo Man, because this will never actually happen and I can dream about this if I want to, so shut up. It’s not like either of them have had a crazy strong established personality anyways, so it would be better than the whole Iceman debacle. You know the one. And if you don’t, hey, future article!
Almighty Dollar could fund the group, and maybe learn that his ability to shoot pennies out of seemingly nowhere is actually a budding form of reality manipulation, leading into him discovering an untapped wealth of hidden power within himself. Similarly, the other Happy Campers could find more stuff to do with their powers other than weird racist stuff. US-1 would provide transport, and maybe get an upgrade to his lame ability to hear CB radio signals that would allow him to communicate with machinery. Superpro would be a recovering alcoholic, struggling with the thought of his own irrelevance, eventually learning to accept himself as a hero rather than a celebrity and transcend his own short comings. Also, a ton of these characters would die in a crazy suicide mission at the end of the series, but they would save humanity in doing so and finally earn respect the world over. Like Suicide Squad crossed with the beginning of the New 52 Aquaman comic.
Their name? The Last Resort. Avengers in space? Fantastic Four in the Negative Zone? X-Men in Mojoworld? You only have one team left to call. You’d better hope they pull it off.
I have nothing more to say to you. The Church of Superpro commands that you worship him above all others. So, in order to push that agenda, share this article where you can, tagged with #BRINGBACKSUPERPRO, and maybe one low level Marvel PR employee will be ticked off a little.
But seriously, thank you reddit user u/apocoluster for suggesting NFL Superpro! I hope you’re happy with this weird-ass, rambling article about how much I love a completely retarded concept. If you have any suggestions of your own, as always, feel free to leave them in the comments here.
No recommended reading for Superpro really, seeing as he only has one 12 issue arc. If you want to read it, go ahead. Or you can just look through his results on google images. It’s basically the same experience.
As always, suggested characters are tackled every other week. Otherwise, it’s my pick. Until next time!