Thursday, November 27, 2014 • Morning Edition • "The comic book industry's inflamed butthole."

Your Top Teams part 4

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, June 15 2009 and posted in Features
1topteams.jpgYeah, this one has kinda a shocker in it...

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wildcats.jpg195. WildC.A.T.S. v2 Team (5 points)

I do love Charest’s pencils, but daaaaaaaaaaaaayum he be a slow muthafucka. And yeah, all the votes for Wildcats were for this particular lineup/era. After the first series cancellation, Wildstorm, now an imprint of DC Comics, resurrected the Wildcats under a whole different premise - Wildcats dealt with the lives of the original members after the team's breakup following a botched mission during which team member Zealot apparently died. Scott Lobdell provided the writing for the initial seven issues as well as a Mosaic one shot detailing the change in Lord Emp, with Travis Charest penciling most of them. New villains like Kenyan and CC Rendozo were featured as antagonists, but it was all dropped very quickly, with Charest leaving the monthly comic format for working in a French still-to-be-released Metabarons graphic novel called Dreamshifters and Lobdell going away just a couple of issues later, after a very grim and bloody issue featuring Warblade's new status quo as he avenges the death of his girlfriend.

Wild Times: Wildcats and Wild Times: Grifter were published as one shots, as a part of the strange crossover series Wild Times that spotlighted the characters in Elseworlds-like alternate reality scenarios that blended genres.

Somewhere around this time, Wildcats’ creator Jim Lee penciled the 12 issue maxi-series Divine Right, featuring a new character called Max Faraday with God complex issues, introducing even more new creations such as Fallen, who were seldom seen later, as well as the end of the Internal Operations storyline. Strangely, Wildcats also participated in the WildC.A.T.s/Aliens crossover written by Stormwatch's Warren Ellis and penciled by Chris Sprouse that served as a coda to that series and a prequel to his Authority run, having very little to do with Wildcats themselves.

As Joe Casey and Sean Phillips took over Wildcats, they quickly dealt away with Kenyan while Void and Emp ended up having Spartan absorb their assets and powers, thus the book began a long spell featuring him aided by Ladytron and Grifter with Maul and Voodoo guest-starring as well as new characters Noir, Agents Wax and Mohr of the National Park Service. Warblade was featured very briefly, last time in the Wildcats 2000 annual that brought back the dead version Condition Red, killing Olympia. Casey and Phillips signaled the new Wildstorm - critically acclaimed but low on readers' radar. The heroes fought Samuel "Slaughterhouse" Smith (a superhuman serial killer whose grandfather had appeared in Team One: WildC.A.T.s) after which eventually Zealot returned. Casey also wrote the Ladytron one shot, a farsic rendition of her past, as well as a Mister Majestic ongoing series, cancelled at #9.

 

trinity.jpg
194. The Trinity (5 points)

Flabbergasted. That is what I am. Utterly flabbergasted by this. These three are the cornerstones to the DC Universe and they only received 5 points? Mind you, the trinity is not an official team but of a club that DC Comics forces down our throats whenever they can, so I can see why a lot of people didn't vote for them. I hear many people say that in order for the Justice League to work, you need the Big 7, or even more so you need these three especially. Without these three the team will not work? Is that true? I dunno about that, I think I could write a pretty good story without these three being on the team. Hell, Mark Waid did in JLA: Year 1, and it was a friggin’ awesome story. And, for those who care that lineup of the JLA will appear on the list.

5 points though? I hear all the Marvel Zombies laughing at this one.

I will leave it at that.

 


amazingfriends.gif193. The Amazing Friends/New Statemen (5 points each)

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the show, Marvel released Spider-Man Family: Amazing Friends #1 on August 9, 2006. The comic starts with an all-new story, "Opposites Attack", which is officially set before Web of Spider-Man #75. After that is a Mini Marvel tale titled Spider-Man And His Amazing Co-Workers (the actual title had a strikethrough of "Friends" in the title). Both stories were written by Sean McKeever.

While this story is not in continuity with the cartoon, it is filled with various in-jokes to aspects of the show, such as Firestar believing Wolverine to be Australian, a reference to an out-of-character voice choice for Wolverine in the episode "A Firestar Is Born" — and the fact that the actor who played Wolverine in the X-Men movies, Hugh Jackman, is Australian. It is the first-ever appearance of the show's most recurring villain, Videoman, in a Marvel comic.

In the story, Iceman has recently returned to the X-Men (after he and the other members of the original X-Factor had disbanded to rejoin their original team), but he is taking a break from both the team and his current girlfriend. After he and Spider-Man team up to save a video arcade from Videoman, they take a lunch break on the side of a building (Spider-Man hanging from his web and Iceman sitting in an ice chair) and are joined by Firestar. Iceman is dismissive of Firestar as a "newbie", as the story takes place in the same year as Firestar's public debut as a member of the New Warriors, while Iceman and Spider-Man have had significant careers as heroes at that point. Though Spider-Man, having met the Warriors, warns Iceman that Firestar is "no slouch", Firestar takes offense and melts Iceman's chair. As Iceman uses his powers to break his fall, Firestar kisses Spider-Man on the cheek as a thank-you for standing up for her. This ends up costing Spidey, as his wife Mary Jane makes him sleep on the couch after seeing the kiss on the evening news.

That night, while out on patrol (and trying to work out the kinks in his body caused by the couch), Spider-Man again encounters both Firestar and Iceman. The two mutants briefly quarrel again until the web-slinger spots the Beetle carrying the loot from a robbery, prompting the three heroes to "go for it" and face the criminal. The unseen battle ends with the heroes lamenting the Beetle's escape, which devolves into another argument between Iceman and Firestar (apparently, their powers counteracting each other's contributed to their failure).

Mistaking the pair's quarreling for an act of romantic affection, Spider-Man is determined to play matchmaker (despite Mary Jane's misgivings when he tells her his plan). He initially succeeds (despite another brief argument during their arranged "first date"), and a three-week whirlwind romance ensues. However, after another encounter with Videoman, Spider-Man's suggestion of a permanent team-up leads to trouble when Iceman's egotism sparks a fight between the amorous couple. When Spider-Man tries to interfere, Iceman and Firestar turn their attention towards him, seeming to recall his role in bringing them together. As a result, Peter Parker ends up with a cold (and back on the couch), and Mary Jane heckles his matchmaking skills while caring for her sick husband.

It seems that Mini Spidey has been "slacking", as boss J. Jonah Jameson puts it, on the job as delivery boy for the Daily Bugle, due to his obsession with a portable video game starring the Incredible Hulk. Despite Spidey's protests, Jameson assigns him a pair of new partners to get him "back on track" — Bobby aka Iceman and Angel aka Firestar. Bobby and Angel pointlessly go through their transformation sequences (as per the TV show), despite both already being in costume, much to Spidey's annoyance.

Due to the pair's idealistic dedication to their new job (as opposed to Spidey's near-apathy), Bobby and Angel deliver the papers in record time. So Spidey decides to slack off again, by claiming he has a "really important battle to fight" (later claiming that his opponent is Doc Ock on three separate occasions). While the other "Spider-Friends" perform so well that Jameson triples their route, Spidey finally beats the level boss that had been blocking his progress in the video game — that boss being a giant, pistol-wielding Ms. Lion.

Just as Spidey defeats the dreaded Ms. Lion, Bobby and Angel return and explain that Spidey's claims of fighting super-villains had sparked a desire to do so themselves. Thus, they quit their delivery job to follow their new partner in crime fighting— as "Hawkeye and His Amazing Friends"! Spidey is left with a huge amount of papers to deliver and his prospects for new partners looking grim, as he doubtfully interviews Ghost Rider for the position.

 

newstatemen.jpg
I have never heard of this book in my life, and they beat the Trinity. The series was published in Crisis from issue #1-14 with reappearance in issue #28. It was also repackaged for the American market as a five-issue prestige format limited series that was released in 1989. This had been part of the business plan for Crisis from the start but only the early series, like New Statesmen, got this treatment. In 1990 the story was collected into a trade paperback.

Set in America in 2047, the series told the story of a number of genetically modified "optimen", created with superhuman 'hard' and 'soft' talents, who were essentially biological weapons. The series asked what 'superheroes' would be like if they were far more human than traditional heroes.

The series depicted a dystopian future in which Britain had become the 51st state of America and the world is in the grip of fear of genetic engineering and political warmongering.

As the voted point out, in many ways the series was ahead of its time. Two of the leading male characters were in a gay relationship.

 


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