Under The Tree: NFL SuperPro

In the long history of sports cards and comic books, NFL SuperPro is probably one of the most gimmicky ideas to come along.

Written by comic book writer and editor Fabian Nicieza, NFL SuperPro tells the story of a rising football star named Phil Grayfield.  After sustaining a knee injury while saving a child from falling, Grayfield’s playing days seemed behind him.  Upon finding out that he could no longer play the game he loved, Grayfield became a sports reporter.  One day Grayfield was interviewing a superfan, who also happened to be a scientist.  This scientist had created a new, almost indestructible football uniform that needed to be molded on an “individual basis”, and cost five million dollars to make.

During the interview, thieves broke into the scientist’s home.  They stole a bunch of NFL merchandise (not the uniform), and then set the place on fire.  Grayfield attempted to escape while tied-up.  In the process he knocked over some chemicals, and in combination with that and the rare football memorabilia going up in flames turned Grayfield into a superhero.  Grayfield made it out alive with the scientist’s uniform, and then dedicated his life to fighting crime.

NFL SuperPro ran for twelve issues, plus one special edition.  He’s called one of Marvel’s biggest flops, which in turn makes him a cult object.  They tried to boost sales by teaming him up with Spider-Man and Captain America, but it just didn’t work.  The story is basic, and it had too many football puns.  Almost everything about this comic is football related, which I think is it’s real downfall.  Nicieza has openly admitted that he only wrote the comic for free NFL tickets.

Nobody has heard from NFL SuperPro since the comic ended in 1992.  If you’re reading this Disney, please name a future Marvel film character Phil Grayfield.  He doesn’t have to turn into NFL SuperPro, but it would be an interesting nod to this lost character.

Marvel Comics NFL SuperPro Special Edition #1

1990 Pro Set NFL SuperPro

1991 JusToys Bend-Ems NFL SuperPro action figure

Card of the Day: 1990 Pro Set SUPERPRO

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