Thursday, May 24, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Shit happens here."

Your Top Teams part 52

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, July 07 2009 and posted in Features
Yep. Still no Dark Avengers.




34. Non-Big 4 Defenders (76 points)

defenders.jpg"I loved the founding four Defenders, but honestly the team got too much better afterwards in the 70's series by Kraft."

"Hellstorm and Hellcat for the win"

"Valkyrie needs to be in more comics. So does Hellstorm."

I agree with all these statements, I loved the Defenders so so much. But, I loved the expanded cast. We have Valkyrie, we have Hellcat, we have Nighthawk, and we have Hellstorm. All of whom joined after the fact, it almost felt like they were the misfits of the comic world brought together and were kickass. Mind you, Beast, Iceman, Angel, Luke Cage, Angel, and Clea.

David Anthony Kraft's 1977-1979 run as Defenders writer was eventful and decidedly offbeat. In The Defenders, Kraft wrestled with large philosophical issues: the temptations of power, the Cold War and nuclear power, sibling rivalry, and growing old alone. Notable storylines from the Kraft era were the 1977 "Scorpio Saga" story-arc (issues #46, 48-50), and the "Xenogenesis: Day of the Demons" storyline, (issues #58-60), where Kraft merged his interests in music and comics by inserting multiple references to the band Blue Öyster Cult into the stories

A storyline in issues #63-65 (written by Kraft) had dozens of new applicants attempting to join the Defenders. All of them left shortly after for various reasons, mostly disappointment with the existing members. Among them were the Falcon, Quasar (then named Marvel Man), Captain Mar-Vell, Ms. Marvel, Richard Rider aka Nova, Torpedo, Stingray, Havok, Polaris, Black Goliath, White Tiger, Captain Ultra and Tagak the Leopard Lord.

The same storyline also had a number of villains attempting to present themselves as new Defenders members in order to confuse the authorities and the public as they committed robberies. Members included android versions of Libra and Sagittarius, as well as the Beetle, Batroc the Leaper, the Shocker and others.

Seriously, if you are looking for some trippy stuff, pick this shit up.


33. The Great Darkness Legion (78 points)

legion-greatdarkness.jpg"My first comic was Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #324. It was a story featuring Mon-El, Shadow Lass, Phantom Girl and Ultra Boy facing off against the Dark Circle. It was two issues before the Tales title started reprinting the Baxter stories which ran a year before in the Baxter format which wasn't available except at direct dealers. I was living in a little town at the time, and I got my comics at a little gas station & convenience store where I'd soon find myself spending my allowance on comics, a 16 ounce glass bottle of Coke and some candy which I'd take down to the park and read. I've experienced some amazing things in my life, but that is probably as close to "idyllic" as I think I have encountered. I was a young kid who got into comics by jumping feet-first into the Legion, whose various histories seem to frighten grown men. I have always found that a bit amusing. Between the Legion of Super-Heroes and Who's Who, Coke in a glass bottle and beautiful afternoons in the park I was hooked for life."

Paul Levitz returned to write the book with #284. Pat Broderick and Bruce Patterson illustrated the book for a short time before Keith Giffen began on pencils, with Patterson, and then Larry Mahlstedt, on inks. The creative team received enhanced popularity following "The Great Darkness Saga," which ran from #290–294, featuring a full assault on the United Planets by Darkseid. Oh, you never heard of Great Darkness Saga?

Having been forgotten by almost everyone, the 20th century Apokoliptian monarch Darkseid reemerges in the 30th century. He soon defeats the era's two most powerful villains (Mordru and the Time Trapper) and absorbs their powers, subsequently using those abilities to enslave the entire population of the planet Daxam and transport the planet to a star system with a yellow sun. Now commanding an army of billions of Daxamites, each with the same powers as Superman — as well as reverse-DNA clones of Superman, a Guardian of the Universe and other super powered beings from the 20th century — he launches a full-scale assault on the United Planets. Only the efforts of the Legion of Super-Heroes and its allies are able to prevent him from conquering the entire known universe.

Following the events of the Zero Hour miniseries, this storyline and all other Legion stories predating October 1994 were removed from continuity. However, a new incarnation of the Legion was introduced in 2007, in "The Lightning Saga" storyline in the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America titles. Geoff Johns, one of DC Comics' key writers, has stated that this incarnation of the Legion shares the same history as the original Legion up to the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Since "The Great Darkness Saga" occurred prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths, the question of whether these events are once again part of mainstream DC continuity remains open. However, this incarnation of the Legion has indeed battled Darkseid

The Legion celebrated issue #300 by revisiting the "Adult Legion" storyline through a series of parallel world short stories illustrated by a number of popular Legion artists from previous years. The story served to free up Legion continuity from following the "Adult Legion" edict of previous issues. Giffen's style changed abruptly a few issues later, to a darker and sketchier style inspired by Argentinian artist José Muñoz. The existing Legion series, renamed Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes with issue #314, continued running new material for a year, and then began reprinting stories from the new Legion of Super-Heroes with issue #326. Tales continued publishing reprints until its final issue, #354.

The new series was launched in August 1984 with a five-part story featuring the Legion of Super-Villains. Giffen left in the middle of the story and was replaced by Steve Lightle, who stayed on the book for a year. Greg LaRocque began a lengthy run in #16, including a crossover with John Byrne's recently-rebooted Superman titles in #37 and #38. The crossover was the first of several attempts by DC editors to explain the origins and fate of Superboy and his history with the Legion, in light of the revisions to the DC Universe caused by Crisis on Infinite Earths that removed Superman's career as Superboy from his personal history. In the crossover, the Legion's Superboy was revealed to have come from a parallel "Pocket Universe" created by the Time Trapper. The crossover ended with Superboy's death. Levitz' run ended with the return of Giffen and a four-part story, concluding in #63.


32. Nextwave (79 points)

nextwave.jpg"The absurd humor, the insane situations, and writing and art made this the most fun I've had reading comics in a very long time. I hope they run another series of was excellent."

"All in all it was a fun read. Read both trades on a flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg. Read them several times since then. Just pure fun. Plenty of explosions and badass-ness."

"If you're going to write long-time Marvel characters to the point they're unrecognizable because you can't be bothered reading the titles in which they appeared, you're probably a talentless hack who worked his way into comics by being an editor, or you're the friend of someone in the office. Or you're loud-mouthed arsehole Warren Ellis and few people will care you've butchered their favorite characters because god-dammit they're more entertaining than they've been in years. This is how old characters should be brought back to the public consciousness after years in the wilderness, yet sadly don't. A really entertaining and fun title that has a dinosaur as a Bond villain and flesh-eating koalas - if that doesn't make you want it, there's no hope for you."

Nextwave debuted in 2006 and was cancelled after issue #12 which was published in February 2007. The entire run of the series was written by Warren Ellis, drawn by Stuart Immonen and colored by Dave McCaig.

Warren Ellis (on his website) stated in October 2006 that he had initially planned to write the series for twelve issues, then pass it off to another writer. However the initial plan was changed and the series was placed on hiatus until Ellis should choose to return. According to Ellis, this was at least partly because monthly sales could not justify keeping artist Stuart Immonen on the project at his then current pay rate. Ellis has stated that "there will be more Nextwave to come, presented as a sequence of limited series".

Starting with issue #3, Marvel had changed the series title to Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. Artist Stuart Immonen has stated that the title change was due to trademark issues.

A variant edition of issue #5, called the "Crayon Butchery Variant", was printed in black and white on newsprint. Marvel (through the website Comic Book Resources) encouraged readers to color the issue with crayons and enter the results, for a chance to win original artwork from the issue. The winner was announced in the letter column of the tenth issue. Issue #11 contains a series of splash pages that Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen devised so that in order to get the full impact of the scene, a reader might have to purchase six copies. On the last of the pages, a caption reads "Nextwave: Blatantly wasting your money since 2006".

''Civil War: Damage Report'' implies that the members of Nextwave had their "memories and/or personalities" altered by H.A.T.E., which may account for the bizarre out-of-character behavior, and might mean that in mainstream continuity, the events of entire series itself never happened, or happened very differently from the way they were portrayed.

Warren Ellis initially said the entire series was set in an alternate universe, but the cast later showed up in various other comics in their Nextwave costumes. Joe Quesada finally confirmed that it was set in Earth-616.


31. Original X-Men (79 points - 3 first place slots)

xmen-original.jpg"The dream started here."

Kinda shocked this team got this high, but wow. Congrats to them.

During growing hostilities between humans and mutants on the rise, Professor Charles Xavier created the original team by bringing together five promising young mutants: Jean Grey, Scott Summers, Henry McCoy, Robert Drake, and Warren Worthington III with the purpose of training them to use their powers for the benefit of mankind. He named this team the X-Men because of the extra abilities they all possessed as mutants. So that the team could operate covertly without blowing their cover they were all given codenames. Bobby Drake, the youngest member of the group and class clown, chose the obvious name Iceman because of his ability to create and manipulate ice. The brilliant Hank McCoy selected the name Beast for his disproportionate bodily features as well as his agility, strength, and acrobatic abilities. Because he possessed large, white, feathered wings stemming from his upper back, Warren Worthington aptly chose the name Angel (later to be known as Archangel). Scott Summers chose the name Cyclops because of the single eye-piece of the protective visor that he was forced to wear in order to control his optic blast. The only female member of the group, Jean Grey selected the name Marvel Girl for herself. The team was located out the estate of their mentor at Professor Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters at 1407 Greymalkin Lane in Salem Center, Westchester County, New York. Along with the many aspects of a conventional education, the students received practical training in the use of their abilities both in the controlled environment of the Danger Room on school grounds, as well as the real-life training that field missions gave them.

Early on the team employed its training in the real world both trying to locate other mutants and to fight against mutant terrorists. On several occasions they battled against Xavier's former friend Magneto and his Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants. Notable early enemies (many of which were brotherhood members) included Magneto, Unus the Untouchable, the Vanisher, the Sentinels, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Toad, the Juggernaut, the Blob, Mimic, and the Super-Adaptoid. Later additions to the original five included Cyclops' brother Havok as well as Magneto's daughter Polaris. The Mimic was also a team member briefly, but only after blackmailing the team and was the only member to be kicked off the team.



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