Greetings from the Odinson,
Avengers Assemble! I absolutely love that battle cry. I have spent my comic book reading life thrilling to the amazing adventures of heroes like the Avengers, Justice League, and Teen Titans. I have always gravitated to team books. WildCATts was always my favorite early Image book. Of course it didn’t hurt that Jim Lee was the creator. I love team books. Reading about a group of individuals that overcome their personal differences to gel and work as a team to defeat the foes no one super hero can defeat alone has always been my favorite kind of comic book.
You get more bang for your buck with a team book. In the pages of JLA, you don’t just get to read about Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman, you get to see them all in action. In the Avengers, it’s not just Captain America, Iron Man or Thor saving the day, it’s all of them in one book. Part of the fun is watching a room full of people that have no reason being together become friends and a cohesive team. Cap is from the 1940s, Iron Man is an industrialist/futurist and inventor, Thor is a Viking god of thunder, the Hulk is a monster, and the Wasp is a socialite. These people have nothing in common. However, when they come together they are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and woe to any villain that would stand against them.
The Odinson decided to handpick his perfect super human strike force. Since I am not bound to any one universe, I am able to pick and choose from the best of the best from all corners of the Comic Book Multiverse. This is the team of heroes to beat all others and I know that once they assemble there will no threat too big, no challenge unmet, and no scenario un-winnable, no matter how cosmic, even if they had to endure the Crisis on Infinite Secret Annihilation.
So who makes the list?
Superman – Any list like this has to start with the Last Son of Krypton. He’s the first, he’s the best, and he is arguably the greatest super hero ever. Superman brings a power set that is off the charts – super strength, endurance, speed, nigh-invulnerability, flight, super hearing, intelligence and heat vision are just for starters. I truly believe that one day we will learn that the Man of Steel can do anything as long as he thinks he can.
Captain America – No way was the Odinson making a list like this and not including his all time favorite hero. Steve Rogers is the ultimate fighter, a brilliant strategist, and a natural born leader. Anyone that can get a Norse god, a high tech wizard, an African king, and former members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to toe the line has the stones to lead my team into battle.
Thor – The mighty thunder god brings a power level undreamed of to the table, and courage to back it up. Even on a team that already has Superman, Thor adds a dimension that no one else can match. As the mightiest hero in the Marvel cannon, Thor has faced down Thanos, Galactus, and the nigh omnipotent Celestials. He does not possess a weakness to magic and he can teleport and travel between dimensions, a skill that will prove very useful to this team. Thor respects warriors, and because he holds Cap in such high regard, I can only imagine how well he and Kal-El would get along. Thor would welcome the company of a comrade whose powers rival his own. It would push him to even greater heights as he and Superman would try to out do each other. Thor’s super human strength knows no bounds, he is very resistant to physical harm, and he can call down lightning bolts and the fury of the storm to smite his opponents. Plus, when all else fails, he just hits them with the hammer.
Nightwing – Dick Grayson is unquestionably one of the most likable characters in comics. I choose him over Batman because not only does he bring to the table the same talents and skills, but I need someone that is going to draw the people in this room together, not divide them with paranoia, conspiracies, and delusions of grandeur. Not that Batman isn’t smarter, a better fighter, or a better detective than Grayson, it’s just that he is such a sour puss. Give me the guy that actually likes being a super hero and enjoys what he does. There are few things in comics more enjoyable than watching Nightwing bounce around using his near super human level acrobatics, pummeling bad guys, and doing it all with a smile on his face. Thank you, DC Comics, for getting him out of the Bat-suit and back into his Nightwing guise for the upcoming New 52 launch.
Rom – He is the greatest of the Spaceknights of Galador. Incased in nearly indestructible alien armor, Rom uses his super human strength and courage to battle the forces of evil and end the threat of the alien Dire Wraiths. His Universal Translator allows him to communicate with any life form throughout the cosmos. His Analyzer allows him to see through deceptions, including lies, illusions, and shape-changing. And his Neutralizer is a powerful weapon that can, depending on its setting, either stun, pulverize, or disintegrate an opponent. As an alien unaccustomed to the ways of others, Rom can provide the outsider’s perspective and come at problems from a different angle than others on the team. Rom is a hero through and through and he will always have a spot on my ultimate team of heroes.
Buffy – Buffy Summers is the Chosen One. She is the one girl in all the world that can protect mankind from the vampires and the forces of darkness. As the slayer, Buffy possesses super human strength and speed and a talent for killing the things that go bump in the night. Also, Buffy brings with her to the table the Scooby Gang - Willow, a powerful witch, Xander, a brave young man that laughs in the face of danger, Giles, a wise educator with a history of magic use, Oz, a werewolf, and not one but two vampire heroes with a soul in Angel and Spike. So when it comes to handling any threat from the underworld or dealing with chaos caused by magic, Buffy and her friends will prove an invaluable asset to my team.
Phoenix – Jean Grey was already a powerful telepath and telekinetic. But when she is combined with the Phoenix Force she is a force of nature. Her mutant mind will be able to keep the entire team in contact with each other and help them coordinate their strategies. Her cosmic powers put her on the level of Superman and Thor. But it is her heart and soul that will win her teammates over and cause them all to fall in love with her. Plus, if the Phoenix Force’s dark side ever were to emerge again, wouldn’t it be better to have a cadre of the galaxy’s mightiest heroes on hand to deal with it? Phoenix rounds out my roster and definitely makes this the greatest super team ever assembled.
But now the question arises: Who could possibly challenge this Justice League of Avengers?
Answer: The Cabal of Doom!
Lex Luthor – Lex Luthor is on this team because he simply would not allow it exist unless he was. Luthor is a brilliant scientist and successful business man with the wealth to finance his never-ending war against Superman. In Luthor’s mind, he is the hero, and Superman is the alien threat that is lulling mankind into relying on a space “god” to solve all of their problems for them. He is cold, calculating, and he will use every asset at his disposal and sacrifice everything, including his associates in the Cabal, to destroy the Man of Steel once and for all.
Doctor Doom – He is arguably the most brilliant man alive. Encased in state-of-the-art battle armor, Doom has an array of high tech weapons at his disposal. He just so happens to also be, next to Stephen Strange, the most powerful sorcerer in the world. With all the powers of science and magic at his disposal and the indomitable will to use them, Victor Von Doom is quite possibly the most dangerous man alive.
Magneto – The Master of Magnetism operates on a power level that is almost beyond description. He has stood toe-to-toe with the deadliest mutants around – Proteus and Apocalypse – and he defeated them both. He has gone heads up with both Phoenix and the mighty Thor and held his own. So powerful is Magneto, that he even has the ability to shift the entire Earth on its axis causing a worldwide cataclysm (see Ultimatum). The only problem with having Magneto, Doctor Doom and Lex Luthor all the same room is that each of them believes they are the hero and that the rest of the world should be under their rule. The back and forth between these three egos would be worth the price of admission alone.
Loki – Loki, however, is not burdened with an overabundant ego. No, his lust for life comes from mischief and causing problems in general for mankind and especially his step-brother Thor. The Lord of Lies is as powerful with the forces of magic as Thor is physically strong. Loki would have the time of his life as a member of this dark team of villains. And once they have stopped entertaining him he’ll simply play one final prank on everyone, good guys and bad guys, and move on to the next one.
Doctor Octopus – Dr. Otto Octavius is a brilliant man that also just happens to be insane. The combined intellectual power of Lex Luthor, Doctor Doom, Magneto, and Doctor Octopus is, simply put, staggering. They would always be two steps ahead of our heroes and the diabolical schemes they would concoct would be mind-blowing. Armed with four mechanical arms that can crush bones and rend steel, Octavius also proves to be a physical threat, but the thing that makes him more dangerous than anyone else on this list is his fragile mental state. This is a man that is willing to destroy an entire city and murder millions of innocent people to get what he wants. The unpredictability of insanity is always an x-factor when dealing with a guy like this.
Dracula – Arguably the greatest super villain in history, Dracula has been visiting evil on mankind for over five hundred years. He is the Lord of the Undead! The King of the Vampires possesses an array of macabre powers and abilities. He has the strength of twenty men. He can shape-shift into mist, wolf or bat. All the vermin that crawl or slither on the earth are his to command. And he has centuries of knowledge and life experience to use against his would be adversaries. Dracula has the ability to render his victims into a hypnotic trance with the power of his mind. He is immortal, with his only weaknesses being fire, sunlight or a wooden stake through the heart. Dracula is easily one of the most dangerous villains to ever stalk the earth.
The Dread Dormammu – The Lord of the Dark Dimension is one of the most underrated and under used Big Bads in Marvel’s rogues gallery. It takes guys like Doctor Strange, the world’s most powerful wizard, to keep Dormammu in check, and that is only barely. Even All-Father Odin is wary when dealing with this demonic villain. An interesting aspect of Dormammu is that though he rules his dimension with an iron fist, he is also that dimension’s greatest protector. For it is his magic that keeps the Mindless Ones, prodding juggernauts of immeasurable destructive power, at bay. So if Dormammu were to ever fall, then the denizens of the Dark Dimension would surely be doomed. This gives this vile villain an edge when dealing with heroes, for they must be careful not to destroy him or his magic will fail, thus releasing the Mindless Ones and condemning an entire race of people to death.
Other villains my team would assemble to defeat would be Thanos, Darkseid, Mephisto, the Anti-Monitor and The First. But the Cabal of Doom would be their greatest threat. It’d be the Justice League of Avengers vs. the Cabal of Doom and fanboys and girls everywhere would be the winners!
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell