Back after three months with this, a story written for the Hollywood Reporter to accompany the USA team’s match against Germany in the 2014 World Cup — at the request of an editor — that was shelved because everyone agreed it was just a little bit too random. How I hoped this would make it on there, though.
A tweet from the official Twitter account of the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team before today’s match made the most of Clint Dempsey’s nickname of Captain America by tagging Marvel and including a pic of the star-spangled Avenger. Which got me thinking: where is Magic Boots Mel during all of this?
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 26, 2014
Admittedly, Magic Boots Mel is a bit of a deep cut for Marvel, considering that the character has only made one appearance to date (in 2013’s Avengers Assemble No. 15AU, for the completists out there). She is, however, Marvel’s primary—and admittedly, only—soccer-themed character, and as such, one that would be primed to take full advantage of the surprise soccer fever surrounding this year’s World Cup.
This isn’t as ridiculous as it may seem: Marvel has not one but two (non-soccer) football-themed concepts in its character library, with the series NFL SuperPro and Kickers, Inc. having both turned football heroes into super heroes in the 1980s and ‘90s. The publisher has also published titles centered around motocross (Team America) and previously teamed with the NBA for a line of basketball-related Marvel merchandise. So why not bring Magic Boots Mel back for the World Cup?
The character, whose real name is Melanie Kapoor, gets her powers of superhuman accuracy and long-distance kicking—I promise, I am not making this up—from a pair of magic boots that give her soccer powers. Admittedly, the fact that she’s English may not be the most topical tie-in to this year’s World Cup, given England’s speedy exit from the tournament, but this just opens up the possibility of a story wherein she lends the magic boots to the actual Captain America, who leads the U.S. team to victory and unexpected soccer domination.
Okay, so it’s probably a little too close to the U.S.’ own exit from the tournament—let’s be pessimistically honest, here—to make this happen, but there’s always time to bring Magic Boots Mel into prominence for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. If nothing else, just stick her in Avengers: Age of Ultron for a winning cameo…?