It started with the 16 best retro Ice Hockey video games in history. With your votes, only one stands tall…
The king of pixel mountain…
The 16-bit conqueror…
The retro shining star that won’t be denied….
Congratulations to NHL ’94, the crowned champion!
Thank you, everyone who voted! That was fun.
Speaking of fun …
Recently I had a chance to revisit one of the coolest spots in Manhattan: the Marvel offices.
It’s a fellow nerd’s paradise. Especially the boardrooms, which are Marvel character themed. The Thor room, in particular, has good ‘ol Mjolnir!
Pictured are Ryan Penagos (@AgentM) and Ben Morse (@BenJMorse). They are both longtime Marvel employees who basically know every single thing there is to know about Marvel. Seriously, it’s super impressive. On top of all their work behind the scenes, they also host a great podcast called #ThisWeekInMarvel (shout out to Emmy-nominated producer Brake Garris!), and Ryan co-hosts a video show with Lorraine Cink called THWIP (The Big Marvel Show). If you’re a fan of comic books and comic/nerd life in general, definitely check this out (especially the podcast, because I was recently a guest on it :p)
While catching up over lunch, we got to the subject of hockey and random connections there have been to in the Marvel Universe. While there isn’t a character named “Skate to the net screen the goalie win the game” Man (yet, anyway), there are a few Easter Eggs in Marvel issues past that involve our beloved game.
And no, this doesn’t count. (Most of these characters aren’t Marvel anyway!)
Spidey himself has a couple of comic covers that are hockey related. He’s playing in one (let’s assume that The Thing from Fantastic Four is playing nicely), and that kid in the Oilers jersey in the second one looks really, really … realllyyyyy sad.
Speaking of the Oilers, that brings us to…
Chuck Moss was a regular good ol’ Canadian boy who played hockey growing up and made it to the NHL, playing with the Edmonton Oilers. After discovering that he possessed the ability to control anything that “originates from the Earth,” Earth Mover became a recruit for the all-Canadian Marvel team Alpha Flight under the tutelage of Shaman (who used to be a surgeon; these team members had some great professions before becoming superheroes).
His first appearance in the Marvel Universe was in 2002 in the “Wolverine” comic book series. If he had just stuck around another couple years, he could have been the key that helped the Oilers win the Stanley Cup during their Finals run in 2006 (he does control anything from the Earth, after all, which would include wooden hockey sticks).
Earth Mover fought in some battles with Alpha Flight, including against the X-Men, until a mission took him outside Earth and currently his whereabouts are unknown, which is a shame because I’m sure he would have loved to be on a line with Connor McDavid and see his Corsi percentage soar through the roof! At 6-foot-7, 252 lbs, he could be the Dave Semenko to McDavid’s Gretzky.
We can safely assume, of course, since Alpha Flight were all Canadian, that they all loved hockey, played hockey or watched hockey.
Especially, Major Mapleleaf, perhaps the most Canadian sounding Superhero name of all-time and should never be retired. And Northstar, from Montreal, a winter sports enthusiast, surely a Habs fan (side note: Northstar is also a groundbreaking character in the LGBTQ community).
Let’s even go so far as to say that all Canadians ever in the Marvel Universe were hockey fans. That includes this entire list.
Speaking of Alpha Flight, that brings us to:
Also in the Alpha Flight gang, Puck shrunk in stature due to a combination of magical force, and later a scientific experiment, and through that entire process gained exceptional strength, speed and injury resistance.
Puck first appeared in the Marvel scene in 1983, in the first Alpha Flight comic issue. Puck’s creator, John Byrne, confirmed that he was indeed named after a hockey puck.
Finally, since we sort of this did this with Alpha Flight already, let’s lump in Ice Man (as a human Zamboni, curating a perfect sheet of ice) and Ironman (because Tony Stark will surely engineer the greatest hockey stick ever made).
For more comic and hockey connections (beyond the Marvel Universe) check this out, including a Stan Lee solo project with the NHL from 2011.
Side note: I may have to pick up “The Golden Adventures of Brett Hull” at a flea market somewhere.
Also, a great listing of hockey comic covers, including Batman, Archie, Popeye, Peanuts and more.
I’m particularly intrigued by “Hockey Tales!”