|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
"There was an idea. To bring together a group of remarkable people. So when we needed them, they could fight the battles that we never could."
—Nick Fury, The Avengers
So you're a Badass Longcoat urban vigilante. You've had your secret origin, acquired a Trickster Mentor, a Sidekick... and a nemesis! You totally own the local mafia. But... you've been hearing reports of a secret race of freak people, who've started popping up recently. A city just down the road was recently attacked by Lovecraftian fish-men, and some computer guy in the nearby university was recently kidnapped by aliens (but was saved by you, 'cos you rock).
And then, suddenly, it all hits the fan. Turns out the guy you saved has invented a superintelligent computer, which promptly goes nuts and gets the aliens, the freak people and the the local mafia to team up and kick your ass.
So, what ya gonna do?
Why, form a Five-Man Band, of course! No, it's not necessarily a case of True Companions. In a Super Team, you just have to show up for the missions. The whole caring about the other members thing is entirely optional. Which may be just as well with this bunch of weirdos, righteous fools, back alley vigilantes, warrior ladies, aliens, robots, minor deities, fairy ninjas, normal people, and that annoying brat who you can't seem to get rid of.
What's that you say? Well, obviously it would be easier to show up for missions if you all lived in a cool mansion or Elaborate Underground Base of some sort, but then you run the risk of going straight through True Companions territory and right into some kind of Planet Eris sitcom/soap opera. And you don't want that.
If you and your team simply must get all "I'll do anything for you man! You're like family to me," then you'll become a Badass Crew, and probably have to come up some Badass Creed and the like. If they're actually related, they become a Super Family Team. If the team all has related powers and color-coded outfits, you're probably looking at a Sentai.
- The ur-example is probably DC Comics' Justice League of America, which not only pioneered the idea but over its various incarnations has not only featured pretty much every single major character DC Comics has. Also they made a few Series based on it ranging from the awesome to the not so awesome.
- The Justice League may have popularized the idea, but it isn't the first - that honor goes to the Justice Society of America and the Seven Soldiers of Victory, both created in the 1940s (though DC wasn't DC at that point).
- The latest incarnation of the Seven Soldiers stretches the very idea of a super team to its limits; In order to keep the new Soldiers from being killed by the Sheeda like the previous team, they have to be sure that none of them ever meet each other. Seven people who don't know one another even exist have to accidentally work together to save the world from a threat they aren't aware of.
- The Marvel Universe's answer to The Justice League was The Fantastic Four, a quartet (sometimes) of Super Heroes that had more in common with a dysfunctional family then with a crime fighting organization.
- Marvel also had The Avengers (AKA The Ultimates) a collection of that universe's best and brightest Super Heroes, much closer in style to The Justice League.
- The X-Men is probably Marvel's most popular team, which several Series based on it, and a few movies too.
- DC Comics also has the Teen Titans, a collection of Sidekicks and other teenage superheroes.
- The Authority deconstructed the idea of the Super Team by featuring a team that doesn't have those pesky Moral Codes against killing or such. Also one of the earlier examples of Decompressed Comics in America.
- Deconstructed twice in Watchmen.
- In "Under the Hood" (a book-within-a-book written by the first Nite Owl chronicling his time as a superhero) Nite Owl said that "it takes an extreme personality to put on a costume and fight crime and the chance of eight such personalities getting along is a million to one." Then, of course, there's the fact that after the Comedian tried to rape the first Silk Spectre, the Minutemen began to distrust each other and subsequently collapsed.
- Later when Captain Metropolis (a member of the last super team, "The Minutemen") tries to form another Super Team, "The Crimebusters", the Comedian denounces the whole idea as bullshit, claiming Captain Metropolis is trying to play "Cowboys and Indians". He further explains that whatever heroic deeds they accomplish will be undone by an impending nuclear war. Rorschach complains that "a group this size seems more like a publicity exercise,", adding that "it's too big and unwieldy." The first meeting of the group is the last because of this.
- Leaving Captain Metropolis all alone and begging to stay because "somebody has to save the world". Ozymandia agrees...
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a Super Team with a twist - it features public domain characters from Victorian literature teaming up to battle other threats from other public domain works (and one villain who wasn't in the public domain yet, forcing the writers to be careful with what they called him).
- DC Comics also has:
- The Doom Patrol, who during Grant Morrison's run fought some of the most surreal villains ever, including The Brotherhood of Dada, who used an LSD-powered bicycle to run for president.
- The Suicide Squad, a group of supervillains who are given an offer of a pardon if they complete ridiculously dangerous (one might say suicidal) tasks.
- And many others. There are at least 100 listed at the other Wiki.
- Marvel also has many many other teams, including but not limited to:
- The Marvel Knights, a Super Team led by Daredevil that shows up in Marvel's mature line as well as their Ultimate line.
- A gazillion spin off teams of The X-Men including the New Mutants, X-Factor, X-Factor Investigations, X-Force and X-Statix.
- A full list can be found at the other Wiki beware, it's ridiculously complete.
- Gold Digger has Agency Zero, formerly the Wonder Friends, a super team of heroes who decided they were tired of villains showing up to try and trash their base or concoct schemes just to target the heroes, and decided to go under cover to prevent that. Now they're still a team of "superheroes" that does the job as usual—they just don't tell villains they exist and do the job in black suits.
- The Invincible Universe has several, Punch Clock Heroes Capes Inc, the The Guardians of the Globe (two versions thereof) and the Teen Team (disbanded when most of it's members got too old)
- Subverted like hell by The Seven in Garth Ennis' The Boys. They are a super team who aren't together to fight greater foes or even because they LIKE each other. They're together purely because they make more money of merchandising that way. In fact none of them can stand each other.
- Kick-Ass 2 sees Dave joining a group of like-minded superheroes called Justice Forever.
- The somewhat obscure Cla$$War by Trevor Hairsine and Travel Foreman features Enola Gay, yet another Justice League pastiche.
- Another DC team, the Inferior Five poked fun at the concept of a team consisiting of people who save the world by themselves pretty much every other day of the week. The Five were all so weak that they wouldn't be able to do anything if they didn't work together.
- Pride High has:
- Poseidon Preparatory Academy's Inter-Squad Championship teams (Pride High, the Argonauts, Maka Koa, Teh H4xx0rz, the Vixxens, Five Fold Path, Umoja, La Raza, Feral Force, and the Masterminds)
- The World Warriors, who can be assumed to be the universe's Justice League/Avengers
- The Champions of Atlantis
- The Legends
- In All Fall Down, we have the Pantheon, a group of A-listers named Portia, Paradigm, Pronto, Phylum and Plymouth.
- Warriors International from the home timeline of Douglas Sangnoir, protagonist of Drunkard's Walk, is the U.N.'s superteam. It is in fact at least four separate teams based all over the globe, with the lead team, Alpha, based in London, England.
- Turns out Dr McNinja was in one of these back in college. They broke up when the resident Incredible Hulk Captain Ersatz sold out their secret identities, resulting in their leader being killed.
- As with so many other tropes, Perry Bible Fellowship has its own unique spin on this concept.
- "Homeland Insecurity" i.e. Heist #1 introduces Pax Americana, a loose Justice League/Avengers expy. In the second issue, they come into conflict with the Villain Protagonist Geist.
- PS238 seem to have lots of these. Union of Justice (semi-retired as school staff), Earth Defense League (includes Tyler's parents), Power Partners, Plasma Pack, Psikinetics, Elementalists, Major Arcana... There are Super Family Teams, too. The younger cast also forms an informal team, along with some extras. At the start of Volume 10 or slightly earlier, the Infinite Vanguard was formed and noticed, provoking an enthusiastic super team
plaguevogue in the school — according to The Flea, most kids wound up on at least three. Veles challenge arc also involved some glimpses of Super Team dynamics/politics.
- Team Kimba, of the Whateley Universe. They're only teenagers at Super-Hero School Whateley Academy, but they've already beaten superpowered ninjas from the Yama Dojo, the Necromancer and his team The Children of the Night, and Lovecraftian horrors. Plus, they're not supposed to be superheroing, so they keep getting detention for this stuff.
- The League of Intergalactic Cosmic Champions was a group of super heroes (more or less) crossed with Star Trek zipping around the universe in a Cool Ship fighting evil.
- Most of the campaigns in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe were based around a Super Team of one sort or another. Notable exceptions were the Big Easy campaign and the aptly titled Solo campaign, both of which were about a single hero, and the Hyperion Academy and Venture Institute campaigns, both of which were about schools for superhumans.
- Many, some lasting longer than others, in Marvels RPG, including the Ultimates, the Avengers, Generation X, the Crusaders, the Guardsmen, even if some are starting to become Badass Crew or True Companions.
- ASH from Academy of Superheroes is the big-league super team of that universe. STRAFE is more of a superpowered covert ops team.
- The Justice Force from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003).
- The Teen Team from My Life as a Teenage Robot, which Jenny was temporarily a member. They subsequently disbanded.
- The Team Teen from Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, which Ami and Yumi were members of until they were kicked off for unnecessary roughness.
- The Justice Friends (an Expy of both Justice League and Avengers) from Dexter's Laboratory.