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Peyton Manning is ‘The Sheriff’ in new Gatorade digital comic (photos)

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Peyton Manning has become the latest NFL superstar to join the ranks as a member of “The League of Captains” — Gatorade’s marketing gimmick that turns the biggest and brightest from the National Football League into quasi-superheroes whose secret powers revolve entirely around their prowess on the football field — whose exploits have received the digital comic book treatment.

Last week, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III made his digital comic book debut as “Triiiple Impact.” Now it’s Manning’s turn.

The Denver Broncos veteran signal-caller stars in the online issue as “The Sheriff.” Why that moniker, you ask? Simple. As explained in the digital comic after Manning leads the Broncos to another victory, “That’s why they call him ‘The Sheriff’ — because every game day, he lays down the law.”

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Following that line of logic — and subtly tweaking the “lays down the law” line, imagining him saying, “I am the law” at some point in the comic (work with me here) — Manning is more or less the Judge Dredd of fourth quarter comebacks. And not the Judge Dredd of the two ridiculous movie versions, the Judge Dredd from the brilliant comic book series that inspired and was consequently sullied by the aforementioned films. Comic book nerds know what I’m talking about…

Sure, a wisenheimer could make the argument that Manning doesn’t lay down the law every game — some postseason clunkers come to mind — but hey, the comics are all in good fun and there’s no reason to be snarky … although mentioning how the intent was not to be snarky yet allude to the snarky comment before indicating one wouldn’t be snarky is kinda snarky in its own right. Huh. Let’s move on.

All in all, the partnership between Gatorade and DC ComicsĀ on these line of digital comics — as well as the Gatorade bottles featuring images of the superhero alter-egos — is a pretty clever promotional ploy. It showcases Gatorade’s significant stable of high-profile NFLers while pimping its product. A win-win scenario for the sports drink.

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