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Your Top Teams part 42

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More teams, more first place slots.

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67. Generation-X (41 points)

generationx.jpg"I loved this series, up until Larry Hama took over and pretty much turned it into a convoluted mess. The Faerber/Dodson 'era' was nails, but this series never got a fair shake, near as I'm concerned."

"Lobdell brought Banshee back into the field when he had been sidelined for years, Jubilee became more than just a sidekick, and Emma Frost started a new life as a hero that has developed into her becoming an X-Men icon. Add a diverse group of students in the mix and you have a fun ride. Jubilee and M rivalry, Chamber and Husk's relationship, who is Penance, and will Emma turn on the team... just a few highlight moments. It was nice Lobdell created Emplate to be the reoccurring villain a la Magneto for the kids. I enjoyed later on in the series that they actually lived with human students and had secret identities. This was another book that ended too soon."
 
Mutant teams are not uncommon in the Marvel universe. The X-Men are the primary team, and then there are many offshoots such as X-Factor and the New Mutants. Generation X formed in 1994 and it changed the formula for the X-books in several ways. They were not mentored by Charles Xavier (Professor X), they did not train at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning and originally the only offshoots from other X-teams were: Banshee- a somewhat minor character, Emma Frost- a former villain from the Hellfire Club, and Jubilee-the youngest X-Man. Despite (or because of) these changes in formula, Generation X proved to be very successful. Also, Generation X didn't initially identify themselves as such until later in the book. They trained at the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters (later renamed back to its historic Massachusetts Academy name when Xavier's got some bad press) and had a Danger Grotto (also known as the Biosphere or the Grotto for short) made from Shi'ar technology and bits of Krakoa the Living Island. Generation X formed as a result of the Phalanx Covenant.

In September of that year, Generation X #1 was published, establishing the team at Frost's Massachusetts Academy. It also introduced their arch-nemesis Emplate, a vampire-like mutant who sucked the bone marrow of young mutants. As the series continued, fans and critics raved about Bachalo's quirky, complex artwork and Lobdell's realistic teenage characters. The series soon became one of the most popular X-Books.

Lobdell and Bachalo departed in 1997, leaving writer Larry Hama and artist Terry Dodson to reveal the long-standing mysteries behind M, Penance and Emplate. Hama revealed that M was in fact an amalgamation of Monet St. Croix's two younger sisters, who could merge as part of their mutant powers (one was autistic, explaining the trances); Emplate was their brother who, after experimenting with black magic, was caught in a strange limbo and needed mutant bone marrow to escape; and Penance was the actual Monet St. Croix, transformed under one of Emplate's spells. All of this was revealed in a surreal, mystic epic in Generation X #35-40 that was greeted with disapproval by most fans (Lobdell's original plan had involved the twins, but did not include a "real" Monet)

Then the "Counter X" stuff happened, and I wasn’t a fan at all.

 


66. The Invaders (41 points - 2 first place slots)

invaders.jpg"A team consisting of the American Super-Soldier, a combustible android who just wants to be human, their two teenage sidekicks and an undersea prince, officially formed by Winston Churchill who fought Nazis, Vampires and more. Even those who would join later or just be honorary members- Union Jack (I and II), Spitfire, Whizzer, Miss America, Blazing Skull and Silver Scorpion were awesome. Also on a side note the Human Torch killed Hitler in the Marvel U, so if you’re anti-Jim Hammond’s you’re pro-Marvel Hitler!"

"Marvel’s original heroes teamed up and fighting Nazis. It doesn’t get any better than that."

The prototype for the Invaders, the All-Winners Squad, created by publisher Martin Goodman and scripter Bill Finger, was an actual historic Golden Age comic book feature with only two appearances — in All Winners Comics #19 ( and #21 (Winter 1947; there was no issue #20). This team had much of the same membership as the Invaders, but had its adventures in the post-World War II era, the time that their adventures were published. This group was also notable for being the first in which its members didn't entirely get along, prefiguring the internal conflicts of the Fantastic Four in the 1960s.

The Invaders team first appeared in flashback stories set during World War II, and comprised existing characters from Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel. Originally, Captain America (Steve Rogers), his sidekick Bucky (James Barnes), the original android Human Torch ("Jim Hammond"), the Torch's sidekick Toro (Thomas Raymond), and Namor the Sub-Mariner were together as heroes opposing the forces of Nazism. When these superheroes saved the life of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from Master Man, the thankful Churchill suggested that they should become a team, known as the Invaders.

The Invaders fought the Axis Powers over the world until eventually finding themselves in England, where they met Lord James Montgomery Falsworth, the original Union Jack. He joined the team and provided them with a base of operations in England. Eventually Falsworth's children Brian (Union Jack) and Jacqueline (Spitfire) became members. The team later added Miss America (Madeline Joyce) and super-speedster the Whizzer (Bob Frank), during a battle with the Super-Axis. Later, against the threat of the Battle-Axis, the team added the Blazing Skull and the Silver Scorpion to its roster.

The team continued to fight against several threats, and faced an emotional trauma with the apparent deaths of Captain America and Bucky in a drone aircraft's explosion near the end of World War II, as first described in The Avengers vol. 1, #4. After the war's end, several members—including the second Bucky and Captain America (respectively, Fred Davis and William Naslund, formerly the superhero Spirit of '76)—created a new team, the All-Winners Squad. When that team dissolved, Marvel retconned several members, having them join Citizen V's V-Battalion.

After the Invaders' introduction in the pages of The Avengers, the team appeared in its own try-out title, Giant-Size Invaders #1 in 1975, followed by the ongoing series The Invaders later that year, and a single annual in 1977. Issues #5–6 of the series introduced another retcon World War II team, the Liberty Legion, in two parts of a story arc, "The Red Skull Strikes", interlaced with another two parts in Marvel Premiere #29–30.

 


65. The Original Doom Patrol (42 points - 1 first place slot)

doompatrol-original.jpgAn incredibly brilliant but unorthodox young scientific researcher, Niles Caulder accepted the aid of a mystery benefactor in financing his biological experiments. His curiosity led him to investigate this unknown philanthropist, only to discover himself to be a pawn of General Immortus, a criminal mastermind striving to recreate an immortality elixir that had kept him alive for centuries. To guarantee Caulder's loyalty, Immortus had a bomb inserted in the scientist's chest which only Immortus could safely remove while Caulder lived. Caulder, however, tricked the General into shooting him, then, having preprogrammed his robot assistant, he had the mechanical surgeon operate to remove the bomb after he was clinically "dead." The operation was only a partial success. Niles Caulder lived, but lost the use of his legs, becoming confined to a wheelchair. Destroying his lab and all his notes to prevent Immortus from discovering the secret he sought, Caulder seemingly vanished, and even the ancient overlord of crime could not find him.

Only after Niles Caulder's death would Immortus learn that, during his researches, the scientist had served as a Red Cross volunteer in India, where he met and later married a young woman named Arani, who became the first and only beneficiary of the Immortality serum. After going into hiding to escape Immortus, Caulder never returned to his new bride, fearing reprisals from his enemy. He surfaced only twice more before settling permanently in the brownstone combination laboratory/living quarters in Midway City that was to become the headquarters of the Doom Patrol.

First, he created a special radiation-proof fabric which was used to allow Larry Trainor, Negative Man, to walk the streets after he became permanently radioactive. Then, he became the first surgeon to transplant a human brain into a mechanical body when he saved Cliff Steele's life by transforming him into Robotman. Finally, using the codename "The Chief" to protect his real identity, he brought together Rita Farr, Larry Trainor, and Cliff Steele, and formed the team of adventurers whom the media dubbed "the Doom Patrol."

General Immortus quickly deduced the Chief's true identity and became one of the Doom Patrol's most persistent foes, but the general public remained unaware of the background of the red-bearded genius in the wheelchair until much later in the team's career.

Although Rita Farr was initially attracted to fellow teammate Negative Man, she eventually lost her heart to a self-aggrandizing billionaire named Steve Dayton who went so far as to adopt the super-hero identity Mento in order to impress her. After their marriage, Rita continued her association with the Doom Patrol despite Dayton's open antagonism towards them. Together, Steve and Rita adopted orphan Garfield Logan, the teen-age hero called Beast Boy (who would eventually become the New Titan known as Changeling).

After a series of adventures, the four original members were trapped on their island base by Madame Rouge and her ally, Captain Zahl, and given an ultimatum: either they would allow Zahl to blow up the island and destroy them, or he would detonate another bomb which would wipe out a fishing village of fourteen inhabitants. Heroes to the end, the Doom Patrol voted to sacrifice themselves, and Zahl triggered his explosive, seemingly killing the entire quartet.

 

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