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Here are your favorite NFL players as your favorite superheroes

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For many, stars of professional sports are the closest things to real life superheroes. They’re bigger, stronger, and faster than seems humanly possible. They’re able to perform feats beyond the capabilities of your average individual, jumping and twisting and barreling through opponents.

But just imagine: If the stars of the NFL really were superheroes of comic book lore, who would be whom? The folks at NFL Memes went and matched up the biggest names in football with the biggest characters in comics to answer that question with these incredible mashup renditions. Some are obvious, like Calvin Johnson as Megatron and Cam Newton as Superman, but others are pretty spot on. There’s Odell Beckham Jr. as Spider-Man, Peyton Manning as Iron Man, Rob Gronkowski as Thor, and – perhaps best of all – Andrew Luck as the Beast.

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Stan Lee sketches Spider-Man for young autistic fan

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Drawing may never have been Stan Lee’s forte, but when called upon for a good cause, even Stan The Man can put pencil to paper.

That’s the focus of a rather heartwarming story that ran in The New York Times this weekend focusing on 8-year-old autistic Harlem resident Jamel Hunter. The youngest of five children to a mother who herself has physical disabilities, Hunter was the subject of a profile in the paper late last year when he received a Spider-Man themed birthday party. The story caught the notice of retired jazz musician Corky Hale — who just happens to be the neighbor of the 92-year-old Marvel Comics legend. Hale enlisted Lee to draw a sketch of Spidey declaring “Hi Jamel!” and sent it to the boy via Times reporter Michael Wilson.

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Ride in superhero style with these custom motorcycle helmets

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Last year we spotlighted a pretty stylish Dark Knight-inspired motorcycle helmet, but what if you prefer, say, The Punisher, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Wonder Woman to Batman? AirGraffix has you covered.

The Mattoon, Illinois-based company specializes in custom-painted helmets that can transform the rider into everyone from Goku and Deadpool to Iron Man and Spawn. It’s not all superheroes or comic books, either; there’s an assortment of Star Wars, Transformers and Power Rangers designs, for starters.

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Spider-Man teams with the Avengers in fan-made movie mashup

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Unwilling to wait for Spider-Man to appear on screen alongside Earth’s Mightiest Mortals, ScreenCrush and mashup editor Sleepy Skunk have integrated the wall-crawler into the epic Battle of New York from 2012’s The Avengers. It’s impressively seamless, from the back and forth between Black Widow and Spidey to the bus rescue to the Chrysler Building sequence.

Of course, the next time we see Spider-Man on the big screen, he (alas) won’t be played by Andrew Garfield …

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Spider-Man debuts a timely (and official) new Twitter account

welcome home spidey

With a casual “Thwip” and a link to the announcement of the Sony Pictures deal, Marvel last night christened its new Spider-Man Twitter account. In the 14 hours or so since then, it’s gained 4,245 followers.

The announcement, as everyone knows by now, that Sony and Marvel Studios will co-produce the next Spider-Man film after the wall-crawler makes his debut in a Marvel Cinematic Universe release.

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Todd McFarlane swears off the possibility of DC/Marvel freelance, but not crossovers

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Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane has made it a habit of late to open up his archives via his Facebook page, sharing everything from early Spawn designs to evolutionary charts. But this weekend, he held court on some of his publishing philosophy as it applies to his past life as a Marvel Comics superstar.

“Here’s the the answer to a question I get asked a lot: ‘NO!… I WILL NEVER DRAW for Marvel or DC Comics AGAIN!'” the artist wrote in a new post. “But it’s not why you might think…”

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That NSFW Spider-Man sculpture has a new home

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The sculpture of an overly friendly neighborhood Spider-Man removed last summer from a South Korean shopping center following complaints about his unmistakable spider-boner has found a happy home: on the side of a hospital.

Because, really, where else would you erect a sculpture of an upside-down Peter Parker dangling his amazing friend for the world to see?

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Spider-Man sculpture is artist’s thank-you letter to Peter Parker

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What at first appears in the photo above to be straightforward cosplay is actually a sculpture created by London artist Hetain Patel using a life-size body cast of himself and a Spider-Man costume composed of words from a thank-you letter he wrote to Peter Parker.

It’s part of “The Other Suit,” an exhibition of Patel’s work on display through Feb. 28 at Chatterjee and Lal, a gallery in Mumbai, India. The show also includes video installations, “The Amazing DIYers,” depicting both teenagers and Patel creating movie-accurate Spider-Man costumes, as well as photos of the artist in costume with his grandmother. However, the sculpture would seem to be the centerpiece.

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Spider-Man, Iron Man named Mardi Gras parade grand marshals

Courtesy of Marvel Character Appearance Program

Courtesy of Marvel Character Appearance Program

Tony Stark and Peter Parker are heading to Mardi Gras.

The Krewe of Caesar, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana’s largest Carnival organization, has named Iron Man and Spider-Man as the grand marshals of its 36th annual parade. “Spider-Man and Iron Man are true American heroes and someone we all look up to with utmost respect for their service to our country,” Krewe of Caesar’s Captain Robert Carnesi said in a statement to WWL-TV.

Their involvement comes courtesy of the Marvel Characters Appearance Program, which, as the name suggests, arranges for the company’s superheroes to show up for mall events, trade shows, festivals, awareness programs and the like.

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Japanese ‘Spider-Man’ returns to Marvel with two episodes

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Marvel, which previously uploaded episodes of the Japanese live-action Spider-Man series in 2009, has dusted off a couple of those gems in anticipation of The Amazing Spider-Man #12, which introduces Takuya Yamashiro and his giant battle robot Leopardon as part of the “Spider-Verse” crossover.

Produced by Toei Company, the Japanese Spider-Man aired for 41 episodes, from May 1978 to March 1979. Although licensed from Marvel, beyond the hero’s signature costume, the series bore little resemblance to the publisher’s comics.

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Chibi-style Spider-Man figure is oddly adorable

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When I see Beast Kingdom’s articulated Egg Attack Spider-Man figure, I can’t help but think of that Evian commercial from earlier this year that introduced Spider-Baby, the pint-sized mirror version of the wall-crawler. After all, the proportions are similar, even if the musculature differs. Plus, I’m pretty sure — pretty sure — that Spider-Baby’s hands aren’t exchangeable.

In any case, the 6-inch figure comes complete with five sets of hands and three web-fluid attachments … and an $85 price tag. Curiously, despite it being tied to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Egg Attack Spider-Man won’t be released in Japan until April, a year after the film’s premiere.

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5-year-old Spider-Man fan Jayden Wilson loses fight with cancer

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Jayden Wilson, the terminally ill boy who became an Internet sensation last month when his father dressed as Spider-Man to surprise him for his fifth birthday, passed away on Christmas Eve. He was diagnosed in September 2013 with a grade 4 brain stem tumor and given about a year to live.

“Jayden fought an amazing battle. By far he was the most bravest person we know,” his father Mike Wilson wrote on the Hope For Jayden Facebook page. “But unfortunately late on Christmas Eve, Jayden died peacefully in his sleep, warm in his bed. He looked so relaxed with a very subtle grin on his face. We believe he waited to be out of hospital to be with his family in the most safest place he knew. Jayden had such a happy life. What an incredible 5 years.”

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Amazing Spider-Fan shows us his Shelf Porn

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Happy holidays and welcome to Shelf Porn, your weekly look at one fan’s collection. Today we show off the web-tangled shelves of Alex in the Philippines, a huge fan of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

If you’d like to see your collection here, you can find instructions on how to submit it at the end of this post.

And now let’s swing into things with Alex …

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Supreme Court to hear dispute over Spider-Man toy

web blaster

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether Marvel owes royalty payments to the creator of a Spider-Man toy after the patent for the Web Blaster expired.

As first reported by Courthouse News Service, Stephen Kimble patented the toy in 1990 and then approached Marvel to license the rights. Marvel passed, and when another company began manufacturing a similar toy — it shoots foam string, simulating Spider-Man’s web-shooters — Kimble sued, claiming patent infringement and breach of implied contract.

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Vasilis Lolos auctioning art to benefit stray dogs in Greece

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Original art is a growing market for creators and fans alike, and for the holidays artist Vasilis Lolos is selling choice pages of his work for a good cause. The Last Call cartoonist is auctioning off pages from his work at Marvel, Image and Dark Horse, as well as his self-published projects, with all proceeds to benefit stray dogs in Athens, Greece.

“During this time of winter and the constant bombings and riots, these stray dogs need a helping hand,” Lolos says. “This is why I created these auctions, so I can sell my artwork really cheap but help somebody in need.”

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