199. Goddamn Bats and Dick (4 points)
Ok, so yeah. Voila. Just wanted you to know I didn't count this little duo towards the regular Batman and Robin points, mind you they could've used some extra digits in there final total, but that’s beside the point. My main reason to keep these guys separate because I wanted to point out how random this list will be. Batman here, he is on a lot of teams listed on this list. Some are in the Top 25 and some didn't make out in the Top 100, hell, Batman appears in the One Point Club.
So yeah, Goddamn Bats and Dick. Is this supposed to be the DKR Batman Universe? Someone told me it was? This is the prequel to that epic tale? I didn't mind DKR, it was the DK2 that was a piece of shit. I mean seriously, what the fuck was Miller on?
198. ExEllisibur/Inferior Five/Shadow Initiative (4 points each)
"This is my favorite team/run on this book. I was never a fan of the Claremont/Davis stuff, but once they left the book became generic and lost direction. Ellis came along and added new characters to the cast, sharpened the stories and dialogue, and created a great ensemble book about mutants in Europe. Ellis took a cast of characters, most of whom I'm not a fan of, and made me interested."
You know, I have the entire run of Excalibur and I cannot remember a single issue that Ellis penned. Does that make me a bad person? Or is that the norm around here? I am a huge fan of the original team myself, so maybe I was a bit biased. Or maybe I am just getting old and my brain is now all brain farty. Oh well.
In 1994, Warren Ellis assumed writing duties (issue #83) and, using his dark sense of humor, helped the book gain its own voice once again. Revisions made in his time on the book included reverting "Britannic" back to Captain Britain once more and adding Pete Wisdom, a cynical British spy who could manifest solar energy in the form of 'hot knives' from his fingers. Ellis made Wisdom the romantic interest of the much younger Shadowcat. At the insistence of Marvel editors, Ellis also added Wolfsbane and Colossus.
The Inferior Five are the most reluctant group of heroes you will ever find. Many years ago, the Freedom Brigade protected the world against evil. The Patriot, Lady Liberty, Captain Swift, The Bowman, Princess Power, Mister Might and the Mermaid became the parents of the Inferior Five, and they naturally expected their children to take over their roles as champions of justice. Unfortunately, each of the children had a problem.
Myron Victor comes from a long line of non-super heroes. His mother, Lady Liberty is a direct descendant of Sir Chauncey Berkeley, also known as the Crimson Chrysanthemum, who helped aristocrats escape from France during the Reign of Terror. His father, the Patriot is the son of Reed Victor, who fought crime as the masked lawman Yellowjacket. Myron has a brilliant mind, and much artistic talent, which he used to create the comic strip "Wonderfella." He thus became the leader of the Inferior Five in his identity of Merryman. He is, unfortunately very skinny and extremely weak. Athena Tremor is the daughter of Princess Power and her longtime lover, Steve Tremor. Though she has all her mother's powers, her name (meaning wisdom) is ironic. The truth is she isn't very bright and recognizing this, calls herself Dumb Bunny. Leander Brent is the son of Mister Might and the Mermaid. He inherited his dad's might and his mother's sea powers, including the necessity to get wet from time to time. He is also incredibly clumsy and so goes by the name of Awkwardman. Herman Cramer, proprietor of Herman's diner, is the son of Captain Swift, who could run and fly at fantastic speeds. Herman can also fly, but with extreme slowness and is known as the Blimp.
Finally, we have William King, photographer. He is the son of the sharp shooting Bowman. Will is a top photographer when it comes to shooting beautiful women, yet this is complicated by the fact that he is afraid of women - all women (and men and children, too!), thus he took the name White Feather and wears a costume with a yellow streak running down his back. No one would expect these misfits to ever overcome super villains, but they to the astonishment of everyone - particularly themselves, they do.
In Villains United, a team of Super Villains called the Superior Five joined Alexander Luthor's Secret Society of Super Villains. They are formidable, stylized counterparts to the Inferior Five. The Superior Five is composed of Jongleur, Tremor, Hindenberg, Lagomorph, and Splitshot. They were among the villains sent to planet Salvation.
When The Initiative recruits Cloud 9, Hardball, Rage, Slapstick, Thor Girl and Ultragirl were kidnapped by the Warbound, the Shadow Initiative were quickly briefed on the situation, and after the meeting were sent out to retrieve the captured members.
They arrive on the scene, with only Trauma, Bengal and Constrictor on the scene (Mutant Zero wasn't present at the moment and the Scarlet Spiders were in stealth mode). They are quickly confronted by a hoard of robots (Death's Head robots actually). The team was being overpowered, because their best weapon, Trauma, is unable to use his powers on robots. Luckily, Mutant Zero appears above the enemies, and quickly dispatches them and leaves. They continue onwards and find and free the kidnapped Initiative members, but the Hulk shows up. Luckily, Trauma was able to fight him for a while, turning into his various fears in the form of various enemies of his such as the Abomination and the Juggernaut, but Hulk manages to conquer his fear and beat Trauma severely. Trauma was then taken off the team.
When Gyrich and his guards were attacked by K.I.A., he called for the Shadow Initiative. Bengal and the Constrictor run there, but they are no match for the speed of Mutant Zero and the Scarlet Spiders. There, Constrictor, Bengal and the Scarlet Spiders engage in battle, but when Constrictor tries to use his cables, K.I.A. cuts his arms off from the elbow down. Mutant Zero manages to hide Gyrich from K.I.A., and when the Scarlet Spiders try to talk to their "brother", he decapitates Van. K.I.A. then leaves, and the Shadow Initiative are left over-looking the destruction.
After the events of Secret Invasion, Taskmaster had proved successful in training and leading the Initiative trainees, so Gauntlet appointed him head of the Initiative. Taskmaster's first action as Field Leader was to reveal Mutant Zero's identity to the team. To do so, Taskmaster used his mutant ability to remember all body motions after challenging her to a fight. Mutant Zero tried to hide it, but Taskmaster followed her into the gymnasium, and said he knew who she was. Bursting into flame, the entire Initiative soon learned she was former Daredevil foe Typhoid Mary.
Taskmaster's first mission was to lead the team on a mission to capture Hardball, a former trainee who had defected to HYDRA. Komodo, being Hardball's girlfriend, insisted on joining the team to take down her ex (she promised to give them all the information she could about Hardball since she knew him the best). Reluctantly, Gauntlet agreed.
The Initiative tracked Hardball to the Island nation of Madripoor, and, following orders secretly entered the country. There, they have found Hardball with a group of Hydra Agents, including Madame Hydra herself.
Meanwhile, back at the Camp, young Initiative trainee Batwing graduated and was admitted into the Shadow Initiative, which he will presumably join once (if) the other members return. While in the nation of Madripoor the group was captured by agents of Hydra. Only because they allowed themselves to get captured. Taskmaster said that they were ready to join Hydra.
The present roster is now: Taskmaster, Bengal, Typhoid Mary, Komodo, Constrictor, and Batwing
197. The Minute Men (4 points)
No, no, no, unwad you panties. This is the team from 100 Bullets. And not the team from Watchmen. But both Watchmen and The Minutemen from that book do appear on this list, so yeah. Cheer or bitch at that little bit of info if you wanna.
The initial plot of 100 Bullets hinges on the question of whether people would take the chance to get away with revenge. Occasionally in a given story arc, the mysterious Agent Graves approaches someone who has been the victim of a terrible wrong, and gives them the chance to set things right in the form of a nondescript attaché case containing a handgun, 100 bullets, and a photograph of a person, along with incontrovertible evidence that target presented is primarily and personally responsible for the recipient's woes. He informs the candidate that the bullets are completely untraceable, and that any law enforcement investigation that uncovers one of them will immediately stop.
Though all of the murders enabled by Agent Graves are presented as justifiable, the candidates are neither rewarded nor punished for taking up the offer, and appear to receive nothing other than personal satisfaction for their actions. Several people have declined the offer, while others accept but see their actions met with varying levels of success/failure. The attaches and Graves' "game" is later revealed to be only a minor part of a much broader story.
Agent Graves was the leader of a group known as "The Minutemen," a group of seven men (plus one "Agent") who serve as the enforcers and police of a clandestine organization known as "The Trust". The heads of 13 powerful European families that controlled much of the Old World’s combined wealth and industry originally formed the Trust. The Trust made an offer to the kings of Europe to leave the continent and their considerable influence and holdings, in exchange for complete autonomy in the still unclaimed portion of the "New World". When England ignored this proposition and colonized Roanoke Island late in the 16th century, the Minutemen were formed. The original Minutemen, seven vicious killers, eradicated the colony and all of its inhabitants, leaving behind only a cryptic message "Croatoa" as a warning, reclaiming the land for the Trust. Since that time, the Minutemen's charge has been to protect the 13 Houses of The Trust, serving as their force against outside threats and (more frequently) as police of the internal conflicts between the Trust families themselves. The groups' interactions are often facilitated by a person holding the title of "Warlord" for the Trust, who serves as the Houses' liaison to the Minutemen.
Sometime in the late 20th/early 21st century, the Minutemen were betrayed by the Trust and disbanded after Agent Graves refused to re-enact "The Greatest Crime in the History of Mankind" (i.e. something akin to the slaughter of Roanoke.) The Minutemen retaliate with the assassination of a hooded figure in Atlantic City, and are then sent into hiding. Most of the Minutemen of that time were "deactivated" by Graves, having their memories repressed for their protection as they returned to "normal" lives, prior (presumably some years) to the beginning of 100 Bullets.
As the story plays out, many of those who are offered the chance for vengeance by Graves are revealed to have been people wronged by the Trust or its agents, and some are actually revealed to have been Minutemen at the time of the events of Atlantic City. Trusting to his planning, some luck, and the importance of his "game," Agent Graves seeks to reactivate several of his Minutemen and recruit potential new members during the course of the series. With the "aid" at times of the Trust's current Warlord, the charismatic and secretive Mr. Shepherd, Graves sets into motion a complicated and deadly plot of revenge against the Trust.
196. The Blasters (4 points)
Fifty humans from around the world were abducted by the Dominators and their allies, these humans were placed in a special Blaster Field arena full of horrifying high tech weapons and land mines in order to test for the possibility of a metagene. Of the fifty test subjects, only six survived. The six tested positive for superhuman abilities, and a unique genetic marker that High Caste Dominator scientists would later dub the "Metagene". This proved to the Dominators that humanity was a threat, and that Earth and its people were too dangerous to remain free. Thus the Dominators joined the Thanagarians, Psions, and others in the Alien Alliance.
The six survivors were locked away on the prison world known as Starlag. In time, they discovered that their fellow prisoners were the legendary Omega Men from the Vega system, and the super genius Vril Dox of Colu as well as other future members of L.E.G.I.O.N. Working together they overthrow the Starlag guards and hijack an independent shuttle piloted by Churljenkins, a feline alien female. En route to Earth, their shuttle encounters a superhuman task force headed for the Dominator home world in order to find a cure for the Dominators' gene bomb. The two groups combined, and the six humans now nicknamed The Blasters help end the invasion. The Blasters were then returned to Earth by the Omega Men in Churljenkins' ship.
Each human had trouble adjusting to their new powers; Fritz Klein (Slag) had to take tranquilizers to maintain his temper so that he would not spontaneously combust. Children taunted Moshe Levy (Dust Devil) for pretending to have super-powers. And Carlotta (Jolt) was slowly going mad trying to control her Unus-like repulsion field. Snapper Carr was placed in a psychiatric ward and considered mad for believing he had powers; it seems that whenever Snapper teleported with his eyes open, the effect was mentally unhinging.
Later, Snapper escaped from the asylum by teleporting directly to Churljenkins' ship, which had broken down on a tiny alien world, which they then "steal" from the Omega Men leaving them stranded there. The two of them reclaim her ship, intending to return Churl' to her home. But they discover that her home planet had been destroyed to make a space way to Earth for the Alliance. Returning to Earth, Snapper and Churljenkins discover a secret Spider Guild weapons depot, he re-unites the Blasters and the team puts and end to the Guild's operation, and alerted the Justice League to its existence.
The team decides to stay united and travel the space ways as goodwill ambassadors, in order to repair Earth's reputation among the galactic community. After wandering for a while, the Blasters later began to question the wisdom of their decision. Just when they were about to disband and return to Earth, they received a distress call from Babbage, Valor's digital assistant. Valor was wrongly imprisoned in Starlag II by its warden Kanjar Ru, sister of Kanjar Ro. When the team broke into Starlag II, they unintentionally released the being known as the Unimaginable. The Unimaginable then set forces in motion, which threatened to destroy Starlag II. The Blasters were trapped as the prison began crumbling. Their fate following this incident remains a mystery.
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