“Guardians Of The Galaxy” hits theaters this weekend, and the hype machine is in full effect. But when the film was first announced, the general reaction was… huh?
That’s because the Guardians are not exactly an A-List super team. They certainly aren’t on the level of the Fantastic Four or The Avengers. And they aren’t the Justice League, the DC team that endeared itself to generations of fans thanks to the 1970s cartoon series “Super Friends.”
In truth, comics are full of offbeat teams like the Guardians. They may not have raccoons or anthropomorphic trees as members, but they are plenty weird. Here are 13 of the strangest, least-effective, most-full-of-super-animals teams.
“The Avengers” featured Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, and several other A-list heroes saving New York. But hey, Detroit needs saving too (now more than ever). The Great Lakes Avengers are a Midwest version of the Avengers, featuring stars like Doorman, Flatman…Big Bertha…jeez. It seems superheroes are like NBA players: you have your superstars, a huge gap, and then everyone else.
In the DC universe, Bizarro is the mirror image of Superman. Superman is good, Bizarro is evil. Superman has heat vision, Bizarro has freeze vision. Superman hates green kryptonite, Bizarro hates blue kryptonite. And so on. Bizarro formed a squad of other bizarro versions of superheroes, including the “Yellow” Lantern, “Batzarro” and Bizarro Flash. Basically, no idea is too thin for comic book writers.
No, not that group that your 12-year-old cousin posts about on Facebook and blames for the fact that no girls want to kiss him. This is a group of influential superheroes out of costume, like Tony Stark, Professor X and Reed Richards, all involved in a secret cabal designed to fight aliens. Wait, maybe this IS the Illuminati you see on Instagram.
Basically the Muppet Babies with more adamantium claws. Your favorite X-Men with cutesy names, like “Shower” instead of Storm and “Creepy Crawler” instead of Nightcrawler. Chances are Wolverine still smokes cigars as a hairy little baby.
Oh, you like Rocket Raccoon? How about a whole TEAM of animals. Featuring those famous heroes/animals Pig-Iron, Yankee Poodle, Alley-Kat-Abra, Rubberduck, Captain Carrot…you get the idea. If “Guardians” does well, some exec is going to try and revive this series about a superhero Bugs Bunny ripoff who somehow defeats Superman with Kryptonite chains, despite being a freakin’ rabbit.
No, not a typo. A group started by Black Panther featuring folks like Psi-Lord and She-Hulk, all of whom fought against misunderstandings. “No, no… FORCE. Not FOUR. FORCE. I… oh, never mind. Yeah, we’re the Fantastic Four.” Thank god there was never a Fantastic Five because… oh, OK.
This team features Awkwardman, Dumb Bunny and a character modeled after Woody Allen. It’s technically a parody, but it was still published as a real comic. That’s like when you and your buddies go “Oh man, how hilarious would it be if we watched ‘My Little Pony?’ Right guys? Haha, oh boy. Let’s just watch like 10 episodes real quick. Just as a joke, but ya know, a serious joke.”
Come on, what the hell. The Global Reaction Agency for Mysterious Paranormal Activity is a dumb name and has a worse acronym.
Taking a weak premise to it’s absolute breaking point, here’s a chess themed team with leader Brass Bishop and his cohorts Dark Tower, King Coal, Killer Queen and Over-Knight. Get it? They’re chess pieces.
The worst aspect of the Marvel movies is that Thor is a god. He cannot be killed. He’s Marvel’s Superman — he may lose his hammer temporarily, but spoiler alert, he’s not dying. So here’s a team of all the unkillable dudes and dudettes, like Thor, Silver Surfer, Galactus and the awesomely named Panther God.
A team whose main function is that they have an 800 number you can call in trouble. The fact that this team debuted in 1989, the same year as “Ghostbusters II” leads to a clear conclusion: someone saw the movie and thought, “Let’s rip off the best part of this whole movie for superheroes.” Seriously, the tagline for this team is “Who Can Ya’ Call?!” which is the absolute lowest threshold for DC not getting sued by Ray Parker Jr.
According to Wikipedia, Alpha Flight is “Canada’s answer to The Avengers.” They all look so polite. “The Avengers” movie made big bucks, so get on it, Canada’s version of Hollywood…which is probably Moosejaw.