Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Special: Top 10 Football Covers

As pretty much all red blooded Americans know, today is the nation's biggest and most important holiday of the year, the Super Bowl. So what better way to celebrate the showdown between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts than to take a look back at the Top 10 Football Covers in comic history? Really, it seems almost like a no-brainer, and not in the Dan Dierdorf sense of the phrase.

of course, I can't actually claim that these are the best football covers in comics history, because unlike our previous lists (like, for instance, Santa), researching football covers has proven to be kind of difficult. But at least we've put together a list even if it's not the list. So stop whining and take a peek at some of these oddities from the unlikely marriage of football and comic books. And, as always, click on the images to make them Super size.

10) All-Sports Comics

Look away, Ernest Byner! Look away!

9) Archie's Pals n' Gals #102

How is girl's football different from boy's football? The blatant sexism, of course, Natch.

8) Strange Sports Stories #3

Trust me, the story inside the comic actually makes less sense than the cover itself. That's why this series is so great.

7) NFL Superpro #5

Guest starring Lawrence Taylor! We'd like to say this is the low point of LT's career but we all know that isn't true. No word on whether he sent hookers to the Marvel Bullpen to throw off their game or not.

6) Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #81

This is actually a pretty cool story about an all-pro who is drafted and ends up being wounded in combat while serving with the Howlers. One of many fill-in Howlers who didn't last more than a couple issues, which was Marvel's way of working around the fact that the main characters never seemed to get hit (after issue #4, of course).

5) Boy Comics #107

Okay, I know I keep promising to go into more depth about Boy Comics, but this will have to just be a tease. Charles Biro was a master at mixing the unlikely genres of kid's sports, superheroes and true crime into one awesome package. While this late cover doesn't have quite the same punch as some of the earlier efforts (like the classic golf cover where a man is murdered by being run through by the 13th green flag) it's still a solid Biro effort.

4) Jumbo Comics #3

"You Nath-ty Man." Um. Sure.

3) Four Color #180

This comic features Ozark Ike in a story called "Hillbilly Football." Plus, we get some vintage good girl art, with a topheavy blond in a tight shirt thrown into the background for no apparent reason. Win + Win = Win.

2) Adventure Comics #207

Adventure #124 also featured a Superboy football cover, but I prefer this vintage effort. Can you get more American than this scene? Eat your heart out, Norman Rockwell.

1) Kickers Inc. #8

This may or may not have been the worst idea in Marvel's history, but the series about roided up NFL players who become superheroes after they are thrown out of the league for using performance enhancing drugs did provide up and coming young artist Mark Texiera with the chance to hone his skills, which he did on this cool cover. Or, cool if it wasn't for Kickers Inc. It's still number one, anyway.

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