Thursday, February 3, 2011

NFL SuperPro Week Day Four - The Spinoff That Should Have Been

What do a mortician, an actuary, a gs-8 clerk, and a CPA have in common? Together they form the greatest nerd super team ever, The Happy Campers. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Welcome to Day Four of Platypus Robot's exhaustive NFL SuperPro week where today we eschew the man of honor and take a look at the SuperPro Spinoff that never was.

With no proof to back it up, I'm claiming today that SuperPro #10 was in fact a 'stealth one-shot' by Buzz Dixon and Jose Delbo for the purpose of launching a Happy Camper's series. So, instead of talking about this book as SuperPro #10, I'll refer to it as it's true name, Happy Campers Super Special #1.

Happy Campers Super Special # 1 begins with Phil and Ken getting an assignment to file an expose' on a self-esteem camp. Because if there's anything that needs to be exposed, it's guys with low self-esteem. Those jerks are just asking for it.

Reluctantly, Phil and Ken agree to go undercover and expose the secret shame of Camp Runamuk. A secret shame that I'm sure involves the mysterious old man stroking a purple stuffed cat.

As it turns out, the mysterious crazy man is actually a scientist who has been working on a machine that could give anyone superpowers. If only he had someone to test it on.

Oh, hey look, here comes the true stars of the book...

Finally, now the book can really begin.

First things first, it's time to change into togas. Because, you know, it's not a self esteem camp if you're not wearing something embarrassing. That night, during the (what I assume is) nightly campfire session, the boys are led one-by-one into the forest for 'special initiation'.

And no, not that kind. Get your mind out of the gutter!

In reality, these men are being led to the laboratory of the crazy scientist and his immobile feline companion, where they've been shot with enough radiation to make The Hulk wince. Alas, they don't get the results they're looking for until they try it on SuperPro, who already has powers.

A short revelation later, Phil changes into his special pajamas (not those...) and begins a one-man assault on the camp. Meanwhile, The Happy Campers are taken hostage by the scientist because... well, the cat probably told him it was a good idea.

And then...

In the ensuing battle, The Happy Campers start to feel a little funny. Almost like how you feel when you're 13, but more... super heroic. And amazing things start to happen.

First, Kwong Dae, starts to spout incomprehensible math gibberish and really terrible puns...

Tubby Walsh gets a rumbly in his tumbly...

J. Pennington Pennypacker discovers he can make all his problems go away, just by throwing money at them...

And finally, Frank Moody, everyone's favorite mortician, discovers he can run REALLY fast.

Because he's a jogger, of course. What did you expect? That he could raise the dead? Or have access to other worldly occult power? Now who's being ridiculous?

Anyway, with the power of the Happy Campers at his side, SuperPro is able to turn the tide and win the day. Phil, Im sure, went on to file a half-assed and down right terrible expose' for his sports news channel after the dust was cleared, but what happened to The Happy Campers?

Details are scarce on these guys, but that won't stop my rampant speculation. After returning home, the guys tried to make a go of the whole, Super Team thing. At first, they made the time and busted an odd mugging here and there. But as time went on, their priorities started to shift.

Pennington was the first to stop going out, as his newfound power led to another new power for him: The power to get laid. The allure of sweet lovin' proved to be too much for him, taking him away from the group he founded. And then when Tubby died - a result of his love of hostess minicakes and refusal to exercise ever - the group splintered and hasn't seen much of each other since.

They're all retired now, living their lonely suburban lives and just waiting for the cold embrace of death. Everyone, that is, except for Frank. Frank keeps hoping that if he runs fast enough the world will finally let him go and let him fly like he always dreamed.

Keep chasing that dream, Frank Moody.

Come back tomorrow for the supercharged finale of NFL SuperPro week!

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