March Madness Super-Team Showdown Championship Match — Vote Now!

The voters have spoken (and in one case, a voter may have spoken many times).

The Championship round is set!

The voting from the semi-final looks decisive, but the numbers tell only half the tale:

  • Avengers over Justice League 66/34
  • Fantastic Four over X-Men 62/38

Now, it is true that the Avengers/Justice League match-up was never close. The Avengers opened with a big run and never looked back. But the Fantastic Four/X-Men tilt was within a few votes, either way, for much of the week, and in fact I had begun to expect a tie.

(Which might have led to the FF and the X-Men teaming up against the Avengers in the final round … but no matter!)

It was the weekend that told the tale, with the Fantastic Four surging out to an insurmountable lead, right about the same time that an avalanche of votes came in from the European country where I suspect Krackles has his secret headquarters. (No, it isn’t Latveria). Hey, there are no rules against stuffing the ballot box! I even encourage it, sort of.

Bottom line … the Fantastic Four ended up burying the Uncanny X-Men, and whether it was due to an outburst of Kirby phantasmagoria or a generational divide is a moot point. However agonizing a choice it might have been for my most dedicated readers, Marvel’s First Family is on to the Finals, to face Earth’s Mightiest Heroes — the Avengers!

Let’s look at how each team got here.

The Avengers

Coming in as a #2 seed, the Avengers haven’t been challenged in this tournament. They clobbered X-Force in the opening round, easily bested The Legion of Superheroes in the second, and blitzed the Justice League in the semi-finals. Whether it is because the Avengers have nearly all of Marvel’s hottest heroes, or they’re enjoying peak popularity because of the movies, or just because Scarlet Witch can take down Superman in a flash, the voters of Longbox Graveyard have left no doubt that they want to see the Avengers in the Final. And they are going to be tough to beat!

The Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four have surprised me at every stage of this tournament. I thought they were over-seeded as a #1, but the readers were right. While they haven’t had as easy a time of it as the Avengers, the Fantastic Four did make short work of the Metal Men in the opening round, and fended off a pesky Justice Society in the second. The X-Men looked like they would get the best of the FF in the semis, but Mutants Don’t Work Weekends, and the Fantastic Four are in the Finals. In this case, I think people are voting for the world-building and mythos of the Fantastic Four as much as the team itself … and that’s fine! Your voting criteria is your own!

And speaking of voting … the time has come. Only one team can win the Longbox Graveyard March Madness Super-Team Showdown. Cast your vote now (and if you are an Avengers fan, figure a way to vote many times, before Krackles deploys the Ultimate Nullifier again!)

World’s Greatest Comic Magazine vs. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

Your vote(s) will tell the tale. Get ’em in by Sunday, April 1st (and no foolin’!). The winner of the tournament will be announced on Monday, April 2nd at 1:00 PM Pacific Time.

Thanks for all your hard work, great comments, and passionate advocacy throughout this tournament … and may the best team win!

(The comments section is open!)





About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at!

Posted on March 26, 2018, in March Madness! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. I voted in the first tier then totally forgot about this. I am so glad that the Fantastic Four made it to the end!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. I’m shocked. I voted for the X-Men, but I’m cool with the FF winning, as I expect might happen in real life, with Reed pulling a last minute, hail mary. I voted for the Avengers, so I hope they Assemble all the 4’s asses, ha ha.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My X-men taken down by the FF?!? Say it aint so! I hope Cap and the gang send their buts to the Negative Zone. AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!! I’m going to go draw Wolvie now.


    • You really let the X-Men down, Billy.

      Kitty Pryde cried herself to sleep. I hope you’re satisfied.


    • I know right!? I’m right there with you man, Wolvie should’ve made Ben his bitch. Oh well, maybe next year? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dream on X-Baby… Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew would make a fur carpet out of your over-inflated hero!


        • X-Baby? Well yeah I used to be a baby, now I’m an adult, duh! ha ha.
          Yeah let’s ask Ben’s face how those claws feel? 😉

          No question he out-muscles Logan by far. But endurance? Nawww.


          • Bah, don’t you have nothing to show but a lame alternate reality where bad writers and bad artists believe Sue Storm should wave around her ass like a gogo dancer and Stretcho needs to carry a carpenter vest? The FF have mostly been written out of characters but this one takes the cup.


            • Krackles’ got a point with how bad Tom DeFalco’s run was, even though back then as a kid who didn’t know better, it seemed fine. The Paul Ryan art helped. After reading the horrifically underrated and undervalued run by Englehart, you definitely see how bad that whole “Alica was really a skrull” retcon really hurt the characters.

              But damn if Krackles doesn’t sound like the kind of guy who’s whole home is slavishly-devoted to the FF. Like FF PJ’s, Thing mugs, house slippers, bed sheets, etc. basically Dave Cockrum but without the artistic talent 😉

              I bet he even writes personal fan-fiction too, one-handed, whilst beating off to Sue’s boob window with the other, ammirite? 😉

              In all seriousness, I’ll gladly concede how Marvel’s over-hyped and over-exposed Wolverine over the years. Sticking him in almost all the teams they have at one one point.
              He is a bit over-powered as far as his healing factor goes. But then DC’s done the same to Batman as well, so there’s that.

              Tell you this though, even though they stupidly killed him off for a quick cash grab, at least his book was still being published, whereas the FF are just now FINALLY getting their own monthly again after so many years forced on the sidelines.
              By the way, a big FUCK YOU to Ike Perlmutter for that.
              How apropos is that last name, mutt, ’cause that’s what he is, a mutt.


              • Thanks for reading and commenting, Dale. I will confess I find your tone toward Krackles a bit mean-spirited. Krackles is a devoted fan of the medium and especially of Jack Kirby; I find his enthusiasm refreshing, and it is always welcome here. With good humor we have “fought” over the virtues of these imaginary heroes, and that is part of the fun of these silly contests, but that fun is possible only when the Longbox Graveyard community (as small as it is) treats each other with respect.

                Like you, I am glad to see the Fantastic Four return, though my enthusiasm is theoretical, or perhaps more of an ideal. I don’t have a lot of interest in contemporary comics, and if I read the new book at all it will be as a collection several years from now, or as individual issues as they roll onto my all-you-can-read Marvel Unlimited digital subscription. But I think Marvel isn’t really Marvel without the FF in their lineup. Shelving the property felt like erasing Mickey Mouse from Disneyland. It is easy for me to spend Marvel’s money, of course, but at minimum I expect the FF might have been kept alive as a reprint book. I can’t imagine it would sell worse than the bottom half of Marvel’s line.

                But then the point isn’t to replicate a poor-selling title, but instead to build a title for the top of the charts, and in this the best years of the Fantastic Four may have passed everywhere except for places like Longbox Graveyard. I was never a fan of the Fantastic Four — when I came to comics in the 1970s, the book didn’t excite me at all — and I was never more than a casual reader throughout my many years in fandom. However, I appreciate the foundational importance of the franchise, and I enjoy an occasional dip into those magical first one hundred issues. Given the nostalgia this series has generated for the FF I might even go back for more than a dip.

                A theme I’ve tried to develop here at this blog is that with decades of comics storytelling to enjoy, there are versions to be found of pretty much every character for every shifting taste, and I’ve found my joy as a fan in identifying those runs and living inside them, rather than chasing the new (even when the new is very good!). I make it my mission to share my enthusiasm for these voyages to the past with my readers here. For our first several years it was with regular long-form articles; in the last month it was through the Super-Team Tournament; in the months to come it will be with Marvel 1977 (beginning Wednesday). I hope you will join me on that trip!


              • Naturally, you feel a bit sore about being CLOBBERED!
                I can’t hand you my favorite FF handkerchief so I’ll try to ease your loss with a winning advice:

                Read or read again Kirby’s FF run: Nothing compares to it!

                (Maybe you’ll even reach a point when you feel upset, like I do, each time I reach the final issue where dumb Marvel informs us that Kirby left the book)

                Liked by 1 person

          • Wolverine used to an interesting character until uninspired writers had to inflate him to ridiculous proportions. Here is how to stay on character :


      • Got it?


  4. You know the saying, Love conquers all, and the first family is cherished above all.



  5. Don’t get me started guys… Show your love for the ever lovable thing!


  6. I think FF is going to get it. Since the announcement today about FF returning to Comics, I cant be mad at the Fab Four.


  7. The best part of this battle might be Spider-man’s beating himself up over having been on the roster of each of these teams in this century. Right beside him will be She-Hulk, self-flagellating for having been on both teams in the 1980s. Nearby will stand Crystal of the Inhumans, who married a former Avenger and X-man, Quicksilver, and joined both the Avengers’ and FF’s rosters in years past.

    The more I think about it, the more I want these three to be the only ones left standing.

    Sue and Reed might have some soul-searching to do, since they both briefly joined the Avengers. That would mean this fight might be just Thing and Torch against dang near everybody–and if that isn’t fodder for a crossover of Marvel Two-In-One and Marvel Team-Up, I don’t know what is.


    • You post makes me nostalgic for the summer of 1974, when I first started reading Marvel. That was a peak of Avengers/Fantastic Four crossover soap opera drama. Crystal and Pietro were getting married (not that I knew who they were), and the Avengers and the Fantastic Four gathered in the Hidden Land (not that I knew what that was) for a ceremony presided over by the Inhumans (not that …).

      When the bad guy attacked, the reveal was especially confusing. First, he was this big giant dude. Then, he pulled off his rubber mask and he was really … Ultron! Except I didn’t know who Ultron was. Years later, when Ultron came back in a more proper form, I was confused that he wasn’t the size of Godzilla.

      Figuring this crap out was half the fun, back in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Maybe the FF doesn’t need 50 suspicious last minute votes to win this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. OK, guys… Since apparently, some of you need some cues, let me point you at why the Fabulous FF are so fantastically deemed to win!


  10. Oh you know us “X-Babies” with our rambunctious , but good-spirited trash-talking and all. But point taken. So I’ll gladly extend an olive branch and apologize to Mr. Krackle and you, for any offense I may have caused with my comments.

    Like you I too have no interest in the new stuff, from either of the big two, and how since officially retired as a comic book collector of over 30 years. It’s pretty much, been there done that, tossed out the t-shirt, with the crap they produce these days on a regular basis over at the big two. Are there exceptions to that rule? Of course, Tom King and Mitch Girard’s Mister Miracle, Gerald Way and Nick Derington’s Doom Patrol, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s(well really ANY work by Samnee) runs on Daredevil, Captain America and Black Widow to name just a few.

    As for the indies, Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer for the silver age fan, BKV’s Saga (One of the very few current books I’d ever recommend to non-comic and comic fans alike) Paper Girls and Matt Fraction’s Sex Criminals, all books I highly suggest to check out.

    Other than that, it’s pretty much nothing more style over substance, and the continuation of the endless cycle of Marvel and DC trying to one-up each other by trying to out-copy each other, Sad really.

    At least there’s Deadpool2 and Avengers: Infinity War/AVN4 to look forward to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • (Shakes fist) Get off my lawn, you X-Babies!

      Sounds like our fannish trajectories match, though you are better plugged in than I on the newer stuff. I liked Tom King’s work on The Vision and will read his Mister Miracle when it is complete (and when I’ve spoiled up enough goodwill to venture beyond Kirby’s take on the character). I also have his Omega Men sitting on my virtual reading pile. Worth it?

      I liked Saga but fell off even keeping up with the reprints and now figure there’s no harm in just waiting for the Inevitable Big Omnibus. (Same thing happened with Walking Dead). Tried the first collection of Paper Girls and thought it went too sideways,too fast. As a collected edition, I would have been content to just watch the girls deliver papers for awhile, but I expect single issue readers wouldn’t tumble to that pacing.

      (And this coming from a guy that lives in the 70s, where everything happened in two issues or less. I guess there is no pleasing me).


      • Well for some weird and masochistic reason, I still keep abreast (who doesn’t love that word, ammirite?) on the current going-ons with the comic world. Hopefully one day, I’ll break myself of the habit.

        Yeah, same here on Saga on Paper Girls, although Saga was more mine girlfriend and I’s thing, whereas she was the one that randomly picked up all those issues of Paper Girls. I read ’em and was pleasantly surprised about what the series was really about despite the title. So likewise, I’m behind on both. We mostly trade-waited Saga too, so don’t feel bad, you’re not the only one. I believe the next volume comes out in August(?)

        Yeah, I’d recommend Omega Men too, especially the final issue. While the whole the series was very obviously a political allegory, that final tho. and those haunting, haunting panels… Seriously, go do yourself a solid and track it down on amazon.
        Here’s the link:

        All 12 issues for only $16.99 is a pretty damn good deal. I know it’ll probably be a couple euros more in euro $, but still a deal.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t feel offended… I’m on the winning side!

      Like Paul, I started reading superheroes comics around 74 but with a special twist:
      French ongoing release dates were way behind US, sometimes many years. In some cases, it reached a point where, for example, Kirby’s Marvel work was contemporary to his work at DC.

      I am a reader of the seventies but, since I was reading seminal works of the 60’s and 70’s on more or less the same timeframe, in effect, I’m a child of the Sterling Silver Age (silver and copper alloy)!

      Toss in some reprints and many crossovers whose ending appeared months or years (!) before they started and it got really confusing… Like a jigsaw puzzle that crossed a time machine or a Boom tube!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ….On the winning side of a fictional poll….congratulations 😉

        Interesting path to FF fanhood though, I’ll grant you that, especially considering you missed the King’s exit by 4 years after just being introduce to them. That had to be startling considering there was no Internet back then to give you and other readers a heads’ up.

        Being an 80’s baby myself, I came a bit late into the game, never really getting into the FF until a buying a couple issues of Englehart’s run at a local yard sale, specifically the last two issues of his Secret Wars 3 arc. Damn good stuff, especially the beginning of #318 with those unforgettable panels and pages of Dr. Doom blasting the fuck out of the Molecule Man. even though the coloring made him look like he was bleeding gravy afterwards, I got the jist of just how bad a beating poor Owen got that day.

        I’ve been a casual fan at best, but yes, I’ll wholeheartedly agree that they really are the true cornerstones of the MU. The sales haven’t reflected that for a long while, but it’s still true nonetheless. Apparently The ‘mutt doesn’t feel that way, thus why they got the same treatment the JSA got back in ’86 when they too were kicked to limbo-land.

        Liked by 1 person

        • To be fair, it was a real contest with fictional participants, but I suppose that is a distinction without a difference. I’m all for the victory lap, though. I pump my fist when the Dodger win and for every practical purpose they are cartoon characters just like the Fantastic Four.

          (And I’m still raw about DC nuking Earth-2 with Crisis … proof it takes fifty years to grow a tree, and five minutes to burn it down).



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