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After working together to defeat Loki a group of five heroes (Ant-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp) banded together to battle evil no one hero could defeat.


First appearance

Avengers #1
(September, 1963)



The Avengers were one of Earth's foremost organization of costumed superhuman adventurers dedicated to safeguarding the world form any threat beyond the power of conventional peacekeeping forces to handle. Founded several months after the incorporation of the hero team Fantastic Four, the Avengers became the first superhuman team to be granted official government sanctions by the National Security Council of the United States, the General Assembly of the United Nations, and later by the international intelligence/law enforcement agency SHIELD.

The Avengers debut


The five founding members of the Avengers first banded together when Loki, the Asgardian God of Mischief, attempted to discredit the monstrous Hulk in order to draw his half-brother, the thunder god Thor, into battle. Loki was trapped in Asgard due to his brother's actions but still able to manipulate Midgard (Earth). Loki tricked the Hulk into destroying a railway line. Rick Jones, the Hulk's friend, radioed the Fantastic Four for help, but Loki instead relayed the information to Thor to draw him out in the open. However, Iron Man, the Wasp, and Ant-Man also received the radio signal unbeknownst to Loki and arrived at the scene, attempting to reason with the Green Goliath. Not falling for the trick, Thor confronted Loki and exposed his scheme to the others. Defeating Loki, the group agreed they worked well together and should formalize the team. The Wasp suggested the name "Avengers" and a legend was born.

The newly formed team assembled a short time later at the midtown Manhattan mansion of industrialist Anthony Stark (in reality their fellow member Iron Man). Stark soon donated the mansion to the Avengers for their exclusive use, and set up a foundation to cover all the operation expenses of the nonprofit team under his mother's name, creating the Maria Stark Foundation. The team put down a charter and bylaws to govern their operations. 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.

When the Hulk proved to be uncontrollable, a new member was discovered when battling Namor the Sub-Mariner. The legendary Captain America had been 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 heroes. A born leader, the living legend was given retroactive "founding member" status in place of the Hulk, and was seen until his death as the heart and soul of the team.

The Avengers soon found themselves facing the Masters of Evil, a group of villains with grudges against certain heroes within the team. The original Masters consisted of Baron Heinrich Zemo, Black Knight, Melter, and Radioactive Man. Executioner, Enchantress and Wonder Man joined shortly thereafter, with the latter turning on Zemo after gaining the Avengers' trust. He was apparently killed by Zemo for his actions. Following several more battles with the Masters, their foes finally fell; Zemo was killed in a fatal rock slide triggered by his own weaponry as he and Captain America were fighting.

Kang the Conqueror fought the Avengers in between battles with the Masters, trying to take over the world with his advanced technology from the 30th century. Losing once, Kang used a Spider-Man robot to fool the Avengers as Zemo had used Wonder Man to gain the team's trust and then betray them. Yet, his second plan fails and Kang escaped back into the time stream.

The Kooky Quartet

After their battles with Kang and the Masters of Evil, the Wasp proposed that they take a leave of absence for a while, stating the stress of constant danger. Iron Man and Giant-Man (Pym's second identity after Ant-Man) agree, though Thor and Captain America weren't present and didn't voice their opinion. The team managed to find others to act as replacements:

Captain America returned after the new members had been found and acted as team leader, while Thor resigned along with the other founders. The new foursome became known as "Cap's Kooky Quartet" and were considered not as powerful and less capable as their predecessors. Due to the Maximoff twins' terrorist backgrounds and Hawkeye's clash with Iron Man, public perception was also tainted. The team proved their worth by defeating the Swordsman (Jacques_Duquesne) (a recruit of the Mandarin), Power Man (created by the Enchantress), Doctor Doom and surviving another bout with Kang.

Over the years, the team continued to operate and experienced many fluctuations in membership. Former members would often return for stints as active members (with the exception of the Hulk), and many new members would also be inducted. The Swordsman was the fifth recruit to the team, but served only a several day stint before betraying the Avengers and being expelled. Hercules, the Black Widow, the Black Knight, and others would often serve in an unofficial capacity for a brief period before being granted official membership. Others, such as the Black Panther, would serve as a replacement for another member's leave of absence, as the Panther did for Captain America.

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 which 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 six-member ceiling on active membership instituted by Gyrich, which remained an unofficial policy for some time.

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.

See Avengers West Coast

Under Siege

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 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, then called 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.

Operation: Galactic Storm

When war broke out between 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 (Thunderstrike)) 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 (Philip Javert) 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 mansion was restored by the Watcher Ute.

After many months, the Avengers' West Coast branch was confronted by the East Coast branch to review what it perceived as failures. The East branch accused the junior West branch of fluctuating membership, cavalier behavior, and of overextending its resources which 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.

The Crossing

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 Tuck. Phillip Javert was attacked by agents of Kang while seeing a vision of what happened to his counterpart, Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne).

Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) 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 is 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 places her under treatments similar to those that originally gave her her bioelectric 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 (Teen Tony). In the climactic battle Kang's plan is 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.[1] Although skeptical, the team followed him to the Xavier Institute. They are quickly confronted by the X-Men, themselves wary of another ruse by Onslaught.

Eventually, several heroes join 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 followed. The X-Men then destroyed Onslaught. The Avengers are believed dead, but were instead saved by Franklin Richards and transported to a pocket dimension called Counter-Earth that he has created. Back on Earth-616, however, the remaining Avengers quietly disband the team without the guidance of their senior members.

The Queen's Vengeance

Heroes Return

After several months away, the missing heroes returned from Counter-Earth and re-form the Avengers.

The threat of Morgan Le Fey called for several reservists to assist the team. 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. (This reality became Earth-398.)

Old Enemies return

The team also learned that Count Nefaria was alive and planned to bombard the world with ionic energy. Teaming with the Thunderbolts, Nefaria was stopped.

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 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.

Avengers Forever

Several members of Avengers from various points in team 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.

Kang's Invasion

Soon after, Earth was attacked by the time-travelling 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. 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.

Avengers Nation

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

The Avengers meet their counterparts, The Justice League of America

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, an alien 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 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).

Avengers Disassembled

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 be 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. Senator of Defense, the arrest and containment of She-Hulk, the hospitalization of Captain Britain (Kelsey Leigh) and the Wasp, and the deaths of Ant Man (Scott Lang), 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 recieved by the government as its officials found the new recruits questionable. Government legislation itself would soon become the very cause of the Avengers' next dispersal. The passage of the Superhuman Registration Act split the superhuman comitte 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 assembed a small group of remaining rebels to operate as "outlaw" heroes in honor of Captain America after his assassination.


Equipment: Avengers ID Card
Transportation: Avengers Quinjet, Sky-Cycle
Weapons: None known.


Avengers Charter, Avengers Quotations


  • No trivia.

See Also

Links and References

List of Avengers members

  • Avengers cover gallery
  • The Single All-Time Greatest Marvel Comics Series... Unca Cheeks' article on the Avengers
  • Avengers Assemble
  • The Unofficial Handbook to the Marvel Universe
  • Avengers Chronology
  1. Avengers Vol 1 400

This article uses material from the "Avengers (Earth-616)" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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