Monday, June 25, 2018 • Morning Edition • "For when you've got nowhere else to go."

Your Top Teams part 48

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, July 06 2009 and posted in Features
So, I guess I ask you now, who will make the Top 25? Oh, if chap bitches about a certain team being too low, I give you all permission give him shit.




47. The G.C.P.D. (59 points)

gcpd.jpgFor this, some people put Harvey and Renee, and other partners in the GCPD. Again, to save space on the list and for me to get less headaches looking for pics and whatnot, I merged the entire GCPD pairings and such into one big group. And they are a "team" well, I will let you talk amongst yourselves on that one. Acting as both ally and opponent of Batman, the superhero long-established in Gotham, the GCPD has long been steeped in corruption, with numerous officers both high-and-low ranking involved in bribery and even more serious offenses such as drug-trafficking and murder.

The strongest blow against police corruption came when an increasing amount of conspiracy charges against Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb forced him to resign his position, replaced by Peter Grogan. The Falcone crime family, which had had a stranglehold on Gotham's underground for generations, finally crumbled when a series of killings shook the structure of the mafia organization. After the death of Carmine Falcone, the mob lashed out in sloppy, retaliatory crimes, which, in combination with rising gang violence, severely crippled organized crime in Gotham City. Simultaneously, the ebbing presence of corrupt police officers allowed James Gordon to become the new commissioner, a man determined to eradicate crime wherever it existed.

The GCPD has had a long love-hate relationship with the city's vigilante known as Batman. Commissioner Gordon went along with him because Batman got the job done. His successor, Commissioner Michael Akins ordered the arrest of Batman and had the Bat-signal removed from the roof of Gotham Central. Corruption and rot within the police department also rose during Akins' tenure as Commissioner.

As of DC's One Year Later, James Gordon has been reinstated as Commissioner, along with Harvey Bullock. Harvey came back on disciplinary probation after helping expose a criminal drug ring. Relation with Batman, including the Bat-Signal, have been established once more. Other characters from Gotham Central have appeared in the recent Tales of the Unexpected miniseries, featuring Crispus Allen as the Spectre. Thus far, Detective Driver has appeared in a speaking role. It is unknown what has happened to Commissioner Akins, but it is implied that, following revelations of massive corruption within the department, there has been a drastic cleaning-of-house within the department.

Kate Kane referred to Akins as police commissioner in the weekly 52 series, which reveals the events of the missing year. A later issue, however, showed a brief snapshot of Commissioner Gordon's welcome back party. The circumstances of Akins's departure and Gordon's reinstatement have yet to be explained. Maggie Sawyer is still the commander of the MCU department, and has ended her relationship with former lover Toby Raines.


46. The Suicide Squad (59 points)

suicidesquad.jpg"The Dirty Dozen with super villains is such a simple and incredible concept, that I can’t believe it took them until the mid 1980s to do it. But when John Ostrander did it, he did it justice. The cast had a perfect mix of D-list villains and heroes who played off of one another perfectly. It gave us the Wall and Oracle and kept us on the edge of our seats, because this was a group of character with which you never knew what was going to happen."

"This is the one comic that was truly "ahead of it's time." Intriguing, flawed characters. Anything could - and often did - happen. No single comic has had such a profound effect on today's DC Comics world as the Suicide Squad. It introduced the Wall. It made a little-known Bat villain (Deadshot) into one of comic's most complex characters. It gave depth to the Bronze Tiger, Nemesis, Rick Flag, Count Vertigo, Captain Boomerang, Dr. Light and so many others. It brought Nightshade into the DCU proper along with Shade, the Changing Man, and it portrayed the Kirby classics "The New Gods" better than just about any comic before and since. Oh, and it took a twisted Bat-story told by a deranged Brit and used the tragedy of that tale to create one of the more integral characters of the DCU in Oracle. Oh - and it killed Grant Morrison!"

The original Suicide Squad, called the Suicide Squadron, were a very expendable team that existed during World War 2. Comprised of trouble-making soldiers, they were led by a man named Rick Flag, Sr. The Suicide Squad is under the control of the government organization called Task Force X. The Suicide Squad was revived in the mini-series Legends, and was created by John Ostrander. The renewed concept involved the government employing a group of super villains to perform missions that were almost certainly suicide runs, a concept popular enough for an ongoing series titled simply Suicide Squad. They were often paired together with the government agency related series Checkmate, culminating in the "Janus Directive" crossover.

The concept self-consciously emulated the World War II film The Dirty Dozen and the television series Mission: Impossible. In addition, the existence of the squad was top secret, creating much tension within the group and leading the group to be targeted (unsuccessfully) by the likes of Lois Lane and Batman (who was forced to back off from investigating the group when Amanda Waller threatened to use the government's resources to expose Batman's secret identity).

While the team was successful on most of their missions, there were often failures (most notably the capture of Nemesis by Russian forces after a failed mission in Russia) or the death of one or more members. The use of minor villains and heroes added to the jeopardy, as it was not clear whether any given character would survive a mission, and the series did not shy away from killing off some of its principal characters, most notably Rick Flag, Jr., who was killed at the end of the book's second year. The series was also notable at the time for examining the lives, motivations and psychological makeup of its characters with one issue per year featuring the group's psychologist interviewing each member. The Suicide Squad lasted 66 issues, going on to appear in several guest appearances in titles like Superboy (a Hawaii-based version, incorporating many of Superboy's enemies, as well as Superboy himself) and Chase after cancellation.

The second Suicide Squad volume was published in 2001 by Keith Giffen and Paco Medina. Though the group's first issue featured members of Giffen's "Injustice League" group as the Suicide Squad's membership, the roster was promptly slaughtered save for Major Disaster and Multi-Man (whose powers make him unkillable). The two departed after their one and only mission, leading Sgt. Rock to recruit new members, most of which died in the missions they went on.


45. Morrison's Patrol of Doom (61 points - 3 first place slots)

doompatrol-morrison.jpg"This is Grant Morrison's best work. I'm not one of his kool-aid drinkers, but this one hit the ball out of the park! A lot of people try to look too deeply at this comic like it is supposed to be some high-brow work of art that intellectually transcended the medium...I feel sorry for those people as they have no joy in their life. This was pure, goofy, absurd comic storytelling that never took itself too seriously, despite what many of the Morrison-worshippers want to believe. Some stories were dark, some were disturbing...but at the heart of it was the camaraderie of outcasts in increasingly bizarre situations."

After the first 18 issues (and various crossovers and annuals), Kupperberg was replaced by Grant Morrison, starting with issue #19. Kupperberg agreed to help Morrison by writing out characters Morrison did not want to use: Celsius and Scott Fischer died before issue #18—Celsius was killed in an explosion in DC Comics' "Invasion!" event, and Scott Fischer (already suffering from a recurrence of childhood leukemia) was the only known active superhero casualty of the Dominators' gene-bomb (also in "Invasion!"); Karma left the team as he was still on the run from the law (he would eventually become a member of the Suicide Squad and die on his first mission with them in the "War of the Gods" crossover event); the Negative Spirit left Negative Woman's body; and Lodestone plunged into a coma, where she would remain for the first half of Morrison's run on the book. Tempest gave up fieldwork to become the team's physician. Conversely, Morrison picked up a throw-away character from DP #14, who was slipped into the art on the last page of #18 to set up Morrison's use: Dorothy Spinner was an ape-faced girl with powerful "imaginary friends." The new writer introduced some new characters to the team, including the multiple personality-afflicted Crazy Jane; and sentient roadway Danny the Street.

Morrison used DC's Invasion crossover to restart the book. He took the Doom Patrol, and superhero comic books in general, to places they had rarely been, incorporating bizarre secret societies, elements of Dada, surrealism, and the cut-up technique pioneered by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. He also borrowed the ideas of Jorge Luis Borges and Heinrich Hoffmann. Morrison and artist Richard Case turned the title around, and the series quickly gained a cult following, but some derided it as incomprehensible. The original creator Arnold Drake, disagreed, maintaining that Morrison's was the only subsequent run to reflect the intent of the original series.

Over the course of the series, Morrison dedicated some issues to parody and homage. Issue #53 featured a dream sequence that mimicked the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Fantastic Four, specifically the Galactus storyline. Another special called Doom Force was released as a one-shot and was meant to mimic and parody the X-Force book by Rob Liefeld. Issue #45 parodied Marvel's Punisher in a satire called the Beard Hunter (who was a member of the DC Villains One Point Club).

In Morrison's final storyline, it is revealed that the Chief had caused the "accidents" which turned Cliff, Larry Trainor and Rita Farr into freaks with the express intention of creating the Doom Patrol. He then murders Josh and unleashes nanobots into the world, hoping to create a catastrophe that will make the world a stranger and more wonderful place. However, Caulder does not anticipate being decapitated by one of Dorothy's "imaginary" beings, a malign entity called the Candlemaker.



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