Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Apparently USAGENT is becoming the posterboy for the Fantasy League... It made sense at 1AM...FANTASY LEAGUE: KNOW THE ENEMY!
If you haven't already, you might like to go back to check out the April Punch-Up. There you'll find a little bit of discussion about things connected to the Fantasy League, as well as a little bit of bitching about a weak turnout. I'll stress right now that although this month's round is now underway, you should still feel massive amounts of peer pressure to sign-up!

I can't speak for the guys who've signed up, but nobody likes a cakewalk. Check out the submission guidelines and get ready to choose yourself a team!

I figure if we get another wave of folks signing up, we can do this sort of thing every now and then. Actually, for those of you intent on dominating your fellows, you can find strategic advantages in selecting your teams now that the first round has begun. The guys who've signed up early had first pick at the best characters, and while very little will change in the Infinite Wars as I continue to do my own thing, there's still going to be a tangibility about what we see unfold this month.

For those who came in late: the Infinite Wars Fantasy League is an opportunity to engage bloggers and readers alike in a bit of community competition. There are no prizes and the League requires very little involvement, drawing results from the battles featured on the site and the conclusions of the cumulative rankings (also known as the Super Stock).
If I were more tech savvy, I'd have the whole thing automated, but because I'm not, we all have to endure the embarassment of the current set-up. But come on. Don't act like you aren't playing with the superheroes over on your own blog!

Anyway, today we're here to get a look at the brave souls who've dived head-first into the first round of Infinite Wars Fantasy League action! Some describe these as hardened souls who know no fear. Others say they're just too stupid to know what they're getting themselves in for. One thing is for certain -- they're blazing a trail for interactivity on Secret Wars on Infinite Earths. Bravo!

THE GHOST WALKERS [Sponsored by Chronicle Chamber!]
Well, this is certainly a team with scale!
Characters like Spider-man and the Phantom hold the fort on the streets; Dr. Strange and Galactus have the big picture of magic and space covered; and Ms. Marvel takes care of everything else in between!

Being sponsored by Chronicle Chamber means the Phantom was a given, and since that character has enjoyed a strong entrance into Season 2008, that's a pretty reasonable inclusion on any team. As the Infinite Wars typically revolves around discussion topics and themes, there aren't a lot of characters to take away from the Phantom. Which is a good thing, too, because in case you're new to the site, there's a Spider-Boycott on!

At first glance, the inclusion of Spider-man seems like a wasted pick from the top of the crop, but there's a bigger picture to the Infinite Wars. The duration of the Boycott is currently unknown, but should it end, there's an inevitable pressure build-up that will see a flood of Spider-man entries return to the site.
Spidey, along with Ms. Marvel and Dr. Strange, have had close association with the Avengers recently, which also means solid mid-tier association. Ms. Marvel has particularly been on the rise the past few years!

THE PEOPLE'S TEAM [Sponsored by Comic Book Revolution!]
Like the previous team, you can get a sense for the sponsor wearing their predilictions on their sleeve. Rokk may be a fan of all comics, but a hint of DC bias from a guy with a Legion of Superheroes themed site is probably fair!
This team's got a real streamlined feel about it, with a lot of this characters inter-related. That might be a symptom of the DC Universe, or sign of a different strategy at work...

Rokk's clearly playing hardball with three members of the Justice League "big seven!" Flash and Wonder Woman have probably been under represented thus far in the Infinite Wars, but during the Spider-Boycott, Batman might just be the surest thing on the roster -- especially with The Dark Knight and Gotham Knight looming on the horizon! While having characters referencially clustered like this could backfire; the strategic brilliance of key DC players is that they often come to define corners of the Universe. Which means when there's a hit, there should be a strong response for The People!

THE KNIGHTS OF RIGHT [Sponsored by Comic Book Weekness!]
Another team with a bredth of representation here!
Green Arrow and Captain Marvel represent a lot of the golden age discussion swirling around the site recently; while other characters bring up the contemporary rear. The new Blue Beetle is the newest character selected in competition, which means there's a lot of modern reference, but overall a much smaller catalogue of combat to draw upon. Could go either way, there!

Once again the presence of characters prominent in multimedia is always a promising strategy. Hellboy, who has already headed up a live-action feature and several animated movies, prepares to return to the big screen with the much anticipated Guillermo Del Toro sequel! Likewise, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has been attached to talks of a Shazam-powered feature film, evening out the Captain, who has otherwise been an absentee from most core DC action.

Stephen's only Marvel inclusion, Luke Cage, rounds out with a solid pick!
The former Hero For Hire is experiencing a career high as faux-leader of the Secret Avengers; a position currently at the centre of the Marvel Universe!

THE DC ILLUMINATI [Sponsored by Where Is My Power Ring?!]
I have to admit, this might just be my favourite team!
Selection groupings might have made it difficult, but this one's the team with clearest theme, and I really quite enjoy that! This one, incase you didn't know, is modelled loosely on Marvel's team of the same name! [The Illuminati, duh!]

This team brings together some of the more obscure powerful minds of the DC Universe! Though all tangentially related, this is probably the more diverse counterpart to the Justice League themed focus group of The People's Team! Though the characters might not be as prominent in the Infinite Wars, their influence spans a larger surface, and therefore gives Doc Blu a range of options to score points with.
Steel and Jason Todd stand-out as the site favourites, but as one of the already noted 'big seven', Aquaman has already proven a rankings over achiever! The enlisted Dr. Fate in question here is Kent Nelson, and although he may be the most popular incarnation of the character, he may be overshadowed by the current iteration of the character, Hector Hall.

The Hammer...
That's the landscape of the Fantasy League, folks!
Another reminder, it's not too late to get into the thick of the action! If visualizing the make-up of the League has whipped you into a hero-adopting frenzy, then all you need to do is check out the submission guidelines. You don't need to be registered to Blogger, or even be a longtime reader, to join!

If you noticed a lot of references to the Infinite Wars, but don't understand them, then you should probably refer back to the guidelines again. Though I certainly don't intend to defer from my usual practises, the Fantasy League does depend heavily on the whims of moi, which means it's kinda open season!

That said, there are bound to be certain influences having an impact on the Infinite Wars over the next few months. Skrull paranoia will become more important to players with Marvel characters as uncertainty sweeps the Universe with Secret Invasion. Likewise, the threat of mass effect looms with DC's Final Crisis, which means there's sure to be plenty of action heading our way, along with the many feature films! We might make some unscheduled recaps throughout the months, particularly as these events influence proceedings on the site, but in the mean time, stay tuned for all the superhero smackdown of the Infinite Wars and have fun!

COMING: We follow-up on last month's secret picks for more superhero teams from the past and present; our Secret Origin of the Justice League looms; and all the usually unpredictable spotlights of the Infinite Wars!


Stephen said...

i like the dc illuminati alot. but i don't get who jason todd is supposed to represent. is he the constantly resurrecting prof. x, or the obscure blackbolt?

oh and the knights of right are going to pwn you all

Mike Haseloff said...

Yeah, I couldn't quite piece together where Todd might fit in a literal allegory for the Illuminati. Not that I let thinking get in the way of banging out a wordy post.

The lack of response aside, I was a little disappointed not to see more themes. Not that it really matters. I just liked the idea of an all female team, or a Green Lantern team, or something.

It has nothing to do with anything. I just like synergy...

Dougy said...

Some very cool teams here, it's going to be one heck of a battle.

With Secret Invasion and Final Crisis I was thinking for a moment that my Team might have something of an advantage with The Phantom, but then I remembered the current war right on the door step of the Deep Woods. Looks like all the players here have their work cut out!

Anonymous said...

Wolverine and his Harem are going to rule!!! that's it - i just wanted to say something to show that I read nearly everything in the CBF Club. . and I actually posted something


Mike Haseloff said...

Hah! Just to let newer entrants know, there is another team recap on the way.
Things got a little hectic for a while there... ;-p