Super Bowl 48, Super Hero Style: Marvel Vs. DC

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In honor of the “Big Game” in New Jersey between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, I figured it might be fun to see how the heroes of the Marvel and DC universes might line up if they decided to meet for a high stakes football game of their own. Hey, the X-Men used to get together for baseball games on a regular basis, so this is really only one step beyond that. And we’ll even let them play it somewhere warm, unlike the NFL. Ahem.

When picking the teams, I limited myself to only one of each “family” of very similar heroes: no multiple Green Lanterns, so War Machine or Iron Patriot when I already had Iron Man, etc. I tried to not necessarily just pick the biggest names and actually gave some thought to how different heroes’ personalities and powers would fit real football positions. For the DC team, I used the pre-Flashpoint pool of heroes since the versions from that period of time are better known and it gave me more choices than using their New 52 counterparts.

As for how the actual game would work… I’m not actually sure. I’m assuming flight wouldn’t be allowed, as that wouldn’t make it much fun, and some powers probably wouldn’t be allowed. I’m sure they’d work something out, and besides, we can just apply the same willing suspension of disbelief we always do as fans of comics.

Just remember it’s all in the spirit of fun and football. Without further ado, here are the teams:

Marvel – Offense

  • QB- Hawkeye
  • RB – Spider-Man
  • FB – Wolverine
  • T – Vision
  • G – Hulk
  • C – Thor
  • G – Thing
  • T – Colossus
  • WR – Quicksilver
  • WR – Mr. Fantastic
  • WR – Daredevil

Analysis: Clint Barton certainly would have the gunslinger mentality to make any throw, and current writers make him as accurate with thrown objects as he is with his bow. Few runners would have better instincts than Peter Parker thanks to his spider-sense, and I get a feeling Logan would enjoy the smashmouth role of being the lead blocker. Thor would be pleased to be in the center of the action, and Vision would give a whole new meaning to “anchoring” against the rush. At receiver, there’s a deep threat (Quicksilver), a possession guy (Mr. Fantastic, though it might be hard to get him to play), and the world’s first blind slot guy.

Marvel – Defense

  • DE – Beast
  • DT – Luke Cage
  • DT – She-Hulk
  • DE – Venom
  • LB – Winter Soldier
  • LB – Captain America
  • LB – Falcon
  • CB – Speedball
  • CB – Black Panther
  • FS – Nightcrawler
  • SS – Iron Man 

Analysis: Everyone would listen to Cap’s calls on defense, and he’s flanked by two guys he knows and trusts. The front four would be tough to run on and good at pressuring the passer (we’re assuming this is one of the good guys controlling the Venom symbiote). If Nightcrawler’s power is legal, he’ll be able to cover ground like no one’s business at free safety. And it only makes sense for Tony Stark to be the last line of defense. Maybe he’ll use the rocket-powered roller skates he used to sport!

DC – Offense

  • QB – Batman
  • RB – Superman
  • TE – Cyborg
  • T – Power Girl
  • G – Orion
  • C – Martian Manhunter
  • G – Shazam
  • T – Captain Atom
  • WR – Flash
  • WR – Plastic Man
  • WR – Nightwing

Analysis: The ultimate tactician and planner running the offense? Sounds good to me, and there’s no way Bruce Wayne would be confused by any coverages. Plus it would just be a fun chess match between Batman and Cap. Martian Manhunter could mentally ensure everyone on the line would be on the same page, and Orion has the kind of nasty edge that makes for a great interior lineman. The receivers match the Marvel gang almost straight up with a speedster, a guy who could never be overthrown, and an acrobatic third wideout.

DC – Defense

  • DE – Aquaman
  • DT – Atom Smasher
  • DT – Steel
  • DE – Hawkman
  • LB – Black Canary
  • LB – Wonder Woman
  • LB – Batwoman
  • CB – Creeper
  • CB – Obsidian
  • FS – Red Tornado
  • SS – Green Lantern

Analysis: Figure we’d get the most ornery characterizations of Aquaman and Hawkman to rush the passer. The all-female linebacking corps is solid, and Obsidian would certainly be able to shadow (zing!) receivers better than anyone. Instead of trash talk, Creeper could just unnerve anyone he’s lined up against with his maniacal cackling. And I see GL’s role as being similar to Iron Man’s, as he could literally put up a wall to stop opponents if need be. Which GL? Hal Jordan, John Stewart or Guy Gardner—take your pick.