Back On The Street1 of 12This week, Marvel revealed a new version of the Defenders that draws its inspiration from the upcoming Netflix crossover series. It will join the recently revived Champions on comic book shelves, so we started thinking about more teams Marvel could revive in 2017.
We know - these ten teams only scratch the surface of Marvel's dormant brands, but we think these are ten concepts ripe to be revisited in the current Marvel Universe.
And that's even before dredging up the Exiles or the Midnight Sons.
West Coast Avengers2 of 12With more Avengers teams running around than you can shake a stick at, it’s a wonder that the first spin-off team, the West Coast Avengers, hasn’t been revived yet. It may be that the concept is a little of a relic – why does a global Avengers team need a West Coast branch? – or it may be that the right idea hasn’t come along.
With one geographic expansion already ongoing with a Great Lakes Avengers, maybe it’s finally time for a new L.A. based Avengers team to form. If Marvel really wanted to capitalize on the weirdness of the concept, or double down on a more humorous bent, West Coast Avengers could be more of a character-driven story, less tied to continuity, and tied into the locale of the West Coast a laPortlandia.
Heroes For Hire3 of 12The original Heroes For Hire, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, have been swept up going legitimate in a new Defenders series, but maybe they could franchise out the concept to heroes with their capitalist sensibilities.
If Marvel really wanted to raise the bar on crazy ideas, they could put the team under the control of the Punisher, farming out his lethal services in pursuit of justice.
Runaways4 of 12With a new TV series in development, the question of Marvel reviving the Runaways likely isn’t “if,” but “when.”
Though a series of events and new titles have spread the original team members far and wide throughout the Marvel Universe, none of them are currently active in any titles. Marvel could take this opportunity to bring the original Runaways back in force – perhaps with a new addition or two.
X-Factor5 of 12X-Factor started as a team that reunited the original five X-Men. And while later incarnations saw the group as government operatives, private investigators, and even a corporation, perhaps the key to bringing back the venerable brand is to go back to the roots, and make it a haven for a more classic X-Men line-up, or at least a title free of current mutant politics.
X-Factor would be an easy home for some of the quirkier characters not yet found in Marvel's "ResurrXion" relaunch plans, filling a classic niche.
Excalibur6 of 12Excalibur was probably the second weirdest X-Men spin-off team of the 80’s and 90’s (Fallen Angels, that's you!). It transplanted several X-Men mainstays to the United Kingdom where they joined up with Captain Britain and Meggan to go on bizarre, cosmic, inter-dimensional adventures.
Though the Multiverse of the original series no longer exists thanks to Secret Wars, there’s still room for a new team led by Captain Britain. It’s hard to see some of the original members like Nightcrawler or Kitty Pryde rejoining, but Marvel also has a renewed focus on its magical wing which could give Excalibur a new direction.
Avengers Academy7 of 12The Avengers Academy was a good idea that never lived up to its full potential. After shepherding numerous young heroes – originally those who could easily have swung to a life of crime – many of the team’s members were transported to Arcade’s Murderworld, with some of them not surviving. The ones that weren’t trapped in Murderworld haven’t really been seen since the end of that series.
With the younger generation of Avengers breaking with the team to form a new iteration of the Champions in the wake of Civil War II, maybe its time the older generation reformed the Academy – perhaps even recruiting some of its alumni – to start molding the next generation of superheroes.
X-Force8 of 12The recent X-Force niche of a black ops squad operating alongside the core X-Men team has somewhat been co-opted by the upcoming Weapon X, but considering the team started as a younger generation of mutants who embraced a more militarized version of Charles Xavier’s dream, returning to their roots might give X-Force their own sandbox once again.
And it’s not like there aren’t some motivators in the current X-Men mythos. In the wake of the the conflict with the Inhumans, the absence of a figurehead for Xavier’s legacy, and the M-Pox threatening the future of mutantkind again, maybe a team of young upstarts with a more pro-active streak is exactly what the X-Men need.
New Warriors9 of 12Here’s another brand that seems like it would have been an option for the Champions to co-opt. While the original New Warriors were fan favorites, recent attempts to use the name – basically ever since they were all killed in the original Civil War - have been less than successful.
But this is another opportunity for Marvel to band together some of its off-beat heroes under a recognized IP, something that the publisher has been keen to do in recent years. And, unlike Young Avengers, there’s nothing that says the New Warriors inherently have to be teenagers. Hell, Justice and Firestar haven’t been up to much lately. Get them back together to form a new team – especially now that original New Warrior Richard Rider has returned – and they might even have legs.
Young Avengers10 of 12The obvious move for Young Avengers may have been swiped by the new Champions team, but there are still plenty of youthful heroes who could band together to form a new team – maybe even under the supervision of the adult heroes the young characters of the Champions have rejected.
The Young Avengers have always been a team of teen heroes who have used the Avengers name in spite of their adult counterparts and often without their blessing. Maybe this is the opportunity for the grown up Avengers to take the name back, and build their own squad of young heroes.
Fantastic Four11 of 12Though they had a rough go of it in the last few years before Secret Wars, the Fantastic Four have been a staple of the Marvel Universe since they launched it in the 60s. But since 2015, they’ve been off the board, with Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm having joined different teams and the Richards family sequestered in a pocket dimension.
But with the rest of Marvel’s heroes splintered after Civil War II, maybe the perfect way to bring them back together is a return for Marvel’s First Family to once again set a heroic example for the rest of the world.
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