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: Marvel’s Menagerie of Yankee Stadium appearances

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.

Sometimes, baseball plays a role in a piece of fiction, but not really a big enough one where I can do a full piece on it. Take Marvel, for example. The fact that 95% of their heroes are in New York City means that there are plenty of stories where heroes or villains visit Yankee Stadium but where their visit isn’t long enough or baseball-focused enough to really justify giving them the full Bizarre Baseball Culture treatment.

So, this time, I’m killing many birds with one stone and showcasing some of Yankee Stadium’s appearances in Marvel comics. Go below the jump to see some of them:

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BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: Marvel Adventures Spider-Man 34 brings steroid accusations, hallucinations, and a angry father

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.

Sports have many problems. There are performance enhancing drugs, exploitative agents, a culture that honors people and asks their opinions for no other reason than that they are strong, and stupid adults who ruin everything.

And in Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #34, we get a hard-hitting glimpse at how this affects high school baseball in a Marvel Universe. BECAUSE SOMEBODY HAD TO TELL US!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 1.39.53 PMPublished in 2007, this issue was part of the Marvel Adventures/Marvel Age imprint, a set of ongoing series that were meant for all-ages of readers. To make it more readable for younger folks, these series cut down on more complicated backstories, featured characters (like Spider-Man) that most kids would have been familiar with from TV or movies, featured younger versions of some characters (this Spider-Man is still in High School, for example), didn’t have as much violence, and eliminated bad language and sexual innuendo.

But… that doesn’t stop it from having steroid accusations, a angry father, sports agents, and other fun stuff! It also has a baseball uniform with a Koala Bear on it, which is cool.

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: Spider-Man, Uncle Ben, and the Mets

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.

(Note: This article may have spoilers to Amazing Spider-Man 2, since I reference a major storyline that I’m going to guess shows up in the movie. It’s in the second-to-final paragraph before the jump, if you want to know what to skip to avoid the spoiler.)

As the sequel to the reboot of Spider-Man comes out, entitled The Amazing Spider-Man 2, now is as good as any to do a Bizarre Baseball Culture on a comic entirely about Spider-Man and his baseball fandom. Now, ole’ Web-Head is no stranger to Bizarre Baseball Culture, having shown up in the past on at least three occasions (most recently fighting Doctor Doom alongside Billy the Marlin), but those were promotional comics that happened to feature Spider-Man. This time, we are looking at an honest-to-goodness Spider-Man comic: Peter Parker Spider-Man (Volume 2) #33. This issue from 2001 is about Peter Parker’s relation with his late Uncle Ben, and how baseball was a bond between them.

Now, before we begin, I’d like to write a bit about Spider-Man in general. What made the Marvel characters different when they first started appearing in the 1960s was that they were, in general, more relatable and flawed than the DC counterparts and the Marvel superheroes that had been created in the 30s and 40s. The Fantastic Four was often bickering with each other (like an family does), the X-Men were shunned by most of society (Stan Lee has said that being a mutant is basically meant to be a stand-in for being a minority), the Hulk was shunned by basically all of society… and Spider-Man, for lack of a better term, was a loser.

Okay, maybe not a loser, but definitely the closest thing there had been up to that point: an unpopular kid with no parents, only one family member of any sort (Aunt May) and little money. To make matters worse, when supervillains weren’t coming after him, the press and/or the police were. If things could go wrong for Peter Parker, they probably have. Parents? Dead. Uncle? Dead. Aunt? Perpetually sick. First true love (Gwen Stacy)? Murdered (and, amazingly, never came back to life). Second true love (Mary Jane)? Marriage magically annulled in a story far too stupid to talk about. Heck, while I haven’t read it, apparently most recently poor Peter Parker saw his body body-snatched by Doctor Ocopus while he was forced to die in “Doc Ock’s” cancer-ridden body (don’t worry, he got better). But all of this pales in comparison to the greatest, most horrible fate to ever fall upon Spider-Man:

Being a fan of the New York Mets.


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Bizarre Baseball Culture: BILLY THE MARLIN guest-starring SPIDER-MAN

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 if I told you there was a comic about Doctor Doom invading 90s Miami in order to kidnap Jeff Conine, only to be foiled by Spider-Man and Billy the Marlin? And what if I told you that Robb Nen also had a brief cameo? Would you be interested in this comic?

Well, seeing as how you are currently looking at this, the answer is probably yes. And, guess what? You are in luck, as this comic does exist:


Yes, it’s time for Bizarre Baseball Culture to jump into Billy the Marlin, guest-starring Spider-Man! Read below to see the background of it, or go below the jump for an overview and analysis:

The comic, as far as I can tell, was given out in either 1996 (that’s the copyright date in the book and also fits with some of the Marlins portrayed) or 1999 (that’s where it’s listed on some online websites, but doesn’t fit since Conine and Nen weren’t on the 1999 Marlins team) for Billy the Marlin’s birthday, a nice little treat for kids who were at the Marlins game. Based on what I could find, Billy the Marlin’s birthday is usually celebrated in August, so presumably this comic came out in August of 1996 or 1999 (I personally think 1996).

The writer and colorist of this comic was Mark Bernardo, who primarily worked as a colorist and editor at Marvel during the 1990s, primarily in Spider-Man books- he was one of the many cooks in the kitchen during the disastrous “Clone Saga” (which was apparently so complicated both in-story and out that I don’t quite understand it even from what I can find online).

Pencilling the story was Alex Saviuk, a prolific artist who is, according to the “Comic Book DB”, best known for his work involving Spider-Man, including a Sunday newspaper strip.

Greg Adams did inks, Janice Chiang did letters and Glenn Herdling was the Editor. All three had plenty of experience in comics.

End of background, go BELOW THE JUMP for overview and analysis (Warning: image-intensive!):

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