funnybooks_afterhoursIn our Funnybooks podcast, we focus on current events, and usually large events.  Most times, the conversations are constrained so that we can fit everything into an hour or so, but here at Funnybooks After Hours the discussion continues to topics not covered, greater questions of events in comic past or whatever else strikes our fancy.

Walking up the alley, you are unsure if this is the right place.  A non-descript door halfway down the alley catches your eye and after a brief scan of the area, you see the marker that indicates that this is in fact the place.  Etched into a brick above the building is a bat symbol with an ‘X’ through the middle and a lightning bolt below it.

Knocking on the door, you hear a grating sound as a man with a luchador mask and vampire fangs opens the door, “What’s the password?” he asks.  “Beak is lame” you reply, nodding as he steps aside.  Visibility is limited, but as you look around you realize that you found the place.  Stepping up to the microphone, the five recliners are set up on a small stage in the back, as the crew eagerly awaits the question that drove you all the way here, to this secret place.

This week’s question:

“You’re putting together an Avengers team for this new launch.  You have complete reign on anything you want, as long as it can be explained.  You have six open slots.  Who do you put in and why?  Who just missed the cut and why?”

VisionWayne takes a large draw off a drink with an umbrella on it, and with a smile he starts into his answer, “For me the core of the Avengers is Captain America, Thor, and Ironman.  You can have a team without all of them, but any team calling themselves the Avengers without atleast one is fooling itself.  Cap would be leading the team, Tony would be financing the team, and Thor would be the big powerhouse.  So starting with that core I would add in Vision and Hawkeye.  I always liked this book showcasing characters that could not hold their own title, but were still interesting.  These two definitely fall into that category.  Vision plays in the power-level mentioned and Hawkeye gives the everyman perspective.  There needs to be a female character to round out the line-up and this is the hardest character for me to pick.  For sheer awesomeness and because she has a relationship with the current Captain America I’m going to go with Black Widow.”

After pausing to pass the pretzels to Aron, Wayne continues, “To be honest though for me a team of 6 misses the point.  I love when the Avengers are a giant team with many reserves like the JLU cartoon.  This allows stories with a variety of characters that normally don’t get the spotlight.  If a character couldn’t hold their own story you can throw in one of the big guys and see how they react to it.  It becomes something larger than a single team.”

Paul nods as he notices everyone looking towards him,

“Well, I’d like to think of this almost like a Secret Avengers type team.  They’re mostly street level heroes, but I think it’s an eclectic enough mix of classic characters (including a founding Avenger) and characters who we haven’t really seen in a team environment.

bruce_banner_hulk“Bruce Banner – The brains of the operation and the team leader.  With or without Hulk (preferably without), Banner is one of the most formidable heroes of the Marvel Universe.  His intellect and cunning makes him far and away the most interesting choice for team lead.  Given how he’s currently playing tactician in World War Hulks, I’d love to see him lead a team of Avengers.  I’m not sure we’ve ever seen him in that kind of environment.

“Moon Knight – The most street-level hero of the team, Moon Knight is smart, and, not only that, he can be the funding for the operation, kind of like how Tony Stark is for other Avengers teams.  Moon Knight fills the mysterious vigilante role of the team, but also the angry Wolverine-type hero role as well.

“Black Widow – The strong female of the team.  Black Widow is smart and dangerous, and I think she’d make a great addition to this line-up, which is primarily comprised of intelligent heroes who have the physical skills to back up their intelligence.

“Bucky Cap – Because if you have Steve Rogers Cap on a team, he almost has to be the leader.  Bucky Cap is still learning, and would be taking guidance from Bruce Banner, which I think would make for some interesting interaction.  Plus, his relationship with Black Widow would make for a good love angle to the team stories, much like Luke Cage and Jessica Jones in New Avengers.

“Rescue – For those who don’t know, Rescue is Pepper Potts in an Iron Man costume, and she’s getting an upcoming mini or one-shot as well.  Rescue could be a heavy hitter as far as strength, but you also kind of have the newby (at least as far as being a hero) aspect in Potts, and someone who would learn from her teammates.

“Noh-Varr – The cosmic-level hero of the team.  Noh-Varr was so interesting in the Dark Avengers annual, I’d love to see him on any team.  Plus, he’s the only one on the team with other-worldly level strength and abilities.  When the team goes into space, Noh-Varr’s skills would be extremely handy.

“Who didn’t make the cut?  Well, to be honest, I’ve always wanted to put together a “Science Avengers,” of the biggest brains in the Marvel U (not that crap Illuminati).  I’d LOVE to see that Science Avengers team with Hank Pym, Bruce Banner, Reed Richards, Dr. Strange (for the metaphysical), Amadeus Cho, and Beast.  Maybe Abigail Brand so it’s not a complete Sausage Fest.”

Tim stops playing with a bottlecap.  “Hrm…the Avengers team I would like to see:

“Bucky Cap: I think that you need a Captain America in the title, and for my taste, Bucky Cap is a very interesting character.  A newer hero, taking on the persona of an icon, while the icon watches from on high.  The tension raised can make for interesting storytelling.

DarkHawk“Thor: Not a surprise, but this is the one founding member that I would put on this team.  After the ending of his home, and the events of Siege, I would like to see Thor in moments where he could bond with this new group of heroes, some of whom are young and he has no experience with.

“Beast: The brains of the operation.  I think back to the New Defenders titles where Beast lead that team, and I think he has a strong enough will to lead again, though I can see some problems reigning in the larger personalities.

“Darkhawk: An armored super hero in the avengers not tied to Tony Stark.  I love this character, and have missed seeing him in action on Earth.  Darkhawk has ties to off-world plots, so this could lead the Avengers to more cosmic adventures.

“Anti-Venom: Eddie Brock was always my favorite Spiderman villain, a guy who still had a moral code to do the right thing, but just enough evil in him to not care about the means to doing right.  He thought of Spider-man’s compassion as weakness, and as Eddie has developed, he has started to see the way of things.  I think if you want a spiderman type character on this team, Eddie is by far the most interesting.

“She-Hulk: For female avengers, there is no question in my book.  She’s hot, ridiculously powerful, and has a sense of humor.  Few female characters in marvel hold a candle to her in my book.

“Wiccan: Say what?  That’s right.  I think a mystic character in the avengers is a must.  I was going to lean towards Doctor Strange, but I would like to see how young Wiccan does thrown into the midst of the big leagues.  I think he has what it takes, and I could see many situations where he is just guessing and trying to bluff the rest of the team into thinking he knows what he’s doing.

“I had a few choices I mulled over.  I could have switched out She-Hulk for Ms. Marvel and Valkyrie for Thor.  I personally miss Sleepwalker and was trying to find a way to convince myself he was ready for the big leagues, but even I couldn’t do that.”

Aron takes a long draw off his cigar.  “Gentlemen, I’ll make this short and sweet.

rocket-raccoon“Peter David’s smart, professor Hulk. I love this character and I’d dig seeing him return.  He’s your Hank Pym and Thor all rolled into one.

“Falcon. Trained by Cap, he’s got some wild smarts and crazy moves.

“Emma Frost. You need a Psionic on the team and This would be a good way for her to boost her image and elevate her from dirty mutant status.

“Doctor Voodoo. Because you have to have a mystic and I miss his book.

“Spider-woman. She’s got wicked skills. Secret agent, she’s all stealthy.  And I miss her book.

“Rocket Raccoon. Nuff said.

“I like Iron Man, Cap, and Thor, but let’s try something different.”

All eyes from the group turn towards the shady characters sitting in the area commonly referred to as ‘The Peanut Gallery’.  “Anyone have a different opinion?  Any other questions tonight?”