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By Michael Kim  – @michaelny11731

Hello Midtowners, this is Michael from the back issues department for this blog entry on comic books and sports.  The Guardians of The Galaxy are the 2014 box office champions.  With no upcoming films to give the Guardians competition in their record gross earning, the Guardians will be sitting pretty for the rest of the year.  The GOTG were underdogs, B/C/D-listers in the Marvel library.  They’re known by comic book fans, but questioned by the casual ones.  They lacked the commercial appeal of The Avengers and other Marvel characters.  The Guardians weren’t (at the time) a household name, they weren’t iconic.  Producing a space adventure film made sense to keep the Infinity Gems and Thanos in the broad picture of the Marvel cinematic universe.  However, to use relative unknowns as their vehicle seemed risky.  Well, it seems the gamble by Marvel paid off.

The accomplishment of the film made me think of other success stories.  300 directed by Zack Snyder and based on the Frank Miller comic book series comes to mind: low budget, huge box office return.  But I digress.  This blog entry is about comic books and sports.  If the Guardians of The Galaxy film were a professional sports franchise, they would be the Super Bowl XVLIII Champion Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League.  Before Super Bowl XVLIII (48,) the last professional sports championship that the city of Seattle WA won was in 1979 by the Supersonics in the National Basketball Association (NBA.)  The franchise saw some success in the 90’s with head coach George Karl, point guard Gary Payton, and power forward Shawn Kemp.  The franchise came close to another championship, but lost to Michael Jordan and The Chicago Bulls.  In 2006, the team (along with eventual 2013-2014 Most Valuable Player of the Year Kevin Durant) was sold and moved to Oklahoma City OK, now named the Thunder.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Movie

 By Tom Hairston

Marvel Studios has certainly accomplished many feats that had been called impossible (or at least highly unlikely) in the short time since they started building the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has only been a few years but people seem to have already forgotten what a huge achievement bringing several characters from separate movies together for a team up was. The mere fact that Thor and Iron Man are now household names is incredible to me. However, when it comes to Guardians of the Galaxy this is without a doubt their riskiest step yet, because although Iron Man may not have been a common name when his film was made, nobody outside of the comic book community has ever heard of Guardians of the Galaxy and it is so different from every film they’ve made so far that the average movie goer has no idea it’s even a Marvel film. Well, after seeing the movie I am happy to say that this was a gamble that paid off, big time.

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By Tom Hairston

This month Marvel has once again released several new ongoing series, and something caught my eye about three of them, The Legendary Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Storm. These three titles might seem like they’ve got very little in common, but I couldn’t help but notice that each of these three characters have always been viewed solely as Team Characters — characters that would only be seen on their respective teams and never have their own solo series (Star-Lord had his own series in Marvel’s European line of books, but that whole line was considered by many to be only semi-cannon, plus this Star-Lord is so different from the old European incarnation I’m not counting it for this argument). And I for one love that they’re getting their own series, because it’s been a long time since “team characters” were allowed to break out on their own. In the old days, being on a team was kind of like your pathway to getting your own series, but most recently if a team is full of popular characters, those characters tend to just appear on more teams.

So hopefully we’ll see some more “team characters” get their own series, because everybody out there who picks up the Avengers, Justice League, X-Men, or any other team book has their favorite character on that team, and they want to see those characters break out on their own adventures. So for those fans, I’ve put together our list of the top five characters we would love to see break out into their own series.

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