With Football blimps and Lawrence Taylor, NFL SuperPro Week continues! We've talked about his origin. We've showcased his villains. Today we examine the greatest NFL SuperPro issue ever!
You better be sitting down, because this one will BLOW YOUR MIND WITH AWESOME!
After four long issues of pun-tastic villains, Fabian Nicieza and his dearest creation parted ways. Filling the void in all our hearts was Buzz Dixon, who gave the world some of the craziest and most memorable issues of the series. But it was his first issue that was the best; SuperPro #5
Teamed with artist Jose Delbo, Dixon puts on a clinic on how a SuperPro comic should read.
Everything begins innocently enough as our hero (Phil Grayson) and his sidekick (Ken Reid) watch a heated game between The New York Giants and The Miami Dolphins. Then, on page two, the ground opens up and a meaty pair of hands drag Lawrence Taylor underground and the insanity starts.
While the rest of the stadium gawk at the hole in a stunned silence, Phil and Ken leap into action. They hop down the hole and shimmy their way through the tunnel it connects to just in time to see LT being tossed into a nondescript guy by three very conspicuous monstrous men in matching uniforms; The Headhunters. And before you know it, they spot our heroes.
Phil shows he's a true hero by rushing off to change his wardrobe, while leaving the decidedly unsuperpowered Ken to fend for himself against these Men Beasts. Way to go, SuperPro!
Even with his super clothes on, SuperPro is no match for The Headhunters. They knock him into a parked car for good measure before speeding off with the purloined Lawrence Taylor.
Meanwhile, I'm sure Ken stood back and smiled at SuperPro getting what he deserved. At least, that's what I would do.
Back at the hotel, Phil is getting a full rubdown from his 'girlfriend' Jane Dixon when he receives the news that twenty other NFL superstars were also captured this day. Writing it all down on the standard-issue hotel chalkboard, Phil becomes a regular Sherlock Holmes piecing the mystery of the missing players together. Who ever is behind all this is kidnapping players to form his own team... but why?
Phil deduces the next player to be taken, but is in no hurry to do anything about it. Even though it's his 'friend', Phil opts to drag his feet on the matter, only telling the player in question, QB Ron Macedon, about the kidnapping plot the next day in person.
If you ask me, I think Phil was hoping that Ron was captured before he got there. Phil probably holds a grudge that Ron can still play ball while he's just a washed up loser.
Anyway, sure enough, The Headhunters make their move on Ron moments later in arguably the greatest kidnapping vehicle ever.
God, I love it so much. It looks like it's a few rolls of duct tape short of showing up on thereIfixedit.
The players, of course, are oblivious to this flying contraption hovering above them, so none of them warn Ron about the man hanging from the ladder grasping for him. Or maybe everyone just hates Ron and were looking forward to having the day away from him.
In no time, Ron's limp and on the blimp while SuperPro is finally changed and ready for action. He leaps to grab the dirigible...
...And barely makes it.
A fight ensues between Flinch, the electrifying point man on this mission, and SuperPro. One liners and several near falls later, Phil grabs on to the bottom of the truck as the men inside it (oblivious to their stowaway) decide to detach the van from the blimp.
Lemme say that again for effect: The Headhunters decide to unhook their shitty van from their make-shift, but totally boss, blimp while still high in the air. How could their van possibly survive the fall?
Helium in the tires, of course. What were you expecting? That they land hard on the ground, shattering the drive train and smashing SuperPro underneath? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?
An eight mile drive later, unencumbered by little nuisances like the cops (it's settled then, everyone hates Ron because he's an insufferable asshole), the van arrives at The Headhunters' headquarters: An abandoned football stadium.
When these guys find a theme, they stick to it. Good for them.
Back to it, SuperPro crawls out from under the van and sneaks into the stadium where he runs afoul of my favorite member of The Headhunters, Kabuki-Back. Who takes SuperPro down with my favorite weapon ever: The Long Bomb.
I don't know why more assassins don't make use of it...
SuperPro wakes up from the explosion to find himself in a cage being watched by the coach of The Headhunters, Buck Sutter. Sutter goes off on a monologue where he explains that the NFL never gave him and his hard nose style a chance. So, in an attempt to prove he was better than them, he kidnapped the best players to force them to play a scrimmage match.
Because, you know, the best team in the NFL isn't the well oiled unit that acts as one like say The Patriots, but rather just a bunch of skilled athletes using a generic playbook, like the AFC Pro Bowl team.
With the NFL team roster complete, it's time to play ball...
...and in no time it becomes a full on brawl. Just like real football.
After escaping his cage, SuperPro joins the melee, fighting the only way he knows how: by trying to kill dudes. First, hoping for a result like he had with Instant Replay, he attempts to electrocute Flinch.
Then, hoping for a repeat on what happened with Quick Kick, he sabotages the thigh-jet wearing Bullet's avionics.
What can I say, the man has an MO. Cross him and he'll kill you without a second thought.
The book ends with a setup ripe for a current Marvel Scribe to pick up and run with...
I'm looking at you, Jason Aaron. Make it happen!
And there you have it. In one issue, Buzz Dixon and Jose Delbo have given us the perfect example of what a SuperPro book should be. Crazy football themed criminals against a dimwitted, lame one-line spouting, murder-prone, corporate whore of a superhero. Do yourself a favor and track this one down, I promise that you'll love it.
Come back tomorrow for another amazing sketch in the afternoon and then in the evening for the SuperPro spinoff that should have been.
See you then!