Athletes as Superheroes

Comics, Sports

To coincide with the beginning of the NBA season, Marvel and ESPN collaborated on an edition of ESPN the Magazine showing members of the NBA as different characters from the Marvel Universe.  While I disagreed with some of their choices, it got me to thinking – what athletes match up with which superheroes?

Iron Man

Iron Man

Sure, Tony Stark is a playboy with an addiction to alcohol, but he’s also known as the hero Iron Man, a suit he designed to save his life after shrapnel was lodged near his heart.  So what athlete has played through the pain to earn the title of Iron Man?  This one was a tie.  Both Brett Favre and Cal Ripken Jr have redefined the term “iron man” in their respective sports.  In fact, Cal Ripken Jr is known as the Iron Man of Baseball thanks to his 2,632 consecutive games played.

Cal Ripken Jr - Iron Man

Brett Favre is currently at 290 consecutive starts, making him the “iron man” of football.

Brett Favre - Iron man

Wolverine

Wolverine

Wolverine is easily the poster-child for Marvel Comics (sorry Spider-Man, Logan’s cooler).  There are probably a lot of athletes out there that would love to be Wolverine, but there’s only one that really came to mind, and part of it was his love for the character.

Brian Dawkins - Wolverine

Brian Dawkins, currently playing with the Denver Broncos, is an athlete small in stature but one I’d not want to meet in a dark alley.

The Flash

The Flash

Lots of different characters have used the Flash name in DC Comics, and in that theme, there’s a couple of athletes that can lay claim to the title as well.

Dwyane Wade has called himself Flash, most notably when paired with Shaquille O’Neill.  That being said, his quickness has made the name appropriate.

Chris Johnson

In the NFL, Chris Johnson easily deserves the name Flash, as his speed and quickness have inspired fear in defenders, as they know he’s always one play from breaking loose and outrunning them to the end zone.

Superman

Superman

Much like The Flash, several athletes have tried to lay claim to the Superman mantle through the years, most notably Shaquille O’Neill, though he does go for the Steel Superman persona, and Michael Vick with athletic ability.  But being Superman is more than just the powers, it’s what you represent, and because of that, I think Superman is easily Tim Tebow.

Tim Tebow - Superman

Sure, he’s only a rookie, but he earned the name while at the University of Florida, and his size, athletic ability, and high moral character make him the ideal selection to lay claim to the mantle of Superman.

Captain America

Captain America

This one was hard for me, as Captain America doesn’t really have any super powers.  Sure, an experiment pushed him to the brink of human perfection, but in theory there’s nothing he can do that any of us couldn’t do.  What makes Captain America so special is his leadership, and because of that I went with Tom Brady for my athlete Captain America.

Tom Brady - Captain America

Tom Brady isn’t the most physically gifted quarterback in the NFL, though he’s certainly talented, but there’s arguably no better leader in the league, no quarterback that inspires more confidence from all the players on the field.  All of that, and he plays for a team called the Patriots and his uniform is red, white, and blue.  C’mon.



Deadpool

Deadpool

The merc with a mouth.  Deadpool is a unique character, and a lot of fun to read.  His constant stream of jokes, cracks, and humor make him annoying to his enemies and entertaining to fans.  Just like Chad Ochocinco.

Chad Ochocinco

Sure, most athletes run their mouths from time to time, but it’s the good-natured humor of Ochocinco that made him the pick for Deadpool.

Batman

Batman

Easy-going playboy by day, grim vigilante by night.  Who else but Peyton Manning?  I know, you’re surprised.  When off the field, Peyton is known for humorous commercials where he gets to show off his funny side.

Peyton Manning

But as soon as he straps on those bads and gets on the field, Peyton is all business.   I’m not saying that Peyton is going to go all Dark Knight on his opponents, but you never see him take a game off, and that’s all Batman.

The Punisher

The Punisher

Ok, so this one was a bit of a stretch, but it’s Roger Goodell.  Mostly because he’s been really good about punishing athletes that break the rules.

Roger Goodell - The Punisher

Ok, so he’s not Frank Castle, but I don’t think Frank Castle is even Frank Castle anymore.

The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk

Bruce Banner is one high-stress situation away from turning into a green monster capable of destroying anything in his path.  Brock Lesnar is not so calm, but is one order to “get it on” away from destroying anything in his path.

Brock Lesnar - The Incredible Hulk

You wouldn’t like Bruce Banner when he gets angry, I don’t know that I’d like Brock Lesnar when he was happy, sad, angry, or asleep.  Dude is scary.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Diana the Amazon Princess.  We had a three way tie for this one.  Serena and Venus Williams have dominated women’s tennis for years, not only because of their incredible skills, but because, and let’s be honest here, they’re bigger and stronger than anybody else.

Venus and Serena Williams - Wonder Woman

They’re amazons.  I don’t mean that in a negative way (no hatemail please), but they have a distinct physical advantage over their opponents.

Gina Carano - Wonder Woman

Also in the mix for the title of Wonder Woman is Gina Carano.  This MMA fighter is beautiful and deadly, a combination that Wonder Woman has been making work for years.  I know I wouldn’t cross her.

Thor

Thor

The Norse god of thunder and lightning.  Thor may have a movie coming out next year starring Chris Hemsworth, but when it comes to the athletic world, only one player can claim the title.  Jared Allen.

Jared Allen - Thor

I mean the guy plays for the Vikings, so that’s a leg up, and his power, speed, and epic mullets and facial hair all put him in the class of Thor, God of Thunder.

Got another pick for an athlete/superhero combination?  Disagree with one, some, or all of my picks?  Let’s hear it.

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