The Avengers (Comic Book)

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AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes were united against a common threat! On that day The Avengers were born -- to fight foes no single hero could withstand!"

The Marvel Universe's all-star super-hero team, equivalent to The DCU's Justice League of America... except with more B-List heroes originally and a name that is based firmly on the concept of Rule of Cool (literally, Wasp picked the name because it sounded cool; some adaptations provide better explanations, though). The team debuted in The Avengers #1 in 1963. The classic lineup is Captain America (comics), Iron Man, Ant-Man, The Wasp, Thor and The Hulk. The team also within the first few issues gained the series trademark of shifting lineups, with the Hulk leaving the group with issue two, and Captain America not actually joining until issue 4, and with the major change of all the originals save Captain America being replaced by issue 16. Over the years, half of the Marvel Universe has been a member (to the point that every member of the Fantastic Four except the Human Torch has been a member at some point), with new members being recruited and old members coming back or leaving as story dictates. Other long-serving members include Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, the Vision, Hercules, Wonder Man, the Beast, Black Widow, and many many more.

The comic has produced a good number of spin-offs and side team books including:

  • West Coast Avengers (later renamed Avengers West Coast): spin-off book that ran from 1985 through 1993. Was subjected to a reboot/revamp in 1994, becoming the Darker and Edgier Force Works, lasting two years before being canceled.
  • Solo Avengers (an anthology/companion book for West Coast Avengers; featuring Hawkeye, US Agent, and Mockingbird and a rotating back-up feature involving past members of the Avengers team).
  • New Avengers: Replaced the regular Avengers comic in 2004. With the return of the main Avengers title, it has continued as the adventures of a second official team. Headed by Luke Cage, Hero for Hire, who was explicitly given permission to choose anyone he wanted (except Iron Man and Thor), the roster has rotated somewhat over the years but typically includes Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Man, Mockingbird, the Thing, and Iron Fist. Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, and Daredevil have also featured, along with Strange's assistant Wong and also Squirrel Girl (as a babysitter for Cage's daughter).
  • Thunderbolts: The Avengers' evil counterpart, the Masters of Evil, decided to pretend to be heroes when the Avengers are presumed dead after the events of Onslaught, but ended up turning good for good after getting a taste of life as heroes. The group however fell on hard times and after the events of Civil War, was co-opted by the government and given to Norman Osborn, who corrupted the program (and was later moved into his own book with most of the cast brought in with the reboot into Dark Avengers). With Norman's defeat, the book is back to dealing with redemption with the title focusing on criminals being offered time off of their sentences in exchange for going on missions.
  • Secret Avengers: A black-ops team led by Steve Rogers, who after his resurrection, allowed Bucky Barnes to continue being Captain America. The book is similar to the current version of X-Force, except being Avengers the team tries harder to stick to the Avengers No Killing policy then X-Force does. Currently it is being lead by Hawkeye.
  • Avengers: The Initiative: Following the events of the Civil War, Iron Man opens "Camp Hammond", a military base where heroes old and young are put into bootcamp to train them to be "proper" heroes. Unfortunately everything that can go wrong actually goes almost horribly wrong with young heroes dying, mysterious attacks on faculty, a secret black ops team, alien invasions, numerous betrayals and Norman Osborn. Ultimately shut down following the events of Dark Reign and The "Siege" and relaunched (literally and figuratively) as...
  • Avengers Academy: Hank Pym (the real one, not the Skrull who ran Avengers Initiative) and a group of experienced heroes (Tigra, Justice, Speedball, Quicksilver, and Jocasta) team up to train young heroes. Originally the book focused upon a group of young teenagers recruited or forcibly turned into super-powered beings by Norman Osborn during his time running the Avengers Initiative, in hopes of ensuring that they don't become super-villains. Following the events of Fear Itself, they have opened the team up to all heroes and have taken on other teen heroes like Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon, formerly Araña), X-23, Power Man (Victor Alvarez), Thunderstrike (Kevin Masterson, son of the original Thunderstrike), and White Tiger to the Academy.
  • Young Avengers: Created by Allan Heinberg Teen Titans-esque group of young heroes who gathered following the events of "Avengers Disassembled" in the wake of the seemingly destruction of the original Avengers. Despite originally patterning themselves after the original core group, most have completely different connections to the Avengers, if any at all. Among the heroes recruited are Vision and Scarlet Witch's long lost children, who would later seek the Avengers' help in finding their missing mother.
  • Dark Avengers: Short-lived book set during the Dark Reign about a Norman Osborn led team of supervillains disguised as the Avengers. Set to return taking over the numbering of the current Thunderbolts series.
  • Mighty Avengers: First a team of Avengers who were on the Pro-Registration side of the Civil War storyline, then later a team led by Hank Pym that was active outside the United States during the events of Dark Reign.
  • Pet Avengers: A series of mini-series that focuses upon various animal companions of superheroes teaming up to fight evil.
  • The Ultimates: The Ultimate Universe counterpart, darker and edgier alternate universe version, of the Avengers. This version draws many comparison to The Authority, with taking a "widescreen" action approach along with attempts to take a look at how such actions would come across in a closer to real world setting. After a line wide relaunch it split into two different teams: Ultimate Avengers and The Ultimates, but another relaunch has since reunited under the Ultimates banner again.

In 1999 they had a short-lived animated series, The Avengers United They Stand. Additionally, the two Ultimate Avengers direct-to-dvd animated films were Lighter and Softer versions of the team, and an origin for The Ultimates. A more successful animated series, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, came in 2010, and ends in either 2012 or 2013. The Superhero Squad Show can be considered a Lighter and Softer take on the Avengers. Yet another cartoon, Avengers Assemble, will premiere in 2013.

A big-budget Avengers film was released April 26, 2012, using a mixture of the 616 Avengers and their Ultimate universe counterparts. With Joss Whedon as writer/director, the roster consists of: Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (comics) (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his assistant Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). The main antagonist was Loki (Tom Hiddleston), previously introduced in the 2011 Thor movie. The 'Avenger Initiative' was referenced in several preceding Marvel films; both the Iron Man films, the The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America the First Avenger.

Not to be confused with the British Spy Couple series The Avengers.


Tropes used in The Avengers (Comic Book) include:

Norman Osborn: Still smacking around women?
Hank Pym: Still throwing them off bridges?

  • Nineties Anti-Hero: Force Works.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Hank Pym is an expert in many scientific disciplines. In fact, the depth of his scientific knowledge has earned him the title of "Scientist Supreme" from Eternity, the living embodiment of the universe's Life Energy.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Thor.
  • The Real Remington Steele: The "Ronin" identity.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Black Panther, whose Avengers tenure featured him basically being utterly useless, even though he's supposed to a super-genius PLUS expert at the Xanatos Gambit/Roulette.
    • Also Richards himself spent a brief time with the team.
    • Henry Pym has: discovered Pym Particles, sub-atomic particles which can cause anything to shrink or grow (with an attendant increase in mass); created devices which allows communication with insects; and invented a device which converts thoughts into radio waves for transmission. Any of these scientific achievements would change the world. Pym uses them to pursue his passion of being a costumed adventurer. Talk about useless...
  • Ret-Gone: The 1950s team of Avengers, shown to have been wiped out when Immortus destroyed their timeline in Avengers Forever. They were later "resurrected" in 616 canon as the Agents of Atlas.
  • Ridiculously-Human Robots: Team members Vision, Jocasta, and Machine Man
  • Robotic Spouse: The Vision, who happens to be a "synthezoid", married the Scarlet Witch.
  • Science Hero: Iron Man and Hank Pym are both prone to using their scientific/technological acumen against a threat when brute force proves insufficient.
  • Sidekick: Rick Jones, honorary member and sidekick of The Hulk, Captain America, and Captain Marvel.
  • Sizeshifter: Ant-Man (all three of them) and The Wasp, Hawkeye as Goliath, and Stature of the Young Avengers.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Norman Osborn, at least in the eyes of the civilians of the MU, as he runs the Dark Avengers.
  • Spin Offspring: The Young Avengers.
  • Spot the Imposter: Basically the plot of Secret Invasion.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Whirlwind to the Wasp, going as far as to be her chauffeur to be near her. In Avengers Academy, he attacks the young heroes and Hank Pym for letting the Wasp die in Secret Invasion.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: The team confronted the threat of the Elder God Chthon on Wundagore Mountain.
    • Though it's really sometimes a matter of perspective. Last time it happened, he was possessing Quicksilver's body.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Jack of Hearts, true name Jack Hart.
  • Surfer Dude: Mettle before his recruitment into the Initiative/Avengers Academy, also making him one of the few ethnically Hawaiian superheroes.
  • Superhero
  • Super-Hero Gods: Team members Thor, Hercules, and Ares all claim to be actual mythological deities. Which, in the Marvel Universe, they are.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Ultron. No, seriously. You've got his "father" Hank Pym, Pym's wife Janet, his bride Jocasta based on Janet's brain patterns, his bride Alkhema based on Mockingbird's brain patterns, his "son" Vision, Vision's wife the Scarlet Witch (and her brother Quicksilver), Vision's brother-by-way-of-once-being-the-same-guy the original Human Torch, Vision's brother-by-way-of-copied-brain-patterns Wonder Man, Wonder Man's brother the Grim Reaper, and finally Mockingbird and her husband Hawkeye. Ultron actually calls this entire group his family.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Usually played straight. However, the Avengers recognize that the rules are different in times of war. And when they say war, they mean actual war, such as Thanos invading with a massive space fleet, or Kang bringing in his army from the future to conquer the whole planet. Even then, however, they take it very seriously; after defeating Kang, for example, Warbird requested an official inquiry into her own actions, to see if they thought she had gone too far at one point. They decided she hadn't, but gave it the full consideration she requested.
  • Time Machine: Kang the Conqueror uses various machines to travel through time and conquer various periods in time, stopped only in our own due to the efforts of the Avengers.
  • Time Master: Immortus whose motives have always been a mystery to the Avengers. On several occasions he has worked to aid them in crucial times of need; on others he is trying to destroy them. According to Avengers Forever he has been engaged in a millennia long Gambit Roulette at the behest of his masters, the Time-Keepers.
  • Token Minority: The Falcon resigned because he felt he had been recruited due to affirmative action--which he was--but he was the second Avenger of African descendent. There were echoes of this when Triathlon (now named 3-D Man) was forced onto the team.
  • Trick Arrow: Hawkeye, long time resident bowman.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, has worn dozens of different costumes over the years. While this was originally just a joke based on her Chick personality, it was later justified as being a side perk of being a fashion designer, since she could make them all herself.
    • And despite being a female superhero with so many costumes, the vast majority are not Stripperiffic.
    • How many are actually different costumes, and how many are just drawing/coloring continuity errors is questionable, but still, Damn.
  • Villain Team-Up: The Masters of Evil, The Lethal Legion, and well, the Thunderbolts.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Yelena Belova, the second Black Widow. After receiving crippling injuries, she was made into the new Super-Adaptoid.
  • West Coast Team: West Coast Avengers; co-Trope Namer with the Teen Titans' "Titans West".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Operation Galactic Storm is an in-story example with the execution of the Supreme Intelligence.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Scarlet Witch and Iron Man. The former from having merged with an alien power source which was taking orders from Doctor Doom and the later, when he was appointed by the US Government to oversee forced registration of the super-hero community, which led Tony to do crazy morally unethical and downright illegal crap.
    • Sentry, full stop.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Guess who happens to be on not one, but two Avengers teams at the same time.
  • Working with the Ex: Ant Man and The Wasp, to the point where this is almost what the two are most famous for.
  • You Taste Delicious: Whirlwind once licked an unconscious Wasp, making this instance one of the male-pervert inversion variety.