10 most underrated Marvel teams, ranked

Marvel has some amazing super teams. Teams like Avengers and X-Men are well-known names, and Fantastic Four were the first Marvel superheroes in the Silver Age. These three teams are top of the Marvel team world, but that does not mean they are the only games in town. Over the years, there have been many amazing Marvel teams out there, the ones that deserve the spotlight just as much as the big names.

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There are so many amazing Marvel teams that have fallen out of the way over the years or have generally lost prominence. It’s a shame because they have so much history potential.

10 The West Coast Avengers were such an amazing team

West Coast Avengers # 37

The Avengers are the greatest heroes in the world, but their old base in New York meant it took them longer to get to some threats than it should have. That’s just one of the things about the West Coast Avengers that was so cool; they could respond quickly to attacks in place on the U.S. west coast and along the Pacific Rim quickly.

On top of that, the team was positively stacked with some of the greatest Avengers ever. Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Vision, War Machine, Wonder Man, Mockingbird and so many others called the team home. If Marvel invested A-list heroes in a reboot, it would succeed just as before.

9 The defenders are the only non-team in Marvel’s history

Original lineup of Marvel's Defenders

The defenders always felt like they should be the Avengers’ sister team, but they became something very different. The first list consisted of Dr. Strange, Hulk, Namor and Silver Surfer, a powerful line-up that quarreled as if there was no one tomorrow. Later lists would incorporate former X-Men like Beast, Iceman and Angel, as well as Valkyrie, Knighthawk, Gargoyle and more.

The defenders were never a traditional team and became known as the “non-team.” They worked together, but they were not like other groups. Their unique lists made them great to read about, and they have a special place in Marvel’s history.

8 The X-Men’s Gold Team was overshadowed by the blue team

X-Men’s division into Blue and Gold Teams was a new way of looking at the mutant team. It was a good solution to the problem of how many X-Men there were, but looking at the two groups, Blue Team was stacked with the most popular X-Men. This made the Gold Team often seem like the odd team, which was ironic because it was far stronger than the Blue Team.

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Led by Storm, the team also boasted Jean Gray, Archangel, Iceman and Colossus. Bishop eventually joined and rounded up the team. It had incredible muscle for such a small team and boasted some of the most iconic, albeit slightly less popular, X-Men.

7 The Dark Avengers were one of the most entertaining Marvel teams for years

The Bendis years with the Avengers books have their hits and misses. The Dark Avengers were definitely in the hit column. The team was born during Marvel’s Dark Reign era and boasted Bullseye, Venom, Moonstone and Akihiro, who posed as Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel and Wolverine. Along with Ares, Noh-Varr as Captain Marvel and Sentry, they were led by Norman Osborn as Iron Patriot.

The team was ridiculously strong and just as entertaining. They took the best of the last days Thunderbolts and combined it with Avengers adventures. Marvel tried to bring back different iterations of the team, but they never had the effect of the first one.

6 The latest X-Factor list was one of the best ever

The X-Factor has always been one of the most unsung mutant teams, and the Krakoa – era version of the group followed suit. The team was assembled to investigate the deaths of mutants outside Krakoa, and the team had a history list: Northstar, Prestige, Polaris, Prodigy, Eye-Boy, Akihiro and Aurora. The team dealt with battles against Mojo and the Irish goddess Morrigan and was one of the best parts of the Krakoa era.

Unfortunately, their book was canceled as soon as it arrived. The team was an amazing mix of personalities of different sexualities and ethnicities, all of whom played very well out of each other and proved to be the perfect investigation team.

5 Midnight Son brought together Marvel’s most powerful supernatural heroes

The Marvel universe has some powerful magical users, but the supernatural side of things is not as well outlined as it could be. In the early ’90s, Ghost Rider was at the height of its popularity, so Marvel wanted to capitalize on that by collecting Midnight Sons. The informal group initially consisted of Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, Morbius, Blade, Hannibal King and Frank Drake, but wanted to balloon as the years went by.

Almost all of the mysterious Marvel heroes found their way to the Midnight Sons. It’s such an amazing team concept, the most powerful magical heroes teaming up, one who is always ripe for a comeback.

4 The New Warriors were Marvel’s premiere teenage team in the ’90s

Teen teams in Marvel do not have the same popularity that they have at their upscale competition unless they are made up of mutants. The closest Marvel was to a non-mutant-based teenage team with some popularity was the New Warriors. This powerful team of teens consisted of Night Thrasher, Nova, Speedball, Namorita, Marvel Boy / Justice, Firestar, Rage and Silhouette and was home to Marvel’s 90s teen scene.

Fans loved the group for a while; the list was packed with strong, interesting heroes. Later attempts at restart, however, never succeeded for the group. Civil war ruined them just when they had a chance to shine again as a reality show super team.

3 The Original Guardians Of The Galaxy was Marvel’s answer to the legion of superheroes

The Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel’s biggest success stories, starting from scratch and rising to one of its most famous teams. The original list and concept was quite different from the modern one, teaming up with heroes from the 30th century like Vance Astro, Charlie-27, Yondu, Martinex, Starhawk and Nikki to fight the evil Badoon.

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The team made several trips to the past and teamed up with the Avengers. They were basically the Legion of Superheroes of Marvel in many ways, and explored the future of the Marvel Universe. They are a far better team than they get the credit for, but have been overshadowed by the modern MCU star version.

2 Generation X kept the Teen Mutant Torch alive in the 90s

The New Mutants were the teenage mutant team in the 80s, but when they broke away from the X-Men to form the X-Force, there had to be a new place for young mutants to go. It would end up being Emma Frosts Massachusetts Academy. Together with Banshee, she wanted to help train the next generation of young mutants – Jubilee, Synch, M, Husk, Chamber, Skin and Mondo – known as Generation X.

Generation X was the perfect blend of power and personality. The team had some amazing adventures and proved to be just as good as their New Mutants predecessors. The team has been restarted once, and while its book was canceled, it did a good job with the latest generation of mutants.

1 Alpha Flight deserves a return to prominence

Alpha flight group shot

Alpha Flight is the Avengers of Canada, a team of heroes who must defend the world and the great white north against every threat. The group, made up of Guardian, Vindicator, Sasquatch, Northstar, Aurora, Shaman, Snowbird, Puck, Box and others, had some exciting adventures. Their heyday was the 80s, though a revival in the mid-90s helped open their eyes to them again.

Since then, the team has been relaunched several times in vain, with the latest iteration as a space service acting as a Captain Marvel spotlight mechanism. A back-to-basics approach would be much better and bring Canada’s defenders home again.

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