- And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat! On that day, the Avengers were born, to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!
Origins of the Avengers
The first five founding members of the Avengers (East Coast) 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. The Hulk's friend Rick Jones and the Teen Brigade 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 together, 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 by laws 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. The Teen Brigade became regular allies and informants to the Avengers and were in close contact.
The Hulk soon proved to be uncontrollable and left the team after their fight against the Space Phantom and he even teamed up with Namor the Sub-Mariner against the Avengers. After the fight, the Avengers discovered the legendary World War II hero Captain America who 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 as the heart and soul of the team for decades. With Cap by their side, the Avengers faced enemies like Vuk, an alien stranded on Earth; the Lava Men; the Mole Man and the Red Ghost, Count Nefaria and the Maggia, the Kallusians , as well as teaming up with the Fantastic Four against the Hulk and the Mole Man again.
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. First Executioner and Enchantress, then Wonder Man joined shortly thereafter, with the latter turning on Zemo after gaining the Avengers' trust. Zemo apparently killed him for his actions. Following several more battles with the Masters (at one time assisted by Immortus), their foes finally fell; Zemo was killed in a fatal rock-slide triggered by his own weaponry as he and Captain America were fighting.
The time traveler 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 failed as well thanks to the intervention of the real Spider-Man 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:
- Hawkeye/Clinton Barton: Expert marksmen and wielder of trick arrows, Clint Barton fought Iron Man but sought redemption.
- Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff) and the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) were children of Magneto. They had previously been coerced into joining the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants by their father, and wanted to change course.
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 was 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 (Dane Whitman), founding X-Man Beast and others often served in an unofficial capacity for a brief period before being granted official membership. Others, such as the Black Panther, served as a replacement for another member's leave of absence, as the Panther did for Captain America. Moondragon was offered membership, but refused.
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 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.
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.
Operation: Galactic Storm
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 (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 Watcher Ute restored the mansion.
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 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 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 (Teen Tony). 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 (along with the Tony Stark of Earth-616 who was resurrected and merged with his teen alternate universe counterpart thanks to Franklin Richards) and re-formed 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, a team composed by reformed Masters of Evil formed during the superpower vacum after the Onslaught crisis, 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.
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, althought 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 (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 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. And use 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, formely 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.
Normans new team consisted of Venom (MacDonald Gargan) 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.
Heroic Age: Rebirth of The Avengers
In the Aftermath of the Skrulls's Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn's Dark Reign, and a Siege on Asgard, the Avengers were reassembled, organized by Steve Rogers and backed by three splinter teams. Earth's mightiest heroes were whole again and ready to lead the universe into a new Age of Heroes. Organized in the Young, New, and Secret Avengers, Avengers Academy and the main team (the Mighty Avengers were disbanded).
The new line up was chosen by Commander Steve Rogers, consisting of Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Hawkeye, Captain America (Barnes), Thor, Iron Man and Maria Hill as leader. Shortly after the formation of the new group of Avengers the heroes are attacked by Kang, who gives the Avengers a warning about what "their children" would do in the future. The Avengers recruits the new Protector (an apparently redeemed Noh-Varr) to build a time machine to go to the future. The machine was a failure, and many parts of other realities are brought to this Earth. While Iron Man, Captain America, Protector and Wolverine travel to the future, the rest of the team stays in the present to control the situation.
In the future, The Avengers are attacked by surprise by the Next Avengers, who take them to Hulk and Iron Man of the future, who explains the heroes the situation, that Kang, trying to defeat Ultron, damaged reality, making the heroes live in the same day forever. This anomaly makes the Avengers go back in time when the realities started arriving here.
With only the Avengers that went to the future knowing what's going on, they traveled again in time, but this time, going before the Ultron War started, asking Ultron to let Kang win. Doing this, the anomaly is restored and in the present, every inhabitant of other reality is taken back to their own. The Avengers in the future tells the Next Avengers, Hulk and Iron Man that everything is solved, going back to the present, but not before the future Iron Man gives his past contrepart a device to avert whath will happen.
As soon as the Avengers left, Kang, now as Immortus kills Tony and Hulk, but after a battle he's finally killed by the Next Avengers.
The Return of the Infinity Gauntlet
The Hood escaped prison and started a search for the Infinity Gauntlet, finding the first one (the Reality Gem) at Attilan. Then he managed to get the Power Gem from Reed Richards. Then Robbins was teleported unwittingly to the desert, where he found Red Hulk and defeated him. Rulk managed to get to Avengers Tower where he informed what happened, knowing it was about the Gems, Iron Man quickly flew away, where he met the Illuminati, with Medusa in the place of his defunct-at-that-time husband Black Bolt.
The team went to the scene of the crime at Atillan to investigate, but where followed by three teams of the Avengers. After explaining the situations, the teams united to search for the gems. The Avengers and the Illuminati divide to get the other gems, they manage to get the Time Gem, but the Hood appears after getting the Space Gem, during a fight Red Hulk manages to get the Power Gem, but Hood escapes and search the Mind Gem, after getting it battling Xavier and other Avengers, is teleported to the Astral Plane to get the Soul Gem, there, Strange disguised as Thanos distracted Robbins until the other heroes arrived and Red Hulk attacked Robbins with the Power Gem, allowing the Avengers to take the Mind and the Space Gem. The only Gem that remained with Hood is taken from him by the other gems, which were in the Infinity Gauntlet with Iron Man, making him the first human to possess and use this artifact.
Iron Man teleported Robbins back to Ryker's Island, and faked that he wished the Gauntlet did not exist anymore. Secretly, he gathered the Illuminati to share the Gems again, but now with Steve Rogers in the place of Black Bolt.
Blaming the Avengers for many problems including Osborn’s Avengers, the Civil War, the Sentry and the Void, Hulk, the Scarlet Witch’s insanity and Ultron, Wonder Man felt the team could have stopped those problems before and was the cause of more harm than good. He confronted them shorty after their re-formation and fled after a small battle. He organized a group of lesser-known heroes and anti-heroes, composed of Spider-Man’s brief partner Virtue, Captain Ultra, Goliath (Thomas Foster), former member of the Thunderbolts and Masters of Evil Atlas, Devil-Slayer, former member of the Force Works Century, former Avenger Demolition Man and Anti-Venom and convinced them that the Avengers had to be stopped. First targeting Avengers Mansion and the New Avengers, the Revengers waited until Danielle Cage, daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, had left the mansion. With the New Avengers present, Williams attacked. Taken by surprise, they briefly held their own before being overwhelmed. With them defeated, Williams set his sights on Avengers Tower. 
Arriving to the mansion in a Quinjet, the Avengers are shocked to see their teammates down. While helping them, they discovered Atlas wrecking Avengers Tower. They rush to the scene to find the damage minimal and the building empty. Williams had used the attack to have time to call a press conference. When the Avengers arrive, they find him holding forth on the steps of the New York Public Library, telling a large crowd that the Avengers have been operating in secret for too long and must be held to account, threating to make all their “crimes” public unless they disband. Iron Man tries to reason with Wonder Man, but fails and releases a sphere from a compartment in his armor, trapping Williams' ionic form. The rest of the Revengers are given the option to surrender but they refuse. Thor then teleported them to an empty Citi Field where they were taken down by the Avengers. In custody, the Revengers share their grievances and their reasons for helping Wonder Man. Beast goes to interview Simon who insists he is acting of his own free will and that the Avengers must disband before more people are hurt. He reveals his realization that the Scarlet Witch may have created him instead of resurrecting him. The media begins buzzing about the Avengers' lack of transparency and tactics. In his cell, Williams vanishes. 
With the help of Sin, the Serpent returns, an Asgardian god who believes himself to be the true All-Father. He gives seven magical hammers to different super-humans, to possess them and make them be his servants, the Worthy, who spread chaos and fear around the World, what makes the Serpent get powered.
Steve Rogers mobilizes all the Avengers to deal with the chaos. Red Hulk fights the Worthy Angrir (a possessed Thing), and during the showdown, Avengers Tower is destroyed. The Red Hulk was then reported to be MIA (missing in action) shortly after the incident. Meanwhile Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, Protector and Hawkeye take down the hammer wielding Hulk but to no avail. The Hulk easily dispatches them despite the assistance from Hawkeye. During the chaos, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman kiss.
Back to NY, Protector uses old Iron Man armors to fight Skadi (formerly Sin), but even with the help of the New Avengers, the villainess escapes.
After this battle, the team return to reunite with Tony Stark, who gives several members of the Avengers, New Avengers and the Red She-Hulk Asgardian weapons he created at Svartalfheim with the permission of Odin, becoming the Mighty. With these new power-ups, the Mighty and the Avengers defeat the Worthy, while Thor kills the Serpent, but taking his own life in the process.
After the destruction of the Avengers Tower, the main team moves to the Avengers Mansion. There, Steve Rogers decides the team should have friendlier faces, that's why he contacts Black Panther to offer him a place in the team, but he suggest Rogers to put his wife Storm in the group. Also, Tony Stark presents the rebuilt Vision, stating that he started repairing him during his spare time. Also, while Quake (Daisy Johnson) was giving Rogers a report about what happened with Norman Osborn's escape from the Raft, he offers her a place in the team, which she accepts. Before the presentation of the new team on the front of the mansion, Wolverine says he is leaving the team (but remaining in the New Avengers), and Spider-Man follows him with the decision.
As soon as Iron Man presents the team to the press, Osborn appears there to discuss his previous imprisonment. It was revealed that it was a hologram, which started defaming the Avengers in front of the press. After Red Hulk smashed the machine, the team planned how to take down Osborn. Iron Man sent groups of two heroes to different locations of where Osborn could be or any clue to get him. Every duo was taken down by different H.A.M.M.E.R. agents with different characteristic of super heroes, like Hulk, Wasp and Giant Man.
Quake managed to find out where the Avengers were, and helped them to escape, when they tried to get out, Norman Osborn arrived with a defeated Vision, commanding Hand ninjas. After touching Red Hulk, the Avengers realizes Osborn transformed himself into a Super-Adaptoid, he and the Hand battles the Avengers when the battle is moved to a forest. There, the Avengers decides to overpower Osborn with the help of the New Avengers (who were facing the New Dark Avengers), Osborn suffer a collapse and is put in comatose state. Meanwhile Cap is reunited with the President and Madame Hydra uses the rest of H.A.M.M.E.R.'s members to reinforce Hydra.
Soon after Thor's return and battling alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy against the New Zodiac lead by Thanos and having the Avengers Tower re-inaugurated, the Avengers encountered the new Nova, who crashed onto New York with the warning "It's coming" before falling in coma. After tracing the signatures left on Nova, the Avengers came to the conclusion that the Phoenix Force was coming to Earth to find a new host. After learning of Hope Summers, Captain America went to Utopia to take her into custody. Cyclops opposed his plans and believed that the coming of the Phoenix would herald the rebirth of the mutant race, leading the Avengers to battle the X-Men. After a fake surrender, the X-Men escaped and Hope fled Utopia, hiding from both teams.
With the help of Rachel Summers, the Avengers found five energy signatures similar to Hope's and Captain America sent different Avengers team to the respective locations while also sending a strike team against the Phoenix, but Rachel also secretly advised Cyclops about those locations.
The Avengers finally found Hope when they were tipped off by Wolverine as she traveled with Wolverine to the Blue Area of the Moon. Just as they arrived on the moon the X-Men showed up as well having stolen the information of Hopes whereabouts telepathically from Captain America. Before the two groups could start fighting however, a badly injured Thor crashed onto the moon followed by the Phoenix Force.
The Avengers and X-Men descended into a brawl. The power of the Phoenix increased within Hope and she found herself unable to control it. Desperate, she asked Wolverine to kill her. However, Cyclops prevented him from doing so. As the Phoenix descended on the moon, Iron Man used a special suit to try to destroy the Phoenix. But he only managed to splinter it, and it took the five other X-Men present as hosts; Namor, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik and Colossus. The five Phoenix-possessed X-Men started changing the world into a better place for living, but knowing that Phoenix's ultimately destructive nature would bring chaos, Steve and the Avengers tried to get Hope from Utopia in order to use her knowledge about the Phoenix against it, after the Scarlet Witch helped them against the X-Men (previously having visions of the Phoenix destroying Earth), Cyclops decided to hunt down every Avenger.
After their main bases were closed, they started hiding around the world battling the X-Men, after prisoners were taken in both sides the Thunderer offered the Avengers to hide in K'un-Lun, as well as to train Hope to face the Phoenix, because of his past experience with the Phoenix Host and Iron Fist Fongji, and the prophecy of the Phoenix bringing chaos to Earth. Before all the Avengers could teleport to K'un-Lun, Namor attacked their current base: Wakanda, along a full army of Atlanteans. After defeating Namor (whose Phoenix fragment went to the other Phoenix Five and empowered them) with the price of the partial destruction of Wakanda, the Avengers teleported to K'un-Lun, in order to help Hope to train to face the Phoenix.
While searching in the ruins of Wakanda, Black Panther was approached by his now ex-wife Storm who apologized for siding with the X-Men and informed him about the place where the captured Avengers were being held: a former inactive volcano now reactivated by the Phoenix’s and Limbo's flames. A small team of Avengers alongside Storm and Professor X go to the volcano to rescue them, but were detected by Magik and Colossus. After a small battle, they were overpowered until Spider-Man decided to stay behind to battle them while the rest escape with the captives. He was defeated after a small battle but trick them into defeating themselves. Back in K'un-Lun they were attacked by Cyclops (that now possessed half of the Phoenix). He made quick work of anyone that opposed him but was defeated by Hope who in an act of desperation combined the powers of the Iron Fist, Scarlet Witch's chaos magic and Shou-Lao's flames to teleport Cyclops to the Moon. After Captain America convinced Hulk to help them, the Avengers then teamed up with several X-Men who had realized that Cyclops and Emma had completely lost control. Together they attacked Cyclops and Emma and gained the upper hand until Cyclops was forced to take the final piece of the Phoenix from Emma, making him the sole host. The complete Phoenix proved too much and finally turned him into Dark Phoenix, which then killed Professor X.
The Avengers and X-Men fought Cyclops around the world with the help of Nova, as well as trying to contain the chaos the Phoenix produced around Earth. None of the heroes were able to contain the Phoenix, despite Cyclops pleading with them to kill him. Hope and the Scarlet Witch finally managed to weaken Cyclops enough for him to surrender the Phoenix Force, which inhabited Hope. She used her new-found powers to repair the damage Cyclops had caused around the Earth while possessed, and at the Scarlet Witch's urging, dispersed the Phoenix Force and re-ignited mutations around the world, saving mutantkind from extinction. Cyclops was incarcerated, and Captain America accepted that the Avengers should have done more for mutants, and had allowed the world to hate them. As a result, he started planning an new team of Avengers in hopes of unifying humanity and mutant kind.
Wonder Man once again arrived to the tower, claiming to have experience mental sickness during the Revengers episode because of his ionic powers and asked the Avengers to forgive him. He was rejected however and left. Later, they received an emergency signal from an old identity card but couldn’t identify the source. Passing it to Giant-Man, he identify it as Wasp’s, who was transformed into a bio bomb by the Skrulls during the Secret Invasion and had to be destroyed by Thor. Shocked by this, they tracked the signal to the same place Wasp had died. Determining it came from the Microverse, a sub atomic universe, Giant-Man, Iron Man, Cap and Thor decided to travel there using Pym particles while the rest of the Avengers guarded the zone. Wonder Man arrives again and volunteers to go, claiming that he can survive things the others couldn’t but is turned down. Arriving in the Microverse the Avengers encounter an unidentified fugire who unmasks and reveals herself as the Wasp. She is glad to finally be found, but before she can explain how she is alive, they are attacked by the Microverse warlord Lord Gouzar.
Back on Earth, the Avengers decide to try to go to the Microverse but Wonder Man arrives with an orb of Pym particles and uses them on himself. Thor attempts to diplomatically plea for them to go, but Gouzar’s forces to open fire. The Avengers are all ultimately subdued by Gouzar's forces except for Wasp. But when she attacks him she grows back to average Microverse size and is captured. While captured, she apologizes for getting them caught and tells them that she must have shrunk down to Microverse size by instinct when she was struck by Thor’s lighting. Giant-Man apologizes for getting replaced by a Skrull, which tranformed her in a bio bomb but she points out that he did come to rescue her. Meanwhile, Gouzar is trying to break out Iron Man's armor. He uses a Uni-Beam on the warlord and tries to escape but is pinned down by Gouzar. However, there is an explosion on his battleship. Thor tears up Lord Gouzar's fleet, but is attacked from behind by the warlord, who orders his armada to kill the Avengers. As they fight, Wonder Man arrives and punches Gouzar, breaking his helmet. Iron Man then unleashes a lightning storm on his fleet. Wasp attacks Gouzar and tells to the crowd that they are free from him. As the crowd cheers, they return home. After returning however, they are interrupted by Gouzar's sudden appearance. He is quickly to subdued and shrinked back to the Microverse. The Avengers celebrate Wasp's return; however Iron Man notes that Cap seems troubled. Cap says that regardless of what they do, half of American blames them and half the world hates them. He asks Tony what they should do now. To which he replies, "We go bigger." The two began planning an expanded Avengers roster, maintaining a central core of seven with many more Avengers ready to be activated should the need arise. 
On a recon mission to Mars, the Avengers encountered a group of mysterious figures named Ex Nihilo, Abyss, and Aleph. Nihilo and his companions were planning to drastically alter life on Earth, in a process that would kill countless innocents. The ensuing confrontation resulted in six of the main Avengers being held captive, while Captain America was sent back to Earth as a message. Three days after recuperating, he assembled part of the newly-formed expanded roster of Avengers in order to bring their teammates back. After Ex Nihilo launched biological attacks on Earth, Manifold used his space-folding power to bring the whole team to Mars as fast as possible.
The cavalry arrived as soon as Nihilo's first new human was fully developed, fighting him and his allies. When they noted the presence of the new Captain Universe (a new Avenger), Nihilo and Abyss recognized as the manifestation of the Universe, the deity they worshiped. Nihilo and Abyss agreed to stop their quest to transform and/or destroy "imperfect" worlds on Captain Universe's order, though Aleph did not. This led to his destruction by the heroine. Before returning home, the Avengers established that Nihilo could terraform Mars so long as he left Earth alone.
The Avengers were forced to deal with the fall-out of Ex Nihilo's attempted reformation of the Earth, in the form of several "Origin Sites", areas hit by Ex Nihilo's terraforming bombs which caused localized hyper-evolution. The original purpose was for each site to act in concordance with the end result being a sentient planet Earth, but this was averted by the Avengers.
After facing another threat , the consequences of Ex Nihilo's attacks, the arrival of the White Event, and the rise of the Starbrand, the Avengers found themselves against the ramifications of Ex Nihilo's biological attacks on Earth, as the powerful being intended to make the planet sentient. After fighting against numerous of Ex Nihilo's creations, the Avengers were told by Captain Universe to prepare for a new threat, for which they had to add to their roster Ex Nihilo, Abyss, Starbrand and Nightmask, one of Ex Nihilo's creations.
This new threat came in the form of the Builders, a powerful species, of which Aleph was a member, whose mission was to perfect the universe, and destroy any world which was not fitting their vision, they had received signals from Ex Nihilo's creation which cataloged Earth as a "failure". The Builders began their path destroying many "imperfect" worlds. The Avengers investigated the Builder's path of destruction among worlds and realized they were headed to Earth. They decided to make an alliance with other alien empires, including former enemies like the Kree and Skrulls, in order to stop the Builders, save Earth, and other planets, for which they departed into space.
After an attempt to defeat the army of Builders had catastrophic results, Captain America managed to make himself heard by the Galactic Council and planned a retaliation against the Builders which resulted in the successful liberation of the Avengers which were being held captive and the destruction of numerous forces of the Builders, partially turning the tide of the battle. Captain America still realized they were outnumbered and outgunned, and decided to perform a false surrender. Thor falsely surrendered to the Builder who was under control of Hala and killed him, freeing the planet and gaining powerful lost allies. Shortly after, the rogue Gardeners managed to wake up a comatose Capitain Universe to annihilate the Builders in their command vessel. Desperate, the Builders ordered all their remaining Alephs to destroy everything.
Upon the defeat of the Alephs and the liberation of every planet subdued by the Builders, which now considered themselves "Avengers Worlds". They received the alert that Earth had been attacked by Thanos, the Avengers and their allies embarked on the return to Earth starting by taking Titan. After breaking thrown the barrier settled by Thanos' army around Earth, the Avengers managed to arrive to Thanos' location and fight him and what was left of his Black Order and free Thane, the son of Thanos, who his father had captured. During the battle, Thanos' lieutenant Ebony Maw double crossed the Mad Titan and freed Thane to let him fight his father. Thanos and Proxima Midnight were trapped by Thane in an amber construct which left them in a state of "living death." The following days, the Avengers helped rebuild the damage caused by Thanos' invasion around the Earth.
Time Runs Out
Due to the 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.
Eight months into the future, S.H.I.E.L.D. took over the Avengers. Some members left because of this, while others like Hawkeye or Captain Marvel remained.
- 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.
- 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 formed by Soldier (a patriotic hero, counterpart of Captain America), Viking (a nordic God, counterpart of Thor), Hornet (a half-human half-insect flying heroine, counterpart of Wasp), Skyscraper (a giant man in love with Hornet, counterpart of Giant-Man), Robot (a conscious robot in a bulky iron-suit, counterpart of Iron Man), Bowman (an archer, counterpart of Hawkeye), Wolfen (a bestial wolfman with tiger stripes, counterpart of Wolverine), Bug (a blue and red four-armed man, counterpart of Spider-Man) and Monster (a big creature with super-strength and ripped pants whose alter ego is weaker, counterpart of Hulk).
- Although this is very rarely remembered, the team's technical founder was Hank Pym/Ant-Man, as he is the one who suggested that they team up.
- 302 Avengers (Earth-616) Members
- 1,940 Appearances of Avengers (Earth-616)
- 156 Media Avengers (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 400 Images that include Avengers (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Avengers (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: 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
- ↑ Avengers #1
- ↑ Avengers #2
- ↑ Avengers #3
- ↑ Journey into Mystery #112
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Avengers #4
- ↑ Avengers #5
- ↑ Avengers #12
- ↑ Avengers #13
- ↑ Avengers #14
- ↑ Fantastic Four #25-26
- ↑ Fantastic Four #31
- ↑ Avengers #6
- ↑ Avengers #7
- ↑ Avengers #9
- ↑ Avengers #10
- ↑ Avengers #15
- ↑ Avengers #8
- ↑ Avengers #11
- ↑ Avengers #16
- ↑ Avengers #19-20
- ↑ Avengers #21-22
- ↑ Avengers #23-24
- ↑ Avengers #151
- ↑ Avengers #400
- ↑ New Avengers Annual Vol 2 #1
- ↑ Avengers Annual Vol 4 #1
- ↑ Fear Itself #7
- ↑ Avengers vs. X-Men #1
- ↑ Avengers vs. X-Men #4
- ↑ Avengers vs. X-Men #5
- ↑ Avengers vs. X-Men #11
- ↑ Avengers vs. X-Men #12
- ↑ Avengers Vol 4 #31-34
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #1
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #2
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #3
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #7
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 14-16
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #17
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #14
- ↑ Infinity #1
- ↑ Infinity #2
- ↑ Infinity #3
- ↑ Infinity #4
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #21
- ↑ Infinity #5
- ↑ Infinity #6
- ↑ Original Sin #3
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #29
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #34
- ↑ Avengers Vol 5 #35