True Companions/Comic Books
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- Justice League of America
- The core members of Justice League International sometimes fall into this category. The perception of them as jokes or rip offs of more popular heroes by the rest of the outside world helped forge a bond between them that has lasted long after the team broke up, highlighted in recent issues of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. They have recently gotten back together in Justice League: Generation Lost.
- The Batfamily. Batman has adopted the first three Robins and the third Batgirl, Oracle (the original Batgirl) is part mother figure, part sister figure, part former lover (to Nightwing), Nightwing (the first Robin) grew to take the role of a Big Brother Mentor figure to the third Robin and to the fifth Robin (himself Batman's biological son), the fourth Robin and fourth Batgirl is the third Robin's ex-girlfriend and the third Batgirl's best friend, and at least half responsible for the fifth Robin being more humsn, Huntress herself is definitely part of the gang through Oracle (and in a lesser measure, her conflictual relationship to Batman), Catwoman skirts along the edges, and Alfred, of course, is Team Dad.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The turtles in are indeed brothers in every sense of the word; this trope also applies to April O'Neil and Casey Jones, who regard the Turtles as their family.
- Bionicle: Various teams of Toa in the saga, but usually only after long phases of Character Development.
- Y: The Last Man: Yorick, Dr. Mann and 355 (despite their conflicting personalities) and later Rose; plus the all-girl group of Hero, Beth II, Natalya and Ciba.
- Marvel's Agents of Atlas. Their true-companion bond is Lampshaded in their original miniseries, with super-spy Jimmy Woo as the group's leader.
- The Runaways team originated as six kids who discovered that their parents were actually supervillains, and banded together to try to stop them. The main cast did suffer dramatic changes, though, such as the revelation of Alex as The Mole and his subsequent death, Gert's death, and the additions of Victor, Xavin, and Klara.
- Transformers: The Autobot special forces team known as the Wreckers, particularly concerning its seven core members (Springer, Broadside, Sandstorm, Twin Twist, Topspin, Roadbuster and Whirl). Possibly the Insecticons as well, in that they're a trio of freaks despised by both Autobot and Decepticon and are really only loyal to each other.
- Watchmen: Rorschach and Nite Owl II have this sort of bond. In fact, it could be argued that Rorschach sees all masked superheroes as true companions, given that he warns them about a potential mask killer at the beginning of the book, even though he doesn't much care for most of them on a personal level.
"An attack on one is an attack on all of us."
- The gladiators with whom the Hulk formed a Warbound pact in Planet Hulk; they even joined hands together like in the page picture up top. Warbound are new families forged in conflicts, with whom teamwork and understanding are the only ways to survive. This is made all the more significant given that each member of the Warbound has lost their actual family, as Miek saw his entire hive slaughtered before him, Korg was forced to kill his own brothers in the Maw, Hiroim was exiled for breaking a previous Warbound pact, the Brood was separated from her sisters, Elloe's father was killed by the foreman of the Maw, etc.
- Any crew that includes The Hulk is doomed (Defenders, The Pantheon). True companions that fight him fare better, which may be why The Avengers outlasted his membership in it.
- The various teams of X-Men display this trope at times.
- The Fantastic Four would qualify as well, if three of its four charter members weren't already directly related by blood or marriage. The extended crew includes Spider-Man, whose Vitriolic Best Buds friendship with the Human Torch dates back to the character's first few issues. He's since become such a part of the family that he's considered Franklin's Honorary Uncle, and has taken Johnny's place on the team following his death (with Johnny hand-picking him for the spot via Video Will).
- Some versions of the Brotherhood would qualify, specifically Mystique's group. With the exception of Blob, they are all good friends that look out for one another, and show unswerving loyalty to Mystique.
- The various Teen Titans teams in the comics are just as much a surrogate family as the animated version. This is especially true of two teams: the "original 5" (Robin/Nightwing, Wonder Girl/Troia, Kid Flash/Flash, Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow, and Aqualad/Tempest) and writer Dan Jurgens' team (almost all of whom were the children of women impregnated by an alien species, the H'san N'atall). Arsenal's late daughter Lian constantly referred to the various Teen Titans as "Aunt ____" or "Uncle ____" just to illustrate how close they are, but she also had the privilege of knowing all her "godparents" REAL NAMES.
- This is how the Justice Society of America is set up as well. The four statesmen of the team (Hawkman, Wildcat, Flash I and Green Lantern I) have all lost children or otherwise had problems being fathers, as elaborated upon in the "Princes of Darkness" arc. Many other characters have parental issues, such as Jesse Quick/Liberty Belle II (dead father), Hourman II (absentee father returned from the dead), Stargirl (stepfather is crimefighting partner, father is a dead criminal) and Damage (son of the original Atom, created by Vandal Savage). Ma Hunkel, the original Red Tornado, is the maternal glue keeping the team together.
- Easy Company, of Sgt. Rock fame.
- In Minimonsters, we have the Frank's Gang. They do have their squabbles, especially when Victor is concerned, but it's made clear by the comics and the author himself they're a very tigh-knit group of friends who go through several perils together, as this image shows.
- Many of the Avengers teams over the years have been effectively true companions. One good example is the nearly-first lineup: Captain America (comics), Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man, and the Wasp. (The Hulk was a founding member, but quit almost immediately, with Cap taking his place.) All five were practically in tears when they first parted ways, even though they'd only been together for a dozen issues.
- Of all the ties formed in the Avengers' long history, none match those between Captain America (comics), Iron Man, and Thor. The team is always at its strongest when these three are in it, and any two of them would lay down their lives for the third without hesitation. This is what made the Cap/Iron Man conflict in Marvel Civil War so devastating; one has to wonder if it might have been averted if Thor hadn't been dead at the time. The adverts for Avengers Prime put it best: Many have answered the call, but three have always stood above the rest.
- Likewise, the three main members of the Invaders (a World War II-era group consisting of Namor the Sub-Mariner, the original Human Torch, and Captain America (comics)) are true companions. They might not always like each other, they may be on different sides of a fight sometimes, but they have a bond that can't be broken.
- Way back in the almost-prehistoric days of the Avengers/Defenders War (which may be the first big Marvel crossover), it is the bond between Captain America and Namor that brings the two teams to cease hostilities. Interesting to note that this occured prior to the creation of the Invaders series and its subsequent Retcon.
- Several of the Avengers members are related by blood, marriage or through more complex links. For example, Hank Pym has been married to Wasp and has had romantic relationships with both Tigra and Firebird. He is also the creator of Ultron, with Vision, Jocasta and Alkhema as de facto grandchildren. All three being artificial versions of other Avengers: Wonder Man, Wasp and Mockingbird.
- Thunderbolts usually subverts this. Jolt joined the team thinking she had found a second family after her parents were kiled. Turns out they're super villains who try to take over the world. Then they turn on each other and try to kill each other. Even when the individual members of the team admit the team is like a family they still betray the team later.
- The Young Avengers started referring to themselves as a family soon after the death of Teddy's adoptive mother. The Children's Crusade miniseries seems to be cementing this.
- Then The end goes and ruins that.
- The Flash's Rogues Gallery, the Rogues, are probably the closest knit collection of villains in comic book history. They aren't an official team (most of the time) but they all stay in touch, throw reunion parties, look out for each other when they can, and are generally as close as friends can be. After the death of Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold starts arranging his funeral immediately, and when a young punk starts mocking the late Captain Boomerang, Cold straight up decks him without warning.
- The Filipino newspaper and web comic Beerkada follows the hijinks of a group of young Filipino adults who are true companions. In fact, the title of the comic is a portmanteau of "beer" and "barkada," which is essentially the Filipino equivalent of true companions.
- The long-running Italian series "Comandante Mark" (1965-1999) by Giovanni Sinchetto, Dario Guzzon and Pietro Sartoris, featured a basic unit. The series takes place during the American Revolutionary War. Comantante Mark is a French-American captain of a revolutionary group. His group includes main love interest Elizabeth "Betty" Gray, his right-hand men Mister Bluff and Gufo Triste (Sad Owl), and the hound Flok. Mark and Betty are in their 20s, the other two are middle-aged. Mark and Betty often argue, particularly due to his tendency to be overly affectionate with other women. Mister Bluff is a lifelong adventurer, former pirate, womanizer and eternal optimist. Gufo Triste is a Native American warrior, proud of his cunning and a couple of rarely used magical skills. He tends to be pessimistic, cynical and openly disdainful of women (with a soft spot for African-American women). They are best friends but constantly argue on their belief systems. Flok is extremely loyal to Bluf and loathes Gufo Triste. Yet throughout the series and despite their near-constant arguments, the characters consistently risk life and limb for each other.
- In one Knights of the Dinner Table storyline, Sara temporarily joins her boyfriend's gaming group, only to get constantly sidelined and then overhear that they only wanted her for a mixed-gender bonus at an upcoming tournament and planned to get rid of her afterwards. Later, the guys show her pictures of the Humiliation Conga they inflicted on the other group in retaliation -- behavior that would normally appall Sara, but which she instead finds touching because it's a sign that she's fully "one of the guys" (and because she's understandably ticked off at her ex-boyfriend).
- In a rather unique exception to all the strictly superhero teams in comics, the core staff of the Daily Planet — especially the foursome of Perry White, Lois Lane, Clark Kent, and Jimmy Olsen — consider themselves to be like family to each other. Of course, Clark is also part of the group that forms the group of JLA members that joined up before the new recruits/replacements but after the founding members, which just separates his two identities even more.
- Justice Society of America: The Injustice Society, especially as written by Jen Van Meter, is a rare villainous example. Their actuall respect and willingness to put their lives on the line for one another are a stark contrast to The Secret Society of Supervillains.
- In addition to the Secret Society, there is their opposition in the Secret Six whom have formed such a strong family bond that, even after Mockingbird leaves them, they still stay a family.
- In Gold Digger, Julia Diggers and her students are like this. Do not harm them and let her find out about it, or you're in for a world of pain. Also, the three wererats in Throne Of Shadows were specifically raised to be able to trust each other completely, an advantage that wererats almost never have in life.
- Peter Parker always had allies in Ultimate Spider-Man but it wasn't until near the end of the first comic's run did he gain True Companions in the sense detailed here. Fellow super heroes Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) and Bobby Drake (Iceman) moved in him with him and went to his school. Even all of his ex-girlfriends, Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat), put their differences aside and became great friends. Peter's Aunt May was part of the group, too! (After all, she was letting all of the kids live her house.) They worked, lived, and fought together. They were together until the bitter end...
- Tintin, Haddock, Calculus, Thompson, and Thomson would all qualify - as well as the various side characters they meet in stories, such as Chan.
- The village of indomitable Gauls in Asterix are all True Companions. In many comics, it seems that all of Gaul is that way.