Trivia / The Avengers

The Avengers Film:

See here.

The Avengers Comic Series:

  • What's the out-of-universe reason for the group's creation? There are at least three different explanations out there – note that they don't contradict each other, so they might all be true for all we know:
    • The arguably most cited reason is that company owner/publisher Martin Goodman wanted a clone of Justice League of America, one of the Distinguished Competition's biggest hits. Well, another Expy, given that Fantastic Four had already come into being that way.
    • Another explanation is that Marvel's fans loved Crossovers, so Stan Lee was inspired to do a permanent one.
    • Finally, it has been said that Daredevil was meant to launch in The Avengers's place, but got delayed due to Bill Everett's personal issues. Because print time was very valuable back in the day and couldn't easily be canceled, a replacement was quickly created – note that the first issue is exclusively about characters who already existed.
  • As mentioned above, the Human Torch was the only standard Fantastic Four member to not join the Avengers, and is in fact the only Stan Lee created character to have never done so. There have been many stand-in members of the Fantastic Four over the years that have also been Avengers: She-Hulk, Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Crystal of The Inhumans, Namor, and Ant-Man II.
    • The original, World War II-era Human Torch was also a member of the Avengers even though he isn't as famous.
    • In the Fantastic Four The End mini-series, Johnny is the leader of the Avengers in the future. There have been other alternate universe versions of Johnny that have joined but the main 616-universe version has yet to receive membership.
  • Approval of God: It was Roy Thomas who first had the idea of the Vision being the Human Torch in a redesigned body, but never got the chance to work on that story. It was Steve Englehart who finally wrote it down, in The Celestial Madonna Saga, with Thomas' blessings.
  • Fan Nickname: Rulk for the Red Hulk
  • Name's the Same: Jessica. Jones or Drew? This is mostly due to the fact that Jones was created as an expy of Drew as Brian Michael Bendis wasn't allowed to use the original.
    • There was a female Galactus Herald also named Nova. They aren't related in any way.
    • There's also a British duo of spies who are called The Avengers (see the TV show section below). They also had a film adaptation.
  • Screwed by the Network: The first issues (of the Lee-Kirby era), translated in Spain. For some reason, Avengers #9 was not published, they moved from #8 to #10. Initially, nobody noticed anything wrong (at that point, Status Quo Is God), but in later issues fans began to notice recurring flashbacks about the death of a "Wonder Man", which was not in any of the issues they had.
  • Technology Marches On: In the first Avengers story, Rick Jones tries to send a radio message to the Fantastic Four about Hulk, but Loki prevents it with his magic, and redirect it to Thor's radio instead. And, by accident, it is also redirected to the radios of Iron Man, Ant Man and the Wasp. The crossover Avengers/Ultraforce, made in the 90s, included a new universe with a revised origin for the Avengers. The radio message was replaced with an e-mail (and yes, it also reached other people as well, somehow).

The Avengers TV Show:

  • Actor Allusion: In "Too Many Christmas Trees", Cathy Gale sends Steed and Peel a postcard from Fort Knox.
    Steed: (after Mrs. Peel hands him a Christmas card from Cathy Gale) Mrs. Gale! Oh, how nice of her to remember me. What can she be doing in Fort Knox?
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Patrick Macnee came up with Steed's umbrella sword. He objected to Steed using a gun, as it reminded him of his military tenure.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Steed is a veteran of World War II, and so was Patrick Macnee.
  • Acting for Two: Various Doppelgänger stories. Likewise Patrick Macnee played Emma Peel's husband from afar in her final episode.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • In France, the show was titled Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir (Bowler Hat and Leather Boots).
    • The German title translated as "With Umbrella, Charm and Bowler". That hat must REALLY have made an impression.
    • As noted, American-published comic-book version of the series needed to be retitled John Steed Emma Peel or Steed and Mrs. Peel, because the title The Avengers is already taken for Marvel's superhero comic. Turnabout is fair play, however: The Avengers (the one based on the Marvel title) had to carry the title Avengers Assemble in the UK because of the TV series.
  • The Danza: Mother's mute aid Rhonda was played by Australian actress Rhonda Parker.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Patrick Macnee did not have good things to say about the film.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Linda Thorson was requested to bleach her hair blonde to distinguish Tara King from Emma Peel. The process ruined her hair and she had to wear a wig for several episodes.
  • Fake Brit: Linda Thorson (Tara King) was actually Canadian.
  • Looping Lines: When the series switched from videotape to film in season 4, and Emma Peel became Gascoyne Beresford, Steed's new partner in crime, the show's shooting became more flexible: For on-location scenes outdoors, they would be shot mute, with the dialogue being rerecorded by the original actors in post-production (as was the norm for British television at the time).
  • Missing Episode:
    • Most of the first season.
      • Although these are now being remade as audio plays by Big Finish.
    • The episode "A Touch of Brimstone" was initially "banned" by the ABC network in the US, although it was merely one of five monochrome Emma Peel episodes the network never aired — the broadcast schedule for these episodes only lasted 21 weeks, so five of the set of 26 never made it on; all five later aired in syndicated reruns in the US. Even in the UK, the most censor-troubling scene in "Brimstone", of a man attacking fetish-leather-clad Emma with a whip, was shortened; and various rerun syndications shortened it to varying greater degrees. Not until DVD release was the full-length version of the scene presented.
  • No Export for You: The American broadcasts of the first Emma Peel season featured a unique opening sequence (called the "chessboard opening") to explain the concept of the show to US viewers. Notable for providing a bit of leather catsuited Ms. Fanservice of Mrs. Peel, British fans clamored to see the opening for years, but never got a chance to see it until it was included on a DVD release relatively recently. American fans, meanwhile, were disappointed when the 1990s DVD release of the series omitted the opening because it originated from the UK masters.
  • The Pete Best: Ian Hendry was the star during the first season, but left to pursue a film career before the series became popular.
  • Popularity Redo: When the show's market expanded to the US (it was previously an exclusively British show), many UK-only-era episodes were redone.
  • Recycled Script: Several scripts from the Cathy Gale period were remade as Emma Peel stories after the series took off in America.
  • Shrug of God: Steed and Mrs Peel — are they or aren't they? Since they would never have been permitted to address the question explicitly on-screen, it was deliberately left ambiguous. An interviewer once asked Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, and the series' head writer what was really going on with Steed and Mrs Peel, and got three different and mutually-exclusive answers.
  • Star-Making Role: Most notably for Diana Rigg.
  • Troubled Production: The sixth season. After Diana Rigg announced she was leaving, searches were held to find a replacement actress - including toying with the idea of a number of guest actresses. Patrick Macnee was apparently not aware this was going on at first. Linda Thorson was chosen as she was dating producer John Bryce - who was brought in to replace Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell. This change was because the studio wished to bring the show "back to realism" and Bryce had produced the Cathy Gale episodes. He also had to hurriedly shoot seven episodes to ship off to America with the last of the Emma Peel episodes. He only completed three before he was replaced by Clemens and Fennell again. Rigg also had to be brought back to hurriedly shoot a new introduction episode for Tara King. What's more is that the network in America aired the show up against Rowan And Martins Laugh Iin, one of the most popular shows in the country at the time. Due to declining ratings it was almost immediately cancelled.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: This is the sort of TV show that could only exist in the 60s - where James Bond had just taken off and spies were cool. Second wave feminism was in, resulting in sexy Action Girls like Cathy Gale, Emma Peel and Tara King. The hairstyles and fashions of the female characters scream 1960s, particularly Emma's Spy Catsuit. The show's tongue-in-cheek, Narm Charm tone was so heavily a product of the 60s that attempts to revive the series in the 70s failed - as did a film adaptation in 1998.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • A film version of the series was in its initial planning stages by late 1963 after series three was completed. An early story proposal paired Steed and Gale with a male and female duo of American agents, to make the movie appeal to the American market. Before the project could gain momentum Honor Blackman was cast in Goldfinger, requiring her to leave the series.
    • Emma Peel was to be played by actress Elizabeth Shepherd but she was eventually replaced by Diana Rigg.
    • After Diana Rigg left the series, the producers toyed with the idea of having guest actresses be Steed's sidekick.