134. JLElite (19 points)
Couldn't find much on this team, so is that a blessing or a curse on me? Anywho, I will try to do the best I possibly can with this one...
The Justice League Elite was formed to attempt black ops that would not be acceptable for the JLA to "sully their hands" with.
"The Justice League Elite are a not-exactly-sanctioned, don't-ask-don't-tell, covert operations unit-- newly formed to hunt and eliminate extra-normal threats to the earth before they go public." (JLA Secret Files and Origins 2004)
The team was formed at the end JLA #100 from most of the second incarnation of The Elite (only missing Hat), members of the JLA and a couple of spies/assassins. They operated out of Somerset, New Jersey.
Some of the members of said team (I ran outta things to talk about):
Sister Superior, sister of the Elite's first leader Manchester Black, sees the Elite as a means of atoning for her brother's actions.
Coldcast, the only original member of the Elite in the JLE, and inspired by Superman to fight for right after his earlier actions in the Elite.
Menagerie II, joined with an alien weapon crèche (formerly bonded to her comatose sister), which drove her insane, now in a meta-human prison facility.
Manitou Raven and his wife Dawn (who later becomes Manitou Dawn), serving as the team's magical expert.
Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), serving as the team's tactical expert and left-winger, commonly coordinating their battles from the base; has a brief affair with Dawn.
Flash (Wally West), working in the Elite after recent events caused him to question the League's policy of only reacting to threats; he was a member of both teams simultaneously, but used a new, dark costume for his time with the Elite.
Major Disaster, a former super villain who reformed.
Kasumi, apparently an assassin who killed two hundred men before she was sixteen, but actually an undercover Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) sent by Batman to monitor the Elite.
Naif al-Sheikh, an Arab expert in international espionage who was brought in by Vera Black because she believed his hatred of meta-humans would keep the team in check.
133. The New Thunderbolts (19 points)
"I loved seeing Songbird and MACH IV step up and take over the Hawkeye role for a new generation of Thunderbolts. With Baron Zemo, they took a character who subscribes to the most vile ideology in human history, and in a classic nature versus nurture story, asked the question about whether he was himself truly evil or another victim of that ideology. Utterly fucking brilliant."
After the horrible "Fightbolts" Marvel subsequently launched New Thunderbolts #1. MACH-3 (now called MACH-IV), Atlas and Songbird were now a part of the new Thunderbolts. The team's new recruits included Photon, Speed Demon, Joystick, Blizzard and the Radioactive Man. The new team battled Atlantean superhuman terrorist group the Fathom Five and Baron Strucker's HYDRA organization, which funded the team's return.
In Purple Reign, Swordsman, along with his master, the Purple Man, plotted to enslave New York City by drugging the water supply with the Purple Man's pheromones, which allowed him to control his victims. Purple Man was teleported away from the Thunderbolts right after his defeat and was brought before Baron Zemo, his boss. Zemo then tortured the Purple Man by inducing rigor mortis in his body and threatened to send him back to prison where his powers would be nullified.
Later, Hank Pym and Warbird offered to pardon the members of the Thunderbolts (who still had outstanding legal problems), if the Thunderbolts would attack and humiliate the New Avengers in public. However, it was later revealed that Pym and Warbird had been blackmailed into doing so. Only Spider-Woman survived unscathed from the Thunderbolts' sneak attack, beating Joystick senseless. The rest of the team was beaten back before the Thunderbolts left. Songbird told Captain America that the Thunderbolts could beat the New Avengers senseless anytime they wished. In the end, it was revealed that Baron Zemo spearheaded the attack. He did this to humiliate Captain America but also to see how far the Thunderbolts would go for the chance at being pardoned.
Meanwhile, new threats were rising as Fixer resurfaced and recruited both MACH-IV and Blizzard to work with him on a top-secret project, which was also run by Zemo. Meanwhile Speed Demon was confronted by the new female Doctor Spectrum, who was out to reform the Squadron Sinister and take over the world. In the end, Speed Demon quit the Thunderbolts to join Dr. Spectrum while Nighthawk, the former Defender and member of the original Squadron Sinister, was offered membership on the Thunderbolts by Songbird.
Baron Zemo's group would then openly reveal itself to the Thunderbolts, sending a Moonstone puppeteered by Zemo to kill Genis-Vell.
When the initial strike failed, Zemo would reveal that he had used the Moonstones to accelerate Genis' return from death, and in the process made the mistake of siphoning energy from the beginning and end of time itself, caused by inexperience with his Moonstones, creating a link between Genis and the universe that threatened to end existence. Zemo explored all future timelines with the Moonstones, but failed to find a way to save both Genis and the universe.
To prevent the other Thunderbolts intervening, Zemo revealed that Atlas' brother Smuggler had survived Graviton's massacre of the Redeemers, trapped in the Darkforce dimension. Using the prospect of his release to make Atlas stop the other Thunderbolts interfering, Zemo bested Genis in battle and, apologizing for both his mistake and the necessary solution, sliced Genis' body into pieces and scattered them through both time and the Darkforce dimension to prevent Genis returning from the dead a third time. He then fully released Smuggler.
An epilogue later revealed that Zemo—his face apparently fully-healed from Moonstone's attack—and Songbird were now allies and lovers. Civil War stuff happened which I will not get into..
I cannot wait for Zemo to come and kick the shit outta all that is Marvel.
132. X-Austen (19 points)
"If you take out the whole Draco storyline, his run really wasn't that bad."
So, I googled this era and for research and found this. I am just gonna cut and paste it for your viewing pleasure, I am curious to hear your thoughts:
Austen's first arc was called Hope (Uncanny X-Men #410-415). He re-introduced homosexual X-Man Northstar, introduced the character of Annie Ghazikhanian who falls in love with comatose X-Man Havok and pitted the X-Men against an old foe, Black Tom Cassidy. Comics Bulletin gave Austen 3.5 out of 5 stars: while criticizing a certain tendency for melodramatics, he was lauded for his "spot-on" characterizations of Northstar and Professor X.
Austen's follow-up arc was called Dominant Species (Uncanny X-Men #416-420), in which he introduced a group of mutant werewolves who eat humans who do not accept mutant rights. Comics Bulletin gave it only 1.5 out of 5 stars, criticizing the "stupid dialogues, sex-crazed characters and passive, hysterical women" and pejoratively calling his plots "creative".
Austen continued with three short two-part arcs named Rules of Engagement, Holy War and Sacred Vows (Uncanny X-Men #421–427). Comics Bulletin was appreciative of Rules of Engagement while acknowledging that the Canadian superheroes Alpha Flight (a sister team of the X-Men) behaved strangely nationalistic. Holy War featured religious zealots Church of Humanity who crucify several junior X-Men and abduct demonic-looking X-Man Nightcrawler. They want to install him pope of the Catholic Church to discredit this religion. Comics Bulletin criticized the arc for featuring "crazy women", "insensitive men" and "anti-Catholic bias" Thefourthrail.com called the story "awkward and illogical at times" and pointed out the "implausible" character development. In Sacred Vows, Austen established that X-Men character Polaris is the daughter of arch villain Magneto. That drives her over the edge, makes her betray her fiancé Havok with a male stripper, while Havok betrays her with nurse Annie Ghazikhanian. Comics Bulletin called it "terrible melodrama" and blasted Austen for featuring out-of-character X-Men being "ignorant, intolerant and offensive to each other". Austen admitted misplotting Polaris. As a further point of controversy, a stand-alone story featured the teenage X-Girls Jubilee and Husk visiting a grave: instead of mourning, they exchange sex fantasies. Comics Bulletin said it "sums up everything that’s wrong with Chuck Austen’s sex obsession."
Austen followed up with an arc called Draco (Uncanny X-Men #428–434), where Nightcrawler is revealed to be the son of Azazel, a powerful demon that is later revealed as Satan himself. Thefourthrail.com called the story pacing "unbelievably tedious" and pointed out that Austen's revelation lacked power, because Azazel was painted as Satan from literally the prologue of the story on. Austen himself admitted that he misplotted the story.
The next Austen arc was She Lies With Angels (Uncanny X-Men #437–441), a retelling of the classic Romeo and Juliet story using Josh Guthrie as the male and a girl called Julia Cabot –daughter of a family full of anti-mutant racists– as the female counterpart. Thefourthrail.com was mildly appreciative of the first issues, but finally called the arc "predictable and ham-fisted". Comicsbulletin.com gave it one of four stars, blasting it as "Shakespeare for Morons" with gaping plot holes. It also features a controversial scene in Uncanny X-Men #440 in which winged X-Man Archangel flies off with his female colleague Husk in his arms. Off-panel, Husk gets naked, and it is implied that they have sex in front of several X-Men and Husk's mother.
By then, Austen's X-Men work was widely criticized. Thefourthrail.com strongly rebuked him for "horror-filled destruction of characters and inane plotting" that "defined" his work on Uncanny X-Men. Comicsbulletin.com added "when... it can't possibly get any worse, he manages to find that new lower level", criticized his "unjustified character changes" and compared him unfavorably to Morrison. Fan relations further soured when Austen — by editorial decree — had to write popular X-Men antihero Stacy X out of the X-Men stories. Austen was branded as the author who "killed Stacy X" and thus "dissed" his fans.
The writing stints during Avengers and X-Men affected Austen's reputation among comic book fans. Detractors saw him as a "misogynist", who "hates women" and "obsessed with sex". In response, Austen pointed out he was married with children, was raised by a single mother he looked up to and strongly denied misogynist sentiment. Chuck Austen has subsequently been named "Worst X-Men Writer Ever" on numerous online polls and ranking lists."
Ok. It’s back to Bubba again.
I learned comicbullentin really hates Chuck Austen. And if his ranking is low or high on a list that I didn't create, it’s a pretty fucking worthless ranking.
131. Earth 2 JSA (20 points)
Bwahaha. It looks like my little outsourcer is learning the pains bout not being able to find info on a team. Even still, he did better then I woulda done. I probably woulda bitched bout how much I hated that JSA run with Gog and how Power Girl got teleported to Earth 2 and some lame shit like that. But, I won't because outsourcer is writing this one for me. Take it away, buddy o'mine.
Ok, disclaimer time: I can’t find much on these guys, so I’m going to write what I know and what I can find, but it’s going to be a short article.
When old enemies returned, such as Per Degaton and Brain Wave, the Justice Society of America returned as well to fight their old enemies, the comic was interesting in that the characters had aged in real time, a lot of characters such as Green Lantern and The Flash were now in their mid-50s and had the grey hair and wrinkles to prove it. Luckily, a new generation of heroes like Robin, no longer a BOY wonder, Power Girl and the Star-Spangled Kid were there to help out. Not that the old-timers needed the help, they proved themselves more than capable of saving the world.
The title was the place to go for everything that was now Earth-2. The Flash #123 established that all those Golden Age stories still happened, they were just on an alternate world. On Earth-2 the characters grew old, Robin grew up into an adult with an awful costume, Batman and Catwoman married and had a daughter, Helena Wayne, The Huntress, and in what I’m told is a classic story, the Golden Age Batman died.
After ten years of adventures, the heroes and their universe disappeared in the CRISIS of Infinite Earths where the Multiverse was folded to make one remaining Earth. It was only recently in Geoff Johns and Alex Ross’ ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ storyline in the current JSA title, that the characters were seen again. Now the existence of the multiverse is common knowledge in the DCU, who knows where we’ll see the Earth-2 heroes again?
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