|Publication date||1991 - 1992|
|Number of issues||12 + 1 Special|
|Main character(s)||Phil Grayfield|
NFL SuperPro was a short-lived comic book series published by Marvel Comics. Produced in collaboration with the National Football League and written by Fabian Nicieza, the series started publication in 1991 and ended after 12 issues. The hero of this comic is Phil Grayfield, an ex-NFL-American football player who survived a freak accident and wears a near-indestructible football uniform.
Nicieza wrote a story centering on Phil Grayfield, once an aspiring football player. His career ended when he saved a child from falling and suffered a horrific knee injury. He became a sports reporter and interviewed an eccentric football superfan, who also happened to be a scientist. This scientist designed a new, almost indestructible football uniform, which has to be molded on an "individual basis" and costs five million dollars to construct — so it is "worth a fortune".
Suddenly interrupting the interview, thieves raid the eccentric's house, overwhelm the two of them, steal a van load of NFL merchandise (but not the uniform), and torch the building. Grayfield, who is tied up, knocks over experimental chemicals, which — in combination with the fire and diverse ultra-rare football souvenirs going up in flames — do not incinerate him, but turn him into a near-invincible superhero.
Grayfield puts on the eccentric's football uniform and brings the villains to justice, dedicating his life to fighting crime and dubbing himself "SuperPro".
The first issue starring NFL SuperPro was "NFL SuperPro Special Edition # 1", cover-dated March 1991. The series began with issue "NFL SuperPro # 1" (cover-date October 1991) and ended with "NFL SuperPro # 12" (cover-date September 1992). On two occasions, NFL SuperPro starred a guest-star, a common practice in comicbooks to boost sales; Spider-Man (in issue # 1) and Captain America (in issue # 8).
The character NFL SuperPro has not been seen since the demise of the series. Writer Robert Kirkman reportedly wanted to use SuperPro in an issue of Marvel Team-Up but could not, due to copyright concerns. The closest he came was Marvel Team-Up #9, in which the character Stilt-Man says, "I beat up a guy called SuperPro last week. Silliest looking guy...".
NFL SuperPro has been called one of the worst comics in recent Marvel Comics history, becoming a cult object. Often cited in this claim are issues with the plot and the characters. For example, in the first issue a group of thieves incinerate valuable NFL merchandise but it is never explained why they burn it instead of selling it off. Writer Fabian Nicieza admitted he wrote the story to gain free NFL tickets. He stated that he still receives flak for his comic.
Ken Reid is a cameraman and accompanies SuperPro's Alter ego Phil Grayfield to his interviews, and is therefore always present to film NFL SuperPro in action. Over time he becomes Phil's confidant.
SuperPro's former girlfriend and only other person to know his secret identity.
Protectors of the Forest
Defenders of the Brazilian rainforest.
- Repulsor, armor-wielding ex-footballer
- Felicita Oliveri
Crime boss Marco Sanzionare whose dealings are constantly thwarted by SuperPro.
Field-goal kicker turned evil ninja. (Only appears in #2 of series)
An assassin with the ability to travel short distances through time.