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YMMV / The Avengers

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Taskmaster is a somewhat Friendly Enemy who's an unscrupulous mercenary willing to work for virtually anyone, but despite having a high reputation he's never successfully became a Hero Killer. He's had multiple opportunities to do so after getting the best of someone, but either he backs down since it's not what he's being paif for, or he decides to do some Evil Gloating or Kick the Dog and they get a Heroic Second Wind and kick his ass. Is this deliberate on his part? He's Genre Savvy enough to know better yet still does, so is it a deliberate move on his part to give them a fighting chance, or is he just grabbing the Idiot Ball? And if it is deliberate, why? He's made it clear in the past it's all Just Business to him and so does he just not want the extra hassle of people wanting revenge? Or is it he's just not willing to actually kill a hero since Even Evil Has Standards, especially given his confession in his 2010 miniseries about why he's a mercenary, which implies he has a much higher moral standing than he lets on?
  • 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 had been killed. Even Hawkeye eventually recovered and returned to being the siily jokester 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.)
    • The infamous story from "The Avengers #200", where Carol Danvers is forcibly impregnated with a clone-avatar by Marcus, a Psychopathic Man Child from Limbo with super-science gadgets. Despite the obvious Medical Horror elements of this story, none of the Avengers other than Ms. Marvel herself are at all upset about matters, instead chipperly talking about Danvers' impending motherhood — then, when it turns out that her "son" is actually Marcus, who used that method to enter Earth's dimension to take Carol as his wife, she blithely returns to Limbo with him and the Avengers give them both their blessing. It turns out that Carol was, rather literally, Mind Raped - which should have been obvious given her statements directly after the clone-Marcus' birth that she did not view this thing as her son. The rest of the Avengers had no such excuse for not finding this whole scenario absurd and horrific. The result was so backwards that Chris Claremont undid it a year later in "The Avengers Annual #10", and Marvel has done their best to pretend the whole thing never happened ever since - other than occasional vague references in Carol's title, relating to why she is really not a fan of the forcibly married thing.
  • Anvilicious: 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.
  • Author Appeal: George Perez designed a new costume for the Scarlet Witch, which reveals that she does not wear panties.
  • Audience-Alienating Era:
    • 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. Captain America and Iron Man both decided to focus on solo adventures, and Thor left soon afterwards. 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. Deathcry joined at this point, a character 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 was decided to kill nearly 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. This reboot 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 a mixed-at-best Geoff Johns run, Chuck Austen took over. His run 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.
    • Jason Aaron's run is one of the most unpopular runs yet. His characterization of many characters is questionable at best, and completely contradictory at worst. Robbie Reyes being the worst offender, going from a tragic and complex loner to jobbing Plucky Comic Relief. His stories constantly try to change established canon for the sake of leaving a mark, tons of gimmick-based plots occur, and most stories rely on characters being written completely out of character for shock value. It says something when most concurrent books ignore the book's changes or outright mock them.
  • 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 is 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 leaves much to be desired. Her actions in Secret Avengers do not help with this (a combination of What the Hell, Hero? and Kick the Dog. 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. A number of fans 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 that she is not OK betraying Mockingbird or Hulk (but not Daisy; she is happy screwing over Daisy).
    • Wanda, aka Scarlet Witch, is a strange case as much of her Base Breaker status largely comes down to whether one is more a fan of the Avengers or the X-Men. Avengers fans have largely forgiven her for her actions during the Disassembled and House of M arcs, mainly because it was established in Avengers: The Children's Crusade that she was not herself at that time and even with X-Men fans, she's quite popular with female comic book readers and those who struggle with mental illnesses. On the other hand, for most parts of the X-Men fandom, she is viewed as a Karma Houdini who never got any real punishment. A point of contention is while Cyclops (whose actions also happened under a mental breakdown and possession) gets hunted down like a criminal, she has largely been forgiven. This has been pointed out In-Universe on occasion. Her attempts to fix her mistakes has often been aborted or something wrong happens during the attempts, with fans either saying she should be punished even more or are annoyed that the writers are pulling an invoked Ron the Death Eater for her good intentions.
  • Broken Base: Jonathan Hickman's run. Either it's a grand space-epic, or really dull and filled with needless Purple Prose.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Creator's Pet: Mantis, during the Celestial Madonna Saga. All of a sudden the writing stops to tell us this woman is the most important woman who will ever live, so important Kang desires to make her his baby-mama, and everyone else stands around talking about how impressive she is. It even gets to the point the Avengers, as Hawkeye even comments upon, are demoted to supporting characters in their own title. This would be a recurring trend with Mantis whenever she's written by her creator, Steve Englehart.
  • Designated Hero: During the Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event, 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.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • From Jonathan Hickman's run, there is Smasher, who is very well-liked despite her small role. She became a Breakout Character in her own right.
    • There is also Ex Nihilo, for his pure charisma. That is 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 Byrne's West Coast Avengers run.
    • Lionheart is generally regarded as the only decent thing to come out of Chuck Austen's run, mainly because of her good costume design.
    • Edwin Jarvis might not be a member of the team itself, but he is utterly beloved by fans due to his Undying Loyalty to the team and the heartwarming relationship he has with many of them.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Keeping in with the spirit of the Marvel/DC rivalry, the Avengers has one with the Justice League. Both sides do however agree that the JLA/Avengers crossover was pure unmitigated awesomeness, in large part because it was written by Kurt Busiek, who knew how to handle both teams.
    • Within the Marvel fandom, a fierce rivalry has come to brew between Avengers fans and X-Men fans since the mid-2000s, thanks in part by the push in popularity the Avengers got from the success of The Ultimates and even moreso with the massive success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The success essentially propelled the Avengers and its affiliated characters to enjoy the kind of mainstream recognition the X-Men enjoyed, after decades of largely playing second fiddle to them. X-Men fans as a result have become increasingly resentful of the Avengers, with some fans going as far as to accuse Marvel Comics of playing favorites with the Avengers (and to a lesser extent, the Guardians of the Galaxy, though despite this, they both had a brief Enemy Mine with The Inhumans because of Ike Perlmutter forcing the brand to replace the X-Men as the outcast heroes while X-Men fans will at least begrudgingly admit that The Avengers brings something different to the table and became popular more organically and Avengers fans respect the history of the X-Men). The rivalry died down somewhat after Marvel reacquired the film rights to both franchises and announced plans to integrate them into the MCU.
  • Fan Nickname: Rulk for the Red Hulk
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • As with his X-Men run, anything that Chuck Austen was involved in, no matter how small. The sole exception to this is Lionheart, and even then, she only became genuinely liked after she dropped the Captain Britain title and was written by Chris Claremont in New Excalibur.
    • There is a lot of debate about Brian Michael Bendis's run, but pretty much everyone likes to ignore Avengers Disassembled.
    • The whole Issue #200 fiasco is generally ignored by both fans and writers; beyond Chris Claremont's Author's Saving Throw, it is hardly ever been referenced or brought up again. For understandable reasons.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • The entire story of how Janet and Hank got married, not to mention much of their early relationship. Granted, it was the Silver Age but even by Silver Age standards, that is all kinds of unintentionally creepy. Their relationship itself starts with Hank taking Janet, fresh from the trauma of her father's death, as his superhero companion and girlfriend. Largely because she reminds him of his late wife. He then spends the next several years regularly being an Insufferable Genius and casual misogynist towards her, which she put up with because she was infatuated with him and wanted to marry him. Then the Yellowjacket debacle happened, where Hank attacked her and the Avengers in a new costumed identity. He told them that he had killed Hank Pym, before choking Janet out and kidnapping her. He proceeds to force a kiss on her. After they get married and the Avengers find out it was Hank all along, none of them say anything about Janet marrying a clearly unhinged Hank Pym. The fact that she was potentially taking advantage of his unstable behavior, or that she was putting herself in serious danger by marrying someone who was dangerously unwell. Things do not go well, but the infamous slap that follows years later was really something everyone should have seen coming.
    • Literally everything about "The Avengers'' #20. Carol Danvers was mentally compelled to fall in love with Marcus, impregnated with his genetically engineered clone-avatar, and then had her memories of the seduction and impregnation erased. She had to go through the horror of giving birth to a baby she did not remember conceiving. When he aged literally overnight into a grown man, she immediately fell in love with him upon seeing him. She abandoned her friends in the Avengers to go off to Limbo with him. And worse, all of her friends see absolutely nothing wrong with this! This issue was so badly written that this turned into Ascended Fridge Horror.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • 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.
    • The Avengers #111, 1973. Magneto had captured the X-Men and several Avengers, turning them into People Puppets. Only 3 Avengers were still free, Thor, Vision and Black Panther. 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: in House of M, the Scarlet Witch, mad and with reality warping powers, turned all mutants except 198 into normal people without powers, including Magneto. The name of the event? Decimation.
    • Avengers Forever mentions that Immortus was afraid that Wanda or her sons would become insanely powerful and change reality itself; and manipulated her and the Vision to get married so that she did not have any sons. Many years later, in Avengers Disassembled and House of M, Wanda becomes the force that Immortus feared. And even more years later, in The Children's Crusade, she does have a son with similar reality warping powers...
  • 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 were 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.
    • Avengers Annual #10 in 1981 included a cover blurb that announced, "A Shocking Mystery Guest!" The guest was Carol Danvers, who had been absent for some time before this. But the issue happened to include a one-time extra named "Maddy Pryor". Decades later, readers sometimes confuse this "Pryor" with the other one because the X-Men were guest characters in this Annual, it was written by Chris Claremont, and the cover blurb.
  • Ho Yay: Hawkeye and Captain America's initial hostility-turned-undying loyalty reads a lot like Unresolved Sexual Tension or an enemies-to-lovers story. That Clint once asked Steve to run away with him (to start their own Avengers team, due to a disagreement Steve was having with the others), and Clint's jealousy towards Bucky and Sam just adds to it.
  • Iconic Sequel Outfit: Tigra originally wore a yellow and blue costume in her alias as The Cat. Following her transformation into a tiger humanoid, she started wearing a black bikini. Her original costume is now known for being worn by Hellcat.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Pietro is arrogant and hot-tempered (and has done some pretty downright stupid and horrible things), but his life has just been so darned painful that it's hard not to feel some pity for him.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Kang the Conqueror, born Nathaniel Richards, turned to conquest due to being bored by a utopia in the 30th century. Forging a galaxies-wide, centuries-spanning empire by his tactical genius, Kang routinely returns to the 20th century to engage the Avengers, repeatedly outsmarting them and always coming close to ultimate victory. Combining an insatiable drive to conquer with an odd sense of honor, Kang often fails solely due to future versions of himself interfering. At one point, Kang even manages to divest his destiny from his future self and forms a council consisting of alternate Kangs, only to completely outwit and destroy them. In The Kang Dynasty, Kang razes Washington DC and masterminds a near complete take over of earth, planning even in defeat to leave his empire to his son Marcus, before being forced to kill Marcus for his betrayal when Marcus rescues him. Kang repeatedly shows he is one of the Avengers' most resilient and dangerous enemies, stopping at nothing until all he can imagine falls under his dominion.
  • Memetic Loser: Because he is his Alternate Company Equivalent, Quicksilver gets quite often compared to The Flash, against whom he is for the most part horribly outclassed. While there are versions of Quicksilver that are faster than some versions of the Flash and there have been times where Quicksilver has been powered up to Flash-like levels in the comics, for the most part Quicksilver on average tends to have very defined limits to his speed while the Flash is nigh-limitless in his potential for speed. Another reason is that his twin Scarlet Witch got the Super Power Lottery. She is a vastly powerful Reality Warper while he got Super-Speed, and is not even at the top of that power tier in the Marvel Universe.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Scarlet Witch has been the target of a lot of character's affections, including Angel, Toad, Mastermind, Captain America, Hawkeye, The Vision, Wonder Man, Nightcrawler, Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange, Arkon, Iron Man, Doctor Voodoo and some more. And those are only the canon ones.
  • 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.
    • Steve Englehart for Beast, being the one who introduced the jovial, wise-cracking but still smart personality that is generally used for Hank up to the modern day.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • For Iron Man, both his alcoholism and Civil War.
    • For Ant-Man / 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?
    • Since 2005, Scarlet Witch is mostly remembered for her "No more mutants" proclamation in House of M. 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.
  • Older Than They Think: Most people think that Spider-Man only joined up in 2004, when Bendis took over the franchise and radically changed the direction of the series. The truth is that Spidey has been a member since 1991, and while he may have initially joined only as a reservist, he wasn't the first. Black Knight and Black Widow followed much the same path, starting out as reservists before joining full time decades later, and Spidey followed suit. But when most people think of when Spidey joined the Avengers, 2004's New Avengers is what they tend to point to.
  • 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.
  • Salvaged Story:
    • Secret Invasion provided one for Hank Pym, whose actions in Civil War were negated by the reveal that he was a Skrull during that storyline. However, it's established that he was only replaced following Avengers Disassembled, which means that his hitting Jan during a mental breakdown is still on him.
    • Invoked with Quicksilver claiming that he had been a Skrull for a similar period of time to avoid any punishment for his role in instigating in the House of M and his actions between then and Secret Invasion.
    • Avengers: The Children's Crusade for the Scarlet Witch's involvement in the mass depowering of the mutant race during House of M by retconning these events to largely be down to the manipulations of Doctor Doom.
    • You can suspect that the nineties were not a good time, when you get so many of those in a row. First, you had the team with the Romantic Plot Tumor between the Black Knight, Crystal and Sersi. The Author's Saving Throw was The Crossing, but it was incredibly snarled, and filled of nonsensical stuff (such as Tony Stark being evil since day one, the Wasp turned into a mutated monster, teen Tony, etc.). The Author's Saving Throw of the Author's Saving Throw was Heroes Reborn, when the Avengers were killed during the Onslaught Saga and moved to a Ultimate Universe for their own, and redesigned by Rob Liefeld. It was so bad, Liefeld was fired in the middle of the mere 12-issues deal. The Author's Saving Throw of that was Heroes Return, by Kurt Busiek and George Perez, and fortunately this time it worked.
    • In a somewhat hilarious manner, Busiek had a back-up story in one issue framed as Jarvis responding to some questions about the Avengers' recent history, that was more-or-less just used so that Jarvis could explain away (IE, retcon) some particularly controversial storylines of the past few years, and also firmly state that Sam Wilson is not a mutant.
    • Avengers Forever was Busiek's answer to the mess that wasThe Crossing. It's revealed that Immortus had only manipulated Iron Man since Operation: Galactic Storm to the Crossing and not from Kang's first battle with the Avengers, and that the Mantis who seemed to have made a Faceā€“Heel Turn was really a Space Phantom. It also explained where the Vision came from after the Human Torch was reintroduced separately despite previous statement indicated he'd been rebuilt into the Vision. Immortus had duplicated the Human Torch's dormant body allowing one to be used as the basis of the Vision by Ultron and the other to be revived as the Human Torch.
    • After poor writing for issue #200 made it seem like Ms. Marvel was brainwashed and raped, and we were supposed to see it as romantic, the following year saw her give a blistering What the Hell, Hero? speech to the team for not realizing she was still brainwashed when she agreed to go off with the guy. It also gave Marcus a Karmic Death, saying that his experiments caused him to become badly out of temporal synch with Limbo, resulting in him aging into dust within the span of a week after they had returned.
  • Signature Series Arc:
    • For the Roy Thomas era, it's the Crimson Cowl/Ultron 2-Parter, the Skrull-Kree War. The former for introducing the major recurring villain of the Avengers, and the second being one of the first cosmic stories in Marvel that placed the Avengers at the center of it.
    • Then there is the story arc in Avengers #211-230 that shows the downfall of Hank Pym as he slaps his wife, humiliates himself, gets divorced, expelled from the Avengers, framed from a crime and imprisoned, and then framed again as an accomplice. He theb manages to overturn and defeat the Masters of Evil by himself, and take responsibility for his actions. This story, which was strongly serialized, redefined the Avengers group dynamic. It made them flawed and conflicted heroes. For better or for worse, this is the defining story of Hank Pym and Ant-Man.
    • In Roger Stern's lengthy run it is definitely, Under Siege. The Masters of Evil go big like never before, then infiltrate and take over Avengers mansion. They imprison and/or decommission many Avengers, making Earth's Mightiest Heroes the underdogs as they take back their headquarters.
    • In modern times, important story arcs include New Avengers, Secret Invasion and in The Avengers (Jonathan Hickman)Infinity and "Time Runs Out".
  • 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 Avengers: 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!:
  • 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.
    • One particularly disliked version of the team was introduced in Avengers #300 (February 1989). The East Coast Avengers had briefly disbanded. The Captain reestablishes the team as a quintet, consisting of himself, Thor, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, and Gilgamesh. They had rather poor chemistry, and the main internal conflict was that Mr. Fantastic refused to follow orders. This team was unfavorably compared to more popular rosters of the 1980s.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: When the Swordsman first shows up, Iron Man tells the Avengers with an hologram to accept him as a member. He is a good guy and they misunderstood him. The Swordsman then betrays the team, leaves a bomb in the mansion, and runs away. The hologram was actually sent by the Mandarin, but the Avengers did not 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:
    • During Sterns' run "the Enclave", those who created Adam Warlock, crash a plane in the middle of another hare-brained scheme. During the cleanup, a cocoon is discovered displaying 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.
    • Depending on the era of the team, the Avengers can consist of nothing but Marvel's biggest guns or an entire roster of C-List fodder. Whenever it's at either of those two extremes, the way a writer may try to shake things up is by adding characters from the opposite end of the hierarchy. For example, the unknown Black Panther replacing Captain America in the 60s was considered a surprise, while Captain America re-joining the team in the 90s was equally a shock. And it's always a surprise when characters associated with other teams or "franchises" join (Justice and Firestar from New Warriors, Beast and Wolverine from the X-Men, or Spider-Man).
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Carol Danvers in the 2018 volume. Not only does she still hold a grudge against Tony for the events of Civil War II (despite Tony being willing to bury the hatchet enough to work, and even flirt, with her), she absolutely refuses to apologize for putting him in a coma (with a blow that would have killed him if not for his unique physiology), and even makes light of it on occasion. Note this is not the case in her own title or any other books she and him appear in, where the two are firmly friends again and she feels awful about what she did.
  • The Un-Twist: 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.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Prior to the infamous slap, Hank Pym's treatment of Janet, is just filled with red flags when looked at from a modern perspective. Shortly after it happened, the slap was treated as a one-time thing and he was presented as having never done anything abusive beforehand, but when one digs through earlier comics it's not hard to find examples of him being a verbally abusive bully. Never mind, when he created the Yellowjacket identity, he proposed to Janet, after first knocking her unconscious, kidnapping her from the team, and forcefully kissing her. This happened a good two-hundred issues before the slap, where this kind of thing was much more acceptable and thus didn't immediately damn his character.
    • Some of Hawkeye's behavior during the 60s and 70s, such as his casually racist habit of calling T'Challa "Jungle Man", or his creepy, Entitled to Have You attitude towards Wanda, acting as if it's a given she'll marry him and have multiple children with him without even checking whether she likes him, then planting a Foreceful Kiss on her and being outraged that Wanda isn't receptive.
  • Vindicated by History: Geoff Johns' run was not well-received at the time due to characterization problems and Johns' lack of knowledge of the Marvel universe being quite evident. However, in the years since, it has been looked back on more fondly, as it preceded the much more loathed Chuck Austen run and the very divisive Bendis run. Johns own standing as a comic creator has also far improved. He himself, however, looks on his run as something an Old Shame.
  • 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's not a veiled reference to the Black Panthers? No, really, it isn't: 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 given), 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. It is political, in a sense. Black Panthers have been used as a symbol by politically minded black men since the reconstruction of the southern United States following the Civil War. It is short hand for "We are few in number and will leave you alone if left alone, but tear your face off if provoked" black panthers. Jack Kirby knew this, and so did Huey P Newton, but by that same token it is a little silly to think political party or the comic book character are referencing one another as opposed to say an earlier reconstruction party or even a World War tank battalion that was referencing a reconstruction era political party. It's akin to using a timber rattlesnake, which represented the thirteen colonies, when a patriotic and or nationalistic US citizen decides "red white and blue" isn't hitting hard enough.
    • Despite the name, the crossover Operation: Galactic Storm has no similarity to the contemporary Gulf War, codenamed "Operation Desert Storm"
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The infamous "belly dancer" outfit George Perez gave Scarlet Witch in Avengers vol. 3. The character claims that she intended to "get in touch with my gypsy roots" (Yeah...) but really, and let's not kid here, it's for Fanservice, plain and simple. Problem is, it makes Wanda (who is your typical comic book babe anyhow) look like a belly dancer. What's more, it's just highly out-of-character for the shy, reserved characterisation she is often given, not to mention looks nothing like what a romani woman would wear outside of an exotic dance club.
  • Win Back the Crowd: In the 60s and 70s, the Avengers were decently popular if less popular than The Fantastic Four, but in later years they were completely overshadowed by Spider-Man and the X-Men. The run by Kurt Busiek and George Perez was a welcomed improvement over the previous runs, but it was still just an obscure Cult Classic only slightly more distinguished than The Defenders, Midnight Sons or Eternals due to their publication longevity. In fact, while conceiving the Ultimate Marvel line, the executives had no faith whatsoever in the Avengers fitting with the new universe, with Mark Millar having to fight tooth and nail to get the project greenlit (and even then, he still had to change the team's name). The success of The Ultimates and mainstream Marvel stories like Avengers Disassembled and other events restored the team's popularity, and the MCU fully cemented it.
  • 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 then 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 out 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 relegated to Damsel in Distress 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 decides to get serious about superheroing, becoming the Avengers' chairwoman and leader. Her leadership is constantly undermined and disrespected however, largely due to misogyny both among the supervillains they fight but also even among some of the team, leading the Under Siege, a devastating attack that only happened because the villains believed she was too weak a leader to stop themnote . Years later, when her and Hank start to patch things up, she's attacked and almost raped by Whirlwind, whose 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. When she comes back from all this, she quickly gets back into the swing of things and happily embraces being a hero again.
    • The Vision. Let's see, met the love of his life who accepted him even though he was a robot, married her, and had two lovely boys with her, only to have his sons turn out to be false entities created by the Scarlet Witch's magic which turned his wife into an unstable Villain and later caused her to kill him when the memories of her sons returned. (Even though she had never forgotten them in the first place. Blame Bendis for not getting his facts straight.) Not to mention all of the fear and hatred he met with when he first became an Avenger! What's more, Vision's artificial human status has leas to constant, casual Fantastic Racism, even among some of his teammates and friends, who fail to realise just how human and alive he really is, and more importantly how emotional he is; regularly they fail to consider his feelings on a subject, and almost never think to check on him after something traumatic, since they assume he doesn't get traumatized.
    • Scarlet Witch. While she's done some questionable things, it's pretty hard not to feel bad for her. On top of just being a mutant, who are disliked and have to put up with a strain of bacteria that forces people to hate them even more, she gets crap for being a member of Magneto's Brotherhood, something she never wanted to do and only worked with three times until she found a way out fifty years in publication time after she left The Brotherhood for good. She might not even be a mutant but an unwilling pawn of Doctor Doom, High Evolutionary and or Elder god Cthun.

The movie based on the comic book

See here.