YMMV / The Avengers

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The Marvel comic book

    Comic Book 
  • Angst? What Angst?: Happens often, but some examples stand out.
    • The West Coast team was split up shortly after Mockingbird's death, with Steve citing the team's problems and changing roster as a problem—hardly surprising when one member had been killed two issues ago, and Hawkeye had left because he couldn't stand to go back to the compound due to it being their first home as a married couple. Outside the West Coast Avengers, no one even seemed to remember she existed, let alone that she'd been killed. Even Hawkeye eventually recovered and returned to being the siilly jokster of the team who had multiple romantic interests, at least until Mockingbird came back.
      • Due to Hawkeye and Mockingbird being cancelled, this ended up happening to Mockingbird herself in New Avengers. In the former book, it ended with her mother being shot and nearly killed, her brother washing his hands of her, and her and Hawkeye breaking up because her PTSD was making her head down a downward spiral that was sucking Clint in too. In the latter though, most of this is ignored, and the only detail anyone remembers is that the two broke up, ignoring the reasons why.
    • Bill Foster/Black Goliath was quickly forgotten by everyone who wasn't Hank Pym, including Reed Richards and Tony Stark who were at least partially responsible for his death (having created the clone of Thor that killed him.)
  • Arc Fatigue: Hickman's run, for those who aren't fans of it.
    • Also Bendis's run, for those who weren't fans of it.
  • Author Appeal: George Perez designed a new costume for the Scarlet Witch, which reveals that she does not wear panties.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
  • Base-Breaking Character: Maria Hill may be the biggest example of one in the Marvel Universe. Even her actress in the films happily referred to her as 'the biggest bitch in the Marvel Universe'. She's the woman who tried to arrest Captain America for reasons she wouldn't be able to arrest him for, going out of her way to sabotage others to get ahead, and generally being a jerk to everyone she meets while her competence as a SHIELD director leaving much to be desired. Her actions in Secret Avengers do not help with this. However, a good number of fans do sympathise with her, especially thanks to her Character Development under Fraction's pen in Iron Man and the handling by Mark Waid in his Hulk work, and a number point out that Nick Fury is generally given a free pass for similar stunts while she gets derided note ; not to mention, her clear guilt during Secret Avengers helps to at least humanize her and make it clear she's not OK betraying Mockingbird or Hulk (but not Daisy; she's happy screwing over Daisy).
  • Broken Base: The fanbase is pretty much irreversibly split on Brian Michael Bendis' contributions to the franchise, let alone the John Byrne Avengers West Coast run.
    • Jonathan Hickman's run. Either it's a grand space-epic, or really dull and filled with needless Purple Prose.
  • Crack Pairing: The crossover Avengers/Ultraforce has a romance between the Wasp and... Quicksilver? Yes, that's right.
  • Crazy Awesome: Pilot Marko.
  • Creator's Pet: Some characters in Brian Michael Bendis' Avengers comics - Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Ares - are accused of being this. There is some balance though, because Bendis has a tendency to showing his affection by heartlessly breaking them, so all five went through some serious crap under his care. But for many fans it's still not enough to equal all the attention he gives them. And that's not counting Bendis' "love" for Hawkeye, who has become nothing more than a vehicle from which Bendis attacks his critics (and to spite fans whose overwhelming hatred for Bendis' attempt to permanently kill Clint off led to Bendis being forced against his will to bring him back to life, at which point he turned him into a ninja to further spite fans).
  • Creepy Awesome: Ultron at times.
  • Designated Hero: During Avs X, the Avengers caused the entire war to happen and even brutally attacked children, yet they are still treated by the writers as heroes, shifting all of the blame onto the mutants.
  • Dork Age:
    • The team in the immediate aftermath of Operation Galactic Storm. Bob Harras wrote The Gatherers story well but the roster was horrible to the point where Black Knight, Black Widow and Vision were the only popular characters on the team since Captain America and Iron Man both decided to focus on solo adventures and Thor left soon afterwards while Wasp and Hank Pym both decided it would be a good time to go MIA. The West Coast Team fared slightly better with War Machine, Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch but the franchise was overrun with C-list heroes until Captain America rejoined the vanilla team at the same time that Deathcry joined who many consider to be the worst Avenger of all time. This led into the widely reviled (although well drawn) The Crossing series which made Iron Man evil then killed him and replaced him with his teenage self. It was a change so unpopular that it took killing the nearly entire roster of Avengers in the Onslaught crossover (exceptions being War Machine, Quicksilver, Spider-Man and partially the Hulk) to reboot them in the alternate Heroes Reborn universe which proved so unpopular that Marvel performed a second reboot after only 12 issues. Thankfully Kurt Busiek's reboot worked and restored the franchise to its former glory.
    • After the widely loved Kurt Busiek run and mixed-at-best Geoff Johns run, Chuck Austen took over which was every bit as terrible as The Crossing to the point where Brian Michael Bendis had to reboot the team yet again with Avengers Disassembled and was forced to put Scarlet Witch on hiatus as a character for half a decade and then come up with retcons for various characters' behavior just to make Chuck Austen's work non-canon.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: From Jonathan Hickman's run, there's Smasher, who's very well-liked despite her small role.
    • There's also Ex Nihilo, for his pure charisma. That's pretty hard for a character who began as a villain who bombed major cities.
    • The Great Lakes Avengers. Pretty minor characters who have only had one book of their own so far, but loved by fans and considered one of the best things to come out of John Bryne's West Coast Avengers run.
    • Similarly, the Thunderbolts were so popular that they eventually grew into their own standalone superhero team.
    • Lionheart is generally regarded as the only decent thing to come out of Chuck Austen's joke of run, mainly because of her good costume design.
  • Evil Is Cool: Ultron, the Masters of Evil, and Kang are the most stand-out examples.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The first "Lady Liberators" in Avengers #83 (in the 1970s). All the movement for women rights, turned into a bad joke. The moral of the story: women should Stay in the Kitchen, and all the stuff about "liberation" is pure nonsense. It's even more jarring if you consider that, some few issues before, Roy Thomas mentioned the racial conflicts in the US, and the moral of that story about the rights of minorities was completely different.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Anything that Chuck Austen was involved in, no matter how small. The sole exception to this is Lionheart, and even than she only became genuinely liked after she dropped the Captain Britain title and was written by Chris Claremont in New Excalibur.
    • There's a lot of debate about Brian Michael Bendis's run, but pretty much everyone likes to ignore Avengers Disassembled.
    • The whole Marcus Kang fiasco is generally ignored by both fans and writers; beyond Chris Claremont's Author's Saving Throw, it's pretty much never been referenced or brought up again for understandable reasons.
  • Fridge Horror: Janet Van Dyne/The Wasp is confronted by her boyfriend, Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, posing as a someone else known as Yellow-Jacket, who claims to have murdered Pym and demands that Jan marry him. She does... and once Yellow-Jacket calms down and we learn that he's actually Hank, Jan reveals that she knew it was him all along but went with it anyway because she'd been trying to get him to marry her for years, so she took advantage of the chance to finally become his wife (second wife, technically). And none of the other Avengers seem to be bothered by the fact that Jan basically took advantage of Hank when he had clearly suffered some kind of psychotic break down just because she wanted to be Mrs. Pym. Granted, it was the Silver Age but even by Silver Age standards that is all kinds of unintentionally creepy. Of course, it blew up in Jan's face years later...
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In one of the first issues, the Wasp was flying and Ant-man was riding a flying ant. She told him that he should get some wings like hers, as they fly into the adventure. Several years later, Henry Pym does that... as an homage to the Wasp, who had just been killed during a failed Skrull invasion.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Avengers 111, 1973. Magneto had captured the X-Men and several Avengers, turning them into People Puppets. Only 3 Avengers were still in the team, Thor, Vision and Black Panther (Magneto was not aware that they were recruiting allies). So sure about his strength in numbers over the Avengers, and with the Scarlet Witch dancing under his control, he said "But they are decimated, Piper - '''Decimated!'''" (bolded in the original). He would surely come to regret those words.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the very first issue, Loki redirects a distress call to the Fantastic Four because he wants revenge on Thor specifically. Or because the film rights are owned by another studio, take your pick.
    • There's an issue where Cap is going on and on insisting that Bucky is still alive. This was LONG before Bucky was resurrected as the Winter Soldier.
    • Avengers 254 is titled "Ultimate Vision". It was written a pair of decades before the Ultimate Marvel line, which included its own Ultimate Vision.
    • During the Under Siege arc, in 1986, Ant-Man (Scott Lang) and the Wasp have to fight against the Absorbing Man and Titania. Lang said "We have as much change of stopping those two as Spielberg had of winning an Oscar!" They did stop them... and Spielberg got an Oscar in 1994 for the Schindler's List.
  • Ho Yay: Sunspot & Cannonball, in Jonathan Hickman's run on the book, are never seen apart & their dialogue has been noted as being so filled with homoerotic implications that it could be given to gay couple & no-one would notice.
  • My Real Daddy: Roy Thomas; Stan Lee and Jack Kirby may have created the title, but Thomas created two of its major recurring villains — the Grim Reaper and Ultron — and introduced a number of ideas, characters, and tropes to the franchise that are used to this very day.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • For Iron Man, both his alcoholism and Civil War.
    • For Hank Pym, the creation of Ultron and smacking Jan during a drug-addled Freak Out!.
    • For Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, being members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. For, what, 2 or 3 issues before resigning?
      • Scarlet Witch has a lovely new one in the form of "No More Mutants". Those three words have come to more or less define her character and direction, to the point that it's rare that any aspect of her life other than the Decimation is brought up. Does she even have a brother anymore?
    • For some time, the Black Knight, Iron Man or the Avengers in general were blamed for the Nega-Bomb that destroyed the Kree Empire (which was not their doing), and the execution of the Supreme Intelligence (which was their doing, but the Supremo was actually Faking the Dead).
    • The rest of the Avengers blithely accepting Ms. Marvel going off to be with a guy who brainwashed and raped her. Notably, this was later subject to an Author's Saving Throw by Chris Claremont, who hated the idea from the start.
    • One of the deeds Loki will always be remembered by is bringing the Avengers together, to the point that some adaptations have put a different spin on this.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Pilot Marko appears for about five pages in Secret Avengers #17, and you are about to read every word he's ever spoken, but he steals the book.
    Pilot Marko: Yes! Pilot Marko shoots stupid Yankee zillion-dollar plane right in its stupid bluddy face! Where is your bluddy Steve Jobs tricknology now, Rich Yankee Pigs with your tight pants?
    Valkyrie: (activates Extreme Separation Protocol)
    Pilot Marko: ...They throw bluddy airplane bum at Pilot Marko?
    (Pilot Marko go bye-bye)
  • Protection from Editors: Brian Bendis, whose tenure on the title has seen him being able to do as he pleases, which has not been received favorably by all. Not helped by the fact that the only two Avengers books he didn't write in his tenure were Secret Avengers & the Dark Reign-era Mighty Avengers books. Notably, as he began finishing up his time on the franchise, certain aspects of his run were undone - namely, the deaths of several longtime Avengers, & Scarlet Witch was (Partially) absolved of her roles in the Disassembled & House of M storylines.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Monica Rambeau was rescued after Warren Ellis used her in Nextwave.
    • Lionheart after she stopped using the Captain Britain title.
  • So Bad, It's Good: There was a story with a villain called Immortus, whose power is that he can summon up mythical and real historical figures to fight for him, like Merlin, Atilla the Hun, Goliath and... Paul Bunyan. Yes, the Executioner vs Paul Bunyan. I am not making this up. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), Immortus was more toned down in later appearances, being known strictly as a time travelling villain..
    • Actually, all the early Avengers stories are like that to one extent or another. It's when the team lineup changes for the first time that things start to actually be good. It really doesn't help that the earliest stories have the team treating it like some kind of secret club, with regularly scheduled meetings and having hissy fits when a member doesn't show up (in one very early issue, Iron Man was even banned from the team for a week because he missed a meeting).
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: In the 1960s Marvel created the Black Panther, the first black superhero. Still, there was reluctance in most of the media to use black characters as main characters, beyond Black Dude Dies First or as the Plucky Comic Relief of the white main character. And so, Black Panther was created as an African character, instead of an Afro-American character. Feeling that he had to go one step further, Stan Lee created the "Sons of the Serpent", who were basically a Captain Ersatz of the infamous Ku Klux Klan. There was nothing fantastic about them: they were not mad scientists, evil mutants or had any superpowers, they were just a bunch of racists attacking people. Those two issues made constant references at every page to everything that is wrong with racism, xenophobia and intolerance.
  • Special Effect Failure: Avengers #307. She-Hulk is green, with a pink leotard. In page 7, she is colored pink, with a green leotard.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Since her return, Scarlet Witch has been attacked by several of her teammates for the events of House of M, even though The Children's Crusade established that she was possessed and manipulated by Doctor Doom. Her critics (namely The Vision and Rogue) are made to look like massive Jerkasses for attacking her, but House of M wasn't the first time Wanda lost control of her powers. There is definitely some logic behind the idea that having her on the Uncanny Avengers might be dangerous and counterproductive to the team's mission statement.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: One of the members of the Lethal Legion was Zyklon, who was actually the nazi Heinrich Himmler, resurrected and receiving superpowers from the demon Satanish. He lost those powers (and his super-villain costume, returning to his nazi uniform) during the fight of Satanish and Mephisto. War Machine took the chance and, in the name of all non-Aryan peoples of the world, he broke his arm.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Basically every single line-up change in the fluid roster has gotten some criticism, but Rob Liefeld's "Heroes Reborn" stand out in terms of negative feedback. The line lasted for only 12 issues, and Liefeld was fired even sooner than that.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: When the Swordman first shows up, Iron Man tells the Avengers with an hologram to accept him as a member. He's a good guy and they misunderstood him. The Swordman then betrays the team, leaves a bomb in the mansion, and runs away. The hologram was actually sent by the Mandarin, but the Avengers didn't know that. Iron Man fought alongside the Avengers in the next annual, and the Swordsman was one of the villains, but none of this was brought up.
  • Unexpected Character: A group of scientists who call themselves "The Enclave", those who first created Adam Warlock, had a mistery cargo in a plane, and crashed into the water. There is a rescue and cleanup, but there's a cocoon down there with some serious Power Incontinence. It turns out that the Enclave were just a Red Herring: the being inside the cocoon was a resurrected Jean Grey, who had died years before during The Dark Phoenix Saga.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The second Wasp, Nadia Pym, starts out with a deep dislike for Spider-Man, unable to go a single issue without insulting him in some way. It's hard to let this slide, because not only is she sweet and kind to everyone else (even Doctor Doom), but we're never given a solid reason as to why she seems to hate him so much.
  • The Untwist: All the gatherers are actually Avengers from alternate realities. But who is Proctor's identity in the main reality? Let's see, he has red eyes, he knows everything there is to know about the "Gann Josin" mind link between Sersi and the Black Knight, he can subtly manipulate them, he claims that Sersi destroys all realities and hates her with a passion... who can it be? Nobody bats an eye when it was "revealed" that Proctor was an alternate Black Knight.
  • Vindicated by History: Geoff Johns' run at the time was not well-received, due to mischaracterisation and Johns' lack of knowledge of the Marvel universe being quite evident. However, in the years since, it's been looked back on more fondly, as it preceded the loathed Chuck Austen run and the very divisive Bendis run, and Johns' standing as a comic creator has also far improved. He himself, however, looks on his run as something an Old Shame.
  • What an Idiot!: Avengers 317. Iron Man informs the Avengers that an orbe in the ship has been bobby-trapped to explode if it is touched by anyone except Nebula. The Avengers split up and search for it, aware that they must touch it. Spider-Man finds it first.
    You'd expect: That Spider-Man would call the others and then figure out what to do next.
    Instead: Spider-Man tries to grab the orb with his webs. If he does not touch it, he should be fine, right? NO!
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • 1960s, there is a special comic book character. A black superhero, named "Black Panther". What do you mean that it is not a veiled reference to the Black Panthers? No, really, it is not: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the character first. There was even a brief attempt to rename the character as "Black Leopard", to escape from the confusion, but it was short lived. Until the late Eighties, the character was almost always referred to as either 'Panther', 'the Panther' or T'Challa (his name), in order to avoid the implications of the name. According to "Comics Should Be Good", it's actually just a coincidence that the two have the same name and became prominent at the same time.
    • Despite the name, the crossover Operation Galactic Storm has no similarity to the contemporary Gulf War, codenamed "Operation Desert Storm"
  • The Woobie:
    • Carol Danvers. First she got powers during the explosion of a Kree machine, became a super-hero, and joined the Avengers. Everything was fine... and from there, down she goes. First, she is abducted, drugged and raped by the son of Immortus, who left her pregnant to be "born" on Earth (long story...). She returned, and the evil Rogue stole her powers and memories: Charles Xavier helped her to recover her memories, but not her emotional link to them. Then she was abducted by aliens, who unleashed great power in her, and she became Binary, but she lost this power as well. Once more with just the power of Ms. Marvel ("Warbird" by then), she joined the Avengers. But her refusal to point her loss of power (which almost led to disaster in battle), and her alcoholism, got her court-martialed and expelled from the Avengers. The Scarlet Witch created an alternate reality where she was the greatest super-hero... but things got back to normal, and she's just another super-hero of the lot. She returned to the Avengers, only to witness their breakup during Civil War. She took the side of Tony Stark, and had to hunt her old friends... and then, Stark was replaced by Norman Osborn, and she had to join those Avengers she was hunting. Even worse, Osborn included Ms. Marvel in his team... who was actually Moonstone using her first costume. But she's endured long enough to become the new Captain Marvel so she is very much an Iron Woobie.
    • Wasp, though she crosses into Iron Woobie: Her dad died, to kick things off, but she didn't let that get her down too much. Then she joined a superhero team only to be regulated to Distressed Damsel roles and ignored due to being the weakest member of the team (she eventually Took a Level in Badass but it too a long time for her to get there). Then her personal chauffeur starts making advances on her until eventually trying to kill her and Hank or to get her money; the chauffeur, it turns out, is Whirlwind, a villain that constantly kicks her ass when they battle, who's since developed an obsessive crush on her. Then she marries Hank, only for him to be in the middle of a psychotic break down that is partially her own fault, eventually resulting in a painful string of events that involve her almost being mind-raped and killed by Ultron, the crazy robot Hank built, when Ultron tries to make himself a wife, Jocasta, based on Jan's brainwaves (complete with Jan being forced to endure some very Nightmare Fuel Shameful Strip Fan Disservice), getting slapped across the face and knocked to the floor, forever turning her into a poster child for domestic abuse in comics. THEN, she spends the next bit of time recuperating from that and dealing with a messy divorce and, when her and Hank start to patch things up, she's attacked and almost raped by Whirlwind, who's crush has turned him into an obsessed psychopath. Then, after not being allowed to do anything for a while, she's used as a Sacrificial Lion during Secret Invasion. During which, she's secretly lost in the Microverse, fighting for her life.

The movie based on the comic book

See here.

The 1960s British TV series

  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • The series is credited with popularising kinky boots as a sexy fashion statement. Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman even recorded a song called "Kinky Boots".
    • Diana Rigg's Spy Catsuit is quite famous, even if she switched to a less Fanservicey one so she could actually do her stunts.
    • The episode "A Touch of Brimstone" is remembered for featuring Mrs Peel in a sexy leather bustier, even getting censored in America for this reason.
    • A now defunct fansite happily listed the episodes "Immortal Clay", "Mr Teddy Bear" and "Castle De'ath" as the ones where Steed goes shirtless.
  • Die for Our Ship: Tara King gets more Ship Tease with Steed than her two predecessors, thoroughly angering those who shipped Steed with Cathy Gale or Emma Peel.
  • Growing the Beard: The series grew some stubble when John Steed was promoted to main character after a season of being the sidekick to Dr. David Keel and the amazonian Cathy Gale became Steed's partner, and a full beard when Emma Peel became his new sidekick. People tend to assume Steed and Peel were the only lineup the show ever had even though they weren't brought together until the fourth season and were dissolved after the fifth. Peel's arrival also coincided with the series moving to film production (allowing location shooting and higher budgets). Opinion varies widely among fans, but the arrival of Tara King after Peel's departure is often seen as the shaving of the beard.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Doesn't Steed look rather like David Cameron in the page picture?
    • In the episode Two's a Crowd, a man who looks like Steed has it suggested to him that he wear a stick of celery in his lapel instead of a carnation.
    • In the episode From Venus, with Love, Jon Pertwee plays a brigadier who's later killed by a laser beam fired by (supposed) Venusians.
    • In the episode The Gilded Cage, Cathy Gale helps Steed organize a theft of gold bullion. When reviewing her plan, Cathy mentions how much bullion the United States has, and how it's kept in Fort Knox.
    • Michael Gough plays a Mad Scientist who keeps super gadgets in his basement. I think his later role as Alfred the Butler needs no elaboration here.
  • Narm Charm: It was the 1960s after all.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Tara King. Otherwise averted with Emma Peel, who is more fondly remembered than her predecessor Cathy Gale.
    • Neither Dr. Martin King (who was intended to be a replacement for Dr. Keel when Ian Hendry left the series) and Venus Smith (an innocent jazz singer who was supposed to be Steed's unwilling partner) were well thought of, and only lasted three and six episodes respectively, when Cathy Gale settled in as Steed's permanent partner.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Young audiences will recognise Emma Peel as Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones.
    • The series' guest actors sometimes provoke this as well. The most extreme example is probably "The Superlative Seven," which guest-stars a youthful, pre-fame Donald Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, and BRIAN BLESSED all in a single episode!
  • Seasonal Rot: Sixth season, due to the departure of Emma Peel, and an attempt to make the series more 'realistic'.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Linda Thornson had the unenviable task of filling in following Diana Rigg.
  • Values Dissonance: "Castle of De'ath" features some rather stereotypical portrayal of Scottish people - namely that they use bagpipes to cover up their evil deeds and all walk around wearing tartan and kilts the whole time. Not to mention, to pass as a Scot Steed says his name is 'Jock McSteed'note .
  • Values Resonance: Both Cathy Gale and Emma Peel were treated as equals to Steed - presumably because Cathy's early episodes were originally written for Dr King and Gender Flipped when he left. In episodes, both Steed and his female partner would alternately save each other.