Off My Mind: Why Every Superhero Team Should Have a Super-Genius

Posted by G-Man (34048 posts) - - Show Bio

For decades the X-Men have had several different teams and sub-teams. It started with the New Mutants, a team of young, possible future X-Men in training. Later we had X-Factor, which was a cover team for the original X-Men and later turned into a government controlled team and then a private investigation agency. X-Force was always more of a strike force and today carries out covert op missions unknown to the others. Besides these, there have also been various other incarnations.

When most of the world's remaining mutants went to Utopia, we saw the formation of the X-Club. The X-Club is a group of the smartest mutants and residents on the island. They are "dedicated to serving as the mutant race's first, last and only line of defense." In other words, they can give the team an edge over their enemies when it comes to having the proper technology to aid in their fight and defense.

The X-Men aren't strangers when it comes to advanced technology but now they have their own team of geniuses. This is an idea all major teams should consider and is what could give Cyclops an advantage over Wolverine's squad of X-Men.

== TEASER ==
Superbrain maybe but not exactly a genius.

In the world of superheroes and mutants, there are many different types of powers that can be seen. The immediate thought for the best choice is usually brute strength. Teams want someone that can smash enemies and help bust out of any traps their enemies might spring on them. If you look at the more successful teams, a member with advanced intelligence is what separates them from the others.

Obviously a brilliant leader/tactician is crucial but a genius can also assist in tactical decisions. Before heading into a battle or taking on a threat, all angles should be considered. Any weaknesses should be noted, prepared for and utilized. It's the super-smart that can come up with the tools needed to win the fight.

The X-Men have had Beast's intelligence at their disposal from time to time. While brilliant, he wasn't one to design the technology or gadgets they used. When it came to updating the Danger Room, Xavier relied on Shi'ar technology to provide more challenges in the X-Men's training. The problem came when the technology became sentient and started causing the death of students. Taking a humanoid form and learning not to be evil, Danger has proven to be an asset to the team. But even recently we've seen that there still is the potential for disaster while Danger is around.

When you take a look at the other successful teams, you'll notice they do have at least one resident genius. The Fantastic Four has Reed Richards, the Avengers have Tony Stark or Hank Pym and even the New Mutants can sort of say they now have one with Doug Ramsey and his new abilities after his resurrection. Having a genius makes things easier whether it for new fancy costumes, transportation or the right weaponry, gadget or plan to take out an extremely powerful foe.

Super-intelligence could be the best power to have. You would have the ability to out-think your enemies. You could design any tools needed to defeat enemies. Having all the answers is an edge that shouldn't be overlooked. With the X-Club, the X-Men have been able to do incredible things that wouldn't have been possible in the old days.

What it comes down to is, knowledge is power. Stay in school. Every team needs a super-genius. The teams that don't...well, some of them seem to have had their series canceled at some point or another (I'm kidding...sort of). Even someone like Batman, who while he's super-smart, he's not a genius, knows the importance of knowledge. Heroes need to be able to out-think their opponents and be prepared for whatever gets thrown at them.

Staff
#1 Posted by Skaddix (3114 posts) - - Show Bio

X-club is pathetic though despite the fact that Rao should have been executed by Colossus and Nemesis should have been killed by Magneto for his role as a nazi supporter. X-club has failed to solve pretty much every problem. A team of Cypher, Magneto and Prodigy would prove way more effective.

#2 Posted by jordama (4225 posts) - - Show Bio

First I would like to point out that Rao is a human, you said the X-Club was all mutants. Small detail but yeah.

I agree that a smarty pants is needed for every team. I love the fact that the X-Men have created the sub team of smartypants.

And I think X-Club has done pretty well since they were created.

#3 Posted by GiveUpNed (73 posts) - - Show Bio

That's what I love about Super Heroes. You take every trait you find with most characters in media and you super size them.

#4 Posted by TheWitchingHour (1340 posts) - - Show Bio

I love the X-club and I love that Kavita Rao is a human member of the team. I thought she was a great character ever since Joss Whedon's run. As for the rest of the article it's always a toss up for me. Super geniuses are fun but they can't be overplayed or else they lose credibility. If everyone's a genius then no one's a genius right?

#5 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

I get that this is a marvel dominated article, but I feel that Brainiac 5 should be mentioned. I always liked him.

#6 Posted by feebadger (1445 posts) - - Show Bio

I would buy a regular X Club comic. Love 'em. Get Grant Morrison to do a run and see what out there concepts they can tackle. They're the team made for it.

#7 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33380 posts) - - Show Bio
@Miss_Garrick said:

I get that this is a marvel dominated article, but I feel that Brainiac 5 should be mentioned. I always liked him.

Brainiac 5 FTW
#8 Posted by ApatheticAvenger (1636 posts) - - Show Bio

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Nemesis is the Dr. House of mutants. In other words, he's a boss.

I much prefer him and Rao to the sanctimonious Beast.

#9 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, they do come quite in handy more often than once. Not all problems can be clawed/beamed/forced through.

#10 Posted by Darthmat (83 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman's math is wrong.

12lb=2lb of jar + X lb of beans

X lb of beans = 10 lb

(10 lb/jar)(16 oz/lb)(1 bean/(1/20) oz)=10*16*20 beans / jar = 3,200

Not 32,000

Rofl

#11 Posted by thewhitequeenofhellfire (19 posts) - - Show Bio

Absolutely. Then again, Scott's X-Men operate like members of a sovereign nation so of course they'd need their own scientists and research departments.

#12 Posted by Sissel (1989 posts) - - Show Bio

I would hope for Forge to be back though. :3

#13 Posted by RainEffect (3240 posts) - - Show Bio

Was that Psylocke in the cover story image next to Beast? Whoever it was, she looked fantastic.

#14 Posted by MetropolisKid41 (515 posts) - - Show Bio

Brainiac 5 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dr. Nemesis

#15 Posted by Skaddix (3114 posts) - - Show Bio

Its not hard to be better than Nemesis. Brainy is a douche but at least he is extremely useful one. Nemesis on the other hand in a douche who rarely solves problems.

#16 Posted by ltbrd (562 posts) - - Show Bio

Think its a good idea but as I stated in a post about the Future Foundation........the level of technology these people can come up with is insane and yet none of it makes its way to the general public and rarely gets used more than once by the team that created it. Supposedly the Fantastic Four is funded on Reed's inventions and patents but we don't really know what he's created because the technology in the rest of the world isn't any better than the real world (of course this is deliberate to make the comic book world feel closer to the real one for readers but its still a major plot hole).

If Cyclops really wanted to start giving Utopia some legitimacy as an independent nation than he should get this X-Club working on exporting technology and designs so they can start making some money off all this genius.

#17 Posted by ApatheticAvenger (1636 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltbrd said:

If Cyclops really wanted to start giving Utopia some legitimacy as an independent nation than he should get this X-Club working on exporting technology and designs so they can start making some money off all this genius.

He does exactly that in X-Club #1 (with mixed results).

#18 Posted by CATPANEXE (9368 posts) - - Show Bio

Again, a character is only as intelligent as the person writing them, just to be noted.

#19 Posted by jubilee042 (1353 posts) - - Show Bio

@RainEffect: yeah the is psylocke

yeah ur right a smarty pants(like me) is always needed

#20 Posted by Larkin1388 (1760 posts) - - Show Bio

Of course eery team needs a genius. Otherwise they wouldn't have all those cool toys to play with lol.

#21 Posted by Kairan1979 (16746 posts) - - Show Bio
@ApatheticAvenger said:

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Nemesis is the Dr. House of mutants. In other words, he's a boss.

I much prefer him and Rao to the sanctimonious Beast.

Seconded.
#22 Posted by LordRequiem (1315 posts) - - Show Bio

I do love a good genius memeber. The way Doctor Nemesis speaks to people is hilariously brilliant, that character is excellent.

#23 Posted by BlackArmor (6141 posts) - - Show Bio

you said....Batman...is not...a genius....*Eyes fill with fire* BATMAN IS A GENIUS FANBOY RAGE ACTIVATE. joking, just joking.....but seriously Batman is a f-ing genius

#24 Posted by The Impersonator (5483 posts) - - Show Bio
#25 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, genius level intelligence is something most sorely needed among superhero teams when you think about it. Strategy, tactics, defense systems and more can be thought out by said heroes with super-intelligence. On the other hand, it is often intelligence that brings initial victory to super-villains, so that is really saying something. From a standpoint of first-strike capability and policies of immediate pacification, it would seem necessary then to have a character who is quite intelligent to facilitate such issues.

#26 Posted by lightsout (1827 posts) - - Show Bio

@BlackArmor: Yea, he may not be an expert in a certain niche (usually physics or technology related for most "geniuses"), but the article largely focuses on "out thinking your enemies" and Batman does that in spades. Heck, he always seems to figure out any unknown devices he (or the JLA) finds and even alters it to do something else. Granted, it's probably just writers making him as smart as they need him to be, but he could probably be as smart as Ray Palmer (in his own field) if he focused solely on (/was driven in) said field - but given his goals/methods he benefits more from being a jack of all trades.

+ LOL @ Superman's math being wrong.....always check your homework before you turn it in!

#27 Posted by difficlus (10679 posts) - - Show Bio

@CATPANEXE said:

Again, a character is only as intelligent as the person writing them, just to be noted.

well true...lol

#28 Posted by Renchamp (2397 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darthmat: I don't go to math school or anything, but that's funny if it's true.

Moderator
#29 Posted by BigTPotts (123 posts) - - Show Bio

I completely agree that a genius is needed for a team to win. Spiderman is a collage degree scientist, batman is a detective & expert in criminology & x-men have x-club which is brilliant! Dr Rao, human genetic biologist, Dr nemesis, ex-nazi hunter & genius, Madison Jeffereys, a metal manipulator who to me is almost omniscient even though he is not, beast, a good fighter but amazing scientist & tech expert & Angel, a good benefactor.

#30 Posted by PrinceIMC (5422 posts) - - Show Bio

Wolverine's team does have Beast, Kitty and Husk (who was turning into the brain of Generation X near the end). Sure they're no X-Club....though they are more interesting characters.

#31 Posted by Ganthetsward20 (687 posts) - - Show Bio

A team full of smart people, amongst themselves to they say each one is a genius or do they say, "hey thats a classy idea"? I mean wouldn't they just see themselves as regular people and everyone around them is just dumb? Anyways....I agree got have a smart person to get you out of trouble. But i thought team worked (stayed around) longer if every member was smart with at least one thing like how the Justice League has:

Superman and GL to know what there is to know about aliens

WW to know whats what about mythology,

The Flash has time travel/speed/ crime knowledge

Batman has the money to buy everything he can foreseeably see them needing, and the right frame of mind to battle villains (mostly crazy people) and look for weaknesses

Aquaman has knowledege of being an ass/king stuff/ and the ocean

Martian Manhunter can just tap into a bad guys mind and learn what he needs to win.

and then we have all the random peeps they ask for help from when something dosen't fit into one of those niches the Atom, Hawkgirl, Animal Man, Plasticman (know how to lighten the mood but thats about it), Zatanna.

#32 Posted by Sky_Jokiel (304 posts) - - Show Bio

@Darthmat said:

Superman's math is wrong.

12lb=2lb of jar + X lb of beans

X lb of beans = 10 lb

(10 lb/jar)(16 oz/lb)(1 bean/(1/20) oz)=10*16*20 beans / jar = 3,200

Not 32,000

Rofl

This LMAO

#33 Posted by EganTheVile1 (6199 posts) - - Show Bio

Welllets see how many I can list that don't have the super brain....

TMNT.... Nope Donatello

New Fantastic Four..... Guess Spider-Man was their brain

Mutanimals... Man Ray

Secret Defenders..... Dr. Strange, Hank Pym, Thanos, Spider-Man, list goes on....

Dark Guard.... Surely this obscurity lacks a super-brain.... Oh wait Death's Head II is actually a super genius from absorbing super geniuses...

So I guess Gen 13 standsalone as the braindead team, and that is likely debatable....

So this seems to be a team archetype, and truthfully plot holes can often only be solved by a brain

#34 Posted by DeadJester (89 posts) - - Show Bio

while i agree that at least one genius is important, i wouldnt say a group like x-club is a good idea either for the simple fact that a gathering of superintelligence will likely lead to more conflicts over policy and leadership kinda like cap and ironman seem to argue about whats best. and dont forget, it was the combination of more than one intelligent character on a team that gave us ultron. so i would say ONE genius is necessary but more than one will cause as many problems as two leaders or two hotheaded brutes will, just more likely on a grander scale. maybe thats just me though?

#35 Posted by Or35ti (1101 posts) - - Show Bio

Every superhero team definitely needs a genius! Come to think of it every superhero needs a genius. Most of them have some sort of smart person in their supporting cast, powers or not, to help them out with their big scientific high-concept adventures. Where's Forge in all of this tho?

Side-note: Brainiac 5 is awesome.

#36 Posted by huser (97 posts) - - Show Bio

Superman once made a computer that could scan through time and space among other crazy stuff. He was right up there with maybe only Doom or Reed above him in terms of the classic comic supermarts.

#37 Edited by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio

@Skaddix said:

X-club is pathetic though despite the fact that Rao should have been executed by Colossus and Nemesis should have been killed by Magneto for his role as a nazi supporter. X-club has failed to solve pretty much every problem. A team of Cypher, Magneto and Prodigy would prove way more effective.

Wha?! I thought Doc Nemesis hated Nazis/sided with the allies during WWII? Guess Gillen knew as little about Nemesis as I do, because in the first issue of his "Breaking Point Arc" this happens between he and Magneto

@CATPANEXE:

So, so, so true! It's always funny to see somebody who isn't very intelligent attempting to write an intelligent character. A good contrast is how Hickman writes Reed Richards vs how Wallace writes Mr. Terrific.

#38 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

Of COURSE!!! We need a nerd to pick on, also to say stuff normal people can't understand...and then say " In English".

#39 Posted by Barajasster (8 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman is a genius. He is easily in the top five of DC's top genius minds, and that is amazing considering his mastery of battlefield tactics, martial arts and language.

#40 Edited by DragonfireXL (24 posts) - - Show Bio

@PrinceIMC: I agree I think when it comes to brains Hank owns Nemesis, Nemesis wasn't even one of the guys who was kidnapped by Red Hulks secret cabal

#41 Posted by Skaddix (3114 posts) - - Show Bio

@EganTheVile1 said:

Welllets see how many I can list that don't have the super brain....

TMNT.... Nope Donatello

New Fantastic Four..... Guess Spider-Man was their brain

Mutanimals... Man Ray

Secret Defenders..... Dr. Strange, Hank Pym, Thanos, Spider-Man, list goes on....

Dark Guard.... Surely this obscurity lacks a super-brain.... Oh wait Death's Head II is actually a super genius from absorbing super geniuses...

So I guess Gen 13 standsalone as the braindead team, and that is likely debatable....

So this seems to be a team archetype, and truthfully plot holes can often only be solved by a brain

Fairchild and Grunge were both pretty smart so no. Its hard to find a team without a genius.

#42 Posted by One_Eye (783 posts) - - Show Bio

@ApatheticAvenger said:

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Nemesis is the Dr. House of mutants. In other words, he's a boss.

I much prefer him and Rao to the sanctimonious Beast.

QFT

#43 Edited by SilverZeo (2748 posts) - - Show Bio

Ever team needs a genius and a computer nerd!

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