Dream Team 1992

basketball usa dream team 1992It seems these days that the default mentality of comic book writers when drafting up the rosters for the various superhero teams is a simple mindset of including all of their favorite characters from the Silver Age, when they first got hooked on comics as little kids. It’s why Geoff Johns has such a mad-on for the Legion of Superheroes (who are pretty lame, if you ask me) and everybody and their brother is bringing in nonsense from Jack Kirby’s hay-day. Why else would we see monthly installments of garbage like The Eternals or regularly see OMACs popping up in every single stupid DC “Event?” Heck, it seems like Countdown was one big circle jerk for everything Kirby ever worked on, and we all know how that turned out.

But, still, it’s an interesting idea, wondering what sorts of superheroes I’d pile into my fantasy superhero team, if I were operating with the same mind I had when I first got into comics at the age of nine, way back in good ol’ Cedar Falls, Iowa (let’s face it, though – – it’s not that old, and it’s not all that good, either). I’m sure it would be just as lame, if not lamer, than the upcoming James Robinson penned “Justice League.”

For the sake of argument and discussion, though, let’s leave company affiliation out of this and just let Young Doom DeLuise pick whomever he thinks would be coolest to have on his team. Hope you like nostalgia and XTREME superheroes, because this is about to get pretty thick with both! Hit the jump, chump:

1. Cable

You couldn’t possibly be a comic book fan in the early 90s without developing a major mad-on for the ultimate mutant bad-ass, and I was certainly no different. Introduced as one of the New Mutants, Cable eventually developed his own team (X-Force) and was given his own monthly comic (plus a goatee!). His appearances on the X-Men cartoon always made me super pumped up, and I can’t say there was a single superhero I liked more when I was a kid. Seriously, the Wild Man from Borneo? That’s gold, baby.

2. Wonder Man

I never really liked the big tough guys like Superman and the Hulk, because they seemed too powerful for their own good. Young DeLuise liked him the ultra powerful wild card, the ionic Avenger that just couldn’t seem to catch a break (though, he did catch himself a short-lived monthly that eventually became all sorts of ridiculously bad). I remember thinking it was really awesome that he one-punched the head off the Hulk doppelganger during the Infinity War, and I regularly cited that to my friends as proof that, if he applied himself, Wonder Man would be the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe. Call me crazy, but even as a chap, I’ve always rooted for the underdog.

3. The Rocketeer

It doesn’t matter that I don’t know which company published this character, and it matters even less that his story is set in a time before any of these other characters had even been thought of – – I loved me some Rocketeer. When the movie came out, I went to the comic shop and bought up as many Rocketeer comics as I could (I still have one that came packaged with cheap 3-D glasses), and they didn’t disappoint. The idea of a normal old stunt pilot getting access to a super cool state-of-the-art rocket pack thrilled me as a kid, and it still gets me pretty giddy as an adult. He’d be a great asset to any team, provided he had a good wad of gum on hand at all times.

4. Catman

The first comic book I ever read was Detective Comics #612, in which Catman beat Batman senseless and unleashed a white tiger on the Caped Crusader. Batman eventually bested the beast, but Catman escaped and lived to horse off another day. Granted, Catman wasn’t cool back in the 90s, and there’s really no way you could possibly guess that he’d have ever been made into the star of the Secret Six, but, as a kid, I was instantly entertained by this weird villain that seemed like the perfect counterpart to the Batman. All the cool kids liked the Batman, and I enjoyed rebelling against the bandwagon (not really – – I was a Bulls fan and an Oakland A’s fan), so Catman seemed like the perfect character to be Batman’s equal.

5. Quasar

I didn’t know much about this guy, other than the fact that he was one of the stars of Operation: Galactic Storm, my introduction to a major crossover event. To this day, I still don’t know much about him, but the boy in me got a kick out of his latest appearance within the pages of Nova. It’s good to see him back, even if he’s in an odd ephemeral form that didn’t even make it to the next issue. Thanks to this guy, my ears perked up in fifth grade science class when we started talking about actual quasars. Thanks, comic books, for aiding in my education!

6. Azrael

Before he went bonkers and took over the Mantel of the Bat, Azrael was a damn cool character. Well, to a ten year-old, at least. I hear he’s getting a new mini-series in a couple months, and my dumb nostalgia will probably force me to buy it, regardless of the quality. And here I thought he was dead.

Well, that’s my team. Would they ever win a fight? Probably not. They’re not very balanced, in the least bit, and there’s no reason on earth that they’d ever actually team up. But, hey, it’s fun to think about while walking down Memory Lane, or whatever the hell they’re calling it these days.

What’s more interesting to me, though, is who you would include, if you had to put yourself in the same frame of mind as yourself as a kid first getting into comic books. Feel free to leave comments and share your thoughts, because I’d get a real kick out of it. Thanks for reading!