We’re starting to hit the full-stride point for Summer movies. And what is Summer movie season without Marvel super heroes? This year: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and X-Men: Days of Future Past are out. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been big on TV and it seems Marvel Comics are really making a name for themselves in pop culture. This made me wonder which athletes are our versions of Marvel superheroes? Who would their secret identities be? Here’s what I came up with.
Spider-Man – Dwyane Wade
The flagship character for the Marvel Comics universe is Spider-Man. The web slinger is known for his speed, agility, and quick thinking more than his strength. He flies through the air like an acrobat to avoid every obstacle in his way, and the one athlete that represents this is Dwyane Wade. Sure, his knees have been slowing him down as of late, but when he’s at 100%, D-Wade can be an unstoppable force. His body control is one of the best in sports, he’s fun to watch, and even though he likes to go by the name “Flash,” I think Spider-Man is just as accurate.
Wolverine – Martin St. Louis
Wolverine is a short, stocky, Canadian dynamo. He’s a bad mamma jamma, and you know it before you deal with him. Due to his slow aging and healing factor, Wolverine has fought in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and Vietnam. At 38 years old, Martin St. Louis has been playing in the NHL ever since Vietnam. He’s short, stocky, from Quebec, and when he’s on the ice, you darn well better know where he is. For a long time he was one of the fastest players in the NHL, and this grey beard still gets it done to the tune of 30 goals this past season. In the next season or two he will likely net his 400th career goal. By the time St. Louis retires, he’ll have at least one Stanley Cup Championship, may be among the top 75 goal scorers in league history, and will be able to say, “Yeah, when I was out there, I tore everyone up.” Sounds like Wolvie to me.
Captain America – Landon Donovan
It’s sad that Landon Donovan won’t be on this year’s World Cup team. But when you look at his body of work, he literally is Captain America. He was the leader of Team USA for two of his three World Cup appearances, he’s the all-time leading goal scorer in USA history, when fit he was the best player on the American side of the field, and his mellow personality fit well with leadership. Not to mention, he’s not the biggest guy on the field, which is right where Steve Rogers started before he took the Super Soldier serum. Both Steve and Landon grew into their own versions of Captain America. Both have shown vision, a great work ethic, and the ability to get the job done. Landon Donovan saved the USA against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup. Captain America saved the Avengers and the country on more than one occasion. To both of these guys, we salute you.
Cyclops – Derek Jeter
Cyclops is the leader of the X-Men when they’re out in the field, and he’s usually all business all the time. He’s also known for some of the women he’s dated, specifically Jean Grey. His powers are based on long-rage attacks with an optic beam. Derek Jeter is unquestionably the leader of the Yankees, and he’s very much known for the women he’s dated. Derek has a long range attack with his jump-throw from shortstop, and both Cyclops and Jeter are Mr. Reliable. It’s a perfect fit.
Thor – LeBron James
Thor is an unstoppable force of nature. He’s the closest thing to Superman that there is in the Marvel universe. He’s Asgardian royalty, and he’s easily the most powerful teammate on the Avengers. LeBron is NBA royalty, he’s an unstoppable force, and sometimes it seems he can fly. Thor wields Mjolnir the hammer, and LeBron wields a basketball like a weapon. You always want these guys as teammates, and you never want to face off against them because losing is a foregone conclusion. We know Thor isn’t human, and the jury is still out on LeBron.
Beast – J.J. Watt
Beast is, well, a giant blue beast. J.J. Watt is a giant beast in blue. Beast’s true identity is that of Dr. Hank McCoy who is a very intelligent scientist. J.J. Watt is actually a kind-hearted guy who loves kids, and he did go to the University of Wisconsin, so I’ll give him that since it’s a darn good academic institution. In battle, Beast can tear you to pieces. J.J. Watt tears quarterbacks to pieces. Personally, I wouldn’t want to face off against either of these guys.
Human Torch – Johnny Manziel
First, they’re both named Johnny. Johnny Storm vs. Johnny Football. Two young, hot headed stars who love the ladies. Both are integral to their team’s success as the Human Torch has saved the Fantastic Four on numerous occasions, and Johnny Manziel led Texas A&M to some of their best seasons in school history. Both have speed, agility, and can single handedly overwhelm opponents. Also, they both can really tick off their own teammates and other people. Need a young, talented, sometimes-cocky hero? These are your guys!
Hulk – Ryan Lochte
Hulk is a loveable monster. Ryan Lochte is a loveable idiot. Both Hulk and Lochte seem to have about the same intellect and vocabulary. Both are in pretty good shape, and if you face off against either of them, you’ve got little chance to win. Lochte is an eleven-time Olympic medalist, and he owns the world records for the 100 meter individual medley, 200 meter individual medley, and the 400 meter individual medley. The Hulk makes you think all brawn and no brains. I’m pretty sure most people think that about Lochte as well. Jeah!
Iron Man – Teemu Selanne
This comparison was going to be a stretch no matter what since there are no athletes who wear metal suits to give them powers. That being said, Teemu Selanne is an Iron Man by himself. At age 43, he finally decided to hang up his skates after a career in which he scored 684 goals over 20 seasons. At his best, Selanne was one of those guys who could flat out blow you away. Selanne scored 76 goals in his rookie year, and he finished with seven seasons of 40+ goals. He’s an All-Star and a Hall of Famer through and through. No doubt Iron Man is an All-Star and would-be a Marvel Hall of Famer if there was such a thing. Tony Stark makes his teammates around him better. Selanne has 773 career assists to prove he’s done the same thing. Congrats on an Iron Man career Teemu. Enjoy your time off. You deserve it.
Hawkeye – Aaron Rodgers
Hawkeye is obviously the Avengers’ master of the long range attack. He can hit any target from anywhere he wants. Aaron Rodgers does much the same thing for the Green Bay Packers. His arm has carried the team to a Super Bowl title and countless victories. When it’s time to air it out, these are your go-to guys. Hawkeye and Aaron Rodgers both have freakish accuracy, and their skill sets mean everything to their teams.
Black Widow – Alex Morgan
What do Black Widow and Alex Morgan have in common? Both are gorgeous yet deadly. Morgan led the Cal Bears in scoring every year she played with them,. As a pro, she was the 2012 U.S. Soccer Player of the Year. And she is, without a doubt, becoming the face of women’s soccer in America. Morgan is a playmaker, a scorer, and a leader. Black Widow looks unassuming, but she’ll take you out in a moment’s notice. Don’t mess with either of these femme fatales.
Vision – Nick Saban
Vision hasn’t appeared in any of the Marvel movies yet, but there are rumors that he will. Vision is an android created by the evil robot Ultron. He can emit beams of infrared and microwave radiation. He can also manipulate the density of his body to allow him to phase through walls. Most people think Nick Saban is also basically a robot with no emotions. He probably does shoot lasers out of his eyes at his players when they don’t play well, so this was a perfect fit. Yup, Nick Saban is a friggin’ robot sent to destroy us all. Vision eventually became a good guy, though. I don’t think that will happen with Saban because he isn’t even capable of friendliness.
Magneto – Bill Belichick
Magneto, a.k.a. Erik Lehnsherr, wasn’t always a bad guy. He started out conflicted, and then eventually went on to become one of the biggest baddies in the Marvel universe. His lifelong goal is to dominate the human race at any cost. He’s cold, calculating, and ruthless. Bill Belichick is cold, calculating, and has built a machine around him in the New England Patriots. He started out as the mild-mannered head coach of the original Cleveland Browns, but now he’s one of the most hated head coaches in the NFL. Year after year he’s out to thwart the good guys, and when Belichick is on the sidelines, you know he’s always got something up his sleeve.
Green Goblin – Alex Rodriguez
The Green Goblin is an arch enemy of Spider-Man, a delusional lunatic, not to mention incredibly dangerous. Alex Rodriguez is so selfish and delusional that he thought he could sue Major League Baseball. Green Goblin launches pumpkin bombs at his enemies, while A-Rod launches home runs against his enemies. Nobody likes these guys, and in the end, their selfishness and arrogance cost them their careers. The Green Goblin met his demise when he was impaled on his own glider, and I think it’s safe to say A-Rod is probably done playing baseball. The best part is, in the comics, there was a second Green Goblin, so if Rodriguez does manage to “come back from the dead,” then there’s your last commonality.
Loki – Metta World Peace
Ah, the God of Mischief. He does things just because he can. Loki likes to deceive, and he splits himself into copies. He’s everywhere, and he’s got a screw loose upstairs. Metta World Peace is everywhere on the court. He’s always been a great defender and he’s always had a screw loose in his head. Metta used to be Ron Artest. Loki used to be a Frost Giant. Okay, well, maybe that doesn’t add up, but hey, both of these guys are known villains. I’m pretty sure Loki would have no problem jumping into the stands to beat the snot out of a fan he didn’t like.
Sabretooth – Ndamukong Suh
Sabretooth is big, bad, and completely off his rocker. He fights dirty and is all about embracing his animalistic side. Ndamukong plays dirty, is a force to be reckoned with, and is an absolute animal on the football field. You don’t want to mess with these guys because they’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish their goal, even if it involves doing something they shouldn’t. Suh’s reputation as a dirty player is backed by plenty of YouTube videos and .gif photographs of him crossing the line. He hits guys low, takes out people’s knees, steps on their necks. As far as Suh’s concerned, anything goes. Despite his skill, and his questionable ways, his team usually loses. The same can be said for Sabretooth. I can’t imagine either of these guys has many friends.
Juggernaut – Richie Incognito
This one is just too easy. The Juggernaut is a hulking behemoth with no self awareness. He just runs through walls, and his plans are usually foiled because he’s too dumb to properly execute them. Richie Incognito plays dirty, is clearly not the sharpest crayon in the box, and he can’t get out of his own way. Incognito has talent, and if he was a little smarter he would have had a pretty good career in the NFL. Unfortunately, however, he helped create a poisonous atmosphere in the Miami Dolphins locker room, and I’m not sure any team will trust him again.
Mandarin – Lance Armstrong
I’d like to compare someone to the original Mandarin in the comic books. He was an excellent villain, but his character was a bit offensive. Lance Armstrong is a lot like the Mandarin we see in Iron Man 3. You think he’s this bad dude, and it turns out he’s a lying sack of crap. By the end of the movie the Mandarin has lost all respect, and you actually feel kind of bad for the guy. Does that sound like any athletes you know?
The Lizard – Jay Cutler
So, how does this work? Well, the Lizard’s talent is regenerating lost limbs. Jay Cutler’s talent, to most Chicagoans, is regenerating what should be a lost career. The Lizard is deadly, but in the end, he always screws up, and he finds himself with the short end of the stick. Jay Cutler has a phenomenal arm, but in the end he always screws up. To top it off, lizards can’t show any emotions, and Jay Cutler doesn’t either. At 31, Cutler still has time to grow into a fan favorite in the Windy City, but he had better get a move on. There’s only so many regenerations a fan base will stand for.
Honorable Mentions: Ant Man – Barry Bonds (grows to different sizes), Quicksilver – Usain Bolt (speed), Ice Man – Kobe Bryant (ice in his veins), Ray Alen – Punisher (sharp shooter).
Do you have any ideas for athlete/superhero comparisons? Holla at us on Twitter @BaconSports or leave them in the comment section below![Images via Marvel] [related-posts]