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!”
What is the “Great Super-Star Game”? Well, it’s pretty damn simple: Heroes vs. Villains in baseball. Full stop.
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:
So, 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:
Now, 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?
A 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?
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:
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:
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.
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.
Finally, here’s the box score and play-by-play they offered up:
Man, 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)
20. Shortstop Squad
21. Cosmic Slam
23. Mariners Mojo
32. Mr. Go
36. Dick Cole
48. Fallout 4
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.