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Top Five Lamest Forces

TOP FIVE WEEK CONTINUES (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far)!

Here are the top five lamest groups to call themselves “Something” Force (so no Force Works or anything else like that – it has to be like Freedom Force or Night Force, etc.).

Enjoy!

HONORABLE MENTION

Atari Force

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While Gerry Conway and Mike Baron tried their best during the book’s ongoing series to get it away from its roots, this series, which was created to illustrate story lines for games released by Atari (which was also owned by the same company that owned DC Comics, natch), never got far enough away for my tastes.

5. Fantastic Force

5008_4_06.jpg

Even the writer of the book, Tom Brevoort, admits that this series did not exactly turn out great.

There were some good characters, though! Especially Vibraxis, who Christopher Priest used well in Black Panther.

4. Brute Force

4013_4_001.jpg

Layne made a good argument for this tie-in comic book being on the list, and I can’t really disagree.

3. China Force

This group fought Alpha Flight during the time period when Jim Lee was drawing the book.

Here is one of the team’s member…Jade Dragon.

Jade_Dragon_001.gif

Yep, it was THAT original.

2. People’s Defense Force

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This was a group of communists who fought the West Coast Avengers alongside Quicksilver (during one of his routine “I’m evil!” phases).

Their biggest enemy?

Hank Pym, who fought them all in the Silver Age (during the days when they would LET you kick a dirty, dirty commie’s behind!).

LAME!!!

1. Earth Force

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A group of intensive care patients given powers by Set, during a big storyline Tom DeFalco was doing on the book post-Simonson.

The reason they’re higher than China Force and the People’s Defense Force (who may seem lamer) is that Earth Force was not just a one-off concept like the previous two teams (okay, China Force had one more appearance outside of Alpha Flight). Earth Force was something DeFalco really tried to push during his early Thor issues, including back-up stories and everything!

So the continued appearance of lame characters make them even lamer in my book.

Luckily, they have not turned up much since DeFalco left the book (and even he did not do that much with them after awhile, but he certainly did try to have them catch on, as you know how dedicated he can be to characters he created – so for HIM to even drop them is saying something!).

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

42 Comments

While “Force of July” didn’t have their own comic, they were pretty lame.

Does Primal Force count? Did they ever call themselves that?

Hey c’mon! Atari Force gave us the Hukka!

I never read the original Atari Force minicomics, so I don’t know if they were good or not. But the Conway,Baron/Garcia-Lopez,Barreto ongoing series of Atari Force was excellent and not at all lame.

How about Major Force? He’s lame.

What, Force Works doesn’t count?

Orion of Atari Force looks way too much like Moses Magnum for my liking.

Skyhawk of Earth Force is set to re-appear as part of the Initiative:
http://www.marvel.com/universe/Earth_Force

I assume Justice League Task Force just barely missed the list. What a depressing and pointless book that was. First existing as Mission Impossible starring J’onn J’onnz and then as a Justice League Training Camp that served largely as a companion piece to the Ray’s solo title. Easily the worst book of the Justice League’s early-90s franchise era (even worse than the terribly titled Extreme Justice).

Oh yeah, JLTF should definitely be up there, especially since it had writing by Michilinie in the early issues, who for some reason just did horrendous writing in the 90s.

How about Megaforce? I mean, did you ever see that movie? It may not have been a comic book, but it sure was advertised on the back cover of a lot of whem at the time…

Wow … FANTASTIC FORCE made it to issue 6?

JLTF worse than Extreme Justice? Are you kidding?

JLTF was bad, but almost nothing is worse than Extreme Justice.

Somehow I doubt those runs of Cyberforce festering in long boxes across the world are getting any fresher.

However, Brute Force is surely the pinnacle of forciness. Like gramma always said, a dolphin with an exo-skeleton and gun always wins.

ALWAYS.
http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=210347&zoom=4

While “Force of July” didn’t have their own comic, they were pretty lame.

I made the “has to end in Force” rule so I wouldn’t have to rule on teams like that! :)

Does Primal Force count? Did they ever call themselves that?

They count, but they were pretty not that bad!

I never read the original Atari Force minicomics, so I don’t know if they were good or not. But the Conway,Baron/Garcia-Lopez,Barreto ongoing series of Atari Force was excellent and not at all lame.

Hey, I gave them credit specifically, didn’t I? :)

But you’ll be pleased to note that Atari Force has now fallen out of the Top Five!

What, Force Works doesn’t count?

Yep – just teams ending in Force.

I assume Justice League Task Force just barely missed the list. What a depressing and pointless book that was. First existing as Mission Impossible starring J’onn J’onnz and then as a Justice League Training Camp that served largely as a companion piece to the Ray’s solo title. Easily the worst book of the Justice League’s early-90s franchise era (even worse than the terribly titled Extreme Justice).

Early on, it was pretty bad, but I liked Priest’s run.

And even the bad issues weren’t THAT bad – they were more like fluff than anything.

Wow … FANTASTIC FORCE made it to issue 6?

I BELIEVE it managed to get to #18!

They did a lot of re-tooling, though, adding the Human Torch to the cast for awhile, as well as Black Panther and She-Hulk.

Somehow I doubt those runs of Cyberforce festering in long boxes across the world are getting any fresher.

Cyberforce wasn’t all THAT bad, really.

However, Brute Force is surely the pinnacle of forciness. Like gramma always said, a dolphin with an exo-skeleton and gun always wins.

ALWAYS.

Brute Force, on the other hand, was. Good pick-up! It’s on the list!

Brute Force looks interesting. Probably a lot better in concept than in execution, but I do like the idea and cover.

Issue 4 of Brute Force would have worked in a cover homage challenge a few weeks ago. It probably could have taken third place!
http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=210350&zoom=4

DeFalco was responsible not only for Earth Force, but I believe he had a lot to do with Fantastic Force as well.

And yeah, Vibraxis was good but Huntara? Psi-lord? And what was the monster’s name?

I miss the days when comic companies could toss shite like this out into the mix, and if it failed, it failed, but if it worked, then you got a classic cult series that would last a while. Now, there’s very little room for failure.

DeFalco was responsible not only for Earth Force, but I believe he had a lot to do with Fantastic Force as well.

Yeah, he created about half the team, I believe.

Andrew Collins

May 28, 2007 at 4:31 pm

No Primal Force? That was one of the lamer series to come out of Zero Hour. In fact, Starman was the ONLY good series to come out of Zero Hour.

I never read Atari Force, but I remember at the time, it got a lot of critical praise, and showed up on a lot of “best of” lists in the comic mags alongside books like Moore’s Swamp Thing and Wolfman/Perez’s New Teen Titans.

Brute Force, ah? Never heard of it. Macks of a Captain Planet-styled superhero story with environmentalist undertones. It’s really too bad they couldn’t do anything awesome with a dolphin in a golden robot exoskeleton that has a gun.

Bruteforce is clearly We3 done right.

And how did the dolphin in the exoskeleton not make it into Nextwave?

Yeah, Priest’s run on JLTF, plus the coolness of the original concept, definitely get JLTF off the list and way above the “better than Extreme Justice” threshold.

The *point* of Force of July was to be lame, so it hardly counts against them!

I didn’t care for Priest’s run. To me it too often seemed more like a companion piece to Ray’s solo title or Triumph’s miniseries instead of a standalone book in its own right (there was one issue that had six, SIX, “see also” notes on one page. Most were to issues of The Ray). That and they really, really overused Vandal Savage after the Day of Judgment event that shook up all the JL books.

Extreme Justice, while by no means the best Justice League book ever, at least managed to have a decent blend of action and character development (albeit hampered by horribly 90s art). It wasn’t perfect, but I consider it to be a more satisfying read than JLTF was during the same period.

And of course both were better than Gerard Jones run on Justice League America.

Brute Force reminds me a lot of Battle Beasts.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Beasts )

What? No X-Force? It was everything wrong with comics in the 90s…

X-Force wasn’t all that bad.

Heck, at times after Nicieza, it was even good.

However, X-Force will be forever blessed because it had Milligan/Allred, and their run on X-Force was their best work on those characters (Once they killed U-Go-Girl, it was still GOOD, but not nearly AS good).

I-I-I meant Brute Force was cool! “Forciness” is a good thing! Oh Lord, what have I done?!?

You know, I never expected to see ANY “_____ Force” book that made [i]X-Force[/i] look good (especially not on this site), but this list delivered five.* Sweet Christmas!

*Atari Force managed to tie.

(especially not on this site)

Because we are noted X-Force aficionados?

Everyone’s praising the Dolphin with the gun, but my favorite has to be the Kangaroo riding the motor-trike.

And wearing GOGGLES.

I want him on one of the Initiative teams.

“DeFalco was responsible not only for Earth Force, but I believe he had a lot to do with Fantastic Force as well.”

He was writing ‘Fantastic Four’ when the spin-off came up; I don’t know how much of it was his idea and how much of it was stuff he shoved in to ‘Fantastic Four’ to set-up the spin-off, because, honestly, who can tell the difference in that run?

So, does DC have *no* lame forces?

Brian– I will likewise defend Atari Force. Despite the name, it was an extremely well done comic. If you are letting Cyberforce and X-Force slide as “not all that bad”, how can you not let the vastly superior Atari comic pass?

Skyhawk has been shown to be operating in Seattle. So maybe at least part of Earth Force can live on! :)

Derek B. Haas

May 29, 2007 at 7:46 am

Tom DeFalco is history’s greatest monster.

Silly name aside, I liked Force Works. It was a fun title, and I thought it was one of the few bright spots of mid-1990s Marvel. To this day, I still have a definite fondness for the character of Century.

Mind you, I am sure there are others here who will decry Force Works as total drek, so feel free to disagree with me :)

SanctumSanctorumComix

May 29, 2007 at 10:47 am

No, I kinda liked (some of) FORCE WORKS too.

But then, it was a spin off Avengers title (which USED to be a good thing to me – before Marvel started having 100 Avengers titles) AND it had SCARLET WITCH (which was ALSO a plus in my book).

It did get craptastic after awhile, and I dropped it.

One day, I’ll fill the holes in the collection (25cent bin, here I come) and I’ll finish reading the run.

My main reason for replying here is to say “You’re damn lucky NIGHT FORCE wasn’t on this list.

THAT was a great book!
Baron Winter was the $#!T.
And NO ONE can tell me Gene Colan wasn’t born to draw that baby!

Hmmm…. I might have to dig them all out of the long-boxes for a re-read.

~P~
P-TOR

That Brute Force dolphin is totally my hero now.

I was insanely obsessed with Brute Force about four years ago, and actually got a couple artists to draw the Uzi-Dolphin at San Diego.

Here’s a shot from John McCrea in the style of the zombie dolphin from “Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium:” http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m92/ZackSmith8/ZombieDolphinwithUzi.jpg

Yes. A zombie dolphin with an Uzi.

I might have one from Simon Bisley around here as well.

I was insanely obsessed with Brute Force about four years ago, and actually got a couple artists to draw the Uzi-Dolphin at San Diego.

I really enjoy seeing comvention sketch collections with unusual themes. I’d really like to see scans of any of the other drawings you got done. A gun-toting dolphin is just so weird that you have to like it.

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