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I’ll bring the beer — Marvel Premiere #24

April 13, 2011


Summer is just around the corner, and that means softball leagues are getting revved up across the entire breadth of these United States. And it’s softball that gives this particular comic its raison d’etre, not Iron Fists or Monstroids or what have you. And not just any softball — Marvel softball, baby!

Chris Claremont, Pat Broderick and Vince Colletta put this one together, and the meat of the story begins with Iron Fist in his “Danny Rand” civvies moping around NYC one fine day. His torpid internal monologue gets interrupted by the crack of a bat, a stray fly ball and a kind invitation from a seemingly two-foot tall Mr. Claremont:

It’s not just any team that Danny/IF invited to play with — it’s the Marvel squad, replete with not-all-that-recognizable faces and the niftiest team shirts ever to grace a municipal diamond:

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database, I can relate that the following folks make up this motley assemblage: Claremont, Len Wein, Glynis Wein, Marv Wolfman, Tony Isabella, Irene Vartanoff, Herb Trimpe, Mark Hanerfeld, Bill Mantlo, Mike Kaluta and Al Milgrom. Obviously there are more names than faces in this particular panel, but I’ll let you sort out who’s who. Have fun. Or not. And it should be noted that (also according to the GCD) Marie Severin drew the faces of the Marvelites — she pulled the “boardwalk caricature” short straw that day, I guess.

IF’s a natural, and his spirits are raised enough so that he doesn’t karate chop this clumsy boob’s head off:

Then the Monstroid shows up and ruins everyone’s good time. Boooooo.

I can remember reading about the Marvel/DC softball imbroglio’s in the respective “Bulletins” and “Meanwhile…” sections of their comics back in the day. The very idea of that inter-company game caught my youthful fancy. All those writers and artists getting together on a nice day to play some ball, well, it sounded like a little slice of heaven to me. Still does. And that makes this little comic a lot of fun.

The prosecutor’s office I used to work at here in Northern Virginia fielded a co-ed team every summer (replete with law clerk ringers, of which I was one), and the big cheese in the office was kind enough to shell out for our team shirts. Instead of numbers on the back, we had sections of the Virginia Code. Mine was 18.2-60.3, which was Stalking (3rd Offense). Har dee har har, I know. Our big game every summer was against the Public Defenders — natural rivals and all that. I’m not sure if it was more intense than the Marvel/DC games, but really, how could it be? I know one thing — with badass t-shirts like those red ones with the Spidey logos, my money would be on the Bullpen folks.

I gotta get me one of them shirts!

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 22, 2012 7:28 am

    The best players on our team were the people we called the “old guys,” notably, John Tartaglione, Frank Giacoia, Mike Esposito, and Vinnie Colletta–in fact, anyone of the generation that would have been crazy about baseball. But we seldom could lure them out to play since they had families to go home to. Our generation was divided in talent: the writers were pretty bad to so-so and the artists were darn good. Herb Trimpe was awesome and would do this weird new exercise between innings: he went “running.” Al Milgrom would steal bases like crazy. Chris Claremont was not that short, by the way.

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