One of the more interesting stories to come out of this summer's Comic-Con International in San Diego had little to do with "Crisis" or "Wars." It wasn't about continuity, nor was it about politics. It was about the spirit of competition, the ideals of fairness, equality, and, most crucially, bragging rights. CBR News was there on July 20th, when DC Comics and Marvel Comics played the fiercest of softball games in a charity event to benefit what was then called the ACTOR Comics Fund.
Recently reestablished as The Hero Initiative, the federally chartered not-for-profit organization is dedicated solely to helping comic book creators in need, especially those veteran writers and artists who created the foundation upon which the comics industry is built. Much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade, the Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for yesterday's creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for the essentials of life, and an avenue back to paying work.
In these matters of charity and community outreach, who won and who lost a single softball game is not really important (Marvel railed DC 22 to 11), but what is important are the selfless efforts of those involved and the money raised to benefit the needy. In addition to the more than $2,000 raised at the event itself, The Hero Initiative has just offered for auction on eBay a softball autographed by many of the day's players and featuring artwork by Jim Lee, Adam Kubert and Mark Brooks.
The triple play of Batman, Superman and Wolverine is enhanced only by the impressive list of signatures on this most unique softball. Besides Lee, Kubert and Brooks, the ball is also signed by DC editors Mike Carlin, Mark Chiarello, superstar colorist Alex Sinclair, and more.