Sunday, December 21, 2014 • Morning Edition • "The CBR of comic book journalism."

Your Top Teams part 18

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, June 22 2009 and posted in Features
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154. Dynamo 5 (15 points)

dynamo5-1.jpgCaptain Dynamo was the respected hero of Tower City. He was well loved as he protected the city with his super strength, flight, x-ray and eye beams, shape shifting, and telepathy. Sadly, a day came when Captain Dynamo was killed. His widow, Maddie, discovered his little black book and discovered that he had fathered five children with five different women behind her back, using his shape shifting powers. Although feeling betrayed, she realized the children had the same DNA as their father, got them together, and exposed them to the same radiation giving them powers. Scrap, the goth film-maker acquired her father’s strength, over-achiever Slingshot has her father’s speed and flight, school geek Visionary gained his father’s beams, womanizer Myriad received his father’s shape shifting abilities and Scatterbrain, the popular jock received telepathy although he’d much rather have x-ray vision for… obvious reasons. Together they are Dynamo 5 and have to learn to work together as a team and as family, whether they like it or not.

 

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153 The Order (15 points)

"A great series cut short before its time. This series just worked, if you told me I would love a series with an alcoholic actor, Britney Spears allegory, soldier turned hippie and child obsessed actress I wouldn’t have believed you. (I would have believed that I would love Calamity though) but they were all so well done. I don’t regret having them on my new characters list and I don’t regret having them here."

"...again why weren't more people reading this?"

The team is comprised largely of celebrities known for making a difference through charitable work, and through a process involving a viral genomech payload developed by Hank Pym each one is given superpowers modeled on the pantheon of Greek gods and trained at a S.H.I.E.L.D. base in Arizona. However, this process causes great strain on human bodies allowing the users limited time as superhuman (roughly a year).

The group, then known as the Champions, were first put to use in the final battle of the superhuman Civil War. Though unnamed, the group that went into the fight consisted of people that closely resembled Hercules, Pierce, Maul, an African-American Avona, Bannerman Brown & Green, Corona along with several others displaying a variety of different powers.

As the Californian Initiative team, slightly changed versions of many the first seen team face and defeat Infernal Man. After the battle, some members failed to follow the morals clause in their contract by going out drinking, and were subsequently fired and had their powers removed. Their replacements, Milo Fields, Mulholland Black, Magdalena Marie, and Becky Ryan were given different powers.

The team would come into conflict with various villains, most with a connection to General Softly and the mysterious "M.A.N. from S.H.A.D.O.W." military group, including hordes of Zobos (mechanized zombie hobos), Cold War super villains, Gamma monsters, Namor, and an all girl gang called the Black Dahlias who have been given superpowers via the same process as The Order by M.A.N. from S.H.A.D.O.W. as well as deal with a murder case involving a former Order member.

The team is later evicted from its Bradbury, California headquarters and the M.A.N. from S.H.A.D.O.W. is revealed to be a collection of General Softly androids first devised by the Super Human Development and Operation (S.H.D.O.) fifty years before; around the time of the real General Samuel Softly's death, and now part of a collection of villains (including Black Dahlias and Maul) led by Ezekiel Stane, the son of Iron Man enemy Obadiah Stane, who had set out to destroy The Order. After reactivating Mulholland Black's powers and depowering the rest of The Order, Henry Hellrung was forced to kill Mulholland when her powers went out of control.

With the villains defeated, Tony Stark offers to repower the surviving members of The Order permanently and turn the team into a military operation rather than a public relations showcase. The Order will continue on as the Initiative superhero team of California. During the Secret Invasion, The Order was one of the two Initiative teams that the invading Skrulls were unable to place a sleeper agent on as Tony Stark chose the team personally; rather than the Skrull impostor of Hank Pym. However, suspicions arose between the members of the Order, and almost culminated in a fight.

 


152. Nightstalkers (15 points)

nightstalkers.jpg"Three badass vampire hunters. The descendant of the greatest vampire of all time. A PI vampire. And the Daywalker. Great team. All of them started in Tomb of Dracula. Then they were ignored for the most part until the 90's when they reunited in time to join the Midnight Sons. I mentioned how much I love Marvel horror characters, right?"

The trio got their start in Tomb Of Dracula series where they hunted Dracula with Quincy Harker, and Rachel Van Helsing. The three formed a detective agency called King, Drake, and Blade, but later changed the name to Borderline Investigations. In the first issue of Nightstalkers, Doctor Strange manipulated them into becoming the Nightstalkers.

It was revealed to the Nightstalkers at a later time that Strange had gathered them because the Montesi Formula (which had eradicated vampires, and kept more from being created) was weakening. Strange was worried that Dracula would return, and he wanted the Nightstalkers to gain experience battling enemies like Lilin, Hydra, and Bloodstorm before that happened.

Doctor Strange would get the Nightstalkers together because they were part of the Nine (The Midnight Sons), which are Earth’s last chance against the occult. Before getting back together, Blade just got out of a mental institution, Frank Drake was trying to piece his life back together, and Hannibal was fighting against his own bloodlust. Together again as the Nightstalkers, they would fight the Lilin Meatmarket but also mistakenly be tricked by Lilith to attack Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze.

In the battle in Greenland against Lilith and the Lilin, after the battle, The Nightstalkers swore to destroy the world of anything that is occult. As a team, Blade and Hannibal King didn't always see eye to eye due to the fact that Hannibal was a vampire, and due to Blade's early history with vampires. At this time, Hannibal was the main target of the Hydra team D.O.A. because of his vampirism. During this time they would encounter Punisher, Ghost Rider, and Morbius during many fights against various foes.

Blade's hate for the occult grew so strong, he actually went to get his hands on the Demogorge page of the Darkhold, and turned into Switchblade, a killer of anything magic. Hannibal was his first kill. He chopped his head off. Frank Drake with the help of a few members of the Midnight Sons tried everything to stop Blade. But Blade was to strong and killed Blaze, Mordred, Victoria Montesi, Morbius, and Ghost Rider. But Louis Hastings brought Blade back to his normal self and all the characters he killed came back to life. They would later team up with the Midnight Sons again to fight a demonic version of Spider-Man and also fight a deadly Lilin named Short Circuit in a prison.

They would later team up with the Midnight Sons during the Siege of Darkness but would mostly not see eye to eye with the other teammates. During this the Midnight Sons split into two groups Frank and Blade team on one side and King with the other side. Blade’s group got sucked into a trap by Morbius (under the control of another Lilin named Bloodthirst). Later on they would reunite but later get split up again after Lilith was defeated and Zarathos came back. Blade and Drake would be trapped underground and attacked by the Dust people. King would get into conflict but later team up with Morbius to find a member of the Blood. They got back together to fight Zarathos and the Fallen in a final battle with Blade delivering the final deadly blow to Zarathos. Blade and King would bare the mark of the Midnight Sons but Frank couldn't cause he was too human to get it.

The Nightstalkers ended their run in a battle with Varnae, a vampire lord older, and presumably more powerful, than Dracula. Varnae took control of King's mind in order to make him kill his teammates. Hannibal resisted enough to impale himself on a pole. King sacrificed himself by causing an explosion with The Exorcist (his anti-occult nanotech rifle) in an attempt to stop Varnae. Blade took the loss of his team hard, but continued to battle vampires and the occult. He eventually runs into King in New Orleans who explains that Drake also survived but was left horribly scarred and crippled in both body and mind and would probably remain only a shell of his former self.

 


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