Sunday, June 24, 2018 • Morning Edition • "At least we're not ComicsAlliance!"

Your Top Teams part 47

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, July 06 2009 and posted in Features
The Top 50 begins now, and from this point on the feelings that will be hurt...




51. Bats and Gordo (56 points)

batman-gordon.jpgI know, I know, I know "Not a Team" but they scored 56 points and are one slot away from the Top 50, I couldn’t delete them from the list like I did the Black Lanterns (they were supposed to be in the OPC but since they haven't appeared yet in actual comics I kinda rubbed them off the list). SO yeah, I think they do make a great team, sorta like Oracle and Black Canary did, they weren't together without actually being together, they scratched each others back if you will.

So there. Deal with it.

After Crisis on Infinite Earths, James Gordon was re-introduced into the Batman world during Frank Miller’s run on Batman entitled “Batman: Year One.” James Gordon was a Special Forces veteran with hand-to-hand combat skills. He and his pregnant wife Barbara moved from Chicago to Gotham City. Jim was transferred to the corrupted Gotham City Police Department. Jim became the only honest cop in Gotham and soon finds out that his only ally against the criminal underworld was Batman. Batman was never deputized and Jim and Batman would make contact in private and away from the public eye. Whenever Jim needed to talk to Batman, he would use the Bat-Signal that was placed on top of the GCPD building. At the end of the Year One story arc, Jim was rescued by Batman without his mask on and seemingly appeared to have seen him as Bruce Wayne. However Jim denies that he saw anything due to not wearing his glasses at that time.

Originally, Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) was the daughter of James Gordon. However in the retcon, she is actually his niece and adopted daughter. It was later hinted that Jim may have been her biological father but was never fully explained. Jim also has hinted that he knew Barbara was Batgirl but never actually mentions it. Later Jim and his wife Barbara divorce.

During the Killing Joke story arc, the Joker shot and paralyzed Barbara and kidnaps Jim. He strips Jim down and cages him in an abandoned amusement park. He forces Jim to look at photos of Barbara beaten badly, and naked in hopes of driving Jim insane. Later Joker reveals that he was trying to prove that anyone could go insane after having “one bad day.” However, Jim was able to maintain his sanity and told Batman to apprehend Joker peacefully to show Joker that their way works too. Afterwards, Barbara was paralyzed from the waist down and had to start using a wheelchair.

During No Man’s Land, Jim would later fall in love with a fellow officer named Sarah Essen. Jim quickly marries her but their relationship would take a turn. Essen questioned Jim why he needed Batman so much and this put a strain on their marriage. However she was fatally shot and killed by the Joker. Jim had the Joker at point blank and was convinced by Batman to not kill the Joker. Instead, Jim shoots him in the leg in hopes of crippling him. The Joker got the joke that it was pay back for crippling Barbara and began to laugh uncontrollably. Since Batman had abandoned Gotham and then seemingly returned and acted as if nothing had happen, Jim lost all his trust in Batman. Batman intended to regain Jim’s trust and decides that he would reveal his secret identity to Jim. Batman hoped that this would symbolize his trust for Jim by offering to reveal that he is Bruce Wayne. When Batman proceeds to take off his mask, Jim turns his back and replies that he did not want to know and demanded Batman put the mask back on. Their relationship returned to normal. Later Jim was shot by a common crook that was looking for revenge.


50. Cap's Kooky Quartet (56 points - 1 first place slot)

kookyquartet.jpgIt was 1965; mere months before, The Avengers were inarguably a team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But with the departure of Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man, and the Wasp, we were left with a team of Captain America and … well, a pair of mutants and a mega D-bag. While Cap stayed on (and where would he go? In those days he was really a man without a home other than the Avengers) to lead this group, the three newest members of the team were hardly respected heroes. The mutant siblings Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch had formerly been members of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, if somewhat reluctantly so. Hawkeye had been mistaken for a bad guy by Iron Man, and then been caught up in the Black Widow’s web of espionage. But the one thing all three had in common was a need to redeem themselves. So with Cap’s guidance, they took up the mantle of the Avengers.

This team had some pretty big baddies to go after, first a run in with Power Man aka Atlas of the Thunderbolts and Enchantress, which caused the team to dissolve. First by the city council cuz they feel they suck, then by Captain America himself because he cannot stand the bickering between his young teammates. So what does he do? Like any World War II soldier who has been transplanted out of time: He takes up Boxing. While he was gone boxing it out, Kang enters the Avengers mansion and changes the floor into a time machine and all who step on it get flung into the future. Cap comes to the rescue and the team is reborn. From there they went on to fight Attuma and Dr. Doom. This lineup lasted for twelve issues before Pym came back to the team and renamed his giant wife beating self Goliath.

Classic fun stories, even if they starred a Grade A stupidhead in the lineup.


49. The Thingless Four (57 points)

thinglessfour.jpg"Byrne Rules."

I loved this run, and I know a lot of the Byrne run had to do with the original FF, but since some people just put "Byrnes run" on there list I put some of those votes into this category. Trust me, the original Fantastic Four lineup doesn't need the extra points and they really didn't lose that much from doing the old "executive decision". But I did state if you were not clear on who you voted for, then I would decide for you. At any rate, I loved this team. I really did. They had some fun issues out. I remember the one where Reed goes to Doc Ock for help on Sue's pregnancy, but Octavius flips out. Then there was that issue where they went back in time to stop Nick Fury from killing Hitler. Seriously, so much good stuff happened in this huge run. And on that note...

After a string of fill-in artists and writers, John Byrne would take over the Fantastic Four in the 1980s where critics would call “the best run since Lee and Kirby.” Byrne was most celebrated for his modernization of Invisible Girl. He changed her name to Invisible Woman and made her a more confident woman and gave Sue more control over her abilities, making her the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four would participate in the Beyonder’s “Secret Wars” on an alien planet. During their time in the Secret Wars, the Thing was able to change to his human form and the Thing form at will. After the heroes were victorious against the Beyonder, the Thing decided to stay on the alien planet as he was happy to be able to change his forms at will. When the Fantastic Four returned to Earth, they recruited She-Hulk to fill-in for the Thing.

Later, Sue would appear to have become pregnant with a second child but instead, Sue suffered a miscarriage. Eventually The Thing would decide to return to Earth, however upon his arrival he discovers that his girlfriend, Alicia Masters, was dating his teammate and friend Johnny Storm. The Thing left the team to travel to world and She-Hulk would remain on the roster in his place. During one of the Fantastic Four’s missions, they traveled to Mole Man’s realm where they discovered the Thing snooping around there. The Thing rejoined the Fantastic Four and they were able to defeat Mole Man before he destroyed California. She-Hulk left soon after for other reasons.


48. G.I. Joe (58 points - 2 first place slots)

gijoe.jpg"Let’s be honest. Most toy-line tie ins suck. A lot. Hama’s G.I. Joe transcended that. These were multi-dimensional characters in honest stories about the nature of war, meaning of honor, patriotism and brotherhood. Main characters got hurt and occasionally died, and man, those deaths were heartbreaking (They killed Doc, man! And Breaker!). Plus, Hama never included Cobra-La."

"The movie is so gonna blow."

The G.I. in G.I. Joe stands for "Government Issue". During World War II the term G.I. Joe was coined to describe American soldiers. In the 1960's President John F. Kennedy created a special military unit that reported directly to the White House. The highly decorated Vietnam vet, Lieutenant Joseph Colton, headed up this Special Forces unit under the name "G.I. Joe". The name G.I. Joe became synonymous with Colton. The team had a successful run of missions through the 1960's and 1970's before it was officially disbanded.

G.I Joe was revived in the 1980's as an elite counter terrorism strike-force. Their main enemy being COBRA, the well funded and organized terrorist group which actually ran an entire American town (Springfield) as a sleeper cell. It was supported by a Marvel Comics series. It was unique at the time in that it was a comic book series that was promoted on television commercials which also supported the toy line. This 155-issue series is considered to be one of the longest-running comic book tie-ins to a toy line. Much of its success is to be credited to Larry Hama, who wrote the entire series save for a few issues with guest writers. Rather than treating the stories as a mere promotion for the toys, Hama wrote the series with seriousness and infused it with doses of realism, humor, and drama. Other than Transformers, no other series was able to duplicate its success. Notable artists include Herb Trimpe, Ron Wagner, Rod Whigham, and Marshall Rogers.

Issue #21 became a fan-favorite, not only because the Cobra ninja Storm Shadow was introduced, but that issue also became a prime example of comics' visual storytelling power, having no dialogue or sound effects.

A number of differences existed between the comic book and the animated TV series. Certain characters who were very prominent in the comic book, such as Stalker, were featured very little in the cartoon, while characters who were less prominent in the comic book, such as Shipwreck, were very prominent in the cartoon series. Another difference was that in the comic book featured a romance between Scarlett and Snake-Eyes, whereas in the cartoon, a romance between Scarlett and Duke was hinted at instead (most likely due to the differences between writing for a comic book audience and writing for an animated series). The most notable difference between the comic and the cartoon, however, is in its handling of combat. While the cartoon showed that nearly every soldier in every battle survived (for example, many shots of different aircraft being shot down were shown to have its pilot escape in a parachute), the comic did not shy away from mass character deaths; for example, issue #109 included the deaths of a large number of Joes, including fan-favorites like Doc, Breaker, and Quick-Kick.

And yes, the movie is gonna suck.



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