Bizarre Baseball Culture 2.0: Action Comics #50 has Superman being a Superjerk

In Bizarre Baseball Culture 2.0, I take an updated look at some of the more unusual places that I previously covered where baseball has reared its head in pop culture and fiction. In the process, I clean up some mistakes of mine and add some more perspective.

NOTE: The original form of this post ran here. It has some grammatical mistakes and out-of-date information that has been corrected in this post, but remains up for posterity. In addition, I have taken time to replace most of the pictures in this post with better digital copies.

Superman. Contrary to popular belief, he was not the first superhero, but he was the first to truly make an impact. First appearing in Action Comics #1, he has influenced every superhero since. While it has been awhile since he was the most popular hero, his influence is felt to this day across the world.

Today, we are focusing on the past with Action Comics #50, way back in July, 1942. I read it initially in The Superman Chronicles Volume Nine, which I got from my local library. In the original posting of this installment, the scans were from that. This time, however, I have updated most of the photos with screenshots from this issue on DC’s DC Universe Infinite service. The only exceptions are the ones linked to in the text (since they usually are so small in scale that it doesn’t make that much of a difference). All scans and screenshots are for educational or demonstration purposes only and are being used under the fair use doctrine. Also, I’d like to note that Michael Clair has also covered this story, so check that out too.

Anyway, go below the jump:

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BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: Baseball with Galactus in Marvel Adventures Avengers #26

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.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! Avengers: Endgame is breaking all of the box office records, so now is as good of a time as any to bring you a Bizarre Baseball Culture look at a truly bizarre Avengers tale: 2008’s Marvel Adventures The Avengers Volume 1 #26, in which baseball helps our heroes save a planet from Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds.

Well, sort of. It’s more of a non-sequitur thrown in to justify this awesome cover:

Image of cover of magazine, featuring Galactus looking down at the Silver Surfer, Hulk and Spider-Man playing baseball.

And… I’m totally fine with that! It is available to read for Marvel Unlimited subscribers here. Head below the jump for more of this piece:

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Bizarre Baseball Culture: What does “The White Killer” have to do with Baseball?

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.

Way back in the ninth installment of this series, I mentioned how one of the archtypes of superheroes is the patriotic hero. The most notable, of course, is Captain America, but there have been others: The Shield (who starred in that comic), Uncle Sam, Miss America, the Fighting Yank, etc.

This time in Bizarre Baseball Culture, we look at a comic involving one of the lesser patriotic heroes, one relegated (probably with good reason) to the dustbin of comic book history: U.S. Jones. He got his powers- whatever they are (they aren’t really expanded upon) from a scientist, and he fights enemies of America during WWII, as one does. This is what he looks like on the cover of the comic that contained this story, called “The White Killer”:

Wow, what a horrible costume. It’s somebody ate an American flag and then vomited upon Jones’ skin. And then there’s the U and S upon his chest. You know, in case you didn’t get that he was themed for the United States of America by the fact that his costume looks like he did stuff to a flag forbidden by the US Flag Code.

Anyway, the comic, from Wonderworld Comics #33, can be found here. It is in the public domain.

Go below the jump for more.

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BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: Take “The Human Target” Out To The Ballgame

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.

Comic Book universes are huge and diverse, going through countless genres and containing both nitty-gritty realism and utterly fantastic science fiction or fantasy. And yet, they all take place in the same universe, no matter how different they seem. You can get a idea of just how crazy this is by looking at Marvel’s movie/TV empire, where Daredevil and Guardians of the Galaxy are both taking place in the same universe despite the fact that one of them is about a guy beating up mob bosses (and the occasional ninja) while the other one has both a talking raccoon and a talking tree.

However, as a result of this, sometimes characters get lost in the shuffle. They are technically part of the universe, but they rarely interact with it. Maybe it’s because their adventures are on the more mature side, maybe they are stuck in another dimension that the usual heroes don’t go to so often, or maybe, they aren’t seen because that’s just the way they want it…

Such is the case of Christopher Chance, AKA the Human Target. He’s not a completely unknown character- he’s been the subject of two short-lived shows based on his comics (the most notable being a two-season FOX series starring Mark Valley and James Earle Haley), but he’s firmly in the D-list of DC Comics. And those were both pretty different from the comics and had little indication of taking place in a world of DC Comics. In fact, when it was announced that the Human Target would be coming to Arrow, some people were surprised to find out that he even was a DC character. That’s probably because he doesn’t interact with the rest of the DC Universe all that much. Or maybe he does, but we just don’t know it.

Because, you see, the Human Target is a master of disguise. He becomes the would-be assassination victim using heavy prosthetic-work and a knack for copying voices and body language. And in this installment of Bizarre Baseball Culture, Christopher Chance figuratively steps up to the plate:

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.29.36 AM Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.30.43 AMGO BELOW THE JUMP FOR MORE:

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BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: The Kool-Aid Man Cometh (W/bonus Kool-Aid Commercial)

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.

There is a man. A man unlike any other other. He’s not really a man, he’s more like a anthropomorphic water-pitcher filled with Kool-Aid. He is the Kool-Aid Man, and he is the subject of this installment of Bizarre Baseball Culture:

KAMcoverOH, YEAAHH! It’s time for The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man #1 from Marvel Comics in 1983. Go below the jump for more:

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Spider-Man’s appearances in BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE

As you would know unless if you’ve been living under a rock the last day or two, Spider-Man is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In honor of this, here are the web-slinger’s appearances in BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE:


The crossover between Marvel Comics and AAA baseball that you never knew you needed, Spidey is one of the main characters in this comic. There is also a serious error, however, as Peter Parker is portrayed wearing Yankee regalia, which goes against the well-established fact (to Spider-fans) that Pete is a Mets fan.


Spider-Man has a much smaller role in the second AAA/Marvel crossover, but does still appear, so it counts.


One of the greatest achievements in human history, right up there with fire, the wheel, the polio vaccine and Mario Kart. I mean, just look at this:

MarlinsSpideyCoverIn this comic, Spider-Man aids Billy the Marlin in stopping Doctor Doom, who has arrived in Miami to kidnap Jeff Conine in order to force him to join the Latverian National Baseball Team, or something like that. It’s amazing. I did not make that up.

Peter Parker Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #33

The last (for now) Bizarre Baseball Culture featuring Spidey, this issue is entirely about Peter Parker’s love of the New York Mets and how it was a bond between him and his Uncle Ben. Features an appearance of an off-brand and talking Mr. Met.

So, there you go! Spider-Man’s appearances in BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE! Enjoy!



Bizarre Baseball Culture: Post-Schulz Peanuts go to Japan in “It’s Tokyo, Charlie Brown!”

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.

Today, we look at an odd duck: a Peanuts story. Only it’s not from the classic comics by Charles Schulz, it’s instead a long-form post-Schulz comic book in which Charlie Brown and friends go to Japan after being selected to represent America as Little League ambassadors. Hilarity ensues.

Released in 2012 by KaBOOM! Press (part of BOOM! Studios) and authorized by the Schulz estate (which provided the actual creative team), It’s Tokyo, Charlie Brown! was written and penciled by Vicki Scott and had colored by Paige Braddock. Both had worked as assistants at Schulz’s studio before his death, which famously occurred the day his final Peanuts strip came out. In fact, Braddock apparently did the inking of the comic using a pen nib that “Chuck” had given her.

Still, I don’t know, despite that pedigree, I’m not so sure about this. I mean, I’m still weary about the the upcoming Peanuts CGI film, despite the fact that it’s teaser trailer was actually pretty good.

Well, we’ll have to see…. after the jump:

It only says "Charles M. Schulz" because they are his characters and he did the original drawing of them in baseball garb.

It only says “Charles M. Schulz” because they are his characters and he did the original drawing of them in baseball garb.

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Bizarre Baseball Culture: Cal Ripken orders the 2001 Yankees to Save The World

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.

Wolverine of the X-Men has a habit of appearing in comics he technically isn’t supposed to be in, simply because he’s popular. Well, Cal Ripken is the Wolverine of Baseball Comic Books.  He’s joined forces with Batman, led the Shortstop Squad, and been the subject of a bio-comic. Also, like Wolverine, Cal Ripken seemed to be able to recover from any injury, no matter how severe. But, it’s the first similarity that I’m focusing on, because, in the comic I will be looking at today, Cal Ripken appears in a story about the 2001 New York Yankees being Superheroes.

Let that sink in. The New York Yankees, in a comic that they themselves ordered and gave away, still had Cal Ripken in their comic and had him on the cover too.


Entitled “Championship Challenge” and given out September 28, 2001, it stars, as you can see, four of the greatest stars the Yankees had that season. Mariano Rivera! Tino Martinez! Jorge Posada! And, of course, the Once and Future Captain, Derek Jeter himself. But, of course, we also see Cal RIpken on the cover, letting everybody know that the Iron Man will be there! With such Ultimate Sports Force stalwarts as Rick Licht writing and Brian Kong doing the art, this was partially made as part of the Ripken farewell celebration, and it becomes even more obvious when you realize that originally Ripken’s final series would have been at Yankee Stadium if not for the schedule reshuffling that MLB did after the 9/11 attacks.

Anyway, go below the jump to read about the story:

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Bizarre Baseball Culture: The Detroit Tigers, A Talking Tiger, and the Power of SHAZAM!

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.

Nothing is going to beat Mr. Go. It just can’t be done. But, I’ll give it my best shot by bringing to you a comic from 1977 in which DC’s Captain Marvel and his talking anthropomorphic tiger mascot Tawky Tawny join the Detroit Tigers to defeat a team of alien All-Stars.

It’ll have to do.


So, here’s Shazam! number 32, from late 1977. I covered most of Captain Marvel’s complicated history (and why most people think he’s called Shazam) way back in May 2012, so if you want to know that, go there. However, an update is in order: DC has more or less given up calling him “Captain Marvel” and now is referring to him as “Shazam”. This is partly because everyone who doesn’t read comic books calls him that anyway, and also partly because Marvel has recently given the title of “Captain Marvel” to a character named Carol Danvers (who appeared as “Ms. Marvel” back in one of the AAA baseball comics) to great success, to the point where it’s thought they might make a movie starring her, likely with the name “Captain Marvel”.

Personally, the Shazam Captain Marvel will always be the real Captain Marvel to me, but, hey, you can’t beat copyright/trademark law, I guess.

(Incidentally, the Hero-Formerly-Known-As-Captain-Marvel-And-Now-Officially-Known-As-Shazam will reportedly be played by The Rock in a future movie.)

(Also, all characters, images and panels from the comic are trademarked and copyrighted to their owners and rights holders, all pictures here are are being used under fair use doctrine and are meant merely to support and enhance the opinions and facts stated in this post.)

But enough Captain Marvel background, go below the jump for an analysis/review of this comic!

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In this, the 25th official installment of “Bizarre Baseball Culture” (“Rockets Rigby” was something of a prologue), I don’t really look at anything new, so much as look at some things that keep popping up in the series. So far, we’ve had 19 comics-related posts (although some of them have been really short, and in other cases have been two-in-one deals), one movie clip, three animated pieces and one prose novel (plus the short story prologue). So, in all of those, what are some things I’ve noticed a lot of? Well… (GO BELOW THE JUMP)

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