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Take 10

Take 10: Reunions

The Secret Cabal tags the lovers, allies and teams they'd like to see get back together

Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. This week in NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION #1, Clint Barton-the former Hawkeye and current Ronin-and his one-time wife Mockingbird attempt to reconcile after years of separation due to her abduction by the Skrulls. Will they resolve their relationship or not? Only time and THE REUNION will tell. However, all this talk of reunions got the Secret Cabal thinking of the countless other couples, partners and teams in the Marvel Universe who have become estranged for one reason or another over the years. Here are the 10 groupings who they would most like to see back together. For each character, you get 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 INFINITY WATCH First Team-Up: WARLOCK AND THE INFINITY WATCH #1 (1992) Their Deal: After he wrested control of the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet from the mad Thanos, Adam Warlock, acting under the ruling of the Living Tribunal, dispersed the Infinity Gems, giving them to Moondragon, Pip, Gamora, Drax as well as a recalcitrant Thanos and retaining the Soul Gem for himself. The gem holders-with the exception of Thanos-would band together as the Infinity Watch, protecting the universe from cosmic menaces such as the Magus and the Goddess. The group disbanded after the extra-dimensional Rune stole the gems from them. Why They Make the List: "How do you safeguard the most powerful weapon in the universe? Dismantle it and give the pieces to a ragtag group of psychos, of course! The Infinity Watch were charged with keeping the Infinity Gems safe and proved to be one of the quirkiest teams in Marvel history-from their base on Monster Island to their 'mystery' sixth member to the secret gem hiding spots Drax and Pip used, they ruled. This team is long overdue for a return to their glory, even without the gems." - Secret Cabal member Agent_M Spotlight Comic: INFINITY WAR #1-The newly-gathered Infinity Watch faces their first serious challenge as the Magus returns!

9. THE THING & ALICIA MASTERS First Meeting: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #8 (1962) Their Deal: When the Thing helped rescue blind sculptress Alicia Masters from her insane and overprotective stepfather, the Puppet Master, a love affair was born as she did not care for Ben Grimm's outer appearance, only his innate goodness. Ben and Alicia's feelings for one another have been tested many times over the years, but they have always remained close, seemingly soul mates. While Ben recently became engaged to Debbie Green, there is no questioning that Alicia will always hold a special place in his heart. Why They Make the List: "Marvel's version of 'Beauty & the Beast,' there may be no sweeter love story to be found anywhere in the House of Ideas. Few characters inspire the loyalty and affection that Benjamin J. Grimm, aka the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing, does, so you can't help but hope against hope that he'll find true love amidst all the tragedy of his existence. And there was certainly no love truer than that Alicia held for her beloved Ben, an affection not skewed by materialism and based entirely on affairs of the heart. We're still pulling for these two to get that storybook happy ending someday." - Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #8-Alicia Masters meets the Thing for the first time when the Fantastic Four face her stepfather, the Puppet Master!

8. THE WEST COAST AVENGERS First Team-Up: WEST COAST AVENGERS (limited series) #1 (1984) Their Deal: When Avengers chairman the Vision assigned Hawkeye to found a California-based counterpart to the original team, he recruited his wife, Mockingbird, as well as Iron Man, Wonder Man and Tigra to join him as the inaugural West Coast Avengers. Veteran Avengers and new recruits alike, including Hank Pym, the Scarlet Witch, USAgent and the second Spider-Woman would become mainstays of the West Coast squad until the East Coast team voted to disband the WCA following a series of misfortunes that sapped its membership. Why They Make the List: "The West Coast Avengers were far more than just crime fighters west of the Mississippi. They were founded on Hawkeye's vision of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. They were a motley crew who straddled the line of the Avengers charter and moral shades of gray. They fought for respect as much as they fought with each other. Month after month, they were unpredictable and you never knew if the entire team would explode or gel to be the greatest of their time. They were the New Avengers before the New Avengers. Yeah, I said it!" - Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS #345-Members of the West Coast Avengers team with the East Coast branch as part of Operation: Galactic Storm!

7. CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MEGGAN First Team-Up: MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #7 (1983) Their Deal: An empathic metamorph whose appearance changes in accordance to how those around her see her, Meggan spent years as a freakish outcast before falling in love with Brian Braddock-aka Captain Britain-and becoming a beautiful young woman on the outside to reflect what he saw on the inside. Brian and Meggan spent years of bliss together, overcoming obstacles like her naiveté and his becoming unhinged in time, eventually marrying. When Brian became ruler of the extra-dimensional Otherworld, Meggan accompanied him as his queen, but during the House of M, she sacrificed herself to repair a rift in reality, becoming lost between dimensions and Captain Britain returned to Earth alone. Why They Make the List: "Theirs is a love so strong, not even death can stop it! Well, maybe that's not entirely true as even though Meggan sacrificed herself to save the universe, she didn't die, but it's still been an act that's so far kept the couple apart. Though events in the pages of CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 do hint towards a possible reunion, nothing's set in stone. But if they do get back together, fans on both sides of the pond will be cheering." - Agent_M Spotlight Comic: EXCALIBUR v1 #1-Captain Britain and Meggan help kick start Excalibur!

6. THE ORIGINAL X-FORCE First Team-Up: NEW MUTANTS #100 (1991) Their Deal: From the ashes of the original New Mutants, Cable recruited Cannonball, Boom Boom, Domino, Warpath, Shatterstar and Feral to form the initial paramilitary incarnation of X-Force. Functioning as a proactive alternative to the X-Men, X-Force's roster and mode of operations would change throughout the years, but the team would endure even after Cable left the group and the younger members struck out on their own. After briefly becoming a black ops team under the leadership of Pete Wisdom, X-Force quietly disbanded and the members went their separate ways, though they have aided one another periodically in the time since. Why They Make the List: "If you were reading comics in the early 90's, you knew there was no team more bad ass than the original X-Force. Rad as the X-Men were, this was a younger, more hardcore version with big guns and no inhibitions. There was a certain element of wild escapism that made those early X-Force years appealing, but there was also something deeper that developed as the years went by. If the New Mutants of the 80's represented that first onset of adolescence, the X-Force of the 90's was your rebellious late teen years, but also that period where you learn who you're going to be. Regardless of whether you dug Shatterstar's ginormous swords or Cannonball's journey of self-discovery, there was a lot to like about X-Force." - Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: X-FORCE #1 (2004)-Cable gathers his old team for a deadly mission!

5. CABLE & DEADPOOL First Team-Up: CABLE & DEADPOOL #1 (2004) Their Deal: Enemies for years, Cable and Deadpool continually found themselves linked by circumstance and came to develop a grudging mutual respect that grew into a friendship. For a significant period, Deadpool resided on Cable's island paradise of Providence and assisted his friend in various missions, though the two would still clash from time to time. The official partnership between this odd couple came to an end following "Messiah CompleX" when Cable fled into the future with the mutant baby, Hope. Why They Make the List: "The comic book equivalent of a buddy cop movie, CABLE & DEADPOOL gave us nearly four years' worth of hilarity, hijinx and wild team-up action. And yes, Deadpool and Cable still have some great solo adventures and headline their own comics with ease, but together they're one of Marvel's most beloved duos. Riggs and Murtaugh are each great on their own and a peanut butter or jelly sandwich is ok, but you want the total package." - Agent_M Spotlight Comic: CABLE & DEADPOOL #21-Buddy teams collide when Cable and Deadpool face Luke Cage and Iron Fist!

4. JUSTICE & FIRESTAR First Date: NEW WARRIORS v1 #14 (1991) Their Deal: From very early on in their tenure together as New Warriors, Vance Astrovik and Angelica Jones found themselves attracted to one another and gradually fell in love. With their relationship surviving Vance's incarceration and a move from the Warriors to the Avengers, Justice and Firestar eventually got engaged to be married. Sadly, Angelica came to realize she was not yet ready to settle down with the older Vance, and broke off their relationship. Why They Make the List: "Justice and Firestar weren't just a cute couple or two characters who worked well together, they were a fictional couple you actually rooted for like real people, because their love for one another felt so pure and hopeful. Comic book romances can often be torrid or unbalanced, but this one genuinely felt like two good-hearted people who shared the strongest bond you could imagine. It was sappy, but that felt good-sometimes a change of pace is nice. It doesn't feel right for these two not to be together-if they can't make it, who in the Marvel Universe can?" - Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS v3 #4-Justice and Firestar join the Avengers!

3. ALPHA FLIGHT First Team-Up: UNCANNY X-MEN #120 (1979) Their Deal: Formed under the auspices of the Canadian government, Alpha Flight served as their country's official superhuman protectors for years. Despite various incarnations and multiple disbandings, mainstays like Guardian, Sasquatch, Puck and Vindicator made sure some form of Alpha always exited to safeguard their countrymen. The proud tenure of Alpha Flight came to a tragic end when nearly every member of the team met their demise at the hands of the Collective. Surviving Alphans Sasquatch and Talisman have since helped found the replacement Omega Flight team. Why They Make the List: "Don't call them the X-Men of Canada-they were more like the Avengers meets Dr. Strange meets Iron Man. In Canada. Seriously flawed psychologically, the members of Alpha Flight were all head cases if you really look at it. And that is what made them incredible in their early incarnations. These guys were messed up, and the foes they faced were often times way over their heads, but that never stopped them. They faced members dying, turning evil, and becoming savage beasts-literally!" - RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: ALPHA FLIGHT v1 #1-Guardian gathers Alpha Flight to defend Canada from the Great Beasts!

2. THE ORIGINAL NEW WARRIORS First Team-Up: THOR #411 (1989) Their Deal: Night Thrasher originally gathered together Nova, Firestar and Marvel Boy to aid him in his war on crime, but when they were unexpectedly joined by Namorita and Speedball in opposing the threat of Terrax, four became six and the New Warriors were born. The original line-up became close friends through the years, and endured membership changes and numerous hardships, including Marvel Boy going to jail for accidentally killing his father and Nova temporarily losing his powers. After going through several periods of inactivity, this version of the New Warriors seemingly came to a permanent end when Night Thrasher and Namorita perished battling Nitro. Why They Make the List: "There was something magic when Fabian Nicieza and Tom DeFalco threw together six totally random characters back in 1989 and christened them the 'Heroes of the 90's.' The New Warriors may never have achieved the notoriety of the Avengers or the X-Men, but that was part of their appeal. They felt very real, very down-to-earth and very much like folks you could relate to. Something about the way the Warriors related to one another brought out the best in each character and made their whole greater than the sum of their parts. Let's get the band back together-dead characters be damned-and see if lightning doesn't strike twice." - Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: NEW WARRIORS #1 (2005)-Nova, Namorita and Speedball join Night Thrasher's New Warriors reality show!

1. SPIDER-MAN & THE BLACK CAT First Team-Up: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #204 (1980) Their Deal: Felicia Hardy first entered the life of Spider-Man as an adversary, but found herself attracted to her foe and tried to reform in order to win his heart. While Spidey and the Cat would become lovers for a time, Felicia ended up pulling away, finding herself more attracted to Spider-Man than to Peter Parker. They have remained friends and allies over the years with more than a hint of romantic tension still simmering beneath the surface. Why They Make the List: "Say what you will about the redhead in Peter Parker's life, I was always happy to see the other woman show up, in her black leather, fur trimmed number. Felicia Hardy, aka the Black Cat, was a perfect match for Spider-Man. Where he wrestled with power and responsibility, she wrestled with which side of the law she fell on. She loved the adventure, the chase, and the hunt. It's no wonder she cared less about who was under Spider-Man's mask and was more a fan of the web-head in action. These two had chemistry that could ignite the city, and the tension was always palpable. They are an unpredictable duo, but you could always count on a good story when they were thrust into each others' lives!" - RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #205-The Black Cat bares her soul to Spider-Man! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" now on iTunes!

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