Sunday, May 20, 2018 • Morning Edition • "We go in so you don't have to."

Your Top Teams part 28

Written by Chris Mitchell on Thursday, June 25 2009 and posted in Features
Closer and closer we get to the Top 100...




118. The Wrecking Crew (24 points)

wreckingcrew..jpgThe Wrecking Crew were formed when Dirk Garthwaite (Wrecker) was approached by Dr. Elliot Franklin with the task of retrieving a gamma bomb Elliot (Thunderball) had designed, with the intent of ransoming New York for millions of dollars. Dirk manages to retrieve his enchanted crowbar, and during a lightning storm he tells Elliot and his fellow prisoners Henry Camp (Bulldozer) and Brian Calusky (Piledriver) to grip the crowbar simultaneously. A lightning bolt struck the bar transforming the group into the Wrecking Crew. They promptly escape from prison and in the course of searching for the gamma bomb are defeated by the Defenders and Luke Cage.

Over the years the crew have a very familiar cycle (break out of jail, fight enemies, then get defeated, then thrown back into jail). The crew has fought Captain America, Iron Fist, Namor, Spider-Man, the Thing and their greatest foe Thor.

Their first encounter with Thor they are sure of victory but he defeats them as well as every time they come into conflict. When Thor injured Wrecker when Wrecker killed an innocent bystander, Thunderball takes the crowbar and is made the leader of the crew for a short time before being defeated by Spider-man.

The Wrecking Crew was chosen by the Beyonder to battle a group of heroes during his Secret Wars. The Wrecking Crew's most despicable act was when they nearly killed Hercules during an attack on the Avengers Mansion led by the Masters Of Evil. With Thor's assistance, Hercules eventually confronts the Wrecking Crew and defeats them, restoring his confidence in himself.

During the Civil War incident, he Wrecking Crew is forced to join the team the Thunderbolts or face additional jail time. This is ironic since most of the Thunderbolts are reformed villains, but the Wrecking Crew has yet to be reformed.


117. The Expanded Originals New Mutants (24 points)

newmutants1..jpg"At the time I got to read this I was 10/11 and I found myself identifying with Sam's inability to succeed despise having all it took to do it, Roberto's apparent arrogance that just masked is inner fears, Rahne 's feelings of loneliness because she feared herself and I even confess to having some jealousy of Cypher's friendship with Warlock (yes it was a strange time in my childhood, with my parents divorce and moving to a different town)."

After a short period with the original five members, the team was never meant for field duty, but due to unforeseen circumstances that ended up in the lost land of Nova Roma. While in Nova Roma, it would be where they would first encounter the vampiric, immortal, sorceress Selene (later the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle) who was attempting to drain the life of one of the of the Nova Romans by the name of Amara Juliana Olivians Aquilla (Magma). Through a random string of event the New Mutants would end up saving the life of Amara but defeating Selene. The New Mutants would find out that Amara, too, was a mutant as they were. She would be the first to be recruited in the group of New Mutants besides the charter members. Though they would gain a powerful new teammate they would also gain a new villain that would seek revenge on the New Mutants for their meddling. Once Magma was saved she would leave her home and move to the Xavier Institute and become a full-time member of the New Mutants.

Shortly after Magma joined the team, the New Mutants would have yet another recruit found in the younger sister of X-Men member Colossus by the name of Illyana Rasputin (Magik). With her mutant teleporting powers and the fact that she is the ruler and Sorceress Supreme of the dark dimension known as Limbo, she would lead the New Mutants into many new, different and darker missions. Many the likes of which the New Mutants had never seen and likely wish they never would have seen ever.

Rounding off the team were the additions of the mutant mental linguist Douglas Ramsey (Cypher) and the Techno-Organic alien Warlock. Though some of the members of the New Mutants would leave for personal reasons and return for continued stints. The above-mentioned mutants would serve as the core members for the team. As the New Mutants, it became their responsibility to fill in for the X-Men if they were ever unable to fulfill their duties. It was never believed that this event would ever occur, but they were all wrong. When the X-Men were thought dead, yet again. The New Mutants would be promoted to X-Men status and filling in where their predecessors left off. The New Mutants had built themselves into a solid unit capable of handling most any situation, regardless of their age. Thankfully, the New Mutants would find out that the X-Men had seemingly escaped death once again and they would quickly return allowing their young fill-ins take the break they needed.

It would be a short break as Professor X needed to leave, having to tend to matters in outer space. Not wishing to leave the New Mutants without anyone to care for them. He would turn to his long time friend and enemy Magneto to fill in for him. Magneto would fill in as Headmaster at the Xavier Institute and caretaker for the New Mutants. This decision didn’t sit well with anyone. Due to this past misdeed and history with the X-Men the New Mutants as a whole initially did not trust him, and for good reason. Not only was he working for Xavier’s side now but he, too, was a member of the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle as their White King. The revelation would only create more animosity on the side of the New Mutants against their new Headmaster. Slowly he did prove himself to some of the kids but for the most part his part on the team never panned out, as Xavier would have like to have had it. During their time with Magneto they would see their long time teammate Magma leave their team and join their rivals the Hellions. With no time to recover they would encounter an Ani-Mate by the name of Bird-Brain. Ani-Mates are genetically engineered animals giving human abilities by their creator the Ani-Mator. They would befriend Bird-Brain and even have him join the team for a short while. While assisting their new member on his island protecting his friends they would get into a heated battle with the Ani-Mator, which culminates in the death of one of the New Mutants. During the battle Ani-Mator was going to shoot Wolfsbane but Cypher heroically leaps in the way taking the bullet and his life at the same time. Magik responds just a ferociously sending the Ani-Mator to her demonic home in Limbo allowing her demon followers to do with him as they wish. The New Mutants would leave the island with the death of Cypher and lose of Magma and Bird-Brain the New Mutants would follow up by denouncing Magneto’s position and his control over them. They would even attempt battling him at the ruins of the school they came to call home (the Xavier Institute had been destroyed in a previous battle) but fell short of their goal, as they would be overpowered by his magnetic might. Beaten they would go their own way clearly letting Magneto know that they leave as enemies. The New Mutants would then be joined by the beautiful alien by the name of Gosamyr. As quickly as she joined she would depart. The events that follow would put the New Mutants through a tailspin that they would have an impossible job of recovering from.

The New Mutants would next go through the events that would be better known as Inferno and before the end they would lose yet another teammate: this time Illyana Rasputin. Magik would utilize all the powers at her disposal, which were great, to reverse and put a stop to the Inferno and as a result she would be regressed to her true child state making her 7 years old and no longer a mutant, as she would be too young her for powers to have naturally occurred. As Illyana would be lost to the team, others would soon fill her open slot.


116. Agents of Atlas (24 points)

agentsofatlas..jpgOriginally this team was an FBI Agency working for whomever gave the orders. For instance, President Hoover had the team find the capsules that contained the notorious Captain America and his trustworthy sidekick Bucky Barnes. Together they were a government mandate, considered the very first super-human team in existence (Besides the Invaders who were soldiers in the World War). Jimmy Woo the leader of the team became heir/master of the Atlas Foundation. Soon he recruited his old teammates/friends and together they were the Agents of Atlas. Fighting foes like the evil Yellow Claw and saving the lives of many like the love of Jimmy Woo, Suwan. Whenever in battle it there is a key word the team members call Jimmy, "Master Woo". During the event known as Dark Reign, in which Norman Osborn has token the mantle of Director of S.H.I.E.L.D and renamed it H.A.M.M.E.R. The team instead of wanting to go rouge and fight off Osborn from the outside has decided to form an alliance with the corrupted director. A weapon deal was constructed for the alliance, the Atlas Foundation creates weapons and H.A.M.M.E.R. does not intervene with their actions inside the country of the United States of America. The secret they hold, is that the team honestly and truly despise Norman Osborn and his initiative. So, for now they play undercover and act discreet but do not allow Osborn to play with their real "meat" aka the weapons. Following the events after the team composed of Jimmy Woo, Venus, Gorilla Man, Bob Grayson, M-11, Namora, and the newest member Temugin. They have shown Osborn that they can play hardball when Man-Mountain confronted him, he perished by the might of Namora. In addition, they have even scared the man known as Grizzly. During a confrontation with the new Captain America (Bucky), the team realized his true identity, his affiliations, and how he was apart of one of their missions from back in the 1950's. In the end the Agents of Atlas were victorious. Bob Grayson (Marvel Boy) implanted the location of their highly dangerous weapons (actually fakes) in order to show Norman Osborn that they were indeed associates/helpers of the H.A.M.M.E.R. Initiative. Captain America informed his teammates the New Avengers.

When the New Avengers (Wolverine, Carol Danvers, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Captain America, and Ronin) discovered the containment area of the weapons the Atlas Foundation had to give Norman Osborn. The Agents of Atlas caught them in the act of destroying the weapons. Yet, with the intellect of Spider-Man, Peter Parker realized that the weapons were indeed knock-offs. He wanted the fighting to stop for his Spidey-sense was not tingling, therefore stating that the Agents of Atlas were not enemies but somehow allies. M-11 from out of the blue shot a concussive blast from his visor, burning the flesh of Wolverine. Namora fought Ms. Marvel, Jimmy Woo fought Captain America, Venus was pushed backwards, Wolverine was healing, Luke Cage had his hands full with M-11, Gorilla Man took on Spider-Man, and Temugin battled Ronin. The fight was vigorous as Namora had delight when fighting Carol (due to the Atlantean getting wet with sea water, making her stronger). Venus was able to calm the fighting with her "lovely" singing. The Agents of Atlas showed that they were a force to be reckoned with. While the New Avengers had great hopes since the weapons were destroyed, even though the media would treat their "heroic" deed like trash. Norman Osborn spoke to Jimmy Woo, and a later date for the weapon deal/shipment was compromised.


115. Batman and the Outsiders (24 points - 1 first place slot)

batman-outsiders..jpg"another classic 80s team, and one of the few DC teams created back then to survive and thrive beyond that decade. Similar to what Wolfman and Perez did with Teen Titans, Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo took a headliner in Batman, and two mid-tier guys without books of their own, built brand-new characters around them, and made a perfectly-executed team book, with new villains, a unique role in the DCU, and plots designed just as much to provide character insight, growth and development as they were to feature the big fight of the month. This book is why characters like Halo and Metamorpho remain in my all-time faves, and why I find books of the 80s much preferable to a lot of the stuff of today."

The first team of Outsiders started when Batman and Black Lightning went to the country Markovia. They were there to rescue Lucius Fox who had been taken by the evil Baron Bedlam. Geo-Force the prince of the country and his father was recently killed by Bedlam. Metamorpho had traveled there to get help with from Dr. Helga Jace who was responsible for giving Geo-Force his own powers. Katana was also there to kill Bedlam’s military commander General Karnz who was in part responsible for the death of her children and husband. Batman also finds a young girl in the woods with amnesia with light based abilities. Batman decides to name the girl Halo and the group decides to stay together after teaming up to stop Bedlam. Some of the team’s foes are Agent Orange, the Cryonic Man, Force of July and the Masters of Disaster (New Wave, Shakedown, Windfall, Heatwave and Coldsnap). Geo-Force's sister Terra would soon die due to her betrayal of the Teen Titans and Batman would inform the team of his being Bruce Wayne but they already knew. Emily Briggs is revealed in the comics and would soon become Looker. Halo’s origin has also been revealed to the group and Geo-Force’s lover Denise Howard also showed up during this period.

Batman withholds the knowledge that Bedlam has been brought to life and retook Markovia with help from the Masters of Disaster and other Soviet forces. This angered the team and lead Batman to disband the group. However the team minus Batman traveled to Markovia where they discovered dead soldiers because of Bedlam. After beating Bedlam they discover he has cloned Adolf Hitler but the clone soon kills himself because of the horrors caused by his older self. The team is soon branded as Markovian agents who gain funding from the country and they soon move to L.A. in a new headquarters but Geo-Force leaves Denise and Looker and her husband are now separated.

The group also battled their foes the Forces of July again and the team also battled the Duke of Oil and the People’s Heroes a group of Soviet super villains. The team was also stranded on an island for three weeks, Geo-Force and Looker had an affair and he gave up his position as team leader on the island. The Looker is soon followed by a detective who learns of her real identity and tries to blackmail her. However she hypnotizes him and she forces him to leave her alone but he was soon killed, Looker was arrested for the crime and the team was unable to clear her name of the charges.

The team rejoined with Batman to battle Eclipso and were given access to the L.A. Batcave. Geo-Force and Looker break off there affair after feelings of guilt, the cave is infiltrated by a clone of Windfall but was killed during a battle with the Masters of Disaster and the real Windfall leaves her team and joins the Outsiders. The team would soon face hardship as Dr. Jace was revealed to be working with the Manhunters. The team is taken prisoner but escape with help from Atomic Knight who joins the team. Dr. Jace dies when she was blown up along with Metamorpho. Looker also loses her powers after returning to the Aybssia when her powers came from and battled the Manhunters. Halo is also wounded saving Katana and falls into a coma and is watched over by Katana. After these events Geo-Force had the team break up once again.


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