Friday Refresh: Statis-Pro Football

91OImveDUCL._SY450_Statis-Pro was my introduction to sports simulation games. I have spent a good amount of time playing sports simulations, but my taste moved to Strat-O-Matic, which has a rabid, still active fanbase. I would play Strat baseball in a moment’s notice, and I still give shadow-GM advice to my friend who is multiple hockey leagues. But, the miracle of Strat did not translate for basketball and football.

The latter in particular was just not fun, IMHO. I want to draft all my players, I want to fall in love with my 3rd-and-long defensive specialists, I want to cheer for 3rd string WRs. Statis-Pro football was great fun, not too complicated, yes each game took a long time, but when I watch football, I often think in Statis-Pro terms. With the upcoming Big Game, I know I would like to sit down with my friend Mike and play out an old Big Game, if that was possible? Would the Giants still beat the Patriots?

TEMPLATE si sp football card 1990 EXIn the realm of “I would do a better job than Andy Reid” or “what might the season have been like without the injury to…” Statis-Pro Football reigned supreme.

There are some websites devoted to posting print-and-play card sets, and I have considered it, and I actually picked up an old version of the game at the GenCon auction.

But, I wish it was more accessible.

Enjoy the Big Game everyone, and if anyone does want to see what might have happened, and you have an afternoon, let’s grab some wings, and play some football!



If you have been following along, you know that I can delve into areas not normally associated with traditional nerd/geek interests. As a matter of fact, I won my fantasy football league (again) this year.

Football season is upon us.

So many teams have diluted their visual brand by adopting logos and uniforms that are very samey, much as MLB has done.Muted, earth-tone beased colors, metallic colors, swooshing logos…. BO-RING!

Bring back the bright colors, bring back the interesting logos (look at the Panthers, Jags, and Pats, they are almost interchangeable, and all certainly come from the same design house… blech).

The best uniforms of the past, and best classic uniforms (which do get slightly altered, but the essence remains the same), and uniforms that have always sucked.

  • Denver Broncos- orange and blue, the logo was great!
  • Tampa Bay- love the simplicity of the uniforms and the Buc on the helmet has always charmed me.
  • Patriots- there is definitely love for Pat the Patriot, but not enough that he might have 5 rings!
  • Seattle- it is subtle, but the color scheme has changed.
  • Philly- see Seattle.

The most iconic of uniforms:

  • Raiders
  • Jets
  • Falcons- my personal face, it’s my blog, so…

And then, in 1995 two teams entered the league, within 400 miles of each other, both in the south-east, both using some awful colors, and both named after cats. Bad look, bad call. Even worse is the blue tongue of the Jags, which is a dig at the Panthers. The Jags are moving more towards a black scheme and their current unifrms are unique, I just wish they could eradicate that tongue issue, looks like the fellow has been having too many pieces of candy. I discovered this which was a proposed uniform for an expansion Jags team, but the cat was too close to the Jaguar car company. I would suggest the Panthers embrace the Carolina blue, maybe even have the Panther itself be blue, the Jags should have a jaguar spotted helmet, paying reference to the Bengals striped helmet.



Marvel Team Relaunch


  • GEN X- Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Molly Hayes, M, Quentin Quire, Hellion, Eyeboy
  • Heroes For Hire- She-Hulk, Jessica Jones, Misty Knight, Hellcat, Silk, Collen Wing, Maddie Cho
  • Alpha Flight- Carol Danvers, Mantis, Aurora, Brand, Puck, Talisman, Sasquatch
  • New Warriors- Squirrel Girl, Kamala Khan, Sam Alexander Nova, Nico, Speedball, Firestar, Hazmat
ELLIE: Just before the draft, the New Warriors television series (starring Squirrel Girl) was just announced. It seemed as good a jumping point as any. I figured the New Warriors are a group of cool 20-somethings (and a few teens) who just wanted to do good. Think the Champions without the social media pressure. The New Warriors are about fixing and improving not only their image, but who they are as people.

Generation X was my final pick. I didn’t have it totally nailed down, but I wanted to have the “little brother” and “little sister” characters from a few different generations of X-Men on the team. I also wanted to have a series that could be about 90% guest cameos of awesome X-characters.

Without further ado, here are my pitches (Marvel, you can totally @ me on these):

Generation X
Kitty Pryde, the X-Men’s original little sister, returns from space. Equipped with more knowledge of the world, she returns to find her purpose in life. She knows she wants to help mutants expand their boundaries, both physically and in terms of knowledge, and so she starts Generation X, a special class of students and former students who join together to travel around the world, act as mutant liaisons, and represent the next generation.

Kitty acts as the team leader, but turns to M and Jubilee, two of the original Gen X, to help her expand everyone’s boundaries. M and Jubilee represent the worldly and the down-to-earth, respectively, and the trio covers 3 different, but not dissimilar, perspectives.

The four main students I drafted were Quentin Quire, who has the potential to create or destroy the world and therefore needs to learn about the people of the world, Hellion, Laura’s ex and someone who needs to expand his perspective beyond his privileged world, Eyeboy, with the power to see everything, but who’s experienced little, and Molly Hayes of the Runaways, who’s seen a lot in her young life, but needs help continuing to see the good in people.
The series would have occasional guest stars that visit to teach the students (and ultimately help the team), such as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Wasp and her GIRLS, Husk and Chamber (of course), the O5, and plenty of other X-folks!
(In retrospect, I could have easily done a “Logan’s Angels” team, with Rogue, Kitty, Jubes, Armour, Idie, Laura, and Gabby. I regret not doing this.)

Alpha Flight

Alpha Flight is funded through NASA and the Canadian government. They’re a little bit home country and a little bit space race.

Led by Carol Danvers, Alpha Flight is trying to figure out its place in the world. Are they the Guardians of the Galaxy? Well, not quite. The Avengers? Not really. So what do they actually do? Well, come back to us about that one.

Abigail Brand continues to oversee the program, but has brought on Mantis, the former Guardian’s empathy, because there’s a disturbance in the Force. No, not the Force, wrong book. It’s really that something’s a bit weird in this reality, which Mantis is in tune with, and it seems like someone needs to fix that problem.

Who better to do that than Sasquatch, Aurora, and Puck? Along with Talisman, who’s magic seems to be compatible with the multiverse and string theory, Alpha Flight fights for Earth. Or Earths, I guess.
Ultimately, Alpha Flight would explore the concept of alternate realities, but also the concept of finding your place in the world.
Heroes for Hire

Luke and Danny have moved on from Heroes for Hire. Not intentionally; they’re just busy guys. So it comes to Misty Knight to make Heroes for Hire work.

And she does this by turning it into a public service: think non-profit meets community center and you’ll hit it. She and Colleen Wing pull together the greatest heroes they can thing of who all just happen to be tied to New York and helping people, not other superheroes.

Jennifer Walters is the first one to volunteer, leaving her law firm to start working as a public defense attorney. Patsy Walker quickly follows her bff, tying her super powered temp agency into the Heroes for Hire brand. Jessica Jones begrudgingly joins, wanting to move out of the costumed spotlight, as the organization’s private detective. Silk stumbles into the team by accident, and brings Maddie Cho, who’s left her brother Amadeus to fend for himself, with her as a security blanket, and the team’s Oracle.

The fact that the Heroes are all women is totally coincidental: they’re there best there is, regardless of gender.
New Warriors

Squirrel Girl always idolized the New Warriors, and her mega crush Speedball, so all the coals the team has been raked over, time and again, really upset our peppy heroine. She’s determined to take the New Warriors and turn them into what they were always supposed to be: the next generation of Avengers.

Doreen turns to founding members Speedball and Firestar to get their blessing, and the two hop at the opportunity to do some good again. Ultimate fangirl Kamala Khan finds out what SG is doing, and offers up herself and her Nova pal, Sam Alexander, as team members. Former A-Force and Runaways member Nico Minoru, who happens to be on a secret heroes only message board with Kamala, decides that she needs to put herself back out there as a hero (again). Finally, Hazmat, the Avengers Academy and Avengers Arena survivor, who is dealing with her PTSD but still wants to help others, join the team.

The team’s meant to represent a little bit of everything in the Marvel Universe: Mutants (Firestar), Inhumans (Ms. Marvel), space (Nova), magic (Nico), accident (Speedball), genetics (Hazmat), squirrels (Squirrel Girl), and pet Avengers (Niels).

The New Warriors follow the tone of the current Squirrel Girl comics, where unexpected non-violence is ultimately the answer to all conflicts. Cause punching people is great and all, but what does it actually get you? Hurty knuckles, that’s what!


  • Avengers- Captain America (SRogers), Odinson, Iron Man (TStark), Pym, Clint, Janet, Banner
  • Invaders- Winter Soldier, Namor, Union Jack, Spitfire, Hammond, Toro, Le Peregrine
  • Space Knights- Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Richard Rider Nova, Vance Astro, Moondragon, Quasar, Beta-Ray Bill
  • Fantastic Four- Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Jane Foster Thor, Rita, Black Knight, Dr. Druid, Stingray

1678922-avengers_lineup01MIKE: The Justice League is the big 7, so that is what I was hoping to do with my Avengers team, but figured I would lose a few of my hopefuls to either Barak or Ellie.  I didn’t as I literally was able to draft the 7 heroes I envisioned.  The Avengers are the prime super-hero team.  Everyone wants to grow up to be an Avenger, and when the Avengers call, you say yes! Captain America (Steve Rogers) was selected first, both because Barak threatened to take him and he was going to be the team leader. Thor (Odinson) and Iron Man (Tony Stark) round out the Big 3. Giant Man (Hank Pym), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), and the Incredible Hulk (Bruce Banner) fill out the core team.  The fact that I had to list secret identities as identifiers for every single hero shows exactly what I feel is wrong with Marvel right now.  Let your big guns be your big guns.

Invaders_Vol_1_20Just as the Justice League had their fore-bearers the JSA, the Avengers would have the Invaders.  The first super-team put together to fight the Nazis, the Invaders would evolve as heroes retired and passed on their identities but still be guided by the principles of the founding team (or in some cases the principals). Winter Soldier was going to be the tie to the Avengers as well as the team leader.  Bucky all grown up is joined by fellow original team members Namor, Spitfire, Human Torch (Jim Hammond), and Toro.  The third Union Jack fills in for the original Union Jack and for the final spot I wanted to add a character that filled what I feel was a glaring omission in the original team-either a French or Soviet super-hero.  I went back and forth with Ursa Major and Vanguard before settling on Le Peregrine.

When you think Marvel comic super-teams, after Avengers and X-Men, the Fantastic Four has to be in the conversation.  Typically a “family” team I was going to focus on the adventurers side.  I wanted a team of heroes who weren’t necessarily out there fighting crime, but out there exploring the world.  With so many potential scientist based heroes, I realized I needed a hero who would keep the team grounded in reality.  While Reed Richards is usually the leader of the team, I feel Ben Grimm (Thing) would serve better as this team’s leader. Reed (Mr. Fantastic) of course would be on the team as would fellow scientists Dane Whitman (Black Knight), Walter Newell (Stingray), and Rita DeMara (Yellowjacket).  Rounding out the team would be medical doctor Jane Foster (Thor) and mystical specialist Anthony Druid (Dr. Druid). As noted by the way I listed them, the book would focus on their exploration of the new Marvel Universe as scientists, and not so much as super-heroes.  Think Challengers of the Unknown meets Planetary.

Space Knights is the team that fills the role of the Watcher on the Wall.  It’s a great concept, the first (and sometimes only) line of defense against alien invasion.  But no offense to them, but Nick Fury and Bucky Barnes are not suited for the job.  You need a team of aliens to fight aliens, and who better to lead them then a human who sees himself as an alien?  Peter Quill, Star-lord, is joined by his former Guardians of the Galaxy teammate Rocket Raccoon and future GotG member Vance Astro.  They are joined by 3 other cosmic heroes who were born on Earth: Moondragon, Nova (Richard Rider), and Quasar. The final slot again was a tough call, as I had a short list of Groot, Bug (from the Micronauts!), one of the Galadorian Space Knights, or Beta Ray Bill.  The power of Beta Ray Bill was too much to pass on.  Also, the fact that most of my team also served as analogs of Green Lantern Corps members didn’t hurt.  Peter Quill/Hal Jordan. Rocket/Ch’p, Vance Astro/Rond Vidar, Moondragon/Guardian of the Universe, Richard Rider/Kyle Rayner, Beta Ray Bill/Kilowog, and really who is Quasar, but a Marvel Green Lantern?


  • West Coast Avengers- Dazzler, Wonder Man, Mockingbird, Kate Bishop, Shroud, Tigra, Striker
  • Champions- Darkstar, Northstar, Black Panther, Tempus, Defensor, Namora, Radiance
  • USAvengers- Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Scott Lang, Cass, American Eagle, Echo, US 1
  • Defenders- Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Spider Woman, Nighthawk, Hellstrom, Sue Storm, Cloud


West Coast Avengers I wanted to be characters associated with the original team, or associated with fame. i wanted a somewhat misfit group of heroes, looking for s second chance, or looking to do the hero thing somewhere other than Manhattan. I have always been a fan of Shroud, and I thought Striker would be a great addition to this veteran team, getting some hero-training by some of the best in the biz!

My idea for Champions came from a passing comment from Mike, that Marvel didn’t really have a Global Guardians team. What better moniker than The Champions? Darkstar was a throwback to the original team, and represented Russia/ Europe. Northstar represents Canada, and is a character I have always been a fan of. Tempus is great because she is an Australian character without being an Australian cliche. South America didn’t really have a whole lot to choose from, so why not a callback to one of my favorite series, the one that started them all, Contest of Champions. namora representing Atlantis, and for my final pick, I really debated. An argument can be made that Russia is a part of Asia, and if so, I considered grabbing a most unlikely hero, Infamous Iron Man, AKA Dr. Doom. Instead I went with the recently introduced Radiance. I’d see Black Panther leading this team representing every inhabited continent, Marvel’s answer to Stormwatch/ The Authority, as well as Global Guardians.


Just a big tease.

USAvengers: The Team With No Name. Not a team, but a book about wandering heroes traveling the US and doing good. Each issue might be a self-contained story, or might contain parts of multiple stories continued in the following issues. Herc and Cho, Scott and Cass, American Eagle, Echo, and US 1 bring some interesting characters to the table, and would allow us to explore some lesser seen parts of the country, and deal with some way lesser-known villains. I wanted to draft Team America/ ThundeRiders, but draft rules dictated I would need to take them individually, so I settled for US 1.

dfad1Defenders: Just like the classic non-team, I didn’t really have an idea. NYC based, helping people, fighting villains and organizations the hoity-toity Avengers don’t have time for, some dramatic tension with Sue Storm on the team, touching upon topical matters in the news as well much more than most of the the other team books (USAvengers would also allow for this type of interesting exploration and examination of news and society). I went with Hellstrom instead of Strange as he has had some dealings with danny and Luke recently. I enjoyed the recent Spider-Woman series. This one was a blank canvas in many ways, but would be a lot of fun to write.

Marvel, give us a call. We can make these team books work. I bet these 12 could sell more than your top 12 team books are currently selling! Bold words, indeed!

Marvel Draft Final Day

This is it, the final day of the draft, as teams look to round out their rosters, and come up with the starting seven!

hellcatwalker2ROUND 4:

  • Defenders- Nighthawk
  • F4- Rita Demara Yellowjacket
  • Space Knights- Vance Astro
  • NW- Nico Minoru
  • H4H- Hellcat
  • USAvengers- Cass Lang
  • Champions- Tempus
  • Alpha Flight- Abigail Brand
  • Invaders-Spitfire
  • Avengers-Hank Pym Giant Man
  • WCA- Kate Bishop
  • GenX- M



  • GEN X- Quentin Quire
  • WCA- Shroud
  • Avengers- Hawkeye Clint Barton
  • Invaders- Jim Hammond Human Torch
  • Alpha Flight- Puck
  • Champions- Namora
  • USAvengers- American Eagle
  • H4H- Silk
  • NW- Speedball
  • Space Knights- Moondragon
  • F4- Black Knight
  • Defenders- Sue Storm

3129351-ohotmu+defenders+#1+-+page+8ROUND 6:

  • Defenders- Hellstrom
  • F4- Dr. Druid
  • Space Knights- Quasar
  • NW- Firestar
  • H4H- Colleen Wing
  • USAvengers- Echo
  • Champions- Defensor
  • Alpha Flight- Talisman
  • Invaders- Toro
  • Avengers- Wasp (Janet Van Dyne)
  • WCA- Tigra
  • GenX- Hellion



  • GEN X- Eyeboy
  • WCA- Striker
  • Avengers- Hulk Bruce Banner
  • Invaders- Le Peregrine
  • Alpha Flight- Sasquatch
  • Champions- Radiance
  • USAvengers- US 1
  • H4H- Maddie Cho
  • NW- Hazmat
  • Space Knights- Beta-Ray Bill
  • F4- Stingray
  • Defenders- Cloud

Cloud, rightfully, picks up the title of Captain Irrelevant.


  • GEN X- Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Molly Hayes, M, Quentin Quire, Hellion, Eyeboy
  • West Coast Avengers- Dazzler, Wonder Man, Mockingbird, Kate Bishop, Shroud, Tigra, Striker
  • Avengers- Captain America (SRogers), Odinson, Iron Man (TStark), Pym, Clint, Janet, Banner
  • Invaders- Winter Soldier, Namor, Union Jack, Spitfire, Hammond, Toro, Le Peregrine
  • Alpha Flight- Carol Danvers, Mantis, Aurora, Brand, Puck, Talisman, Sasquatch
  • Champions- Darkstar, Northstar, Black Panther, Tempus, Defensor, Namora, Radiance
  • USAvengers- Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Scott Lang, Cass, American Eagle, Echo, US 1
  • Heroes For Hire- She-Hulk, Jessica Jones, Misty Knight, Hellcat, Silk, Collen Wing, Maddie Cho
  • New Warriors- Squirrel Girl, Kamala Khan, Sam Alexander Nova, Nico, Speedball, Firestar, Hazmat
  • Space Knights- Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Richard Rider Nova, Vance Astro, Moondragon, Quasar, Beta-Ray Bill
  • Fantastic Four- Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Jane Foster Thor, Rita, Black Knight, Dr. Druid, Stingray
  • Defenders- Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Spider Woman, Nighthawk, Hellstrom, Sue Storm, Cloud

Mike could’ve made Woodgood a contender.

COMMENTARY: Tomorrow, we will hear from the teams, and have each present us their concepts, let us look at the Top 10 Undrafted Free Agents:

  • Spider-Man (Parker)
  • Wolverine
  • Dr. Strange
  • Vision
  • Storm
  • Beast
  • Spectrum
  • Black Widow
  • Rogue
  • Woodgod


Marvel Hero Draft Day 2

Day 2 of the Hero Draft will see teams adding the 2nd and 3rd members to their teams, and should hopefully give us a better idea the direction they are going.


  • Defenders- Luke Cage
  • F4- Reed Richards
  • Space Knights- Rocket Racoon
  • NW- Kamala Khan
  • H4H- Jessica Jones
  • USAvengers- Amadeus Cho
  • Champions-Northstar
  • Alpha Flight- Mantis
  • Invaders- Namor
  • Avengers- Odinson
  • WCA- Wonder Man
  • GenX- Jubilee



  • GEN X- Molly Hayes
  • WCA- Mockingbird
  • Avengers- Tony Stark Iron Man
  • Invaders- Union Jack
  • Alpha Flight- Aurora
  • Champions- Black Panther
  • USAvengers- Scott Lang
  • H4H- Misty Knight
  • NW- Sam Alexander Nova
  • Space Knights- Richard Rider Nova
  • F4- Jane Foster Thor
  • Defenders- Spider Woman

Acotilletta2--Nova_memorialTEAMS SO FAR:

  • GEN X- Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Molly Hayes
  • West Coast Avengers- Dazzler, Wonder Man, Mockingbird
  • Avengers- Captain America (SRogers), Odinson, Iron Man (TStark)
  • Invaders- Winter Soldier, Namor, Union Jack
  • Alpha Flight- Carol Danvers, Mantis, Aurora
  • Champions- Darkstar, Northstar, Black Panther
  • USAvengers- Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Scott Lang
  • Heroes For Hire- She-Hulk, Jessica Jones, Misty Knight
  • New Warriors- Squirrel Girl, Kamala Khan, Sam Alexander Nova
  • Space Knights- Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Richard Rider Nova
  • Fantastic Four- Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Jane Foster Thor
  • Defenders- Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Spider Woman


COMMENTARY: The second round saw the first controversy, as Joe Quesada announced Hellcat as the Heroes For Hire pick, but the official draft card reported Jessica Jones. Draft rules state that the draft card is the official pick of record.

It looks like our instincts were right with Avengers, Invaders, New Warriors, and Gen X. Space Knights seems to be Guardians of the Galaxy redux, Defenders seems to be shaping in name-sake non-team fashion, Fantastic Four took an odd turn in the 3rd Round, Heroes For Hire is exactly what Ellie said it would be, West Coast Avengers and Champions draft strategy seems unclear or at best, not necessarily compelling, along with USAvengers.

Tomorrow will conclude the draft, be sure to tune in, and see who takes the title of Captain Irrelevant!

Marvel Hero Draft: Day 1

With the teams set, and with some regrets (I forgot about First Line and Illuminati) we move onto the first day of player drafting. As with the more prominent draft happening,


Lockheed not included!

the first day will just be the first round.

  • GEN X- Kitty Pryde
  • WCA- Dazzler
  • Avengers- Steve Rogers Cap
  • Invaders- Winter Soldier
  • Alpha Flight- Carol Danvers
  • Champions- Darkstar
  • USAvengers- Hercules
  • H4H- Shulkie
  • New Warriors- Squirrel Girl
  • Space Knights- Star Lord
  • F4- Ben Grimm
  • Defenders- Iron Fist

COMMENTARY: Dazzler and Darkstar give nothing away from the draft rooms of the West Coast Avengers or Champions, Ben Grimm is a great pick-up, and with Iron Fist and Kitty Pryde, Barak and Ellie expectedly drafted some of their favorite players.

What to Look For On Day 2: Tomorrow will see teams drafting their 2nd and 3rd (of 7) players. Look for Mike to go for some of the Big names (Iron Man, Thor, etc) for his Avengers team, and some classic heroes for his Invaders team. Ellie is looking like a female led young X team for Gen X and young heroes for New Warriors, is a reunion with Speedball in the cards? Will Barak grab Luke Cage at the top of the 2nd round, and how bizarre will the West Coast Avengers and Champions rosters be?

Marvel Team Draft

Gifted the power of Editorial Control, Ellie, Mike, and I set into plan the first phase of our rebooting of the Marvel Universe, or, more correctly, our 12 team books that will move product for Marvel. Today, we drafted our teams. Any Marvel team was available. The draft order was randomly determined, and it went down like this:

c1ecaa17b4621589894908b0c7eb0f64I assigned each of us the numbers 1-4:

  9. E3- GEN X

Going first, I had to go with my heart, and pick two of my favorite teams and team books. Unabashedly, unapologetically, I love the Defenders and the out and out craziness of the Champions. Any super-group cool enough to get named dropped by Del the Funky Homosapien is a legacy cool enough to get their own book, and USAvengers, Well, ever since Marvel did the cover tease of each state having a hero, they have angered me by not following through. Long have I said that The Initiative should have been a 52 issue weekly comic with each issue detailing one of the teams in each state. I had an idea, i would of course have to wait until the hero draft to see if I could make it a reality.

Ellie: “I have to say, I went into the draft with an unclear picture of what I wanted. As much as I like the X-Men, I’m not a “team” girl. I never really read Avengers or Justice League, and to this day, I don’t really buy them.The only teams I collect retroactively are JSA/Justice League Europe (because Power Girl), New Mutants, and late 1970’s Defenders (I’m a sucker for Hellstrom and Hellcat, both classic and in general). I completed my Generation X collection about 3 years ago, and it was totally worth it.

Ellie: “Anyway, not much into teams. I’m more interested in how characters interact and are human. I love reading the humanity in unreal characters, romance, and I do love books about teens interacting. So, while I could have drafted the Avengers or X-Men right off the bat, I didn’t want to. Thinking on it, my favorite “teams” in comics were weird ones, outliers like the short lived Lady Liberators, the more focused on time travel Excalibur, and the oh so Canadian, eh, Alpha Flight, or non-teams like Heroes for Hire, Daughters of the Dragon, or the Future Foundation.

Ellie: “So I went off the idea of the most unusual teams. I knew I wanted to pick Alpha Flight first. I like that Alpha Flight has transitioned from Canada’s super team to the team that guards the perimiter of the Earth. I also figured that Mike or Barak were pretty likely to try and pick AF as one of their later teams.

Ellie: “I also knew I had to go for Heroes for Hire. I love the idea of super powered people helping the everyday Joe, and I’ve played with the concept of a superhero backed non-profit organization for some years now. Heroes for Hire would be that non-profit (converse to the name, I suppose).”

Mike: “It’s a brand new Marvel U! I’ve been tasked with coming with 4 new teams to kick off the Marvel U.  We started out picking franchise names.  Barak picked Defenders and Champions right off the bat and I figured Ellie would pick an X book or A-Force, so I picked Invaders and Avengers with my first picks.  I had my pitch all set for those two teams.  I was planning on using Alpha Flight as an international team of heroes, very similar to DC’s Global Guardians, but alas, it was not to be.  I knew I was going to have some international flavor with my Invaders squad, so I was good on that end.  I compiled a list of team names that intrigued me and waited.  I was really surprised to see both West Coast Avengers and US Avengers get selected, but whatever, they can ride the coattails of the Avengers if they need to…As it dropped to me, I had a list of 8 team names (and concepts) that I wanted to explore.  I went with Fantastic Four and Space Knights, over the following team/concepts:

  • First Line: I assumed Barak was going to scoop this one up. A team of lost/forgotten heroes who are the first line of defense against cosmic-level threats.
  • Exiles: I thought Ellie might put together a team of misfit mutants, but I was thinking I would go with a team of mutants plucked from history in the moment before their deaths to stop a dystopian future from occuring.  Apocalypse would have been the big baddie here.
  • Squadron Supreme: This team has a soft spot in my heart and I would have updated it some by taking heroes who fit the mold of a Justice League.  Hyperion, Hawkeye, Quasar, Hercules, Jessica Jones, Namor, Quicksilver, Douglock.
  • Slingers: I loved, loved, loved, this band of Spidey-inspired heroes. I would have updated it with a bunch of heroes who literally sling things.  Captain America (or USAgent), Hawkeye, Nomad, Elektra, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Ricochet.
  • Thunderbolts: Again, another team I love.  Villains seeking redemption or a Suicide Squad style team led by Victor Von Doom.
  • X-terminators: A group of heroes/mutants on the run for a crime they didn’t commit.  Framed by Mr. Sinister, despised by the world, these heroes need to find the truth.  A blend of New Warriors, Runaways, and mutant cast-offs.

Mike: “And so we were on to the draft.  I was feeling pretty good with my team concepts. Being a DC fan, my standard for teams are the Justice Society of America and the Justice League.  There is a lot of connection between the two, so I was hoping to create the same feel.”

Stay tuned, True Believer, tomorrow the fate of the 616 is in our hands!

Marvel Draft Preview


Mike owns this!

One week from now, the fate of the entire Marvel line of comics will forever be changed, as the first ever Marvel draft is held, allocating heroes to teams, and shaping the foundation of the 616 going forward.

Mike, Ellie, and I will each draft 4 teams, with the team draft occurring first followed by 7 rounds of hero drafting.

Mike tends to be a DC guy, and is still in love with Rebirth. He thinks Marvel should bring back the iconic characters, because these are the characters he cares most about. Ellie likes books that focus on interpersonal relationships, and has a soft spot for the X-teams, and I will go out on a limb and say that she will draft more female than males. Me, what is my strategy, what are the books I am looking to for inspiration? I want a combination of interpersonal relationships along with compelling stories, preferably with a fair share of stories that can be resolved in less than 6 issues. Re-reading some of the Marvel Epic Collections I have, I always long for the days when, in 22 pages, there was a supervillain conflict, interpersonal relationships and drama, and often a b-plot. Now, everything is 6 issues long, with little to no focus on the flawed characters beneath the cowls. Plus, I have a soft spot for oddball characters.



Where Sports and Comics Meet? Part 1

302315-20476-122582-1-nfl-superproCalm down everyone, Marvel is not rebooting NFL Superpro, Mark Millar has not signed on to write Kickers, Inc. (his idea of football has US scratching our heads).


After reading my post complaining about the quality of the comics Marvel is producing, Joe Quesada got in touch with me, and dared me to pitch him some better ideas. Give me 12 hours Joe. He agreed, probably because I asked nicely. I called him back. We would make an event of it. Like the NFL draft (which happens in 15 days). I spoke with my co-conspirators, and we decided we could oversee 12 books. Four for each of us. First we would draft the teams, and then the superheroes. The draft order for each would be different. The character draft would be 7 rounds, serpentine. No character could be used more than once, and characters had to be ones that Marvel had the rights to. (Sorry, Mike, no Rom!).

Rom57.gifJoe agreed, he loved the idea but wanted to know more. Joe, I said, hold your horses, we will get there. You wanted an event, we at Planet Zeist want to give you an event. Our draft will begin two weeks from now, Weds, 4/26.

We would call it the SuperDraft, but that is for the US version of Millar’s football. No thanks.

Watch as we attempt to outwit each other, there will definitely be surprises, and we guarantee these 12 books will sell better, cumulatively, than Marvel’s top selling team books right now.

Stay tuned, superfans!

(Update: This image from the top secret combine was leaked by Instagram User QueJoeQuestionmark)





Play Ball!


Why do sportsball uniforms and logos have to suck so much? Baseball season just started, which always makes me long for my days playing Strat-O-Matic baseball face-to-face in college. More than this though, I lament the sheer and utter blandness that have become of baseball uniforms. Gone is the pizazz, flair, and dated uniforms of the past. Many teams that used to have unique uniforms now have muted colors with common colors being a boring dull red, blue, and beige.

There was a time, a time of 13″ televisions, when, even standing at the back of the living room, one could instantly tell which teams were playing by their uniforms. Even with gigantic HD TVs so many of the uniforms now reek of generic, the thrill is gone.

We should never forget the greatness that came before, I present to you teams that are doing it wrong.


642954154-e1490749727902Houston Astros: Their current uniforms are not as bad as the even more generic attire of the early 2000s, but that isn’t saying much.


6f566309e162bf73620bb8e28d10b876585116538.0San Diego Padres: One of the great shames, their current uniforms have nothing interesting about them, and the digital camo is awful.


MVP-CyMLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Philadelphia PhilliesPhiladelphia Phillies: If their current uniform had always been their uniform, it might go down as being classic and timeless, but we should never forget that their color scheme used to be burgundy and powder blue with a wonderful logo and font. It was good enough for Schmidt.





Gary Carter as Montreal Expo in catching pose614455688.0Washington Nationals: Yes, the team is new…. HOWEVER… for a team that moved from Canada, they totally should have kept their color scheme and worked like hell to make a new logo and name work.



Arizona Diamondbacks' starting pitcher Curt SchillBaseball: World Baseball Classic Exhibion Game-Mexico at Arizona DiamondbacksArizona Diamondbacks: This franchise has won a World Series. Yes, their original uniforms were a product of the times, and the southwest design that still seems to be a thing, and although they have kept the logo, black and red is no match for turquoise and purple.


conineMiami Marlins spring trainingMarlins: This franchise has won TWO World Series. And, if I am being honest, their current uniform hits a lot of notes with me for uniqueness, but, what they also had was iconic.


aapy151MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Texas RangersMilwaukee Brewers: I get it, they are the brewers, as in shitty beer, but why is there what looks like a wheat grain in their logo? The Brewers are making subtle changes, can’t seem to decide if they want to let go of their old logo, which was an M and a B in the shape of a baseball glove, that is some sharp logo design. Their colors are less bright and more subdued. Yuck. Dull.


Wonderful Logo Craftsmanship

cap2cap6Seattle Mariners: The team with really no direction, late to every party, and always playing catch-up. Instead of focusing on specific uniforms, we will just look at some hats, and see why, of all the teams, the Mariners need an iconic uniform and logo. Where did this teal come from? Ugh. I would argue for the M as a trident, because trident’s are awesome!



0f15dca1576177e92ed3eafe5bd873e1MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles AngelsAngels: First, they are the California Angels, not the Mighty Los Angeles Angels Located in Anaheim, or whatever convoluted name they have. The A with a halo, navy blue and red, just a sharp uniform.


gwright9578737-mlb-tampa-bay-rays-at-texas-rangersLastly, they do not have an iconic uniform, but seem saddled with the most consistently generic uniforms, the poor Texas Rangers. The most iconic thing about the former country turned state is their flag, embrace that in some way, tying in the history of the actual Texas Rangers in some way. This is a state oozing with pride, if their team represents the state, their uniform should be something Texans would be proud of.