The summer of 2012 has been the summer of superhero blockbuster movies.
The party actually got started early when The Avengers hit movie theaters on April 11, 2012. For comic book and superhero fans, this was a truly epic moment.
Marvel Comics had set up The Avengers wonderfully as they developed the back story for it by linking together the story arcs of Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Captain America in each heroes' stand alone movies.
The payoff? Only the biggest box office opening weekend in North American history (Wikipedia).
But the tremendous success of The Avengers was just the beginning. On July 3, 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel's reboot of the series, was released. Though it did not see as much box office success as The Avengers, it still set the record for the highest grossing film released on a Tuesday with $35 million in ticket sales (Wikipedia).
And, finally, we had the release of The Dark Knight Rises, the eagerly anticipated climax to the most recent round of Batman movies. Notwithstanding the horrible tragedy in Colorado on opening night, The Dark Knight Rises has been a critical and box office success as it is currently the second highest grossing film of 2012 (Wikipedia). There was never really a question as to whether The Dark Knight Rises would be a success; the only real question was how big a success?
Obviously, both Marvel and DC Comics have gone for the home run this summer by releasing movies in which some of the most iconic characters in either companies' history are on the silver screen.
For DC, there is little question that they took particular notice of the runaway success of The Avengers and they had to think about how much money they could make by bringing their own group of super heroes to theaters across the world.
I am, of course, referring to The Justice League of America, or JLA for short.
Rumors of a JLA movie have swirled for years, yet it never materialized. The Avengers may have finally convinced DC that the time had arrived to make the rumors more truth than fiction.
As reported by Screenrant, not only is a JLA movie seemingly in full swing, but there is renewed belief that DC will go the route of Marvel and set up the JLA movie by way of a shared universe. In other words except to see stand alone movies involving Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and probably some other members of the JLA coming out and all linking back into the establishment of the JLA movie itself.
By now you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with sports? Well, I started to think about the JLA and I tried to figure out who in the world of sports would be their counterparts. With some of the most recognized characters in comic history—all of whom have fascinating back stories—finding the JLA's sports world counterparts was not an easy task at all.
What follows are my conclusions. Some will seem obvious and others, not so much. But if you are a fan of sports and superheroes, I think you will at least find this entertaining.
One note before diving into this further. Like The Avengers, the JLA has gone through many roster changes over the years. For this article, I am using the most current lineup of the JLA, the lineup that appeared in the reboot of the comic in September of 2011.
The main difference with the new lineup is the substitution of Cyborg as a founding member instead of The Martian Manhunter. For most, that is more information than you likely care about. For the hardcore fans, however, it is an important distinction.
Now that I have thoroughly established my geek cred, let's move onward and see who the JLA's sports alter egos are.