Sunday, June 12, 2011

Who Should Have Had a Team-Up Book?

Doug: I think it's a safe bet around here that we have a lot of Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-In-One fans. Because Karen and I aren't as privy to Bronze Age DC's, we've obviously been delinquent in our DC Comics Presents and Brave and the Bold reviews -- but I'm sure we have readers with fond memories of those series as well. Looking at the stars of those magazines, Spider-Man, the Thing, Superman, and Batman, respectively, it's pretty easy to see how Marvel and DC used their superstars to market those four books.

Doug: But, if you could have started another mag back in the day, how would you have run it? Pick a lead character from each company who you'd have used as the headliner and let us know why you chose him or her. Or, maybe you'd have run the book potpourri-style, just throwing characters from all over each universe together (as in DC's recent reincarnation of The Brave and the Bold). Do you have any interesting team-ups in mind? Speaking of what has gone before, did you like your team-ups to be somewhat logical, or did you go more for the offbeat adventures (Batman and Kamandi, for example)?

As always, thanks for playing!


Terence Stewart said...

Ah, I would have gone with the initial premise of The Brave and the Bold before Bats muscled his way in, and featured team-ups of lots of B and C list characters. It probably wouldn't have sold, but I would have loved to have seen characters like Black Orchid and The Enchantress get together, if only for one issue.

Flying Tiger Comics said...


Animal Man,


Robotman (in some respects the DC's Ben Grimm),


Zatanna (quest for father),

Swamp Thing.


(they sort of did this anyway)


Doctor Strange (heroes come to him with their magical ailments etc.),


Sue Storm (what did you do today honey?),



Hulk (sort of did it anyway for extended periods with all the guest stars)


Dougie said...

I'm astonished there never was a Wolverine team-up book. I've already seen quite enough of the obnoxious little runt though.
For Bronze Age Marvel, Captain America Team-Up seems the best option (The Free and the Brave?)
At DC, Flash Plus...? because then you could have Jay-Flash teaming up with Earth-1 types too.

Redartz said...

I would have gone with the recent Brave and the Bold format; using random combinations of characters gives you lots more latitude for imaginative stories. Granted, coming up with plausible reasons for certain characters meeting could be challenging, but that's part of the fun of it!

For Marvel:
Wolverine and Squirrel Girl
Black Widow and Elecktra
Wonder Man and the Beast (Avengers nostalgia)

For DC:
Batman and Guy Gardner
Deadman and Swamp Thing
The Spectre and Ambush Bug

Fred W. Hill said...

If making up cross-company team-ups, imagine a Swamp Thing/Man-Thing team-up -- just thinking of Swampy's reaction to coming across another muck creature whose mind is much closer to that of a plant than his own. Of course, in a manner of speaking, Moore did bring them together, along with the Heap, in his Parliament of Trees story.
Then again, how about Ben Grimm meeting the, ahem, original Thing as portrayed by the late James Arness. Just too many things to think about.

david_b said...

You all have much more insight than I do on this.. I was wrackin' my brain to come up with another 'obvious choice' and I couldn't. Cap and Flash seemed the most obvious choices as any.

I like Terence's approach with just a general B&B team up style.

Inkstained Wretch said...

If it were up to me and I had to write a team-up book for Marvel, I would have choosen the Bronze-age Nick Fury as the anchor character. Think about it; there are all sorts of possibilities.

Fury could be recruiting heroes for special SHEILD missions. Or he could be obliged by circumstances to bring some hero in line. Or he could be recruiting villians for Suicide Squad-type missions.

To take a completely different tack, Thor could also work as the anchor. In the right hands he is a very versatile character. You can use him for straight-up superhero fights, or fantasy/sword and sorcery type-stuff or cosmic sci-fi tales. The stories all would be in character for him to appear and that opens him up to all sorts of guest stars.

On the DC, I'd go with Wonder Woman for pretty much the same reasons as Thor. She has the same quality of mixing superheroism with mythology and the cosmic.

starfoxxx said...

Hawkeye could have had a great team-up book. Too bad SoloAvengers/Avengers Spotlight was two seperate stories.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of structure, I always felt that although the team up books lent themselves to one-shots (were designed for it really); they were actually at their best when stories rolled on, with new guests added to keep the title changing. I think the high spot of 2 in 1 was Project Pegasus and for Team Up it was the time-travelling/Dark Rider story line in the 40’s and the more continuous Claremont & Byrne run. So, weirdly, it benefitted more from continuity than one-shot-iness.

I think Doc Strange would be my pick for a team up book. Whilst I loved his solo stuff, you only have to look at The Defenders, guest shots in Doc’s mag like the Black Knight, Spider Man, the Juggernaut and corkers like that Miller Team Up Annual (Bend Sinister, that one) to see the possibilities.

Dougie – on the subject of Wolverine being an obnoxious little runt, did you know that he was originally supposed to be a mouthy, obnoxious teenager?

Redartz – Squirrel Girl? Please tell me you made that up?

Fred – did you know that Man Thing actually predates Swamp Thing? I didn’t – I always assumed he was a knock off.

Inkstained – very good call on Fury. Didn’t think of that. Thor would be good but as you say, would REALLY have to be in the right hands. One shots that pillage big story material by guest writers and artists are worse than filler. There are Thor team up stories where cosmic events are opened up and then resolved 6 pages later, usually by a ridiculously naff expedient.


Redartz said...

Richard: Sorry, I can't take credit for Squirrel Girl. She first appeared in an Iron Man story in the 90's version of Marvel Super-Heroes. More recently she baby-sat for Luke Cage's baby in New Avengers. You have to see her to believe her; hence my pairing with Wolverine. I'm twisted, yes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Redartz - I'm leaning towards a 'burying your nuts' based reply, which is about the only thing that could actually lower the tone from 'Sqirrel Girl.'
WOW, everything after the mid 80's is just dire, isn't it?


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