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Recently, CWR’s own Brandon Jerwa asked a question to a few friends while doing some research for a potential project: what are your favorite superhero “team” stories. And unlike most of Brandon’s questions, which tend to revolve around penis size, I felt this one was worth giving a solid response. In fact, I liked my response so much that it became this issue’s column. So, with absolutely no fanfare, my 5 favorite superhero “team” stories:

1. FANTASTIC FOUR 242-244, John Byrne's Galactus trilogy. I had been away from FF for a while at this point and picked up 242 on a lark. My younger self was floored by what I saw- Manhattan lifted into orbit, the Baxter Building decimated, a guy with an axe flying around and beating up the heroes, and Galactus. All for $.60. It was awesome. Right behind this would be Byrne's Doom vs. Terrax vs. The Silver Surfer story in 259-261. The Surfer dives out of orbit on his board, rips through NYC at supersonic speed, grabs Terrax BY HIS BEARD as he does it, and throws him through a building. How do you not love that?

2. Authority 1-12 by Ellis and Hitch. A surface read of the books gives you some cool plots, wild powers, and wacky ideas. But a deeper read shows what I believe is the key to Ellis' success: he's a romantic, and damned near an incurable one. His characters aren't so jaded that they take their powers and opportunities for granted. That's where Millar's take went off the rails and ultimately lead to the end of the property's viability.

3. Avengers 223 by David Michelinie and Greg Laroque. This is a cheat, as it isn't a full-team story. But it is one of the best Marvel comics of the 80s- I promise. The story is simple: Hawkeye goes back to the carnival where he once performed and finds that the Taskmaster has taken over, using it to train hired goons. At the same time, Ant-Man has taken his daughter to the carnival on a custody outing. Together, the two have to battle thugs, lions, and one of Marvel's best villains. I bought that DVD with 40 years of Avengers comics on it and the first thing I read? This one.

4. Justice League International 8. "Moving Day" remains one of the funniest comics ever made- period. From Booster Gold's failed attempt to seduce the woman who turns out to be the embassy's liaison to the roof collapse because the League's ship is too heavy, I re-read it recently and still laughed my way through it. Giffen and DeMatteis were never better than this. Ever.

5. Thor 361-362 by Walt Simonson. Technically not a team book, it is a team story. Thor leads a legion of warriors into Hel in order to free wrongfully trapped mortal souls. But when the time comes to escape, it isn't the thunder god who covers everyone's backsides. Instead, longtime villain Skurge the Executioner takes on the mantle of hero. Tired of playing the fool for the Enchantress, he had joined the quest in order to find meaning in his life. Instead, he found meaning in his death. Beautiful, poetic stuff.

So- those are mine. What are yours?

Marc Mason

 

 

 

 

 



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