10 Most Underrated Marvel Teams, Ranked

Marvel has amazing super teams. Teams like the Avengers and X-Men are household names, and the Fantastic Four were the first Marvel Superheroes of the Silver Age. These three teams are the pinnacle of the Marvel team world, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only games in town. Over the years, there have been many amazing Marvel teams, ones that deserve the spotlight as much as the big ones.

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There are so many great Marvel teams that have fallen by the wayside over the years or generally lost their prominence. It’s a shame because they have so much story potential.

ten The West Coast Avengers were such an amazing team

West Coast Avengers #37

The Avengers are the world’s greatest heroes, but their old base in New York has taken them longer than expected to deal with some threats. That’s just one thing about the West Coast Avengers that was so cool; they could respond quickly to attacks in place on the US West Coast and along the Pacific Rim quickly.

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

9 The Defenders Are The Only Non-Team In Marvel History

Original lineup of Marvel's Defenders

The Defenders have always felt like they were meant to be sister team to the Avengers, but they’ve evolved into something very different. The first roster consisted of Dr. Strange, Hulk, Namor, and Silver Surfer, a powerful line-up that fought like there was no tomorrow. Later rosters 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 a “non-team”. They worked together, but they weren’t like the other bands. Their unique rosters made them fun to read, and they hold a special place in Marvel history.

8 The X-Men Gold Team Was Overshadowed By The Blue Team

The division of the X-Men into blue and gold teams was a new way of looking at the mutant team. It was a great solution to the X-Men number problem, but looking at both groups, the blue team ended up with the most popular X-Men. This often made the gold team a strange team, which was ironic since they were much more powerful than the blue team.

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Led by Storm, the team also included Jean Grey, Archangel, Iceman, and Colossus. Bishop eventually joined and completed the team. He had incredible muscles for such a small team and boasted some of the most iconic, albeit slightly less popular, X-Men.

seven The Dark Avengers Was One Of The Most Entertaining Marvel Teams In Years

The Bendis years of the Avengers books have their successes and failures. The Dark Avengers were definitely in the hit column. Born during Marvel’s Dark Reign era, the team included Bullseye, Venom, Moonstone, and Akihiro impersonating Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and Wolverine, respectively. Joined by Ares, Noh-Varr as Captain Marvel, and the Sentinel, they were led by Norman Osborn as the Iron Patriot.

The team was ridiculously powerful and equally entertaining. They’ve taken the best of the latter-day Thunderbolts and combined it with Avengers-level adventures. Marvel tried to bring back different iterations of the team, but they never had the impact of the first.

6 The new X-Factor roster was one of the best ever

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

Unfortunately, their book was canceled just as it was hitting its stride. The team was a great mix of personalities of various sexualities and ethnicities, all of whom played each other very well and proved to be the perfect investigative group.

5 Midnight Sons Reunited Marvel’s Mightiest Supernatural Heroes

The Marvel Universe has some powerful magic users, but the supernatural side of things isn’t as well sketched out as it could be. In the early ’90s, Ghost Rider was at the peak of its popularity, so Marvel wanted to capitalize on that by bringing the Midnight Sons together. The informal group consisted of Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, Morbius, Blade, Hannibal King and Frank Drake at first, but swelled over the years.

Almost all of Marvel’s mystical heroes have found their way into the Midnight Sons. It’s such a great team concept, the strongest magic heroes banding together, one that’s always ready for a comeback.

4 The New Warriors were Marvel’s first teenage team of the ’90s

Marvel’s teen teams don’t have the same popularity as they did during their distinguished competition, unless they’re made up of mutants. The closest Marvel to a non-mutant-based teen team with a modicum of popularity was the New Warriors. This mighty team of teens consisted of Night Thrasher, Nova, Speedball, Namorita, Marvel Boy/Justice, Firestar, Rage, and Silhouette and were home to Marvel’s ’90s teen scene.

Fans adored the band for a while; the roster was filled with powerful and interesting heroes. However, subsequent attempts to restart never worked for the group. Civil war destroyed them just when they had a chance to shine again as a reality TV super team.

3 The Original Guardians of the Galaxy Was Marvel’s Answer to the Legion of Super-Heroes

The Guardians of the Galaxy are one of Marvel’s greatest success stories, starting from the bottom and rising to one of its most well-known teams. The original roster and concept was quite different from today, pairing 30th century heroes like Vance Astro, Charlie-27, Yondu, Martinex, Starhawk, and Nikki to battle the villainous Badoon.

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The team made several trips to the past and teamed up with the Avengers. They were essentially Marvel’s Legion of Super-Heroes in many ways, exploring the future of the Marvel Universe. They’re a much better team than they’re entitled to, but they’ve been overshadowed by the modern star version of the MCU.

2 Gen X Kept The Teen Mutant Torch Alive In The ’90s

The New Mutants were the team of teenage mutants of the 80s, but once they split from the X-Men to form X-Force, there needed to be a new place for the young mutants to go. It would end up being Emma Frost’s Massachusetts Academy. Joined by Banshee, she would help train the next generation of young mutants – Jubilee, Synch, M, Husk, Chamber, Skin, and Mondo – known as Generation X.

Gen X was the perfect blend of power and personality. The team had some incredible adventures and proved to be as good as their New Mutants predecessors. The team was restarted once, and although their book was canceled, they did a great job with the new generation of mutants.

1 Alpha Flight deserves a return to prominence

Alpha flight group photo

Alpha Flight are Canada’s Avengers, a team of heroes who defend the world and the Great White North against all threats. Consisting of Guardian, Vindicator, Sasquatch, Northstar, Aurora, Shaman, Snowbird, Puck, Box and others, the group has had some exciting adventures. Their heyday was the 80s, though a revival in the mid-90s helped bring them back.

Since then, the team has been unsuccessfully revived several times, with the latest iteration being a space service serving as Captain Marvel’s spotlight mechanism. A back-to-basics approach would be much better, bringing Canada’s defenders home.

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