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Comic Countdown #24: Marvel Bowl

By
Posted on June 17, 2012 AT 08:25pm

It’s time for the Comic Countdown, where comic book topics are looked at in list form. In this, the twenty-fourth installment of the Countdown, it’s time to combine two of the most popular subjects in the country: Comic books and football. With super-team crossovers in full swing, it seemed like an appropriate time to place some of Marvel’s finest on the gridiron and see who could really earn bragging rights. To make it clean, the countdown will put in ten positions,  listing players for each team (seven per side for offense and defense), and then decide who gets the advantage and a winner will be predicted.   It’s hero vs hero in the inaugural Marvel Bowl! Let’s get on with the countdown.

#10: The Coaches: Team Captain America

No team is worth much without a good coach, and the Marvel Bowl is no different. They’re so important, in fact, that each team gets their own number in the countdown for their coach. On one side of the field is Avenger, war veteran and super-soldier, Captain America. His supreme tactical skills make him a perfect coach, with decades of knowledge and training helping lead his team to victory.

#9: The Coaches: Team Cyclops

Undisputed leader of the X-Men, Cyclops is known as a tactical genius, and a master of strategy. Matching his wits against Captain America will be a tall order, Cyclops has never been lacking in confidence, making him the perfect coach for a team of super-heroes.

#8: The Quarterbacks

A good field general is essential in football, so the choices for Team Cap and Team Cyke are pivotal to victory. Captain America goes a traditional route, picking an intelligent, detail-oriented quarterback (and a master of magnetism) in Magneto, who is currently an ally of his opponent, and Cyclops goes a bit off-book by choosing the telekinetic Jean Grey (who yes, is alive, but only for this game). Magneto will be fine since whatever they use as a ball will have to be metal, so it won’t get completely annihilated, and Jean doesn’t even need to use her arms. Despite his intelligence, this one goes to Jean.

Advantage: Team Cyclops

#7: The Running Backs

In a classic power vs. speed match-up, Cyclops goes with former Avenger and adversary Quicksilver, the fastest character in the Marvel Universe. Cap on the other hands goes a bit unconventional this time, giving Cyclops a reason to worry when he chooses X-Men rival, the Juggernaut. When Juggernaut gets going, he is nearly impossible to stop, though it’s hard to catch what you can barely see. That being said, this one is a tough call.

Advantage: Even

#6: The Wide Receivers

Each team will get two here, and with the kind of arms behind center, these choices will be critical. Captain America takes one of his Avengers, Spider-Man, whose web-slinging abilities can help him make a catch just about anywhere. The other, Mister Fantastic, can snag a pass without having to even leave his feet. Cyclops again goes for speed, choosing teleportation master Nightcrawler, pairing him with the speedy Captain Marvel (formerly Ms. Marvel, who can also fly).  This combination of split-second precision and hard nosed speed is tough to beat, giving the advantage to Cyclops once again.

Advantage: Team Cyclops

#5: The Offensive Line

Every team needs a few good anchors, and each team thinks they got the three protectors they need to keep their quarterbacks standing. Captain America goes for the biggest guys he can, choosing the immovable Blob, Fantastic Four member The Thing, and, in a surprise choice, steel-skinned Luke Cage. Cyclops follows suit with the metal-covered Colossus, Demi-God Hercules, as well as the agile Beast. More choices from their respective super-teams here, which is no surprise. But in this case, with the Blob on his side, Cap gets the nod.

Advantage: Team Captain America

#4: The Defensive Line

In an attempt to move those hulking men out of their way, the defensive line has one job: Get past the offensive line and destroy whoever has the ball before it gets behind them. In the basic set, there are two of these big guys, so that’s what will happen here. Cyke will do whatever he can to get the advantage here, including going to some surprising participants. Using Kitty Pryde and Spider-Man villain the Sandman, he can get through the defense without having to even touch them. A bold but effective move. Captain America continues to attempt to exploit size differences, tabbing The Hulk and Venom to tear their way through an offensive line. Venom is always a gamble, but one Cap must take to get the advantage. It’s not enough though, as the risky move made by Cyclops works far too well.

Advantage: Team Cyclops

#3: The Linebackers

With two linemen comes three linebackers, with these roving hitters doing it all. A combination of strength and speed, these guys are a major line of defense for either side. Playing these important positions for Team Cyclops are: Wolverine, who’s adamantium bone structure makes every hit a crushing blow, fellow Canadian Sasquatch, and Hulk villain, the Abomination. These heavy hitters are great support for the surprising defensive line, which is a good tactical move for Cyclops. Cap, on the other hand, gets a  bit tricky here, using the force field generating Invisible Woman, fellow Avenger Thor, and, in what is likely a psychological move, diamond-skinned telepath Emma Frost. Cap’s risk pays off, with the intelligence and skill of all three outmatching their counterparts.

Advantage: Team Captain America

#2: The Cornerbacks

Keeping an eye on the crafty pass-catchers opposing them, these defenders will have to be just as clever to keep them from having their way on passing attempts. To counteract the choice Cyclops made, Captain America takes a tremendous risk by putting the deranged Deadpool on Nightcrawler, matching his teleporting abilities. To match Ms. Marvel, Cap grabs another flier in The Human Torch, completing the use of Team FF. Cyclops gets risky as well, placing terrifying villain Carnage on his nemesis, Spider-Man. To combat Mr. Fantastic, Cyclops grabs fellow X-Man Iceman to freeze out Richards before he can get the catch. This one is far too close to call.

Advantage: Even

#1: The Safeties

These field generals roam the deep end of the field delivering punishing blows against the run and deft footwork against the pass. Cyclops turns to another ally, allowing Storm to patrol the deep end of the field will allow her to push the ball away, using wind gusts to impose her will. Captain America turns to one of his closest allies, Iron Man, to use his combination of strength and speed to watch the offense, a perfect position for someone like Stark. Quick to the punch and able to fly, he can hit hard and get there fast. This one goes to Cap, without question.

Advantage: Team Captain America

This match-up would be incredibly interesting to watch, using a small city as a field considering how these heroes can move. Despite being even in the positions listed, the coaching and passion of Captain America would inspire his team to win the day. A very, very close game, but the prediction would read:

Team Captain America: 35, Team Cyclops: 31

Thanks for reading, and indulging this silly concept. Come back next week for something (hopefully) less ridiculous. That’s it for the Countdown, take care, everyone!

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.


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