Superteam Recruitment mostly refers to the overall process of attracting, then shortlisting, and appointing suitable candidates for membership within a superteam organization.
The idea originated in the superhero genre and The Justice Society of America, at the time published by All-Star Comics, were the first use of the theme of superhero teams. In 1940 only two years after Action Comics #1 after the debut of the solo hero Superman, the Justice Society introduced the idea of characters with special abilities joining forces in an official organization.
Depending on a teams bylaws, traditions or style of recruitment the process could very. Selecting a new member most often includes analyzing the requirements needed of each individual candidate. Thereby attracting only viable candidates to membership. There could be even testing their power attributes and battle stamina on field exercises or on actual live situations requiring a candidates involvement. Recruitment could also happen on the spot. An active member could be on assignment and than joined by a solo hero. Impressed by the actions of the solo hero the already active member of the superhero team could offer membership and become a full-fledged member. At times recruitment drives are needed as lineup's have possibly undergone constant changes, and large public auditions are done. Some super teams may even have splintered into smaller groups to form new established teams in different areas of the globe thereby needing to attract new regional members. Another form of super team recruitment comes from the non-consensual team membership of super humans by government agencies, forcing them to do high-risk black-ops missions in exchange for a shortened sentence of incarceration. Even if they could be killed in dangerous secret government missions or threatened with mutilation if attempts are made to escape.
As a theme it has been a frequent subject in popular culture in comics. The concept of grouping superhuman characters into a formal teams has led to other story tropes. There are rival team of supervillains, a flux in membership, government mandates for members, or other storylines that can take this as a vehicle for a membership plot in the story.
A few of the most well known series which developed an original take on superteam recruitments in comics are in the following list.
- The Legion of Super-Heroes; A classic format for a membership drive. The Legion of Superheroes utilizes a unique form of a 'recruitment drive' to bolster their membership. Advertised intergalactically so as many applicants as possible can come to the tryouts. Age requirements, non-duplicated powers of already standing members, and a voting system are only a few of the traditional bylaws used for candidates.
- The Avengers have been known to have membership as a steady and ever changing theme in its history. At one time completely change their lineup with almost none of the members who had been there in their debut appearance. At on time threatened with having their U.S government clearance revoked or shortlisting members and strictly selected which were allowed current membership. This would make the Avengers shrink to a seven than six member only unit.
- The Crusaders; from independent publisher Eclipse comics in 1986 produced a mini series which told the original content story as it followed the RPG original game play. It was produced by Fantasy Games Unlimited as part of a campaign module titled Crisis at Crusaders Citadel. The story includes the journey of two young heroes by the names of Condor and Shatterman hoping to apply for membership in becoming the next Crusaders. The idea of up and coming heroes choosing to take a risk of petitioning for membership has also been utilized as story arc to add new members to a current team.