- Illustration by John Watson/ Marvel Comics
Yes, that's Wool E. Bull cheering on the Hulk in Durham Bulls blues to a home run.
Fans heading out to the Durham Bulls/ Indianapolis Indians game on Thursday might get a special—and unusual—treat. Not content with being limited to books, movies, cartoons, video games, action figures and merchandise, the superheroes of Marvel Comics will appear in a special giveaway comic, Triple-A Baseball Heroes, 2,500 copies of which will be distributed when the gates open at 6 p.m.
The book is part of a giveaway taking place at 30 Triple-A games throughout August. The Durham book is particularly unique, as it features the aforementioned Bulls imagery. It's one of three team-specific covers by artist John Watson (Buffalo and Memphis are the only other markets that also feature their team on the cover).
Marvel has a long history of giveaway comics—in fact, Marvel's first superhero, the Sub-Mariner, first appeared in the giveaway Motion Picture Funnies Weekly. The Triple-A book, which was co-inked by Greensboro native Rick Ketcham, tells the tale of what happens when Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and Iron Man all converge on a Triple-A all-star game in Albuquerque. Wackiness, as they say, ensues.
As far as Marvel giveaway comics go, this isn't quite as bizarre as 1987's Captain America Meets the Asthma Monster, or the infamous 1976 comic where Spider-Man stopped an alien from discouraging kids to visit Planned Parenthood. However, Triple-A Baseball Heroes still features some hilariously obvious product placements, including a bit where Iron Man contemplates investing in Triple-A after hearing about their attendance rates. It's nonetheless a fun read that should hopefully get a few sports fans headed from the ballpark to the comics shop.