Multinational Team / Comic Books

  • For the first decade of their existence, the X-Men were one of the most homogenous superhero teams, consisting entirely of white Americans belonging to the middle and upper classes; also four of the six core members, including the team's leader and mentor, Professor X, came from one state (New York). This changed dramatically with the "All-New, All-Different" team which debuted in 1975. Gathered from America and around the world by Charles Xavier, it included (besides two members of the original team) Wolverine from Canada, Storm from East Africa, Nightcrawler from West Germany, Banshee from Irelandnote , Sunfire from Japan, Colossus from Russia (Eastern Siberia, to be precise), and Thunderbird, an Apache. This initiated a trend of international X-teams in which the members also belonged to different ethnic, religious etc. groups, often to several at once. In the X-Men themselves the next new recruits included Kitty Pryde (later called Shadowcat, Jewish), Rogue (from the Deep South, but raised by a lesbian couple and fluent in French since childhood), Psylocke (British), Forge (Cheyenne), Jubilee (Chinese-American), Gambit (Cajun), Bishop (Black, at least partly of Australian Aboriginal descent), Maggott (South Africa), Thunderbird III (Indian), and so on.
    • This partly carried over into the movies. The opening scene of the first one establishes Magneto as a European Jewish survivor of the Holocaust (a flashback scene in First Class shows him celebrating Hanukkah as a boy). Also in the first movie, Wolverine is first seen in Canadanote  and Halle Berry attempts to give Storm a Kenyan accentnote , while in the second movie Nightcrawler's nationality is immediately obvious.
    • While the All-New, All-Different X-Men came over as somewhat stereotypical in their first appearance, new writer Chris Claremont fleshed them out and made them more complex. Nightcrawler was revealed to have been raised by a Gypsy family and within a travelling circus that included survivors of the Holocaust, making him anything but a "typical" German. Storm, who started out as a dark-skinned version of a "She"-like Jungle Princess, was born in Harlem of an African-American father and a Kenyan mother, and grew up in the streets of Cairo (the one in Egypt) after being orphaned before migrating south to her mother's native country. In contrast, when the original X-Men team was re-established with X-Factor #1 in the mid-1980s, the team's lack of diversity stuck out like a sore thumb.
  • The X-Men spinoff book The New Mutants followed this trend. Wolfbane was Scottish, Mirage was Cheyenne, Karma was Vietnamese, Sunspot was Brazilian and Cannonball was from an Appalachian coal-mining town in Kentucky. Later, they added Magik from Russia, Cypher (white) from the United States, Warlock who was an alien, and Magma who was from an offshoot of an ancient Roman tribe that lived in Brazil. Though, due to various retcons, she may be British.
    • Interestingly, these characters are each more complicated and "other" than their ethnic origins might suggest; the Scot Wolfsbane is too religious, conflicted and repressed to be seen as a "passionate celt" stereotype. The Native American Dani Moonstar is also uncertain, suspicious, self-destructive and perhaps bisexual. The Vietnamese Karma is a surrogate mother to her younger siblings, later a lesbian, and prone to losses of self-control. Sunspot was one of the first characters coming from a racially mixed marriage (also, his white mother comes from an established, upper-class family while his black father is a self-made man with a lower-class background); his origin that cuts him off from most normal relationships; his (white) girlfriend was murdered and died in his arms, he ceases to show deep relationships after this. Cannonball from an American point of view was the most "normal" member of the team, but when he and Dani Moonstar started to jointly lead the team, it was Dani who got the job of leadership in battle while Sam assumed the "traditionally female" job of emotionally holding the team together, of "team mother".
      • For Moonstar, her ambiguous bisexuality might be Genius Bonus: Identifying as "heterosexual" or "homosexual" as a bifurcation is rarer on Indian reservations, largely because of a tradition of winkte, kurami, and the like. Magik also later got the Legacy Virus, which is analogous to HIV in the Marvel Universe. Wait, an ancient Roman tribe that lived in Brazil?
    • Generation X, New Mutants' successor title, had a multinational team continued this trend, often making their characters opposite of their ethnic stereotype. For instance, Husk, an Appalachian girl (one of Cannonball's sisters), is generally considered the brain, and Skin, who was a Hispanic gang member, is generally the nice guy, etc.
  • Excalibur, the X-Men's offshoot team in Britain, in its initial incarnation had Captain Britain (English), Meggan (British/Fey, raised by Gypsies), Nightcrawler (German), Shadowcat (American/Jewish), Lockheed (alien dragon) and Phoenix (Alternate Future America). In time the lineup changed and at one point or another also included Colossus (Russian), Douglock (blend of techo-organic alien and white American), Wolfsbane (Scottish), Widget (extradimensional robot), Black Knight (American), Feron (Fey/alternate universe), Cerise (yet another alien race), Pete Wisdom (English) etc.
  • The original Global Guardians in The DCU were a mish-mash of national stereotypes: The Knight from the U.K., Rising Sun from Japan, Tuatara from New Zealand, and so on. They got less token-ish as time went on. They made their debut in the comic adaptation of Superfriends; subtlety clearly wasn't a concern.
  • Justice League International was a U.N.-sponsored iteration of the famous superhero team. Most of its members were American, but Rocket Red and Captain Atom officially represented the U.S.S.R. and U.S.A. respectively, with a number of other international members as well: Fire (Brazil), Ice (Norway), Doctor Light (Japan), Crimson Fox (France), Tasmanian Devil (guess), etc.
    • Many of these members were taken from the pre-existing Global Guardians.
    • The DCnU version has Vixen (from Zambesi), August General in Iron (from China), and Godiva (from the U.K., and another former Global Guardian to boot) to the mix. And Booster Gold is now Canadian. Later additions include Batwing (Congolese) and OMAC (Cambodian)
  • The Club of Heroes (a.k.a. the Batmen of All Nations) from 1950s Batman comics (reintroduced in a 2008 story arc) was a loose group of non-powered heroes who were inspired by the Bat; their number included Batman (the United States), Man-of-Bats (also the United States; he was Sioux), the aforementioned Knight (Britain), the Ranger (Australia), the Gaucho (Argentina), Wingman (Sweden), the Musketeer (France), and the Legionary (Italy). The Knight, Ranger and Man-of-Bats also had Robinesque sidekicks: the Squire (who became the second Knight, and got his own Squire), the Scout (who became the Dark Ranger) and Little Raven (who became Raven Red).
    • Batman would later revisit the idea by creating Batman, Inc., featuring most of the above apart from the now-deceased Legionary, Ranger, and Wingman. New additions include the Hood (another representative of Britain), Mr. Unknown (Japan), and Nightrunner (France, replacing the retired Musketeer). There's also Batwing (Congolese), and a mysterious new Wingman (who turned out to be the American Jason Todd). Batman, Inc. might not seem like much of a team, but they operate independently and come together to tackle greater crises — like the Justice League.
    • The Elseworld Kingdom Come adds the Dragon (China), the Samurai (Japan) and the Cossack (Russia).
    • Green Arrow, at the time practically a same-company Captain Ersatz of Batman, had his own Club of Heroes. "The Costumed Archers of the World" included the Ace Archer (Japan), the Bowman of the Bush (Australia), the Phantom (France), the Bowman of Britain (Britain) and the Archer of Arabia (Saudi Arabia), in addition to the American Green Arrow.
  • Blackhawk from Quality Comics in the Golden Age, later acquired by DC. Two distinct versions of this international team of aviators exist, sometimes with slight differences within the versions.
    • The Blackhawk Squadron that existed between 1941 and 1983 consisted of: Blackhawk (aka, sometimes, Bart Hawk — Polish, American, or Polish-American, Depending on the Writer); André Blanc Dumont (France); Olaf Bjornson (Norway... or possibly Sweden); Chuck Wilson (USA, specifically Texas); Hans Hendrickson (Netherlands); Stanislaus (Poland); Chop-Chop (aka Liu Huang or Wu Cheng, China); Zinda "Lady Blackhawk" Blake (USA).
    • In a 1987 miniseries, Howard Chaykin introduced an updated, slightly different, version of the team, which carried over into a subsequent ongoing series. These Blackhawks included: Janos "Blackhawk" Prohaska and Stanislaus Drozdowski (Poland); André Blanc-Dumont (France); Olaf Friedriksen (Denmark); Carlo "Chuck" Sirianni (Italy by way of the United States); Ritter Hendricksen (Netherlands); Weng "Chop-Chop" Chan (China); Natalie "the other Lady Blackhawk" Reed, and Grover Baines (the United States); Quan Chee Keng (Malaysia); and Paco Herrera (Mexico).
    • Present-day continuity seems to have reverted to some variation of the original team, Depending on the Writer.
    • The modern incarnation of the team seemed to follow suit to some degree; the nationalities of Andrew "Blackhawk" Lincoln, Lady Blackhawk, and Randall Wildman were never revealed (though Lincoln is likely American), but Kunoichi is Japanese, Canada is American (Nicknamed after an incident in a bar in Calgary), the Irishman is Ukranian (but born to American parents; he got his nickname from fellow Spetsnaz operatives due to his red hair), and Attila is Hungarian.
  • The Apollo Eleven from Astro City were a team of astronauts from around the world sent to man the first moonbase; something up there changed them into superhumans and they came back with an eleventh person.
  • The Suicide Squad has included at various points Captain Boomerang (both of them; Australian), Stalnoivolk (Russian), Ravan and Rustam (Quraci), Plastique (Quebecoise), Count Vertigo (Vlativan), Manchester Black and the Shade (English), Javelin (German), Mirror Master (Scottish), and virtually everyone else is American.
  • In the Gold Key feature Jet Dream, Jet's all-female Blackhawk Expy Squadron consisted of: Jet Dream and Cookie Jarr (presumed American); Petite (France); Marlene (West Germany); and Ting-a-Ling (unspecified Polynesian island).
  • Marvel's Circus of Crime is very cosmopolitan, featuring the Ringmaster (Austrian), Bruto the Strongman (Swedish), Fire-Eater (Spanish), the Great Gambonnos (Italian), Rajah (Indian). The Human Cannonball, the Clown, Live Wire, Princess Python, and Blackwing are Americans.
  • Jack Kirby's Boy Commandos: Dan "Brooklyn" Turpin (US), Alfie Twigett (UK), André Chavard (France) and Jan Haasan (Netherlands).
    • Their Golden Age distaff counterparts, Harvey's Girl Commandos, consisted of Pat Parker (American), Ellen Billings and Penny Kirt (British), Tanya (from the Soviet Union) and Mei-Ling (Chinese).
  • The titular team in The Boys: the leader and the viewpoint character are British, and there's also a Frenchman and two Americans.
  • The latest incarnation of Image Comics' Guardians of the Globe features Bulletproof, Black Samson, Knockout, and Brit (American), Kid Thor (Canadian), the Yeti (Nepalese), Kaboomerang (Australian), Outrun (South African), El Chupacabra (Mexican), Best Tiger (Chinese), Cast Iron (From an unspecified former Yugoslav state), Pegasus (Russian), Japandroid (Japanese), Le Bruiser (French), and Shapesmith (Martian). Recruiting heroes from all over the world was a deliberate move on team coordinator Cecil's part — they're guarding the globe, and everyone should have a part in it.
  • The Invaders and their Timely counterpart All Winners Squad were heroes from the various Allied Powers during World War II.
  • Justice League of America had a team in Europe and an international team at one time. Over the years, there have been numerous characters that have joined the team. Even in its classic "Big Seven" incarnation, you can expect only three Americans. The rest are two aliens an Amazon and an Atlantean.
  • The Avengers, much like the JLA, have also had many international members as well as non-humans, although they are usually sponsored by the US government.
    • This began with "Cap's Kooky Quartet", starting in Avengers #16, when Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, natives of a fictional Balkan country, joined the team. They were soon joined by the Black Widow (Russian) and Hercules (a literal Greek god).note 
  • The original Stormwatch team consisted of Battalion (American), Fuji (Japanese), Hellstrike (Irish), Winter (Russian), and Diva (Italian). They were joined in short order by Flashpoint (Australian), Sunburst (Swedish), Nautika (not human, origin unspecified), Flint (Kenyan), and three additional Americans in Synergy, Cannon, and Fahrenheit. One of the team's names in development was "Multinational Force", with the designs of the original team members having their nations' flags painted on their faces. Fuji's design was notably unchanged from this phase.
    • Flint was introduced as part of a short-lived "new" Stormwatch team consisting of herself, the Canadian Blademaster, the Tibetan Swift, and the Native American Comanche.
  • The version of The Authority backed by the G7 featured members from each of the world's seven richest nations: The Colonel from Britain, Street from the United States, Teuton from Germany, Rush from Canada, Last Call from Italy, the Surgeon from France, and Machine from Japan.
    • The Authority themselves were originally led by a Briton and included a Tibetan (Swift) and a Netherlander (The Doctor) along with whatever nationality Apollo and Midnighter possessed before losing their original identities, and the second Doctor was a Palestinian.
  • The modern incarnation of the Green Team had Commodore Murphy (British), JP Houston (American; Texan), Cecilia Sunbeam (American; Californian), and Prince Mohammed Qahtanii (from some fake Middle-Eastern country).
  • The Hand of the Morningstar has Titan (American), Avatar (Indian), Shango (West African), Kwan Yin (Chinese), and Kami (South American).
  • Due to being reincarnated into people from across the globe, the Knights of the Round Table from Camelot 3000 were this in effect: King Arthur, Tom Prentice, and (presumably) Merlin are all English, Sir Lancelot is French, Queen Guinevere and Sir Kay are American, Sir Galahad is Japanese, Sir Perceval is Australian, Sir Gawain is South African, and Sir Tristan is Canadian.
  • Action Force: International Heroes, aka the UK version of G.I. Joe, with the characters given more varied countries of origin. Flint (UK) is the leader and other members include Lady Jaye (Ireland), Footlose (Scotland), Beach Head (New Zealand), Airtight (West Germany) etc. Some characters (such as Snake-Eyes and Scarlett) were said to be visiting London from Action Force's US branch ... which was eventually retconned to be called G.I. Joe.
  • The comic book Smite focuses on this even more than the game.