Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Top 10 Superhero Teams?

Doug: Yesterday on another message board I came across a link to an article posted on Newsarama.com. The author published his version of the Top 10 Superhero Teams of All Time. For your dissecting, disagreeing, and disrespecting pleasure, I include it for you here:

10. Gen-13
9.The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
8. The Justice Society of America
7. Legion of Super-Heroes
6. Watchmen
5. Teen Titans
4. Fantastic Four
3. X-Men
2. Justice League of America
1. The Avengers

Gen-13? Really?


18 comments:

Rip Jagger said...

Where are The Champions? Herc is going to be miffed!

(Just kidding!)

The biggest oversight I detect is the absence of the The Doom Patrol. Despite the fact they cannot hold down a series for any length of time these days, the classic model is the stuff of comic book legend.

I'd put the Fantastic Four higher and despite my love for the Avengers, and despite their current success, they don't deserve the number one slot. I'd give that to the FF maybe or the JLA.

My idiosyncratic personal addition would be Charlton's The Sentinels, but then I'm cuckoo for the Big Red C.

Rip Off

Steve Does Comics said...

The Defenders would always make my Top Ten.

Inkstained Wretch said...

What, no Batman and the Outsiders?

(Kidding ...)

dbutler16 said...

Gen-13 making the list instantly makes me lose some respect for it, but otherwise it's decent. The top 4 are very hard to rank, I think. The FF are Marvel's first family, the X-Men have been the most popular thing in comics for the past 30 eyars, the JLA has more iconic figures than any group and many of us grew up with the Superfriends. I love the Avengers and don't mind seeing them #1, but in truth, they probably don't deserve the top spot and I wonder if they're only there because of the impending movie. Personally, I'd rank the Legion of Super-Heroes above any other DC team, though agree that the JLA really should be ranked higher. I also agree with others that the Defenders should be on this list. Also, though not really a superhero team, I wouldn't mind seeing the Challengers of the Unknown on here.

J.A. Morris said...

My favorite team would have to be the Defenders. But if I'm being objective, here's my top 3:

1.X-men-one of the most influential comics of all time, with multiple incarnations in various media. And issues 108-143 are some of the greatest stories by the greatest creative team of all time.
2.JLA-Not the first team book, but the blueprint for all that followed. The JLA(or Superfriends) were my intro to the DC Universe heroes. And if we believe the mythology, the JLA inspired the FF.
3.FF-The team book that launched the Marvel Age and revolutionized comics.
I agree that Gen 13 hurts the credibility of the list. But I don't really think Watchmen belong on the list either.

Great story, but can the Watchmen really be considered a great team? 12 issues? And in how many issues does the whole "team" actually team together? Plus, can you be a great team if one teammate attempts to rape another? I saw that the list has a bunch of qualifiers, but I still disagree.

I'd put the Champions and Great Lakes Avengers in the Top 10 before Watchmen.

Dougie said...

Don't disrespect BATO, Mr. Wretch. I had more entertainment from them than the Bwah-ha-ha League or the overrated Watchmen.

Edo Bosnar said...

Loved Watchmen, but they really weren't a team, at least not in the sense of the others on this list. So they don't really belong here.
I also agree that the absense of the Defenders is practically unforgivable. But despite that and the inclusion of Gen 13, I guess most of the rest of these teams make sense, although I agree it's hard to rank them.

William said...

I saw this article on Newsarama and I couldn't believe it... Gen 13, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the freaking Watchman!!! You've got to be kidding me? I'm sorry but not one of those three entries deserves to be on a list of all time great Super-Hero teams. They actually put the Watchmen (and the Teen Titans for that matter) before the Justice Society. Yeah sure, whatever. The fact that they were the first super team in history isn't that important after all. And I'm not big JSA fan either, it's just that come on, they were the one's who started it all. That's got to count for something more than being a knock-off Elseworlds version of the old Charlton Bullseye characters, like the Watchmen were.

And I'd put The Defenders, The Invaders and hell, even Alpha Flight, X-Force or the Wildcats before friggin Gen 13. (Even though I do dig J. Scott Campbell's art).

Whalehead King said...

I assume you are trying to be provocative with Gen 13, but the illustration alone puts me off my lunch. I'd like to put the Legion at #1, but they don't deserve it.

Redartz said...

Can't argue with most of the sentiments expressed today! I thought Watchmen was incredible, but certainly would not consider it for such a list.

I would place the Justice League at number one, due to it's influence on all who followed (although the same argument could be made for the Justice Society).

The Defenders definitely should be on the list. As for an off-the-wall selection, how about The United Three ( Captain Hero, Pureheart the Powerful and Superteen)? After all, they did face Evil Doctor Doom; not the Fantastic Four's nemesis, however...

Doug said...

Whalehead King --

If by "you", you mean me, then I guess I was being provocative from the standpoint that I wanted to "provoke" some conversation. But it's not my list we're discussing, but some other fellow's. I posted that pic because I honestly wasn't sure all of our readers would know what a "Gen-13" looked like.


Good conversation -- I liked the Invaders as a suggestion. Although a retcon, it certainly fit the Marvel Universe into that space occupied by the JSA over at DC.

I was thinking if there weren't some bad-guy teams that would be more worthy of being a "Top 10 super-groups" list than some you all have mentioned. The Frightful Four and the Masters of Evil come to mind.

Doug

Ray Tomczak said...

Doom Patrol is definitely a serious omission here. Peter Milligan and Mike Allred's X-Statix deserves a place on this list as well.

david_b said...

Whaaatt..? 'Inferior Five' from DC's Silver Age got shut out again..?

That's makes about as much sense as having Gen-13 and Watchmen on. No worries on the cheesy picture; it's been a few months since I commented how I like a little cheesecake for breakfast every now and then..(LOL).

You're really looking at a skewed vantage point when you're bringing up Leaque and Gen-13 with the likes of Avengers and JLA, but we all have vantage points here. I'm agreeing with most that definitely the Defenders needed to be on, and agreeing with Rip that either FF or JLA should take the top spot, despite my love for the Avengers over both.

Are we looking at magnitude of battles (Kree-Skull War, Galactus), longevity and influence on comics overall (JLA invoking Marvel to create FF..), team-work..? I believe the Defenders had much more influence in future 'non-teams' than most give them credit.

Overall, I agree with with Edo and J.A. on their selection rationales.

Karen said...

Watchmen and Gen 13 are absurd. Strong arguments can be made for Defenders, Invaders, and Doom Patrol. For modern teams I'd throw in Agents of Axis, which I thought was just brilliant -but never seemed to catch on.

Whalehead King said...

I was only vaguely familiar with Gen 13 till yesterday. Now I know all I want to. Thanks, Doug.

Fred W. Hill said...

Even though I've never collected any of DC's big name teams -- JLA, Teen Titans and the Legion of Superheroes, they certainly deserve a place, as does the Doom Patrol (which I have collected). Otherwise, for me it's the FF, Avengers, X-Men, Defenders,the Invaders and the Guardians of the Galaxy! Well, at least those were my faves when I was a Bronze Age Marvelmaniac.

Vintage Bob said...

I don't even know who some of those modern teams are.

If I had to do a list of the top ten teams based simply on how much I like the team itself and not based on how much I enjoyed reading a title (for example, Fantastic Four was always much more fun to read than Freedom Fighters, although I ranked Freedom Fighters higher because I like the character selection more), my list would be:

10. Legion of Super-Heroes
9. Fantastic Four
8. Freedom Fighters
7. Justice League of America
6. Inhumans
5. Invaders
4. The Justice Society of America
3. X-Men (Claremont/Byrne new X-men)
2. Defenders
1. Avengers (Englehart/Perez era)

Some of these shift slightly from time to time, but generally they stay the same. Avengers has always and will always be my favorite team title, with Defenders and Xmen following. JSA will always rank next because of how much I love seeing Spectre, Dr. Fate, and Starman on one team (and they're 3 of my top DC characters).

Anonymous said...

I would actually put the Avengers at no # 1 because they ran for their first 200 issues (OK, 199) with almost no duff issues and several REALLY classic runs under Thomas & Englehart. Then it turns to crap for 50 issues and then another superb run (Stern / Buscema /Palmer) to 300 or so. Seriously, beat that!

I don’t think Watchmen is overrated at all, but to regard it as ‘a comic about a super hero team’ is to miss several hundred levels of nuance, characterisation, political & social satire, and everything else. It’s like saying MacBeth is a play about a slightly over-ambitious chap.

I also wouldn’t count the Invaders. Roy Thomas’s fantasy ret-con before we had the term.

The Inhumans never really got a fair crack of the whip. Neither did the Starjammers, who could have had a few stories to tell.

I’d go for:
Englehart’s Avengers
Claremont’s Xmen
Gerber’s Defenders
Can’t choose between Lee/Kirby FF and Byrne FF.
Champions (esp. the Byrne issues)

Richard

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