Marvel Comics is all about teams.
Marvel's Silver Age began with the publication of a
team comic, Fantastic Four #1.Since then, teams of
Marvel superheroes, like the well-known Fantastic
Four, the X-Men,
the Avengers, along with a host of somewhat
lesser-known superhero teams such as the Defenders,
the Champions, the Thunderbolts, Alpha Flight, and
others, defend the world from evil villains, nasty
space aliens, and various supernatural baddies.
Below are summaries of several Marvel
superhero teams brief descriptions with a
listing of their best known members:
Alpha Flight-Canada's best known
(only?) real super-team, featuring Sasquatch,
Northstar, Snowbird, Guardian, and Puck.
Wolverine has a history with this team.
Northstar is best known, by the way, as one of
the first openly gay superheroes in Marvel (or
Avengers--Earth's Mightiest Heroes, came
together one day to face down a threat greater
than any one hero could manage. The original
team consisted of Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, the
Wasp, and, incredibly, the Hulk. Captain America
joined the team in issue # 4, and the rest is
history...comicshistory, that is!
Champions-The Champions were made up
of former members of other teams. Hercules and
Black Widow from the Avengers, Angel and Iceman
from the X-Men, and the Ghost Rider, (former
member of Team Hell).
Defenders-Marvel put this team
together as "non-team" of "outsiders" who do not
normally play well with others. The Defenders
originally consisted of the Hulk, Dr. Strange,
and Namor, the Sub-Mariner. The Silver Surfer
later joined the Defenders. The Defenders often
battled mystic and supernatural threats.
Valkyrie, Nighthawk, and Hellcat are other
notable members who later associated with the
Defenders. Some of the best moments in Defenders
comics came with the continual bickering and
battling between Hulk and Namor.
Four -Marvel's legendary First Family:
Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Thing,
and the Human Torch defend the world, while
still behaving like a slightly dysfunctional
(that is, normal) family.
Heroes for Hire-Founded by Luke Cage
(Power Man), and Daniel Rand (Iron Fist), Heroes
for Hire was a bit different for a super-group
in that they offered a full line of professional
investigation and protection services for paying
customers. As heroes, of course, they also did a
lot of pro bono (free) work.
The Howling Commandoes- These World
War Two soldiers were led by Captain
America in the movie, but in reality (i.e.
the comics), they were led by Sgt. Nick Fury,
who, for several good movie continuity reasons,
could not have commanded this group in the
recent movie. As we know, Sgt. Fury became
Colonel Fury in the modern age, and went on to
Invaders-Speaking of World War Two,
the Invaders were a group of super-heroes
ret-conned into existence in the 1960s by
Marvel, based on a "real" 1940s superhero team
called the All-Winners Squad. Both teams
America, the original Human Torch, and
Namor, the Sub-Mariner, along with the sidekicks
Bucky and Toro.
Runaways-Great concept: A bunch of
teen-agers discover their boring old parents are
really super-villains, run away from home, and
discover the wonders and perils of being nascent
superheroes while on the lam. Oh, and they can't
get any respect from the adult heroes like
Captain America and
Thunderbolts-One of the best story
ideas of the 1990s, in this writer's humble
opinion: While most of the world's real heroes
are missing (long story), a new super-group,
calling themselves the Thunderbolts,
fortuitously appears to save innocent people
from the big, bad super-villains who are now
preying on them. The surprise ending to their
first comic, shows the new "heroes" as some of
the vilest and most troublesome villains in
Marvel history, including Baron Zemo, Moonstone,
Power Man (NOT the "Power Man" Luke
Cage), the Beetle, Screaming Mimi, and the
Fixer. In reality, the Thunderbolts were the
latest iteration of Zemo's Masters of Evil, the
arch super-villain who regularly made life
difficult for the Avengers.
X-Men--Originally billed as Marvel's