Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Fringe Marvel Teams of the 90's: Part 2

Yesterday I presented the first half of this list, which you can go back and read here:

Today, I'm showcasing the rest of the teams on this list, starting with.....

6). Heroes For Hire

Aww yes the Heroes for Hire, as written by famed writer John Ostrander and drawn by Pascal Ferry all the way back in 1997.

While the Heroes for Hire concept isn't new, a book featuring a whole team using that name certainly was. This was back in 1997, when Marvel was either desperate or willing to experiment and give new teams and solo heroes a try with the main teams sent to Liefield and Lee-Land. Case in point this team, headed up by Iron Fist, it also initially included Luke Cage, the Black Knight(Dane Whitman) The Hulk(but not for long) Hercules, and a new female character named White Tiger.

Later on, the team would count heroes like She-Hulk, Ant-Man(Scott Lang) Thena(of the Eternals) and Deadpool as its members, as really it was meant to be one of those rotational teams rather than a stable cast of characters,

It wasn't bad for the time, but apparently it just still couldn't keep up with the options on the rack.
Not for a lack of trying by Ostrander though,

Marvel would go on to revive the H4H concept again in 2006, 2011, and again now in 2017 but just with Iron Fist and Luke Cage as the main cast.

7). The Nightstalkers

The Nightstalkers were brought about when Blade, Hannibal King, and vampire detective Frank Drake decided to band together and form their own detective agency.
That's it really, that was the basic premise, and it helped them stay published for about 2 years (1992-1994) before being cancelled.

This definitely a concept that could and should pop back up with Blade in the lead.

8). The Midnight Sons

Ahh the Midnight Sons.
Every so often you'll see them pop up and make an appearance to remind fans they still exist( and to renew Marvel's copyright on the name)
While they haven't enjoyed their initial popularity from the early 90's, the team and concept is less viable now as it was then.

The Midnight Sons all came about thanks to Blade, the living vampire. It seems he wanted to rid the world of all vampires, and set out to do this thanks to a spell from the infamous magical book, the Darkhold. Well that's what he certainly intended, and we all know how the road to hell is paved full of 'em, and this particular case was no exception.

 Blade gets possessed instead by a demonic entity called the Demogorge, and starts calling himself Switchblade (get it because he "switched" to the dark side? Yeah I really hope that's not what that meant either)

So he goes off on a rampage, killing good guys and bad guys alike, until he's stopped by whoever's left, and the Demogorge gets exercised out of Blade.

The 'Sons would go on to fight Lilith and her brood and other supernatural menaces before succumbing to the unholy beast that is cancellation.
That incarnation of the team consisted of the Nightstalkers (Eric Brooks, Blade, Frank Drake and Hannibal King) Morbius the living vampire, the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, Vengeance and the Darkholders (Sam Buchanan, Victoria Montesi, Louise Hastings, Modred the Mystic and Jinx), and later Dr. Strange.

The original series lasted from

Since then their have been sporadic appearances by various incarnations, with the most recent being in 2009-2010, when a team of Midnight Sons led by Morbius the living Vampire, fought zombies in Marvel Zombies 3 and 4.

They really are prime to make a comeback I say.

9). ClanDestine

ClanDestine was one of those labors of love by Alan Davis, who wanted to tell the story about a family of super-powered beings, you know, besides the Fantastic  Four.

Basically the team of the concept is like mixing the Highlander with the Fantastic Four if you really think about it.

Back in 1168 AD, this guy named Adam had a near fatal accident which resulted in him gaining immortality. He's soon named Adam of Destine by the townspeople as they feel he's destined for great things.
He goes on to fight in some crusades, where he's eventually captured by the opposing army. A warlord by the name Al Kadhdhaab proposes that Adam helps him fight an evil wizard named Sujanaa, who has a large, mystical gem with great powers. So naturally this Al Kadhdhaab wants the gem for himself, and somehow has a vision that Adam is destined to kill this evil wizard,

The shit goes down and after eventually killing the wizard, Al Kadhdhaab betrays Adam and tries to get the gem for himself. Adam quickly destroys the gem, releasing a beautiful and very powerful genie named Elalyth. Elalyth kills Al Kadhdhaab and falls in love with Adam, and they have a shit-load of kids that have all inherited their parents powers, giving them superpowers of their own.

From there the series is all about the kids and their relationship with their parents and fighting evil and stuff.

It wasn't bad, but only lasted a year running from October of 1994-September of 1995.
Davis did go back to his story in 2008, when he produced a mini-series that seemed wrap everything up.

10). Fantastic Force

Speaking of fringe teams, here's a shining example featuring a team lead by the son of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman.

This was back in 1994 when the FF had just disbanded(albeit temporarily) due to the team believing Reed was dead, and Little Franklin's grandpa Nathaniel decided the best way to spend some family time with his grandson was to abduct him and age into a teenager and go train him to fight shit in the future.
Franklin started calling himself Psi-Lord, I guess due to his powers and because he was a teenager and thought "Psi-Lord" was a really cool name. Anyways Psi-Lord was running around with dear ol' granddad and were basically the Rick and Morty of the early 90's.

Psi-Lord goes back to the present, bringing his aunt Huntara with him, and starts a team with two other guys, an inhuman named Delvor and a dude from Wakanda named Vibraxas.
With an assist at time from his Uncle Johnny and bankrolling from the Black Panther, the Fantastic Force was all set to own the 90's....except they didn't.

The whole spin-off only lasted 18 issues (wow, 18 huh? Damn) and then was mercifully cancelled and Psi-Lord was de-aged back to his regular little kid self.
 Now marvel did kind of bring the Fantastic Force back.....Kind of....

Back in 2009, following on the heels of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's FF run, Marvel was all set to publish a new ongoing featuring a new team calling itself the Fantastic Force. This team was made up of six survivors from an alternate dystopian future that had been destroyed due to the same problems our planet faces in the real world: Overcrowding due to a vastly growing population that's relying on an ever dwindling supply of natural resources.

The members were The Hooded Man(Old Man Logan?) Bruce Banner Jr(The last surviving Hulk baby from Old Man Logan all grown up) Lightwave, Natalie X, Psionics, and Alex Ultron.
Marvel decided to downgrade the series into a 5-issue limited series, I guess due to low debuting numbers, and that was that.

So that's my list. Hope you enjoyed it.

Next week I'll be exploring the top 10 fringe teams of DC.

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Yeahhhh, I don't think he's going to be very gentle....like at all. I mean he is a Kree soldier after all, and I highly doubt...