Superhero Team Leader Battle Royale: Bracket Challenge

by Ryan Kirksey

All-Star-3-221x300 Superhero Team Leader Battle Royale: Bracket ChallengeEver since the Justice Society of America graced the cover of All-Star Comics #3 in the winter of 1940 (a nice one can be yours for about $30K!), superhero team-ups have been an essential part of the genre and of the storytelling.

Some groups (such as Justice League and the Avengers) were creative ideas to put established characters together such as in The Brave and the Bold #28 for the first Justice League or Avengers #1. Other groups like in Fantastic Four #1, X-Men #1, or Forever People #1 were original ideas that turned into smashing success stories (all by Jack Kirby, what a surprise!). These teams have become so popular over time, it’s hard to think of comic book lore without them.

But because they have been around so long, membership has changed drastically over the years. Very few (if any) teams resemble the original iteration that was first conceived. Most of these teams, however, have a figurehead – a leader, a guide, or a convener that stands out as a symbol of the team, whether current or past. We know the teams. We know the leaders. But just who is the best among all of these groups?

The Challenge

I’m glad you asked. I introduce today the first week of the Superhero Team Leader Bracket Challenge. You get to help determine – through this very unscientific process – who the best team leader of all time New-Mutants-87-196x300 Superhero Team Leader Battle Royale: Bracket Challengeis. Is the underdog Cable, introduced in New Mutants #87 worth considering against other Marvel stalwarts? What about Robin, who has long been a part of the DC canon, but was introduced as a member of the Titans in The Brave and the Bold #54? How would he rate as a leader of that team?

How does it work? Simple. Leave your picks for ROUND ONE ONLY in the comments. In a week, they will be tabulated and the winners will move on to Round Two. Within a little more than a month, we will have our grand champion. Factors to potentially consider: longevity, impact on the team, respect within his universe, and noteworthy moments.

 

 

The Matchups

Round One:

Marvel Bracket                                                 
1. Captain America (Avengers) vs. 16. Major Victory (Guardians of the Galaxy circa 1969)
2. Cyclops (X-Men) vs. 15. Hawkeye/Kate Bishop (Young Avengers)
3. Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four) vs. 14. Karma (New Mutants)
4. Star Lord (GOTG circa 2008) vs. 13. Angel (The Champions)
5. Dr. Strange (Defenders) vs. 12. Guardian (Alpha Flight)
6. Wolverine (Savage Avengers) vs. 11. Cable (X-Force)
7. Hawkeye/Clint Barton (West Coast Avengers) vs. 10. Ikaris (Eternals)
8. Luke Cage (New Avengers) vs. 9. Nova (Nova Corps)

DC Bracket
1. Superman (Justice League) vs. 16. Americommando (Crusaders)
2. Green Lantern (Green Lantern Corps) vs. 15. Vril Dox II (LEGION)
3. Wonder Woman (Justice League Dark) vs. 14. Cionus (Wanderers)
4. Robin (Teen Titans/Titans) vs. 13. Uncle Sam (Freedom Fighters)
5. Hawkman (All-Star Squadron) vs. 12. Primus (Omega Men)
6. Superboy (Legion of Superheroes circa 1958) vs. 11. Chief (Doom Patrol)
7. Rick Flag (Suicide Squad) vs. 10. Moonrider (Forever People)
8. Cosmic Boy (Legion of Superheroes circa 1994) vs. 9. Oracle (Birds of Prey)

SOME DISCLAIMERS: First, I know this isn’t a perfect list. These teams have had a lot of leaders, but I did my best to try and pick one that would represent the team most reasonably. Second, there are assuredly some teams left out. There are so many over the history of these publishers that it would need twice this many to come close to including all of them. Third, this is for fun. It’s unscientific and one person’s opinion. Got it? Let’s vote…

Since I know this bracket below is impossible to read (especially on a phone), you can also download a PDF of the bracket at this link.

Updated-bracket Superhero Team Leader Battle Royale: Bracket Challenge

See you next week for the results! Be sure and vote in the comments and share with your friends who might like to participate.

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14 comments

VooDooMaestro May 5, 2020 - 9:21 pm

Marvel Bracket

1. Captain America (Avengers)
2. Cyclops (X-Men)
3. Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four)
4. Star Lord (GOTG circa 2008)
5. Guardian (Alpha Flight)
6. Cable (X-Force)
7. Hawkeye/Clint Barton (West Coast Avengers)
8. Luke Cage (New Avengers)

DC Bracket
Superman (Justice League)
Green Lantern (Green Lantern Corps)
Wonder Woman (Justice League Dark)
Robin (Teen Titans/Titans)
Hawkman (All-Star Squadron)
Superboy (Legion of Superheroes circa 1958)
Oracle (Birds of Prey)

There’s my votes. I just wanna give a quick shoutout to my boys, Martian Manhunter, Fred from Scooby Doo, and Vince Vaughn in the movie “Dodgeball”. All excellent team leaders in their own rights.

Reply
Ryan Kirksey May 6, 2020 - 12:10 am

Now I’m thinking about all sorts of teams that we could do in the future!

Reply
David H May 5, 2020 - 11:17 pm

Had you picked Professor X for the X-Men I think we would have the final champion right there. As it is, I’ll pick 1-8 for Marvel, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 10, 8 for DC

Reply
Ryan Kirksey May 6, 2020 - 12:11 am

You are 100% right – there has to be some kind of drama in the game!

Reply
ariellazo May 6, 2020 - 5:10 am

This is an awesome idea Ryan! Love it!!!

I’m simple so I’m going with Marvel 1-8, and DC 1-5, 11,7,9

Let’s see who makes it to the next round!

Reply
Tony May 6, 2020 - 8:49 am

Marvel
1. Cap
2. Cyclops
3. Mr. Fantastic
4. Angel
5. Dr. Strange
6. Cable
7. Ikaris
8. Nova

DC
1. Superman
2. Green Lantern
3. Wonder Woman
4. Uncle Sam
5. Primus
6. Chief
7. Rick Flag
8. Oracle

Reply
Ryan Kirksey May 6, 2020 - 10:05 am

Here are my picks just for reference – MARVEL: Cap, Nova, Dr. Strange, Star Lord, Cable, Mr. Fantastic, Barton, Cyclops. DC: Superman, Oracle, Hawkman, Robin, Chief, Wonder Woman, Moonrider, Green Lantern

Reply
Tdub May 6, 2020 - 2:46 pm

Ok- marvel all chalk 1-8 and DC upsets only- 9-16.

Reply
Ryan Kirksey May 6, 2020 - 2:48 pm

I like it – the more upsets the better.

Reply
Billy Porter May 8, 2020 - 10:44 am

Admittedly on occasion I just had to go with the one I had heard about vs the unknown. But If I haven’t heard about them, then can they really be that great of a leader???
Marvel Bracket
1. Captain America (Avengers)
2. Cyclops (X-Men)
3. Mr. Fantastic (Fantastic Four)
4. Star Lord (GOTG circa 2008)
12. Guardian (Alpha Flight)
6. Wolverine (Savage Avengers)
7. Hawkeye/Clint Barton (West Coast Avengers)
9. Nova (Nova Corps)

DC Bracket
1. Superman (Justice League)
2. Green Lantern (Green Lantern Corps)
3. Wonder Woman (Justice League Dark)
4. Robin (Teen Titans/Titans)
12. Primus (Omega Men)
6. Superboy (Legion of Superheroes circa 1958)
7. Rick Flag (Suicide Squad)
8. 9. Oracle (Birds of Prey)

Reply
Ryan Kirksey May 8, 2020 - 10:48 am

Ha! Yeah I admit there were some I knew nothing about before this project. They were then made lower seeds of course…

Reply
Pete May 19, 2020 - 8:14 pm

3. Mr. Fantastic

Reply
Number 4 May 28, 2020 - 9:41 am

Wasn’t this supposed to be a weekly thing? What happened?

Reply
Ryan Kirksey May 28, 2020 - 10:36 am

Thanks for the note. Round 2 is scheduled to be published this weekend. Just so many great blog posts coming out these days I had to get in line behind all of them! Look for it in a couple days.

Reply

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