Q & A 24: What comic book character team-up would you like to see (or see more of)?

In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.

What comic book character team-up would you like to see (or see more of)?

Anika

My family makes fun of me for my disdain for the cartoon Batman: The Brave and the Bold, a series that is pretty much based around Batman teaming up with everyone in the DCU, a special guest star each week. It’s a cute enough show but the Batman who smiling says “Blue Beetle, I trust you” is not my Batman. I don’t think him incapable of teaming up with anyone (obviously he does), or even trusting anyone. But he wouldn’t say it with a smile…to Blue Beetle…and then again to someone else (in space???) the next week.

Aside: I don’t hate Batman: The Brave and the Bold and I do love the Justice League cartoon but even there I’ve wondered how in Starcrossed Hawkgirl knew not only that Bruce IS Batman but HOW TO GET IN THE BATCAVE? Diana and Clark, sure, but Hawkgirl? Proven to be the traitor in that very episode? So, see, it’s just one of those “Scott and Jean“s with me.

But. Batman should team up with Ms. Marvel. As I’ve mentioned on Twitter, I’m pretty enamored with the idea that Carol Danvers wins the Battle for the Cowl. She would make an excellent Batman. That’s not the question at hand, but the principle is the same. Carol would “get” Batman better than most — sans power she essentially has all the same skills and she’s equally obsessive — and she doesn’t put up with any nonsense. And Batman would be a good stabilizing figure for Carol. Yes, that sounds odd, but consider the people she hangs out with: Tony Stark, Nick Fury, Logan, Jessica Jones, need I go on?

Basically, they would kick ass. And then, they can smile about it.

Caroline

Jean Grey and Hal Jordan. I could endorse this on a profound level (the Phoenix Force and the power of the Green Lantern as gender-influenced versions of the same mythic narrative) or
a very shallow one (they both have cosmic power and pretty hair). But basically, these are two characters I will always love, and for similar reasons. They’re both brave and headstrong, both people of action more than contemplation. They’re also, face it, each other’s type. Hal’s got the square-jawed, dark-haired aviator with daddy-issues thing going, with more than a dash of devil-may-care bravado, and anybody familiar with Jeanie’s romantic history can figure that one out. Meanwhile, Hal has had his share of women-who-go-crazy-and-evil in his life. For that matter, he’s been in that position himself. Not that these two are going to sit down and have a deep conversation about losing your willpower to a destructive winged-thing from space; like I said, action, not contemplation. But there would be a meaningful moment when you knew they were both thinking about it. Mostly, though, the flirting and the taking on cosmic level threats. They might even get back to Earth in time to catch a baseball game.

But, you know, just the one time. If the team-up went on any longer than that, they’d kill each other.

Jennifer

I’m going to be predictable and name two of my favorite characters: Steve Rogers and Scott Summers. But the fact that they’re my favorites isn’t the reason I’m choosing them. I’m choosing them because I think the dynamic between two leaders forced to be partners for some length of time would be absolutely fascinating. They’ve worked together before, leading their respective teams into battle against a common foe. But how would they relate, one-on-one, without teams to command? How would they divide the work load? What would they talk about? Would they be the most competent team in the world, or would they fall apart immediately?

Cyclops and Captain America are similar characters, but it’s in their differences that the intricacies of the dynamic really start to take shape. Cap is as confident as he is humble; he takes charge of a room without even meaning to. Scott, on the other hand, is wracked with self-doubt, and he takes on the burden of leadership only reluctantly. I can see him being steamrolled unintentionally by Steve’s presence and drive, until a key moment when he asserts himself and thoroughly impresses the old soldier. I can also see the two having to deal with the differences between the worshipful public perception of the Avengers (and Cap in particular) and the fear and hatred directed at the X-Men. And then there’s their common skill: long-distance projectile fighting and uncanny aim. Does a force blast propelled by a man with mutant visual trigonometry skills beat the shield-slinging aim of a man designed to be the peak of human perfection? And if they really are evenly matched, how can they combine their powers to greatest effect? How fantastic would it be — and how visually stunning — if Scott sent out a blast designed to strike Cap’s thrown shield at exactly the right moment to bounce off and hit a villain in a vulnerable spot?

This isn’t a teamup that would last — they’re both too dedicated to their home teams for that. But I’d love to see what these two upstanding gentlemen and military strategists could do together, if only for a miniseries.

Sigrid

I think everybody should team up with Cloak and Dagger. No, seriously. Think of it. Cassandra Cain, fighting drug-smugglers with Tandy and Ty. Hal Jordan schooled in reality by Dagger’s hard grace. Francine Peters dealing with Cloak’s cold hunger. Think of Cloak and Dagger and Echo and Manhunter kicking ass on human-traffickers in, say, New Orelans.

Guys, I love me some Cloak and Dagger. I really do. As a concept, as characters, as a team, I think they are great. But what I really love is this:

I love the Cloak and Dagger / Spider-Man / New Mutants Marvel Team Up Annual #6. This is the first Marvel comic I bought. Right here. (It’s long gone, sadly. Torn to shreds by love and obsession. I think I threw it away when I was fourteen, when it was finally and undeniably unreadable.) But this story — with the innocent mutant kids sucked into the sordid danger of Ty and Tandy’s world, with Peter Parker as the older, wiser guy who could help them, with that throbbing undercurrent so many comics of this era had of a danger (never explicitly mentioned to be sexual in nature) lurking just one misstep outside the schoolyard — this story was the ur-Marvel story for me.

And it’s the perfect team-up. Team-ups have to do a few complicated things, story-wise. They have to give everyone a chance to shine. They have to initially make the characters uncomfortable about something, and then resolve it. A good team-up teaches the characters something they didn’t know, but it also strengthens their resolve to continue as they have been. And a good team-up shows the readers new characters in a favorable light. Everyone has to look good, so that the New Mutants reader will pick up Spider-Man, and so forth. This comic, MTU Annual #6, does all of that.

I want more of it. The New Mutants, the original team, are coming back into a new title pretty quick here now. The solicits cover image is the mirror of the cover of New Mutants #1. Marvel is clearly making a nostalgia play of some sort. Let me tell you, Marvel; it’s working. I’m going to get your new New Mutants title. And what I want to see, desperately, achingly want to see, is another New Mutants / Cloak and Dagger team-up.

Maybe you can get Sienkiewicz to do the art again. What do you think?

What comic book character team-up would you like to see (or see more of)?

  • Caroline

    @Anika — Now I really really want some kind of Marvel/DC mixed-doubles teamup contest. Do you think Bruce and Carol could take Hal and Jean?

    @Jennifer — Excellent answer, I’d like to see this too! (This also makes me want to revisit ‘X-Men/Avengers: Book Club’ so Steve and Scott can argue about Nite Owls).

    @Sigrid — After all this time we still learn new things about each other — had NO IDEA you were that into ‘Cloak and Dagger.’ I really like your analysis of how team-ups work.

  • I just want to say that I love all of our answers, and would love to read each and every one of these stories. Sigrid, your analysis is particularly awesome — I don’t think I’ve ever thought so specifically about how team-ups are structured and how they function.

  • I’m a crazy JSA fan, so one teamup I’d love to see is Robin (Tim Drake) and Wildcat Jr. Hell, make it a family affair and include Batman and Wildcat Sr. as well. For the younger pair, you’re looking at a pseudo Odd Couple dynamic with the thoughtful Tim and the impulsive Tommy. With the dads, you’re looking at the same kind of dynamic with the added level of history.

  • I fully endorse both Anika’s and Caroline’s answers as team-ups I would pay good money to see. Seriously, Hal and Jean and being possessed by yellow space bugs! And Anika, if Ollie can’t win the cowl, Carol should totally get it. (Oh, and Jen? Can Dick Grayson join in on the Scott and Steve team up?)

    I have two answers, both of which involve Jubilee. First, I want Illyana to be the new Sorcerer Supreme, and I would like Jubilee to be her assistant, and I want them to go on wacky adventures that might or might not cause the end of the universe. (What? It would be AMAZING.)

    But really, the team up I want more than anything in the world is for Jubilee and Misfit to open a babysitting service, and have to babysit the Richards kids and Lian Harper. Complete with accidentally saving the world. (And then Val Richards can grow up to join the Birds of Prey.)

    OTOH, if we’re going to talk about team-ups that I might have a chance of actually seeing, I am almost always fond of times when Superman and Nightwing team-up. Nightwing #30 is seriously one of my favorite issues. *hearts*

  • sigrid

    @Carrie I *pine* for that jean and Hal team-up, I really do.

    @Paul Hah, that is hilarious! I love the Wildcat Sr and Batman idea.

  • @Paul In my head, that is how Silver Age Batman and Green Arrow team-ups should have worked. Bruce and Ollie and pre-Titans Dick and Roy. Um. Yes.

  • Anika

    @Caroline — Hal and Jean have them on power potential but Bruce and Carol are much better at focusing and strategy. In other words: I WANT THAT TOO.

    And I also really love all our answers. I agree that everybody should team-up with Cloak and Dagger (geeky aside: Christian uses them a lot on Heroclix teams). Even wildcards like Dr. Who 😀

    ETA: And @Margot — that babysitting idea is amazing!!!!!!

  • This topic also makes me think about truly bizarre pairings. Characters in the same universe that seem like they’re from entirely different worlds.

    Ben Grimm and Daredevil?
    Thanos and Molly?
    Catwoman and Hawkgirl (sexiest teamup ever?)
    Dr. Mid Nite and Swamp Thing?

  • Dan

    Anika and I are on the same page about B:BATB. Bruce doesn’t “team up” with people. He needs a tool for a given job and if that tool happens to be a person, so be it.

    On the other hand, I’m a fan of team-ups in general. I like when heroes hang out together and do stuff, whether it’s fighting crime or grabbing a burger at the local diner.

    My first instinct is to borrow a page out of Sigrid’s book and just say team Kitty Pryde up with anyone and I’ll be there. But, that’s kind of a cop-out. As I was typing this, I had an image of Nightcrawler teaming up with Metamorpho…and, somehow, that seemed kind of cool. Maybe even Guy Gardner teaming up with USAgent.

  • @Sigrid I should really read more about Cloak & Dagger! I think I only really know them from Runaways and the last few megacrossover things. And I really like your analysis of what makes good team-ups work.

    @Anika I wish I could take full credit for it, but it is also a product of Jenn’s mind. But OMG I want it to exist.

    While I am continuing to spam your comments section, I would just like to point out that I would love to have seen a Young Justice/Young Avengers team-up. So much potential there.

  • Caroline

    @Paul I love the Tim Drake & young Wildcat idea. I mean, I love all those ideas but that’s my favorite.

    @Sigrid From the Jean & Hal thing, it was like two steps in my brain to “and then they decide to set up Rachel and Kyle.” Because Jean is all, “My future- daughter just needs a NICE boy” and Hal is all, “I have absolutely no judgment regarding interpersonal relationships but an attractive woman is suggesting it so I’ll say this is a good idea.” (The latter only in subtext, probably). And Rachel would *go*, to make her mom happy, but it would be horrendously awkward, with them both trying way too hard to present themselves as what they think the authority figures in their lives who engineered this thing *want* them to be. Until Kyle accidentally brings up his art (which he didn’t mean to do, he doesn’t want to sound like a geek) and he ends up showing her the constructs he can make with his ring, and Rachel figures out how to do some of the same things with her TK, and after that it goes very nicely.

    Man, if I could draw, I’d totally do that!

  • @Paul I’m pretty sure Caroline’s answer is already the sexiest team-up ever. (I’d argue for mine, but neither character is comfortable being called “sexy,” while Jean and Hal would totally be ok with it.)

  • Anika

    @Jennifer @Paul Hahahahaha. I agree that Jean and Hal are sexy, but anything with Selina is sexy by default and I gotta say I’m leaning that way. But then again, Jean and Wanda…

    …Oh dear. This is maybe a whole other topic.

  • Anika

    Oh, oh, and @Margot — Young Justice/Young Avengers should exist in reality. Somehow we have to make that happen.

  • Selena

    More Illuminati tales! Seriously, I think that was one of Bendis’ better ideas, and seeing these characters out of their normal team-ups and with each other was great. (As I once wrote in a review, take the discussion Charles Xavier has with Tony Stark about whether or not to mindwipe someone. With one of the X-men, it would inevitably have a mentor/protegé subtext with various levels of accusations and defensiveness and fallen idol etc.; all of which isn’t there in that scene and instead you have a level of honesty and equality that’s appealing.)

    Also, I’ll be predictable as well and demand more Agent Brand and Hank McCoy page time. I don’t mean necessarily in a romantic sense, btw; shipping aside, one of the things that delighted me about “Unstoppable” was team-up between Abigail Brand, the X-Men in general, and Hank in particular. Their different approaches but also the fact it wasn’t just Hank’s ethics versus Brand’s ruthlessness but the way she did take into account what he had to say, and he came to respect her. Still, she’ll always be an extreme pragmatist, so I would like to see another mission, to find out how they work together now that they’re in a relationship, especially if they have conflicting goals. She said she needed someone to stand up to her and point out when she’s going wrong, but that’s easier said than done in practice.

    …and if whoever writes it can keep up Joss’ level of banter, I would be profoundly grateful.

  • @Margot I love how you are like the only other person in the world who’s with me on the Val as a member of the BoP. I’m obviously a fan of your Misfit babysitting Lian, Frank and Val! AND THEY WILL PLAY POKEMON!

    I’m really just waiting for Power Pack to actually come back into the main marvel universe, and team back up with the cosmically endowed Richards’ children. And then Misfit and Jeff Smith’s Mary Marvel can somehow cross dimensions and join them.

    I love all of your answers though, because they all really do make so much sense, and would be some pretty awesome stories!

  • @Dan One of the things I love about there being a shared universe is that you can get all of those little moments. Wally dropping by to hang out with Dick in Bludhaven, every hero in the universe hanging out at Warriors, the JSA showing up to help Dick move… *hearts* Of course, I would also read an entire comic about the Titans going out for drinks at Warriors, so I’m clearly not allowed to talk.

    @Anika Cissie and Kate should totally be best friends, yes? And Bart and Tommy need to race. And the Cassies should bond. It would be amazing.

    @Jenn Clearly, our brains just function well together. But Val would rock on the Birds! Mary Marvel can totally join the babysitting service. As long as she’s not evil. (Unless it is in a crazy adventure when Franklin warps reality or something.)

  • sigrid

    @Carrie Ohhhhhh . . . Rachel would eventually awkwardly kiss Kyle, because, well, she has *no clue* how to do these things gracefully. Poor Kyle. I can feel pretty bad for him, dealing with Rachel on a *date*.

    @Anika You know I’m giggling at you right now, right? Right? Not THAT kind of team-up!!

    @Selena OH. More Illuminati is a great idea. Oh, fun.

    @Dan Guy Gardner and US Agent is inspired. Terrifying, but inspired.

  • sigrid

    I just want you all to know that Fraction is bringing Cloak and Dagger back into the X-Men titles.

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=20846

    It’s about 3/4 of the way through the interview.

  • Dave

    Hey, I found out about this blog from Mike over at Main Street Hobbies, and I really like what I’ve seen so far.

    I think a great team-up would be Savage Dragon and Spider-Man. I’ve long been a huge fan of both, and Erik Larsen is one of my favorite writers. Larsen has always done a good job of incorporating humor/puns in his writing along with great action, and Dragon and Spider-Man are two of the most smart ass characters I can think of.

  • @Dave Welcome! I’m the one who linked Mike’s mailing list to be blog, and I’m glad to have you here.

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about Savage Dragon lately, but the amount of time it’s been going on is a little intimidating. Is there a good jumping-on point for the series?

  • Menshevik

    Definitely agree on Young Justice/Young Avengers and am fascinated by some of the other team-ups suggested here. As for me, I’d like a KP squared pairing – Kitty Pryde and Kim Possible!

  • Dave

    Thanks for the welcome Jennifer, and sorry for the late reply. Last issue, #148, was a good a point as any to jump on. Since it was FCBD there was a nice, neat 4 page synopsis for any new readers of the major stuff that has happened in Savage Dragon.