The WORST Superteam

Everybody always talks about superhero team chemistry…possibly except Brian Cronin…but, have we ever tried a superhero team without chemistry?

Maybe it would be good!

When I was fourteen. I made up a Marvel superteam, not just of people who didn’t understand each other, but of people who hated each other. Post-Defenders, pre-Suicide Squad, my team was:

Sub-Mariner

Captain Britain (circa first appearance of Arcade)

Spider-Woman (pre-Claremont version)

Dr. Druid

Speedball

I called them — in those long-ago days — the Task Force. And I imagined that they would be able to get together once — and once only — before they hated each other so much that they would NEVER be able to get together again. Not even if the fate of the planet was at stake. They’d actually rather die, and see everyone they love die, than sit in the same room together again.

Maybe I exaggerated, though, Maybe this wasn’t the perfect “Task Force”. So what heroes, Marvel or DC, would make up your “Task Force”? Who absolutely would NOT get together again; whose “spirit of teamwork” would be pure hate?

But who, for the one-and-only time they were together, would kick very serious ass?

I think mine’s pretty good. Is yours better?

I put it to you; also I’ve given you the rules which will make it possible for you to WIN THIS GAME. And if I get answers which are unbelievably excellent

I may award a prize.

I put it to you. WORST superteam.

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91 responses to “The WORST Superteam

  1. This is interesting because once you get to that second adventure, with the characters all knowing they hate one another and unable to tolerate one another’s presence, even for a moment…and then you find something that would force them to cooperate in spite of all that, loathing every minute of it…that suddenly becomes a story.

    This is exactly what that original lineup of the Defenders seemed to promise: why would Stephen Strange and Namor and the Hulk ever put up with one another long enough to get anything done? Even the first time? Englehart and Wein and Gerber each found ways of shifting that dynamic (they had to) until the book ended up as its precise opposite: a collection of folks who might not have been a “team” per se, yet freely chose one another’s company. Still…can anything beat that original trio for sheer lack of potential warmth and cooperation? I can’t invent anything to rival that.

    I’d like to see more of the rerasoning behind your choices. Captain Britain seems out of place; in any incarnation, he’s always been the square-jawed noble lunkhead who you’d expect would put aside any personal distaste if honor and duty required it. He might drive the others crazy, but they couldn’t deter him. (Unless that’s the role you see for him: the one who brings all ther rest together over their objections.)

    You’ve also stacked the deck in your own favor: any team with Dr. Druid in it automatically becomes the worst team of all time. If you also threw in…I dunno, She-Hulk and the Black Knight…but no, that’s just too horrible to contemplate.

  2. I feel I’m getting somewhere with Thor, Deadpool, Jubilee, USAgent and Morbius. Could possibly clinch the deal by adding Moonstone, who gets on everybody’s nerves.

  3. RAB is certainly on the right track with his nod to the Simonson Avengers (which I loved, when I read them off the racks)–that was not a friendly time for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

    here’s my own version of a powder-keg line-up:
    Captain America
    The Punisher
    Spider-Man
    Valkyrie
    Starfox
    Moondragon

    AAAAAND

    Dr. Druid (it’s true, you really need him for maximum instigation potential)

    I dare those people to work together!

    Dave

  4. This could be used by DC to explain why the mainstream universe doesn’t have a Justice League Unlimited approach to having a roster of dozens and dozens.

    I present to you, the temporary Justice League Task Force revival, assembled just a year before, let’s say, Green Lantern: Rebirth.

    Vic Sage, The Question – recommended by Bruce Wayne because of his problem-solving skills and intuitive detective work, the faceless detective would already feel out of place in any group, especially with more blunt, bravado-spewing members as shall be listed. Certainly he’s uncomfortable with lasers-and-robots threats that are the bread-and-butter of the League.

    Helena Bertinelli, The Huntress – she had a Justice League stint, but before that she was just trying to find her way in the world. The problem? She rejected both the advances and advice of Vic Sage and found herself continually at odds with Batman. She was not recommended for the team by Batman, but by Black Canary, who is convinced that League work done outside of the watchful eye of the Dark Knight will allow the Huntress to set aside her more questionable ways. But it’s been years since the Black Canary has interacted with her old friend Vic Sage, and is only vaguely aware he had anything for the Huntress.

    Guy Gardner, Warrior – every team needs a powerhouse, and unfortunately, the Task Force has Gardner, the uber-macho former Green Lantern. Since he uncovered the crisis at hand, he was able to procure a recommendation for the Task Force from Wonder Woman, a occasionally soft-hearted warrior whose desire to believe in redemption can sometimes cloud her judgment. Guy Gardner is the one everyone on the team hates the most, though his experience criss-crossing the galaxy will make him invaluable in a tight spot.

    Dick Grayson, Nightwing – Superman is uncomfortable with the idea of reviving the Justice League Task Force, and would prefer a Justice League Elite. Having dealt with the idiosyncratic Vic Sage before, and still stinging from the Huntress’ departure from the League, Superman recommends that Grayson lead the team. The well-liked vigilante who has lead the Titans and even aided the JLA on several occasions finds himself in a difficult group – his past feelings for the Huntress make interaction with both Helena and his fellow spurned costumed do-gooder The Question a bit strained. Beyond that, he represents the unwavering approach to crimefighting that Batman employs, grating the Huntress with all of the bad memories and ticking off the loose cannon Gardner, who assumed he had the experience to lead the team. Grayson’s best characteristics become his liability.

    Eel O’Brien, Plastic Man – the former thief can be entertaining at the right times, and incredibly irritating at others. Representing the League proper, O’Brien nominates himself, which ends up being quite the error. The Question is uncomfortable working with a former thief who never paid restitution for his crimes, the Huntress finds his wit annoying, Gardner is often the main focus of his jokes, and Nightwing finds his attempts to organize to be undermined. Even the last member I’ll unveil is at odds with Plastic Man, because while he’s just nuts, she’s clinically mentally taxed. His antics could almost offend her with her own travails.

    Crazy Jane – the Doom Patrol character returns, recommended by Niles Caulder as part of her therapy. Featuring greater ability to control her powers, she uses her new identity as Lady Lazarus to be the telekinetic and teleporter of the team. Unfortunately, as her name might hint, any extended use of this persona will awaken a formerly-dead or long-unused identity. This makes her an unpredictable, if powerful teammate. In this group of seasoned crimefighters with comparatively grounded adventures compared to what the Doom Patrol faced, she feels out of place.

    Despite all of their differences, when the action hits, they’d be a well-oiled team. The Question, Nightwing, and Huntress have all received similar training and are part of the martial arts tradition that includes Richard Dragon, Batman, and Lady Shiva. The Question’s intuition and Nightwing’s own detective abilities will make any case just a matter of time. In the field, Gardner’s impressive powers alongside those of Plastic Man and Crazy Jane allow the non-powered heroes to move decisively while their powered counterparts handle the most looming physical threats. The Huntress’ weapons expertise means that she can hit some threats before they even come to close range.

    I’d love a team that is terrible together when the action has ended, but the moment the action begins, they work as one. It’s when they have to stop fighting or sleuthing and engage each other in conversation that they fall apart.

    However, the League needs long-term sustaining. So after a few missions, the general League allows them to disband, realizing that not every hero can have the chemistry that the Big Seven tend to have.

  5. Jonathan and Carter are onto something, I think — and holy crap, Carter, you blew me away! That’s setting the bar awfully high — a team that not only is absolutely wicked in execution, not only can’t stand each other, but also a team that could disband, because they’re just not working and another team could fill their places! Are you sure your real name isn’t Jonathan Burns?

    Outstanding!

    Close runner-up: Jonathan, you’ve created a team that I can well imagine dropping their opponents to fight themselves instead! Well done! A glorious lack of chemistry.

    Dave F., I’m going to deal with you and me at the same time:

    RAB wants to know my reasoning for Sub-Mariner, Captain Britain, Spider-Woman, Dr. Druid, and Speedball. One: this iteration of Captain Britain is such the public school boy that he forms a perfect antithesis to Namor — well, set a passive-aggressive aristocrat to catch an aggressive-passive aristocrat, I suppose..two, meanwhile this Spider-Woman literally does not know who she’s supposed to be, which draws the unwanteed psychiatric potential of Dr. Druid out…but Dr. Druid is precisely the wrong person to be counselling Spider-Woman, because her identity problems mirrors his own…and three, Speedball, a hero that offends all of them because he simply can’t be taken seriously, and he winds up everybody, but most especially Dr. Druid as he thinks he’s helping Spider-Woman: Speedball is free, and silly, and uncontrollable…everything that Dr. Druid doesn’t want there as an example to Jessica Drew, and himself. Speedball is anti-Hawkeye, in this role: a maverick who reconciles nothing, but only screws up everybody else’s idea of what unity should be. As in Carter’s team, everybody thinks they should be the leader — except Spider-Woman, who’s probably the only one qualified to be the leader, but she’s a basket case, and getting more basketty by the second.

    Rather similar to Dave’s offering, in which the “natural” leadership ability of Captain America is fatally undermined — kudos to Dave for seeing that you can’t have a truly awful team without a born leader at its heart, that nobody can take direction from! In this set-up, the lieutenant has to be someone who’s incredibly poorly-suited for it, and the inclusion of the ingenue Valkyrie and the foolhardy Starfox makes these two either useless, or contradictory. Dave has copied my line-up most perfectly — and Jonathan has fulfilled the mission by creating a team where everybody simply flies apart — but the bar is still set at Carter’s height, because he’s described how his team would kick ass, as well as collapse.

    Carter, you’re blowing my mind, did I say that?

  6. Okay, I feel I shold offer a DC version, so how about this?

    Alan Scott Green Lantern
    Hawkman
    Elongated Man
    Early 70s Green Arrow (the one we all know and love)
    Captain Atom

    It’s a case of too many ethics! Either Hawkman or Original Green Lantern would wilt in the second-banana job, meanwhile Elongated Man’s subtlety gets lost in the shuffle, Captain Atom has a conflicted, if viable code, and Green Arrow’s kiickin’ against the Establishment — but which one’s the Establishment?

    In practise Green Lantern takes point, with Hawkman backing him up — Captain Atom does his thing, and levels the opposition. Ralph Dibny finds out what’s going on intellectually in the tried-and-true Silver Age manner, and Green Arrow provides correction by going with his gut, and in the end bosses the team. But it doesn’t work for long: Hawkman has a problem with Green Lantern, Elongated Man has a problem with Green Arrow, and Captain Atom thoughtlessly crosses boundaries by thinking he and Alan Scotg can work it out between them. Having Elongated Man be Green Arrow’s “wingman” is the only way it can work, but Ralph won’t play that. In the end, it falls apart. Hawkman and Green Arrow never even have a confrontation, and what does that say?

    A poor solution, though: so far Dave and Jonathan are actually closest, for a reason I’ll reveal later if nobody guesses it first.

    RAB? And the original three Defenders as a group don’t count. After all, the only reason they got together was to save the world, and then they got together again to save it again. We’re looking for a group that could only be effective one time.

    By the way, my Marvel team would have ended up bossed by Captain Britain in action, with dissent from Dr. Druid, who would’ve had to’ve been threatened with a pounding by Namor before swinging into action.

  7. You know, I think the JLU Huntress is a good variation on the original, because it makes it clear her thing is making bad choices. This ius what people who have chips on their shoulders do, after all. MAN Huntress belongs in the JLA. For today’s times. a GENIUS character.

  8. In a WORLD where only the STRONG can SURVIVE…
    Thrust together by FATE…
    Pawns of the GRANDMASTER; Cosmic Gamesman of the Universe…
    These HEROES, all natural LEADERS, and the BEST of their respective teams, have been chosen to DEFEND the EARTH:

    – CAPTAIN AMERICA
    – CYCLOPS
    – STORM & BLACK PANTHER
    – MR. FANTASTIC
    – DOCTOR STRANGE
    – NAMOR the SUBMARINER
    – DOCTOR DOOM
    – MAN-THING & HOWARD THE DUCK

    Basically, the GRANDMASTER takes the best leaders of their respective teams/realms and brings them all to the NEXUS of ALL Realities in the Florida Everglades.
    He selects LEADERS because the FOES are all “grunts”; an other-dimensional army without number.

    (Since the battle is at the Nexus of all Realities, the varied heroes of Earth can be from differing Earth-Realities, if you want to have a fun “What If?” type story.)

    As Guardian of the Nexus, the Macabre MAN-THING is also drawn to the scene.
    Unfortunately for him, Howard the Duck pops out of the Nexus (after an almost successful attempt to return to his home-world – an attempt that WOULD have succeeded had the Nexus not been activated at this point, so he’s even MORE foul-tempered than usual).

    Can a team composed of all natural and strong-minded LEADERS get anything accomplished when the only one to possibly obey orders is a Mindless Mockery of a Man and a Foul-mouthed water-fowl?

    Looks like the Earth is toast.

    Maybe.
    Maybe not.

    Despite their reluctance to take cues from each other, when taking on an invading hoarde from another dimension in a muck-filled environment, the tactics devolve into Guerilla-warfare.
    Each of the Heroes of Earth would pair off (or stand it alone) and take on whatever menaces emerge from the nexus portal.

    Captain America & Mr. Fantastic would quickly find themselves in a unique paring of brains/brawn with tactical & adaptable shared traits. Both have fought in ground wars, and both are tactical geniuses.

    Storm & Black Panther would form a strong force of power & cunning.
    On the ground and in the air, they disperse much of the incoming forces.

    Cyclops stands alone at the point, cutting a swath of destruction to most of the smaller, ground-level invaders before they have a chance to take 2 steps from the nexus.

    Namor finds himself being given orders from both Doctors; Strange & Doom, both of whom he has had extensive dealings at various times of his life.
    He bristles at their commands and wages war in the front lines – alone. The brackish water of the bog supplying him with added strength. He warns Cyclops not to dare touch his Regal Presence with the mutant’s optic blasts or else Cyclops will feel the wrath of the Scion of Atlantis! IMPERIOUS REX! Cyclops informs Namor that he has precise control over his beams and could use them to shave the barnacles off Namor’s backside without ruffling one of the scales on his speedo.

    Namor threatens Cyclops, but is reprimanded by Mr. Fantastic, who instructs Namor to tear trees from the ground and use his own elastic body as a bowstring, shooting giant arrows at their foes.
    Eager to strike out at someone (and happy to abuse Reed in the process), Namor assents and assails the invaders with a barrage of cyprus-tree “arrows”.

    With a mixture of amusement and disgust at the bickering between these two, DOOM utilizes his mixed abilities of science and mysticism to combat the enemy (and record information from the dazzling array of dimensions and realities that his sensors can trace thru the nexus aperture).

    One thing that everyone notices, is that the invaders dissipate into an energy mesh that redoubles itself when they are struck down. So, each time a foe is defeated, it disintegrates, sending it’s energy-matrix back into the nexus where it is then recycled and sent back out to fight anew.

    Realizing that there is no way to win this battle in any other manner, Doctor Strange has journeyed INTO the Nexus to try and seal it off – from the inside.
    However, he is beset by a giant beastly force (think Balrog) that keeps him from accomplishing his task as quickly as he might otherwise.

    All the while, Howard the Duck is running around, avoiding being turned into squab, and inflicting what limited damage he is able (hey. even other-dimensional beasties can get a cigar-burn to the ass).

    Meanwhile, ignored in all the conflagration, the Man-Thing does what he is destined to do; protect the Nexus of all Realities, and he slowly shambles to the dimensional gateway, and utilizing innate powers which are mystically imbued within his form, he casts out mossy tendrils of himself that act to close off the pathway to the invaders.
    His efforts are not completely effective, as the newly arriving invaders cut through his fibrous-tendrils before they an fully close off the opening.

    Seeing this, Doctor Strange recalls his medical background and realizes that Man-Thing in instinctively performing a form of vasoconstriction, acting as a mossy fibrin-net to help seal off the wound in the space-time continuum, attempting to clot out the invading “bleed”.
    With this, he turns his back on the giant creature that besets him and focuses his attentions on granting the Man-Thing with a mystical “steroid booster shot” of power. Effectively, enabling the Man-Thing to succeed in doing the one task that he has been assigned, and cursed to perform; protect the Nexus.

    With a flash of light and a sucking sound of a vacuum sealing off, the Nexus is sealed.

    The last few attackers, now isolated from their armies, are easily dispatched by Earth’s defenders. Their energy-matix dissipating into the atmosphere of the swamp, where it bursts into tiny flames like swamp-gas.

    The heroes stand covered in muck and mire, weary but triumphant.
    However, they know that one of of their own has sacrificed himself this day and that the victory is not without price.

    Just then, the air before them bends and unravels, distorting itself like a scroll. Through this distortion steps Doctor Strange.
    He explains that he travels with multiple plains of reality as a matter of course, and as Sorcerer Supreme, he was in no danger of being cut off from his home-dimension. As for the giant creature, once the Nexus was sealed, he could devote his full attention – and full power – to defeating the menacing beast. At least long enough to step thru dimensions and return home.

    Meanwhile, standing away from the others, VonDoom curses Strange’s bragging under his breath. Soon. Soon, he will use his newfound information to defeat Strange at his own game, and with Strange out of the way, no one will be able to stand in his way to becoming King of the Universe.

    Howard the Duck, however, just wants a new stogie, as his last fell into the fetid waters of the swamp and can’t be lit again.

    ——-

    I’m pretty sure that while THIS time Earth’s forces were triumphant, in any other setting they would butt heads far too much to be effective and would loathe to ever team up in this roster again.

    So… how’s that?

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  9. Okay-

    Rocket Racer: dude on a skateboard. A ROCKET SKATEBOARD!!!!

    Gambit: No one likes Gambit. Characters, creators, fans. No one.

    Okay, SOME people like Gambit. But they suck.

    Man-Thing: Can you imagine trying to get Man-Thing to actually DO anything? “Hydra’s attacking! Get them! Avengers Assemble! All for one and one.. for… um, could you, like, move or something?”

    Karnak: smartypants a-hole. One of my favorite characters, but still.

    Doc Samson: In a fight, it would go something like this-

    “Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut!”

    “Really, and why can’t anything ‘stop’ you, Cain? Is it that you don’t want to be stopped? Weren’t you ‘stopped’ by your father, for
    even the smallest infraction? Could it be that all you want is to keep going, to give your inner child the freedom he was denied for so long?”

    “I-I never thought of that. Wow, Doc, I think we’ve made a real breakthrough today. Oh, by the way…”

    SQUISH!

    “Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut!”

  10. Oooh …. fun. Cool topics like this could get me back to my own blog!

    Actually, the original Champions didn’t really belong together but let’s see if we can come up with a grouping that’s more original.

    We’ll start with The Shroud, who is generally perceived as an outlaw and generally accustomed to following his own – rather than others’ – agenda.

    Next, let’s go to Ms. Marvel, who’s crazy as #$%^ these days and isn’t always above-board with her team-mates. Of course, she’s the leader.

    Then we’ll pick Brother Voodoo, another loner who generally inspires fear rather than trust.

    Next, for some more muscle, we choose Gene Simmons from KISS. After all, the super-powered rock group DOES exist in Marvel continuity. They even fought Doctor Doom and Mephisto!

    Then because women bearing arms always adds commercial potential – Elsa Bloodstone from Nextwave! She’ll drive Carol crazy, for sure.

    Finally, to add a bit of agility we’ll toss in the Human Fly who will annoy everyone with his constant attempts to play and sing rock songs.

    Not too bad, I think.

  11. Yes, I was wondering where you’d got to, Keeper!

    Hmm, when you throw Gene Simmons in there, it really starts to gel, I think. Gene, the Human Fly, Brother Voodoo, Ms. Marvel, the Shroud, Elsa Bloodstone? Hee hee…that’s messed up. Maybe except for the Shroud, for some reason I tend to think he’d be able to make the team cohere! But really, both Gene and the Human Fly? Inspired. Plus two highly ‘sploitational Seventies characters and a Marvel Buffy. Gimmicks, every one of ’em! Except, as I said, maybe the Shroud.

    Love it!

    I don’t know, I might like Mike’s just a touch more, though. Though it’s certainly a close shave, the idea of Man-Thing just kind of being there…maybe his empathic nature just draws him, for some reason, to that particular weird combination of people? So when they all get together, he just sort of shows up. Stands beside the meeting table. Follows them around. They can’t get rid of him, it’s really creepy. He’s like this team’s only fan! I get a real Giffen/DeMatteis JLA vibe from this one, as I sit here I’m kind of chuckling just thinking about the reactions of the team members to Man-Thing appearing outside the window while they’re having their meeting.

    And P-Tor, I must admit, having four monarchs on a single team has got possibilities! All the past connections and relationships interest me — Namor getting bossed by Strange and Doom, then taking it out on Reed: that’s funny stuff. Of course he has history with Cap, too, doesn’t he? In fact, wait, everybody’s got history with everybody, here! You know, the more I think about this one, the screwier it seems to me — Namor’s position in all this is ridiculous, and then he has to deal with Howard and Man-Thing even being there…you just know this would piss him off, he’s sitting there being lectured at by Cap AND Reed AND Strange AND Doom…meanwhile Mr. Perfect Black Panther is standing around being cool…

    And then he looks down, and there’s a duck in a blue suit and a hat, smoking a cigar.

    I think if it had been Namor through the looking-glass instead of Alice, he would’ve killed everybody.

    But in a way, he’s the one who makes this team work: they’ve got too many cooks, and just one waiter, but what if the waiter was gone? Doom, Strange, Reed, Cyclops, Cap, and Storm and T’Challa make nothing like a functional team without him — for one thing thet’ve got no muscle, and for another they’re missing a drama queen to distract them from their other internal frictions. I think that makes a lot of sense, somehow…

    These are really getting mental.

  12. Ok, first a sprinkling of arrogant SOBs with poor social skills:

    Quicksilver
    Moondragon
    Namor

    A couple of irritating inadequates:

    Iceman
    Jack of Hearts

    Hit people:

    Punisher
    Elektra

    And a goody-goody

    Captain America

    I get palps just thinking how much I hate this team.

  13. Worst superhero team? It’ll need some awful dynamics. Some of the other folks here have great ideas, so I’ll crib a little from them.

    This lineup would generate some really rotten comics:

    –The Punisher
    –Howard the Duck
    –Gladiator, of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard
    –Man-Thing
    –Dracula
    –Galactus

    Oh, yes…the mismatches…the friction…the utter stupidity…

    Behold: The Defenders 2008!

  14. For DC’s Most Awful Team, I give you…the Tempus Fugitives!

    –Wildfire, exiled by the Time Trapper to the twenty-first century.

    –The Golden Age Air Wave, because a dude in green tights riding power lines on roller skates is rad.

    –Anthro and Kamandi, because why have one blond-haired shirtless nature boy from a distant time when you could have two?

    –Bat Lash, because he is awesome.

    –Aquagirl, just before she got offed in “Crisis.”

    Yep…that’s a bad team.

  15. Actually, I’d buy a Tempus Fugitives mini. I’m that much of a geek for Wildfire and the original Aquagirl.

    As far as The Shroud goes, I see your point. Guess I was blinded by my need to work the Shroud into every Marvel fan-fic I can imagine.

    So let’s replace him with Paladin instead, a right bastard who will sell out anyone for half a buck. And while we’re at it, we can dump Ms. Marvel for the Bronze Age Torpedo – who was supposedly murdered and replaced by a Dire Wraith but suddenly turns up hale and hearty and set to lead this rag-tag team on a mission with cosmic consequences.

    Of course, this all leads up to brining ROM back to the Marvel universe – the other character I always weave into my fan-fiction.

  16. Boy, Moondragon never gets a break. Trips over her delusions of superiority every time. And yet she’s a hero who’s fought the good fight against Thanos himself. Can it be that her real sin is only a failure to toe the politically correct line that the ordinary joe is as good as anybody? Why don’t Strange or the Surfer ever have this problem? Plus, bald telepathic guys are bad news, cf old discussion here; so bald telepathic women, OMG.

    But the thread has reminded me of the old Gerry Conway Iron Man and Daredevil stories where she first appeared. Remember Angar the Screamer? And creepy Mr Klein, with his sinister up-to-the-minute compact cassettes? (Plok dude: this is from the epoch which was the real proving ground of the Marvel Mystique. Can the new writers take the pass and run with it? Key exhibit here.)

    Let’s put the old company back together! We’ll have Heather, Tony, Matt AND Marianne, and let’s throw in Angar – I mean, a little theft and terrorism, a little armaments design, they had their reasons. Yeah, that’ll work.

    At least it should. Because now Heather’s galactic perspective, and her ability to get inside people’s heads and shift things around, can work as leadership qualities.

    She can tell Tony and Angar, “Your ideological differences are something every culture goes through in its technological infancy. Save them for the victory party.” She can help Marianne get her powers and psychoses straightened out; they’re nothing she hasn’t seen before. She can probably give Matt the right psycho-fu exercises to cope with Angar’s bad trip holler. And they in turn can let her know that cleavage-to-the-navel swimsuits are the swingingest on Waikiki Beach, but otherwise don’t convey the kind of authority she deserves to command.

    So what do we have? Not enough to confront Thanos directly, but the devil of an espionage and sabotage unit which could probably take most of his minions.

  17. Okay, those are all some truly terrible ideas. Bravo! Particularly I’m laughing at the “Man-Thing — Dracula — Galactus” punchline…verging on a situation where all I can think of the characters doing is looking at each other and muttering “what the fuck’s going on here?” Also, Anthro and Kamandi — wish I’d thought of that. Putting the Punisher and Elektra both on a team with Three Assholes, Two Feebs, and Captain America is inspired — another case of a strong leader stuck in an impossible situation. You can imagine him reduced to pleading with Quicksilver and Namor to try and get along, while Iceman and Jack Of Hearts feel neglected, and Elektra and the Punisher have this conversation:

    Elektra: This is the guy who’s supposed to be so great?

    Punisher: He’s a war hero.

    Elektra: Oh? And what are you?

    Though I love The Shroud, Paladin’s a much worse leader, so good replacement. Actually ROM would also be ineffective in the Shroud spot, don’t you think? After all, he was really never able to convince anybody of his good intentions, whenever he met superheroes — they always started out shouting “oh my God, that alien robot just murdered that innocent blonde child, let’s get him!” “No, wait…you don’t understand…” Pound, pound, pound. “No, wait…” Ah, ROM. The David Banner of the Marvel Universe, always getting his hand caught in stuff or having boxes fall on him.

  18. Ah, missed you there, Jonathan!

    Hmm…Moondragon, Iron Man, Daredevil, Marianne Rodgers, and Angar The Screamer?

    Now that’s just NUTS. And I think you may be on to something.

    Moony (sorry, Byrne, can’t help myself!) starts to get treated a bit funny during Shooter’s reign on Avengers: can’t blame him too much, I think, since he was just trying to sharpen up characterizations based on what had gone before. But it’s had some long-lasting negative consequences: Moondragon as megabitch, Iron Man as arrogant control freak, etc. etc. In the years that followed his run, some of these traits, not necessarily useless to begin with, became set in stone…with the result that there’s not a lot to do with that Moondragon. A Moondragon who’s a mixture of human and demigod, yes; a Moondragon who’s all abrasive, peremptory mind-goddess, not really. At least, it seems not. After a while, poor Heather had some mud slung onto her, I think — one detects a certain “bald telepathic woman showing skin, OMG SO BAD!” attitude creeping in there, a little chauvinist pedagogy — but should she really be as bad as she’s been portrayed? I mean it would be one thing if it was headed someplace interesting over the long term, but best guess: it isn’t. Which is a shame, she was a decently complex character once. Now she’s just Metron with PMS, or possibly a sapphic Moonstone. It doesn’t seem fair.

    I’d love to see a story like this! Moony’s mature telepathy, DD’s senses, Tony’s electronic sensors (and the strength and the zap-blasts and the basic technological versatility), and then Marianne and Angar’s crazy-making powers. Nice antipathetic personality/politics mixture, nice past relationships set-up…I’d like them to go nine or ten issues and then team up with Hawkeye for a couple of issues.

    But WORST superteam? I’m too intrigued to call it that.

  19. Y’know… here we are knocking ourselves out trying to re-invent the wheel (square one anyway).

    When all we need to is crack open just about ANY issue of SECRET DEFENDERS.

    Now, I loves me some Doctor Strange, and would buy (and HAVE bought) ANYTHING that he is in,on and about.

    But that Secret Defenders line-up (MOST of them anyway) was chock full of crap.

    The line-up’s went something like this:

    – Doctor Strange, Wolverine, Nomad, Spider-Woman II, Darkhawk
    (Doc presents: Who’s Hawt ; 1990 edition)

    – Doctor Strange, Punisher, Namorita, Sleepwalker

    – Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Captain America
    (Now THIS was a good line-up)

    – Silver Surfer, Thunderstrike, War-Machine

    – Doctor Strange, Northstar, Nova, Hulk

    – Thanos, Nitro, Super Skrull, Titanium Man, Rhino
    (weird mix of cosmic and earth-level baddies)

    – Nitro, Super Skrull, Titanium Man, Rhino, Geatar
    (even less interesting with the loss of Thanos)

    – Doctor Druid, Luke Cage, Deadpool *then w/the addition of Cadaver & Shadow-Woman/Sepulcre
    (actually, fairly interesting potential)

    – Doctor Druid, Luke Cage, Deadpool, Cadaver, Shadow-Woman, Iron Fist, Giant Man

    – Doctor Druid, Cadaver, Shadow-Woman, Iceman, Archangel

    – Doctor Druid, Cadaver, Shadow-Woman, USAgent, Spider-Woman II

    – Doctor Druid, Cadaver, Sepulcre, Deathlok, Drax, Dagger

    – Doctor Druid, Cadaver, Sepulcre

    Some sad stuff here.
    So sad.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  20. Wow, some of those make me laugh — yes, Drax and Dagger on a team together, gee why hasn’t anybody thought of that before?

    But who the hell are Cadaver and Sepulchre?

    And in whose bankrupt imagination is “Cadaver” a cool superhero name?

    These are wild.

  21. Who was Shadow-Woman, for that matter? Or Geatar?

    Okay, just for fun I’m going to do another:

    Scott Lang Ant-Man
    Diablo
    Sasquatch
    Foolkiller
    Moon Knight
    Hellcat
    Original Human Torch

    Obviously Patsy’s the only thing like an experienced superhero leader there…however in combat, Diablo inevitably usurps her position a little bit: Master of Elements. Foolkiller wants Ant-Man, Sasquatch, and the Torch dead, in that order, just on general principles…and he’s thinking seriously about Patsy, too. Meanwhile, Moon Knight wants Foolkiller dead, and Diablo is planning to pretty much kill or enslave or dissect everybody as soon as the crisis is over. Sasquatch is a dick; Ant-Man’s a little out of his depth; the Torch thinks every one of these people should probably be reported to the authorities.

    That was fun, but not exactly spot-on, I’ll admit.

    Oh crap, I was going to use this to illustrate my big point, but now it’s just slipped my mind.

    I’ll get back to you directly I remember it.

  22. And apologies to RAB: of course, as he points out, the real interesting story would be Adventure #2, if one could concoct some way of making it happen. Which was what the original Defenders got into, which was fascinating — because there was really no organic reason for those three to be together at all, except they had been together once before.

    …Aaaaand I think I’m starting to remember. As I said, Dave gets kudos for making sure his team has a bonafide natural leader in it, who’s nevertheless hamstrung by the team dynamic. But Jonathan’s initial offering really starts to nail the “what the…?” element of no chemistry (or if you prefer, no motive) — Thor, Jubilee, Deadpool, USAgent, Morbius? This is a good first step towards the level of cognitive dissonance on display in “Man-Thing, Dracula, Galactus”: these characters simply function in storytelling spheres that exclude one another. Their first challenge would be even figuring out how to work together. And then if they accidentally interlock for ten minutes, that pattern of cooperation is probably unrepeatable: in all likelihood, to try it again would be to get it wrong, and have it not work at all.

    Which, as RAB points out, would be where the interesting challenge would come in.

    So we have a little Venn diagram going on here, I think: one domain is all about the unintelligibility of the team framework, and the other’s all about an underlying sense that gets made by an overtly-screwy combination, where conflicts are made more by temperaments and past relationships than by superhero epilepsy. In other words, on one extreme you’ve got Harvey’s offerings (not to mention the Secret Defenders lists), which are basically “Riverworldian” jam-ups that frustrate proper structure completely — and on the other extreme there’s Carter’s inspired grouping of similarities that produce terminal friction exactly according to how well they work together professionally.

    Both great appraoches, needless to say!

    And then in the middle, we have things that almost could work, that I’d even kind of like to see: Mike’s Rocket Racer/Gambit/Karnak/Doc Samson/Man-Thing team, the Keeper’s first version with the Shroud, Clone’s evil brew, and P-Tor’s room full of profound near-familial irritation that nevertheless goes just a step too damn far to even be a traditional Marvel mag. You could push that one right over the top by adding in Black Bolt. Brother, that would be a real mess. “Secret Defenders Fantastic Four Edition” — yowitch.

    I’d place Jonathan’s second effort with Moondragon over on the sense-making side of the diagram — I’d want to read at least a year’s worth of stories about that team, as I’d like to read at least one more story with Carter’s New Batman Family . Similarly, Dave’s entry is really somewhat plausible. Over at the other extreme, Harvey and Jonathan #1 are joined by the Keeper’s second version, the one with Paladin and Torpedo instead of the Shroud and Ms. Marvel. Because nine times out of ten that just wouldn’t work!

    Let’s see, is that everybody…?

    So, all of these are really excellent candidates for the WORST superteam (and I hope there might be a couple more to come yet, because for me at least this is really fun to read!), but if you will, we’ve got Secret Defenders on one side, which couldn’t work, and Secret Champions on the other, which could. And in the intersection of those two we’ve got You’re A Very Weird Person To Think Of This, Because I Just Don’t Know.

    That’s how I see this breaking down, anyway! Of course I’m open to more astute analyses…

    So what’s to be esteemed more? Well, I like each of these approaches very much indeed, and personally I’m very drawn to the ones that could actually work, the “Secret Champions” — Carter and Jonathan #2 have really piqued my interest, and it should go without saying that a team featuring the Shroud bossing Gene Simmons around…well, wow…

    Yet at the same time I’d be all a-twitter at seeing a comic based on Mike’s and P-Tor’s lineups, not to mention Clone’s.

    And then of course there are the surrealistic charms of Harvey, Jonathan #1, and Keeper #2, which can’t be overestimated.

    So now that I’ve equivocated all over the place…well, any thoughts on my breakdown of things? Too simplistic? Needlessly reductive? Neither too hot nor too cold, but just right?

    I’m noodling here, I guess, is what I’m saying.

  23. This thread has outstripped any degree of bad Leonard Pinth-Garnell could ever have imagined. It’s like watching grandmasters of awfulness in competition. I feel privileged merely to have read it.

    Except that Harvey loses points for inventing something as terrific as the Tempus Fugitives. Dude, you just wrote the pitch for Architecture and Morality Book Two, is what you did there.

  24. Ooooooh, I totally forgot to say that, before! Quite correct, RAB: A+M Book II is just what it is. It’s the Anthro and Kamandi thing that really gives it away, I think.

  25. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with all that diagram stuff, and this thread is one of the best comics-related things I’ve read in ages.

    A lot better than Secret Defenders, at any rate.

  26. You’re too kind, as usual. To clarify, my latter team wasn’t actually meant to be teh worts, I just started by questioning any assumption that Moondragon has to be a universal pain in the neck – and wound up saying that chemistry is where you find it. I rather like that team, and I’ll tell you what, a year or so of plain hard frantic action with a small team would do wonders for both Iron Man and Daredevil just now.

    My takes so far:

    Carter’s thoughtfully assembled team is like an exercise in chemistry despite itself. I don’t really know the characters, but it sounds like what an actually adult series would be. His fatal flaw is having Crazy Jane, who just cannot help bringing positive chemistry to any team she’s in, as she confounds our every notion of what’s reasonable, while cutting to the quick of our protective instincts. (Incidentally, if I’d come up with a name like Cuitlamiztli Carter, why would I conceivably admit to having ever had another?)

    I would have thought Harvey had nailed the nadir, with Galactus on any team whatsoever. It’s just that I hear this cigar-roughened quack, saying “It’s the Nexus of All Realities, Lofty – you don’t know where it’s been. Now put it down.”

    But oh, P-TOR. You have laid bare the … uh … well, the phrase that comes to mind is, “Soggy and hard to light.” Doctor Strange, Punisher, Namorita and Sleepwalker is just the kind of thing I was going after. Imagine it! “I had this &*@#&ing awful dream …!” And then the Rhino says “That’s nothing …”.

  27. It is funny that you should mention it, but I was GOING to add Black Bolt to my line-up of “Leaders & Kings”, but I had thought against it.

    Honestly, that would have made the mind explode.

    There are two warring sides to his inclusion that both hinge upon the simple fact that Black Bolt’s whole bag-of-tricks consists of being pointed at things as a B.F.G.
    He’s the non-lethal equivalent to the Ultimate Nullifier.

    He is so often shown as the silent, brooding monarch to the point that we don’t really get any sense of “leadership” from him, except from what his wife, Medusa, SAYS he is thinking.

    Now, if you wanted a comedy of sorts, I would put forth the Family dynamic of the Inhumans as a dramady.
    Black Bolt, the hen-pecked figurehead. His wife the REAL power of the family.
    And the rest of the Inhumans as 2dimensional sit-com cut-ups to fill in the background.

    But, in the realm of the TEAM DYNAMIC, Black Bolt is simply the big gun you keep behind your back, until you feel the need to fire it as a last ditch effort.
    He’s not really functional.

    Especially when you note that he CAN’T be used except as a one-time device (because to do so flattens out both friend and foe AND playing field).

    You have this awesome potential powerhouse on your team, who is also a natural leader…
    but he CAN’T be a useful leader without proper communication (try reading sign-language while the “Wrecking Crew” is messing up your shit), and he CAN’T use his power without becoming more of a clear and present danger than the guys you are FIGHTING.

    SO, he just stands around and you have Mr Fantastic warning the villains (in his most fatherly tone): “If you do NOT stop behaving like this, I WILL use him. Do NOT make me use him.”

    He’s the proverbial one-shot cannon.
    As such, in the case study of bad teams, he is ONLY useful in the fact that is is NOT useful.

    Therein lies Black Bolt’s dilemma, and the focal point of his “bad teammate” bonafides.

    While his team is getting their clock’s cleaned, all he can do is look on and shrug with a helpless look on his face, thinking:
    “I’d LOVE to help you out, Namor, but my hands are tied.”

    I’m suddenly reminded of the Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck cartoon where they’re vaudevillians, and as the ultimate act of one-upsmanship, Daffy performs an AMAZING act, which culminates in him blowing himself up.
    A GREAT thing to have in your arsenal, but as Daffy’s ghost explains (when pressed for an encore): “…but, I can only do it once”.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  28. Oh, and to answer your questions;

    Shadow-Woman is the reincarnated aspect of Dr Druid’s one-time love (from a different lifetime back in King Arthur’s days). The fun part is that SHE was a HE back then (a druid), and Druid’s past-live incarnation was the female (a princess).
    Somewhere along the line Shadow-Woman DIED and Druid made a pact with a demon so that he could keep possession of her soul (to be animated and controlled BY Druid at his whim).

    Her powers are tied to Morgan Le Fey and Magnus, and she wore a copy of Spider-Woman’s (jessica drew) costume.

    After she discovered her true origins and rebelled against Druid she changed her name to Sepulcre.

    Here’s her bio:
    http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/shadowoman.htm

    ——-

    Cadaver is another piece of work.
    He is the resurrected body of a young man who was killed in a battle with the Secret Defenders.
    He was brought back to life with power from the Moebius Stone and was revealed to be Agamotto’s immortal champion and weilder of the Sword Of Bone.

    His story is actually pretty interesting and deeply involved in the long-run of the Mystical end of the M.U.
    http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/cadaversd.htm

    —–

    Oh, and I forgot to add COGNOSCENTI (Joshua Price, Al & Rose Steadbaur) to the final line-up of Secret Defenders.

    They are a trinity of eternal “all-knowing” individuals (a young man, a severed head in a glass jar and an infant; respectively).

    Long story short;
    eternal protectors of life, emissaries of Gaea, and on speaking terms with the Vishanti.

    Weird, wild and wacky stuff.
    http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix3/cognoscentisd.htm

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  29. Let’s see how my “team” could work.

    –The Punisher
    –Howard the Duck
    –Gladiator, of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard
    –Man-Thing
    –Dracula
    –Galactus

    Is this Nextwave, Volume Two? Pretty much.

    Okay, HTD is clearly the reader identification figure. He’s the one who pegs how insane it is and will keep us up-to-date on how dangerous any given situation is. Teams benefit from reader identification figures, dang it. He’s also the team wit.

    Gladiator is the closest to a mainstream superhero. He’s basically Superman, except he’s a purple-skinned dude with a quasi-mohawk and severe confidence issues. If he loses confidence, he loses his powers. Yes, Superman as a psychologically frail man…that has potential. Putting him on a team with the balloon-popping Howard may lead to frequent power outages. Let’s say he’s in exile from the Shi’ar Empire for crimes unknown… That’ll give a storyline or five. He’s our tie to space adventures and Big Four Color Madness. (I originally chose Sentry, but Gladiator has so many more possibilities.)

    The Punisher is the team’s resident Hard Man/Lunatic. He’ll constantly decry the loopiness of the cosmic missions and get into many a fight with Count Vlad Dracula. I see him as a form of comic relief, truth be told. He’s also the only member of the group who can pass for a normal human, so he’ll be the “undercover” guy.

    Man-Thing provides the mysticism. HTD will establish a “Kenny/Godzilla” relationship with MT: a quasi-psychic bond of friendship, like those little Japanese boys (always named “Kenny”) so often did with Godzilla. MT will follow HTD around like a puppy, and will mutilate anyone who threatens Howard. Why is he in the group? Because he won’t leave Howard alone.

    Dracula provides the leadership. Yes, I’m serious. Well, as serious as this team can be, which isn’t very. But think about it — Drac was a leader of men when he was alive and the King of the Vampires after his death. He’s suave, brilliant, charismatic, ruthless, sexy, and a snappy dresser. Who else could lead this crew? Howard’s totally unsuited for it; the Punisher’s a violent lunatic and the quintessential “angry loner;” Man-Thing has the brainpower of a learning-disabled gerbil; Gladiator is a fragile basket case who doesn’t understand humans or the Earth; and Galactus…well…to crib from Darkseid, Galactus Is. Why is Dracula leading this insane coalition of powerful and bizarre into adventure after adventure? Hmmm…

    Galactus is the Big Mystery. He’s a literal force of nature. It’d be like a hurricane joining the Miami PD. Since the book is clearly less-than-serious, Big G would be the comic relief. Something Traumatic happened to him, and he’s not the Big G we know. He demonstrates oddball personality traits (shifting from Ali G impressions to spending an entire storyline acting like a Skrull accountant to speaking only in song). He can shrink to human size, or even smaller, but usually doesn’t choose to.

    An extra bit of fun for Galactus is his appearance. Big G is not truly humanoid. Rather, he is impossible to see accurately, and each species sees him as a giant version of his own. Thus, when Howard sees him, he sees a giant humanoid duck; Man-Thing sees him as a giant swamp beast; Dracula sees him as the God of Vampires (which, really, he kinda is); the Punisher sees him as traditionally portrayed; and Gladiator…what Gladiator sees when he looks at the G-Man is another mystery.

    What could possibly bring these characters together? What could possibly keep them together?

    Hmmm…the Nexus of All Realities in the Everglades vomits up a shattered Galactus. The first issue begins with a double-page splash of an unconscious Galactus in the middle of the swamp. He’s covered in vines and muck, smoke pouring from his eye-holes.

    Man-Thing is already there, o’course. Howard is in Florida with Beverly, looking for work and tied up in something quasi-shady. The Punisher is there busting heads as per usual. Gladiator is already on Earth, powerless, emotionally shattered, and in exile, in the area because Florida has a high concentration of aliens passing for humans. He’s bumming around with other Shi’ar exiles, a Badoon ethnologist, and a couple of space tourists.

    Count Dracula begins the series as a pile of ashes in an urn. He is resurrected by sorceress Jennifer Kale. She explains to him that the Nexus of Realities has brought forth a horrible thing, and that something must be done. The Universe is undergoing a massive change in its very nature, a nature that has rejected Galactus. All is unstable, and the cosmos must be shepherded to its Next Level.

    Drac, naturally, is torn. He doesn’t give a crap about anyone but himself. However, if the universe goes blooey, so does he. Self-preservation requires that he ally himself with the Sweet Young Thang that is Jennifer Kale. He asks what he can do. She says she’s done her part, and she must go. The bringers of death must become the bringers of life, she whispers, then dissipates into a cloud of butterflies.

    The group is held together thusly:

    –Drac sees a “larger purpose” to it all. He’s not going to redeem himself, nor does he want to. He simply doesn’t want to die (again), and knows the success of the team is his only hope. He also relishes the opportunity to wield weapons like Gladiator.

    –Howard has no place else to go. Maybe he becomes mystically bound to Dracula? If he ever drifts more than a thousand yards from the King of Vampires, he teleports into Drac’s lap? Heh. I like that.

    –Man-Thing won’t leave Howard.

    –Gladiator needs a direction, any direction. He’s never thought for himself a day in his life, and he craves an escape from the responsibility of doing so. An aristocrat tells him what to do and he does it? Perfect. Of course, his brief time as his own man has left its mark…

    –The Punisher finds that this group keeps putting him in choice positions to slaughter lots and lots of bad people. So he hangs around for the chance to bust caps at targets he’d normally never reach. He also wants to “keep an eye” on Dracula. He and Howard hate each other more than can be described, as the Punisher must be absolutely morally certain at all times to function, and Howard regards moral certainty as self-delusion.

    –Galactus is the wild card, as described before. The group revolves around him, and is in many ways the “Galactus-Handler Society.”

    Adventures would involve

    –The Big Cosmic Hoo-Hah, that would involve Eternity, Death, the In-Betweener, the Magus, the mighty star empires of Shi’ar, Kree, and Skrull;

    –Earth-bound conspiracies involving mystics using synthetic tryptophan in genetically-modified turkeys to lull millions into comas for nefarious purposes;

    –The Search for Batroc’s Brain. Through an amazing set of circumstances, French mercenary, savate expert, and all-around doofus Georges Batroc is discovered to be vital to the future of the human race! But some bastards have stolen his brain!

    I really, really like insane comics.

  30. Oh, and because I haven’t typed enough…

    Moondragon is a great character, and she’s easy to save from the Curse of Pointless Bitchery. She has a massive internal contradiction built into her backstory. Just address that, and you’re golden.

    What’s Moondragon’s deal? Why is she a pain in the ass?

    Because she was raised by Space Gods, but is not herself a Space God. She’s a self-hating human. She wishes she were an Eternal of Titan, but she’s not and never will be. Reconciling her “divine” upbringing with her heritage is her key personality trait.

    You can get a lot of mileage out of that. It’s sympathetic in its core, yet can generate all kinds of jerky behavior. Contradictory behavior seems normal, and that sense of “I’m not who I want to be, and I can’t help it, and it makes me freak out” is a basic element of the human condition.

    I think she’s a freakin’ great character.

  31. Here’s a few quickies for “Wha-HUH?” type of stories:

    ——-

    Thanos and DeathUrge starring in:
    “I Love Her to Death”

    They each go calling upon Death only to bump into each other on her “doorstep”.
    Awkward!

    Now they find themselves locked in a competition for her attentions.
    Hilarity (and mayhem) ensues.

    (Yes, I know that Deathurge is currently trapped in the body of a squirrel on Earth, but maybe THAT’s what led Death to him.
    Death likes fuzzy animals.
    Who knew?

    Sensing the power of Deathurge inside his fuzzy form, she returned him to his former self with a kiss.
    After that, they started seeing each other semi-romantically.

    Only to have Thanos keep interfering with his attempts to woo her away.)

    C’mon.
    There’s some good stuff available here.

    ——

    I want to whip up one like this:
    (but am having a little trouble reconciling the ending)

    The “perfect” buddy-team-up:

    DAREDEVIL & BLACK BOLT

    One can’t speak, one can’t see.

    Yes, I KNOW that Daredevil has the “radar sense” and with that he’s been shown to be able to “see” depth and such, but in the presence of Black Bolt, the tuning-fork on Bolt’s head screws up the fine-tuning of DD’s radar, so all he can see are outlines and silhouettes.

    That would effectively stop DD from being able to read lips if BB decides to try and mouth the shape of the words he wants to say.

    After a Kree Genetic bomb goes off (or accidental spilling of Terrigan mists) the entire world population is granted Superhuman abilities.

    However, Bolt ALREADY has mutated and DD was blinded by radioactive waste, which has made it impossible for the new gene-bomb to “heal” him.

    Maybe DD’s radar-sense bouncing off of BB’s tuning fork causes some slight cognitive problems – like a slight mental retardation – to BB.
    Perhaps, the mental effect works BOTH ways. Now they’re BOTH reduced in capacity.

    Now, these two men; once so far above their fellows are now, in effect, “handicapped…er…handiCAPABLE”.

    I want to do SOMETHING with this, but I’d have to find a way to keep them from separating. Something that forces them to STAY together.
    But it needs to be played for laughs.
    Almost like an old Laurel and Hardy or 3 Stooges bit.
    Lots of slapstick.
    Perhaps a 3rd team-mate who is in some way “challenged”.

    Or perhaps, ignoring the whole “gene-bomb” thing, we could just have them forced to babysit Franklin Richards and Lockjaw.
    The precocious 10year old wunderkind, and the oversized, energetic pooch are thrust into their care as the FF are suked into a ONE-WAY portal to the Negative Zone, and the dual effect of Radar Sense/Tuning Fork effectively reduces their capacity for higher thought and effective motor control.

    Now it can go along the routes of “Home Alone”, with the adults filling the role of the burglers just TRYING to keep up with Franklin and Lockjaw.

    Eh… what do YOU think?

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  32. Anybody noticed that most of the ideas here have been for Marvel characters? I don’t think you can do it as well with DC characters. Which is one reason why I haven’t piped up myself.

  33. I’ll make a real stab at DC in a bit. Won’t be as good as Carter’s, though!

    Harvey: well, congratulations! You’ve just pitched several issues of Steve Gerber-written HTD, in the tradition of “Star Wauugh”! Now, if only there were something going on in the Marvel Universe he could use this set-up to parody…

    You bastard! This totally works! Immediately I’m thinking of Howard and Man-Thing leaving, then Howard teleports back into Dracula’s lap: “at last I will kill you, duck!” Then Man-Thing comes shambling back. “Sigh…all right, get off me.” The Dracula-as-strategist thing was I believe referenced by Warren Ellis in Planetary, and it’s a very good point.

    P-Tor: just give me a minute or three, there’s something about a Daredevil/Black Bolt team-up that’s got a certain something to it…just need to digest…right now I’m imagining the whole comic drawn in DD’s “radar sense” style, nothing but concentric circles, silhouettes, and thought balloons…

    I think it’s possible you may have come up with a true zero-chemistry team. Can you add any members to it? Since Black Bolt’s never done the lip-reading thing (too risky! Keep your damn mouth sealed, idiot!) I think you could have DD keep his regular senses…another funny thing that occurs to me is that Black Bolt can probably only write in Kree, so that wouldn’t help either…

    Very interesting!

  34. Ricochet Plotbunny Rides Again:

    Silver Surfer and Antboy!

    See, the Surfer is cruising around, musing on the human condition the way he does, when he comes upon a 10 year old kid doing “Galactus practice” on an anthill. If only these beings could truly communicate, he thinks, couldn’t they overcome their differences? This is Old School Surfer and he can too transmogrify living bodies, also he takes a peremptory attitude to morals, so he makes it so.

    Well, the ants turn out to be rather more ruthless than the kid, natural imperialists in fact, but they have their virtues too. He gets on with them pretty well, and the Surfer flies off, a job well done. But you know, his parents freak, how can he go to school with those antennae? And now the ants have human thinking, they launch into an industrial revolution, subjugate the other anthills for miles around, start tunneling for oil, and the gas station storage tank is just sitting there.

    Surfer comes back, finds kid out after curfew running around yelling, “Hey, live and let live, guys, remember?” and anthills bursting into flame. Fortunately at just that point there’s attack by oh I dunno, Ulik King of Trolls, and it’s Marvel Alliance of Convenience time. Then the kid and the ants make the “We will use our powers only for good” pledge, and the Amazing Antboy is ready for at least a ten-page monthly slot in the back of Journey into Mystery. Ants in Space. Ants at the Earth’s Core. “If Paste-Pot Pete Prevails …!”

  35. Jonathan Burns,

    Your Surfer/AntBoy pitch reminds me slightly of an episode of FUTURAMA.

    Bender is accidentally shot out into space, he drifts for quite some time, becoming more contemplative and “cosmic” in thinking (as he is being spoken to by GOD).

    He finds that a meteorite that has stuck to his body has tiny life-forms on it. He is now worshiped as God and he tries to help steer the “people” in better ways of understanding, only for it all to end in fire and pain.

    Obviously, it’s not quite what you wrote there, but I was immediately reminded of the FUTURAMA episode.

    Just my faulty mental wiring.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  36. Did you guys know that DRACULA and Howard the DUCK do HAVE a history?

    It was in Howard’s b/w magazine # 5.

    Dracula is weakened and looking for nourishment.

    He puts the bite on Howard the Duck, who he mistakes for a midget in a costume (desperate times and all).
    He gags on the drakes blood and flies off, cursing the Duck.

    It wasn’t a fatal bite, but it was enough to turn Howard into a pseudo-vampire; Drakula.

    Eventually, Howard and his friends team up with Howard H. Howard (famed writer of Vampire fiction and pathetic vampire hunter), to defeat Dracula.

    However, Dracula tells HHH that if he is destroyed, the hack writer will have nothing to write about.

    Despite protestations by HTD and friends, HHH saves Dracula, and is turned into a vampire for his trouble.

    —-

    So, that Howard teleportation spell would probably further irritate Dracula.

    Just thought I’d toss that put there.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  37. Of course Dracula and Howard also have shared history in the form of Hellcow, from Giant-Size Man Thing #5. (I don’t accept any non-Gerber Howard stories as ever having existed.)

  38. Also, Busiek and Larsen hilariously nailed the old-style Surfer’s “peremptory attitude” in their Defenders.

    There’s Namor and the Hulk fighting.

    Along comes Surfy, distantly noting the cosmic sadness of these creatures, who could reach so high, descending into such mindless, brutish behaviour.

    And then he says:

    “Perhaps a cosmic BOLT will separate you!”

    And he zaps them.

    Now that’s storytelling economy.

    Ah! Got it.

    Daredevil, Black Bolt, and Gerber-era Wundarr. Daredevil’s narration is practically all in thought-balloons, Black Bolt’s is entirely in third-person captions, and Wundarr’s is all in speech-balloons.

    That could’ve come straight out of Gerber’s 70s Marvel work. I see it as being somewhat similar in tone to Omega. Art by Jim Starlin? Oh my God, that is so messed up. I would so read that. MTIO # Whatever is Thing/Crystal…MTIO # Whatever-Plus-One is Thing/Daredevil, where Crystal’s in some sort of trouble, and they have to save her. But at the end of that issue, Ben has to take off with Lockjaw to find her, and can’t leave Wundarr roaming around NYC unsupervised…so he drafts DD. Ben and Lockjaw vanish, and DD tries to deal with the situation. But then Black Bolt shows up looking for Crystal too, and DD has to explain to him that Ben and Lockjaw have already left. Hmm, don’t know why Black Bolt’s looking for Crystal, maybe she ran off, maybe she was possessed by the Puppet Master, it could be almost anything at all. Normally it’d be Medusa, Gorgon, Triton, Karnak (in that order of likelihood) looking for her…for some reason it’s Black Bolt.

    …You know, if I filled that reason in, I’d sort of be making a four-issue alternate-history Gerber MTIO run, wouldn’t I? I can think of a lot of typically Steve reasons for this all to come out this way, actually…I kind of picture early MTU and MTIO as sometimes being a lot like Iron Chef: you get a call from Roy or Len or whoever telling you who the secret ingredient is, and then you’ve got like a week to crank out a script in your signature manner.

    Anyway then you go from MTIO into three very strange issues of MTU without Spider-Man…or alternatively, three very weird issues of Daredevil or the Defenders. How fun would it be to have DD try and just get Black Bolt and Wundarr to Dr. Strange’s place, but then suddenly you get all this After Hours/Omega stuff happening? How often has Black Bolt been to NYC, circa 1975? Like never? Ahhh…Steve would’ve so killed on something like that.

    That would be over on the wha-huh side of the Venn diagram, I think, just because it would’ve been beyond even a non-team concept: I say I imagine it with a tone similar to Omega’s because Omega peeled off the fight action from the story so artfully — peeled off the plot from the story so artfully? — that all the action just became shit that happened. Wundarr, Black Bolt, and Daredevil could never make a real team at all, never really work in concert (though I’d love to read that story!), it’d just be two totally different perspectives with a foil in the middle. “Concerning A Dialogue Of Two World Systems”, you could call it…

    Anyway that’s the sort of thing I come up with when I drink beer before having my oatmeal.

    Anybody got a better third for DD and Black Bolt? I’m pretty happy with mine…

  39. Also, form Harvey’s Very Good description of Moondragon’s problem, clearly what she needs is to run into somebody who’s “only” human (or reasonably close to), who knows the Eternals but doesn’t have Eternal-envy, to serve as a mirror/conflict.

    Captain Marvel would’ve been perfect, of course.

    And not that I don’t love the crazy tight Moony/Tony/DD/Marianne/Angar team, because I DO (and you’re soooo right, Jonathan, about IM and DD only needing a year or two of some frantic action in the MMM to fix ’em both up), but…

    For Moondragon to get her face slapped, and her head turned around, who would you suggest? Dr. Strange? Namor? (Oh my God, Moondragon gets sent by Mentor to tour the old Defenders line-up…slight nod to MODOK’s positive comments about the Headmen in the BuLars Defenders — but no.) Spider-Man? Longshot? Starhawk? (He’s out there in current Marvel time right now, by the way…just merged with Aleta and left Arcturus.) Quasar? Nova? Ben Grimm? Comet-Man? Star-Lord? The Red Guardian? Son Of Satan? The High Evolutionary? Mantis? Man-Thing?

    Okay, now I’m just drivelling. Where’s that oatmeal…?

    And P-Tor: yuck. I’ll have to wait for fortification to check those links out, last time I did anything like that I found out a bunch of thing’s about Marvel’s cosmic landscape I really didn’t want to know.

    But I will check ’em!

  40. Oh, and Matthew:

    Batman
    Superman
    Brainiac-5
    Lightray
    Green Arrow
    Wildfire
    Zatanna

    Conflict for Batman and Brainy, both used to being the smartest guy in the room, usually acknowledged as such by Superman. Further conflict with Lightray — not a utilitarian, ridiculously powerful, and with the authority of a New God no less — Superman occasionally defers to this guy, too. Wildfire to make it still harder for Brainy to take the reins — here are some people who can go up against the authority of a superior intellect, and win. Maybe he likes that. Also he feels Lightray understands him. Green Arrow for Lightray to approve of in his turn, and thus hamper Batman’s customary assumption of authority even more than usual. Meanwhile, there’s Zatanna to hamper both Batman and Green Arrow through the guilty backstory they share.

    It’s a group that’ll never run out of either power, or plans…but which plans? And, what good’s the power, without a plan? Both Bats and Brainy are good at anticipating, but double the anticipation doesn’t necessarily mean double the effectiveness. Superman works best in a team setting if he has a little coherent direction, meanwhile Ollie, Lightray, and Wildfire are more “go with the flow” types. Zatanna’s in the middle.

    The problem is, in this arrangement, Superman has to be the leader. But as Scipio has noted, he’s not a team leader so much as he’s an MVP…so…

    In sufficient heat of the moment, they split into three groups: Batman, Zatanna, and Wildfire; Brainy and Superman; Lightray and Green Arrow. Of the three groups, the first two work pretty well (the Brainiac-5/Superman team works the best, although it’s a bit weird for Superman), but Green Arrow can’t really keep up with Lightray, so he has to boss him a little…which isn’t too easy, and also not too rewarding. It’s a terrible arrangement: Batman’s got, like, the mini-Outsiders…Brainiac-5 and Superman are like the Legion stripped down to a single dynamic…and Green Arrow and Lightray are basically in an issue of Brave and the Bold together. They totally need someone else. Aquaman. Saturn Girl. Orion. Anybody. At least Orion would be a particular kind of irritant, something for everybody to worry about. A kind of glue. Maybe a reason for Superman to really step up into a leader’s role, and start telling people what to do?

    Well, that’s my best shot, anyway…

  41. Well, I like the idea of Franklin Richards desperately mediating between Daredevil and Black Bolt. “We need a TAXI! One of the YELLOW ones!” Given the kid some agency at last. Wundarr is okay, but only because he’s too oblique to have any predictable chemistry with. But it would be cool if he, or Black Bolt, just did the right thing without preamble, because they make sense of things in ways we don’t. What we have here is a fish out of water exercise, like Peter David’s inspired Spidey/Invisible Woman team-up where it became significant that Parker doesn’t know how to drive. Never having had to.

    P-Tor, you win. Deathurge + Thanos, exactly like you say. Next Valentine’s Day Special. Wow. Squirrels!

    Plok, who to pal Moondragon up with, to let the steam out of her inferiority complex? Wyatt Wingfoot. Seriously.

  42. Oh, SHIT, Jonathan!

    You’ve nailed it. Moondragon and Wyatt Wingfoot. Oh my God. My mind is blown.

    The advantage of Franklin is that he’s doubtless met, seen, or at least heard of Black Bolt. One pictures him taking Black Bolt by the hand. And he’s got his dream-self too, to work with. Hey, what if DD, out of all the non-cosmic Marvel heroes, was the only one who could perceive Frank’s dream-self? With the exception of Black Bolt, who could tune in on it too.

    It might work. I still like Wundarr, but I’m not saying anything against Franklin. It’s just linking and joining, instead of terminally fracturing. One could imagine Franklin being able to interpret Black Bolt’s moods as Medusa does, even.

    Hmm, haven’t thought the Franklin thing through enough, I perceive…

  43. And not to shut down this very stimulating discussion at all, but shall we think about voting for somebody sometime soon? Say give a top four — one from each of the areas on the Venn diagram (as you perceive them, which is perhaps not necessarily as I’ve laid out the team-identifications), and one wild card. I’m ineligible, obviously, and also declare myself to only have one four-fold vote to cast, same as anyone else.

    I just want to have that prize in my house for a couple of days, see? And I need an excuse to go and get it.

    At your leisure, anyone who’s still reading this.

  44. Or have we just gone right past that by now?

    I’d be happy making this an ungoverned thread, too. Whatever anybody thinks, I’m happy going along.

    Sleepy now.

  45. I think it should probably be you that makes the final arbitration.

    We can all posit our feelings for what we like, but in the end, it’s gotta be your call.

    I’ll have to go down the list and re-read them all.

    Oh, and Wundarr works well IF it’s the child-like Wundarr and not Aquarian as he later became.

    Although, Aquarian would make a GREAT team-mate to butt heads with, what with his whole Christ-like attitude and all.

    He would need to be put in place with some seedy or violent characters:

    Punisher? (“Peace and enlightenment will save these souls Mr Castle.” “Yeah. They’ll have PLENTY of light coming thru them after I’ve filled them full of HOLES! *Blam!* *Blam!* *Blam!*)

    She-Hulk? (“The law is the law, Aquarian!” “But is it JUSTICE?” You can do some Les Miserables type stuff with that).

    BOTH?? Oh dear LORD would THAT be a trainwreck.
    THAT is JUDGE, JURY & EXECUTIONER!
    Aquarian as higher power of decision, She-Hulk trying to be logical and within the boundries of LAW, and PUNISHER meeting out justice of his own variety”.

    See?
    This has to wrap up soon, or I could do this forever.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  46. AAAGGGHH!!!

    I was just in the shower and came up with some GOLD!

    First off;

    Moondragon, at a crossroads in her life, aware that she has this problem of “self” goes on a journey – a spirit quest so to speak.
    Each issue she meets with a different character who imparts some perspective into her condition and how to achieve balance and harmony with herself.

    She speaks with:

    Starhawk (male/female) – the dichotomy of self, the need to understand the natural schisms of our personalities and the need to find the balance.

    Captain Marvel/Photon (Monica Rambeau) – to accept oneself and understand ones worth – whether or not anyone else sees it.
    One of the most powerful of heroes, a one-time leader of the Avengers, and at the end of the day isn’t really afforded much in the way of respect. Is STILL given an attitude by the likes of guys like Luke Cage, and has been part of many bottom-barrel team revamps (Nextwave) where (despite the possible cultural hampering of being black AND a woman) if it weren’t for her own feelings of self-worth, she would have thrown in the towel years ago.
    “Sometimes girl, you just gotta love yourself. Who you ARE, not who you might be or who THEY think you are. You can’t go ’round thinking that you poop roses, ’cause honey, that’s just not the way it is. You can reach for MORE. That’s always good. But, be proud of who you are.”

    GAH! I had another character I was going to have her have a deep discussion with (with a lot of humor and maybe some pathos)…but now I forgot who it was to be!

    All because JUST at the time I thought of it, I had the NEXT thought.
    ————

    And this is the one that got me to jump out of the shower and type before I could even comb my hair.

    BROTHER VOODOO, finally ticked off at the utter lack of respect he gets in the hero community, decides he’s had enough.

    (Either in an attempt at being a one-man super-team – to combat a huge menace – OR in a “Dark Brother” phase [good guys go bad for a day all the time])…
    he uses his ability to animate the dead to resurrect the corpses of (get ready…)

    every dead A.I.M. & HYDRA agent.
    Waves of rotting dudes in Yellow Beekeeper outfits, and an army of green-clad corpses, who for every one that gets shot to pieces – LITERALLY TWO MORE take his place.

    When the force that he is opposing makes short shrift of these undead drones, Brother Voodoo calls out the BIG GUN.

    He brings forth the animated corpse (maybe even JUST in skeletal form) of:
    (waiiiit foooor iiiiiit….)

    DEVIL DINOSAUR & MOONBOY.

    He sends them out to just kick all kinds of ass.

    Then, when the battle is ALL over, and he stands victorious, he is STILL denied any respect because NOW there is a city full of dismembered cadavers – EVERYWHERE.

    He re-re-animates their remains, and he (and they) all slowly walk, slink, hobble, hop, crawl, drag etc… themselves off into the sunset.
    Pariahs.

    Now how’s THAT?

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  47. Oh, while I STILL can’t recall the 3rd character for Moondragon’s spirit quest, I was going to AGREE that someone like WYATT WINGFOOT (or perhaps RED WOLF) would be a good way to go as well.
    Someone truly HUMAN.

    Ignoring the plight of the American Indian (unless you want to throw some socio-political commentary or subtext in there as well), he just speaks to her of the nature of being HUMAN.
    All that being simply HUMAN entails and the wonder and achievement that we can rise to, aspire to – is the ultimate in evolution. The growth, the journey, the struggle to better oneself is better than having it handed to them (as the Eternals did).

    Something along the lines of one of Captain Kirk’s speeches about how “we NEED our pain. We NEED to stuggle to better ourselves…”

    ——–

    Oh. While THIS is NOT the person that I was originally thinking, it would be funny to have her meet up with (forced to be stuck with, more to the point) someone like BLACK TALON (or any bird related character – as long as they’re crazy as an outhouse rat and maniacal about the rights of birds).
    Are there any characters who dress in feathers in a bird-like costume?
    Like Frog-Man, but AVIAN.

    (And probably NOT as a part of the aforementioned “mini-series” (more like a back-up humorous story)

    He informs her that being a mere human is far better, far more noble, and is worth more to the universe than the falsely obtained “high power levels” of the Eternals (of Titan or wherever).
    He now goes into a rant about them being “genetically altered” and goes on about the plight of the proud and noble CHICKEN.
    Who has been pumped full of genetics that make it “better” than it is to be, but at the same time corrupts it from within.

    Crazy rants aside, his point is made, and she is left to ponder her place in the evolutionary ladder of the universe.
    But, all his talk of chickens has made her hungry.
    she could REALLY go for some nuggets.

    OK.
    I’m done.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  48. The worst DC super-team?

    How about The Spectre, Ambush Bug, Claw the Unconquered, Mercury from the Metal Men and the Goodwin/Simonson Manhunter.

    Don’t see any way in heck how that would work.

  49. Fortress Keeper — replace Mercury with Tin and I’ll tell you how it’d work. Brilliantly, that’s how.

  50. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…!

    Go ahead, Keeper: replace Mercury with Tin, I’m dying to see what happens…

    P-Tor, your rationales for why the universe respects a regular human more than an Eternal is great, but I think where you’re really on to something is this bird-rights fanatic guy…sounds like a mixture of the Falcon and Tracy Jordan. Bird rights fanatic? Of course there’s no such thing, but maybe there oughtta be. Hey, wait, what was the name of that guy Captain America met once, Gamecock or something? Damn, no coffee…it’ll come to me. Anyway it’s good to have a meaningful philosophical point made by a crazy person, don’t you think?

    But no, I don’t think it’d be nearly as much fun to just decide. I don’t want to pick just one! I want to pick four, and then see how they combine with the selections of others. But y’know, like I said, we may be past the point of no return on that already…tellya what, I’ll get some coffee, and try to dope it all out.

  51. Venn diagram, huh? You must be a sports fan, to like detail judgments on multiple lists. Here goes then. Where A is situational discord and B is personality clash:

    1AB. The Grand WAAUGH is presented to Harvey’s team-up of: The Punisher, Howard the Duck, Man-Thing, Dracula and Galactus. A setup where everyone is trapped in a world he never made with four people he could never stand! Furthermore it lends itself to actual Steve Gerber type storylines. Outstanding.

    2AB. The Tin Ear must be awarded to the creators of Marvel’s Secret Defenders, for castings not only having no interpersonal resonance whatever, but requiring cosmic contortions of contrivance to even get them in the same room. A series that will live in infamy.

    1A. For best situation designed to reduce usually capable characters to flailing slapstick, the Concealed Garden Rake award goes to P-Tor’s Black Bolt and Daredevil team-up, with either Franklin and Lockjaw or Wundarr. Diabolically insidious, this is.

    1B. The Five Car Pile-up prize for an artfully planned personality clash is awarded to Carter’s teaming of Vic Sage, Helena Bertinelli, Guy Gardner, Dick Grayson, Eel O’Brien, and Crazy Jane. A team which could force any serious plot into the background of its exquisitely prickly personal conflicts.And yet it would work.

    2-5B. Honourable mentions for everyone who fielded a team including Moondragon, Speedball, The Punisher or Deadpool. Hey! Did I just just say “or”? Can I get an “and” from some budding kamikaze author out there? You can totally make your name with this line-up!

    And so, good night, fans.

  52. What about Namor and Dr. Druid, Jonathan?

    Okay, I’ll vote too:

    1A — very tough field, but it’s got to be P-Tor’s Daredevil and Black Bolt Plus One. I can’t stop thinking about it. And as far as situational impossibility goes, it’s a pretty pure A — Black Bolt and DD would basically not even interact, personality-wise. But they would kick ass.

    1B — Carter, absolutely, for just the reasons Jonathan’s described.

    1AB — Harvey’s “Galactus Handlers” — brilliant.

    And I get just one more? Heck, I’ll give myself the privilege of taking two, here, since I’m rating my own votes equal with everybody else’s:

    Wild Card #1AB — the Keeper’s line-up of the Shroud, Ms. Marvel, Brother Voodoo, Gene Simmons, and Elsa Bloodstone. Because, come on, Gene Simmons? Sheer madness.

    Wild Card #2B — Jonathan’s Moondragon/Iron Man/Daredevil/Marianne Rodgers/Angar team, which I think would be totally fascinating to see play out.

    Very Honourable MentionA — Mike’s offering of Rocket Racer, Gambit, Karnak, Doc Samson, and Man-Thing also achieves a solidly pure A. Who’s the leader here? Nobody. Who can relate to anyone else in the group? Maybe Rocket Racer and Gambit, at best. This is a team where the leader might as well be Man-Thing. I think that’s crazy. Unfortunately, upon reflection I’m forced to conclude they would kick almost no ass — their “A”-ness is really too pure, they could probably just about manage to sit in an airport waiting for a flight together.

    Also, Harvey may oust himself if he’s not joking about that Spectre/Ambush Bug/Claw/Tin/Manhunter thing.

    Also, these Moondragon thoughts are fantastic!

    Jonathan, one last thing — while I admire the rank insanity of Marvel’s Secret Defenders line-ups, I feel you should re-vote that selection…because I’m not sending any prizes to Marvel, damn it!

  53. Certainly I’ll revote. Strictly on my criteria, my 2AB choice also goes to Harvey for the Tempus Fugitives. Not only full of personality headaches, but the characters scarcely fit in the same frame of reference.

    I’d like to put in a good word for Keeper’s team: Shroud, Ms. Marvel, Brother Voodoo, Gene Simmons, and Elsa Bloodstone. Thing is, they don’t get my vote in this contest, because I think it would work. Here we are in the 21st Century. Global economy, cellphones everywhere, the last ratty pulp shreds of the 19th Century racial and cultural stereotypes fluttering away in the winds of real shared culture. The last thing we’d expect is sporadic but drastic outbreaks of Black Magic. But they happen! Whence come this cyborg zombie horde? Well, they were a very cheap labor force for recycling old computer hardware, it seemed like a good idea. Whence this mediaeval army from a Death Metal album cover, when there’s no historical justification for any such thing? Darkhold pages, mate, encrypted and threaded through downloaded tracks winding up on everyones’ iPods. It takes an eclectic, freewheeling force with experience in combatting Dark Forces to be ready for this stuff. Think of them as Vertigo Universe Scoobies, as written by Jamie Delano, etc.

    Even Doctor Druid would fit in with this lot. I mean, I’ve never given him any thought, but he seems to have suffered from “stupid character anyway, no loss to anyone, let’s trash him” syndrome. He’s doable right – he might have to start off as a side character, half-insane, but then he could be retrieved as a sound fellow who’d been driven mad by one infernal encounter too many.

    As for Namor, well wasn’t he actually on some long-running team from quite early? Forget its name …

  54. I’ll weigh in with my decisions a little later today.
    There’s a need to re-read everyone’s and digest them all.

    Unfortunately, I will have to try and fight the urge to vote for my own, since a few of them are really groovy concepts to my mind.
    Natural proclivity to liking them, and all.

    ;-)

    But, I see at least 2 others out there that I am in love with.

    Give me awhile.
    Actually, I need to go out for a bit first.
    That should help clear my mind of this, so I can approach it all fresh.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  55. My most humble apologies.

    I’ve been away for most of the day and I’m just too wiped out now to go into my “final” selections.
    (I’ve already got 2 lists – based on varied criteria and now need to filter the results to one set of “masters”.)

    Tomorrow dear friends.

    I appreciate your kind patience.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  56. As far as I can tell, the worst superhero match-up would be the Wonder Twins and Batman & Robin, sparring incest & homosexuality jokes.

    Or maybe Darth Vader and Spiderman.

  57. P-Tor, I may be popping out for a few days tomorrow afternoon…

    Actually I don’t think I’ll go ’til Saturday, but just in case you comment and don’t hear from me, that’s what that’s all about. Oh, shit, I think I’m about to mismanage my time! So if it all screws up, monitor the thread for a few days for me, willya?

    I’ll either check in again tomorrow, in which case I’m here, or I won’t, in which case I’ve flown. Either way, we’ll have a prize going out within a week, barring the unforeseen.

  58. Well here it is tomorrow, and I’m still around. But I’ll be gone this next tomorrow, for sure. And then back approximately seven tomorrows after that.

  59. Oh sure.
    And here I thought I had gained an extra day.

    I had a crazy deadline for work and figured I’d devote (most of) my attentions to that.

    NOW, I’m here and going through my thoughts on all this.

    I will post my “votes” most definitely tomorrow (Saturday).

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  60. OK.
    I’m, about to post my list.

    I took a different tack with my handling of n”voting”.
    Treating my task as if I were an EDITOR having to select the best “pitch” that met with the “publisher’s” (PILLOK’s) criteria for the title (a one-shot or mini).

    AS such, because I HATE to just select my choices for “winners” without proper reasoning TO the talent involved, I broke them all down one by one and gave reasons for or against (or both) for them all.

    I can only hope that I do them all justice.

    This post is a test to see if I got some coding down that will work.

    testing

    One VERY long post to follow.
    My apologies (I hope it doesn’t cause some sort of crash.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  61. OK.

    Every time I sit and think on these teams, I find new avenues that they open.
    New ways for them to “work”, and it’s driving me a bit insane.

    I probably SHOULD just vote based on what you guys wrote and leave it at that, but I can always “see” reasons that haven’t been written as to how to explore character interplay, and that affects my reasoning.
    Perhaps it’s the writer in me.
    Or, perhaps more accurately, the EDITOR within that is being required to “vote” for what ideas work or don’t within the parameters set up by the “Editor in Chief / Publisher”; Pillok for this “one-shot / mini-series” team book.

    So, instead of just giving my votes and leaving the rest in limbo, I’m going to be a GOOD editor and go thru ALL the pitches – in order – and detail what I like / don’t like about each.

    I’ll give my votes at the end, but before I do, let me give kudos to a great many of these ideas that were fantastic, or at least intriguing, but were not quite sufficiently full of hostility, weirdness (or a combination of the two) to get me to give them top slots.
    ALSO, as the original rule dictates, the team can ONLY really work ONCE.
    If they can come together AGAIN, then it doesn’t “work” as a “team that can’t work”.

    This is going to be LONG, but I REALLY want to do right by everyone, and to be honest, my opinions of many of these changes as I delve more into them.
    I’ve “voted for” than “against” and then “for” again, a few entries each time I look at them.

    IF I get your concept wrong or in some way adulterate your pitch concept, my most humble apologies.
    By NO means am I saying that ANY idea isn’t good. To be honest, I MIGHT miss your points. I’m not as smart as I used to be. Declining intellectual stimuli mixed with Increasing mundane life-events of owning a house in the woods – has stunted my once sharp and eager mind.

    I’m just offering up my insights , taking up PILLOK’s challenge to “vote” as being the “editor” of the title being dictated by the Publisher’s needs. I really think that mind-frame will allow me to be completely objective, impartial and OPEN to seeing how these ideas might go forth (without being forced).

    Let’s get started, shall we?

    ————

    PILLOK’s original Task Force is a very good concept. Well thought out and, I’m sure, under his pen, executed flawlessly.
    And yet, I DO see them staying together for awhile longer then he projects.
    At least the Dr. Druid / Spider-Woman dynamic will WANT to stay together, because of Druid’s search to help her, and his probable falling in love with her (remember, the Shadow-Woman that he loved in Secret Defenders shared many of the ancient aspects of Jessica Drew’s Morgan le Fey/Arthurian backstory, not to mention physical resemblance). She, in turn will empathically reach out with her pheremones and pull him in further as she gets more lost in her own head.
    Namor THRIVES on conflict. And nowhere has he been so evenly matched than against CAPTAIN BRITAIN, who will endure Namor’s’ slings and arrows forever, if he thought he could “bring him around”. Speedball will provide just enough of a pressure-valve to draw some attention away from an all-out brawl and into chasing HIM down.
    I’m thinking along the lines of a THING/TORCH tearing up Baxter Building vibe.

    RAB jokingly offers up that old AVENGERS line-up – calling it the most horrid thing ever. For shame. I liked those issues. It didn’t become TRULY awful until MARRINA came on the scene.

    JONATHAN BURNS gives up a team that has Marianne Rodgers on it. I didn’t know who that was, so I looked her up. Oh yeah. Misunderstood ESPer whackjob with a love/hate thing for Tony Stark? NICE touch of the obscure. Especially when she’s in the company of a godling and a “vampire”. Toss in mutual nutcase; Deadpool, and winner of the Frank Burns award for psychosis in the call of duty; USAgent, and you have a nice powderkeg. But I don’t see Jubilee adding much to the dynamic one way or the other. And being powerless, I’d imagine Rodgers sitting in a com-room with candles, mood-beads while feeding the team her “visions”. All that said, I find that THOR would be enough to keep many of these people in line. Maybe moreso the PRESENT Thor, who’s a “take charge” kind of ThunderGod, than the pre-JMS version which was more of a “I like hanging with mortals” kind of guy.
    This line-up reads a bit like the PANTHEON of Peter David’s HULK. Many people liked that team. It also reminds me a bit of Dave Cockrum’s FUTURIANS, and I enjoyed that team quite a bit in it’s day.

    DAVID FIORE offers up a team that I could actually SEE working. At least for awhile.
    With the exception of Punisher, all these people are somewhat able to “play nice” and have been on teams before. One potential problem: Moondragon, is given a natural buffer; Valkyrie (who performed that role in New Defenders).
    She is also given a natural dilemma in Starfox, who, as an Eternal of Titan would garner a mix of respect and hostility from Moonie, maybe moreso if he tried to use his powers on her. She might fall FOR him even without his love mojo (she swings both ways, right?). OR, she may fall under his spell once, but then discover his manipulation and be ready to kill him. Either way, they are closely matched, and as such, provide an interesting soap-opera. But they would not provide overt hostility or much more weirdness than a high-school love affair.
    Dr. Druid, while a gigantic load, DOES have potential for smoothing over many ruffled egos with some subtle magick. He’s not as flashy as Doctor Strange, but the occasional spell or potion and he’d be able to level people out. He also has the psych background to help with team therapy.
    Cap and Spidey form a natural “back-bone” for a team dynamic. Almost a Hollywood “buddy-cop” vibe. Again, the Punisher is the only one who is a real problem here.
    But, since he is the only real “problem” (that I can see), he’d most likely be sent off to do recon and the op’s missions (much like he was drafted in the Civil War to do – before he shot up the place and Captain America laid him out).
    As such, this is a short-lived team, but definitely one that would be able to exist for MORE THAN one adventure. It has a very similar set-up to NEW DEFENDERS. Insert Spidey for Beast/Iceman (wise-cracking, fun-loving smart guy acrobat), Captain America for an Angel/Gargoyle split (good natured hero who is out of his time-frame), Starfox as an equal to Angel’s “bachelor on the prowl” persona.
    It’s there, hidden in the character framework, but this could be a similar type of read.

    CUITLAMIZTLI CARTER‘s DC “JL-Task Force” is just awesome.
    I haven’t read a DC title in years, but I USED to read a BUNCH of stuff, various JLA books among them. I say this so that you understand that I’m NOT just “that Doctor Strange nut”. I know the interplay between the characters you selected, and can see the fireworks about to fly.
    That said, I CAN see this being a fairly long-term title.
    All that needs doing is to segregate these members from the DCU proper.
    They’re to be a TASK FORCE, correct? That means that by nature they are being SENT OFF on missions.
    My suggestion? Something along the lines of FARSCAPE.
    Just because they’re mostly earthlevel characters doesn’t make them any less effective in the environment of a space ship. It increases the tension and allows for more “fish out of water” stories.
    It also allows Vic Sage to broaden his mental landscape (either to freak him out MORE, or to allow for him to connect the dots of many of Earth’s oldest mysteries when he finds “evidence” to support wacko theories on other worlds).
    In fact, ALL of these characters would THRIVE in this type of atmosphere.
    Thrive in crazy, hostile and AWESOME ways.
    This would be a title that I would TRULY ENJOY reading.

    PILLOK offers up a DC line-up with Alan Scott Green Lantern, Hawkman, Elongated Man, Early 70s Green Arrow (the one we all know and love) & Captain Atom.
    To say that this team left me with a bland taste in my mouth is probably more to do with MY poor DC tastes than HIS concept. He DOES succeed in giving this team sufficient tension, due to their differing viewpoints and loyalties, and they would NOT want to be a team for overlong. While it wouldn’t be a comic that would interest ME (due to my own tastes), I DO see that he has hit all the prerequisite factors for this one-shot/mini-series team, despite his downplaying his story pitch in favor of others before his.
    He DOES hint at an underlying REASON as to WHY he feels his isn’t strong enough.
    And I for one, would like to hear it.

    I, SANCTUM SANCTORUM COMIX, offered forth my idea for a team comprised completely of “Leaders & Lieges”, with Man-Thing and Howard the Duck being caught up in it all just because they’re THERE.
    As I later wrote, my original concept had Black Bolt in there as well, the strength of his inclusion due to the fact that his “awesome impotence” being the staw that would break the camel’s back. I should ALSO mention, that I was NOT going to have Captain America on the team originally, as he has a tendency to make any team “work”, but I felt that even HE would ONLY be able to get this group to perform well ONCE and once only before the collected egos and hostilities forced them to disband. Never to come together as such again. The inclusion of DOCTOR DOOM ensures this. He’d pitch in, but ONLY to GAIN information (and possible trust) that would be cards which he would call upon later – to the detriment of the rest of these heroes – if not the world.
    Not to blow my own horn, but I REALLY feel that this is a team that would HATE each other the longer they are in contact. They might TRY to do the job right, just out of nature of their being such consummate heroes and team-leaders. The very notion that they WOULDN’T be able to be a team would be something that they would dismiss. “Sure we can do this. We’re ALL qualified. There isn’t a weak-link amongst us – as long as DOOM can be trusted.”
    It would be THEN, in the middle of the fire-fight, where each is SURE that THEY have the right plan, and try to get the rest to follow it, that they would discover that there IS such a thing as “to many chefs in the kitchen”.
    And for those who would even be willing to take a subservient position
    (Storm / Dr. Strange) for the sake of allowing other, more natural leaders to call shots, they would be sufficiently irritated or offended by the behavior of the others to be willing to do so again. Can’t you just see Storm being SO PISSED at anyone who might give Black Panther any lip that she’d secretly think of sending a stray lightning bolt – ever-so-close – to the feet of the offending party? “Goddess, that man is insufferable! T’Challa is worth 10 of him. My love would be too willing to allow this transgression to pass, but I am not so forgiving!” *ZAP!*

    My inclusion of Man-Thing and Howard was just because in the nature of this story pitch, they’d be:
    a) for Manny: necessary by the nature of location / job-requirement
    b) for Howard: the viewpoint with which the reader can empathize
    c) for both: the right amount of “what the F#@%!?!” for this to be surreal.
    This is a team that can never work again, but for this ONE mission, they’d kick ALL kinds of ass.

    MIKE LOUGHLIN offers up a great mismatched ensemble. It fits the bill of a team that would have NO business ever getting together again, but it doesn’t quite fit the bill for a team that would kick all kinds of ass. Maybe I’m missing it. And if so, I apologize.
    The only long-range power would be Gambit, and that’s only as far as he can THROW something. None of them are flyers (well, Rocket Racer can ride UP WALLS, I guess).
    It could be argued that you could get one of the “strong guys” to chuck Gambit’s energized stuff FOR him – if you really needed to make with the long-range ‘splodo, but I don’t know if Gambit can be the only one to be in contact with the item for it NOT to explode.
    Is handing it OFF to someone else akin to it coming into CONTACT with something else?
    And as such, wouldn’t it just blow up in the hand of the passer?
    Hilarious, really (Looney Tunes at it’s BEST), but it is a one-time joke.
    More appropriately, someone with CONTROL over how long the charged item has before it blows up would make more sense, like BOOM-BOOM (New Mutants). She could at least put a “timer” on her little explodo’s and hand them over to a chucker for delivery.
    BUT, that’s not the situation, we have GAMBIT. While both HE and Boom-Boom can be loathed, Gambit is truly the MORE annoying (and the one that was offered up for Mike’s pitch).
    I DO see some great character interplay that could go on here: Karnak thinking that HE could find the weak-spot in Juggy (an interesting stand-off could ensue), Samson analyzing everyone, perhaps getting all Jungian on Karnak. THAT would tick that particular Inhuman off to no end. Or perhaps, offering up a Freudian “You like to penetrate things, don’t you Karnak? And yet, you’re uniform is designed to RESTRICT you, with the BANDS around your hands. AND that long loincloth. What are you hiding your manhood from? What are you afraid of? WHO are you trying NOT to penetrate?”
    I’d LOVE to see Samson trying to communicate via the empathic nature of Man-Thing. Couldn’t you see Man-Thing lying on a couch with Samson trying to use emotional responses to “reach” him?
    HiLARIOUS!
    Otherwise, without any kind of “controlling” influence, Man-Thing would just fight against the rest of the team when they fight with each other. That’s his empathic nature.
    Oh yeah. This would be a great team of misfits, but I just don’t see them kicking ANY ass – except each others

    THE FORTRESS KEEPER sends us right into madness with his “New Champions”. This is a team that would have a hard time not just disbanding BEFORE they even get out the door. Think of it. They’re ALL loners. Sure, Ms. Marvel can play on a team, but she’d want to be in charge. That’s something I don’t see Shroud really playing along with for more than a little while. Gene Simmons? Yeah, his Marvel incarnation liked to kick all kinds of ass, but even HE was leader of his team (and I only see that as being because there were no hot chicks like Carol – or challenging hotties like Elsa in KISS).
    He’s be far too preoccupied trying to impress (and bed) the ladies to be bothered playing nice or cooperating for long. But, I DO see some level of ass-kicking going on. Just not a LOT of ass-kicking. Brother Voodoo might get along with Shroud (and have SOME mystical connection to Gene), but all in all, I don’t see him sticking around. Shroud either. Human Fly would be a team player though. But would he be ABUSED by Elsa or perhaps she would find a commonality in him (a daredevil who runs in where angels fear to tread)?
    I guess the enemy that they would all be facing off against would HAVE to be MYSTICAL in nature, right? Or at least for them to really have any reason for this line-up.
    Against a mystical threat, I guess that COULD be a great team. Human Fly and Elsa wading in, him dangling from some precipice to pull her out of a swarm of demons that she’s “el kabong-ing” with her guitar. Gene blasting hellfire from his mouth to disassemble any invading hoardes. Ms Marvel being surrounded and dragged down by sheer weight of numbers before she blasts them all off of herself in a all-or-nothing blast of power. Brother Voodoo trying to control the enemy leader, or perhaps offering up a counter army of zombies? Shroud offering up the cover of darkness to make their escape.
    Yeah. I guess there COULD be sufficient ass-kicking going on. But once you FIND the right type of foes FOR them to combat, the ONLY thing keeping them from uniting again would be their independent natures. (And maybe Gene pissing off Carol. But I DO see him making SOME ground with Elsa. She’s into a bit of demonic kink.)
    So, LIKE the Champions, I CAN see this team of loners coming together again. And again.
    It’s almost “Nextwave-y” too.
    Functional disfunction. A team of loners cast together to beat back the foes that no one else is bothering to touch (since the Defenders aren’t around any more).
    Could be a fun read, actually.

    DISINTEGRATING CLONE… what have we here? The recipe for AWESOME?
    This is a pretty good definition of the task-force team.
    I’d see this in much the same way as a “contest of not-so-champions”.
    I didn’t read “BEYOND!”, but I got the feel from THAT line-up that I got from yours.
    A smattering across the board tossed into a melting pot and sent off on a mission.
    I don’t even HAVE to digest this meal to see that it won’t “come out” well.
    There would be ass-kicking, and a definite parting of ways.
    Well done.

    HARVEY JERKWATER Oh man.
    Harvey’s “Nextwave volume 2” is great. At first I shrugged at it, head tilted to one side, because I just couldn’t FATHOM it.
    However, the GLADIATOR with super-fragile EGO, only works if you tweak the character’s normal behavior to a degree unseen in continuity.
    He’s been able to be confounded, confused and therefore reduced in power by those who are smarter (or far more wily) than he, but to think that Howard the Duck would be able to get a serious failing in his mental self-image before being trammeled is a hard thing to buy.
    There would have to be a REASON that Gladiator would suffer him to live.
    Unfortunately, as detailed, none of the characters can or would protect Howard.
    UNLESS… the teleportation spell doesn’t JUST send him to Dracula’s lap when he gets too far away (mystical ankle-bracelet)… BUT it ALSO does so whenever Howard is in MORTAL DANGER! (mystical “Life-Alert” button. “I’ve fallen and can’t get up.”).
    THEN, whenever Howard is in imminent danger of being turned to pate’, he would *poit* over to Dracula, who as an immortal would be able to give Gladiator a run for his money (barring any solar-eye-beams).
    NOW, I could read this line-up with believability.
    The Galactus situation is something that was already touched upon during Waid/Weiringo’s run on FF. Galactus becomes a human with no knowledge of who he is and such. So, it would be easy to do what Harvey wants to do with him, by merely revisiting that with a tweak.
    So much angst and anger. Piss and vinegar. This is a team that should not be…but somehow is.
    Would there be ass-kicking? Punisher & Dracula are both “finalists”. They’ll rack up a body-count with little effort. So, yeah. Ass-KILLING, for sure. Gladiator? Under normal circumstances, way too powerful for the room. Under Harvey’s guidelines? Just right.
    He’d be trying to prove he’s awesome – to a duck!
    Howard being a great perspective for the reader.
    But if we ONLY take Harvey’s status quo – as offered, with Man-Thing being the only protector of Howard then Gladiator will kill him for sure.
    If we take my suggestion that it’s NOT just a distance that calls Howard to Dracula’s lap, but a Danger-sense as well… then Dracula can keep Gladiator at bay, but now Man-Thing is just THERE. I don’t see Dracula really being afraid of Manny, BUT Manny MIGHT get some sort of impetus to want to fight Dracula ANYWAY, JUST because of the vibe of death and evil that Dracula emotes.
    That would be interesting. But then I don’t see any reason for Gladiator to not use solar eye-beams to take out both Drac & Drake, and then torch Manny for good measure before flying away.
    Man-Thing would reconstitute himself over time and forget the entire thing happened.
    That’s how this would END.
    Unless PUNISHER just saw Howard as the “link” to this all and shot him.
    Punisher isn’t supposed to kill INNOCENTS, but what would be his compunctions about a TALKING DUCK? I guess it’s safe to say that Marvel editorial would prevent THAT, so I guess he won’t kill any “talking” innocent. Maybe. But, the pitch says that Punisher gets to kill lots of bad men, so… I guess he;ll stick it out for awhile. He’ll liken it to a mystical ‘NAM.
    I don’t see many other ways for this to end (barring a cancellation of whatever the spell is that binds Drac to Drake – perhaps that Dracula has been NAMED “DRAKE” over many stories COULD have something to do with the mystical spell mix-up in the FIRST place).
    But, they WOULD kick ASS for ONE adventure.
    This could be almost a “Halloween” version of the Bill Murray movie: “Groundhog Day”.
    Due to the nature of the spell, they are forced to repeat this “level” of a battle until they GET IT RIGHT. (Similar to that episode of Star Trek : Next Generation – where they are forced to live the same day over again – and keep getting blown up – until they get it right).
    THEN, and ONLY then can they go on their way.
    But, that’s just MY “editorial” offering. As Harvey sets it up, it’s fantastic, but is missing pieces. Unless GALACTUS is the missing piece. One that they must put back together.

    HARVEY JERKWATER then offers up “Tempus Fugitives”.
    While awesome, I can see this as a similar type of title to “eXiles” from Marvel.
    So, while they COULD kick ass once and never get back together again, there’s no REASON (character wise) why they wouldn’t.
    Bad team? Maybe. Mismatched for SURE. But a TEAM could be made from this.

    FORTRESS KEEPER then re-shuffles his “New Champions”. Ditching Shroud for PALADIN, Ms. MARVEL for TORPEDO and tossing ROM into the mix for good measure.
    NOW, we have a slightly different animal.
    PALADIN, TORPEDO, GENE SIMMONS, BROTHER VOODOO, ELSA BLOODSTONE, HUMAN FLY and ROM??
    Against a Wraith-related menace – or at least a cosmic mission.
    The Dirty Baker’s Half-Dozen.
    NOW we have a down-and-dirty task force. Mostly earth-level quasi-heroes in spaaaaace.
    It would be interesting to see if Voodoo’s abilities work out of an Earth environment.
    Bloodstone, as well. She’s got a lot of kick-ass to her nature and “powers”, and who’s to say that she can’t go OUT and kick the creatures asses before they come to Earth.
    She’s the monster hunter. Let her go out and HUNT some monsters.
    ROM and Paladin are immediately hostile against each other.
    One being a “I won’t kill” devotee and other a “eh. Kill ’em or not, I’m gonna shoot SOMETHING” kind of guy.
    I see a LOT of bickering and in-fighting here. Perhaps Torpedo won’t be as buddy-buddy with ROM if he knows that the entire town of Clairton, SC was all massacred by the wraiths.
    That might not be a reunion that goes well.
    Torpedo COULD turn out to be the blood-hungry one on this team. He might be bat-shit insane by now. Who knows?
    So, THIS is a MUCH better line-up than his “New Champions”. At least inasmuch as they will kick ass (as best they can with what they’ve got) and then part ways – bitterly.

    JONATHAN BURNS then tosses his hat into the 1970’s Marvel madhouse with his Moondragon-led team.
    He offers it up as a mostly down and dirty team, but I guess I CAN see them doing far more than that – if applied correctly. I do see Angar and Iron Man sorta offering up similar stuff in the way of powers. Sure one is a sonic scream, and the other “repulsor rays” and blasts and such. So, with the exception of Angar being an anti-establishment hippie and Tony being “Daddy Warbucks”, there’s not a lot of grief here.
    I’m SURE Tony’s heard it all before, and I’m SURE his helmet can filter out Angar’s voice, so he won’t have to deal with him overmuch.
    Daredevil would have a hell of a time dealing with the scream. Hightened senses are a BITCH around sonics. But, Heather probably COULD offer up a solution to that (or Tony could toss Matt a “sound dampener” that is attuned to Angar’s frequency).
    Marianne is a good bit on this team BECAUSE she has Tony, her source of crazed-interest right there. I’m reminded of the interaction on “TWO-and a half-MEN” with Charlie and his stalker; Rose. Fun stuff.
    There COULD be some ass-kicking, but there are definitely reasons for them to never reunite. However, those reasons are really JUST a crazed psychic stalker & an loud hippie.
    I’ve heard of worse get-together’s at some family reunions. Still, this train-wreck would be hard not to want to view.

    PILLOK once again weighs in with Scott Lang Ant-Man, Diablo, Sasquatch, Foolkiller, Moon Knight, Hellcat & Original Human Torch.
    Wow. Nice.
    Diablo & Foolkiller ALONE make this team a powderkeg.
    Hell, JUST FOOLKILLER would be a problem.
    However, I don’t see him being all THAT effective when Diablo could just transmogrify his guns into base elements, rendering him impotent. That WOULD drive him over the edge, however, making for a much more vehement “team-mate”. But then Sasquatch would just lift him up and threaten him with a pounding.
    Nice team, really. But even with Diablo on the team to be the foil, the rest of them would meld fairly easily (well…maybe NOT the current take on Moon Knight. He’s out-house-rat crazy). However, as seen in the last few issues of F4 (the Fantastic Four second title), DIABLO CAN play on a team. He was sent to rescue Doctor Strange and then off to fight against Nicholas Scratch and the Salem Seven”, while Doc fought and defeated Shuma Gorath. Yes, he ONLY played nice because Reed promised to free him from his Negative Zone prison (not the “42” thing, just a floating rock), but with sufficient motive, he performed admirably.

    I, SANCTUM SANCTORUM COMIX come back with a few NEW concepts:

    1) THANOS & DEATHURGE – fighting over the attentions of DEATH.
    It would start off as a battle BETWEEN them, but in the end, might evolve into a friendship of “bros before hos”. I can see them sharing a pitcher of Romulan Ale in some planetoid Pub.
    So. Interesting set up, but nowhere NEAR the requirement for the book in question.
    Funny back-up story though.

    2) DAREDEVIL / BLACK BOLT – having their radar sense / tuning fork cause mild retardation in their higher functions, being forced to care for either wunderkind Franklin Richards/Lockjaw – AND/ OR – mentally/emotionally stunted WUNDARR.
    Oh, the HILARITY!
    Is it what the “publisher” asked for?
    I didn’t think so, and for days have been besides myself wondering WHY you guys all seemed to like it.
    Then, I started seeing some of the goodness.
    Remove the “Home Alone” pure comedy, and add in some “ALIEN” horror.
    Three (or 4) of them going against – oh, I dunno – BLASTAAR, who has invaded the baxter Building while trapping the FF inside the Negative Zone.
    THAT would be all kinds of ass-kicking goodness.
    AND a definite one-shot.

    JONATHAN BURNS offered up SILVER SURFER / ANTBOY.
    Weird and a definite finite storyline, but, as discussed later, it doesn’t have the “asskick” part of the equation.

    PILLOK throws down with Batman, Superman, Brainiac-5, Lightray, Green Arrow, Wildfire & Zatanna. Jeezum crow! Now THAT’s some hostility.
    Seeming to be a mixture of “too many chefs” and “who do you trust?”, this is a team ripe with power, potential and prima donnas. Would they kick ass? If they could stick to a plan, yes. Plok answers it by splitting the team into thirds, letting them form subsets to get the job done. Does that negate their being ONE team, however? It DOES allow them to go out and kick ass, but it also allows for them to reunite again. If this were the Satellite League, they’d be able to perform in JUST this way – again and again. It would allow for instances where they would NOT perform in the best capacity, but in the end, the Batman WOULD be able to have enough “prep-time” to take care of all problems (INCLUDING internal dissenters).

    Then, I, SANCTUM SANCTORUM COMIX came back with a few more (just to beat the dead horse):

    1) AQUARIAN, SHE-HULK, PUNISHER (Judge, Jury, Executioner).
    She-Hulk trying to bridge the gap between altruistic and forgiving “savior” AQUARIAN & “kill-em-all let God sort ’em out” PUNISHER? Great dynamic, but not too much in the way of ass-kicking. Definitely a short-term team.

    2) BROTHER VOODOO as a one-man task force – utilizing the animated corpses of all dead AIM & HYDRA soldiers and his “army” and the desiccated remains of DEVIL DINOSAUR / MOON BOY as his TANK (and driver).
    To ME, this was my most inspired idea.
    ALL manner of ASS KICKING, Supremely bizarre, and DEFINITELY a ONE-SHOT deal.

    THE FORTRESS KEEPER tossed out the DC mismatches of: The Spectre, Ambush Bug, Claw the Unconquered, Mercury from the Metal Men and the Goodwin/Simonson Manhunter. Obviously, we can ALL see the potential there. But HOW to make it work, and WHY? Well… even I can’t answer that. Spectre pulls them from the timestream/alternate realities? Ass-kicking to be had? For sure. But, it COULD go one for more than one mission. This could be turned into another “eXiles” team.

    ——————

    OH, MAN!!!
    THAT took longer than I thought.

    ——————-

    And now… for the VOTES:

    Keeping in mind, that above all things, the team would never reunite, and barring a forced “editorially driven” mandate, if I can see the team continuing, no matter HOW great the concept, I can’t vote for it:

    The criteria being :

    A) Teams filled with HATE and LOATHING as their motivators to get in, get out and go away.

    B) TEAMS so full of WEIRDNESS that to continue would be to court madness

    C) TEAMS that would, for that one mission, kick ALL KINDS OF ASS!

    and… the WILDCARD.

    For all of my votes, I;m going to TRY to find ones that hit as many of these criteria at once as possible.

    ————-

    OK… there are a LOT of candidates here (far too many from my own fevered brain, for which you get my apologies). And, again, even as I was typing up these breakdowns, I kept changing my mind as to which ones I liked.

    ————-

    FIRST OFF…
    MOST HONORABLE MENTIONS:

    PILLOK‘s intentionally disqualifying himself kept him from garnering some votes.
    I was all set to go with his Alan Scott Green Lantern, Hawkman, Elongated Man, Early 70s Green Arrow team up for one slot.

    I ALSO wanted (desperately) to vote for CARTER’s JL-Task Force”, but seeing as how I could VERY easily read it as a “Farscape” plot, I could see far too much potential for an ongoing series. And one that I TRULY would love to read… or WRITE.

    MIKE LOUGHLIN came very close with his “Juggernaut/Man-Thing/Karnak/Samson etc… team. Hostility and weirdness it has. Ass-kicking… ? If it weren’t for the fact that they would JUST be fighting each OTHER, it would have had legs.

    Two of JONATHAN BURNS‘ offerings were VERY interesting:
    his Marianne Rodgers affiliated teams put forth interesting dynamics.
    They didn’t get top slots, but I found them to be quite noteworthy.

    I have VERY soft spots in my heart and mind for 2 of my own:

    1) BROTHER VOODOO’s “task force omega” (B & C) – The tag line for that comic (oneshot) would be: “Being DEAD is no reason to stop fighting.”
    The visuals I get from seeing all those dismembered HYDRA goons, and rotting BEEKEEPERS fills me with glee. And a near skeletal DEVIL DINOSAUR tearing through the joint with a rabid, decaying MOON BOY, throwing pieces of his innards at foes is just too much.
    It doesn’t get any of the main slots ONLY because – Marvel has done the Zombie thing to death (no pun intended). But, somehow they managed to MISS the opportunity to utilize BROTHER VOODOO in the ONE starring role he was CREATED for.
    Otherwise, THIS was the one that I was pushing as my # 1 contender since I thought of it.
    Marvel dipping into the zombie pool once too often nixed the deal (that plus my own lack of team “hostility”. Zombies LOVE Brother Voodoo. No hostility – except for B.V’s hostility towards the OTHER heroes he’s trying to prove himself to).

    and

    2) “LEADERS & LIEGES” (A,C with a touch of B)
    (and yes, that’s with the added Black Bolt AS I described in my follow up posting about his unique interplay of being useful for his uselessness).
    This is a team that could ALMOST work. They all have interlaced histories and experiences (especially when you throw the “Illuminati” cock-up into the mix), but they would hardly gel for long and would never be able to keep all those massive egos in check for long.

    This is a team that can never work again, but for this ONE mission, they’d kick ALL kinds of ass. (That said, I actually was going to vote FOR this for the longest time. Impartially, as if it did NOT come from me, I really think it would fit the bill, but it wasn’t as weird as the DD/BB + guest team up. So, I shot it down.)

    If I had the presence of mind to add DRACULA (like Harvey) I’d have locked up all 3 criteria solidly.

    Oh well.

    ————————–

    AND NOW – THE “WINNERS”.

    Vote # 1: (A, B, C) HARVEY JERKWATER‘s “Galactus Imperative”.
    I went into it not digging it at all, and left it – a fan.

    ——

    Vote # 2: (A,C) DISINTEGRATING CLONE‘s “potpourri of pain; a recipe for destruction”.
    Not my kind of game, but it touched all the bases.

    ——

    Vote # 3: (A,B,C) my own DAREDEVIL / BLACK BOLT / FRANKLIN (and/or WUNDARR)
    With the situation set up as I put forth (reduced capacity of two otherwise able heroes – mixes with the lack of personal / emotional experience of a “child-character” against a horror… all three criteria are met.
    I was so AGAINST this team up as being any kind of contender, for DAYS, but the more I thought about it, the better it got.

    —–

    and… the WILDCARD slot (with a little bit from A,B & C) goes to:

    FORTRESS KEEPER‘s re-shuffled “New Champions”.
    PALADIN, TORPEDO, GENE SIMMONS, BROTHER VOODOO, ELSA BLOODSTONE, HUMAN FLY and ROM??
    Oh yeah. An ass-kicking, hostility driven, cluster-F#@% of a strange trip. ROM makes it the wildcard, however. I can see GENE SIMMONS allowing HIS likeness to be in a Marvel comic before Hasbro lets ROM free.
    FREE ROM!!!

    ———–

    ThanX for reading!
    I hope this was worth the wait.
    (my most sincere apologies if the length is an issue)

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  62. Oh, man, I enjoyed reading that, P-Tor! And no…around here, length is most definitely not an issue.

    Have to run off! Will reply at length later on.

  63. Okay, back again…a gratifyingly meaty comment, and I LOVE the “life-alert” adornment to Harvey’s All-Galactus Squadron! Ha. Very nice touch with the drake/Drac confusion, too…I totally buy that. I struggled with whether to include your “Leaders & Lieges”. myself — a very nice recipe, indeed, but I just ran out of slots, even though I’m quite partial to the general concept’s aggressiveness (and you’re right: if you’d stuck Dracula in there, that probably would’ve tipped the scales). Also, naturally I can’t help but like “Task Force Omega” — and now that I know the slogan I like it even better! — but no room, no room, damn.

    I think you’ve made a pretty good argument that my original “Task Force” team could’ve worked, and stuck together — a little too much like the actual Defenders dynamic? Possibly…as to my first shot at a DC version, I think I was not too crazy about it because it didn’t really do anything new, just recycled old conflicts in a fairly obvious way. And, most importantly, I think I was rigging the deck a little…because I could also see this team having nowhere near the kind of tension I’ve given them, if they just had a writer who thought they’d get along a bit better than that. So I was being a little airily theoretical in this case.

    Glad you like my next try, though! And, exactly, the only way they would work would be in the old tried-and-true JLA/Avengers style…however, I was looking for combinations that would make the people inside them uncomfortable, too. Something like, there he is getting bossed by Brainiac-5, instead of Batman. And he thinks: “this three-team thing we’ve got going on here, in this instance, is probably not really bringing anything very special to the table. If only we could have Batman directly working with Lightray, or something, now that could be interesting, but instead we’ve just got this slot-filling going on, and it isn’t necessarily taking advantage of everybody’s skills. We’re just another JLA. And oh man, like it would’ve been so impossible for me and Wildfire and Green Arrow to work together, or something? I like working with other people…I happen to be known for my ability to get along with people. All kinds of people…not just the same old…”

    Brainiac-5: “Perfect, Superman! Now that you’ve got the asteroids orbiting each other, all you need to do is start heating them up with your super-vision!”

    Superman: “And why am I doing this, again?”

    Brainiac-5: “It would kind of take a long time to explain.”

    Superman: “Check.” (thinks) “Oh my God, this is why the League always splits up into these little sub-groupings, isn’t it? We can’t actually figure out how to work together, like at all. So we just don’t, unless Batman’s just pushing everybody around…that probably suits him fine, come to think of it. I bet he’d have a hissy if we figured out how to coordinate just as well under, say, Aquaman, or Green Lantern, or Flash…” Forgive me, I do go on, but what can I say? That makes me laugh. And it would be Superman who saw it, of course. Oh and as for Batman outflanking Brainiac-5, hmm…well, the idea is that here’s a person that Batman, given sufficient time to plan, isn’t going to automatically take down, and that’s a feature I really like…people have possibly been following that Morrisonian Bat-detail a little too slavishly, maybe? Blasphemy! And yet…

    Batman can’t reliably out-think Brainiac-5, that just doesn’t make any sense. There, I said it. And you know what? It feels good.

    These analyses of yours are kinda interesting, P-Tor…and thanks for keeping the focus on ass-kickery, I think I lost that thread once or twice. Also, wow, can you believe I didn’t notice the obvious tension there must always be between Starfox and Moondragon? I’m an idiot: that would be really interesting. Also your points about Dr. Druid being unwilling to stop “helping” Jessica Drew…in fact the point about Dr. Druid not sucking all that bad for heaven’s sake…yes, sure! He could work somewhere, on paper there’s nothing at all wrong with that character that a talented writer couldn’t fix up, so absolutely: he’s not a guaranteed esprit-breaker, in fact he could function as Team Glue. Conceivably.

    Oh, gotta run…I admire your dedication to this process of autopsy, you’re a better man than I!

    Back later. Now all my plans for the week are back up in the air again…and I didn’t make it any easier on myself by suddenly going post-happy for a couple of hours there, oh my word this blog’s a shambles, suddenly. Just goes to show, when you’re buying champagne, don’t go low-end, for God’s sake. Get the good stuff, it’s less disorienting.

  64. ThanX for the most kind words.

    I really tried to approach this impartially and with an “editor’s” eye, keeping STRICTLY to the book’s impetus:
    A KICK-ASS team that can ONLY work ONCE.

    Oh, and thank you VERY much for fixing my code.
    It drove me nuts that I spent so much time and attention on it only to screw up the most rudimentary of HTML.

    Hopefully, everyone else will come back for the end of this.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  65. Oh, and you had me actually laugh, when I pictured Superman saying “hissy”.

    And, no. Dr. Druid really ISN’T a bad character.
    Actually, I KINDA like him – a bit.

    His 4-issue miniseries (Warren Ellis, Leonardo Manco) was pretty good (although they killed him very lamely in that).
    They really opened up the potential of the character only to off him in the end.

    But hey. Bucky’s back, so who knows?

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  66. Oh! SONOFABITCH!!!!

    My wife and I just sat down to watch a GODZILLA movie (she loves him, which is lucky because I do as well).

    ANyway, IMMEDIATELY I thought that if Gene Simmons can be on a team (Marvel stories exist of him, he’s interacted with the M.U)…
    then why can’t GODZILLA!!!!????

    DAMMIT!
    I should have thought of putting GODZILLA on a team.
    That would have been the shit.

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  67. I gotta recap. Too many teams!

    Plok’s Task Force:
    Sub-Mariner, Captain Britain (circa first appearance of Arcade), Spider-Woman (pre-Claremont version), Dr. Druid, Speedball

    NOTES: A fine example of a Marvel Misfit team. I could see this comic actually coming out. Namor and Druid would fight for leadership, Captain Britain and Spider-Woman would provide the stability, and Speedball the comic relief. Robbie’s horn-dogging on Spider-Woman would be a recurring gag. Not the Worst Superhero Team ever. Actually, this isn’t a bad lineup at all.

    Plok’s DC Team:
    Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Hawkman, Elongated Man, Captain Atom, Green Arrow (socially-relevant period)

    NOTES: Three “broad-chested white man in authority” types (Lantern, Hawkman, Atom), one kinda goofy rationalist detective, and the Great Flaming Liberal? The personality balance is too weighted in favor of the Yes-Sir-No-Sir-Anything-You-Say-Sir types. Arrow would be constantly shouted down as Lantern, Hawkman, and Atom dickered over top-dog status (all while demanding obedience from the others) and EM ignored them all as doofuses. A train wreck. This group would be a terrible super-hero group, without a doubt, but not a fun one.

    Plok v3
    Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Diablo, Sasquatch, Foolkiller, Moon Knight, Hellcat, Human Torch (Jim Hammond)

    NOTES: Okay, this is nuts. You have two violent lunatics, a robot who thinks he’s human, a centuries-old villain who calls himself the devil, a woman who used to be married to the actual devil, the last survivor of the first Canadian super-team, and a suburban father. Yep, that’s a mess. Good range of powers, excellent in-team personality clashes set to go off. (Love triangles are an obvious angle. While Ant-Man and Sasquatch both vie for the heart of the flirty Hellcat, she is drawn to the Foolkiller, as Patsy is always drawn to the intense, self-destructive romantic crusader. Meanwhile, the robot Human Torch bonds with Moon Knight’s longtime girlfriend Marlene, who is shocked to find herself interested in the straight-arrow hero. And Diablo…what Diablo desires frightens even the bravest of souls…and may threaten the Earth itself…)

    Plok v4
    Daredevil, Black Bolt, Wundarr

    NOTES: This has “Gerber Two-in-One” all over it. A great ill-fitting combo, impossible to keep together. A single great story could be made with these three. Only one.

    Plok v5
    Batman, Superman, Brainiac Five, Lightray, Green Arrow, Wildfire, Zatanna

    NOTES: Truth be told, aside from the inevitable Batman/B5 friction, this strikes me as a functional, if a little odd, DC team. This could be the JLA in an odd period.

    Jonathan Burns
    Thor, Deadpool, Jubilee, USAgent, Morbius, Marianne Rogers

    NOTES: Sweet Steve Ditko, this is a mess. A car crash of a team. It combines the two basic types of incompatibility: incompatible personalities and incompatible milieux. Give me six hours and some malt liquor and I could make this team work. Short of that, I can’t imagine how. A gem of an awful super-team.

    Burns v2
    Moondragon, Iron Man, Marianne Rogers, Angar the Screamer, Daredevil

    NOTES: Oh, I like this one. Mostly to see the Moondragon-Iron Man conflict. She’s interpersonal napalm. Such a great character. I can’t believe she’s in perpetual character limbo. Dude, only in comics would “kung fu psychic woman with a shaved head, raised by space gods, and with a giant chip on her shoulder” be considered a weak concept.

    Burns v3
    Silver Surfer and Ant-Boy

    NOTES: I got nuthin’. I insist that you can make any duo work, no matter how bizarre.

    David Fiore
    Captain America, The Punisher, Spider-Man, Valkyrie, Starfox, Moondragon, Dr. Druid

    NOTES: At first this seemed far too conventional, but the interpersonal dynamics have a lot of promise. Imagine Moondragon’s relationship with Starfox. She worships him as an Eternal of Titan, who she views as the best of all races; she loathes his lechery; and she’s frustrated by his pettiness. He should be better than that! Meanwhile, Starfox would be disturbed and frustrated by Moondragon’s quasi-worship and a little put off by her lack of sexual interest in him. Dr. Druid and Valkyrie would be another ugly combo. I picture a lot of panels of Spider-Man holding her back from chopping off the Doctor’s head.

    Carter
    Question (Vic Sage), Huntress (Bertinelli), Warrior (Guy Gardner), Nightwing, Plastic
    Man, Crazy Jane

    NOTES: I’m not wild about this one. The Question/Huntress/Nightwing trio is too similar to generate most friction. Even with a love triangle, it doesn’t spark my imagination. Warrior is a generic jerky hero. Now, Plastic Man and Crazy Jane offer many possibilities. I think if you ditched Nightwing, make Huntress the leader, and it could work pretty well. The Vic Sage/Guy Gardner friction would be something to behold, no matter which version of Sage you used. The Ditko one would alternate between loving and hating Gardner; the O’Neil/Cowan one would loathe him as a thug and make no effort to conceal his contempt.

    P-TOR
    Captain America, Cyclops, Storm, Black Panther, Mr. Fantastic, Dr. Strange, Namor, Doom, Man-Thing, HTD

    NOTES: Why no one until now thought to include DOOOOOOM! I can’t say. He’s an obvious candidate to hose up any team. A team of nothing but leaders has promise, too. I can’t quite warm to this team, though, since it has so many standard-issue characters. I likes me the oddballs. It’d work for a miniseries, as P-TOR described, and work pretty well.

    P-TOR v2
    Daredevil and Black Bolt (maybe with Franklin Richards and Lockjaw)

    NOTES: Jeebus, what a duo. See my comments above about Plok’s reworking of this team. I love it.

    Mike Loughlin
    Rocket Racer, Gambit, Man-Thing, Karnak, Doc Samson

    NOTES: Now we’re talking. You have two characters I always thought had lots of untapped potential in Karnak and Doc Samson, a character of total lunacy in Rocket Racer, a character who borders on useless in Man-Thing, and everybody’s least-favorite character, Gambit. As insane as this lineup is, it could very well work. With the exception of MT, they’re all mainstream four-color characters, just third-stringers. Any team of basically similar types can work. MT is the giant monkey wrench. Nice.

    Fortress Keeper’s New Champions
    Shroud (or Paladin), Ms. Marvel (or Torpedo), Brother Voodoo, Gene Simmons, Elsa Bloodstone, Human Fly

    NOTES: How much do I love Marvel’s Seventies tie-in/exploitation characters. Oh so very much. Gene Simmons and the Human Fly? Hell yes. Oh hell yes. Combining them with a few third- and fourth-stringers, you get a pretty dang awful team. No doubt.

    Fortress Keeper’s DC Team:
    Spectre, Ambush Bug, Claw the Unconquered, Mercury (of the Metal Men), Manhunter (Paul Kirk)

    NOTES: The gold standard of awful teams. It combines radically incompatable genres and personalities. It ranges from a guy who’s good at karate to the Fist of God. It has a sullen Conan clone and the metafictional humor character Ambush Bug. This team can’t work. It can’t form. It can’t operate. It can’t stay together. Or can it? Again, gimme six hours and a few malt liquors, and I’ll see what I can do…I love a challenge.

    Disintegrating Clone
    Quicksilver, Moondragon, Namor, Iceman, Jack of Hearts, Punisher, Elektra, Captain America

    NOTES: If one translated the experience of chewing on aluminum foil into comics, it would be this. Gack. Gack, gack, gack. An awful team that would make awful comics I would never, ever want to read. Nicely done.

    ————————–

    So…

    Refusing to vote for myself, because that’s cheap, here are my top three. I decided based upon personality friction, incompatible backgrounds, and general awesomeness.

    3. Mike Loughlin’s team (Rocket Racer, Gambit, Man-Thing, Karnak, Doc Samson)

    2. Jonathan Burns’s first team (Thor, Deadpool, Jubilee, USAgent, Morbius, Marianne Rogers)

    1. Fortress Keeper’s DC Team (Spectre, Ambush Bug, Claw the Unconquered, Mercury, Manhunter)

    Now to figure out a series bible for the Fortress Keeper’s team! WOO-HAH!!!

    By the way, had anybody added both Godzilla and Alice Cooper (star of Marvel Premiere #50) to the team, he or she would have instantly won.

  68. I forgot about the Alice Cooper comic, and I even owned a copy back in the day!

    Hmmm … don’t know if I have the energy to recap every single entry, although each and every one is a serious contender in my book.

    After much consideration, though, here are the two that stood out for me:

    The Runner Up: Disintegrating Clone (Quicksilver, Moondragon, Namor, Iceman, Jack of Hearts, Punisher, Elektra, Captain America) – Sadly, this team could have existed back in the 90s when Marvel and DC were trying to out-kewl Image Comics. They would have been called “Shadow Force” and received their marching orders from Dum-Dum Dugan. Each mission would involve some sort of debate on “how far” heroes should go to attain “justice.”

    The Winner: Harvey Jerkwater’s Defenders 2008 (The Punisher, Howard the Duck, Gladiator, of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, Man-Thing, Dracula, Galactus) The only way THIS comic would ever see the light of day is if Harvey legally changes his name to Alan Moore. Never in a million years could I conceive of a team this off the wall, and the fact that Harvey even has a brilliant series bible for these guys is proof of his own genius.

  69. HAH!

    On the Nineties thing, and them taking their orders from Dum-Dum Dugan!

    HAH!

    Because of the brilliance of throwing Dum-Dum in there, I’ll accept this as a vote — even though I would really prefer a Venn vote from you, Keeper: one incommensurate-milieu team selected, one personality-fractious team selected, one team that’s either or neither of these but instead WHA-HUH…? THAT’S CRAZY! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE, YOU MUTANT, BUT YOU’RE NO SOn OF MINE…! team selected…

    And one Wild Card.

    However if you don’t feel like going through this laborious process, I can adapt, and count your vote just the way you’ve voted it.

    And suddenly you’ve made me see Clone’s team as…well, as a lot more of a head-injury team than I thought it was before. Suddenly I am imagining Iceman freaking out in the meeting room and covering everybody in ice, that is IT, I am THROUGH being talked over, how ’bout a little ICE on your FACE, Scarecrow? You like that?

    I like it.

    That’s your “bad personality” team.

    As Harvey’s would have been your “don’t make no goddamn sense” team, if he hadn’t’ve done such an excellent job of making the damn thing believable — I only wish I could share with you guys the Personality Grid Breakdown of this team that he sent me via email, which is an incredible laugh riot to read through, but unfortunately I am not in command of HTML, it’s in command of me

    Never mind, you can still claim his line-up as “milieu-incompatibe” as well, if you like…

    But that means you’ve still got two spots to fill.

    Unless you go with that “you don’t have to” thing I put forward just above here. Which you may.

    I think I’m going to name the style of Clone’s team, too: I think I’m going to call it “LieFRAAAAA…!” THRAKKKADOOOM!!!!!

    “Wha…what happened?”

    “Unfortunately, our jammed-in quasi-effeminate Stan-only-with-brass-knuckles recoolification characters eventually figured out they were being symbolically trivialized and unjustly mocked by our parthenogenetic big-shouldered ungoverned-power crypto-rapist characters…EXTREME JACK-OF-HEARTS!!!…and they killed them.

    On the tape, you can hear Moondragon mutter something about Captain America’s steroidal man-breasts being offensive — if you listen carefully you can just make out the Punisher saying “nipple-fight for leadership, Cap”, followed by something that sounds an awful lot like “you sexy man-beast”, before Namor KILLS EVERYBODY…”

    “You really fucked this one up, Dugan. I mean in all the long hiostory of fuck-ups fucking things up, you fucked some shi…”

    “Careful, Nick. Assuming you’re an LMD at this point. And my secondary team of Man-Beast, Breast-Girl, Spiky-Hair, Portmanteau, Rip-Off Boy, and Blue Diamond are still out there…”

    But I digress.

  70. The “series bible” for Defenders 2008 writes itself. I’m still working on it. It’s getting long. I replaced the Frank Castle version of the Punisher with the “Lady Punisher,” Lynn Michaels, to allow for more freedom of action and add a little sexual tension. (Her interactions with Dracula would be much more interesting than Frank’s.) The biggest job thus far has been coming up with a good backstory for Gladiator. That’s been a hoot. “The War of Ten Thousand Galacti,” “Beverly Switzler, Herald of Galactus” and “Dracula Versus Batroc: For the Fate of the Earth!” are stories that beg to be told.

    The Fortress Keeper’s team of the Spectre, Claw the Unconquered, Ambush Bug, Mercury, and the Paul Kirk Manhunter is much tougher to develop into a functional concept. I’m working on it. Mercury is giving me fits. Claw the Unconquered’s old “Who’s Who” entry, retrieved from my dusty longboxes, gave me some notions.

    Dude, that guy got a heavy retcon back in yonder days. He went from a Conan knockoff to an Elric knockoff overnight. That takes effort.

    Man, I love this crap. Mashing up odd characters and developing at least partially workable stories out of ’em…that’s the nerdly Sport of Kings.

  71. OK … I’ll play by the rules.

    For incompatible milieu I’ll choose Jonathan Burns’ team of Thor, Deadpool, Jubilee, USAgent, Morbius and Marianne Rogers. A god, a META anti-hero, Wolverine’s sidekick, Captain America EXTREME, a living vampire and Tony Stark’s ex. Jubilee and Deadpool both come from the X-verse, but since she doesn’t realize she lives in a comic book I’ll say the two are incompatible enough.

    With Harvey’s team in the Wha-huh?!? category and Clone’s in the bad personality slot,that gives us three categories and leaves wild card.

    We’ll pick P-Tor’s team of Daredevil and Black Bolt but only with the additions of Franklin Richards and Lockjaw!

    I think that team speaks for itself.

  72. Judging the teams on sheer entertainment value:

    1)Brother Voodoo? Human Fly?? Gene Simmons?!? For sheer silliness, Fortress Keeper’s New Champions is my favorite.

    2) Daredevil & Black Bolt gets the “odd couple” award for Most Inspired Awful Pairing. “I can’t see what they’re doing in there, BB. What’s going on? … I said, ‘what’s going on?’ … you know, even super-hearing has its limits. Would you just SPEAK UP?!

    Fine, be that way. Jerk.”

    3) Speaking of, Harvey Jerkwater’s (get it? cause his name is… never mind) Defenders could ONLY result in very funny comics.

    4) Geez, if Jonathan Burns replaced Thor with Thunderstrike, he’d have the All ’90s X-Treme Team Supreme. As it is,USAgent complaining to Jubilee about kids these days while Deadpool mocks Thor behind his back (only to be shot with a lightning bolt when he least expects it), and Morbius pines for an annoyed Marianne “I’m not THAT desperate, Goth Lad” Rogers (who spends all her time talking about how she loves and hates Tony Stark) makes for a wonderful super-hero sitcom.

    An aside: wouldn’t the Image founders’ main characters (Spawn, Shadowhawk, Dragon, and lets say Ripclaw, Grifter, Badrock, and, hell, any Wetworks character) make a terrible super-team?

  73. Yeah, I gotta say, I’m intrigued by how different each of us interpreted “chemistry.” I guess when I read the word, I think positive energy overall. Crazy Jane’s likable, but too fringe to sustain a long-term relationship with these characters (it was a watershed moment when I read about her in DC’s Who’s Who when I was just a young lad. It expanded my vision of what superheroes were – grrr, that means I was influenced by Grant Morrison at an early age). I can see how the street-level characters in my scenario are a bit too close – my pitch really does depend on more than passing familiarity with the characters I chose, which is a drawback (the average reader of DC may not have read “Huntress/Batman: Cry for Blood” or is desperately trying to forget that there ever was a “Guy Gardner: Warrior”).

    I haven’t seen “Farscape,” but I do think my team could with the correct writer last for a time, but I think it would require some sort of Marvel Exiles scenario. At the end of the day, my JL Task Force would want to the threat to end just they could go home.

    Anyway, I think personally I connected with SanctumSanctorumComix’s the most. I mean, a number of people brought in lesser characters who are laughable and thus would be hella fun to see on a superteam, but SSC managed to construct a scenario where a team of well-liked characters could save the day together, but not have any lasting chemistry. I guess the idea of all of the strong personalities and team leaders of Marvel saving the day but recognizing that they work best only as occasional allies really appeals to me (also, Cyclops is an asshole and I’d like to see him be forced to admit someone else needs to think up the big plan). I also think it works as the “worst superteam” because he (or she?) managed to work Man-Thing into the plot perfectly, but once the threat’s over, can you see Namor and Cyclops hanging out with the Man-Thing?

    As for worst in-print superteams, let’s nominate the Blood Pack!

  74. Haha… ThanX Carter.

    This is one dude (yes, “he”) who says “thanks for digging what I was going for there”.

    My only regret is NOT thinking of tossing in another “liege”; the KING of Monsters – GODZILLA – in time.

    Just call me “hindsight lad”.
    ;-)

    ~P~
    P-TOR

  75. Whoa, longest thread ever.

    My vote goes for Harvey’s team. There are some incredibly bad ideas for superteams here, but getting Galactus on board is a masterstroke.

    “Punisher, you’re on point. Howard, check the database for traces of our killer. Dracula, sweep the area. Man-Thing, well, you just stand there. Galactus, guard the rear. What do you mean, you’ve destroyed the planet again? Sigh. Back to base then, team.”

  76. Pingback: New Year’s Bray | A Trout In The Milk·

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