Sunday, June 24, 2018 • Evening Edition • "At least we're not The Comics Reporter!"

Your Top Teams part 61

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, July 14 2009 and posted in Features
The last bunch before the Top 5, and one of the teams I so didn't expect to make it this far.




7. The Masters of Evil: Under Siege Edition (166 points - 5 first place slots)

mastersofevil-undersiege.jpg"Mort Pile-on! Individually, The Wrecking Crew, Titania, Blacklight, Mr. Hyde, are, IMHO, C-listers at best. But, led by Zemo 2, they bum-rushed Avenges Mansion and never before had silver age spandex seem so scary."

"Strength in numbers, bitches."

"They took down Hercules, so much so Zeus got pissed at the Avengers for letting this happen. The King of the Gods got pissed because his son got asskicked by these guys. Now that is pretty fucking impressive."

"Arguably the most powerful villain team EVER. The Wrecking Crew, My Hyde, Blackout, Zemo, Tiger Shark, Moonstone, Absorbing Man, Titania. All very powerful and badass. They even took out the Avengers at the AVENGERS MANSION! How awesome is that."

"You know they are evil when they kick the crap out of Jarvis."

"They say power is in numbers, and in this case they are right. Alone, most of the characters would be trampled on, but when banded together they took down the mightiest of lineups of the Avengers. Who was on this team? Absorbing Man, Blackout, Bulldozer, Fixer, Goliath aka Atlas, Grey Gargoyle, Moonstone, Mr. Hyde, Piledriver, Screaming Mimi aka Songbird, Tigershark, Titania, Thunderball, Whirlwind, Wrecker, Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara), and all lead by the main man himself: Baron Zemo."

I told you original Thunderbolt fans that Zemo will get his revenge.

The fourth, and arguably most effective, team was organized by Baron Helmut Zemo, the son of the previous Zemo. Inheriting his father's hatred of Captain America, the new Zemo sought to assemble the most formidable Masters of Evil ever. Rather than follow past practice with a team roughly the size of the active Avengers roster, Zemo decided to organize a veritable army of superhuman criminals, to assure victory over the Avengers. Zemo's long-range design for the largest assemblage of costumed criminals is not at present known, though he stated his intent to defeat the West Coast Avengers and the Fantastic Four as well.

This reformed version of the team took over Avengers Mansion, causing considerable damage in the process. Zemo, a master strategist, was able to play on the Avengers' relationships to pick them off one by one. Zemo sends several of his minions on scouting missions, performing various tasks in preparation for the assault on the mansion. Meanwhile he must hold down his command by preventing subversion from Moonstone and giving his more physical recruits their promised action without striking too soon.

Sub-Mariner had taken a leave of absence to reclaim Atlantis, leaving the team one Avenger short. Black Knight and Captain America were captured, as well as Jarvis; Captain Marvel was trapped in another dimension by Blackout; and Hercules was beaten into a coma. This left The Wasp, chairman at the time, as the only remaining active Avenger to retake the mansion. Meanwhile Mister Hyde tortures Jarvis, leaving significant lasting injuries to the faithful butler. It took a hastily-assembled squad of reserve Avengers to defeat this formidable version of the Masters.

This story was fucking badass.


6. The Blue and Gold X-Men (185 - 11 first place slots)

xmen-bluegold.jpg"Gold Team (Storm, Jean, Iceman, Colossus, Bishop, Archangel) - This team has/had my favorite x-Man ever, and my favorite X-women (Iceman, Storm and Jean.) Sure the blue team got the video games and what not, but I really liked this group. it had just the write mix of characters."

"Basically this had every person that was ever on any X-Men team. And it had the two best field leaders the book has ever had, Cyclops and Storm. This was the X-Men of my youth. It had all the great characters Claremont created in the 70's and 80's combined with the originals. Just a great team and when the two squads had to come together, something really really bad was happening."

"This team is another classic. I don't know if it was Lobdell, Claremont, or editorial that picked the Blue & Gold team rosters, but they were spot on. 2 of my 3 all-time favorite Marvel characters are here (Warren & Peter) and this was the era that made me an X-Men fan. I still get a lump in my throat when Colossus slugs Bishop at Illyana's funeral and announces his defection to the Acolytes..."

"The only reason the Blue team gets the higher spot is because it was the first #1 of any comic series that I bought, and I also liked the art better on this title than on Uncanny at the time..."

"You can consider this X-Men blue team if you must, but it really isn't. The cast of X-Men: TAS were really the stars of the 90s comics as well. This is the team that the general public - non comic fans knows the best. Through TAS these characters were placed in classic stories and through the comics all new ones. Jubilee is Wolverine's best sidekick. Cyclops and Storm co-leaders of the X-Men. Jean-Cyke-Wolverine love triangle. Professor Xavier to guide them. Beast as the resident brain. Rogue the untouchable sex symbol. Gambit the bad ass charmer. These characters just fit so right together. This is the X-Men."

"Gold/blue team era. Teams were large and the adventures were fun. at least from what I can remember. I don’t dare re-read most comics from the 90's which I loved. I fear that they will lose that special place they had for me as a teen."

"Blue was 90s excess, Gold was great characters being great X-Men."

So most people on the list merged the Blue and Gold teams, some didn't but most did. So, in the end I decided to do the same. I know, I said I wasn't but as more and more lists came in near the end of the deadline I realized I had to do that, and now we have three X-Men eras in the Top 10. Yeah, spoiler warning, but you already knew this. So what made this era of X-Men so special? Well, read the quotes above. That should tell you. With the team now larger than ever before, organization suddenly became essential. To remain effective as a group, the X-Men were divided into two squads: Blue and Gold. Forge, Moira, and Banshee returned to the X-Mansion and acted as the team's support staff.

The Blue Squad battled Magneto and his Acolytes in Genosha. Discovering Moira MacTaggart had altered his DNA years ago when he was regressed to a toddler, Magneto questioned if his recent turn to heroics was a result of Moira's tampering or his own free will. Magneto forced Moira to brainwash the Blue Squad into joining his Acolytes on Asteroid M, a space station haven for mutants. To make matters worse, the American and Russian governments decided to use a plasma cannon on the space station to end the threat of Magneto once and for all. Worried about their friends, the Gold Squad sneaked on board and rescued their teammates, while a traitorous Fabian Cortez abandoned Asteroid M and planned to make Magneto a martyr so mutants around the world would join him. Xavier tried to talk the Acolytes into escaping the doomed base with the X-Men, but Magneto and his followers instead stayed to die.

The Gold Squad began their tenure attending a party at the Hellfire Club thrown by Emma Frost. The White Queen explained she and other members of the Club were targets of assassination, and sought the help of her former enemies. Before long, Trevor Fitzroy arrived and began to attack Frost and her Hellions. In Australia, Donald Pierce was attacked by Fitzroy's Sentinels. Gateway teleported Pierce to New York, along with three of the attacking Sentinels. The Sentinels seemingly killed Frost, Pierce, and Jean Grey. Fitzroy drained the life of every Hellion he could subdue, killing all of Frost's students.

Returning her body to the X-Mansion, Xavier realized Jean's consciousness had been relocated to Emma Frost's body. Jean woke up while in the custody of Fitzroy and Shinobi Shaw, who were revealed to be members of the Upstarts. The Upstarts competed in a contest of murder run by the Gamesmaster. Their first targets were former and current Hellfire Club members, and Fitzroy believed he had won and was entitled to run the Upstarts. Jean surprised the two by using telekinesis, a power Emma Frost lacked, and escaped with the X-Men. Fitzroy used the Hellions’ life essence to open a portal to the future and brought some allies. Bishop, a mutant born in the 21st century, arrived instead. Fitzroy escaped, and Bishop joined the present day X-Men. Xavier realized the White Queen's psyche also remained alive, and returned it to her own comatose body. Battles with Omega Red (a member of the Soviet Super Soldier program) and Hazard followed.

The two teams were brought together when Professor X was shot while giving a speech during a Lila Cheney peace concert. Stryfe (disguised as Cable) shot Xavier and infected him with a techno-organic virus. Simultaneously, Cyclops and Jean Grey were abducted by the Horsemen of Apocalypse in Westchester. They were delivered to Mr. Sinister, who was disguised as Apocalypse unbeknownst to the Horsemen. Sinister handed the Summers couple over to Stryfe in exchange for a mysterious container.

The Gold Team searched for Scott and Jean while the Blue Team joined X-Factor in hunting down X-Force for information on Cable's whereabouts. Cable convinced Wolverine and Bishop it was Stryfe who shot Xavier and not himself, revealing both were from the future and had long been enemies. Apocalypse woke up from rejuvenation to find he had been impersonated, and was defeated by Stryfe. With Beast and Dr. MacTaggert unable to save Xavier, they were forced to work with Apocalypse. Apocalypse sped up the cycle of the techno-organic virus, forcing the pathogen to burn itself out before it could kill the Professor.

Wolverine received a subconscious telepathic message from Jean, hinting that she was being held captive on the Moon. The X-Men found Stryfe's Moon base and launched an attack. Scott and Jean were rescued, though Cable disappeared with Stryfe into the timestream. Meanwhile, Sinister opened his container to find nothing inside. It was soon discovered that Essex had opened a Pandora's Box with Stryfe's final revenge on the Summers clan; the mutant infecting Legacy Virus.

Following the assassination attempt, the X-Men seemingly dealt with one crisis after the next without a break. Magneto resurfaced very much alive and with a new lead Acolyte: Exodus, the self proclaimed voice of Magneto. Magneto prepared an all out war on humanity upon learning the Magneto Protocols, a plan to alter the Earth's electromagnetic field to inhibit his powers, had been activated. Devastated by his sister's death by the Legacy virus, Colossus lost faith in Xavier's dream and decided to join Magneto.

The rest of the X-Men stood by their mentor and attacked Magneto on his new space base Avalon when he began sending massive E.M.P. waves around the globe. Jean and Xavier attacked him telepathically, while Wolverine defended Quicksilver to save him from his own father. Wounded and furious, Magneto ripped the adamantium laced onto Logan's skeleton out of his body and left him near death. Unable to deal with his old friend's violence any longer Xavier shut down Magneto's mind, leaving him a vegetable. Colossus stayed with his leader, vowing to care for him until he healed.

As Wolverine left the team following his injury, Sabretooth came to stay at the mansion for rehabilitation. A short time later, Scott and Jean finally married. They spent their honeymoon raising a young Nathan Summers in the far future.

From there we had Legion Quest, then Age of Apocalypse, then followed by the Onslaught Marvel Crossover. After that we went into some the other eras on the list starting with The Dream Reborn team with Marrow and Cecilia lead by Kelly and Seagle. If you wanna read about the, well, look further down the list.



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