What's that? It sounds like an oncoming train out of nowhere - no, wait, I think I can hear it clearer - it's TOP FIVE MONTH!!!!
Yep, that's right, boys and girls, you've had top fives, you've even had top five weeks, but get set for Top Five MONTH!!
To begin, let's take a look at the top five syndicates in comic books (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far)!
This bizarre brother duo made their debut in Ultimate X-Men #58, an impressive "done in one" story by Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Dillon.
In the comic, Professor Xavier is held hostage among with a group of other strangers when the bank he is at is held hostage by the twin mutants known as Syndicate, who are robbing the bank to help pay for an operation for their sister.
Xavier ends up cutting a secret deal with them in exchange for the pair working as secret agents for him.
It's a strong issue by Vaughan with nice Dillon artwork.
4. The Chemical Syndicate
In the very first case of the Bat-Man, Bruce Wayne investigates the suspicious murders of partners of a chemical planet. The story was basically a complete knock-off of a Shadow novel, where the Shadow's rich alter ego, Lamont Cranston, also investigates murders involving a chemical syndicate.
Still - the first bad guys Batman ever fought?
That's still pretty darn big!
3. The Sinister Syndicate
The Sinister Syndicate don't get much respect, and heck, that is partly why they were created! The Beetle formed the Syndicate towards the end of Tom DeFalco's first run on Amazing Spider-Man, in Amazing Spider-Man #280, where the Beetle figures that there is strength in numbers, so he convinces the Speed Demon, Rhino, Hydro-Man and Boomerang to join with him to form a group of mercenaries.
Even then, Abe Jenkins was slightly smarter than the average crook!
Leading a group like the Syndicate, however, eventually took its toll on Jenkins, as detailed in the Deadly Foes of Spider-Man mini-series, spotlighting the Syndicate.
2. The Blood Syndicate
The Blood Syndicate was one of my favorite Milestone titles, and it told the story of a gang that found themselves all suddenly gaining superpowers, and how they would proceed with life now that they had powers.
Their leadership was torn between the villainous Holocaust and the super cool Tech-9, but when things change - can the normally reserved Wise Son step up and lead the group?
Ivan Velez Jr. did a marvelous job on this character-based series, and Chris Cross made his mainstream comic debut on this book, working on it for quite awhile.
This series was notable for the way it handled the coming out of one of the members of the multi-cultural group.
I sure would love to see more Blood Syndicate stories!!
1. The Crime Syndicate
End of the day, though, as much as I love the Blood Syndicate, the top Syndicate out there has to be the Crime Syndicate/Crime Syndicate of America/Crime Syndicate Inc.
Heck, if they only appeared in the great Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely graphic novel, JLA: Earth 2, that might be enough - as they were great there, but they have made a few other classic appearances over the years.
The Crime Syndicate are the reverse-Justice League - Ultraman (Superman), Owlman (Batman), Superwoman (Wonder Woman), Johnny Quick (Flash) and Power Ring (Green Lantern).
Come on, you can't beat Reverse Justice League for coolness, can you?
Okay, that's the top five! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!!
And enjoy Top Five Month!!