Finally, a post the nerds and the jocks will both like.
October 22, 2010 10:31 AM   Subscribe

ESPN the Magazine previews the 2010-11 NBA season by collaborating with Marvel Comics artists to produce comic book covers for each NBA team. The covers, which range from goofy to badass, were drawn by a team that includes "virtually a who's who of who's hot in comic books right now." Hi-res jpgs available for your downloading pleasure. [via]

"When the Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, bought Marvel Entertainment last year, our reaction was quick: "Sweet!" Not because we thought we'd be invited to the opening of "Iron Man 2." (Didn't happen.) We just realized that now we could e-mail the guys who draw Spider-Man, The Hulk and Captain America and put a whole new spin on the idea of synergy -- which is exactly what we did. Result? A pairing of Marvel's ability to create iconic images with our season preview of the NBA, the league that trumps all others in producing larger-than-life superstars."
posted by googly (46 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
-1 for corporate marketing synergy
+1 for fun comic book imaginings

If Disney ever buys MetaFilter, I expect to see a comic book cover done for each of the mods here (in costume), and well-written storylines of the battles to keep this corner of the internet asshat-free.
posted by not_on_display at 10:42 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is pretty f'n cool.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:45 AM on October 22, 2010


Regardless of the product, I wonder exactly how much of this was compelled on Marvel's end. I sincerely hope that Disney isn't planning to treat the artistic talent end of their new acquisition as an extension of their advertising branch without providing some sort of benefit to Marvel's artists outside of "exposure."
posted by griphus at 10:45 AM on October 22, 2010


not_on_display: "If Disney ever buys MetaFilter, I expect to see a comic book cover done for each of the mods here (in costume), and well-written storylines of the battles to keep this corner of the internet asshat-free."

I will monitor Projects for this.
posted by I am the Walrus at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2010


Someone cue up "Sweet Georgia Brown".
posted by GuyZero at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2010


Wait'll they get into trademark issues re: their portrait of Dwight Howard.
posted by grubi at 10:49 AM on October 22, 2010


Just in case anyone's interested, many of these are re-imaginings of classic Marvel covers from the past. This is obviously a riff on Galactus and the Silver Surfer, for example.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:49 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]




You just wait, first it's Marvel comics, next it'll be the Muppets giving courtside commentary. Welcome to the Disneyfied future.
posted by Catblack at 10:53 AM on October 22, 2010


Spider-Man No More
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:53 AM on October 22, 2010


not_on_display: "comic book cover done for each of the mods here (in costume)"

Would they be the Jessa-MEN?

I should stop now
posted by I am the Walrus at 10:53 AM on October 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is anyone else having problems with this site loading?
posted by grubi at 10:54 AM on October 22, 2010


the site loads very slowly for me too, and has timed out a few times
posted by I am the Walrus at 10:55 AM on October 22, 2010


Sports are one of the reasons I began to read comic books.

That is, I hated them in school and all they stood for (in school) and comic books allowed me a venue to escape...and to dream and grow.

Not to put to fine a point on it, Odin be thanked for comic books.

But "sports comic books—while not a new idea—will forever* be a bad idea.

*discounting possibility of entire team of professional athletes on bus trip accidentally drinking experimental gene-altering energy drink which turns them all—including bus driver, helpers, groupies and waterboys/girls—into world's first actual metahumans. They all split apart and go their own ways learning to deal with their newfound abilities. Some become bad guys. Manager gathers them all together again at later date to deal with extraterrestrial threat to entire planet. Bonding, comedy, sacrifice ensue.
posted by Mike Mongo at 10:56 AM on October 22, 2010


Mike Mongo - Oden be thanked. You'll find all 7 feet of him with the Blazers' team doctors as usual. FTFY.
posted by Cranberry at 10:59 AM on October 22, 2010


I believe that there is a theme wherein star players are subbed in for actual super heroes. Kobe Bryant appears to be Iron Man. I wonder if the players had any say in who got to be whom?
posted by jabberjaw at 10:59 AM on October 22, 2010


If you want to rid yourself of any desire to know what Marvel is up to, become a fan on Facebook. They're about one "which Marvel character would you like to see as a tutu-wearing zombie next?" away from losing me forever.
posted by JaredSeth at 11:01 AM on October 22, 2010


But can they compete with the Atomic Supermen?

I don't like basketball, and I don't really like comics, but this is very neat. Would love to see more of the original covers they're ripped from.
posted by almostmanda at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2010


"which Marvel character would you like to see as a tutu-wearing zombie next?"

Well, Wolverine, of course.
posted by grubi at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2010


Free Darko has been making cool cartoon NBA images for a few years now, which I always find pretty cool.
posted by auto-correct at 11:06 AM on October 22, 2010


Wow I really wish the NBA hadn't become my least favorite combination of "college/pro" + "major American sport" league* so I could really enjoy these. For example, there was a time when I'd be all "of course, Dr. Doom is in league with the Pistons", but now eh-meh-eh.

That's not to say the idea (and the post) aren't totally awesome. I hope I never become a person who comments on how boring a post is rather than ignore them

On the other hand, the NBA is really the only league with enough individual personalities to make this work.

(Baseball has the individual personalities but I'm yawning just thinking about the comic books based on them)

And on a third hand, I'm sure there are plenty of people who still care about both comics and pro basketball who really get a kick out of this. So never mind, this is just awesome and I'm the lame one.


* - Okay "college baseball" ranks lower, but jeez, that can't really count, right?

posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:07 AM on October 22, 2010


I'm a Cavs fan, and though it's been a rough offseason, I am trying to stay optimistic about this season and the future and couldn't wait to see some badass comic book rendering of them.


Ouch.
posted by mreleganza at 11:14 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


You just wait, first it's Marvel comics, next it'll be the Muppets giving courtside commentary.

Waldorf and Statler would be great. I see Sam the American Eagle as a potential ref.
posted by maryr at 11:14 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow I really wish the NBA hadn't become my least favorite combination of "college/pro" + "major American sport" league* so I could really enjoy these.

Me, too. I've resigned myself to the notion that the NBA season starts at the beginning of the playoffs. That's the only time it gets interesting for me.

Part of that is because I was a sports journalist covering the Lakers and Clippers back in the day, and I know first-hand that the players and coaches ratchet their effort levels way, way down in the regular season, because of the sheer length of the season.

You play 82 games, and the benefit of a regular-season record is your playoff seeding and home-court advantage. There are no byes. But team-to-team parity is pretty close, and there is universal chartered travel that ameliorates most home/away differences that are in your direct control. So, each regular season game is close to meaningless. As long as you *get to* the playoffs, you succeed about as much as need to, and really, about as much as you can.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:18 AM on October 22, 2010


Just in case anyone's interested, many of these are re-imaginings of classic Marvel covers from the past. This is obviously a riff on Galactus and the Silver Surfer, for example.

Wow that's cool. Woulda made a better post if I had known...
posted by googly at 11:24 AM on October 22, 2010


I really didn't like the Bucks' one. Luke Cage doesn't fit with Brandon Jennings either in look or personality. Someone like the first Night Thrasher would have been a better choice.
posted by drezdn at 11:35 AM on October 22, 2010


ARE THESE CANON?!
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:25 PM on October 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


It seems like a good idea but when Shaq replaces Don Cheadle as Rhodey in Iron Man 3 we all might have to reconsider.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:45 PM on October 22, 2010


> Just in case anyone's interested, many of these are re-imaginings of classic Marvel covers from the past.

I see they went with Alpha Flight for the Raptors.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:53 PM on October 22, 2010


They called Alpha Flight obscure???
posted by GuyZero at 1:45 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you're not a comics person, sure. Everybody's heard of Spider-Man, the Hulk, X-Men, etc, but how many random people have heard of Alpha Flight?
posted by kmz at 1:51 PM on October 22, 2010


My seven year-old self with my Alpha Flight turtleneck says EVERYBODY.

man i wish I had a photo of that thing
posted by GuyZero at 1:53 PM on October 22, 2010


OK, I'm a dummy. What is the Pistons one supposed to be (within the real Marvel Universe)? Some are more obscure than others.

Thanks to Googly for the "badass" props though!
posted by indiebass at 1:57 PM on October 22, 2010


i can't see these on my phone but I assume that the heat are supervillans?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:16 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sadly, Doombots is pretty accurate for the Pistons: They cost too much, they break when challenged by heroes, and they'll be gone by next year.
posted by klangklangston at 2:43 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Crazy fun idea, some brilliant illustrations, possibly the most painful possible site navigation for a list of .jpegs ever.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:46 PM on October 22, 2010


I sorta think these might be better if they were pure marketing comics, rather than editorial.

I mean the Warriors one just plain sucks. And while the Cavaliers' one is pretty cool, imo, I can understand why fans would be disappointed.

(Pistons and Warriors fan here.)
posted by mrgrimm at 3:23 PM on October 22, 2010




Every single one of those Tron mashup covers looks like a screencap from an episode of "Ben 10".
posted by GuyZero at 5:14 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sadly, Doombots is pretty accurate for the Pistons: They cost too much, they break when challenged by heroes, and they'll be gone by next year.


YOU TAKE THAT BACK!

/sobs quietly, holding on to memories of 88-90, 2003-2008
posted by Ghidorah at 6:06 PM on October 22, 2010


Isn't the NHL doing the same thing with the 30 hockey teams?
posted by mannequito at 6:45 PM on October 22, 2010


griphus> Regardless of the product, I wonder exactly how much of this was compelled on Marvel's end.

A hell of a lot of comics work is freelance, so it's quite possible a lot of these came about with people calling/e-mailing/visiting their usual Marvel contact who said "hey ESPN is having us do every NBA team as remix of an old cover, you want in? Usual rates for cover work, these are the teams that're left." I figure the guys who like sports and the people who don't really care either way and like money said "sure!"

I doubt anyone was compelled to do these "for the exposure".
posted by egypturnash at 7:39 PM on October 22, 2010


Would they be the Jessa-MEN?

If so, then I vote that, instead of Professor J, she would be called Dr. J, just to bring things full circle.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:56 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was about halfway through these before I remembered that there wasn't gonna be a Sonics cover. And I know I should be over it by now, but I'm still salty.

The Kings cover was cool though, and they could have saved the illustration effort, and just used an actual photo of Dwight Howard.
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:16 AM on October 23, 2010


Billyfleetwood - please note that as of current continuity, Thor, God of Thunder, has moved to Oklahoma for no damn reason.
posted by ormondsacker at 10:08 PM on October 23, 2010


Sure, it's a "collaboration." This is "synergy" done wrong, in my opinion, all of the worst elements of collaborative conjunction with few, if any, of the benefits.

This is actually less likely to make me pay attention to Marvel, ESPN, or the friggin' NBA for that matter, all because I now know they're all in cahoots to push profit to Disney, the Death Star of copyright law.
posted by FormlessOne at 10:16 AM on October 24, 2010


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