The 50th BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: DC’s greatest heroes and villains… PLAY BASEBALL? (BLOGATHON ’16)

This post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

What more can be said about DC Super-Stars #10 that has not already been said? Larry Granillo has looked at it, so did internet-based comics fan extraordinaire Chris Sims, a comic book blog ran a whole series on it, SI Kids actually pulled up WPA for the game, and probably plenty of others have also done a look at it.

But… if there is something better suited for the 50th installment of Bizarre Baseball Culture, this site’s signature series, I don’t know what it is. So buckle up, because here we go with DC Super-Stars #10 from 1976… “The Great Super-Star Game!”

superstargamecoverGO BELOW THE JUMP FOR MORE:

What is the “Great Super-Star Game”? Well, it’s pretty damn simple: Heroes vs. Villains in baseball. Full stop.

superstargameopeningHow does this come about? Well, first, let’s go through the people responsible:

Bob Rozakis was a writer and editor for DC Comics during the 1970s and 80s, mainly known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the DC universe and for writing the ‘Mazing Man comedy series.

Penciller Dick Dillin had a 12-year run drawing Justice League of America, but died young in 1981 at only 51.

Frank McLaughlin has worked on a bunch of stuff over his long career for DC, Marvel, and comic strips.

Julius Schwatz was DC’s editor for decades before retiring in the late 1980s.

Now, where were we. Oh… right… how this game got started. Would you believe if I told you it was because of a marital argument? Because that’s totally what happens, as D-list villains Sportsmaster (who does crimes using sports equipment) and his wife the Huntress (later renamed the Tigress when a superheroine with the name Huntress came around) are arguing because Huntress is sick of never winning because villains never win. Yes, that’s what this entire argument is about:

superstargamesetupSo, yes, they decide they’ll just have a heroes-villains baseball game to determine whether or not Huntress becomes a hero or stays a villain. Because, y’know, god forbid she have any agency of her own. I mean, I’m not complaining because it causes this comic to happen, but you’d think that if the Huntress wanted to become a hero she could just become a hero instead letting her husband force her to resort to a baseball game.

Anyway, using teleportation technology that you would think they could have used to, y’know, steal stuff, they get the heroes and villains to come to a stadium. However, along the way we get some funny images, like Robin riding in a horse-race with Kid Flash as his horse:

superstargameRobinandKFOr Wonder Woman using Plastic Man as a lasso:

superstargamePlasandWWAnyway, the two teams agree to play and agree on who the umpires are… all in one page:

superstargamemoresetupNow, I have a few questions here. Like, for example, who got the stadium ready? I mean, even if they are mind-controlled, you can’t just expect 66,000 people to show up without people to act as groundskeepers, and… oh, screw it, it’s a comic book.

So, let’s take a look at the line-ups, shall we?

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 5.46.02 PMA good lineup even taking into account that this is a game where no powers are allowed, but also very rigid in it’s conventionality. I mean, seriously, I know that Superman isn’t allowed his powers (although I don’t know how can turn them “off), but why have him in 9th, even if he is a pitcher? I mean, seriously?

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 5.50.37 PMAgain, far too rigid. Sportsmaster’s entire shtick is that he’s good at sports. Even if he is pitching, why is he ninth?

Ah, screw it, it’s a comic book.

Anyway, if this comic has any flaws other than bad lineup construction, it’s in how condensed most of the game is. Here, I present to you 8/9ths of the Great Super-Star Game:

superstargamegame1

Yes, that’s it. They just go through 8 innings of action in one page. They somewhat make up for it with a play-by-play at the end of the story, but, man, would it have been nice to see the full game.

So, anyway, ninth inning, tied at 8. The Villains decide to get rid of the “no powers” rule. Thankfully for the heroes, the Villains are idiots.

The Tattooed Man, who has the power to make his tattoos come to life, is an idiot and forgets that the player, not the glove, is what matters when catching a ball:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 6.00.36 PMSportsmaster thinks it’s a good idea to throw a beanball at a guy who has bullets bounce off of him, because Sportsmaster is an idiot:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 6.02.16 PMAnd then they give up a single to Wonder Woman, loading the bases with no outs, because they are all a bunch of idiots.

Of course, for dramatic reasons, Robin then strikes out and Kid Flash grounds into a fielders-choice that sees Black Canary thrown out at home. But, don’t worry, because the Justice League has something you can’t buy: the plate discipline of Batman.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 6.09.50 PM9-8, Team Hero. And then Green Arrow hits a long single… only to fall for a magical hidden ball trick:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 6.11.47 PMFelix Faust is a punk. Still, the runs score, so it’s 11-8 Team Hero going into the bottom of the 9th.

Of course, the villains keep cheating. For example, Lex Luthor has invented the ultimate Moneyball weapon: a bat that forces the ball to go out of the strike zone, allowing for an easy walk.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 6.17.26 PMAnd then, it starts getting really crazy:

superstargamegame5This goes on for another half-page, until, inevitably, the Villains are just one run away from tying it up… at which point Plastic Man, himself a reformed criminal, pulls a dirty trick of his own:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 6.26.53 PMYes, so, you saw it here first, kids! If your enemy is cheating, you should cheat too to get even! Boom! There you go kids!

Finally, here’s the box score and play-by-play they offered up:

BoxscoreandpbpSuperstargameMan, I get that they weren’t allowed to use their powers, but Superman and Sportsmaster really sucked on the mound. Also, the fact that Sportsmaster hit two home runs is further proof that he was an idiot to have himself hit last.

So, that’s the Great Super-Star Game. Perhaps I’ll come back to it some day to go a bit more in depth. But… thank you for supporting Bizarre Baseball Culture. Come back NEXT TIME as we see the Kool-Aid Man. Seriously.

Previously on BIzarre Baseball Culture:

Prologue: “Rockets on the Mound” (short story)

1: Captain Marvel teaches baseball to Martians

2: Fantom of the Fair and exploding baseballs

3: Doll Man fights the Baseball Bandits

4: Tony Stark- Baseball Fan

5: The Other Guys

6: The Little Wise Guys and the Absent-Minded Natural

7. Pokémon: “The Double Trouble Header”

8. Dash Dartwell’s PED use for justice

9. The Shield and the Ballpark Murders

10. 2007′s Triple-A Baseball Heroes

11. 2008′s Triple-A Baseball Heroes

12. The Batman and Cal Ripken join forces

13. Sub-Zero and Blasted Bulbs

14. “Pinky at the Bat”

15. How To Play Baseball 

16. Action Comics #50

17. Superman Adventures #13

18. Billy the Marlin (guest-starring Spider-Man)

19. Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop

20. Shortstop Squad

21. Cosmic Slam

22. Thanksgiving Doubleheader (Dick Blaze and Franklin Richards)

23. Mariners Mojo

24. Ozzie Smith and Tony the Tiger

25. 25th Installment!

26. Stuart Taylor travels through time

27. Captain America in “Death Loads the Bases”

28. Captain America in “High Heat”

29. Spider-Man, Uncle Ben, and the Mets

30. Green Arrow and Elongated Man

31. Hideki Matsui’s Godzilla Cameo

32. Mr. Go

33. Captain Marvel, Tawky Tawny, and the Tigers

34. Cal Ripken Jr. Bio-Comic

35. Simpsons Comics #120 

36. Dick Cole

37. The 2001 NY Yankees (and Cal Ripken) in “Championship Challenge”

38. “It’s Tokyo, Charlie Brown!”

39. Stan Musial Bio-Comic

40. “Challenge of the Headless Baseball Team!” 

41. “To Beat The Devil!” 

42. “The Day Baseball Died” Continuucast

43. Bullseye: Perfect Game 

44. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #34

45. Yankee Stadium in Marvel Comics

46. Popeye the Sailor Man in “Twisker Pitcher”

47. Cleveland Indians Strikeforce vs. The Scatman

48. Fallout 4

49. Ultraman 80 vs. Glovusk, the giant evil baseball glove

50. The Great Super-Star Game! (You are here)

At 9 PM: A preview of some of the great people who will be contributing pieces over the weekend

This post has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

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7 thoughts on “The 50th BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: DC’s greatest heroes and villains… PLAY BASEBALL? (BLOGATHON ’16)

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