Marvel Team Relaunch

FINAL ROSTERS, Ellie:

  • GEN X- Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Molly Hayes, M, Quentin Quire, Hellion, Eyeboy
  • Heroes For Hire- She-Hulk, Jessica Jones, Misty Knight, Hellcat, Silk, Collen Wing, Maddie Cho
  • Alpha Flight- Carol Danvers, Mantis, Aurora, Brand, Puck, Talisman, Sasquatch
  • New Warriors- Squirrel Girl, Kamala Khan, Sam Alexander Nova, Nico, Speedball, Firestar, Hazmat
ELLIE: Just before the draft, the New Warriors television series (starring Squirrel Girl) was just announced. It seemed as good a jumping point as any. I figured the New Warriors are a group of cool 20-somethings (and a few teens) who just wanted to do good. Think the Champions without the social media pressure. The New Warriors are about fixing and improving not only their image, but who they are as people.

Generation X was my final pick. I didn’t have it totally nailed down, but I wanted to have the “little brother” and “little sister” characters from a few different generations of X-Men on the team. I also wanted to have a series that could be about 90% guest cameos of awesome X-characters.

Without further ado, here are my pitches (Marvel, you can totally @ me on these):

Generation X
Kitty Pryde, the X-Men’s original little sister, returns from space. Equipped with more knowledge of the world, she returns to find her purpose in life. She knows she wants to help mutants expand their boundaries, both physically and in terms of knowledge, and so she starts Generation X, a special class of students and former students who join together to travel around the world, act as mutant liaisons, and represent the next generation.

Kitty acts as the team leader, but turns to M and Jubilee, two of the original Gen X, to help her expand everyone’s boundaries. M and Jubilee represent the worldly and the down-to-earth, respectively, and the trio covers 3 different, but not dissimilar, perspectives.

The four main students I drafted were Quentin Quire, who has the potential to create or destroy the world and therefore needs to learn about the people of the world, Hellion, Laura’s ex and someone who needs to expand his perspective beyond his privileged world, Eyeboy, with the power to see everything, but who’s experienced little, and Molly Hayes of the Runaways, who’s seen a lot in her young life, but needs help continuing to see the good in people.
The series would have occasional guest stars that visit to teach the students (and ultimately help the team), such as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Wasp and her GIRLS, Husk and Chamber (of course), the O5, and plenty of other X-folks!
(In retrospect, I could have easily done a “Logan’s Angels” team, with Rogue, Kitty, Jubes, Armour, Idie, Laura, and Gabby. I regret not doing this.)

Alpha Flight

Alpha Flight is funded through NASA and the Canadian government. They’re a little bit home country and a little bit space race.

Led by Carol Danvers, Alpha Flight is trying to figure out its place in the world. Are they the Guardians of the Galaxy? Well, not quite. The Avengers? Not really. So what do they actually do? Well, come back to us about that one.

Abigail Brand continues to oversee the program, but has brought on Mantis, the former Guardian’s empathy, because there’s a disturbance in the Force. No, not the Force, wrong book. It’s really that something’s a bit weird in this reality, which Mantis is in tune with, and it seems like someone needs to fix that problem.

Who better to do that than Sasquatch, Aurora, and Puck? Along with Talisman, who’s magic seems to be compatible with the multiverse and string theory, Alpha Flight fights for Earth. Or Earths, I guess.
Ultimately, Alpha Flight would explore the concept of alternate realities, but also the concept of finding your place in the world.
Heroes for Hire

Luke and Danny have moved on from Heroes for Hire. Not intentionally; they’re just busy guys. So it comes to Misty Knight to make Heroes for Hire work.

And she does this by turning it into a public service: think non-profit meets community center and you’ll hit it. She and Colleen Wing pull together the greatest heroes they can thing of who all just happen to be tied to New York and helping people, not other superheroes.

Jennifer Walters is the first one to volunteer, leaving her law firm to start working as a public defense attorney. Patsy Walker quickly follows her bff, tying her super powered temp agency into the Heroes for Hire brand. Jessica Jones begrudgingly joins, wanting to move out of the costumed spotlight, as the organization’s private detective. Silk stumbles into the team by accident, and brings Maddie Cho, who’s left her brother Amadeus to fend for himself, with her as a security blanket, and the team’s Oracle.

The fact that the Heroes are all women is totally coincidental: they’re there best there is, regardless of gender.
New Warriors

Squirrel Girl always idolized the New Warriors, and her mega crush Speedball, so all the coals the team has been raked over, time and again, really upset our peppy heroine. She’s determined to take the New Warriors and turn them into what they were always supposed to be: the next generation of Avengers.

Doreen turns to founding members Speedball and Firestar to get their blessing, and the two hop at the opportunity to do some good again. Ultimate fangirl Kamala Khan finds out what SG is doing, and offers up herself and her Nova pal, Sam Alexander, as team members. Former A-Force and Runaways member Nico Minoru, who happens to be on a secret heroes only message board with Kamala, decides that she needs to put herself back out there as a hero (again). Finally, Hazmat, the Avengers Academy and Avengers Arena survivor, who is dealing with her PTSD but still wants to help others, join the team.

The team’s meant to represent a little bit of everything in the Marvel Universe: Mutants (Firestar), Inhumans (Ms. Marvel), space (Nova), magic (Nico), accident (Speedball), genetics (Hazmat), squirrels (Squirrel Girl), and pet Avengers (Niels).

The New Warriors follow the tone of the current Squirrel Girl comics, where unexpected non-violence is ultimately the answer to all conflicts. Cause punching people is great and all, but what does it actually get you? Hurty knuckles, that’s what!

FINAL ROSTERS, Mike:

  • Avengers- Captain America (SRogers), Odinson, Iron Man (TStark), Pym, Clint, Janet, Banner
  • Invaders- Winter Soldier, Namor, Union Jack, Spitfire, Hammond, Toro, Le Peregrine
  • Space Knights- Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Richard Rider Nova, Vance Astro, Moondragon, Quasar, Beta-Ray Bill
  • Fantastic Four- Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Jane Foster Thor, Rita, Black Knight, Dr. Druid, Stingray

1678922-avengers_lineup01MIKE: The Justice League is the big 7, so that is what I was hoping to do with my Avengers team, but figured I would lose a few of my hopefuls to either Barak or Ellie.  I didn’t as I literally was able to draft the 7 heroes I envisioned.  The Avengers are the prime super-hero team.  Everyone wants to grow up to be an Avenger, and when the Avengers call, you say yes! Captain America (Steve Rogers) was selected first, both because Barak threatened to take him and he was going to be the team leader. Thor (Odinson) and Iron Man (Tony Stark) round out the Big 3. Giant Man (Hank Pym), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), and the Incredible Hulk (Bruce Banner) fill out the core team.  The fact that I had to list secret identities as identifiers for every single hero shows exactly what I feel is wrong with Marvel right now.  Let your big guns be your big guns.

Invaders_Vol_1_20Just as the Justice League had their fore-bearers the JSA, the Avengers would have the Invaders.  The first super-team put together to fight the Nazis, the Invaders would evolve as heroes retired and passed on their identities but still be guided by the principles of the founding team (or in some cases the principals). Winter Soldier was going to be the tie to the Avengers as well as the team leader.  Bucky all grown up is joined by fellow original team members Namor, Spitfire, Human Torch (Jim Hammond), and Toro.  The third Union Jack fills in for the original Union Jack and for the final spot I wanted to add a character that filled what I feel was a glaring omission in the original team-either a French or Soviet super-hero.  I went back and forth with Ursa Major and Vanguard before settling on Le Peregrine.

When you think Marvel comic super-teams, after Avengers and X-Men, the Fantastic Four has to be in the conversation.  Typically a “family” team I was going to focus on the adventurers side.  I wanted a team of heroes who weren’t necessarily out there fighting crime, but out there exploring the world.  With so many potential scientist based heroes, I realized I needed a hero who would keep the team grounded in reality.  While Reed Richards is usually the leader of the team, I feel Ben Grimm (Thing) would serve better as this team’s leader. Reed (Mr. Fantastic) of course would be on the team as would fellow scientists Dane Whitman (Black Knight), Walter Newell (Stingray), and Rita DeMara (Yellowjacket).  Rounding out the team would be medical doctor Jane Foster (Thor) and mystical specialist Anthony Druid (Dr. Druid). As noted by the way I listed them, the book would focus on their exploration of the new Marvel Universe as scientists, and not so much as super-heroes.  Think Challengers of the Unknown meets Planetary.

Space Knights is the team that fills the role of the Watcher on the Wall.  It’s a great concept, the first (and sometimes only) line of defense against alien invasion.  But no offense to them, but Nick Fury and Bucky Barnes are not suited for the job.  You need a team of aliens to fight aliens, and who better to lead them then a human who sees himself as an alien?  Peter Quill, Star-lord, is joined by his former Guardians of the Galaxy teammate Rocket Raccoon and future GotG member Vance Astro.  They are joined by 3 other cosmic heroes who were born on Earth: Moondragon, Nova (Richard Rider), and Quasar. The final slot again was a tough call, as I had a short list of Groot, Bug (from the Micronauts!), one of the Galadorian Space Knights, or Beta Ray Bill.  The power of Beta Ray Bill was too much to pass on.  Also, the fact that most of my team also served as analogs of Green Lantern Corps members didn’t hurt.  Peter Quill/Hal Jordan. Rocket/Ch’p, Vance Astro/Rond Vidar, Moondragon/Guardian of the Universe, Richard Rider/Kyle Rayner, Beta Ray Bill/Kilowog, and really who is Quasar, but a Marvel Green Lantern?

FINAL ROSTERS, Barak:

  • West Coast Avengers- Dazzler, Wonder Man, Mockingbird, Kate Bishop, Shroud, Tigra, Striker
  • Champions- Darkstar, Northstar, Black Panther, Tempus, Defensor, Namora, Radiance
  • USAvengers- Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Scott Lang, Cass, American Eagle, Echo, US 1
  • Defenders- Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Spider Woman, Nighthawk, Hellstrom, Sue Storm, Cloud

BARAK:

West Coast Avengers I wanted to be characters associated with the original team, or associated with fame. i wanted a somewhat misfit group of heroes, looking for s second chance, or looking to do the hero thing somewhere other than Manhattan. I have always been a fan of Shroud, and I thought Striker would be a great addition to this veteran team, getting some hero-training by some of the best in the biz!

My idea for Champions came from a passing comment from Mike, that Marvel didn’t really have a Global Guardians team. What better moniker than The Champions? Darkstar was a throwback to the original team, and represented Russia/ Europe. Northstar represents Canada, and is a character I have always been a fan of. Tempus is great because she is an Australian character without being an Australian cliche. South America didn’t really have a whole lot to choose from, so why not a callback to one of my favorite series, the one that started them all, Contest of Champions. namora representing Atlantis, and for my final pick, I really debated. An argument can be made that Russia is a part of Asia, and if so, I considered grabbing a most unlikely hero, Infamous Iron Man, AKA Dr. Doom. Instead I went with the recently introduced Radiance. I’d see Black Panther leading this team representing every inhabited continent, Marvel’s answer to Stormwatch/ The Authority, as well as Global Guardians.

U.S.Avengers_Vol_1_1_50_State_Variants

Just a big tease.

USAvengers: The Team With No Name. Not a team, but a book about wandering heroes traveling the US and doing good. Each issue might be a self-contained story, or might contain parts of multiple stories continued in the following issues. Herc and Cho, Scott and Cass, American Eagle, Echo, and US 1 bring some interesting characters to the table, and would allow us to explore some lesser seen parts of the country, and deal with some way lesser-known villains. I wanted to draft Team America/ ThundeRiders, but draft rules dictated I would need to take them individually, so I settled for US 1.

dfad1Defenders: Just like the classic non-team, I didn’t really have an idea. NYC based, helping people, fighting villains and organizations the hoity-toity Avengers don’t have time for, some dramatic tension with Sue Storm on the team, touching upon topical matters in the news as well much more than most of the the other team books (USAvengers would also allow for this type of interesting exploration and examination of news and society). I went with Hellstrom instead of Strange as he has had some dealings with danny and Luke recently. I enjoyed the recent Spider-Woman series. This one was a blank canvas in many ways, but would be a lot of fun to write.

Marvel, give us a call. We can make these team books work. I bet these 12 could sell more than your top 12 team books are currently selling! Bold words, indeed!

Marvel Draft Final Day

This is it, the final day of the draft, as teams look to round out their rosters, and come up with the starting seven!

hellcatwalker2ROUND 4:

  • Defenders- Nighthawk
  • F4- Rita Demara Yellowjacket
  • Space Knights- Vance Astro
  • NW- Nico Minoru
  • H4H- Hellcat
  • USAvengers- Cass Lang
  • Champions- Tempus
  • Alpha Flight- Abigail Brand
  • Invaders-Spitfire
  • Avengers-Hank Pym Giant Man
  • WCA- Kate Bishop
  • GenX- M

 

ROUND 5:

  • GEN X- Quentin Quire
  • WCA- Shroud
  • Avengers- Hawkeye Clint Barton
  • Invaders- Jim Hammond Human Torch
  • Alpha Flight- Puck
  • Champions- Namora
  • USAvengers- American Eagle
  • H4H- Silk
  • NW- Speedball
  • Space Knights- Moondragon
  • F4- Black Knight
  • Defenders- Sue Storm

3129351-ohotmu+defenders+#1+-+page+8ROUND 6:

  • Defenders- Hellstrom
  • F4- Dr. Druid
  • Space Knights- Quasar
  • NW- Firestar
  • H4H- Colleen Wing
  • USAvengers- Echo
  • Champions- Defensor
  • Alpha Flight- Talisman
  • Invaders- Toro
  • Avengers- Wasp (Janet Van Dyne)
  • WCA- Tigra
  • GenX- Hellion

 

ROUND 7:

  • GEN X- Eyeboy
  • WCA- Striker
  • Avengers- Hulk Bruce Banner
  • Invaders- Le Peregrine
  • Alpha Flight- Sasquatch
  • Champions- Radiance
  • USAvengers- US 1
  • H4H- Maddie Cho
  • NW- Hazmat
  • Space Knights- Beta-Ray Bill
  • F4- Stingray
  • Defenders- Cloud

Cloud, rightfully, picks up the title of Captain Irrelevant.

FINAL ROSTERS:

  • GEN X- Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Molly Hayes, M, Quentin Quire, Hellion, Eyeboy
  • West Coast Avengers- Dazzler, Wonder Man, Mockingbird, Kate Bishop, Shroud, Tigra, Striker
  • Avengers- Captain America (SRogers), Odinson, Iron Man (TStark), Pym, Clint, Janet, Banner
  • Invaders- Winter Soldier, Namor, Union Jack, Spitfire, Hammond, Toro, Le Peregrine
  • Alpha Flight- Carol Danvers, Mantis, Aurora, Brand, Puck, Talisman, Sasquatch
  • Champions- Darkstar, Northstar, Black Panther, Tempus, Defensor, Namora, Radiance
  • USAvengers- Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Scott Lang, Cass, American Eagle, Echo, US 1
  • Heroes For Hire- She-Hulk, Jessica Jones, Misty Knight, Hellcat, Silk, Collen Wing, Maddie Cho
  • New Warriors- Squirrel Girl, Kamala Khan, Sam Alexander Nova, Nico, Speedball, Firestar, Hazmat
  • Space Knights- Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Richard Rider Nova, Vance Astro, Moondragon, Quasar, Beta-Ray Bill
  • Fantastic Four- Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Jane Foster Thor, Rita, Black Knight, Dr. Druid, Stingray
  • Defenders- Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Spider Woman, Nighthawk, Hellstrom, Sue Storm, Cloud
249px-Woodgod

Mike could’ve made Woodgood a contender.

COMMENTARY: Tomorrow, we will hear from the teams, and have each present us their concepts, let us look at the Top 10 Undrafted Free Agents:

  • Spider-Man (Parker)
  • Wolverine
  • Dr. Strange
  • Vision
  • Storm
  • Beast
  • Spectrum
  • Black Widow
  • Rogue
  • Woodgod

 

IMAGINE IF: Ant-Man, Release Date 1967

Imagine if Hollywood had released tent-pole comic-book movies starring their iconic characters around the time of the source material’s release date. For the purposes of this experiment, we will say that a movie would be released 5 years after the introduction of the character, and only movies that have been made would be made.

Imagine If: Ant-Man, Release Date 1967

Producers really wanted to get an Avengers movie on the screen, but they also felt obligated to do right by the members, and thus financed an Ant-Man movie, utilizing some of the leading special effects for the time to make Hank and Jan appear small, and to make ants appear gigantic. This one definitely veered towards family friendly.

41a7dfa871582bd53f6b3169315313dfAnt-Man-Dean Jones

Disney leading man Dean Jones was perfect for a lighter take on the superhero genre. Star of numerous comedic roles, most well known for That Darn Cat! but recently off a Broadway gig where he starred with Jane Fonda who also caught the eye of producers.

 

 

 

1965-_Sally_Field_as_'Gidget'Wasp-Sally Field

Gidget, The Flying Nun, most well-known to audiences from TV, she was the quintessential girl next door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13914-5922-0Egghead-Donald Pleasance

To many he would always be Blofeld, but Marvel picked him for the maniacal madman nemesis of Dr. Pym.

Marvel Hero Draft Day 2

Day 2 of the Hero Draft will see teams adding the 2nd and 3rd members to their teams, and should hopefully give us a better idea the direction they are going.

ROUND 2

  • Defenders- Luke Cage
  • F4- Reed Richards
  • Space Knights- Rocket Racoon
  • NW- Kamala Khan
  • H4H- Jessica Jones
  • USAvengers- Amadeus Cho
  • Champions-Northstar
  • Alpha Flight- Mantis
  • Invaders- Namor
  • Avengers- Odinson
  • WCA- Wonder Man
  • GenX- Jubilee

Northstar-Alpha-Flight-Marvel-Comics-h1.jpeg

ROUND 3

  • GEN X- Molly Hayes
  • WCA- Mockingbird
  • Avengers- Tony Stark Iron Man
  • Invaders- Union Jack
  • Alpha Flight- Aurora
  • Champions- Black Panther
  • USAvengers- Scott Lang
  • H4H- Misty Knight
  • NW- Sam Alexander Nova
  • Space Knights- Richard Rider Nova
  • F4- Jane Foster Thor
  • Defenders- Spider Woman

Acotilletta2--Nova_memorialTEAMS SO FAR:

  • GEN X- Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Molly Hayes
  • West Coast Avengers- Dazzler, Wonder Man, Mockingbird
  • Avengers- Captain America (SRogers), Odinson, Iron Man (TStark)
  • Invaders- Winter Soldier, Namor, Union Jack
  • Alpha Flight- Carol Danvers, Mantis, Aurora
  • Champions- Darkstar, Northstar, Black Panther
  • USAvengers- Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Scott Lang
  • Heroes For Hire- She-Hulk, Jessica Jones, Misty Knight
  • New Warriors- Squirrel Girl, Kamala Khan, Sam Alexander Nova
  • Space Knights- Star Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Richard Rider Nova
  • Fantastic Four- Ben Grimm, Reed Richards, Jane Foster Thor
  • Defenders- Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Spider Woman

 

COMMENTARY: The second round saw the first controversy, as Joe Quesada announced Hellcat as the Heroes For Hire pick, but the official draft card reported Jessica Jones. Draft rules state that the draft card is the official pick of record.

It looks like our instincts were right with Avengers, Invaders, New Warriors, and Gen X. Space Knights seems to be Guardians of the Galaxy redux, Defenders seems to be shaping in name-sake non-team fashion, Fantastic Four took an odd turn in the 3rd Round, Heroes For Hire is exactly what Ellie said it would be, West Coast Avengers and Champions draft strategy seems unclear or at best, not necessarily compelling, along with USAvengers.

Tomorrow will conclude the draft, be sure to tune in, and see who takes the title of Captain Irrelevant!

Marvel Hero Draft: Day 1

With the teams set, and with some regrets (I forgot about First Line and Illuminati) we move onto the first day of player drafting. As with the more prominent draft happening,

4146340-0096847310-19190

Lockheed not included!

the first day will just be the first round.

  • GEN X- Kitty Pryde
  • WCA- Dazzler
  • Avengers- Steve Rogers Cap
  • Invaders- Winter Soldier
  • Alpha Flight- Carol Danvers
  • Champions- Darkstar
  • USAvengers- Hercules
  • H4H- Shulkie
  • New Warriors- Squirrel Girl
  • Space Knights- Star Lord
  • F4- Ben Grimm
  • Defenders- Iron Fist

COMMENTARY: Dazzler and Darkstar give nothing away from the draft rooms of the West Coast Avengers or Champions, Ben Grimm is a great pick-up, and with Iron Fist and Kitty Pryde, Barak and Ellie expectedly drafted some of their favorite players.

What to Look For On Day 2: Tomorrow will see teams drafting their 2nd and 3rd (of 7) players. Look for Mike to go for some of the Big names (Iron Man, Thor, etc) for his Avengers team, and some classic heroes for his Invaders team. Ellie is looking like a female led young X team for Gen X and young heroes for New Warriors, is a reunion with Speedball in the cards? Will Barak grab Luke Cage at the top of the 2nd round, and how bizarre will the West Coast Avengers and Champions rosters be?

Wow or Woe: Comic Release Date 4/26

701345_infamous-iron-man-7Infamous Iron Man #7

As soon as I saw The Hood, I knew this would likely be my Wow (or Woe) selection for the week. And, the Bendis-Maleev team did not disappoint. This creative team is one of my favorites, and although I have enjoyed this book through issue 6, #7 was where it really clicked, even though there was not necessarily an “a-ha!” moment, the characterization finally paid off as Doom and Ben came face to face. Dr. Doom has assumed the mantle of Iron Man and appears to be trying to unselfishly make the world a batter place. I may not like the current Peter Parker, but I love this Doom. The characterization is spot-on, he is alternately arrogant and humble, vulnerable and invulnerable. Additionally, it serves as an anchor for the F-4 who have been missing since Secret Wars.

This one gets an all-caps WOW!

Other comics this week: Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider, Hulk, Elektra, Big Moose, Supergirl: Being Super, Mighty Thor, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Kamandi Challenge, Great Lakes Avengers, Old Man Logan, Hellcat, X-Men Blue, X-Men Gold, Weapon X.

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My favorite moment of the week.

 

Marvel Team Draft

Gifted the power of Editorial Control, Ellie, Mike, and I set into plan the first phase of our rebooting of the Marvel Universe, or, more correctly, our 12 team books that will move product for Marvel. Today, we drafted our teams. Any Marvel team was available. The draft order was randomly determined, and it went down like this:

c1ecaa17b4621589894908b0c7eb0f64I assigned each of us the numbers 1-4:

  1. B3- DEFENDERS
  2. B4- CHAMPIONS
  3. M4- INVADERS
  4. E1- ALPHA FLIGHT
  5. M2- AVENGERS
  6. E2- NEW WARRIORS
  7. B2- WEST COAST AVENGERS
  8. B1- USAVENGERS
  9. E3- GEN X
  10. E4- HEROES FOR HIRE
  11. M1- FANTASTIC FOUR
  12. M3- SPACE KNIGHTS

Going first, I had to go with my heart, and pick two of my favorite teams and team books. Unabashedly, unapologetically, I love the Defenders and the out and out craziness of the Champions. Any super-group cool enough to get named dropped by Del the Funky Homosapien is a legacy cool enough to get their own book, and USAvengers, Well, ever since Marvel did the cover tease of each state having a hero, they have angered me by not following through. Long have I said that The Initiative should have been a 52 issue weekly comic with each issue detailing one of the teams in each state. I had an idea, i would of course have to wait until the hero draft to see if I could make it a reality.

Ellie: “I have to say, I went into the draft with an unclear picture of what I wanted. As much as I like the X-Men, I’m not a “team” girl. I never really read Avengers or Justice League, and to this day, I don’t really buy them.The only teams I collect retroactively are JSA/Justice League Europe (because Power Girl), New Mutants, and late 1970’s Defenders (I’m a sucker for Hellstrom and Hellcat, both classic and in general). I completed my Generation X collection about 3 years ago, and it was totally worth it.

Ellie: “Anyway, not much into teams. I’m more interested in how characters interact and are human. I love reading the humanity in unreal characters, romance, and I do love books about teens interacting. So, while I could have drafted the Avengers or X-Men right off the bat, I didn’t want to. Thinking on it, my favorite “teams” in comics were weird ones, outliers like the short lived Lady Liberators, the more focused on time travel Excalibur, and the oh so Canadian, eh, Alpha Flight, or non-teams like Heroes for Hire, Daughters of the Dragon, or the Future Foundation.

Ellie: “So I went off the idea of the most unusual teams. I knew I wanted to pick Alpha Flight first. I like that Alpha Flight has transitioned from Canada’s super team to the team that guards the perimiter of the Earth. I also figured that Mike or Barak were pretty likely to try and pick AF as one of their later teams.

Ellie: “I also knew I had to go for Heroes for Hire. I love the idea of super powered people helping the everyday Joe, and I’ve played with the concept of a superhero backed non-profit organization for some years now. Heroes for Hire would be that non-profit (converse to the name, I suppose).”

Mike: “It’s a brand new Marvel U! I’ve been tasked with coming with 4 new teams to kick off the Marvel U.  We started out picking franchise names.  Barak picked Defenders and Champions right off the bat and I figured Ellie would pick an X book or A-Force, so I picked Invaders and Avengers with my first picks.  I had my pitch all set for those two teams.  I was planning on using Alpha Flight as an international team of heroes, very similar to DC’s Global Guardians, but alas, it was not to be.  I knew I was going to have some international flavor with my Invaders squad, so I was good on that end.  I compiled a list of team names that intrigued me and waited.  I was really surprised to see both West Coast Avengers and US Avengers get selected, but whatever, they can ride the coattails of the Avengers if they need to…As it dropped to me, I had a list of 8 team names (and concepts) that I wanted to explore.  I went with Fantastic Four and Space Knights, over the following team/concepts:

  • First Line: I assumed Barak was going to scoop this one up. A team of lost/forgotten heroes who are the first line of defense against cosmic-level threats.
  • Exiles: I thought Ellie might put together a team of misfit mutants, but I was thinking I would go with a team of mutants plucked from history in the moment before their deaths to stop a dystopian future from occuring.  Apocalypse would have been the big baddie here.
  • Squadron Supreme: This team has a soft spot in my heart and I would have updated it some by taking heroes who fit the mold of a Justice League.  Hyperion, Hawkeye, Quasar, Hercules, Jessica Jones, Namor, Quicksilver, Douglock.
  • Slingers: I loved, loved, loved, this band of Spidey-inspired heroes. I would have updated it with a bunch of heroes who literally sling things.  Captain America (or USAgent), Hawkeye, Nomad, Elektra, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Ricochet.
  • Thunderbolts: Again, another team I love.  Villains seeking redemption or a Suicide Squad style team led by Victor Von Doom.
  • X-terminators: A group of heroes/mutants on the run for a crime they didn’t commit.  Framed by Mr. Sinister, despised by the world, these heroes need to find the truth.  A blend of New Warriors, Runaways, and mutant cast-offs.

Mike: “And so we were on to the draft.  I was feeling pretty good with my team concepts. Being a DC fan, my standard for teams are the Justice Society of America and the Justice League.  There is a lot of connection between the two, so I was hoping to create the same feel.”

Stay tuned, True Believer, tomorrow the fate of the 616 is in our hands!

The Pull List: Weds 4/26

697003_56cb537f251db4f18b57b16778433904362617e5Yes, I am excited for the Big Moose one-shot. It is easy to give all sorts of love to Archie comics, so I wanted to give props to another limited-series that has caught my fancy: Supergirl: Being Super #3 of 4. I greatly enjoy the Supergirl TV show and was hoping with rebirth that the Supergirl regular series would have some of the sincerity and charm. No. Such. Luck.

But, then, this miniseries came out, and it is exactly what I wanted, a series where being a super-powered teen is more about the teen trials and tribulations than the punching of the villains. I am as charmed by this as I was by the Legend of Wonder Woman series.

The Greatest Trick…

The devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

The greatest trick I ever pulled was sacrificing myself to save the world, guarantee the ascension of my allies to godhood, and make them question their own noble and heroic natures.

So, it ended, in the most epic of fashions. The Seven of Steel was reunited: Maxius the LG Crusader of Heironiu, grumpy goody-two-shoes stick in the mud; Pentus, LN Monk of Cyndor, not quite OCD, and humorless but not-not OCD; Tirah, CG elven Bladesinger, Sleeyag through and through; Kallr, tough grugach ranger, of course still plays with bunnies, but kicks major ass; Dwin, spellfilcher, lover of Tirah, sleeyag; Uyag Gnarlfist, 1/2 giant gladiator, 1/2 of the BAMF team, and my BFF, and me, Damien Abisson, blade bard, rabble-rouser, trash-talker, and voted most likely to irritate everyone else in the party!

First we finally got our hands on the Tarrasque. Uyag, of course beat it. Uyag also had my sword (most might know it as the Sword of Kas, but it truly is the Sword of Damien), but was all pouty because I hadn’t visited. Sorry, Yagger, I was busy underground railroading people to safety. You know, helping people. Plus, I think Uyag might have taken to wearing an old-man diaper, 1/2 Giants don’t age that well. I swapped it out with my duplicate, because that’s how I roll.

Tarrasque went down, because we truly are BAMFs, and oh yeah, we had descended to godhood, because some black tentacley thing was killing all the gods. Blah blah blah Pentus and Dwin said words that I am sure were important.

We had to deal with Iuz, and Ivid, and Vecna. We went in that order, not before Pentus one-touch death-punched our frenemy Majere Arctus, nihilist and all-around jerk. Tirah pouted a bit, thinking maybe we shouldn’t have one-pounched him to death. If he hadn’t been an utter jerk maybe he’d still be alive.

Iuz first, and his Fiend-Knights. We killed him dead. Next, we had to bring the smack-down on some guards in the Great Kingdom protecting Ivid, and, to the surprise of no one, Damien had the highest body-count. Again, that’s how I roll. Uyag and Kallir might be more effective, but I look better.

Ivid is a big ole baby, and ran away after I brought the hurt.

We went to fight Vecna, of course, and he had gotten all necro-magic on his Frenemy Kas and we had to get through Kas first. Dwin stripped him naked, except for his mantle, and Pentus rewound time so Uyag could break it. I challenged him to a duel, he accepted, and hurt me dead, but Maxius hooked a brother up and raised me from the deadbook. And then, when his mantle was gone, I told him I’d give him his sword back after we killed Vecna. I was lying, but not really, because I didn’t have his sword, he wanted to call my sword his. That was his mistake. God of Deception, hello.

So, we jumped to Vecna’s plane. We hadn’t had the best of times there in the past. D’oh, Dwin had brain-farted and realized we needed to close some sort of gate and we should have done that before coming here. Silly sleeyags, always forgetting stuff that might save the world. Dwin ran away to seal the gate, and no doubt trap us all here, to die. Leaving Dwin and Ivid as the only deities on Oerth. But as Luck would have it, the gate was still open, and I was able to try and get all my allies and myself through it before it closed, trapping Vecna in his realm, powerless as a deity, and soon to be appetizer for the black mass of tentacles chomping on all the other gods.

I’m a Lucky cat, it’s one of my domains. So, this was a “as luck would have it moment.” Maxius was an old man, and probably just wanted to get home and watch golf, Pentus of course, thought me up to no good, and resisted. So, it all came down to a roll. Pentus could be a big jerk. I rolled my d20, and, as fate would have it this day:

NATURAL 20! Pentus had no recourse and was through the portal, leaving me and Vecna, but fate was not done this day. I had to roll to get myself through.

NATURAL 1!

Thus, my fate was sealed, and I would be devoured, along with my sword and my new best frenemy Vecna, by the black mass of tentacles. Ewwww.

But every hero there that day, they know, that fate stepped in and made my sacrifice the most noble. Faced against a power greater than our might combined, one hero stood above them all, and sacrificed himself so that Oerth could be the one world saved, so that my friends and allies might take their place as mighty gods. But only one individual from that day will have worshipers of all the seven deities tithe in his name. The greatest hero of all, Damien Abisson.

And like that, he’s gone.

The greatest trick the greatest hero ever pulled was convincing the world he was a jerk, a reluctant ally worthy of disdain and mistrust.

El Jefe was getting the gang back together for a birthday game for The Jen, and this time it was a reunion of the Lords of the Land, AKA The Seven of Steel. For many years, Jeff had resisted revisiting this 2e campaign, having moved past 2e, but not happy with anything that has come along since. I made my pitch for a 13th Age version, because anyone who knows me knows I love the 13th Age! El Jefe wasn’t biting. But when the announcement went out, he declared he had finally found the system, a retro-clone worthy of the Seven of Steel.

My tastes and play-style have changed, and I made a pitch for Damien having found love and mellowed in the years since the team went their separate ways. El Jefe could neither confirm nor deny my unrequited love (his notes had no mention of it).

185960What El Jefe was doing was being very cagey about the system. It was not until our first combat, with the Tarrasque, that we all felt imbued, and he delivered unto us our sheets of character, tomes worthy of godhood indeed, as we had become Godbound!

Trouble was, we were only 1st level godlings.

But, it was great. As is my wont, if I play a game, I buy the game, it is my way of supporting the industry I love so, and so El Jefe handed me his copy.

The game itself was a great deal of fun, it captured the epic nature of our characters and our enemies, and as disappointed as I am that my character is the only one that isn’t living the good life as a god on Oerth, I take solace in the fact that every member of the Seven who always thought Damien more trouble than he was worth knows that I willingly sacrificed myself so that they all may live, and so that every being remaining in existence would be able to draw breath. And they will know that I did it, and not them.

Because, that is the kind of jerk hero Damien is.

And, i am looking forward to playing around with this game and system, as it scratches an itch I have had for some time, a game that allows for players to take on the role of gods.