Thursday, May 24, 2018 • Afternoon Edition • "We put the "O" in OCD."

Your Top Teams part 54

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, July 08 2009 and posted in Features
A couple of "New" teams and a couple of "Avengers", yet only three teams appear.




27. West Coast Avengers (87 points - 2 first place slots)

westcoastavengers.jpg"The Avengers were so popular at the time that another team was placed on the West Coast, and they lasted for a long time too. Any stories with Clint and Bobbi together are good."

"Hawkeye is my favorite character in the Avengers. In fact he's one of my top 10 heroes. So when he goes off at the urging of the Vision to create a West Coast branch, well that team will be in my top 5. Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonder Man, and Rhodes (as Iron Man) found the team. Soon after, Moon Knight (my introduction to him) and Pym join. How could this possibly be a better crew? Fun stories, great personality clashes, and Hawkeye proving he's a great leader. What's not to love?"

"While I've since gone back and caught up with much of this team’s earlier adventures, the first issue I actually bought was 70 something and this was the team I first loved. I discovered my 2 favorite Avengers during this run (Simon & Wanda) and have reread these issues so many times I've lost count. While the series lost focus a bit toward the end, it redeemed itself with Abnett & Lanning’s bittersweet #102; a story I think should be counted among their best."

I loved this book, then Ghost White Vision happened, and it all went down hill from there...

The team is founded by the Avenger Hawkeye in response to a suggestion by android fellow Avenger the Vision, who at the time wished to expand Avengers influence. Hawkeye recruits Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Tigra, and Iron Man, with the last actually being Jim Rhodes as opposed to Tony Stark, a fact initially unknown to the team. Together the team defeat a petty criminal called the Blank and later Avengers foe Graviton.

The team take on Henry Pym as a scientific advisor and compound manager and battle a range of both old foes — including the Grim Reaper, Ultron, Graviton,, and Zodiac — and new opponents such as Master Pandemonium and Dominus. Fantastic Four member the Thing and heroine Firebird briefly accompany the team during this period; Henry Pym (later saved by Firebird from a suicide attempt), and the adventurer Moon Knight formally join, While Iron Man is expelled for his actions during the Armor Wars. The marriage of Hawkeye and Mockingbird is also placed in jeopardy when during a time travel adventure she allows the Old West hero Phantom Rider to die in a fall for deceiving and raping her.

After a trip to Hungary to investigate a report on Pym's first wife, the Wasp; Scarlet Witch and the Vision assist the team. Mockingbird, Tigra and Moon Knight leave the team together as a new short lived team called the Ex-WCAs over the Avengers rule of not killing in regards to Mockingbird's encounter with Phantom Rider. Vision and Scarlet Witch join the team as to not leave it short handed. Former Avenger ally Mantis makes a brief appearance. Agents from multiple governments then abduct the Vision and dismantle him due to his return to the team. The Avengers recover the parts and Dr. Pym rebuilds the Vision but with a chalk-white complexion. Wonder Man, however, does not allow his brain patterns to be used again to provide a matrix for Vision's emotions, explaining that the original process, done without his consent, had "ripped out his soul". Although Wonder Man's own love for Scarlet Witch leads him to feel guilt, he justifies his actions by claiming the Vision was never anything but a copy of him, a claim that a number of other Avengers, including the Wasp, accept. This, along with damage to the Vision's synthetic skin when he was dismantled, results in the synthezoid's resurrection as a colorless and emotionless artificial human. The unstable U.S. Agent is assigned to the team as a watchdog by the US government to monitor the team's activities

A group of odd super-humans decide to mimic the Avengers and become the Great Lakes Avengers, while the original Human Torch returns from his own apparent demise. This casts doubt on the Vision's identity, who was previously believed to have been created from the Torch's body. The Vision and Scarlet Witch's children (conceived via Scarlet Witch's hex powers) are then revealed to be fragments of the soul of the demon Mephisto, who had been broken apart by Franklin Richards shortly before the birth of the twins. The twins were absorbed back into Mephisto, which temporarily drove Scarlet Witch insane. Although she eventually recovers, Scarlet Witch and the Vision separate, each operating on a different Avengers team.

Iron Man rejoins, and the mutant Quicksilver aids the team when Scarlet Witch aids their father Magneto during a period in which she suffers from a mental breakdown. Immortus is finally confronted and revealed to be the cause of much of the team's misfortune, and is finally defeated. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver then leave the team, with Machine Man becoming a reservist and Spider-Woman and the Living Lightning and joining as full-time members.

The team battle Ultron and his new creation Alkhema several times, and Hawkeye assumes his old identity of Goliath, also managing to reconcile with Mockingbird. Iron Man and Wonder Man leave the team, and are replaced by War Machine (Jim Rhodes, one of the founding West Coast Avengers) and Darkhawk, with the latter acting as a reservist. During a battle with the demons Mephisto and Satannish, Mockingbird is killed. Due to constant in-fighting and a general lack of organization, Captain America intervenes and disbands the team. Several members of the West Coast team — including a returned Iron Man — are unhappy about the decision and leave to form another team, called Force Works. This team, however, has several setbacks and quickly disbands, with the members returning to the main Avengers team.


26. New Warriors (88 points - 4 first place slots)

newwarriors.jpg"One of the most underrated teams in comics. Pretty damn powerful and a great mix of personalities. Night Thrasher's broody, Speedball's the annoying little brother, Nova's the macho hothead, Namorita's the hot chick, Firestar's the good girl and Marvel Boy's the nice guy. Add in some great early Bagley art and Niceza writing and you got a fun comic."

"These characters have always worked best together. They have such amazing chemistry; no other line-up has had the same success. They represent every "family" of the Marvel U."

"A great broadside to Image's dumbo musclemen trendsetting, and had Batman on a skateboard. Just outright fun comics that you either got or you didn't - in the case of the writers of successors like New Warriors v.4 and Loners, it seems there are plenty of people who just plain didn't get it currently working for Marvel..."

Another fav. of mine. Fuck, I love this team.

Night Thrasher, using his vast wealth, formed the super-group The New Warriors. The starting team consisted of Nova, Namorita, Firestar, Marvel Boy (Vance Astrovik), Speedball, and Night Thrasher himself. The roster changed frequently, many members leaving and coming back. Giving a constant flow of different happiness and problems within the team.

Night Thrasher had originally gathered Nova, Marvel Boy (Vance Astrovik), and Firestar as the New Warriors. As soon as they had gathered they heard about Terrax rampaging through a local park. They went to fight him, and found Namorita and Speedball had joined the battle. Beating Terrax together, the five heroes unknowingly were on the way to creating something great. After this, they decided together to make a team, the team became known as the New Warriors.

The newly created team gets involved in a fight between Thor and Juggernaut, helping Thor to send the Juggernaut to another dimension. In the team's second issue Night Thrasher's past comes back to haunt him as the brother and sister team of Midnight's Fire and Silhouette is introduced. Next, the corporation Genetech hires the Mad Thinker to gather information on the New Warriors in order to create their own super humans, resulting in their battle with Genetech's team of super humans, Psionex. The Warriors travel to stop a superhuman named Star Thief that is destroying space launches, with Namorita, Marvel Boy and Firestar ending up on the Moon with the Inhumans. The Team minus Night Thrasher travels to Brazil to rescue Speedball's mother from an environmental terrorist group and battle the Force of Nature. Night Thrasher stays behind to patch things up with Silhouette and confronts the Punisher. Upon the Warriors return to New York, their headquarters (the Ambrose building) is trashed in a battle with the Hellions for the claim of Firestar.

Their next adventure involves the transforming of the world into an alternate one, at the whim of Meryet Karim, the second Sphinx. This is undone by the New Warriors Nova, Marvel Man (Marvel Boy's alternate counterpart), Firestar, and Dwayne Taylor (who is not Night Thrasher in this reality). The New Warriors, together with a few Psionex members, the Fantastic Four, and the Silver Surfer, fight a revitalized Terrax some time after. Around this time, Silhouette joins, and the New Warriors meet Avenger Rage and solo hero Darkhawk. The Left Hand has also begun collecting random super powered individuals for a team he names the Folding Circle, one member being Silhouette's brother Midnight's Fire.

The Warriors also fought the Fantastic Four when Marvel Boy, who was under the Puppet Master's control, kidnapped Alicia Masters. Her father, the Puppet Master, knew something was wrong with her. It was later revealed that a Skrull, Lyja had been impersonating Alicia.

Night Thrasher and the team come to a moral crossroads in a mission involving cocaine, and Thrasher leaves the team. Before that, he discovers that his legal guardian, Andrew Chord, has been betraying him for an unidentified period of time. Night Thrasher then comes into contact with the Folding Circle.

Returning home after a particularly tough battle against Gideon, Marvel Boy accidentally kills his father when his father attacks him (as he has done in the past). Marvel Boy is arrested and found guilty of negligent homicide, while Firestar reveals her love for him.

With previously unrevealed abilities, Tai (Thrasher's surrogate mother) confronts and seemingly kills Silhouette. Silhouette survives and assembles the remaining New Warriors. They learn from Chord of a mystical plot to take control of the world in Cambodia, and they recruit Rage and Darkhawk to help them. The Folding Circle also travels to Cambodia. The New Warriors (with later help of the Folding Circle) fight Tai, who reveals her plans for world domination. Tai is defeated and sacrificed in a mystical well along with the Left Hand. In the end, Thrasher rejoins the Warriors.

After the adventure Rage is kicked out of the Avengers and Speedball invites him to join the New Warriors. Meanwhile, just having been convicted of his father's murder, Marvel Boy is being escorted to the Vault via a Guardsman-guarded prison van. Nova, Namorita, and Firestar try to free him from the van, but he refuses, determined to serve his sentence. Firestar and Marvel Boy share one last moment and declare their love for one another.

Seriously, find the back issues for this book, some classic, classic stuff.


25. The Founding New Avengers (89 points - 5 first place slots)

newavengers-founding.jpg“I know it’s not the most popular team on the ‘rama, but I like the street-level feel of the group. With two exceptions, this was a bunch of street heroes set up to battle the big threats. It could’ve been even greater…New Avengers vs. Korvac? Kang?”

"It looked like Bendis was crazy when he tried to put this crew together. Quickly, Marvel’s version of the Big 7 took the Avengers from being the goofy team of boring goody two shoes, to the seven most important players in the Marvel Universe."


People are morons.


With the Avengers team disbanded, and the Fantastic Four and the X-Men unable to act, super villain Electro shut down the S.H.I.E.L.D. Raft installation, a "maximum-maximum security" prison for super-powered criminals. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman), Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and Luke Cage, already at the Raft, were joined by Captain America, Spider-Man and Iron Man, as well as helped by a seemingly insane Sentry. The riot was quelled, although some forty-two inmates escaped. Captain America decided that fate had brought this group together, just as it had the original Avengers. All but Daredevil accepted the offer to reform the Avengers as a result. X-Men member Wolverine joined the team following a trip to the Savage Land.

Iron Man sought approval from such pillars of the superhero community as Professor Charles Xavier, Doctor Strange, Namor and Mister Fantastic and headquartered the new team in Stark Tower. The team's first mission was to capture the remaining super-powered criminals who escaped during the riot that brought them together. The emergence of the Young Avengers is also a matter of concern and the team find themselves divided in what actions they should take. Also, there is the growing sense of unease with S.H.I.E.L.D. after the disappearance of Nick Fury.

Honestly, I really cannot remember anything worth while in this title that happened before Civil War. They had some stupid arc with Ronin/Echo, then they had some stupid arc with Sentry, I remember ninjas and what not, but over all, this book took SOOOOOO long to get going. And I am kinda pissed this era of the team got this high on the list. Well, there still is one more New Avengers to go....yah?



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