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Marvel’s comic covers featuring college football mascots are so cool they should get a penalty

Contributed by
Aug 16, 2018

Nothing, and we mean nothing, has us jacked up about the imminent arrival of fall, and the return of football season with it, quite like Marvel’s new line of themed comic book covers that pairs opening-weekend college rivalries with their metaphorical counterparts in the Marvel Comics universe.

Contrasting Marvel mascots duking it out on the left panel with their college mascot analogues doing battle on the right, the new line of covers — the fifth since Marvel hatched the idea back in 2013 — compare comic book hero fights like Thor vs Iron Man with gridiron feuds like Alabama’s Big Al vs Louisville’s Cardinal.

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Especially cool is that last one, which riffs on the Civil War theme the actually exists in both football and the comics — though, if we’re being picky, the real college football Civil War refers to the rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State; not Oregon State and Ohio State.

The promotion represents a convenient partnership between Marvel and ESPN (especially since Marvel Studios and ESPN both fall under the same Disney corporate umbrella). Our only regret is that we won’t be seeing an animated version of these football rivalries. Because seriously, who wouldn’t want to to see a comic book version of an epic cat-versus-bird rivalry like LSU’s Mike the Tiger clawing it out against the Miami Hurricanes’ Sebastian the Ibis?

Check out Marvel’s landing page for a cool video clip that takes a look at the history of the whole mascot-comic book crossover idea, and then get ready to tailgate: college football’s opening weekend gets off to an early start beginning Thursday, Aug. 30.