The Comics 8 Ball 6.23.14: Top 8 Superhero Team Rosters
Posted by Anthony Kennedy on 06.23.2014
From the Justice League of America and the Australian outback X-Men to the Defenders, Birds of Prey and more, 411's Anthony Kennedy discusses the top 8 superhero team rosters!
Welcome back to the Comics 8 Ball in the Movie Zone! Per usual, I'm Anthony Kennedy and I'll be your guide in our intellectual trip through comicdom. As always, we will be tackling a topic and providing you the Top 8 selections related to comics. One thing to please understand, these are meant to be my personal takes and not the definitive list on the subject. Although I do consider myself somewhat an expert, feel free to disagree and I'll freely admit you're wrong. (No hard feelings tho?)
This week with the eyes' of the world transfixed on Brazil for the World Cup, I've decided to dedicate this week's column to the best team rosters in comic history.
But first, let's get to some responses to last week's topic with some….READER FEEDBACK!
CyberVenom: I like your list! Here's my 10:
10. Rick Grimes/Caaaarrrrlllll
9. Sinestro/Soranik Natu
8. Abin Sur/Amon Sur
7. Magneto/Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch
5. Corsair/Cyclops, Havok, and Vulcan
4. David Banner/Bruce Banner
3. Logan and Darken/X-23
2. Omniman and Invincible
1. Batman and the Robins
Like your list as well. Does Wolvie and X-23 count as isn't she more his clone than his offspring? Corsair and the Summers boy while dysfunctional, doesn't have anywhere near the tension and engaging storylines than the ones listed.
Kyatollah: I really don't get how the following didn't make even the Honorable Mentions:
Damon and Mindy McCready (Big Daddy and Hit-Girl)
James Howlett, Laura Kinney and Daken Akihiro
Slade, Joseph and Rose Wilson
Sabretooth, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Rogue and Graydon Creed
Charles Xavier and David Haller (Legion)
Moira and Kevin McTaggart (Proteus)
Mack and Panda Delgado
Huge oversight with one of my favorite father-daughter pairings in Big Daddy and Hit-Girl with Mindy being one of the best and strongest female characters comics has ever had.
OrangeChapeu: For the cyclops/cable entry, I'm pretty nate grey is also still running around somewhere adding yet another bizarre wrinkle to the summer/grey(and clones) clan. You could also include Polaris with the other magneto spawn. Less history there, but still plenty of dysfunction.
Nate is clone from AoA, so I choose not to include him on this list. As far as Polaris, I'm not up to date on what her current paternity is.
Believe or not, World Cup fever has actually hit me as well and to pay homage to the world's most popular sport, decided to dedicate this week's 8 Ball to the best team rosters in comics.
Important caveat to note: the team rosters selected are based on their powerset but also the personalities of the characters and the stories the creative teams were able to tell with them. With that out of the way, let's take a look at the Top 8 Superhero Team Rosters in Comics.
Defenders: Easily one of the most powerful teams with Hulk and Dr. Strange alone, but few memorable storylines with this group.
JLI: The angry Justice League capped off by a one-punch KO of Guy Gardener by Batsy.
The Marvel Family: Their power set alone should put them in the top 8, but drawing a blank with memorable storylines.
New Mutants: the final 13 issues line-up that introduced us to Cable.
New Teen Titans: "The Judas Contract", that's all!
#8 The Authority The Authority #16-22
Team Line-Up: Apollo, The Doctor, Engineer, Jack Hawksmoor, Jenny Sparks, Midnighter, and Swift Best Storyarc: "Brave New World"
One of the best and most controversial teams created in the last 15 years that combined unique, diverse characters with the brilliant writing of Warren Ellis and later Mark Millar.
Team Roster: Hyperion, Power Princess, Whizzer, Doctor Spectrum, Nighthawk, Amphibian, Tom Thumb, Blue Eagle, Golden Archer, Lady Lark, Nuke, and Arcanna. First Appearance:Avengers #85 Best Storyarc: "Squadron Supreme" mini-series
For a team created to mock the JLA, the Squadron Supreme produced one of the best max-series team story arcs of the 80's that admirably touched on what happened when the good intentions of the world's superheroes go too far.
#6 Fantastic Four Fantastic Four #1-265
Team Roster: Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm Best Storyarc: "Galactus Trilogy"
Marvel's first family (literally) highlighted the Stan Lee's great writing for not just team dynamic, but personal family issues. Boosting some of the best and must creative powers at the time doesn't hurt either.
#5 X-Factor X-Factor #1-15, 36-70
Team Roster: Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman, and Jean Grey. Best Storyarc: "Mutant Massacre"
To think it only took 20+ years later to get great storytelling out of this cast. The graduated "first class" with the recently revived Jean Grey was ripe with love triangles, dual identities and some lasting characters i.e. Apocalypse and everything that happened to Warren.
#4 The Avengers The Might Avengers #181-211
Team Roster: Captain America, Iron Man, The Wasp, The Scarlet Witch, The Vision, Beast, Wonder Man, The Falcon, and Ms. Marvel Best Storyarc: "The Child is Father To...?"/"By Friends -- Betrayed!"
The roster for Earth's Mightiest Heroes is comically a constant evolving roster. But you would be hard pressed to read a series of issues in the Avengers run that has the combination of characters, powerset and two great story issues as haunting as the Carol Danvers saga in it's entirety.
#3 The Ultimates The Ultimates 2 #1-13
Team Roster: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Wasp, Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch Best Storyarc: "Ultimates 2"
While the first six issues of "Ultimates 1" is fawned over, the true masterpiece (in my humble opinion) is the 13-issue Volume 2 where Loki tricks people into thinking Thor is a fake, Hawkeye's family gets merc'd and Cap is held as a traitor. Read the rest to see what happens.
#2 Justice League of America JLA #1-114
Team Roster: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Plastic Man Best Storyarc: "Tower of Babel"
Considering this line-up is not that new, Grant Morrison and later Mark Waid take on DC's power seven (plus Plastic Man) is the definitive tales of the Superfriends for me.
#1 Australian Outback X-Men Uncanny X-Men #214-#280
Team Roster: Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Rogue, Psylocke, Havok, Dazzler, Longshot, Jubilee and Gateway. Best Storyarc: "Welcome to Genosha"
Chris Claremont at his finest with the best iteration of X-Men roster. You have sheer power with Storm and Rogue, heated personalities in Wolverine and Rogue, a fish out of water trying to find himself in Havok, love story in Dazzler and Longshot's budding romance and some great ancillary characters in Colossus and Psylocke and the soon joining Jubilee. Perfect combination of a superhero team book.
Bit of housekeeping. I will be gone for the next two weeks as I am heading down to Brazil to attend the 2014 World Cup.
Join me again on July 12th when I return from my two-week trip for the next edition of the Comic 8 Ball! Have a great week and don't forget to read the many other great columns, news articles and more here at 411mania.com! It's still real to me damnit!