*Selected to Pro Bowl, + First-Team All-Pro


*Selected to Pro Bowl, + First-Team All-Pro


Comics and sports have a long history of interaction. Whether it's Stan Lee's "Guardian Project" for the NHL or Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger building his own Batcave, the crossover between sports and comics is more present than meets the eye - a fact especially true for Philadelphia Eagles player Brian Dawkins, who hung up his number 20 jersey after 16 seasons of NFL play. While Dawkins became known during his career as one of the premier safeties in the NFL, comic fans will no doubt recognize his football nicknames and alter-ego: "Weapon X" and "Wolverine." Dawkins has had a long-standing interest in Marvel Comics' popular X-Men, filling his Eagles locker with memorabilia and collectibles featuring Wolverine. For his retirement game against the New York Giants, Marvel Custom Solutions crafted a poster of Dawkins by artist Jorge Molina to be handed out at the game in honor of Dawkins' retirement.

Eagles President Don Smolenski said the idea to bring in Marvel Custom Solutions to help commemorate Dawkins' retirement occurred to several people in the Eagles organization at the same time.

"Dawk loved Wolverine - his locker was full of action figures," Smolenski told CBR News. "He's a very quiet, calm man off the field, but one who would get incredibly fired up before games. He called it 'turning into Weapon X.' ...We're going to have 70,000 people at our game celebrating Brian's career. This is such a great way to let them share in the celebration."

Beyond just having an interest in Wolverine, Dawkins shares a number of similarities with the Canucklehead. "Like Wolverine, Brian Dawkins wasn't the largest warrior on the battlefield, but he was famously resilient, never backed down from a challenge, was loyal to his team and was feared as one of the league's hardest hitters," said Marvel's Bill Rosemann, who served as project editor for the poster. "During his legendary 13 years in Philadelphia, he started in 182 of 183 games, racking up 898 tackles, 34 interceptions, 21 sacks, was a nine-time Pro-Bowl selection, a six-time All-Pro and a member of the Eagles 75th Anniversary Team and the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. He truly was the best there is at what he did."

"[He's a] fearless player," added Smolenski. "Ferocious hitter on defense. He set the standard for his teammates. And no opponent ever took him for granted, because he could make plays that beat you."