By Ashley Dunkak
A longtime comic book aficionado, Detroit Lions defensive lineman Israel Idonije has taken his hobby to the next level.
Idonije has created his own comic book – “The Protectors” – that is coming out soon.
“It’s a great origin story of the mythology behind where athletes get their power, their gift to play in their field of play,” Idonije said. “They were given this gift by these ancient gods to protect humanity from The Dissenters, who rule earth as the most powerful senator, the most powerful media mogul and a very powerful religious leader, so these three forms control humanity.
“The Protectors were put here to defeat them and they didn’t know that they had this gift, and that gift manifested itself in just these great abilities,” Idonije continued. “Just not knowing that, you can run, you can jump, you can do all these things, they’ve made great athletes. Now in our present day, the lone elder comes back. He’s charged to find these athletes, bring them together to create the Protectors to save the human race.”
Idonije created the concept, and he brought in writer Ron Marz and illustrator Bart Sears, both comics veterans, to bring his ideas to life.
“If I did the drawing and the writing, no one would want to read it,” Idonije said with a laugh, “except for my mother.”
Idonije came up with the plan for The Protectors in 2007. Apparently the lineman is also creative on the fly; upon request, the new Lion gave a rundown of what superpowers he would assign his teammates, including defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, running back Reggie Bush and quarterback Matthew Stafford.
“[Suh's] almost similar to like a Hulk-type power,” Idonije said. “He’s invincible. Super strength, ability just to do larger-than-life things, extremely powerful, durable. I’d give Reggie Bush speed, like a Flash type, maybe like a Matt Stafford would be, I’d want to give him some sort of precognition gift because he has to read the keys and he has to deliver the ball before someone gets there. He’d be kind of like your leader, kind of like a Cyclops type or a Captain America type, your leader of your group.”
Idonije’s love of comic books began early. It started with reading Green Hornet comic books as a kid, and he was quickly hooked. As a kid he would dress up like Spiderman or Wolverine and run around, and he also connected with X-Men characters Colossus and Gambit.