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Take 10

Take 10: Top Teams of 2008

The Secret Cabal begins their celebration of 2008 with the year's most tremendous teams

Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. The time has come once more to pay tribute to another year gone by. Today the celebration of the best Marvel had to offer in 2008 begins with the Secret Cabal's list of the greatest teams of the past 12 months. And make sure to follow all the way to the bottom of the page as we proudly present the inaugural installment of the Take 10 Video Countdown! For each team you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!

10. THE TWELVE Where They Appeared: THE TWELVE Roster: Blue Blade, the Black Widow, Captain Wonder, Dynamic Man, Electro, Fiery Mask, Laughing Mask, Master Mind Excello, Mister E, the Phantom Reporter, Rockman, the Witness Why They Make The List: "A group of heroes from another time, the Twelve stand apart from every other team on this list. In fact, to call them 'heroes' may be inaccurate, as the personality quirks that made them forces for good in World War II may no longer lead to a path of virtue in the present, as each member is finding. But good guys or not, the Twelve contains some of the most fascinating characters to make their mark on the Marvel Universe in years." -Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Finest Moment: While the bulk of the Twelve kept to themselves and attempted to quietly re-immerse into society, Dynamic Man made an impactful-if dubious-return to crime-fighting on a local level, becoming a feared name among ne'er-do-wells. (THE TWELVE #2-3). Spotlight Comic: THE TWELVE #1-"Yesterday's Men of Tomorrow" find themselves in a brave new world: today!

9. THE YOUNG AVENGERS Where They Appeared: YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS, SECRET INVASION: RUNAWAYS/YOUNG AVENGERS Roster: Patriot (team leader), Wiccan, Hulkling, Hawkeye, the Vision, Speed Why They Make the List: "The team has taken lots of twists and turns lately, but 2008 brought them back together to fight the Skrulls in Secret Invasion. While still somewhat new to the super hero game, these teens put their lives on the line to defend New York City. With their stars rising and some big wins, the Young Avengers seem poised to have an even bigger next 12 months." -Secret Cabal member OneManDynasty Finest Moment: With the Avengers a world away, the Fantastic Four diverted and the X-Men across the country, the Young Avengers stood as New York City's only defense against the Super-Skrull army when Secret Invasion kicked off. While Nick Fury's timely intervention proved the tipping point of that particular battle, the Young Avengers demonstrated how far they have come in such a short time by holding the line and even helping to lead less-experienced Initiative recruits into battle. (SECRET INVASION #2-4) Spotlight Comic: YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #1-Patriot gets a lesson in legacy from the Winter Soldier!

8. THE FANTASTIC FOUR Where They Appeared: FANTASTIC FOUR Roster: Mr. Fantastic (team leader), the Human Torch, the Invisible Woman, the Thing Why They Make the List: "They may not have the largest roster or most diverse set of powers, but year in and year out, the Fantastic Four continues to earn their high standing in the Marvel Universe by facing the threats no other heroes can manage. In 2008, Reed Richards' unparalleled genius proved the difference maker against the Skrulls while the never-say-die attitudes of his teammates prevented New York from being sucked into the Negative Zone and the New Defenders from overpopulating the Earth by twice its maximum capacity!" -Annihilator882 Finest Moment: The Fantastic Four topped even their own sterling reputation this year, saving not one, but two worlds. Even after Alyssa Moy's malfunctioning C.A.P. robot took down the rest of Earth's heroes, Reed Richards' brilliance and forward thinking saved the day as his "Anti-Galactus" armor proved the difference maker. Later, the FF diverted the full population of a doomed future Earth to the spare planet Alyssa had lying around. (FANTASTIC FOUR #554-561) Spotlight Comic: FANTASTIC FOUR #554-The celebrated creative team of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch kick off a new direction for the FF!

7. X-FACTOR INVESTIGATIONS Where They Appeared: X-FACTOR Roster: Jamie Madrox (team leader), Guido, Monet, Siryn, Rictor, Longshot, Darwin Why They Make the List: "Time travel! Facial tattoos! Portents of doom! Skrulls! Detroit! Marvel's mutant private investigators tackled all this and more in '08, proving that they're a crucial-and capable-part of the X-Men family. With new members like Darwin and Longshot just settling in, we can continue to expect the unexpected for Madrox and friends." -Secret Cabal member Agent_M Finest Moment: X-Factor didn't earn much goodwill early on in 2008 when their presence provoked an attack on Mutant Town by the assassin Arcade, all but leveling the area, but they did manage to help stave off a sect of the Skrull invasion and save Darwin in the process. (X-FACTOR v2 #33-34, SHE-HULK v3 #31) Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR v2 #28-Following the disastrous events of "Messiah CompleX," X-Factor loses a member!

6. THE MIGHTY AVENGERS Where They Appeared: MIGHTY AVENGERS, SECRET INVASION Roster: Ms. Marvel (team leader), the Wasp, Iron Man, Wonder Man, the Black Widow, the Sentry, Ares, "Spider-Woman" Why They Make the List: "It ain't easy being the public face of a movement like super human registration. Sure, you're doing the responsible thing and making sure the innocent populace is protected, but there will always be those-even close friends-who won't see you as anything but the bad cops. Undaunted, the Mighty Avengers still took their jobs with vigor, battling threats like Dr. Doom and the Skrulls regardless of who appreciated it. Their selflessness may have been best personified by the Wasp, who charged into Secret Invasion knowing her life could be at risk and paying the price." -Annihilator882 Finest Moment: What would end up being a rough year for the registered Avengers team began on a high note as they saved New York from a symbiote attack and then took the fight to Dr. Doom. Succeeding where so many other heroes have failed, Ms. Marvel, Iron Man and their teammates managed to not only put the Latverian monarch down, but bring him to justice, jailing one of Earth's greatest villains. (MIGHTY AVENGERS #7-11) Spotlight Comic: MIGHTY AVENGERS #9-Iron Man leads the Mighty Avengers into Latveria to target Dr. Doom!

5. X-FORCE Where They Appeared: X-FORCE Roster: Wolverine (leader), Warpath, Wolfsbane, X-23, Archangel, Elixir, Domino Why They Make the List: "Desperate times call for desperate measures, and 2008 was the perfect time for the X-Men to unleash a black-ops wetworks team to handle the bloody missions their public team couldn't. The team's opening salvo was not for the squeamish as the Wolverine-led squad sliced and diced the Purifiers, Marauders and everyone in their way!" -Agent_M Finest Moment: The Legacy Virus: a scourge that wiped out countless mutants and brought about unspeakable heartache in the past that would have begun its vicious cycle anew this year if not for X-Force. While Wolverine, Archangel and Domino battled the Right, X-23 literally risked her skin to see the Virus destroyed while Elixir ensured the young mutant clone would fight another day. (X-FORCE v2 #10) Spotlight Comic: X-FORCE v2 #1-Cyclops unleashes his new secret weapon, X-Force, on the Purifiers!

4. THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Where They Appeared: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2008 Roster: Star-Lord (team leader), Drax, Gamora, Quasar, Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock, Mantis, Groot, Bug, Major Victory Why They Make the List: "Teams like the Avengers and Fantastic Four may have a tough job, but they've only got a planet to worry about-the Guardians of the Galaxy have to take care of...well, an entire galaxy! Given the enormity of such a task, who would ever have pegged a team of misfits like Star-Lord, Drax and Rocket f'n Raccoon for the job? Well, despite a bumpy start to their cosmic road trip, the Guardians still managed to make a change for the better, serving admirably from Annihilation through Secret Invasion and beyond while keeping an eye on those pesky laws of time and space while they're at it." -Annihilator882 Finest Moment: Before even officially becoming a team, the principals of the soon-to-be Guardians liberated Kree space and spared the rest of the universe the scourge of Ultron and his Phalanx. Along with other heroes such as Nova and Wraith, Star-Lord and his crew helped drive the robotic menace out of Adam Warlock's form and stem his threat before it had the chance to truly take root. (ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST #6) Spotlight Comic: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY v2 #1-Star-Lord spins the Guardians out of Annihilation: Conquest and into their own adventures!

3. THE X-MEN Where They Appeared: UNCANNY X-MEN, ASTONISHING X-MEN 2008 Roster: Cyclops (team leader), Iceman, Angel, Beast, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine, Dazzler, Cannonball, Emma Frost, Armor, Karma, Pixie Why They Make the List: "They have gone from feared and loathed to hailed and loved. The X-Men have grown more than any team this year, but at a cost. 'Messiah CompleX' tore apart old bonds and scattered some core members through space and time. They left New York and the Xavier Institute for San Francisco. And they lost the beloved Kitty Pryde in the ultimate act of self-sacrifice. They stand united-a family, but now also an army." -Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Finest Moment: As has so often been the case for the Children of the Atom, the X-Men's greatest accomplishment of 2008 came intertwined with their darkest tragedy. While Colossus managed to save Breakworld and prevent their armies from launching an invasion on Earth, the rest of the X-Men worked to divert the extraterrestrials' weapons of massive destruction. Sadly, in the end, Kitty Pryde would have to make the ultimate sacrifice, merging her form with a massive Breakworld "bullet" and phasing it through Earth and spiraling into the universe alone as a result. (GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1) Spotlight Comic: X-MEN: LEGACY #208-In the aftermath of "Messiah CompleX," Professor X lies comatose, relying on some of the X-Men's greatest enemies to save his mind!

2. THE THUNDERBOLTS Where They Appeared: THUNDERBOLTS 2008 Roster: Norman Osborn (director), Moonstone (field leader), Songbird, Radioactive Man, Swordsman, Bullseye, Penance, Venom Why They Make the List: "Don't let the list fool you-this is the number one team in the Marvel Universe. Who survived the attack of Captain Marvel? The Thunderbolts. Who became a hero by defeating the Skrull Queen? Norman Osborn. He not only managed the most unstable, deadly group of characters in the Marvel Universe, but he used them to help repel the greatest threat the Marvel Universe ever faced. In 2008, there was no team more exciting than the Thunderbolts because anything that could happen, did happen, and you never could guess what was next." -OneManDynasty Finest Moment: No team came out of Secret Invasion looking better than the Thunderbolts. Aside from Norman Osborn's kill shot on the Skrull Queen, Veranke, which made him the new toast of the Marvel U, his team managed to save Washington, DC from an army of Super-Skrulls without a single casualty among their number...well, except for Andrea Strucker, but who's counting? (THUNDERBOLTS #122-125, SECRET INVASION #8) Spotlight Comic: THUNDERBOLTS #118-While Doc Samson tries to save Penance's psyche, the Thunderbolts fall apart!

1. THE NEW AVENGERS Where They Appeared: NEW AVENGERS, SECRET INVASION 2008 Roster: Luke Cage (team leader), Ronin, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Echo, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist Why They Make the List: "This team has weathered quite the number of storms since its inception. Forged in the midst of a Breakout, splintered by Civil War, and discovering there are traitors in the midst, they thought they'd survived it all, but nothing could prepare them for the Secret Invasion. If they only knew what we knew now-the Skrulls were behind it all from the beginning! But despite the challenges and odds, the Luke Cage-led Avengers remained the heart of the Marvel Universe and held their ground in the most desperate of times." -RunawayJ Finest Moment: Before Secret Invasion threw the entire Marvel Universe into turmoil, the New Avengers scored a major win against the Hood's burgeoning super villain army. While Earth's Mightiest unregistered Heroes didn't bring the would-be new kingpin's plans to a complete halt, their daring raid on his safe house cost the bad guys plenty of momentum, even if it cost them the services of Dr. Strange in the process. (NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #2) Spotlight Comic: NEW AVENGERS #34-Wolverine takes on the Hood while the Avengers work to determine once and for all if there's a traitor in their midst!
Now that you've seen our choices, why don't you let us know yours by taking the Marvel Twitter Poll: Which do you think was Marvel's Top Team of 2008? And the results. Check out the official Marvel Shop for the best mighty Marvel merchandise!

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