Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's the Best Team Book EVER?

Doug: Whaddaya think? The Justice League of America, the Defenders, the Forever People, the Avengers, the Challengers of the Unknown, the Fantastic Four, the Legion of Super-Heroes, the X-Men, the Secret Society of Super-Villains, the Champions, the Justice Society of America, X-Factor, the Teen Titans, the Invaders, the Doom Patrol... and on and on. There is certainly no shortage of strong nominees for your favorite book of long-john buddies (yeah, that sounded weird).

Of course, being a teacher I'm not going to let you off the hook with a simple answer -- puh-lease tell us why you feel the way you feel. And have a blast doing so!


MOCK! said...

My votes were: Avengers, X-Men and JLA.

Avengers was THE comic for me growing up...when I stopped collecting, I had amassed a run from #17 to 378. I loved the characters and their feeling of being honored to be on the team. I liked how the government had a say in limiting or expanding membership at times. The members always seemed to mesh well and every adventure was important.

My run of JLA was not as strong, but to this day if I find myself in a new town, I seek out their comic shop and search for old copies to read.

The Byrne/Claremont era of X-Men had such a great team and epic storyline that anything that followed paled in comparison...

Perhaps I might not "Meet The Standard" with that answer but it is the best I can do this early on a Saturday...

La Belle Esplanade said...

LSH. No competition. They have the largest continuous roster. Nobody knows what to do with them any more but the Silver and Bronze Age tales nail them into the top slot.

My number two choice is the Avengers for their ongoing continuity and roster, just like the Legion. With LSH you only had to buy one book to keep abreast of everything though.

Inkstained Wretch said...

My votes, in descending order:

Teen Titans - George Perez was a good artist before the early 80s title started, but he vaulted into the first rank after Teen Titans. Marv Wolfman's stories weren't bad either.

Legion of Super Heroes - The Paul Levitz/Keith Giffen run on this title is one of the best of the Bronze Age.

The Avengers - Consistently the best team title of the Bronze Age. It's weaker runs were still better than most other titles, and at its best it was THE best.

Doug said...

I voted for the Avengers, FF, and Legion. When I first became an avid comics reader, the Avengers were appearing in Marvel Triple Action in the Lee/Heck era, and in the regular title by Englehart and Sal Buscema. Giant-Size books had recently started, and the Celestial Madonna arc was in full swing. These were the resources that made this title my all-time favorite. And yeah -- while there have been plenty of pretty stinky times, the high points seem to cover for that.

Over in the FF, I believe #159 or #160 was the first issue I bought on my own. I also had a few copies of Marvel's Greatest Comics by Stan and Jack. George Perez was soon to take over the art chores. The Silver and Bronze Ages contain enough quality stories to keep me coming back again and again.

And lastly, Mike Grell was on the art chores on Legion of Super-Heroes, and it was never better! I keep hoping DC will publish the next volume in the Archives series -- it's really too bad they never did the dvd-roms that Marvel did!

I had a tough time leaving the Bronze Age X-Men off my voting list, but I really didn't follow the title after Byrne left so that sealed it for me. However, if we ever talk about the best run ever, it would be difficult to not put the Claremont/Byrne years at the top.

Thanks for voting!


Anonymous said...

I voted for JLA, LSH, and the Avengers. The first superhero comic I had was a JLA back in the early 70's (a JLA/JSA team-up, no less) and I kept up with JLA for over ten years. I started reading the LSH during the Bates/Cockrum era and continued off and on through Shooter/Grell and Levitz/Giffen. I liked the wide range of members in the LSH. I came along later to the Avengers (maybe mid 70's during Perez's first run), but read it solid through about 100 issues. There were several others I could have voted for (FF, X-Men, Invaders), but those were the three I read most faithfully.


jefsview said...

The Avengers were my top pick, mostly due to George Perez, but also because while I read the Serpent Crown affair, I was still getting some old school Avengering through Marvel Triple action and both were just cool.

JLA was my DC alternative, and I always wanted more JLA/JSA crossovers; at the time, I loved JSA more, due to Levitz/Giffen run, as well as the Joe Staton origin one shot which blew me away at the time.

While I did pick up Legion during Grell's run, I didn't keep picking it up; guess I got bored until Levitz and Giffen came on.

Back at Marvel, I liked FF especially with young Perez on art, but somehow thought the Invaders were cooler. It didn't help reading the FF annual when the 2 teams met. The Invaders always came out on top.

The X-men was strange; I really liked them when I jump into it with issue 98, and went along for the ride and enjoyed it ever step of the way (until they became popular and convoluted, and destroyed my suspension of disbelief with the return of Jean Grey). Even though I didn't vote for them in the poll, they sort of tie with the JSA.

Wolfman/Perez Titans would come in next, just because the lateness in the bronze age and because I found it difficult to find them regularly when it first began (and I saw then end of the previous series, but the DC Comics Presents insert blew me away and I hungered fro more).

This was a hard vote, since I loved the wackiness of the Defenders and had a huge run with them, too.

Yep, just a difficult vote.

Joseph said...

The Avengers and JLA were amazing with their deep and strong cast of heroes.

The Defenders and the Champions have a special place in my heart due to their outcast and non-conventional makeups.

But the Fantastic Four will always be my favorite team. They always seemed to act the most like a team/family. So, cast my vote for the FF as the best team book ever!ac

Karen said...

My choices were:

1) The Avengers: my all-time favorite team.
2) The X-Men: during the Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne/Austin years, this was my favorite book.A phenomenal run.
3) Legion of Super-Heroes: the first DC book I picked up regularly, starting with Grell and up to the Levitz/Giffen years.I wish they had not been so misused since Crisis.


Ramiro said...

I know it's not as popular as the titles you mention here. But the character development and great dialog of Alan Davis eXcalibur is my personal favorite...and it had Nightcrawler and Shadowcat!

Andrew Wahl said...

It's probably won't surprise anyone, but my vote goes to the X-Men. It was the Claremont/Byrne run captured me, with #129 being the real hook. Kitty Pryde provided a POV character that really clicked with me (ultra-geeky fact: My youngest daughter is named Katja). I was also smart, nerdy little kid who went to a gifted program; for some reason, a comic about a group of superheroic outcasts who went to a gifted school resonated with me : ) I stuck with and loved the X-Men until #175, when the sudden, mid-issue introduction of John Romita Jr.'s art brought me out from under the spell; it was like an unwelcome splash of cold water.

The LoSH would be second on the list. I always loved the concept, and Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen took that title special places. Third would be Marv Wolfman and George Pérez's New Teen Titans, which always smelled like Claremont/Byrne X-men à la DC to me.


MOCK! said...

Andrew Wahl wrote: I stuck with and loved the X-Men until #175, when the sudden, mid-issue introduction of John Romita Jr.'s art brought me out from under the spell; it was like an unwelcome splash of cold water.

I always thought the cover to 175 was BEAUTIFUL. I love everything about it. It was one of the first few comics I ever bought and then 176 with Cyclops and the squid thing just TOTALLY started a downward spiral. By the time they did the "Nimrod" and "Magneto's Not Really Bad" story lines, I think I just hung on out of hope for a turn around....

Fred W. Hill said...

The Avengers were my favorite back in the day, followed by the FF. Very different team dynamics, but I loved 'em both in the early to late '70s, and I was collecting both the then current stories and the Silver Age reprints.
My next favorites were the Defenders, particularly from the Englehart through Gerber eras; then that fabulous X-Men run by Claremont, Cockrum and Byrne.

Anonymous said...

OK, great question, here we go: Xmen, well, you can’t argue with the Claremont/Byrne tour-de-force, but I can’t believe that no one mentioned the Thomas / Adams / Palmer run. weren’t impressed by that? Tough room.
FF – the Byrne run is great, but the old Lee/Kirby’s are still somehow definitive.
Champions, I always thought weren’t given a fair shake. Great idea by Tony Isabella, and although he wasn’t a great writer he did well on Champions. The last half of the run (featuring Mantlo and early John Byrne) is excellent.
Always a soft spot for the Defenders. Much better written than drawn, virtually from start to finish, except for some superb covers towards the end. Usually Englehart is tough act to follow, but Gerber really made them his own.
But come on, it’s the Avengers, isn’t it? The original team, their replacement by a team of more-or-less super villains, the superb Thomas/Buscema run, the wedding of Hank & Jan, Ultron, The Vision, the Kree/Skrull war, the Barry Smith issues, Englehart’s more or less continuous storylines, the Celestial Madonna, Kang, Kang , Kang and more Kang, George Perez, the Serpent Crown, Wonder Man & the Beast, The Korvac Saga, Wanda & Pietro’s past, Gyrich, John Byrne, Ms. Marvel’s pregnancy, Bobby turning up in the, wait a minute...


Andreas Krauß said...

"What's the Best Team Book EVER?"

Huh. That's a difficult question.

Without publicly analyzing all likely candidates (for Marvel: The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Power Pack, the New Mutants, the Defenders, the Infinity Watch, X-Factor & of course the X-Men; for DC: The Legion of Super-Heroes, the Justice Society of America, the Marvel Family, Batman & the Outsiders, the Teen Titans, the Justice League of America, the Doom Patrol, the Metal Men and, again of course, the New Teen Titans) I have to say it's a toss-up between two "winners".

For DC, that would be the Justice League, since that comic book was the first one to actually merge all the "worlds" of its publishers many bestsellers (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman and the Green Lantern) into one greater whole, once and for all proving that the Flash really *did* inhabit the same world as Supes, Bats, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Furthermore, it was the JLA, whose success was responsible for the creation of the Fantastic Four, and from there, everything else.

But for Marvel, the winner clearly has to be the Fantastic Four. For in that title, not only 75% of the Marvel Universe was created.

Far more important, that title forever changed the way adventure stories were done, by adding important story telling elements such as continuity, character-weak protagonists, quarrelling super-heroes, charismatic villains, cosmic menaces, subplots, cruel super-heroes, and many other elements, such as soap opera drama to ordinary super-hero stories.

But if I had to chose between either the JLA book or the FF book-- then it's no contest whatsoever.

The Fantastic Four win this one. Sure, the JLA improved the "old" super-hero formula to its logical maximum-- but the Fantastic Four actually brought many, many new things to the table, actually expanded the old formula, and in the process, forever changed the way we think up new super-hero stories.

And the fact that they were created as the "answer" to the JLA doesn't change a little thing.

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