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Comic Book / Cap's Kooky Quartet

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The Avengers and some fans...
The second Avengers team, retrospectively referred to as "Cap's Kooky Quartet", was created in The Avengers (1963) #16 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, with most of the subsequent issues written by Lee and drawn by Don Heck. Stan Lee wanted to get rid of the similarity with the Justice League, and removed Thor, Iron Man, Giant Man and the Wasp from the team, all of them with their own comic books, and replaced them with Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Captain America stayed, hence this incarnation became known as "Cap's Kooky Quartet". They had minor powers in comparisonnote , and the three new members were former super villains: Hawkeye from Iron Man, and the twins from the X-Men.

The team would continue until issue #35, when Roy Thomas took over as writer, and would remain so until issue #105.

This run also introduces Jarvis, the Swordsman, the first Power Man (Erik Josten, who would later become known as Atlas; not Luke Cage) and Kang's lover Ravonna, among others.

Cap's Kooky Quartet contains examples of:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: A longrunning drama throughout this incarnation of the Avengers was Hawkeye being in love with the Scarlet Witch, who only had eyes for Captain America, who just isn't interested in her.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The end of the adventure with Kang. The Avengers, taken to the 30th century, were allowed to return to their original timeline. They were in the machine, already vanishing, when Captain America warned Kang that the assassin Baltag was right behind him. He fired at Kang, Ravonna took the bullet, Baltag was executed right away... and the Avengers returned to the 20th century, without knowing (for several months, at least) if Ravonna had died saving Kang or not.
  • The Bus Came Back: Wasp and Hank Pym (who starts going by "Goliath") quickly rejoin the team.
  • The Cameo: Immortus makes a very brief appearance in issue 16, watching the Avengers. He doesn't make a reappearance again until Avengers #131 in 1974.
  • Captain Superhero: Captain America begins to fit this role. In the previous team, he was just one among the others.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Rick Jones and his "teen brigade". He's seen in the first issue, upset because he'd been waiting to become an Avenger for some months to no avail, and those three guys became Avengers just like that. He was not seen again in the Avengers until the Kree-Skrull War, several years later.
  • Damsel out of Distress: The commissar captures the Scarlet Witch and held her hostage, while forcing the Avengers to fight against him. Captain America, Hawkeye and Quicksilver were all defeated. And then... Captain America asked him to free the Scarlet Witch and fight her as well. Being a Dirty Communist, he Would Hit a Girl. But she defeats the commissar all by herself... by proving that it was Actually a Doombot.
  • Easily Forgiven: The Avengers, the media and the public forgive the three new members for their criminal pasts instantly. A reporter mentions that the X-Men have made it known that Pietro and Wanda are no longer villains, and that's the only time their villainous past comes up in this run, though later stories would retroactively make more of it.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • The first case in the Avengers. Actually, they were not very "evil" to begin with: Hawkeye was mistaken for a villain after having been duped by Black Widow, and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were blackmailed by Magneto to work in his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and left it at the first chance they got. Still, their villainous past would be mentioned several times over the years (a notable example was when the Thunderbolts appeared) and opened the path for several other former villains who would become Avengers.
    • It also counts for the Swordsman, at the end of the story.
  • Humongous Mecha: Which enemy do they fight first? Of course, the classic giant robot.
  • Latex Perfection: Captain America, costumed as a business agent, claimed to Power Man that he had arranged the breakup of the Avengers, so he made an Accidental Confession. And he had a latex mask... over his cowl.
  • Leader Wannabe: Hawkeye. He says that he would be a better leader than Cap about, oh... 3 or 4 times an issue. Never mind that the first time he tries, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver immediately vote for Cap.
  • Love Redeems: Kang has launched the full force of his countless armies against the petty little nation of Ravonna. How can the Avengers, without the armoured power of Iron Man, the immortal stamina of Thor, or the titanic strength of Giant Man, fight against the most powerful army ever? What about with The Power of Love?
  • Lured into a Trap: Wanda and Pietro receive a letter from their never-before-mentioned aunt asking them to visit. They do. It's a trap arranged by Doctor Doom.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Commissar turns out to be a mindless robot controlled by his apparent lackey, Major Hoy.
  • Missed Him by That Much: The team's first mission is to try and persuade the Hulk to rejoin the team. Circumstances mean they get into a fight with the Mole Man instead, unaware that Hulk actually is nearby, dealing with the Leader.
  • Mook Promotion: Erik Josten, an unknown mook of Baron Zemo, left on his own wandering in the jungle after Zemo's death. He used the machine that created Wonder Man, becoming Power Man (not that Power Man, in fact he fought with Luke Cage for the right to the name, and lost). Years later, he got size-changing power. Then, ionic powers. Then, he became the superhero Atlas of the Thunderbolts, and the rest, as they say, is history. Not bad for a mere unnamed mook.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Right there in the name is a hint. Kind of a step-down from the creme de la creme of supeheroism that were the A-Listers of Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man and the Wasp. But they get there in the end.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Doom lures Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver into a trap, figuring if he defeats the Avengers this will instil fear in the Fantastic Four and therefore make them easier to defeat. Somehow.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Kang loves Ravonna, and after conquering her city he orders to prepare a royal wedding. Kang's lieutenant reminds him of the rules: the deposed royals must be executed immediately, to prevent rebellions. But Kang himself designed that law, and his rule is absolute: so screw the rules! Baltag disagrees. He really disagrees.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Captain America retires from the Avengers, and begins a boxing career. But when he hears over the radio that the Avengers have been captured by Kang, he wants to go help. Problem is, the champion won't allow him to leave the fight just like that... so Steve Rogers takes him down with a single megaton punch.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The Scarlet Witch is the only gal on the team, with the Wasp's absence. It'll be a while before any new female superheroes join up, as well.
  • Storming the Castle: Justified in-story. When he refused to execute Ravonna, Kang's army turned against him. Alone against a whole army, he freed the Avengers and some other prisoners to save Ravonna. The army was powerful, but the poor leadership of Baltag had it in chaotic disarray, while Kang's band was small, but led by the greatest military genius of all history (so says Stan Lee... and not talking about Cap precisely), and managed to find their way to Baltag himself.
  • Taking the Bullet: And a really romantic case. Ravonna took the bullet fired at Kang when she realized she actually loved him.
  • Water Is Air: Averted in the battle against Attuma. The complications of fighting underwater, which slows speed and reflexes, and the problems with pressure, are fully acknowledged in the plot.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: We've got Cap, still unsure about his place in the modern world. We've got Hawkeye, who thinks he'd do a better job than Cap as leader, and can't resist needling and insulting him at every opportunity, and we've got Quicksilver, who is a jerk who can't get on with anyone. Oh, and Scarlet Witch. She's the sane one.
  • Wham Episode: This arc began with one of the most famous, where all the original Avengers abruptly decide to leave and three ex-villains are signed up to replace them.
  • With a Foot on the Bus: Power Man and the Enchantress managed to turn the Avengers into heroes with bad publicity. Captain America managed to clear their names; and then retires, starting a new life as a boxer... which lasts for just a few pages. When he hears on the radio that the Avengers have been kidnapped by Kang, he takes up the shield again and heads to the battle without a second thought.

Alternative Title(s): Second Avengers Team