The 2010 season of Major League Baseball wrapped up in Game 5 of the World Series last night with the San Francisco Giants defeating the Texas Rangers with a final score of 3-1. But fear not, baseball fans, all the passion for America's previously favorite pastime from the past year lives on! Read on for a rundown of how the biggest names in comics have harnessed their love of baseball in the pursuit of
decidedly dope deeds.BATMAN
Batman's good at everything, so it should come as no surprise that he's a master of... the bat. Once, during a Justice League baseball game against a team of villains, he took a walk after showing he was canny enough to avoid getting out. Not a flashy move, but no doubt the correct strategy at the time.
In the first Batman Vs. Predator
mini-series, Batman developed a suit of armor to help him take on the alien foe. But when things got hairy and the armor was rendered useless, he decided to use a tried and true weapon: a Louisville Slugger. Armed with this bad boy, Bruce Wayne laid one out on the bruised and bloodied Predator and the villain finally went down.
In Grant Morrison's "Batman R.I.P." storyline, it turned out Bruce Wayne had programmed himself to have an alternate persona, one that would activate if he started to lose control of his mind. This alter was the Batman of "Zur En Arrh" and basically it was Batman minus Bruce Wayne. And man, did he enjoy using a baseball bat against villains unlucky enough to cross his path.
Frank Castle is known for using guns, grenades and the occasional rocket. But on a few occasions, he's opted for blunt objects that are better suited to simply cause pain. Once, while fighting Wolverine, he'd already made his mark by blowing off the less-than merry mutant's face. Even with his healing factor, this was a major injury for Wolvie, yet the Punisher added insult to injury by nailing the dude in the groin with a baseball bat. That's just mean, man. That's like shooting someone's luggage!
In a possible future of 2099 A.D., a man named Jake Gallows (and there's a prophetic name if I've heard one) took up the name and war of the Punisher, delivering violence and death to many targets. One of his weapons was a staff-like device called a "power bat," with settings that could alter its punishment to be akin to a rubber baton or a titanium sledge hammer.
Athletes have to deal with a lot of stress and Crusher Crock was no exception. Deciding one day that he'd had enough, Crock decided to pursue a life of crime and after a while he took on the name and identity of Sportsmaster. In his adventures, he used a variety of sports skills and sporting equipment to accomplish his goals and took on any one who tried to stop him. He'd knock the guns out of police officers' hands with well-aimed golf balls and would use javelins or bows and arrows to hit enemies from a distance. Of course, more than once, he used baseballs and baseball bats, the latter of which was especially dangerous to the Green Lantern Alan Scott. Given that Scott's ring didn't directly affect wooden objects and had trouble dealing with plant matter, the hero could fly and walk through Wally, but a baseball bat to the back of the head affected him like any other regular guy.
THE GREEN LANTERNS
Several of the Green Lanterns, at least the Earth-born ones, are baseball fans. With their rings that can create objects out of thin air, the Green Lanterns have often used impressive green construct bats to take down enemies and intergalactic menaces. Guy Gardner did just that in a recent battle, delivering some major damage while on a ring-constructed motorcycle. You've gotta appreciate the man's style.
Of course, baseball equipment isn't just for cracking skulls. It can be used for defense purposes as well, such as when Alan Scot used a giant catcher's mitt to protect Metropolis from fiery, falling debris.
At one point, the Hulk disguised himself as a normal guy who happened to be a couple of feet taller and several hundred pounds. heavier than anyone you would see at the supermarket. While putting on this charade, he played some minor league baseball. But oops, then the villainous Rhino showed up, also in disguise, playing for the other team. The two wound up brawling on the baseball diamond without knowing who the other really was, and eventually the Hulk just said "Screw it!" and hit his enemy with the field's score board. Truly, an incredible day for sportsmanship.
There have been many Ghost Riders over the years, in many corners of the world. Each has been a spirit of vengeance, but all with their own style. While Johnny Blaze was a demon who shot hellfire blasts and later swung a mystical chain, back in the days of prohibition, criminals feared the Undead G-Man and Knuckles O'Shaughnessy, a guy who you'd think was intimidating enough all by himself but beefed up his menacing nature with a bat that had several nails sticking out of it. The fella' was NOT afraid to use it.
A companion of the Doctor during his seventh regeneration, Ace was a girl who enjoyed barreling headfirst into strange, dangerous situations and made a hobby of making homemade explosives called Nitro 9. At one point in her various adventures, featured on television, in comics and various novels, Ace even wound up beating Daleks with a baseball bat-like weapon. Now that's a companion!
Perhaps the most famous baseball bat wielding hero is Kevin Matchstick, the hero of Matt Wagner's Mage
saga. A seemingly ordinary guy, Kevin found out he was fated to be a hero and then a strange wizard named Mirth wound up giving him Excalibur, which was no longer a sword but an enchanted baseball bat. Let's go over that: a baseball bat that is really Excalibur. Yes, it was and is as awesome as it sounds.