The Avengers were a team of extraordinary individuals with special abilities and the will to do good in the world. The team's purpose was to protect the planet Earth and its people from both domestic and extraterrestrial threats. They were a nonprofit organization privately funded by industrialist Tony Stark's Maria Stark Foundation. The group was recognized as a peacekeeping force by the National Security Council of the United States of America, the United Nations Security Council, and S.H.I.E.L.D.. The team functioned with the peaceful interests of the whole world rather than a specific country or organization as stated in the Avengers Charter.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Foundation
- 1.2 New Avengers
- 1.3 Ultron, the enemy within
- 1.4 Lethal Threats
- 1.5 Kree-Skrull War
- 1.6 Avengers/Defenders War
- 1.7 The Celestial Madonna
- 1.8 Serpent Crown
- 1.9 New and Old Enemies
- 1.10 Government Woes
- 1.11 East and West
- 1.12 Under Siege
- 1.13 United Nations Charter
- 1.14 Operation Galactic Storm
- 1.15 Proctor and the Gatherers
- 1.16 West Coast Disbands
- 1.17 The Crossing
- 1.18 Onslaught
- 1.19 Heroes Return
- 1.20 Old Enemies Return
- 1.21 Avengers Forever
- 1.22 Kang's Invasion
- 1.23 Avengers Nation
- 1.24 JLA vs. Avengers
- 1.25 Avengers Disassembled
- 1.26 New, Young and Mighty
- 1.27 Dark Avengers and Siege
- 1.28 The Heroic Age and the War of the Serpent
- 1.29 Conflict Against the X-Men
- 1.30 Time Runs Out
- 1.31 All-New, All-Different Avengers
- 2 Paraphernalia
- 3 Notes
- 4 Trivia
- 5 See Also
- 6 Links and References
When Loki, the Asgardian God of Mischief, influenced the monstrous Hulk to destroy a railway line, the Hulk's friend, Rick Jones, and his Teen Brigade attempted to radio the Fantastic Four for help. However, Loki relayed the information to his brother instead, the God of Thunder Thor, in order to draw him into battle. Circumstantially, other super-heroes – namely the Wasp, Ant-Man, and Iron Man – also received the intercepted signal unbeknownst to Loki and arrived at the scene to reason with the Green Goliath. Not falling for the trick, Thor confronted Loki and exposed his scheme to the other heroes. Defeating Loki together, the group agreed they worked well together and should be formalized as a team. The Wasp suggested the name "Avengers", and Earth's Mightiest Heroes were born. Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade became regular allies and informants to the Avengers, being in close and constant contact during their initial missions.
The newly formed team assembled at the Manhattan mansion of industrialist Tony Stark (in secrecy, their fellow member Iron Man). Stark donated the mansion to the Avengers for their exclusive use and set up a foundation to cover the operation expenses of the nonprofit team, the Maria Stark Foundation named after his late mother. The team also put down a charter to govern their activities. Additionally, the Stark family's trusted butler, Edwin Jarvis, was kept on as the principal regular domestic employee at what became known as the Avengers Mansion.
In the Avengers Mansion, the Avengers faced their next adversity, the alien shapeshifting invader from Limbo known as the Space Phantom, who impersonated the Avengers inciting them to fight each other. Upon his defeat, the Hulk realized his teammates mistrusted his uncontrollable nature and decided to abandon the Avengers. The group unsuccessfully tried to reach out the Hulk, who in turn had associated himself with Namor, the raging Sub-Mariner, to combat his former allies.
Following his fight against the Avengers, Namor unleashed a block of ice containing a figure under the North Sea, which was then found by the Avengers. Within it, laid the legendary hero Captain America in suspended animation, frozen in ice since just before the end of World War II. Needing to adjust to the world he awoke in, Captain America joined the mighty Avengers after helping them to defeat Vuk, an alien stranded on Earth, and Namor one more time. A born leader, the star-spangled myth was eventually given retroactive "founding member" status in place of the Hulk, and was seen as the heart and soul of the Avengers. With Captain America by their side, the Avengers faced enemies like the Lava Men the Mole Man, the Red Ghost, the aristocratic Count Nefaria and his Maggia and the Kallusians,, as well as teamed up with the Fantastic Four against the Hulk and the Mole Man again.
One of the Avengers' most powerful enemies were the Masters of Evil, a group of resentful villains assembled by Baron Heinrich Zemo as a reaction to the return of his long-lost adversary: Captain America. Black Knight, Melter, and Radioactive Man completed the group, seeking revenge against the other Avengers. Shortly after, Enchantress and Executioner integrated the team, in a failed attempt to trick Thor into destroy his comrades. In their next attack, the Masters of Evil granted phenomenal powers to the industrialist Simon Williams, who infiltrated the Avengers as Wonder Man. Unexpectedly, Wonder Man turned on Zemo after gaining the Avengers' trust and was slain for his betrayal. Following other battles against the Masters of Evil, at one time under the machinations of the master of time Immortus, the Avengers witnessed the end of their foes when Zemo perished in a fatal rock-slide triggered by his own weaponry during a fight against Captain America.
In between battles with the Masters of Evil, the time traveler known as Kang the Conqueror also fought the Avengers, trying to take over the world with his advanced technology from the 30th century. Losing once, Kang used a Spider-Man android to fool the Avengers and gain the team's trust to betray them. Yet, his second plan failed thanks to the intervention of the real Spider-Man. Kang escaped back into the timestream and, in the years to come, would become one of the Avengers' most threatening enemies.
After the battles against Kang and the Masters of Evil, the Wasp proposed a leave of absence to Iron Man and Giant-Man (Pym's second identity after Ant-Man), declaring such a constant danger to be stressful. The trio was surprised by Hawkeye, an expert marksman and wielder of trick arrows who had fought Iron Man in the past and sought to avenge the apparently death of his partner, the Black Widow. Hawkeye exhibited his skills by restricting Jarvis and was welcomed to the Avengers as a replacement. Then, the Avengers shared their intentions of recruiting other new members, attracting the attention of the mutant twins Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, who wanted to change course following their forced time in Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. As Captain America returned to the mansion, the new team was announced to the public with him as chairman.
Thor resigned along with the other founders and the new foursome became known as “Cap’s Kooky Quartet”. Public perception was tainted since they were considered not as powerful as their predecessors added to Hawkeye's clash with Iron Man and to the twins' terrorist backgrounds. However, the new Avengers proved their might by defeating the Mole Man when trying to locate the Hulk. Once again, the Avengers were infiltrated; this time by the vicious Swordsman, Hawkeye's former master and a minion of the Mandarin. Although he actually planned to defect, the Swordsman was outed by the Avengers and expelled from the group before he could reveal his true intentions.
As a legacy of the Masters of Evil, Enchantress replicated the process which gave Wonder Man his powers, creating a way more violent villain, the Power Man. The duo damaged the Avengers physically and morally, attacking their reputation and forcing their dissolution. Following a confrontation against the Circus of Crime, the Avengers recovered their prestige to the public eye and officially reformed after exposing Enchantress' and Power Man's scheme to the City Council. With their names cleared, the Avengers, however, lost their leader Captain America, who felt he had failed his teammates.
With the Avengers greatly underpowered without Captain America, Kang took an opportunity to strike, transporting Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to the future. As Captain America investigated, Kang decided to bring him to the future as well to prove his worth to his beloved Princess Ravonna. With the Avengers reassembled, traitors among Kang's forces were found, and the Conqueror retreated to protect Ravonna's kingdom. The Avengers returned to the present with Kang's blessing for their help, although he swore that, when next they meet, it would be as adversaries.
After being targetted by Doctor Doom, the Avengers answered a distress call sent by their former member the Wasp, who had been kidnapped by the Atlantean Attuma. With the villain and his army defeated, the Avengers learned that the Wasp had been further captured by the Beetle, under the Collector's orders. Assisted by Goliath (Giant-Man's rebranded identity), the Avengers freed the Wasp from the Collector's clutches and welcomed the size-changing couple back to their ranks. Trapped in his giant size form, Goliath clashed with the bizarre Keeper of the Flame to rescue the biochemist Dr. Anton in order to solve his condition. However, Anton was unable to help the gigantic hero.
Concurrently, a brainwashed Black Widow returned to torment Hawkeye and the Avengers, recruiting Swordsman and Power Man to support her, though she eventually overcame her mental programming and helped Hawkeye to defeat the villains. However, he found himself unable to trust her enigmatic and erratic personality. In order to prove her loyalty, Black Widow informed the Avengers about the activities of the racist organization known as the Sons of the Serpent, who had made their move by attacking Goliath's lab assistant, Bill Foster. With the Black Widow's assistance, the Avengers smashed the Serpents' plans, being profoundly affected by the poison of hatred and bigotry against equals that lived within the very society they fight to protect.
The Avengers battled various enemies, such as the Living Laser, and the mysterious Ultroids, with the crucial help of the lethal Black Widow. However, before she could officially join the mighty team, she was recruited by Nick Fuy to become a secret spy for S.H.I.E.L.D., severing her ties to the Avengers with no explanations. Trying to get revenge against her former masters, Black Widow was captured. The Avengers then learned about her true allegiances and went to her rescue. They battled Black Widow's missing husband, the Russian super-soldier known as the Red Guardian, ultimately destroying her former employers' operations.
At the same time, the Olympian God Hercules attacked the Avengers Mansion under the control of the Enchantress, but was eventually freed and stayed with the super-heroes as a guest. The strong Hercules proved to be a valuable but also problematic addition to the team; although he helped the group fend off powerful enemies, such as Namor, Diablo and Dragon Man, his insolent behavior put him into conflict with the other members. Nevertheless, after the Avengers welcome their original members back to fight the Mandarin's lackeys and to save New York City from the cybernetic Super-Adaptoid, Hercules was promoted to full member status. His tenure was short however, as he resigned to return to his family on Olympus, a consequence of defeating the Titan Typhon.
Meanwhile, some Avengers were haunted by their pasts. The Wasp and Goliath were targets of their former enemy, the Whirlwind, who had masqueraded as the Wasp's chauffer. In succession, the Wasp was once more under the Collector's interest, and was assisted by the original Avengers Iron Man and Thor in escaping her captor. Moreover, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were approached and captured by Magneto, who tried to coerce them back into the Brotherhood. The Avengers went to their rescue after being informed about the situation by the new Black Knight. When the Scarlet Witch was tragically hurt during the incident, Quicksilver rejected his human alliances and turned against the Avengers, causing the twins to leave the Avengers permanently. The Avengers found the twins under Magneto's care after being contacted by the X-Man Angel. Magneto forced the Avengers and the X-Men to fight each other, but ultimately perished during the conflict while the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver went missing one more time.
Captain America withdrew from the team as well, indicating the Wakandan champion Black Panther as his replacement. When the Avengers were seemingly murdered at the Avengers Mansion, the Black Panther, unknown to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s authority, was accused of being the killer. With his skills, the newest Avenger solved the crime and discovered the identity of the real attacker: Simon Williams' brother, the cyborg Grim Reaper. With the Reaper defeated and gone, Black Panther earned his place as an Avenger.
Ultron, the enemy within
When a new formation of the Masters of Evil led by the mysterious Crimson Cowl made themselves known, the Avengers found themselves to be betrayed, as the
The Avengers found themselves betrayed when a new formation of the Masters of Evil made themselves known, as their leader, the mysterious Crimson Cowl, revealed himself to be their loyal butler, Jarvis. Captured by the Masters, the Avengers learned the Crimson Cowl's true identity: the robot Ultron-5, who had brainwashed Jarvis into deceiving the Avengers. Jarvis freed the Avengers with the help by one of the Masters of Evil, the new Black Knight, who had purposely infiltrated the group. In Ultron, the Avengers unknowingly met their most formidable foe.
Wishing to annihilate the Avengers, Ultron sent a creation of his own, an ethereal synthezoid, to the Avengers Mansion. During the night, Wasp spotted the artificial creature in her quarters, referring to him as a Vision. As a short battle ensued, the Vision recollected his recent memories and decided not to attack the Avengers. The Avengers pursued Ultron and, with the help of the rebellious Vision, the murder machine was apparently destroyed. Investigating Ultron's and the Vision's origins, the Avengers learned that Ultron was created by Goliath in an attempt to produce synthetic life. Ultron's intelligence quickly evolved and decided to get rid of his creator by erasing his memory. Wishing to end all organic life, Ultron considered the Avengers both his family and his nemeses. As for the Vision, after the Avengers learned that his brain patterns were replicated from Wonder Man's, he was invited to their ranks.
Following the Ultron crisis, a new enemy emerged to the Avengers in the form of the arrogantly blatant Yellowjacket. The criminal murdered Goliath and kidnapped the Wasp. When the Avengers attempted to retrieve her, she shockinly shared her intentions of marrying her aggressor. As the creepy wedding was interrupted by the Circus of Crime, the Avengers learned that Yellowjacket was, in fact, Goliath. Following the villains' defeat, it was revealed that the mentally unstable Hank Pym, who had formerly adopted the insecure identities of Ant-Man, Giant-Man and Goliath, forged the Yellowjacket's opposite personality to win the Wasp's heart. Being able to see through his charade, the Wasp agreed to marry Pym in his newest alter-ego.
The giant-size identity of Goliath was then assumed by Hawkeye who joined Black Widow against the vile Egghead. As the couple returned to the Avengers Mansion, they were met by Goliath's brother, Barney Barton, who was formerly on the Egghead's pay and sought help to depose him. During the fight, Barney sacrificed himself to save his brother, destroying Egghead's deadly death ray machine. After his brother's death, Goliath was attacked by his former master Swordsman, who had been hired by a vengeful Egghead. Although Goliath was initially captured, he broke free and defeated the two villains.
Soon after, seizing control of the Vision, Ultron managed to rebuilt a new Adamantium body for himself, attacking the Avengers Mansion as Ultron-6. Planning to obliterate Manhattan, Ultron-6 was opposed by the Avengers and the Vision himself, who regained his will. In his next move, Ultron attempted to acquire the secret formula of Adamantium. In a ploy orchestrated by the Avengers, Ultron detonated himself in the United Nations headquarters, being his sole victim due to a shield crafted with the Wakandan metal Vibranium.
The Avengers kept protecting the world from a variety of menaces. They joined forces with Doctor Strange and the Black Knight to combat the giants Ymir and Surtur, forging a long-lasting alliance with those heroes. The Black Knight also helped the Avengers in defeating Black Panther's rival, the mortal Man-Ape, who wished to take the throne of Wakanda.
Eventually assembled by Kang the Conqueror, the Avengers were tricked after Kang's lackey, the Growing Man, kidnapped a moribund Tony Stark. In order to save Ravonna from an endless stasis, Kand had made a bargain with the peculiarly gaming addict Grandmaster, who proposed Kang to gather champions to fight his own. As Kang presented the Avengers, Grandmaster introduced the Squadron Sinister. Kang's unwilling allies should battle across time not only for Ravonna's life but also to prevent the collapse of Earth. The game got the attention of the Black Knight, who intervened by assisting the Avengers. The Avengers ultimately turned on Kang after fighting the Invaders, the super-heroes from the World War II era. Kang, however, was boosted by the Grandmasater to overpower the Avengers. The Black Knight, not being an Avenger, managed to defeated the villain. As Grandmaster vanished, abandoning his game, the Avengers invited the Black Knight to the team.
Following Nick Fury's assassination, the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. turned to the Avengers to arrest the villainous Scorpio. Scorpio had been hunted by Rick Jones and his partner, Captain Marvel, who came to the Avengers for help. Scorpio made his way into the Avengers Mansion alongside his group, the Zodiac, successfully aprehending Earth's Mightiest Heroes. With Yellojacket's efforts, the Avengers broke free, and Scorpio revealed himself to be Nick Fury in disguise, granting the Avengers the necessary advantage to overpower the Zodiac.
The Sons of the Serpent pushed their racist agenda to the limit by attacking influential black personalities. Black Panther took the matter to the Avengers, who backed him as he infiltrated the Serpents. The Serpents took the opportunity to undermine the Black Panther's reputation by impersonating him. However, with the Avengers' help, the deception was dropped and she Sons of the Serpent arrested. Soon after, as the Wasp and Yellowjacket left the Avengers in a governmental assignment, Quicksilver returned in seek of help. He informed that his sister, the Scarlet Witch, trying to restore her hex powers, accidentally had cast a spell that brought the chauvinistic Arkon the Magnificent to Earth. Arkon captured the Scarlet Witch and planned to construct a doomsday atomic device to nuke Earth and nourish his realm with the produced energy. Thanks to the Avengers, his plans were foiled and his presence gone from Earth. Following this incident, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch rejoined the Avengers.
The Avengers unfortunately crossed with a greedy profiteer named Cornelius van Lunt, who forced an indebted Tony Stark to lend the Avengers' services for his selfish agenda. As the Avengers fulfilled their assignments, they left Van Lunt refusing to accept his money. Soon after, the group was surprisingly beaten by Black Panther's enemy, the Man-Ape. They eventually learned that the Grim Reaper had assembled a new group of super-villains, the Lethal Legion, to get revenge against Earth's Mightiest Heroes. As the two teams clashed, the Grim Reaper got psyched out after learning about the Vision's true origin as Simon Williams' new existence, which led to the Legion's defeat.
Following the conflict, the Vision decided to take a leave of absence from the Avengers, but soon returned to the Avengers Mansion after meeting the Native American super-hero known as Red Wolf. Red Wolf sought justice against Van Lunt, who was revealed to be a crime-lord who had preyed on Red Wolf's homeland. The Avengers helped Red Wolf to liberate his home village from Van Lunt and his henchmen. Concomitantly, the Avengers investigated the Zodiac and deposed their new leader, Aries, with the assistance of Daredevil, ultimately linking Van Lunt's activities to the group of criminals. In fact, Van Lunt secretly assumed the Zodiac's leadership as Taurus.
When the Wasp returned to the Avengers Mansion, she was surprised to find it occupied by the Lady Liberators, an all-female group led by the powerful Valkyrie, who wished to bring male supremacy down. The Wasp was convinced to join her against condescending male super-heroes. During Tom Fagan's super-hero Halloween festivities, the Avengers were attacked by the Masters of Evil and the Lady Liberators approached them. The victorious Valkyrie led her team to overpower both groups, but was eventually revealed to be Enchantress in disguise, causing the dissolution of the Liberators. She then manipulated Arkon into joining her to torment the Avengers by lying to him and enchanting the Black Knight. The Avengers helped Arkon and Black Knight to see through Enchantress' deception, but she managed to escape.
As Thor transported the Avengers back to Earth, half of the team got stranded on an alternate Earth in the future, where they learn that world would suffer a cataclysm. The Scarlet Witch sent the group to the present, where they found the Avengers Mansion inhabited by Squadron Supreme. The Avengers attacked the group believing them to be Squadron Sinister, when it was revealed that the Squadron intented to launch a sattelite under the orders of Brain-Child. The Avengers assumed this event to cause the incoming catastrophe and convinced Nighthawk about it. Brain-Child's nefarious annilihation plans were exposed, causing the two groups joined forces to beat him. After that, the other Avengers managed to bring their teammates back to their home reality. Following this adventure, Black Panther permanently left the Avengers to finally assume the Wakandan throne.
When Captain Marvel invaded the Baxter Building to access a portal to the Negative Zone and free Rick Jones from it, he caught the Avengers' attention. As the Vision, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver intervened, they witnessed the accidental escape of the terrible Annihilus, who was immediately pushed back through the portal. A disoriented Mar-Vell took the opportunity to escape in one of the Avengers' Quinjets, with the intention of returning to his home, the Kree Empire. Captured by the Avengers with the help of Jones in Cape Canaveral, Mar-Vell was shown to be afflicted by deadly radiation from the Negative Zone. In the Kree Galaxy, Ronan the Accuser staged a power coup against the Supreme Intelligence. As the new supremor of the Kree Empire, Ronan sent a Kree Sentry to attack Mar-Vell. The Avengers failed to prevent the Sentry from capturing Mar-Vell.
Back to the Avengers Mansion, the Avengers learned that the Wasp, Yellowjacket and Goliath went to the North Pole to search for missing members of a scientific exploration who found a tropical jungle in the middle of the freezing Arctic. Attacked by Ronan and his Sentry, Yellowjacket was devolved into a primitive brutal being and attacked the other Avengers. Ronan revealed his intention of devolving the entire human race to facilitate his plans of conquering Earth. Meanwhile, as Ronan's prisoners, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch first demonstrated their feelings for each other. Although Ronan had advantage during the battle, he was forced to abandon Earth after learning the Kree Empire was under attack by Skrulls. Although Ronan's invasion failed, a public hysteria about alien invasions ensued. Captain Marvel, being a Kree himself, became a subject of investigation, while civil society turned on the Avengers for protecting an alien. Captain Marvel escaped from S.H.I.E.L.D. with the help of Carol Danvers. On court, the Avengers were vehemently hostilized by Senator H. Warren Craddock, who incited hate against Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The group ultimately met their fall when a mob trashed the Avengers Mansion. Labelled as traitors, the Avengers were disassembled by Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, who drove them out of the mansion in disgrace.
The four ex-Avengers Goliath, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch and the Vision met up with Captain Marvel and Danvers in a farm in Vermont, where they were attacked by shapeshifters. The Vision escaped but found himself collapsing in the Avengers Mansion. Aided by the very same Avengers who drove him out of the team, he fully recovered after Hank Pym, in his Ant-Man persona, entered his body in microscopic size and made the necessary repairs. Declaring not to be responsible for disassembling the team, the Avengers realized that Skrulls had impersonated them and eroded the team from within. Moreover, Danvers was revealed to be the Super-Skrull, claiming Captain Marvel, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch as hostages. His destination was Attilan, the capital city of the Inhuman race – super-powered beings genetically engineered by the Kree he wished to annihilate. Attilan, however, resisted his attacks, and the Super-Skrull's spaceship directed itself to the Skrull galaxy. On the Skrull homeworld, Captain Marvel was forced by the Skrull Emperor to build a Omni-Wave Projector to give the Skrulls advantage over the Kree. In order to motivate Mar-Vell, the Skrulls threatened to terminate Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
On Earth, the Avengers, still being accused of aiding alien individuals, were targetted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Mandroids under Craddock's orders. After Iron Man disabled the Mandroid armors, the Avengers were met by the Inhuman Triton, who requested help to rescue his lost leader, Black Bolt, and to dethrone the mad false king Maximus. On the Vision's recommendation, the team split up to rescue both Black Bolt and the victims of the interstellar war between Kree and Skrulls. Found in San Francisco, Black Bolt travelled to Attilan with the Avengers, where Maximus was found to be in coallition with the Kree. During the battle, Rick Jones was captured by the Kree. With Maximus defeated, the Avengers marched to space to save their friends from both Kree and Skrulls.
Arriving at the Skrull homeworld by beating the Skrull fleet, the Avengers learned that Captain Marvel tricked the Skrull Emperor and did not build the Omni-Wave Projector. In fact, he took his time to free Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. In retaliation, the Skrulls put up a plan of decimating Earth. On the Kree homeworld, Rick Jones was introduced to his fellow prisoner, the Supreme Intelligence, who explained Jones' importance in the Kree-Skrull War and sent him back to the Negative Zone, where he was briefly confronted by Annihilus. The Supreme Intelligence brought him back to their captivity, explaining that Rick Jones's ability of tapping into human race's cosmic evolutionary potential was unlocked. This allowed Jones to cast forgotten super-heroes from the Golden Age of Comic Books to fight Ronan's army. Additionally, Jones forced a ceasefire by freezing all Kree and Skrulls in the universe with his newfound powers, effectively saving the other Avengers. This last act also outed Craddock as a Skrull on Earth during one of his hating discourses, causing his betrayed supporters to assassinate him. As his new abilities were claimed back by the Supreme Intelligence, Rick Jones' life was at peril and Mar-Vell merged with him once again to preserve his life. With the war over and Earth safe, the Avengers were transported back home and were cleared of their past charges, being finally praised by their public.
Since Earth was put at great risk due to the Kree-Skrull combat, Iron Man secretly assembled a group of leaders and representants of the super-human communities in order to perform preventive actions to avenge and protect the planet. In the years to come, these Illuminati would act without the knowledge or consent of their own teammates, interfering in many matters related to super-hero affairs, especially the Avengers.
Another consequence of the alien war was the disappearance of Goliath, who had not returned to Earth alongside the other Avengers. He was found in his Hawkeye identity since he took part in a battle between the Avengers and the God of War, Ares, and his lackeys, the Warhawks. During this fight, the Avengers were also met by Hercules, who had returned from Olympus to prevent an impending danger. In the Avengers Mansion, Hercules was captured by Kratos and Bia under Ares' orders. To rescue their friend, the Avengers decided to invade Olympus by combining the might of all of their former members, even the Hulk and Swordsman. Before departing, the Avengers learned that Ares had been joined by Enchantress, who helped him acquire Black Knight's abandoned Ebony Blade and incapacitate all gods in Olympus but Hercules. The Avengers ultimately defeated Ares, Enchantress and their army, leaving Hercules behind to punish the villains.
One night, the Vision was contacted by the Grim Reaper, who sought his assistance to destroy the Avengers, offering Simon Williams' human body to the Vision in return. Although the Vision refused it, the Reaper provided him ways to keep in touch. At the Avengers Mansion, mutant-hunting Sentinels captured the Scarlet Witch, enraging her brother Quicksilver, who left the Avengers. The Avengers found the Sentinel base in Australia, while Quicksilver learned about their plan of obliterating Earth to erase mutantkind. Though the Avengers managed to destroy the Sentinels and their base, Quicksilver went missing.
Following reports by Black Panther of missing scientists in Chile, the Avengers, assisted by Thor's partner Sif, confronted the Savage Land Mutates. Then, in their search for Quicksilver, the Avengers fell into a trap by the Space Phantom, who had allied himself with the Grim Reaper. The Vision momentarily pretended to accept the Reaper's offer of granting him a human body, only to betray them and help the Avengers foil the Space Phantom's plans. With the end of the threat, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch finally confessed their love for each other and publicly started a relationship.
Hawkeye then left the team after meeting the wicked Mr. Champion, who had tricked him into teaching his archery art. Some time later, Quicksilver contacted the Avengers, announcing he had been rescued by the Inhuman Crystal during the Sentinel fight and planned to marry her. Tragically, he reacted terribly to his sister's relationship with the Vision, a synthetic man, and decided to cut off contact for good. In fact, the Vision's condition as an artificial human and his love for the Scarlet Witch soon also became subject of controversy among the public.
Meanwhile, the Avengers learned that the X-Men's X-Mansion had been attacked and went to help. There, Magneto and the Savage Land Mutates trapped the unconscious X-Men and several Avengers. Black Panther, Thor and the Vision recruited Black Widow and Daredevil to liberate the Avengers and the X-Men. Black Widow and Daredevil were invited to officially join the Avengers after Magneto was knocked out by the Vision. Only Black Widow decided to accept the offer, parting ways with Daredevil. Her tenure was short though, as she left after a confrontation against the Lion-God, in an attack to force the Black Panther to return to Africa.
When the Scarlet Witch was hostilized by construction workers on the street, the eccentric Mantis assisted her evade the aggressors. Invited to the Avengers Mansion, Mantis revealed to be a partner of Swordsman, and both requested to join the Avengers as Hawkeye's replacement. In the mansion, Mantis then secretly summoned the Lion-God, who immediately attacked Black Panther. The Avengers' new recruits aided the team in defeating the villain, claiming that Mantis had been aware of Lion-God's intentions and wished to defeat him before he could make his move, which ensured the Avengers' trust.
When Black Knight disappeared, the Avengers looked for him with no success. At the same time, Loki was greeted by the dread Dormammu, who sought for an ally to gather the Evil Eye and conquer Earth. For that, Dormammu proposed to manipulate Doctor Strange's team, the Defenders, into doing his work by making them believe that, in order to restore a petrified Black Knight, they would need the Evil Eye. The Avengers visited Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum in search of Black Knight, but were aggressively rout off. Loki, fearing Dormammu's real intentions, alerted the Avengers about the Defenders' agenda of collecting the Evil Eye's fragments, sharing the locations to where the Defenders members had gone in their mission.
On the other hand, the Defenders learned about the Avengers' association with villains such as Loki and Swordsman and decided to respond to it. As a consequence, at different locations of the globe, Avengers and Defenders clashed, with the Defenders being constantly victorious and collecting the Evil Eye. However, when Captain America confronted Namor the Sub-Mariner, they suspected that their recent actions might have been orchestrated by someone else. Unfortunately, even though the two groups made peace with each other and planned to confront their mysterious enemy, one of Dormammu's servants, Asti the All-Seeing, assembled the Evil Eye.
With the Evil Eye, Dormammu's Dark Dimension invaded Earth. While Nick Fury and his S.H.I.E.L.D. agents protected Earth, Avengers and Defenders ventured into the Dark Dimension. Being no match for the omnipotent Dormammu, the Avengers were unexpectedly helped by Loki, who attacked Dormammu, allowing the Scarlet Witch to interrupt the invasion. With the Evil Eye, the Defenders restored Black Knight back to life, while a catatonic Loki was sent by the Avengers to be under Tom Fagan's care, after a brief confrontation with the obsessive Collector.
The Celestial Madonna
Van Lunt finally made his move by leading the Zodiac to attack the Avengers Mansion and trying to take over the world. He planned to commit mass murder in New York City with the so-called Star-Blaster. With the arrival of Captain America, the Avengers turned the situation in their favor. With Van Lunt revealed as Taurus, dissident members of the Zodiac helped the Avengers. Following Van Lunt's defeat, Zodiac member Libra stated to be Mantis' father, further informing the Avengers that Mantis' maternal uncle and Swordsman's former employer, the crime-master Monsieur Khruul, was responsible for Mantis' mother's death. In seek of revenge, Swordsman travelled to Saigon to end Khruul, being followed by the other Avengers. As Swordsman failed in his mission, Khruul turned his rage on the Priests of Pama, a Kree faction hidden on Earth who had raised Mantis. At their temple, the Avengers found Khruul dead by the hands of a dragon-like creature he accidentally released, the Star-Stalker. Using Taurus' Star-Blaster and with the Vision's solar rays, the Avengers destroyed the monster.
Back to the Avengers Mansion, the Avengers were met by Rick Jones' girlfriend, Lou-Ann, who begged for help in saving Jones and Captain Marvel, who were afflicted by a terrifying enemy, Thanos the Mad Titan. At Earth's orbit, the Avengers found Thanos' invasion fleet and successfully incapacitated the armada, though they unknowingly returned to their mansion now occupied by Thanos. Possessing the Cosmic Cube, Thanos reshaped reality and ascended to a god-like form. With the help of Drax the destroyer and Mantis, Mar-Vell destroyed the Cube and saved the universe. The Avengers were then left in awe after a confrontation with such a deadly foe.
Following an attack orchestrated by Klaw and Solarr, Black Panther decided to leave the Avengers again and focus on his people in Wakanda. Next, the Avengers Mansion was invaded by golden-age hero Whizzer, from the All-Winners Squad, who wished to acquire the Chrono-Module casket in possession of the Avengers. The device contained Whizzer's son, the insane and radioactiveNuklo, who broke free and attacked the Avengers. As the Avengers searched for him, Whizzer realized he and his wife, Miss America might be the Scarlet Witch's and Quicksilver's parents. Nuklo was eventually found and defeated by the Avengers.
Shortly after, the Avengers were invited by the Inhuman Gorgon to attend Quicksilver's and Crystal's wedding at the Himalayas. The ceremony was ruined by Maximus and his ally, the giant android, Omega. During the brutal attack, Omega revealed to actually be Ultron's new update: Ultron-7. The Avengers joined forces with the Fantastic Force and the Inhumans to defeat the villains, making the wedding possible. As the Fantastic Four parted ways with the Avengers, their nanny, the witch Agatha Harkness, decided to stay at the Avengers Mansion to tutor the Scarlet Witch in the ways of magic. As soon as they started their training, they were attacked by the magician Necrodamus, who was overpowered by the Scarlet Witch, confirming Harkness' belief in her potential for witchcraft.
On that night, a star shone above the Avengers Mansion. Kang claimed it to be a signal for him, since he sought the "Celestial Madonna", a legendary woman professed to birth a celestial messiah, the most powerful being on Earth. Kang captured all the Avengers except for Swordsman, who, under Harkness' advice, infiltrated Rama-Tut's pyramids to free his teammates. With Rama-Tut's and Hawkeye's help, Swordsman chased Kang. During the fight, it was revealed that Mantis was the Celestial Madonna, making her a target to Kang. In order to protect her beloved, Swordsman heroically sacrificed his own life.
At the temple of the Priests of Pama, the Avengers celebrated a funeral, which was briefly interrupted by a confrontation between the Titanic Three and the criminal Razorblade. Meanwhile, Kang's combat with Rama-Tut was discontinued by Immortus, allowing Kang to pluck dead super-humans from the timestream to attack the Avengers as the Legion of the Unliving in Immortus' castle in Limbo. As Iron Man and the Vision perished in battle, the undead members of the Legion started to break free from Kang's control, allowing Human Torch to inspect the Vision's robotic body and realize they shared the same components. The Avengers defeated Kang and his brainwashed minion Wonder Man, while Hawkeye freed Rama-Tut and Immortus, who reassembled the Avengers and revived Iron Man.
Immortus told the Avengers about the fact that the Vision was a rebuilt version of the Human Torch and about the origins of Kree-Skrull War, with the plant alien Cotati, who were decimated by the Kree, being the very first victims of the conflict. The Priests of Pama tended to the surviving immobile Cotati for ages until their end at Khruul's hands. The Avengers eventually found the Cotati garden in Swordsman's burying place, where Swordsman met them revived as a Cotati lord. Concurrently, the psychic Titanian Moondragon approached the Avengers Mansion in response to their failed attempts at contacting her ally Captain Marvel. There, she was attacked by the Scarlet Witch under Agatha Harkness' recommendation, but managed to meet Swordsman and the Avengers at the temple of Pama later on.
Meanwhile, with Immortus' assistance in learning about his origins, the Vision journed to the Dark Dimension, where he found the Scarlet Witch restrained and brainwashed by Dormammu and his sister Umar. Overcoming their control, the Scarlet Witch assisted the Vision in defeating her captors. At the Avengers Mansion, the Vision proposed to the Scarlet Witch. At the same time, in Saigon, Libra and the Cotati Swordsman told Mantis about her destiny to fulfill as the Celestial Madonna, and she agreed to marry Swordsman. When the Avengers learned that Kang had attacked the Titanic Three, a battle ensued to guarantee Mantis' safety. Immortus intervened, tricking Kang into believing he had acquired Mantis (when in fact he had captured a Space Phantom). In a happy ending, Immortus performed a double wedding ceremony, officializing the union of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch and of Mantis and Swordsman. The latter couple left the Avengers to venture to the stars.
At the Avengers Mansion, Moondragon was offered membership to the team by Iron Man, accepting to stay around as an ally. Looking for more new members, the Avengers contacted former members and the Wasp and Yellowjacket complied to the invitation. Lastly, former X-Man Beast got interested in their offer to new additions. The group was then attacked by the mysterious Stranger, who gravely wounded the Wasp. Invading the Stranger's ship, the Avengers learned their foe was in fact the Toad and defeated him. At the hospital, the Avengers confronted Whirlwind, who once again stalked the Wasp masquerading as her chauffer. The stress of the battle caused Yellowjacket's powers to turn against him, causing Beast to collect a formula from Brand Corporation to save him. Administered by the Vision, who had recently returned from his honeymoon, the formula was phased inside Yellowjacket's gigantic body, saving him.
The Avengers learned both that Roxxon, run by Hugh Jones, was interested in the dangerous Serpent Crown artifact and that Hawkeye got lost in the timestream when trying to rescue Black Knight, while Beast's former associate, Patsy Walker, interloped on their matters. Thor and Moondragon requested for Immortus' help to search for Hawkeye, fighting Kang in the process and ending up in the nineteenth century. Meanwhile, the other Avengers investigated Brand Corporation, knowing it had ties to Roxxon, and were attacked and captured by Squadron Supreme under Walker's ex-husband's, Buzz Baxter, orders.
In the past, Thor and Moondragon found Hawkeye, who informed about Kang's plans of invading that era. Teaming up with the cowboy super-heroes from that time, the Avengers assaulted Kang's citadel. While confronting Thor, Kang's armor's systems overloaded and he was obliterated, preventing his conquest from happening. Back to the present, the Avengers were accompanied by the hero Two-Gun Kid, and Hawkeye quitted the Avengers once again, becoming Two-Gun Kid's partner.
Simultaneously, as the Avengers escaped from Baxter, they found the Cat Suit in the Brand Corporation complex. Patsy Walker was offered to wear it by Captain America and Iron Man, adopting the name Hellcat and assisting the Avengers against Squadron Supreme. During the fight, Hugh Jones transported all super-heroes to Squadron Supreme's reality. On this other Earth, the Avengers were met by President Rockefeller, who commanded the Squadron and wore a Serpent Crown like Hugh Jones had in the past as a member of the Serpent Cartel. The Vision helped the Avengers to flee after acquiring the Serpent Crown from Rockefeller. However, the Scarlet Witch succumbed to the crown's evil influence, allying herself to Rockefeller's Squadron. She eventually overcame the crown's influence and joined her husband in knocking Squadron Supreme out. Ultimately, the Avengers infiltrated the White House, exposed Rockefeller's evil schemes to Squadron Supreme and managed to return to heir home reality with the Serpent Crown. Back home, the Avengers turned their attention to Hugh Jones once more. While Thor and Moondragon battled Jones' henchman Orka, Hellcat and the other Avengers confronted Baxter and Jones, finally putting an end to Roxxon's and Brand's corporational terror.
With the return of the Wasp and Yellowjacket and the departure of Thor, Hellcat and Moondragon, the Avengers formed their new line-up, announcing it to the public in a press release, when they unexpectedly witnessed the return of Wonder Man, who, in a debilitated state, accused the Vision of stealing his mind. The Scarlet Witch's magic powers linked Wonder Man's to an area known as the Dead Swamp in New Orleans, where they found Black Talon and his army of zombies. After defeating him, the Avengers learned he had not been actually responsible for Wonder Man's resurrection.
The Scarlet Witch then turned her attention to recovering the Serpent Crown from the ruins of Brand Corporation facilities. There, she was incapacitated by the Living Laser who, in possession of the crown, mind-controlled Wonder Man in order to destroy the Avengers. Meanwhile, the mansion was invaded once again by an insane Whizzer. The two events intersected when the Living Laser captured Nuklo. While the Beast found and fought Wonder Man, the Avengers tracked the serpent crowned Laser. As a battle ensued, the Living Laser was defeated and Nuklo and Whizzer were severely wounded.
The Vision disposed of the Serpent Crown on the ocean floor, but was captured by Attuma in the process. Attuma wished to force the Avengers into attacking his nemesis, Namor, the Sub-Mariner. At the mansion, Attuma's minions led by Tyrak deceived and captured the other Avengers but Beast. At the Hydrobase, the enslaved Avengers are forced to confront Doctor Doom and Namor's allies, the Hydro-Men. Beast recruited Wonder Man and the Whizzer to rescue the Avengers, and felt the wrath of Namor under Attuma's machinations. In an unusual outcome, the Avengers ultimately teamed up with Doctor Doom and Namor to overpower Attuma and Tyrak.
New and Old Enemies
The Avengers Mansion was tragically attacked by the petrified statue of Black Knight, who broke into pieces after a debate with the Vision. Conflicted about his own nature after the death of an "unreal" being, the Vision took it out on Wonder Man. Their fight was interrupted by a distress call coming from the Canadian Rockies, where the mad and evil Graviton seized control of the research facility he was part of. With his extremely powerful gravitational abilities, Graviton easily defeated all Avengers. Demanding the United Nations to turn the whole world to him, Graviton was further intercepted by ex-Avengers Thor and Black Panther. He met his ultimate fate as a victim of his uncontrollable powers and his fractured sanity.
When the Avengers Mansion was infiltrated by the Grim Reaper, he trapped the Avengers and forced a trial to decide whether the Vision or Wonder Man had the right to claim Simon Williams' identity. The bizarre situation was ended by Wonder Man, who knocked out his own brother. Then, the Avengers were attacked in the mansion by Hank Pym, in his Ant-Man identity, who believed he was still living the day the Avengers first formed and did not recognize the new members and believed them to be invaders. The Wasp intervened and informed the Avengers about her husband's deteriorating mental health. As it was revealed Ultron-8 was behind the attack, the Avengers defeated and Pym and the Wasp were captured. Ultron convinced Pym of assisting him to transfer the Wasp's consciousness to a metalloid body, whom he wished to take as his wife. The Avengers interfered in time, interrupting the transfer, although Ultron managed to escape.
After fighting Typhon, the Avengers found themselves protecting the city from a new Lethal Legion formed by Count Nefaria. Using his vast financial resources, Nefaria replicated his minions' powers for himself, becoming one of the mightiest villains the Avengers have ever faced. The Avengers were no match for the near omnipotent Nefaria. However, he was ultimately defeated with the help of Thor and the Vision, after succumbing to his own fears of growing old.
As the official ties between the Avengers and the United States government grew to the extent that the Avengers computer system had direct access to certain U.S. governmental and military information networks, the National Security Council began to take a more active interest in the Avengers' internal affairs. At one point, NSC agent Henry Peter Gyrich was appointed to be the government's liaison with the Avengers. Gyrich instituted certain policies in the name of security that restricted active membership in the group and tightened admission requirements.
Unlike the Avengers' practices to this point, Gyrich initiated a strict screening procedure for new members and even dictated Avengers membership according to government standards of equal-opportunity employment. Eventually, Gyrich was reassigned elsewhere and replaced with the more moderate Raymond Sikorski, another NSC agent. Even so, then-Avengers Chairman Captain America continued the seven-member ceiling on active membership instituted by Gyrich, later personally reducing it down to six members.
East and West
Shortly afterward, then-current Chairman, the Vision, petitioned the US government to approve the establishment of a second team of active Avengers to be based on the West Coast. Getting official clearance, the Vision appointed Hawkeye to be the new team's chairman and sent him to Los Angeles, California to set up a base of operations. The original West Coast roster consisted of Hawkeye himself, his wife Mockingbird, his original inspiration Iron Man, Wonder Man, and Tigra. Soon, the organization grew to two independently operated but fully coordinated branches of Avengers.
The East Coast branch eventually found itself in a long series of misfortunes. First, when it was learned that the Vision planned to take benevolent control of the world government, certain punitive measures were taken by the United States, despite the fact that the Vision aborted his plan before it truly endangered anyone. The government limited the Avengers' access to security-related information and invoked certain sanctions, including the privilege of launching their supersonic Quinjets from their Mansion. The Avengers were forced to lease a part of the Hydrobase, a floating island and scientific research station in the Atlantic Ocean, in order to use an airbase outside of FAA jurisdiction.
Later, the Avengers Mansion was nearly destroyed by a concentrated effort of the largest group of organized super-villains up to that time, the Masters of Evil as led by the new Baron Zemo, hellbent on revenge for his father's death. Although the Avengers finally managed to defeat the villains at great cost, the team relocated entirely to Hydrobase while the Mansion was being repaired. Through a steady series of misfortunes, most notably the subversion of their member Doctor Druid by Ravonna (then called Nebula), the Avengers' East Coast branch was ultimately left with no active members.
United Nations Charter
Captain America, at that time called simply the Captain, immediately reorganized the team with the hero Gilgamesh and the temporary members Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four. Captain America soon reassembled all known members and associates to the rebuilt Avengers Mansion, claiming that all heroes may consider themselves on reserve and ready for service, although an active team of seven members (plus two reserves) would be the primary response team. Also at this time, the Avengers negotiated with the United Nations, earning global jurisdiction by pledging to serve under a U.N. charter as it had previously the United States.
When war broke out between the alien empires of the Shi'ar and Kree (with Skrull meddling), Earth became a key point of conflict. A warp-gate in the Sol system was crucial for both sides in traveling the great interstellar distances, but was having a destabilizing effect on the sun. The Avengers sent teams to Hala and Chandilar in attempts to stabilize the diplomatic situation. After the Kree Supreme Intelligence detonated a Nega-Bomb, killing most of the Kree (in order to jump-start the survivors' evolutionary processes), the Avengers were divided on how to respond. Several Avengers led by Iron Man (Black Knight, Vision, Hercules, Sersi, and Thor) chose to execute the Intelligence for its act of genocide. This violation of the Avengers' "no-killing" rule would put these Avengers in defiance of Captain America and cause a significant rift in the team for some time.
Proctor and the Gatherers
Proctor, a mad version of the Black Knight, attempted to drive Sersi insane. He and his Gatherers battled the Avengers while attempting to frame Sersi for murders. Swordsman and Magdalene sided with the Avengers and Sersi was able to slay Proctor with his own Ebony Blade. She then exiled herself with Dane Whitman accompanying her. The Watcher Ute seemingly restored the mansion.
West Coast Disbands
After many months the East Coast branch, to review what it perceived as failures, confronted the Avengers’ West Coast branch. The East branch accused the junior West branch of fluctuating membership, cavalier behavior, and of overextending its resources that resulted in recent attacks that had left their Compound demolished. The Vision also claimed that the Avengers West Coast was a failed experiment. Amidst voices of contention, the vote resulted in the disbanding the West Coast branch. The East Coast branch resumed activities, and many of the former West Coast branch formed a new independent team, Force Works.
Feeling burned out from recent events, Tony Stark called for a party at the Mansion inviting team members past and present. Quicksilver and Crystal encountered a man named Tuc. Phillip Javert was attacked by agents of Kang while seeing a vision of what happened to his counterpart, Swordsman.
Yellowjacket returned from the future seeking to warn the Avengers of danger. She was shot and killed and the only witness to the murder, Luna's nanny, Marilla, was soon murdered as well. Gilgamesh was also found dead, with an assailant seeming to come from a mysterious 'door' in the basement. Security cameras found nothing and it seems someone with great technological savvy has tampered with them. The Mansion was evacuated with members meeting at the Wasp's home while Iron Man and Hank Pym attempted to determine the murderer and examine the door.
Hawkeye was framed for the murders and Stark was revealed to be under the influence of Kang. Wasp was wounded during a subsequent confrontation and in order to save her life, Pym placed her under treatments similar to those that originally gave her her bio-electric sting and wings. Jan emerged from a cocoon in a more insect-like form. The remnants of Force Works and War Machine assisted the Avengers in battling their foes.
The Avengers, boosted by the return of Captain America and Thor, returned to the Mansion and removed the Anachronauts. A special team traveled to another reality, returning with an alternate Iron Man. In the climactic battle Kang's plan was stopped when the elder Stark sacrificed himself.
On the anniversary of their formation, the team withstood another one of Loki's schemes when X-Man warned them about Professor X. Although skeptical, the team followed him to the Xavier Institute. They are quickly confronted by the X-Men, themselves wary of another ruse by the physic entity Onslaught.
Eventually, several heroes joined forces to battle Onslaught in Central Park. An enraged Hulk was able to crack open Onslaught's shell. However, Onslaught remained as pure psionic energy, planning to spread across the planet. Thor plunged into Onslaught, trying to contain him. The majority of Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Dr. Banner (separated from Hulk), and Dr. Doom followed. The X-Men then destroyed Onslaught. The Avengers were believed dead, but were instead saved by Franklin Richards and transported to a pocket dimension called Counter-Earth that he had created. Back on Earth-616, however, the remaining Avengers quietly disbanded the team without the guidance of their senior members.
After several months away, the missing heroes returned from Counter-Earth. The threat of Morgan Le Fey called for the team to reassemble. Firestar and Justice also joined as provisional members. Using the Scarlet Witch's power, Earth was temporarily turned into a world of Le Fay's design, with the Avengers acting as her Queen's Vengeance. Some were able to see past the illusion and hear Wanda's call for aid. After Morgan was defeated, a new roster was officially established.
Old Enemies Return
After several months of activity, the Avengers were forced to react to their archenemy, the robot Ultron, who had decimated the nation of Slorenia. Ultron was ultimately defeated, but the Avengers vowed to become more proactive to avoid such results in the future.
The team also learned that Count Nefaria was alive and planned to bombard the world with ionic energy. Teaming with the Thunderbolts, a team composed by reformed Masters of Evil formed during the superpower vacuum after the Onslaught crisis, Nefaria was stopped.
The Avengers reorganized their membership roles and communications systems and began a program to better investigate threats at large as well as follow-up on completed missions.
Several members of Avengers from various points in time were called by Rick Jones to battle Immortus, the Time-Keepers, and even other teams of Avengers for their very existence. Immortus is revealed to have been responsible for influencing Stark during the Crossing, manipulating events so the Vision could be created, and even affecting Hank Pym's episodes.
Soon after, Earth was attacked by the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror and his son, the Scarlet Centurion. The Avengers failed to keep Kang from destroying the United Nations building in New York City, after which Kang declared war on the Earth and offered positions of power to those who would also conquer in his name, thus creating several uprisings. The Avengers were forced to spread themselves across many fronts, calling on many of their reserve members. One squad of the Avengers confronted Kang's orbital base, Damocles, directly, aside United States' Sentinel robots. Instead, the attack failed, and Kang took control of the Sentinels and proceeded to destroy Washington D.C. The Avengers leader, the Wasp, signed the terms of the United States surrender to Kang.
Soon, many other countries would fall before Kang, and the villain interned his opponents, political dissidents and superheroes, in scattered internment camps. Two contingents of Avengers remained: one, who had captured a base belonging to the villain known as the Master of the World; the other, a group of Avengers who joined Jonathan Tremont of the Triune Understanding in confronting the threat of the Triple-Evil. Both contingents wrested control of their respective enemies' equipment, turning it against Kang and ultimately defeated him and destroyed his Damocles base.
Kang went down with the base, surviving only thanks to his suit's force-field. He fought Captain America, stating that it was an honor to be defeated by such a foe. Beaten, Kang was arrested. Knowing he would be executed for his crimes he awaited his trial, happy that his son had been returned to their time and would forge his own legacy. Wanting to return his father home, the Scarlet Centurion broke into his cell. However, during the war, he had aided Warbird, although Kang was willing to overlook his lies as long as he died with his legacy intact, as he was rescued, he told his son that he could not tolerate traitors and killed him. The Avengers then turned their attention to help rebuild the war-torn cities of the world, and the reserve members returned to stand-by status.
When the latest villain calling himself Scorpio appeared, he used a new version of the all-powerful Zodiac Key to unlock the balance between chaos and order, splitting the cosmic being known as the In-Betweener into his two diametrical halves, and throwing nearly every major capitol city on Earth into another dimension. The Avengers investigated, with one contingent of the team confronting Scorpio and the other serving in the stead of the United Nations as a global peacekeeping and judicial force.
The Avengers ultimately thwarted Scorpio's plans by forcibly reuniting the In-Betweener with timely aid from Thor. The cosmic entity thwarted Scorpio and restored the Earth's cities to their proper places. Before he returned on his way, he left the Avengers with a prophecy: that an evil as great as their good would arise, and that many would die, including one of their own.
As an extension of the Avengers' service during the crisis, the United Nations granted the team special diplomatic status as a peacekeeping force against humanity not instigated by a member nation. They also established the Avengers Mansion as a unique and separate embassy.
JLA vs. Avengers
Krona, an exiled Oan villain from another Universe who had gained the powers of entropy, began destroying entire universes in his obsession to find out how they were created. The Grandmaster, a cosmic entity who is obsessed with games, offered to give Krona the knowledge he sought but only if he could beat him in a game. The game consisted of forcing the Avengers and their heroic counterparts, the Justice League of America, from that Universe's Earth to battle each other in a race to find twelve items of incredible power that had been hidden around their worlds. With help from Metron of the other Universe, the heroes were tricked into participating. Krona was given the side of the Avengers and Grandmaster was given the side of the JLA.
When Batman and Captain America discovered this, Captain America allowed the game to end with a victory for the JLA, but Krona refused to accept this and used his powers to steal the knowledge directly from the Grandmaster's mind. In turn, the Grandmaster used the power of the twelve artifacts to merge the two universes, trapping Krona at their center. However, this resulted in a chaotic world, and Krona began to cause the universes to collapse, since he now knew that universal creation came from destruction. The Avengers and the Justice League joined forces to stop him, aided by many other members from both teams' pasts (brought together by wild changes in time).
In the end, Krona was turned into a "cosmic egg" from which a universe would be born in a trillion years. The two universes returned to normal, with everything that Krona destroyed being recreated as well (this would have consequences for the Anti-Matter Universe, as seen in a further Justice League adventure).
Despite their recent success in obtaining international trust and the highest level of security clearance, the Avengers began to experience many failures. Jack of Hearts, who joined the team shortly after the Kang War, experienced a fluctuation in his powers that ultimately consumed him. An innocent civilian, Kelsey Leigh, became a casualty in the Avengers' tussle against the Wrecking Crew, although she was reborn as Captain Britain and was asked to join the Avengers. The Wasp and Hawkeye had a dallying romance, upsetting Yellowjacket.
The Scarlet Witch however, was the highlight of the team's failures. Years of mental stress, personal tragedy, and the continuous development of her powers resulted in a mental breakdown with the Avenger losing sight on reality as well as her powers which was triggered unintentionally by her teammate the Wasp. Her machinations included luring Captain America into a strange romance, resurrecting and murdering deceased Avenger Jack of Hearts, causing teammates Iron Man and She-Hulk to behave irrationally and aggressively, nearly destroying Avengers Mansion, emotionally scarring her teammates and even creating an armada of alien Kree out of thin air. These actions ultimately led to Iron Man losing his position of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, the revoke of the United Nations' relationship with the Avengers, the arrest and containment of She-Hulk, the hospitalization of Captain Britain and the Wasp, and the deaths of Ant-Man, the Vision, and Hawkeye.
Doctor Strange appeared, sensing something had gone horribly wrong. An investigation of Agatha Harkness's house on Whisper Hill brought into question if she really had been able to help Wanda. The Scarlet Witch soon appeared and attacked her allies. The Eye of Agamotto was able to subdue her, but the assembled members were still in shock as Magneto appeared to claim his daughter.
Unknown to the Avengers, Thor's absence was due to the events of Ragnarok; whether the two events were connected or not is unknown. The damaged Mansion was turned into a memorial. Stark decided that rebuilding at that point was not an option and the team disbanded.
The Avengers legacy was eventually reborn after six months through the efforts of Captain America and Iron Man creating the New Avengers due to a massive prison break. By doing so, they recruited a small number of new members and their primary purpose was to recapture numerous super-powered criminals that had escaped from the maximum security prison known as the Raft. Although the team did considerably well, they were not well received by the government as its officials found the new recruits questionable.
Also, around this time a teenage version of Kang traveled to the past to stop Kang, however, he found Avengers Mansion destroyed. But he found the remains of the Vision and uploaded it's A.I. into his armor. The A.I. contained the Avengers Fail-Safe Program listing young heroes related to the Avengers so he used it to form a team with various individuals in the list which became known as the Young Avengers. They remained together even after the young Kang left, and continued to add other members.
Government legislation itself would soon become the very cause of the Avengers' next dispersal. The passage of the Superhuman Registration Act split the superhuman community in half with one side led by Iron Man registering with the law while the other led by Captain America rebelled against the new law. Pro-registration emerged victorious and the Avengers were recreated by Iron Man who assembled a new team to abide by the law, while New Avenger Luke Cage assembled a small group of remaining rebels to operate as "outlaw" heroes in honor of Captain America after his apparent assassination.
Dark Avengers and Siege
In the wake of the Skrull's secret invasion, Iron Man was largely blamed for allowing the invasion to happen leading to his ousting as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as the organization being disbanded. Norman Osborn, formerly known as Spider-Man's enemy the Green Goblin, was made the new head of national security and created H.A.M.M.E.R. a successor organization to S.H.I.E.L.D. Norman also assembled a new team of "Avengers" consisting largely of super-villains he had served with in the Thunderbolts program posing as heroes since the majority of then current Avengers refused to follow him.
Norman's new team consisted of Venom as Spider-Man, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Moonstone as Ms. Marvel, Noh-Varr as Captain Marvel, Daken Akihiro as Wolverine, with Sentry and Ares remaining from the previous Avengers team. The team was led by Osborn himself in the guise of Iron Patriot, an Iron Man suit painted to invoke the heroic imagery of Captain America.
The team tackled many threats, both those that would be expected of them as heroes such as fighting Bor Burison during his rampage in New York and the Molecule Man as well as aiding members of Osborn's Cabal such as helping Doctor Doom reclaim Latveria. Norman descent into insanity - as perpetrated by Loki - led to him launching an invasion of Asgard after being manipulated by Loki. Asgard was aided by the New, Mighty and Young Avengers as well as a resurrected Steven Rogers and Nick Fury's Secret Warriors.
What neither Loki nor Osborn counted on however was the madness of Avengers member Sentry. Osborn had manipulated him in order to use the Void as a secret weapon to control the Cabal as well as his volatile Avengers team and after being defeated by the Avengers, Osborn ordered the Void to destroy Asgard and kill everyone. Loki realized that he had gone too far in his manipulations and used the Norn Stones to empower all who fought on Asgard's side, leading to him being killed by the Void but allowing the Avengers to finally kill him. The Dark Avengers with the exception of Daken (who managed to flee) and Ares (who was killed by the Void after turning against Osborn) were all taken into custody. In the aftermath Rogers is given Osborn's job with the condition of the Registration Act being cancelled.
The Heroic Age and the War of the Serpent
In the aftermath of Norman Osborn's fall, Steve Rogers supplanted Osborn as the head of the superhuman community. The the Avengers proper were reassembled, and backed by two splinter teams, the formalized New Avengers and the covert Secret Avengers. The new line-up chosen by Commander Steve Rogers consisted of field leader Maria Hill, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Spider-Woman, and Hawkeye.
Surprisingly, Wonder Man opposed the reformation of the Avengers, arguing they caused more harm than good. Wonder Man's attempts to dissuade Steve Rogers went to the extremes of attacking the Avengers. He would later make a second attempt, having assembled a team of Revengers.
A former member of Osborn's Avengers, Protector, later joined the Avengers while helping them build a time machine, and so did the Red Hulk, after coming to the Avengers Tower to warn them about the Hood having secured the Power and Reality Gems. The pursuit for the Hood led to Steve and the Avengers finding out about the Illuminati, a secret cabal of superhumans Iron Man was part of, and also the curators of the Infinity Gems from whom the Hood was stealing. The Avengers and the Illuminati raced the Hood to secure the remaining gems. The villain was finally stopped by Iron Man, who assembled the Infinity Gauntlet with help from his allies. Iron Man resisted the temptation to use the Infinity Gauntlet to create an utopia, arguing humanity wouldn't advance as species if that happened. He still became the very first human to make use of this object, by teleporting the Hood back to prison and the Infinity Gauntlet away, though he pretended to have destroyed the latter. In reality, the Illuminati later distributed the gems again, with Steve Rogers joining their ranks this time.
The biggest hit the Avengers took during this era came when the forgotten Asgardian god the Serpent resurfaced with the help of the Red Skull's daughter Sin. As the Serpent and his servants, the Worthy, spread chaos and fear around the world to empower their master, the Avengers Tower was destroyed, Bucky Barnes almost died (prompting Rogers to take back the mantle of Captain America), and Iron Man briefly sacrificed his sobriety. Fortunately, the heroes managed to fight back, empowered with Uru weapons manufactured by Iron Man in the furnaces of Nidavellir. The final sacrifice came from Thor, who lost his life slaying the Serpent.
Following the destruction of the Avengers Tower, the team temporarily relocated to the Avengers Mansion, base of the New Avengers, while their headquarters were being rebuilt. With Steve deciding to re-examine the Avengers following the hardship they endured, Storm became part of the team, taking up the offer her husband Black Panther rejected. The Vision also rejoined the team, having self-repaired after Iron Man spent a long time trying to rebuild him. Finally, Captain America picked S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Quake, while Spider-Man and Wolverine willingly stepped down.
After taking down the returned Norman Osborn, who had joined forces with Hydra, A.I.M. and the Hand, the Avengers' next threat was of cosmic nature. The Mad Titan Thanos arrived to Earth and outfitted a new iteration of the Zodiac to amass the vast array of cosmic-level weapons found in the planet. The Avengers, including the additions of Black Widow, the then-recently reborn Thor and the Hulk, inadvertently stumbled upon his machinations when they came into conflict with the Zodiac, eventually forcing Thanos to reveal himself. Even though the villain empowered himself with a Cosmic Cube, he was ultimately defeated by the Avengers with the aid of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Elders of the Universe.
When the Avengers learned that the all-consuming Phoenix Force was approaching the Earth, they attempted to get the X-Men to hand over one of their own, Hope Summers, who was prophesied to become the Phoenix. The X-Men's disagreement with the Avengers led to a battle between both teams and a race to find Hope, the conflict only escalated when the Phoenix Force reached the Earth and possessed five mutants, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus and Magik.
These Phoenix Five started converting the world into an utopia. Still wary of the Phoenix's ultimately destructive nature, the Avengers raided the X-Men's base and took Hope, in order to use her knowledge about the Phoenix against its five hosts. The Scarlet Witch resurfaced, and joined the Avengers' side, having discovered that the Phoenixes were weak to her Chaos Magic. Because of the Avengers' interference, Cyclops decided to declare war on them. With the X-Men on their trail, the Avengers began to train Hope with the help of K'un-Lun. The Phoenix Five eventually began to fall under the Phoenix's dark influence, turning against each other, as they could harness more power the fewer of their own there were. The Avengers teamed up with Professor X and the X-Men who didn't fall under the Phoenixes' tyrannical rule, and launched an attack against the last two remaining hosts, Cyclops and Emma Frost. Cyclops turned on Frost and defeated her, absorbing the totality of the Phoenix Force and killing Professor X before turning into the Dark Phoenix. Cyclops was finally stopped by the combined power of Hope Summers and the Scarlet Witch, with Hope briefly becoming the host of the Phoenix before extinguishing it with Wanda's power.
In the aftermath, Cyclops was incarcerated. Captain America acknowledged the Avengers should've been involved with mutantkind's struggles before. As the first step to rectify this negligence, he assembled a new splinter team of Avengers, the Avengers Unity Division, in hopes of bringing together human and mutantkind.
Iron Man and Captain America saw themselves forced to reunite the Illuminati upon the discovery of the incursions, a multiversal phenomena that caused the collision between the planets Earth of two different universes. The only way to prevent the destruction of the entirety of both realities when their Earths crashed was to destroy either of the planets. Iron Man and the other Illuminati reluctantly acknowledged the inevitability that if they didn't find a way to stop an incursion, they would eventually have to destroy an Earth that collided with their won if they wanted to save theirs, as well as their universe and whichever reality the colliding Earth would be from. When Captain America rejected this notion, the rest of the Illuminati agreed Doctor Strange wiped from his memory both his membership in the secret cabal, as well as any knowledge of incursions.
Under the pretense the Avengers needed something new, Iron Man presented Captain America with a chart to expand its roster. In reality, Stark wanted to create a team powerful enough it could handle any overt threat while he and the Illuminati worked on both solving the incursions, and designing mechanisms to destroy a planet if push came to shove. Among the Avengers' new recruits were Sunspot, Cannonball, Hyperion, Smasher, Captain Universe, Shang-Chi and Manifold. Returning members were Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Falcon. The mainstays of this team were the core unit composed of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Hulk. Later members were recently-surfaced-villains-turned-allies Ex Nihilo and Abyss, and Star Brand and Nightmask.
Among the threats these new Avengers confronted were the appearance of the aforementioned Ex Nihilo and Abyss in Mars, who attempted to turn the Earth into a sentient being, the emergence of Star Brand as a result of a White Event, and the different creatures that resulted from Ex Nihilo's thwarted plans, including Pod. A new threat came in the form of the Builders, a powerful ancient species who set course to Earth with the objective of destroying it, and razed planets on their path. The Avengers defeated the Builders after making an alliance with other alien empires, including former enemies like the Kree and Skrulls. Due to exposure to the explosion of the Watcher's eye, which revealed deep secrets related to them to those in its blast radius, Captain America remembered the mindwipe the Illuminati submitted him to, as well as their activities regarding the possible destruction of worlds, and confronted Iron Man about it. He decided that the Illuminati's actions shouldn't be tolerated, and disposed the Avengers to hunt them down. Meanwhile, a new team called the Cabal formed by ex-Illuminati Namor had stolen the Illuminati's arsenal of Antimatter Injection Systems and set out to carry out what the Illuminati ultimately couldn't bring themselves to do, to destroy any and every alternate planet Earth that came in collision course with their own.
Captain America's hunt for the Illuminati saw the Avengers being absorbed into S.H.I.E.L.D., with numerous members leaving the team in protest for being ordered to hunt down people they considered allies. One of these members was Sunspot, who went as far as to take over A.I.M., and use their resources to tackle the incursions once the existence of this phenomena became public knowledge. With the help of Sunspot's own Avengers, the Illuminati set a trap for the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D., and ultimately called a truce and started working together. Because the collapse of the entire Multiverse was only a matter of time, rather than working on a way to stop them, the Illuminati, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Future Foundation focused on creating "life rafts" that could at least ensure the survival of a few. When the final incursion began, Captain America decided to confront Iron Man for his and the Illuminati's betrayal.
In the end, the two Earths finally collided, and their universes were destroyed. The Multiverse was eventually returned to existence by Mister Fantastic using the power of the Molecule Man, with none of its inhabitants retaining memory of the temporal demise of all of reality. However, following all of their trials and tribulations, the Avengers as they formerly existed before were no more.
Months later, a group of heroes found themselves joined to fight the threat of the Chitauri warlord Warbringer, those heroes were Iron Man, the new Captain America, the new Spider-Man, Vision, the new Thor, Nova, and Ms. Marvel. After successfully forcing Warbringer through a portal he intended to use to bring an army, the heroes decided to remain together and reform the Avengers proper. One of the first threats the Avengers faced was an incarnation of Kang the Conqueror, posing as a businessman named Mister Gryphon, who had secretly reprogrammed the Vision to use him as an undercover agent, playing the heroes against each other. Gryphon was ultimately defeated and exiled to the timestream, while Iron Man managed to reboot Vision and purge Kang's programming.
Following the events of the second superhuman civil war, the younger members of the team -- Ms. Marvel, Nova, and Spider-Man -- left the Avengers and set out on their own as the Champions. Their membership depleted and funding from Stark Industries having dried up, Captain America recruited the new Wasp and Hercules. Parker Industries subsequently offered to fund the team, moving their base of operations to the Baxter Building. Spider-Man also rejoined the team. Following the collapse of Parker Industries, the Baxter Building had to be sold, forcing the Avengers to move out.
All branches of the Avengers convened to respond to a global crisis caused by the Earth being turned into the battleground of a contest between the Grandmaster and the Challenger. Following the end of the game and the Avengers' victory over the rampaging Grandmaster, the different Avengers teams decided to disband for different reasons. Shortly afterwards, Steve Rogers and Thor met up with Tony Stark to convince him to reassemble the group with themselves at its core. The reunion was consolidated by the machinations of Loki, who facilitated the arrival of the world-threatening Dark Celestials as a ploy to get the Avengers back in action, resulting in the participation of Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk and Ghost Rider in the reformation of the Avengers. After the Dark Celestials were defeated, the Celestials set upright the corpse of the long-time dead Progenitor in the North Pole. The Avengers refurbished the Progenitor's corpse, transforming it into their base of operations, the Avengers Mountain. The Avengers' revamp was accompanied with the appointment of Black Panther as chairperson.
Each teammates' arsenal
- The first time the famous Avengers' catchphrase "Avengers Assemble" was said was in Avengers #10 by Thor and has mostly appeared in Marvel media ever since.
- In-universe, the comic-publishing company Marvel Comics made an arrangement with the Maria Stark Foundation to depict authorized adventures of the Avengers. Unlike the agreement made with the Fantastic Four, the Avengers didn't personally handle the arrangements for their series. Since the approvals and information flow were handled by Maria Stark Foundation intermediaries, Marvel's writers were given less details about the Avengers' exploits than the Fantastic Four. Because of this, Stan Lee once referred to Marvel's Avengers comics as "only 69% authorized."
- Additionally, since members of the Avengers maintained secret identities, Marvel was eventually given consent by the Maria Stark Foundation to create fictitious backstories for them. Before that, Stan Lee simply tried to focus solely on the team members in their costumed personas.
- The Avengers were parodied by DC Comics in the Superman/Batman series in the storyline "With a Vengeance!", where the Dark Knight and Man of Steel faced heroes created by Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Joker called the Maximums, who were comprised of Soldier (a patriotic hero, expy of Captain America), Viking (a nordic God, expy of Thor), Hornet (a half-human half-insect flying heroine, expy of Wasp), Skyscraper (a giant man in love with Hornet, expy of Giant-Man), Robot (a conscious robot in a bulky iron-suit, expy of Iron Man), Bowman (an archer, expy of Hawkeye), Wolfen (a bestial wolfman with tiger stripes, expy of Wolverine), Bug (a blue and red four-armed man, expy of Spider-Man) and Monster (a big creature with super-strength and ripped pants whose alter ego is weaker, expy of Hulk).
- The Avengers were created due to a delay in the production of Daredevil #1, because penciler Bill Everett was delayed. At the time, print time was booked ahead of time, and if the issue to be printed wasn't ready, the print time was still going to be charged. Because of this, Stan Lee created the Avengers, a group of already-established heroes, so it wouldn't take long to produce an issue featuring them.
- The Avengers and their comic book series share their name with the long-running British television series The Avengers which debuted in 1961, three years before the superhero team. Due to the popularity of both properties in their respective countries, their shared name has caused complications on both sides of the Atlantic ever since:
- The Marvel comic has had to be retitled Avengers Assemble on several occasions for UK publication.
- For North American publication, comics based upon the TV series have had to be retitled, usually a variant of Steed and Peel or Steed and Mrs. Peel.
- The issues over the name don't appear to have been repeated with New Avengers, a title shared by both a later series in the Marvel franchise, and a revival of the TV series that aired in the 1970s.
- 2231 appearance(s) of Avengers (Earth-616)
- 368 minor appearance(s) of Avengers (Earth-616)
- 1633 mention(s) of Avengers (Earth-616)
- 2021 image(s) of Avengers (Earth-616)
- 2 quotation(s) by or about Avengers (Earth-616)
- 115 member(s) of Avengers (Earth-616)
- 9 item(s) used/owned by Avengers (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Avengers cover gallery
- Avengers Assemble
- Avengers Chronology
- Vote for the Avenger (Main/Current) with the best superpower on the Superpower Wiki