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Your Top Teams part 35

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, June 30 2009 and posted in Features
More for you to bitch and complain about.




89. The Year One JLA (33 Points)
"One of my favorite JLA stories ever. Sure this isn't the "classic" line up but in a lot of ways I like the JLA better minus the "Trinity". Even without them this team is a damn force to be reckoned with. Martian Manhunter, Black Canary, Aquaman, Green Lantern and the Flash? How many people can take that team down? Hell you add a Zatanna or Dr. Fate to that team and they'd be perfect!"

The Justice League of America is one of comicdom's most revered superhero teams. Its members are (generally, depending on when you read it) some of the bravest and boldest of the DC Universe and the teamwork is always top notch. But it wasn't always so....

In its ongoing effort to retrofit its past, DC has taken a new look at the origins of the JLA. And Year One, which ran first as a 12-issue maxi-series in 1998 before being collected in one hefty volume, is a perfect tale to redefine the team. In this new look at history, the original JLA membership was Green Lantern (Hal Jordan, of course), the Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman, Black Canary and the Martian Manhunter. And, in those early days of teamwork when an alien invasion first drew them together, they didn't fit together as seamlessly as one might think.

GL is arrogant and eager to steal the spotlight. Allen is quieter, more uncertain, but steadier. Aquaman, newly acquainted with the surface world, is having a hard time adapting to the culture, speaking too softly (sounds carry differently in a fluid environment) and unsure why he's being called a superhero in the first place. Black Canary, daughter of the original Justice Society version, has been raised on stories of the JSA and is quick to point out the JLA's comparative shortcomings. Likewise, she has the unenviable chore of being the only woman on a team of gallant, sexist men -- which also makes her the subject of quite a bit of flirtation. And the Manhunter isn't ready to trust his human counterparts, nor is he willing to reveal the extent of his powers.

In other words, these first fledgling steps are awkward ones for the team, and the writing/artistic team does a fantastic job of showing how those divergent personalities clash. Their personal lives, separate and gradually more together, are woven into the framework of their first big adventure, which also brings them into contact with the likes of Superman, Green Arrow and the Doom Patrol. (The misfit heroes of the Patrol are understandably jealous at how quickly the JLA becomes a media darling.)

By the end, nearly every hero of the DCU is involved in a battle of grand scope, a battle in which the JLA has its chance to shine.


88. The New Fantastic Four (33 points)

"Ghost Rider, Mr. Fixit, Spider-man, and Wolverine fighting giant monsters. All drawn by Art Adams, how can you not love this story?"


In Fantastic Four #347- 349 a female Skrull alien who was both a shape-shifter and a telepath managed to capture the team. Impersonating the Invisible Woman, she falsely reported the other members to be deceased and recruited four other heroes as a new Fantastic Four to avenge them, before dispatching them to try and steal a powerful weapon from the Mole Man. Members of this short-lived team included The Hulk in his Mr. Fixit persona, Spider-man, Wolverine, and Danny Ketch Ghost Rider

In Fantastic Four #374- 375, Dr. Strange brings this same team back together to arrest the Human Torch after he went nova and destroyed a whole quarter of the city. This story was the start for the Secret Defenders ongoing series.

In Wolverine #148 the team comes back together during the Age of Apocalypse reality to fight Arnim Zola, Blastaar and Annihilus with all four members wearing the popular blue FF costumes and the Hulk frequently switching between his various personalities. They also came together to battle a version of the Wendigo.

This team has also been shown in various What If tales and a Mini-Marvel one-shot.



87. The Current New Avengers (34 points)

In the aftermath of the Secret Invasion the new team roster consists of Captain America aka Bucky, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Spiderman, Ronin aka Useless, Mockingbird, Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, and the true Spider-Woman.

After the battle is over, Captain America organizes a meeting with the New Avengers at his home, offering it as a base of operations. When Luke, Jessica Jones, and Ms. Marvel arrive they contact the Fantastic Four and Iron Fist to begin searching for Danielle, Luke and Jessica’s lost daughter. They then attack various villains such as A.I.M., HYDRA, Electro, and the Red Skull for any information regarding the Skrull Jarvis, thinking he might have contacted them for a way to escape New York City, and possibly the Earth. Eventually they find a Skrull pretending to be an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent at a bar. After a brief confrontation, the Skrull is about to reveal where Danielle is when another agent shoots the Skrull in the head, leaving Jessica convinced Skrull Jarvis is going to kill Danielle. Meanwhile, the rest of the New Avengers are unaware that Luke has asked Norman Osborn for help in their search. However, when Luke gets his child back, he reneges on his deal with Osborn and returns to the New Avengers after Bullseye kills the Skrull Jarvis. The New Avengers later witnessed the announcement of Osborn’s Dark Avengers. Ronin refuses to stand for this and says that the true Avengers are going to get back at them for this. The New Avengers are around the T.V. trying to figure out who these Avengers are, and then Luke Cage says they’re the Thunderbolts. The whole team agrees that they can’t let these impostors running amuck, and agree they must be stopped. So they come up with a plan, Spider-Woman flies to Avengers tower but is attacked by the Dark Avengers who think she is the Skrull queen. Finally Osborn gets them to stop fighting, and then Jessica says she wants a job. Norman then says Luke Cage already used that on him, she says she's been an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, just give me something to do. Spider-Woman flies to the Hellfire Club where the rest of the new avengers are. Ms. Marvel got a StarkTech power drainer to us on the Dark Avengers so they could take them down easily. First Wolverine smells something wrong, and then the power drainer is shot and broken. Then the Hood bust's the door down with a bunch of villains saying it's payback time, turns out their trap backfired. So they are fighting the battle and holding their own, but a win is nowhere is sight, so Ms. Marvel tells Spider-Woman to blast her and she could give it back to them twice as powerful, then they leave and go to cap's place. Then Clint Barton leaves and goes to a T.V. station and holds a press conference saying that Norman Osborn and his Avengers are nothing but impostors.

Back at Bucky's house Ms. Marvel is watching the interview. Clint shows up and they argue about what he did, he assures her they will catch Osborn when he slips. The next day the team is having a meeting while enjoying some Chinese food. Clint says they need a team leader, they go around all declining and Clint Barton says he'll take it if no one else will. Then he starts talking about his first order of business might be a bit awkward, Spider-man then says "ooooh I love awkward." then Barton says good because it's about you.

Clint goes on to say that in the post Skrull world, and hiding from Norman Osborn who can you really trust, everybody is masks off but you're not. Logan says he smells that it's him, Clint then tells Logan he couldn't smell the Skrulls. Spidey then says "so if I don't take it off I’m out? Spider-man then explains that it's not that he doesn't trust the team it's that he has protected his identity so hard. Spidey gets up to leave, then takes off his mask, and says I'm Peter Parker. Then out of nowhere Luke's wife screams oh my god and hugs Peter, then explains that they went to high school together, she was in science class with him, and she was in love with him. While this is going on Luke Cage is getting pretty jealous. She then explains how she was in a car accident. Peter then goes “oh! coma girl”. Still Cage can't get over the fact that his wife liked him. Jessica is upset about the coma girl thing and walks off. Logan then says “Well I enjoyed that." then they hear a crash and go rushing to the door. Doctor Strange falls pretty beaten up and asks for help.

Sitting around the table Doctor Strange explains about the battle with the hood and that he was after the Eye of Agamotto, and fills them in about the Sorcerer Supreme situation. The New Avengers decide to team up with the doctor to get to the hood so they go to New Orleans with Doctor Strange.

As the New Avengers arrive in New Orleans, they begin to wonder who they are there for, when Luke Cage figures out that they are there for Daimon Hellstorm, the Son of Satan. While Spider-Woman complains about how she could have flow to New Orleans faster Spider-Man decides that this would be the best time to Luke about Jessica Jones liking him back when they went to high school together, this makes Luke angry, but before he could really do anything, the Eye of Agamotto begins to light up and then starts to show all of those who would become the new Sorcerer Supreme looking at the Eye, but the Eye then disappears and before the Avengers could do any thing, they are attacked by Madame Masque, The Hood's girlfriend, Wolverine jumps out of the Quinjet and goes after Madame Masque, but is shoot multiple times and is saved by Spider-man. Spider-Woman then jumps from the jet and begins to fight Madame Masque, and after a short fight, Spider-Woman manages to knock her off of the building they were on. The Hood had already made his way to Daimon, demanding the Eye of Agamotto, but Daimon tells him that he dose not have it, and as the two are talking, the Eye itself appears in front of them, but then disappears again. This makes The Hood mad and he and Daimon begin to fight, this fight then leads out into the streets of New Orleans. As that happens, Cao, Spidey, Wolverine, Spider-Woman, and Ms. Marvel begin to search for Madame Masque, while Ronin, Mockingbird, and Dr. Strange go to find Daimon. As Daimon fights The Hood, The Hood transforms into his Dormammu form, Luke Cage then lands on top of The Hood. The other Avengers then find Madame Masque holding a woman hostage and she give the Avengers to the count of three to leave, but before she can say three, Captain America shoots her mask, knocking her out. Dr. Strange joins Luke and Daimon in their fight with The Hood, Dr. Strange then asked Daimon if he had the Eye of Agamotto and is surprised to find out that he doesn't have it, but before he could think about the matter, Brother Voodoo appears, wearing the Eye.

Surprisingly, this write up is less wordy then one issue of an average Bendis Comic.

BOOM! Roasted!!


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