Saturday, May 26, 2018 • Midnight Edition • "At least we're not Multiversity!"

Your Top Teams part 22

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, June 23 2009 and posted in Features
A 4some 4ya.




141. The Strawhat Gang (17 points - 1 first place slot)

strawhatgang.jpg"Each colorful member has their own personal treasure or dream to follow and, no matter how dysfunctional they may be, they will all put everything on the line for lives and loves of their fellow crewmates."

"As said I am a HUGE Titans fan. Still, I just couldn't deny the Straw Hat Pirates what is rightfully theirs, because they really are the ultimate team. 50+ volumes, all by the same guy, all the time with the same voices, development that made sense, changes, additions, loss, it all happened in a natural way and this is really one team that doesn't feel like they were just thrown together and someone said they are a team now. The Straw Hat Pirates, more than I can any superhero comic book team ever see becoming, are truly FAMILY - to the point where one of them leaving isn't just some random thing that happens so the character can show up elsewhere, but it's instead a gut-wrenching story element and things won't get better until the character in question returns. Even moreso, this is a book where a character wants to sacrifice herself for her friends, for her team and they don't accept it, so they go and take her back. A group of 8, plus the support of a bunch of random characters against THOUSANDS. A group of 8 (9 by now) declaring war on the entire world government, because they want one friend back, and if to do so they will end up in a dirty, blood vomiting mess of broken bones, then it just means they'll party even harder when everyone is fine again. No ifs or buts, no traitors, no not standing at your friends side for whatever reason. They go all the way and they do so together. No one gets left behind. The Straw Hat Pirates are my definition of what the perfect team should be."

The Straw Hat Pirates are the people Monkey D. Luffy, The Captain, considers valuable to his crew and will help him become the ultimate power, "The Pirate King". Luffy's crew consists of a master swordsman named Roronoa "Pirate Hunter" Zoro, a thief named "Cat Burglar" Nami, a marksmen named "King of Snipers" Usopp, a chef named "Black Leg" Sanji, a reindeer doctor named Tony Tony "Cotton Candy Lover" Chopper, an archeologist named Nico "Demon Child" Robin, a shipwright named "Cyborg" Franky, and a talking skeleton named "Humming" Brook. Every crewmate or "nakama" has a one-of-a-kind talent and each one has extraordinary combat skills. Each one has a dream that keeps them going and one of the reasons they have joined the crew.


140. Hawk and Dove II (18 points)

hawk-dove.jpgIn 1988, a new Hawk and Dove mini-series written by Karl and Barbara Kesel reintroduced Hawk and Dove in a 5-issue mini series. This series introduced a woman named Dawn Granger, the second Dove, and a new enemy, Kestrel. The new Dove mysteriously received her powers while attempting to save her mother from terrorists. At the end of the mini-series, it was revealed that Dawn received her powers the moment Don had been stripped of them. This Dove, while considerably more aggressive and self confident than Don, also has greater-than-average strength and dexterity, faster-than-human speed, and expanded mental capabilities. Dove fights mostly defensively, preferring to out-think and remain in control of her opponent. Like Hawk, she also heals incredibly quickly and cannot revert to Dawn if her wounds or some other condition would be fatal to Dawn. It was later revealed that Hawk & Dove become beings that are direct conduits of the respective planes of chaos and order.

Set in Washington, D.C. (where the duo attended Georgetown University), the series introduced several supporting characters, including Hank's girlfriend, Ren Takamori, and friends Kyle Spenser and Donna Cabot. They also worked with police Captain Brian 'Sal' Arsala, who would develop a mutual admiration with Dawn. It also introduced Kestrel, an evil spell created by M'Shulla, and Barter, owner of BARTER TRADING: Exotic Goods and Services.

In issues #14-17 of the ongoing series, Kestrel, in the body of Ren Takamori, lured Hawk & Dove to the mystical land of Druspa Tau - also home to the Lords of Chaos and Order. Hawk & Dove cut a deal with Barter to transverse dimensions to Druspa Tau. On Druspa Tau, the two, as Hawk and Dove, were able to remove their costumes, revealing their true forms, and found their abilities were heightened exponentially. They arrived as a war was brewing between M'Shulla, The Lord of Chaos, and followers of Arriya, the Lord of Order. Finding themselves on opposite sides, Hawk and Dove were forced to do battle. M'Shulla tells a captive Rome that he cast a spell long ago, that Arriya is not the name of Druspa Tau's former Order goddess. No one knows her true name any longer, and therefore she cannot return to Druspa Tau. Just as M'Shulla is about to claim final victory, Barter tells Rome the true name of the world's Order lord: Terataya. Her name is spoken, and a dragon wearing an amulet appears. The dragon/amulet is a combined being: Terataya, lord of Order, and T'Charr, lord of Chaos, and is now called The Unity. The Unity fight with M'Shulla and because it is maintaining the Hawk and Dove spell, The Unity cannot fight him as well. M'Shulla deals The Unity a fatal blow, and The Unity retreats to a hidden cave.

Dove is able to use her logical powers to see how the Kestrel demon is attached to Ren... and separate them. Hawk then absorbs the Kestrel force (since it's part of Chaos, and Hawk is one with the primal source of Chaos while on Druspa Tau), effectively annihilating it and freeing Ren. Hawk and Dove then fly off to find The Unity, leaving Ren behind. In the cave where The Unity hides, Hawk and Dove find their creators, T'Charr and Terataya, dying. The Unity explains that it created Hawk and Dove to prove to the other Lords of Chaos and Order that the two forces could work together. It did this because T'Charr and Terataya are in love, and have been hunted by their respective houses ever since. However, they are dying. So, Hawk and Dove absorb the essence of their respective creators. This merging gave both Hawk and Dove enhanced powers, but it meant there will be no new Hawk or Dove if either of the current heroes died. Hawk and Dove also learned their abilities were upgraded: Dove could fly and Hawk was stronger and bulletproof.

In Hawk and Dove #20, Dove was trapped inside a shopping mall, having to battle Christmas-themed robbers, after she sends her mother away for the holidays

In 1991, in an editorial snafu concerning the miniseries Armageddon 2001, word leaked out that the central time-traveling villain of the piece (known as Monarch) was actually Captain Atom. Monarch had originally been conceived as a future identity of Captain Atom (post-psychotic break); Waverider had even 'checked' Hawk's future in Hawk & Dove Annual #2 (which had them fighting Monarch eliminating them as possible candidates). In a last-ditch effort to provide a 'surprise twist', DC changed the storyline. Sales on Hawk & Dove had dipped, and the series was slotted for cancellation, so Monarch's identity was revealed as the future Hank Hall. Monarch attacked Hawk and Dove and managed to murder Dawn in front of Hank, causing him to suffer the psychotic break, kill Monarch, and assume the villainous identity. He briefly became a recurring foe for Captain Atom before absorbing Waverider's time-travel powers, subsequently changing his form and name to Extant in Zero Hour. Later, he challenged the Justice Society of America, an encounter that led directly to his demise when Atom Smasher used the New God Metron's mobius chair to transfer Hall onto a doomed plane in place of the Atom Smasher's mother. Despite this, a statue of him is in the Titans Tower memorial in San Francisco.

In JSA, Dove's apparent death and Hawk's turning evil was revealed to be part of a larger plan by the evil sorcerer, Mordru. In Teen Titans #31, Hank and Don Hall reappear as zombies, brought back to life by Brother Blood, who was freed as a result of the events of Day of Vengeance.


139. Claremont’s Glorious Return X-men (18 points)

xmen-claremont2.jpgAfter Claremont was booted from the X-Titles and given a cheesy one like X-Treme X-men, Joe Q brought him back to the title. Why? Well, after the horrendous Austen run on the title, you couldn't get much worse. But they were wrong, this little run was terrible and the ramifications of it destroyed another perfectly good title in the process.

First off, this run introduced the comic world to X-23, the female Wolverine clone from the cartoon. Many thought that was cool, but me and a few others (more then I thought) hated it. The character was lame in the show, and was lame in the comics too. Hell, she was wearing Fang's costume from the Imperial Guard when she was introduced. Oh, and another thing that bothered me was that when Claremont came onboard he did the whole "4 months later" thing. So there was a 4 month gap between his first issue and Austen’s last. What happened in those for months? Well, Rachel Summers is back on the team, which is lame. Hell, I am a fan of her but I liked her look in Excalibur with the who spiky outfit and shit. Now she looks like a Jean Grey clone. I know, I know, she her mom so they have to look alike but still. Oh and the new Thunderbird is in this series too.

The worst thing though is what happened with Psylocke. Claremont was slated to take over the Exiles, why? I have no fucking clue. So he planned this whole storyline where she would disappear from reality or something and join the team. The Exiles book got cancelled and was replaced by New Exiles and that comic didn't last too long either. So now a 3rd Exiles series is on the go. Hey, I love Claremont’s X-men back in the day, but he still writes the same way. His writing is outdated and washed up. Retire. Please.


138. The Lost LEGION (18 points)

lostlegion.jpg"Legion Lost" is one of the best comic stories I have ever read, and it is an absolute failure on DC's part not to have that collected."

In the late nineties, the Legion of Super-Heroes was a failing franchise. Both ongoings (Legion of Super-Heroes and Legionnaires) saw sales falling rapidly. As a solution, DC brought in renowned sci-fi writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (DnA) and penicller Oliver Coipel to revitalize the franchise with the epic maxi-series ‘Legion Lost’

After the events of the previous ongoings, several Legionnaires trapped in the Legion Outpost were lost in a special rift, reappearing on the other side of the universe. The Outpost is found by Shikari, a member of the insectoid race the ‘Kwai’ who fails to recognize the Legion paraphernalia. She is confronted by a hologram of Element Lad who, through various transmissions, explains what happened and how he had to put the Legionnaires into stasis to protect them. The transmissions end with Element Lad explaining he thinks he’s solved the problem and he pleads with whoever is listening to help the Legion, as he may not be alive to do so. At that moment, members of the Progeny, a beetle-like race who believes in ‘deleting’ anything that isn’t them, burst in and open fire, inadvertently cracking the green amber the Legionnaires are preserved in. Just as Shikari is about to be ‘deleted’ she is saved by the ‘Lost’ Legion: Brainiac 5.1, Saturn Girl, Live Wire, Kid Quantum, Umbra, Monstress, Ultra Boy, Chameleon and Apparition.

Throughout the course of the maxi-series, the team fight the Progeny, Omniphagos; a creature that doesn’t just eat anything, it eats everything, they rescue lost Legionnaire ERG-1 who adopts the name Wildfire, lose one of their own and discover the shocking truth behind the leadership of the Progeny (Hint: Rhymes with Elephant Lad) and eventually finding their way home.

The maxi didn’t set the sales charts on fire, but it was very well received critically, and led to DnA writing ‘Legion Worlds’ about what happened to the United Planets since the Legion’s disappearance and then the ongoing series ‘The Legion’ which lasted just under 40 issues. Apparently, their currently writing something for Marvel, some sort of cosmic crossover, I dunno. I’ve heard that it’s not very good...

PS: This is Bubba here, just wanted to say BUY WAR OF KINGS!!!!


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