"And there came a
day, a day unlike any
other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves
united against a common threat! On that day, the Avengers were born—to fight the foes no
single super hero could withstand! Through the years, their roster has
many times, but their
glory has never been denied! Heed the
call, then—for now, the Avengers Assemble!"
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
, Iron Man
, The Wasp
, 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
, The Vision
, 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): A spin-off book that began in 1985 running through 1993. Was subjected to a reboot/revamp in 1994, becoming the Darker and Edgier Force Works, lasting two years before being canceled. The founding members were Hawkeye, Mockingbird, War Machine (as Iron Man), Tigra, and Wonder Man.
- Solo Avengers (later renamed Avengers Spotlight): An anthology/companion book for West Coast Avengers; running from 1987 through 1989 featuring Hawkeye, USAgent, and Mockingbird and a rotating back-up feature involving past members of the Avengers team).
- Thunderbolts: First debuting in 1997, 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. The book has since been renamed "Dark Avengers" while an "In Name Only" version of Thunderbolts with no ties to the existing team has been launched, lead by the Red Hulk and featuring Deadpool, Venom, Elektra, and Punisher.
- 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, 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 his wife Jessica Jones, 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). After the Marvel NOW! relaunch, New Avengers will feature a team consisting of the Illuminati, with Beast replacing the deceased Charles Xavier and the Black Panther joining up.
- Young Avengers: Created by Allan Heinberg the first run was 2005 through 2006, about a Teen Titan-esque group of young heroes who gathered following the events of "Avengers Disassembled" by an alternate universe version of Kang the Conquerer. 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 Wiccan and Speed, Vision and Scarlet Witch's long lost children, who would later seek the Avengers' help in finding their missing mother. Has had multiple mini series starring the group with a new ongoing set to debut in 2013, led by Kid Loki.
- Mighty Avengers: Running from 2007 to 2010, was at 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. In 2013, a new volume was launched as part of Marvel's Infinity Crisis Crossover. The new team is lead by Luke Cage and features Monica Rambeau, Superior Spider-Man, She-Hulk, Ronin, Power Man (Victor Alvarez), White Tiger (Ava Ayala), and the Blue Marvel.
- Avengers: The Initiative: Running from 2007 to 2010, the book follows the aftermath 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.
- Dark Avengers: Initially a short-lived book (2009 through 2010) set during Dark Reign about a Norman Osborn led team of supervillains disguised as the Avengers. Though cancelled after the events of "Siege", a new team appeared in the pages of New Avengers v2 though in a twist, the group was betrayed by one of their own (Skaar). The new team were ultiamtely transititioned into the pages of the Thunderbolts, which was renamed "Dark Avengers" and the group were joined by Moonstone and USAgent.
- Pet Avengers: Starting in 2009, a series of mini-series that focuses upon various animal companions of superheroes teaming up to fight evil.
- Avengers Academy: Running from 2010 to 2012, the book follows 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.
- Secret Avengers: Debuting in 2010, it follows, a black-ops team of Avengers led by Steve Rogers, who after his resurrection, allowed Bucky 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. The book was relaunched in 2013 with Nick Fury as leader, the removal of the "no-kill" rule, and the members of the team having their memories suppressed between missions to ensure plausible deniability for SHIELD.
- Avengers Assemble: This book initially launched in 2012 as a tie-in to the film, featuring an in-continuity version of the film team. After issue eight, it turned into a "down time" book, following what the Avengers do in-between missions, with more of a focus on the female Avengers (namely, Black Widow, Spider-Woman, and Captain Marvel).
- Uncanny Avengers: Launched in 2012, this new title deals with the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men that acts as a sort of bridge team between the Avengers and the X-Men as a result of Captain America wanting to reach out and do a better job of helping out the mutants. So far the team is known to include Captain America, Wolverine, Thor, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Sunfire, the Wasp, Wonder Man, and Havok.
- Avengers Arena: A 2013 series launching with the premise of young heroes of Marvel (including five characters from Avengers Academy) fighting to the death, trapped on an island by supervillain Arcade, who has taken several levels in being a bad-ass as far as him seeking to kill the kids in order to regain his reputation as an assassin.
- Avengers A.I.: Running from 2013 to 2014, the book focused on a new team spinning out of the Age of Ultron Crisis Crossover. The team was lead by Hank Pym and featured the Vision, Victor Mancha, Monica Chang, and new characters Doombot and Alexis.
- Avengers Undercover: A 2014 series that is a direct follow-up to Avengers Arena which follows five teen survivors of the book (who are beyond broken) infiltrating Bagalia, the Masters of Evil's own soverign nation, all the while deciding if they want to be heroes or join the dark side.
- Avengers World: A 2014 ongoing comic focusing on the new expanded roster of the Avengers as they work to tackle multiple threats across the world.
- The Ultimates: The Ultimate Universe counterpart, darker and edgier alternate universe version, of the Avengers debuting in 2002. This version draws many comparisons 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.
The team made their television debut in The Marvel Super Heroes
, a 1966 Animated Anthology
that brought the comics to life through Clip Art Animation
. 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
, ran from 2010-2012. The Super Hero Squad Show
can be considered a Lighter and Softer
take on the Avengers. Another cartoon, Avengers Assemble
, premiered in 2013. An anime
adaptation of the franchise called Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers
is being produced by Toei
and airs on Japanese television in 2014.
The Avengers are also the core of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
, with several members getting their own films, and it usually brings the entire team together in an Avengers
movie at the climax of a multi-film story arc. The two full-team movies are The Avengers
and Avengers: Age Of Ultron
, with Joss Whedon
as writer/director of both. The team's roster in the first film consists of: Iron Man
(Robert Downey, Jr.
), Captain America
), Black Widow
), and the Hulk
); with help from S.H.I.E.L.D.
led by Nick Fury
(Samuel L. Jackson
) and his assistant Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders
). Age of Ultron
adds Scarlet Witch
) and Quicksilver
) to the team; and several other Avengers
heroes and villains appear throughout the franchise.
Not to be confused with the British Agents Dating
/Spy Couple series The Avengers
This team's series have included the following tropes:
- The Ace: Hawkeye was this during the early run of West Coast Avengers. In a scene in which he's fighting to keep the Quinjet he's piloting from crashing, the narrator comments that many Avengers get praise for doing one thing well, but not Hawkeye—because he does MANY things well.
- Aesop Collateral Damage: The first story of the "Sons of the Serpent" explained at every page everything that was wrong with racism. Poor Bill Foster (who was not Black Goliath nor had any special powers back then) received a huge beating by the Serpents, just so that the Avengers could keep telling that racism was so awfully wrong.
- The Alcoholic: Iron Man and Ms. Marvel both fell Off The Wagon.
- Alien Invasion: The Kree Skrull War, Operation Galactic Storm, Secret Invasion... and several Easily Thwarted Alien Invasions. Being Earth's Mightiest Heroes, they have to live up to that name.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The "Under Siege" storyline which featured the Masters of Evil, under the direction of Baron Zemo, succeeding in taking control of Avengers Mansion.
- All Your Powers Combined: Super-Adaptoid.
- Count Nefaria copied the powers of Power Man[note , the Living Laser, and Whirlwind; the combination turned him into an evil Captain Ersatz of Superman.
- Wolverine got this, getting the powers of the whole new Avengers and the two Supreme Sorcerers (And Hellfire) to fight Agamotto.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Tons of members: Ant-Man (three versions), The Wasp (two versions), Yellowjacket (also two versions), Spider-Woman (again, there were two different versions; funnily enough, the original one joined the team later) Mockingbird, Falcon, Hellcat / Tigra, Stingray, Mantis, Black Panther, Black Widow, Spider-Man, and Wolverine.
- They have also fought dozens of villains with animal-based themes: Scorpion, Rhino, Porcupine, Armadillo, Dr. Octopus, Cobra, the Serpent Society, the Unicorn, the Gryphon, etc.
- Alternate Continuity: The Ultimates is a version of the team that is tilted heavily towards a cynical viewpoint.
- Arch-Enemy: Depending on who you ask, either Kang or Ultron. Possibly both.
- Archived Army: One iteration of the Lethal Legion villain team, recurring enemies of the team, was composed of history's greatest murderers, given superpowers by hell. They were Lucrezia Borgia, Lizzie Borden, Josef Stalin, and Heinrich Himmler. Lucrezia was codenamed "Cyana", granted blue skin, Absurdly Sharp Claws coated with poison, and a literal Kiss of Death. Lizzie was codenamed "Axe of Violence", granted light red skin, her right hand was replaced by a double-headed axe, and she carried two other double-headed axes used as throwing weapons. Josef was codenamed "Coldsteel", becoming a Chrome Champion with a body made of living steel, granting him Super Strength and Super Toughness. Heinrich was codenamed "Zyklon", granted a Powered Armor which allowed him to fly. He released Deadly Gas from his mask and gauntlets. They appeared in Avengers West Coast #98-100 (September-November, 1993).
- Arc Words: During Hickman's run; "Everything dies", and "the System is broken".
- Artifact of Doom: The Avengers confronted the threat of the Serpent Crown, a mind control device channeling the power of Set, an Elder God.
- Army of the Ages: The Anachronauts, Kang's elite fighting force.
- Avengers Assemble: The Trope Namer.
- Back from the Dead: Pretty much the entire roster has died at one point of another during an Avengers storyline (most notably "The Korvac Saga", "Onslaught Saga", and Avengers Annual #17).
- Separately: Captain America, Hawkeye, Wonder Man, Vision, Mockingbird, Hellcat, Jack of Hearts, Quasar, and Ant Man II have all come back from the dead in various ways and forms.
- Backup Twin: The second Swordsman (the one who goes around with Magdalena) is not the original one, who was Killed Off for Real and stays that way. He's the Sworsdman from a parallel universe, taken to the main one.
- Badass Normal: Team members Hawkeye, Black Widow, Mantis (until she gained powers), Black Panther, and Mockingbird.
- Battle Butler: Jarvis.
- Battle Couple: Hank Pym/Wasp, Vision/Scarlet Witch, Mockingbird/Hawkeye, Jessica Jones/Luke Cage
- Betty and Veronica: Crystal and Sersi, fighting over Black Knight.
- Big Applesauce: Like so many Marvel heroes, they're headquartered in New York City, New York.
- Big Damn Heroes: A famous line: "ULTRON! We would have words with thee."
- Bittersweet Ending: Secret Invasion. They saved the world from the Skrulls, at least one character who was thought to be dead is revealed to have been a Skrull prisoner, but they lost Jan in the process.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Hercules, Luke Cage. Thor in a good day can be one too.
- Breaking the Fellowship: Happened several times:
- The first time was in Avengers 16, when the original team retired, with the exception of Captain America, who stayed to guide the new recruits: Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch.
- Roy Thomas reunited all the Avengers that had even been into a big group... only to reduce the team in a very short time: Iron Man and Thor ended their visit and left, Captain America gave up being a superhero, Hercules returned to the Olimpus, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch returned with Magneto... with left probably the smallest and weakest Avengers team ever: Hawkeye, the Wasp, and Henry Pym (who was not able to grow to a giant size, if things were not bad enough). Yes: only 3, and 2 could basically just get to an insect size.
- Although Onslaught did not kill all the Avengers, just an important number, the team broke up, and the Thunderbolts filled the void. The Avengers returned a year later.
- The Avengers break up in "Avengers Disasembled", and returned as a small team in the New Avengers. The team broke up again during Civil War, as the characters had conflicting views about the Registration act.
- Briefer Than They Think: Though many, including this article, place Hulk as a member of the "iconic lineup," he quit the team in the second issue, and outside of the occasional Crisis Crossover teamup, he only properly rejoined a few years ago.
- Butt Monkey: Hank Pym, Hank Pym, Hank Pym. The latter era runs did a good job trying to lift him from his Butt Monkey status, but then, THIS is apparently the cover image of the final issue of ''Mighty Avengers''◊.
- Cat Girl: Tigra is the team's woman/cat hybrid.
- Hellcat is another feline-themed heroine.
- Catchphrase: "AVENGERS ASSEMBLE" - so cool, it gets its own font.
- The Chosen One: Mantis who is destined to be the Celestial Madonna, the future mother of a Celestial Messiah.
- Church of Happyology: The Triune Understanding was a Cult that harassed the Avengers and gave powers to the team member 3-D Man AKA Triathlon.
- Civvie Spandex: The early 1990s "leather jackets" period.
- Conqueror From The Future: Kang the Conqueror, an invading warlord and ruler of the world in the distant future, has attempted to conquer the Earth in our modern time period. The Avengers have repeatedly thwarted his ambitions.
- Conspicuous Gloves: Introduced in 1981's Avengers Annual # 10, Rogue wears gloves so as not to accidentally touch anyone, since touch with her skin causes her to absorb others' powers, often harming or potentially killing them.
- Continuity Snarl: Kang's backstory.
- Cool Plane: The Quinjet.
- Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, sponsors the Avengers through Stark Industries.
- Covers Always Lie: Check the cover of Avengers 123◊. All three quotations are lies. First, Mantis was not protecting Libra: she wanted to kill him, and the others tried to stop her. Libra is not the most dangerous member of Zodiac (that would be either Tauro or Aries), he's just a blind man, who in fact had just saved the Avengers from his peer (long story). And Mantis was not the newest Avenger, she was just the girlfriend of the Swordsman, tuned into an avenger many issues later.
- Cult: A recurring group of enemies for the Avengers are the Zodiac, though in different incarnations / people in the role, they usually have this as their guise or true purpose.
- Deadly Training Area
- Defector from Commie Land: The Black Widow
- Disability Immunity: Hawkeye used a sonic arrow to make himself almost completely deaf but immune to sonic mind control.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Hank Pym used to smoke a pipe from time to time, before it became PC not to smoke.
- Distress Ball:
- Scarlet Witch and Wasp used to be held prisoner a lot in the 1960s.
- Most recently, Hawkeye being captured by Norman Osborn was a major plot point during Dark Reign.
- It also happened to Captain America in the last story before Avengers vs. X-Men.
- Distress Call: How the group first formed.
- Downer Ending:
- "Vision Quest"
- "The Crossing"
- "Avengers Disassembled"
- "Civil War"
- "Secret Invasion"
- "The Korvac Saga"
- "Operation Galactic Storm", about the Kree-Shi'ar War, ended with the Kree Supreme Intelligence detonating a nega-bomb and obliterating most of its own species in an attempt to jump start their evolution. Half of the Avengers were so disgusted with this that they executed him.
- It goes into an even bigger downer than that: Iron Man's participation in this sparked his descent into evil and the start of The Crossing, the aforementioned Continuity Snarl of a crossover. Then it all feeds into Onslaught...
- West Coast Avengers/Avengers West Coast. Mockingbird is killed, Hawkeye leaves the team because he can't stand to go back to the compound without her, the team is disbanded and the remaining members quit after refusing to become reserve members of the east coast team.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: The Scarlet Witch, the Sentry and Sersi. The Avengers fought against other heroes who were Drunk on the Dark Side in Avengers Thunderbolts (Moonstone) and Avengers vs. X-Men (Cyclops).
- Dysfunction Junction: More than a few lineups over the years, but especially Avengers Academy, teachers and students both.
- There's possibly more dysfunction between the Avengers then there is between the X-Men. Yeah. To be specific, while they don't always get along the X-men still have a close family dynamic comparable to the Fantastic Four, whereas the Avengers sometimes come off as a group of people who barely tolerate each other half the time.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Can you imagine Hulk costumed as a clown, with costume and make-up, making tricks to entertain the circus audience? (and no, he was not being mind-controlled). Not a "what if...?", not a dream, not an imaginary tale, not an alternate universe, not a parody by Sergio Aragones... Avengers #1, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. 'nuff said!
- The original design of Ares in the 1960s is also a bit laughable, if compared with the character we have seen those recent years.
- Earth-Shattering Poster
- Evil Counterpart: A version shows up during Jonathan Hickman's run. It has Colonel America, Iron Monger (an evil Jarvis, who smothered infant Tony and has a worse armour than his), Thorr (whose hammer can only be carried by the unworthy), Ant-Man, The Wasp, and a Hulk who has been lobotomised, and is controlled by Wasp. Apparently they ruled their world from a fortress, until an Incursion happened and they were dragged to the main universe (where Ant-Man quickly died).
- Face-Heel Turn: In Avengers: The Initiative, Hardball defects to the terrorist group Hydra; also, The Sentry deciding to join up with Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Badass Normals, Physical Gods, Mutants, Aliens, Science Heroes (Powered Armor optional), Wizards, Radiation Recipients, Robots, etc. Since day one just about any lineup of more than four members had at least three of these archtypes on hand.
- Five-Man Band: The original lineup:
- The Hero: Iron Man
- The Lancer: Thor
- The Big Guy: Hulk
- The Smart Guy: Ant-Man
- The Chick: Wasp
- And, let's not forget the Sixth Ranger, Captain America, who later became the Hero as Iron Man became the Lancer and Thor replaced Hulk as the Big Guy.
- The Initiative's first wave of recruits had its own Band
- The Hero: MVP
- The Lancer: Hardball
- The Big Guy: Komodo and Armory
- The Smart Guy: Trauma
- The Chick: Cloud 9.
- MVP is accidentally killed by Armory in the first issue; Armory is then sent to a psychiatric hospital after having the source of her powers removed. When the remaining cadets graduate, they're all sent to different teams.
- The New Avengers lineup from the first arc:
- Listing the different Five Man Bands could take all day.
- Flanderization: In Ultron's origin story, he attempted to kill his creator, Hank Pym, while referring to him as "father"; this prompted Pym to remark that the robot had developed an Oedipus Complex. Later writers took that connection and ran with it, having Ultron attempt to turn Pym's wife, the Wasp (his "mother"), into a robot bride named Jocasta, and at one point he was reduced to a talking head being carried by a robot offspring named Antigone, after Oedipus's daughter who took care of him after his blinding. Ultron's retool in Mighty Avengers had him actually take the Wasp's likeness.
- Another Ultron (number 12) was peaceful and loved his "father". Jocasta and Pym started dating (yes, people have pointed out in comic she's more or less dating her grandfather... which she sees as dating GOD) and the current Ultron is an Evil Overlord with a (bigger) god complex. The Pym family is weird...
- Flying Brick: Thor, Iron Man, Wonder Man, Ms. Marvel, Namor, The Sentry.
- Fog Feet: Veil from Avengers Academy.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: "Cap's Kooky Quartet", aka the second lineup: Cap was choleric, Hawkeye sanguine, Quicksilver melancholic, and Scarlet Witch phlegmatic.
- Fugitive Arc: Happened to half of the Avengers members following Marvel's Civil War storyline. With the Super Registration Act in effect, the team members that rebelled against the law are forced to go underground and remain on the run. First from Iron Man's regime and then from Norman Osborn's.
- Fully Absorbed Finale: The first Spider-Woman series, ending with her apparent death, was resolved in The Avengers #239-242 with Jessica Drew losing her powers in order to help the Avengers beat Morgaine LeFey.
- Generation Xerox: The Young Avengers Stature, Iron Lad, and Vision (not quite the "same" Vision... well, long story) reenacted the weird Love Triangle of the Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Wonder Man.
- The Good Captain: Captain America, Captain Marvel, Captain Britain.
- Gravity Master: Graviton, one of the Avengers most formidable foes, has the ability to create and manipulate fields of gravitational force.
- Heel-Face Turn: Quite a few of these. Hawkeye, Black Widow, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, the Swordsman, the Sandman, Rage, the second Living Laser, USAgent (back when he replaced Steve Rogers as Captain America), Namor, and the Vision all started off as villains.
- Hero Does Public Service: In "The Search for She-Hulk" Shulkie is eventually found helping repair a community devastated by one of her cousin's rampages.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Cap and Iron Man, though following Civil War they went through a bit of a rough patch that put them in Vitriolic Best Buds territory. Tony even voiced his concern about working with Steve when the Avengers reformed following the Siege of Asgard, but relented when he learned that it wouldn't be Steve who'd coordinate the team, but Tony's Civil War-time Lancer Maria Hill. Their friendship's since gotten back on track.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: The fifth Lethal Legion, four spirits taken from Hell by Satannish. They are Axe of Violence, Cyana, Zyklon and Cold Steel (who wanted the name "Man of Steel", but unfortunately it was already taken). As the story advances, we are informed that those villains were actually Lizzie Borden, Lucrezia Borgia, Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Stalin, turned into supervillains (or, more exactly, receiving superpowers). No Commie Nazis: Zyklon and Cold Steel tried to kill each other when they recognized the other; they only worked toguether because Satanish forces them to. No afterlife for them, not even in hell: they ceased to exist during the fight of Satannish and Mephisto.
- The Hate-Monger is a subversion, as he's a clone of Hitler, not the real deal (and he's historically an enemy of the Fantastic Four anyway).
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Giant-Man and The Wasp in what may be the biggest example available. Pym growing up to skyscraper height and Wasp dropping down to only a few inches tall.
- I Have Many Names: Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, Wasp, and now Giant-Man again.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Komodo. The suggestion of having her powers removed causes her to break down in tears.
- Interrupted Cooldown Hug: Happens to the Hulk himself when fighting the Avengers, but also a recurring theme with arch-villain Ultron as his "extended family" among the Avengers. Subverted in "Ultron Unlimited" when Ultron betrays the cooldown hug-administering Vision before the cavalry comes charging in.
- It's All About Me: This was reaction of Hawkeye when Henry Peter Gyrich imposed an Avengers line-up that did not include him, and included the Falcon. Several Avengers were removed from the team (basically all the former Avengers, still present because of The Korvac Saga, and regulars Wonder Man and Yellowjacket), but Hawkeye took it as if it was personal.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Proctor (a Dane Whitman of an alternate reality) gave a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the Black Knight, pointing how does he escape from problems instead of dealing with them: his relation with Sersi, and the Ebony Sword. Proctor was finally defeated, and Sersi (who became Too Powerful to Live and Drunk with Power) received a gift from a dying Watcher: a portal to another reality, where she would be free of her madness. The Black Knight pointed that Proctor was right, and departed with Sersi.
- Killer Robot: Ultron long time Avengers foe, consumed with a desire to Kill All Humans.
- Alkema, another robot made by Ultron, is also of this type
- The first villain of Hickman's run is an Aleph, an aeon-old robot designed to sterilise worlds. Later on, several more show up, along with their owners.
- Large Ham: Lord Pagan. Only speaks with Evil Gloating, and Emphasize EVERYTHING with capital letters and unneeded bolded words. DID YOU HEAR THE TROPER, PUNY MORTAL? LORD PAGAN EMPHASIZES EVERYTHING!!!!
- Late-Arrival Spoiler
- Wonder Man dies at the end of his first adventure with the Avengers. And, many years later, he would return.
- The events taking place in Avengers Disassembled were caused by the Scarlet Witch.
- Iron Man won the Civil War.
- Yellowjacket did not kill Henry Pym, he is Henry Pym. That's also the reason why the Wasp was getting married with a complete stranger who claimed to have killed her boyfriend.
- The relation between Hawkeye and the mobster Barney Barton? He is his brother. You may have suspected it earlier if the writer had ever revealed before that Hawkeye's real name was Clint Barton.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Pretty much every single Marvel hero who is not an X-Man, except for Wolverine and the Beast, has been an Avenger at some point.
- This is starting to be less and less the case, as far as X-Men not being Avengers are concerned. Beast and Wolverine may have been the first two X-Men to join, but just in the last year alone, we've had Havok, Rogue, Sunspot, Cannonball, and even Sunfire join up, and Storm was also a member for a brief time. (Sunfire was only counted as an X-Man for one mission, but that technically still counts.) That makes for a total of 8 X-Men to have joined the Avengers, (9 if you count Namor, who first joined the Avengers for a few stints, then joined the X-Men much later,) so the line between X-Man and Avenger is steadily becoming thinner and thinner. It's quite possible that these X-Men that have already joined won't be the last to join the Avengers. Justified because Cap finally realized, following AvX, that the Avengers could, and should, do more for the mutant community (the whole thing with questions like "where were the Avengers when the Sentinels razed Genosha?"). Hence the joint team informally called Uncanny Avengers.
- It's more guaranteed to go the other way: Namor was an Avenger before his current tenure with the X-Men.
- The Human Torch is the only member of the Fantastic Four never to have been a member of the Avengers (his namesake was a member on the West Coast team). Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman even served together.
- Longtime solo player Daredevil has recently joined the New Avengers. Out of the well-known heroes who don't fit the previous categories (remembering that Deadpool is more closely associated to the X-Men, being an X-Force member and all), only The Punisher remains unaffiliated, but considering it's the Punisher we're talking about...
- Look Ma, No Plane!: A 1970s-era comic has the title heroes engaged in a battle against Thanos' starfleet. Most of the heroes fly around in small, vaguely Star Wars-ian ships, but Thor flies around smashing apart enemy ships under his own power!
- Luke, I Am Your Father: The Zodiac sent some traitors within their ranks to space, in a house that was actually a rocket... and, by a random chance, the Avengers were sent with them. However, Libra betrayed his team and rescued the Avengers. Why? Because he thought that Mantis was among them, and it is his daughter.
- Master Swordsman: The Swordsman, duh.
- Mechanical Evolution: Often invoked by Ultron's appearances.
- The Mole: Evil, shapeshifting Skrulls impersonated scads of heroes during the Secret Invasion storyline - and even before!
- Mole in Charge: In one storyline, the Red Skull becomes the Secretary of Defense.
- Moment Of Awesome: In-Universe, during the fight between Hercules and Tifon, at the end of his first time as an Avenger. Tifon buried him in a landslide, and Hawkeye attacked, commenting that if Hercules can get out from all those rocks, he will be his favourite hero. Tifon gets an explosive arrow in the face, and heads to fight the mortal warriors once more, but at that moment, in a massive display of power... ah, how did you guess it? Yes! Hercules is still kickin' ass!
- Monster Modesty: The Thing, Marrina, Incredible Hulk, and Beast were all members at one point or another.
- Well, they are all intelligent enough to keep their modesty... Maybe even the Hulk. And Marrina and Hank aren't so big as to not find clothes that fit them.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Gorgon appeared in the Avengers mansion to take them to the wedding of Quicksilver and Crystal, and realized that (contrary to promises) Quicksilver had not invited them. He began to kick the floor in anger, and Mantis requested him not to destroy their house. The Scarlet Witch corrected her: the Avengers house, she's no Avenger, she was there just as a courtesy to her boyfriend the Swordsman (who was an Avenger). Sounds mean? Well, have in mind that in that time Mantis was trying to seduce the Vision and make him leave the Scarlet Witch for her... so Wanda was actually being polite.
- My Own Grampa: Marcus Immortus is his own father. Initially a son of Immortus, he could not leave Limbo the conventional way without disrupting the timeline, so he abducted Ms. Marvel, seduced her, and impregnated her... arranging things so that the baby (who grew at a fantastic speed, all pregnancy in a pair of days, and from baby to young adult in hours) was Marcus himself.
- Never Live It Down:
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Nice job, Loki. If not for you, the Avengers would have not existed.
- He also deliberately causes the formation of Hank Pym's Mighty Avengers, disguised as the Scarlet Witch. By the time he starts to manipulate events to form a new Young Avengers team, he's referring to getting Avengers together as "Loki's greatest hit".
- Nineties Anti-Hero: Force Works.
- Not Good with Rejection: Mantis declared her love to the Vision, but he mantained his love for the Scarlet Witch, and told her to be Just Friends. Her despair was so great that, several centuries in the future, Kang detected it, and finally identified her as the elusive Celestial Madonna.
- No True Scotsman: All the Avengers have high standards of superheroism, and "Once an Avenger, always an Avenger"... except for the Dark Avengers.
- 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.
- Later revealed to have been either a hallucination or Loki in disguise.
- Opening a Can of Clones: The Gatherers, a group of Avengers from alternate realities, who could hunt alternate Avengers at will.
- Parody Religion: The Triune Understanding.
- Prodigal Hero: The first story arc of Hercules. He was banished from the Olympus for a year by Zeus, and stayed with the Avengers. When the year passed, he returned... and had to save the Greek Gods from their exile in a shadow dimension arranged by the titan Tifon.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Thor, Hercules.
- The Real Remington Steele: The "Ronin" identity.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: 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...
- The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: The first series "Nick Fury agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." had the recurring mistery of the identity of the villain Scorpio. Nick Fury once unmasked him, but just cried out "You!"; readers were still left in the dark. The series was cancelled, without closure for the Scorpio thing, and Nick Fury was killed. Then, Roy Thomas tied the loose ends in the Avengers: Skorpio was Jake Fury, Nick's brother. Nick took up the Scorpio identity and, taking advantage of his supposed death (the Nick who was shot was actually a LMD) he infiltrated the Zodiac, to destroy them from within.
- 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.
- Revision: Baron Heinrich Zemo was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Avengers 4, and retroactively treated as Captain America's archnemesis during World War II. Readers may get the wrong idea by the stories, but Zemo was not created during The Golden Age of Comic Books. And the famous story of the plane where Bucky "died" and Captain America fell to the ocean and froze, was not Captain America's finale retconned as Not Quite Dead, but a plot created by Lee and Kirby when they brought him back.
- Revisiting the Roots: During the nineties, there were some attempts to fit the Avengers into The Dark Age of Comic Books. The Wasp turned into a freak monster, Iron Man a time displaced freak, many members with leather jackets, a X-Men tone, Deathcry... the fandom did not rejoice. Marvel tried to fix it with Heroes Reborn: it was like trying to extinguish the fire with oil. Finally, the Avengers became once more a viable comic book with Kurt Busiek and George Perez, who took a "back to the roots" angle and ignored the nineties stuff.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Team members Vision, Jocasta, and Machine Man.
- Robotic Spouse: The Vision, who happens to be a "synthezoid", married the Scarlet Witch.
- Rule of Cool: The Avengers do not have that name because of actually avenging anyone. Sometimes they mention that they have to "earn their title", some adaptions or alternate versions provide a figure to avenge in their origin story; but in the original story by Lee and Kirby, the Wasp proposed the name simply because it was cool.
- Science Hero: Iron Man and Hank Pym are both prone to using their scientific/technological acumen against a threat when brute force proves insufficient.
- And there's absolutely no shortage of scientists when you look at the team's history
- Shotgun Wedding: The Eternals visited the Avengers, and Sersi told Ikaris not to threaten the Black Knight, because she wanted him to be her "Gann Josin". Meaning, her husband under Eternal laws, and that included a permanent telephatic link between both, so both shared the other's thoughts as in a single mind. Angered by his discussion with the Avengers, Ikaris turned the Black Knight into Sersi's Gann Josin right away. And the Black Knight? Fine, thanks for asking. Nobody ever asked him if he wanted that, and he certainly didn't.
- Sidekick: Rick Jones, honorary member and sidekick of The Hulk, Captain America, and Captain Marvel. The Wasp began as a sidekick of Giant Man, and in time grew as a standalone character.
- 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.
- Space Whale Aesop: The ending of Avengers 61. Please don't try to summon Asgardian demons at home.
- Spin-Offspring: The Young Avengers. Subverted in that most of them aren't the Avengers' children.
- Spot the Imposter: Basically the plot of Secret Invasion.
- And the second issue ever.
- The Squire: The Black Knight ends up with one for a time, when he rescues young Irish orphan Sean Dolan and takes him under his wing. Then it goes incredibly wrong when Sean draws the Ebony Blade to defend Whitman's family castle and is transformed by the curse into the monstrous Bloodwraith. Though Whitman eventually recovered the sword via unknown means, he implies in Captain Britain and MI-13 that Sean's still trapped by the curse.
- 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.
- Strange Syntax Speaker: The Mephistoid, from an alien race enemy of the Shi'Ar, seen in the 1990s. Like Yoda, to speak he likes. In a strange order, the words he says.
- Surfer Dude: Mettle before his recruitment into the Initiative/Avengers Academy, also making him one of the few ethnically Hawaiian superheroes.
- Super Hero
- Super Hero Gods: Team members Thor, Hercules, and Ares all claim to be actual mythological deities. Which, in the Marvel Universe, they are.
- Super Team: Marvel's primary answer to DC's Justice League of America.
- Taking the Bullet: Kang the Conqueror had a crush on the princess Ravonna, who rejected him. He gave her an alternative: get married with him by free will, or he would unleash all of his XXX century armies against her puny state, and crush it like an anthill. She still resisted, so Kang gave the order to attack, and the war was over in less than 2 pages. But there was a problem: Kang lieutenants wanted to execute Ravonna, as they did with all defeated royals, and attempted a coup against him. And so, Kang fought against his own army, to save Ravonna's life, and liberated her state. As the Avengers were being returned to the XX century, Baltag got free and shot Kang... but Ravonna, who finally fell in love with him, took the bullet to save him. And for a couple of years, the Avengers and the readers would be left with the doubt of Ravonna's ultimate fate, if she died saving Kang or not.
- 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), Quicksilver's ex-wife Crystal, and their daughter Luna, 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, Mockingbird and her husband Hawkeye, and Ultron's second son Victor Mancha. Ultron actually calls this entire group his family. Vision was later brought back but with the mental imprint of Iron Lad aka Kang the Conqueror and is currently dating Ant Man's daughter. Everyone is also a part of the Summers Family Tree. (Vision -> Vision II -> Iron Lad -> Kang -> Mr. Fantastic -> Franklin Richards -> Hyperstorm -> Rachel Summers -> Cyclops).
- 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.
- Hawkeye's always hated killing, although he has undergone character development from the time when he objected to his wife letting the man who raped her die; he now accepts that others can and will kill, but refuses to do so himself.
- Averted in New Avengers, where Wolverine is recruited to the team specifically because he will cross a line they won't.
- 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 descent (the first was Black Panther, who couldn't be with the team full-time because, y'know, King of Wakanda). There were echoes of this when Triathlon (now named 3-D Man) was forced onto the team.
- Tornado Move: Whirlwind is an old villain who, as the name implies, can generate whirlwinds by spinning around. Sometimes, he can simply launch them or ride on top of them while his upper body remains stationary.
- Trick Arrow: Hawkeye, long time resident bowman.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Norman Osborn as director of S.H-... H.A.M.M.E.R. counted as this for the entire Marvel universe.
- Maria Hill, but to a lesser extent.
- 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.
- Also the Vision (the original), in the run-up to Avengers vs. X-Men.
- West Coast Team: West Coast Avengers; co-Trope Namer with the Teen Titans' "Titans West".
- Wham Episode: Avengers # 16. All the original Avengers decide to take leaves of absence, leaving Captain America in charge of a completely new team of reformed villains: Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
- Avengers vol. 3, #49. Kang drops a futuristic nuclear bomb on Washington. Earth surrenders.
- Avengers Disassembled.
- 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 latter, 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.
- Wolverine Publicity: Guess who happened to be on not one, but two Avengers teams at the same time at one point.
- It's even lampshaded when Logan jokingly points out that the only way he could possibly be on as many teams is if he were a Skrull.
- Lampshaded again. When Spider-Man and Wolverine finally resigned from the main Avengers team (they stayed with the New Avengers, though), Wolverine claimed it was time to leave since the Avengers already had a new mutant (Storm) and spider-themed hero (Spider-Woman).
- It's even possible that them having been drafted to the original New Avengers gave the team the highest visibility in quite some time before the movie (especially considering how much their ranks were filled with second-stringers in the 80's and 90's).
- Working with the Ex: Ant Man and The Wasp, to the point where this is almost what the two are most famous for.
- Also Hawkeye and Mockingbird, Scarlet Witch and Vision. And that's only the couples known for their long-term relationships.
- Xanatos Gambit: Subverted in the first X-Men crossover, back in the days of Roy Thomas. Magneto boasted that he had calculated everything, that he was ready for all possible outcomes. Then, the Avengers defeated the mind-controlled X-Men. Toad asked, now what? Which is the plan for this specific scenario? None. No plan. From then on, Magneto's whole business in the island began to fell down in pieces.
- You Taste Delicious: Whirlwind once licked an unconscious Wasp, making this instance one of the male-pervert inversion variety.