My Perfect Superhero Team
For the past two weeks I have been swimming through the ether of villainy. Steeped in the wretched vice of the damned and destitute, I evil laughed my way to a list of villains that I have become rather fond of. Towards the end of my journey through the madness, I found that I yearned for someone to puncture the veil and pull me from my spiked leather shoulder pads covered in blown reader's mind parts. I wanted a hero, nay, a group of supreme beings, to stand up to these masterful miscreants.
In my longing, and amongst the hair loss my evil, telepathic helmet was causing, I decided I should shed my villainous ways and form a team to fight for the good of all...but mostly for my amusement mwuahahahahahahahahaha (sorry, still shaking out the evil dust).
This team would not only be built upon the tenets of justice and equality, but would transcend the ever-crumbling boundaries betwixt comic book publishers. DC? Marvel? These labels matter not when the fate of our world lies in the balance! Who would dare question the written origins of these monolithic heroes while they clutch victory from the proverbial jaws of almost certain defeat!?
Who to chose though? Who could be fit for such a purpose? Certainly these teams exist already, but they are wrought with internal conflict and political mechanisms. My team must be of one mind, and for that, their leader must be beyond reproach; his very being demanding their loyalty and respect. Not only that, but the team must possess unending selflessness with an utter disregard for their personal welfare in the face of unimaginable horror.
Thus, I present to you my perfect superhero team:
Thor is, by far, my all-time favorite comic book character. He is constantly evolving as a human, which is a magnificent feat for a god, to encompass the aspects of our species that make us beautiful. Even during his time as Donald Blake, he fully grabs life by the horns, realizing his destiny to aid humanity by becoming a field doctor.
Many have lauded Thor as being too powerful, saying that his massive power base detracts from the severity of many of the encounters he finds himself in. I say these critics are missing the point of Thor. Of course the Thunderer is powerful, he is a god. His emotional and spiritual journey toward humanity is what makes him an endearing character.
Thor fulfills the necessary "Trump" position on my team. You know what I am talking about. When things are beginning to seem hopeless; when the cards are stacked against; when the evil seems more than any team could bear, enter the Thunderer. Thor plays the role of intimidator and that of righteous retributioner.
Does it get any cooler than Wolverine? This man is the written embodiment of several of our more primal instincts. His bearing, his speech, his tenacity; all resemble the most frightening beasts from our childhood nightmares. But, buried deep beneath his adamantium skeleton and less than charming personality lies a man with an incredibly large heart, an unbreakable will, and the capacity to understand massive heaps of human suffering.
While Wolverine on his own is a fantastic read, his work within teams truly fleshes out his dynamic character. He is quick to be the blunt, harsh, mercenary type that is always ready for action, but can just as easily flip a switch and become a mentor for those in need. His time with the X-Men tempered his consistently vicious nature, and it has served him extremely well as a hero.
Wolverine fulfills the "Backbone" portion of my team. Not only is he a constant point of confidence for the rest of the team, but his tendency to become much more effective as the battle rages on will serve to keep the rest operating at a high level.
I know, I know, Hawkeye isn't superhuman, but anyone who can hold sway over his enemies with a bow and arrow is pretty freakin' super in my book (or blog entry, as it were). I have a great affinity for the bow and arrow, as it was a rather revolutionary concept when it entered the arena of war. The modern use of this weapon may seem a bit counter-intuitive, but when you put it in a trained warriors hands, like Hawkeye, it can be extremely effective. Not only that, it is much less messy that repulsor tech, and it looks classy as hell.
Being trained by the military also makes Hawkeye a perfect fit for the team. He has the discipline that some of the others may lack, all while willfully venting his disdain for poor leadership. Hawkeye is much like Nightwing from DC (whom I considered) in that he has great reach in the Marvel Universe, due to his charming personality and ties to S.H.I.E.L.D.. This reach gives him an instant place in the tactical minds of his teammates.
Hawkeye fulfills the position of "Grand Distractor" on my team. His bow and arrow may not deal a massive amount of damage to some of the more powerful enemies the team may face, but he can draw them into planned traps and distract them from delivering crippling blows. His mechanical wing tech and his hoverbike will only serve to enhance this role. Also, Hawkeye is the perfect character to provide comic relief when it is needed. He may not break through the fourth-wall like Deadpool (also considered), but his quick wit and dry brand of humor are an excellent break in gravitas.
Martian Manhunter has always intrigued me as a character. Not only is he from Mars ( just in case you didn't know), but his powerset is on par with Superman. In the beginning of his career, due to an inherited evolutionary trait (The Guardians of the Universe split an ancient race of sentient beings into two distinct species because they were burning entire planets in order to facilitate their asexual reproduction...apparently a big no-no. Both species that spawned from this split were engrained with an incredible fear of fire. Martian Manhunter is descended from one of these.), he had some serious issues with fire. If anyone planted the seed of flame in his mind, it would actually begin to burn him both internally and externally. He has since overcome this evolutionary trait, stating that only the heat of passion can set him ablaze. Great line.
What really drew me to J'onn J'onzz was his telepathic abilities. During his time with the Justice League, J'onn acted as the "open channel" between all of the members, no matter their relative geographic location. Of course, Batman was a huge stick in the mud with this, but that is kind of his modus operandi. If anything, it lets me know J'onn can handle characters like this on a team.
J'onn fulfills the position of "Phasic Pipeline" on my team. Not only can he phase himself into nothingness, but he can facilitate communication between the rest of the team. He is highly intellectual and will serve as a grounding voice in the heads of his fellow teammates.
I am a huge fan of the concept of the Green Lantern. The idea that these massive stores of power can come from integral portions of the human psyche makes not only for an excellent story, but for some interesting character developments. While I enjoyed Hal Jordan in this role, Kyle Rayner is a much more relatable character, as he is an uber-nerd turned superhero.
Having a Green Lantern on the team is akin to instant motivation. When a character's power comes from a manifestation of their will, the very essence of what it means to muster the strength to fight, seeing that power used is both exhilarating and motivating. I am counting on this to play into the team's overall sense of purpose during the dark times. Not to mention that seeing a Green Lantern work is quite the spectacle to behold.
Rayner fulfills the "Shock and Awe" position on my team. As I mentioned above, the manifestations that a Green Lantern can come up with take many forms, some of which can be rather magnificent. No Green Lantern has shown more imagination than Rayner, and I am counting on this to play a major role during battles.
I hold a special place in my comic heart for Vision. Not only is he a magnificent character, but he is incredibly powerful. Built by Ultron to be a perfect being, Vision is essentially an incredibly advanced robot capable of processing human emotion. Think Data with emotion chip activated, and epic super powers.
Ironically, his power is not the reason I wanted Vision on my team (though it certainly will help). Vision is the most "human" character in the Marvel Universe because he is discovering the very definition of what it means to be human every day. This idea, along with the fact that the human he originally began modelling himself after (Captain America) was righteous and just, lends itself to a very human experience whenever Vision is involved.
Vision fulfills the "Innocent Chaos" position on my team. With his power he can wreak havoc on his opponents, all while keeping the team grounded with his childlike wonder at the world around him. Coincidentally, this wonder can provide some seriously funny moments, like Vision commenting on a butterfly during an alien invasion. Pure awesome.
When I put together the list of characters I wanted on my perfect superhero team, I was unsure who I would appoint as my leader. Every time I combed through the list, T'Challa jumped out at me as an obvious choice. Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of obvious choices, so I continued to second guess myself. It wasn't until I placed the list in front of a fellow comic connoisseur, and watched him immediately point to T'Challa, that I knew my instinct was correct (Duh).
There have been many iterations of the Black Panther, but none rings more true than T'Challa. He is the Batman of the Marvel Universe, an incredibly discerning personality, a capable leader (He is the King of Wakanda. Pretty nice on a resume), a master of technology, a stealthy ninja, and an expert hand to hand combatant. T'Challa believes in honor and justice, and he is able to motivate through inspiration purely by speaking his mind.
T'Challa fulfills the "Leader" position on my team. Not only is he a capable warrior, but he is a natural leader who genuinely cares for the people in his charge. He is logical in his approach to any situation, but never forgets there are lives at stake.
Well, there you have it, my perfect superhero team! Feel free to post your own inferior team in the comments so I can metaphorically crush them with mine.