It’s true that a lot of Venning is nothing special, an unnecessary display of things that do just as well in a comparative table. It also risks reifying, thereby generating categories as “things” when none exist just because you depicted a circle or box.
But here I am working on a game system which lets people make their own superhero groups for their own creative purposes, rather than aping existing ones, and yet also which relies on inspiration from and appreciation for the comics. How does one describe and inspire superhero groups without just skinning existing ones? I started thinking about what superhero groups were and why they existed – not the in-fiction reasons, but reader and publication reasons.