If the combined comic book universes had their equivalent of The Onion, this would be it. The BDP can be a bit hit and miss in its humor, but when it's on, it's on. The perfect tonic for those who take their funnybooks too seriously.
NEW YORK - In an online reader poll, the Champions--a group that included Hercules, Black Widow, Angel, Iceman and Ghost Rider--once again took honors as the "lamest superteam," beating the Great Lakes Avengers by seven votes and the Inferior Five by 17 votes. (Note: This survey was completed before the Avengers split into the current "Mighty" and "New" teams, which may bear some watching next year.)
This team, not to be confused with the roleplaying game of the same name, formed after the breakup of the original X-Men and a roster change among the Avengers. They were funded by the Worthington family (who have sponsored superhero organizations in the past), operated in Los Angeles and fought a string of rather undistinguished villains. They had no endorsement deals of note, nor did they generate a successful line of merchandise.
Why the lameness? Opinions from experts on superhero team dynamics differ.
"The Champions had good intentions, but that's not enough," said Dr. Leonard Samson. "In this day and age, you need something that promotes a message, that says who you are and what you stand for. They never really had that."
"From a branding standpoint, it's just terrible," said gloryhound hero Booster Gold. "Using my knowledge of the future, I was able to avoid all the pitfalls they stumbled into--poor PR tactics, undeveloped media relations, no antithetical villains, no epic team-ups with higher profile heroes, the whole shebang. This is why teams need media consultants."
Even supervillains found it hard to take the Champions seriously.
"Fight the Champions? Bah! I wouldn't send the least of my Doombots to confront them," sneered Victor von Doom. "A motley collection of do-gooders, none of whom was worthy of my attention. Besides, they were in Los Angeles and that's a lot further from Latveria than New York is."
"Yes, a couple of them were original X-Men but come now, they weren't even the cool X-Men! Should the Master of Magnetism fight rabble like this? I think not," said Magneto
Even the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes declined to mix it up with the California-based heroes.
"I really thought they could go the distance," offered an anonymous artist who once worked on the group's graphical memoirs. "It was a line up with great heroes... but I guess you really need a unifying theme or concept or it all falls apart. What the heck were they championing anyway? Guess it was mediocrity."