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History

Origin

During the macabre rampage caused by Onslaught in Central Park, some members of the Avengers, alongside other heroes, successfully destroyed the villain by seemingly sacrificing their own lives. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Scarlet Witch, the Vision, the Wasp, Giant-Man, Hawkeye, Crystal, Falcon, Black Panther, Namor, the Fantastic Four, Bruce Banner, and Doctor Doom were among the apparent casualties. In actuality, Franklin Richards, son of Reed and Susan Richards of the Fantastic Four, shunted the saviors off to a pocket dimension with a duplicate of Earth, the "Counter-Earth", where they relived "reborn" lives based on the ones that they had previously lived and populated with alternate versions of these heroes' previous allies and foes.[1]

In the reborn world, the Avengers were conceived by the peace-keeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to answer threats from a insurgence of super-powered beings on the planet. The initiative was provided with technology from Stark International, then owned by emotionless business man Tony Stark, and based at a complex on the Avengers Island.[2] Director Nick Fury pegged World War II hero Captain America to join the Avengers,[3] providing the team with the inspiration to be a super-heroic group. The operation counted with: the Scarlet Witch, a sorceress from Salem Center accompanied by her mystic tutor Agatha Harkness; the gallant warrior Swordsman; the demonic Hellcat; Hank Pym's android creation the Vision; and the mysterious master archer Hawkeye. As support staff, the group had Dr. Pym, his girlfriend Janet van Dyne, and his robotic lab assistant, the self upgrading Ultron. The Avengers were also under constant monitoring by government liaison Henry Peter Gyrich.[2]

Their gathering attracted the attention of Loki, who had glimpses about their reborn status. The Avengers were contacted by archeologist Donald Blake in Norway, who had found the frozen body of the God of Thunder Thor. The Avengers freed Thor from his icy tomb, prompting Loki to manipulate his recently awakened brother into battling Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Thor remembered Loki deceiving ways, allowing the Scarlet Witch to cast a hex to banish the mischievous god away. Seeing nobility in their ways, Thor joined the Avengers, completing the group.[2]

Counter-Earth's Mightiest Heroes

The Avengers were next stormed by the 31st century time traveler Kang the Conqueror, who captured Earth's Mightiest Heroes as trophies in an act of love to impress Mantis.[4] Thor ultimately freed the other Avengers, who defeated Kang defeat and forced him to retreat. In the aftermath of the battle, the Vision was heavily damaged.[5] The Avengers assisted the Fantastic Four in battling a raging Namor, who had been manipulated by Warlord Krang into attacking the surface world. Captain America convinced Namor top stop his attack due to their partnership during World War II.[6]

During this time, S.H.I.E.L.D. aimed at manhunting the monstrously powerful Hulk.[7] The Hulk was tricked by Loki into attacking Avengers Island, clashing with Avengers. Meanwhile, Pym repaired the Vision and Loki's associate, Enchantress, posed as Agatha Harkness to enthral the Scarlet Witch into falling under her command. The battle with the Hulk fared poorly,[8] ultimately resulting in a clash between the Hulk and Thor. With Thor defeat at the gamma spawned monster's hands, the gamma core in Avengers Island was breached, threatening to destroy the entire eastern United States.[9]

Reverted back to his Bruce Banner identity, the Hulk fled the scene[10] and sought for assistance of his old college friend Reed Richards at the Baxter Building. Tony Stark, now wearing an Iron Man Armor, also intervened, forcing his way past S.H.I.E.L.D.. The Avengers joined the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Banner to repair the breach, until Banner transformed back into the Hulk once more.[11] Calming the Hulk, the heroes convinced him to repair the damage. With the core secure, the Hulk escaped but left the Avengers Island a ruined mess.[12] The Avengers accepted Iron Man to financially back them and break them free from S.H.I.E.L.D. as an group independent from the government.[13]

Age of Loki

With Avengers Island destroyed, Iron Man had the Avengers move into a new headquarters, the '''Avengers Mansion'''. Iron Man was unable to collect the Vision's inert body from S.H.I.E.L.D. while a microscopic Pym in his Ant-Man suit was trapped inside his creation's machine body. Setting up in their new base, the Avengers were attacked by the Lethal Legion led by Enchantress and formed by the brutal Executioner, the deceiving Wonder Man, the renegade Ultron and the traitorous Scarlet Witch among their ranks.[14] The Legion was defeated, but Enchantress the Scarlet Witch managed to escape. The Avengers were then attacked by the Masters of Evil while Loki carried out his schemes by absorbing many super-humans' power signatures through the gamma core.[15]

In the ensuing battle, the Masters of Evil were easily defeated. Thor wished to slay them, but was ordered to stand down by Captain America. No longer tolerating the Avengers passive stance on their foes, Thor departed from the group, prompting Enchantress to manipulate him into joining Loki's cause. Loki also managed to seduce Hellcat into joining him, allowing her to possess the Scarlet Witch, who had actually pretended to join Enchantress under Captain America's orders. After Ant-Man learned Loki had been using the Vision to acquire data, Iron Man rescued him and the volatile Vision from S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier with the help of Van Dyne, now the size-changing Wasp. In the gamma core, the Avengers were met by an alternate Thor from the previous universe, who had a vague recollection of his previous life with the Avengers and was welcomed into the group.[16]

After learning the core had a rip in the fabric of time, the Avengers then returned to their headquarters and were briefed by Fury about Loki's interventions. They were interrupted by Enchantress, the defector Thor, Hellcat and Hawkeye, the latter being brainwashed to betray the Avengers. This proved to be a distraction for Loki to access the gamma core and link his power to it to take over reality.[17] The omnipotent Loki betrayed his allies, who joined forces with the Avengers. Harkness managed to free the Scarlet Witch from Hellcat. Pooling their resources together in stopping Loki, the Avengers were ultimately successful, though at the cost of Thor's doppelgänger's life.[18]

Heroes Reunited

With Earth threatened by Galactus and his Heralds,[19] S.H.I.E.L.D. collected the super-heroes combat the threat. The Avengers joined Namor on Monster Island to stop Plasma from planting one of Galactus' terraformers, which would allow him to consume the planet. Even with Mole Man's interference, the heroes succeed in defeating Plasma. However, the heroes ultimately failed to stop Galactus' obliteration of Earth. Doctor Doom survived, travelling back in time before the carnage in the hopes of attempting to prevent it one more time.[20]

In a second attempt, Doom preventively alerted S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, who refused to trust him. The Avengers stroke at the Heralds, counting with the Vision for the mission as Pym had installed him in a new body. The Vision recruited the Hulk for the mission. The Avengers fared badly. The dying Bruce Banner recommended to obliterate the Solar System using the gamma core's rift in order to destroy Galactus. Although the Avengers were successful in eliminating Galactus and the world, Doctor Doom travelled back in time again wishing to try to save Earth again.[21]

In his third attempt, Doctor Doom worked with S.H.I.E.L.D. directly, gathering Iron Man, the Avengers and the Hulkbusters team to battle Galactus. With Mister Fantastic and the Fantastic Four being murdered by the Heralds, Doom and other geniuses worked in an Ultimate Nullifier weapon to use against Galactus, while the heroes were dispatched to confront the Heralds. With the device being ineffective without Mister Fantastic's help, Doctor Doom traveled back in time a third time.[22]

In his final attempt, Doctor Doom approached Bucky, a "chronal anomaly", getting into a clash with her parner, Captain America. Convincing the heroes to stop Galactus, Doom had the combined efforts of both the Avengers and the Hulkbusters, who saved the Fantastic Four from death at the hands of the Heralds of Galactus. Holing up at Avengers Mansion, the gathering of heroes waited on the sidelines as Mister Fantastic, Doctor Doom, Iron Man, Ant-Man and Bruce Banner worked on a new Ultimate Nullifier that would stop Galactus. As Bucky was gravely injured by Galactus, his most loyal Herald, the Silver Surfer, betray his master, sacrificing his life to kill Galactus and save Earth.[23]

Later on, Doctor Doom attempted to create a Negative Zone Portal of his own, merging Counter-Earth with an alternate universe of a distant cosmos. In this merged universe, the heroes of both worlds coexisted. The Avengers and Fantastic Four worked together with the Wild C.A.T.s, Wetworks, and other heroes in turning back an invasion of both the Skrulls and the Daemonites. Ultimately the Negative Zone portal was destroyed by Rick Jones separating the two universes and restoring both worlds. No one had recollection of what transpired.[24][25][26][27]

Heroes Return

Franklin Richards was approached by Ashema, an agent sent by the Celestials, who exposed the truth about Counter-Earth and revealed that the super-heroes had survived. Forced to choose a universe to erase and another to save, Franklin contacted the Fantastic Four for help.[28] Spider-Man and the original Hulk were accidentally transported to Counter-Earth. As the two Hulks fought, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four intervened. During the fight, Mister Fantastic had Iron Man fly into the Negative Zone to confirm Franklin's claims about their fabricated world. The heroes agreed to work with Ashema and Doctor Doom to solve the mystery.[29]

Realizing that the mirrored universe had to cease to exist, the heroes prepared to return to their home reality. Ashema ultimately sacrificed her freedom to save Counter-Earth from destruction. In the end, Doctor Doom attempted to kidnap Franklin Richards to exploit his powers. However, the child was saved by Thor, leaving Doom lost between dimensions. The heroes finally succeeded in breaching the barrier back to their true Earth, having all their past memories restored.[30] The Avengers resumed their former operations.[31]

Legacy

On Counter-Earth, the Avengers left a legacy that brought new champions to defend that world from chaos. Rebel O'Reilly obtained a suit of Iron Man's Armor and joined a rebellion against Master Man's dominance of the west coast.[32] Stark's Iron Man technology was also be co-opted by S.H.I.E.L.D. and used for their Iron Men army.[33]

Swordsman contracted cancer and went insane, becoming the masked mercenary Deadpool. However, before his descent into madness he had encouraged Henry Pym's former janitorm Ernest Sanger, to start a group of goofy heroes to replace those lost. They became the Remnants.[34] Another hero that carried on the Avenger's legacy was Captain America's former partner, Bucky, who assemble a group of young super-powered heroes to form the Young Allies.[35]

Lastly, following the events of M-Day, Onslaught was reborn and sought to terrorize Franklin Richards anew. In order to escape Onslaught, Richards created an exact duplicate of Counter-Earth prior to the heroes departure. On this world, another team of Avengers based on the ones formed on Counter Earth existed.[36]

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References

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