The Avengers

Features

SDCC: Marvel Unveils New Logos for "Black Panther," "Thor: Ragnarok" & More

2 hours ago
By Anthony Couto

At Comic-Con International: San Diego, Marvel Studios revealed logos for the slate of movies in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

SDCC EXCL.: Spencer Swears "Civil War II: The Oath" Will Change the Entire Marvel Universe

6 hours ago
By Dave Richards

Nick Spencer promises he's not exaggerating when he says his "Civil War II" epilogue one-shot has "severe, very drastic repercussions" for the Marvel U.

Articles

SDCC: Marvel Announces Animated "Secret Wars," Skottie Young-Style "Rocket & Groot"

7 hours ago
By Anthony Couto

SDCC: "Thor: Ragnarok" Props Confirm "Planet Hulk" Elements

12 hours ago
By Anthony Couto

EXCL. PREVIEW: Sunspot's Danger Room Training Pays Off in "New Avengers" #14

2 days ago
By CBR News Team

"Captain America: Steve Rogers" Kneels Before the Red Skull in New Preview

2 days ago
By Stephen Gerding

SDCC: First Look at Marvel's 13-Foot Captain America Bronze Statue

3 days ago
By Kevin Melrose

LOOK: Mondo Unveils "Captain America" & "Ant-Man" SDCC Posters

Mon, July 18th
By Andrew Paul

The Top 10 Times Fictional Characters Invaded San Diego Comic-Con

Mon, July 18th
By Chris Gates

10 Times Superheroes Killed Other Superheroes for "The Greater Good"

Sat, July 16th
By Brian Cronin

How the First Avengers vs. X-Men Crossover Saved Magneto from Villainy

Fri, July 15th
By Brian Cronin

Maleev Debuts Doctor Doom's "Infamous Iron Man" Armor Concept Art

Fri, July 15th
By Stephen Gerding

That Time Hawkeye Defeated the Hulk One-on-One... Nearly 50 Years Ago!

Fri, July 15th
By Brian Cronin

10 Times Hawkeye Ironically Said Superheroes Shouldn't Kill

Thu, July 14th
By Brian Cronin

11 Major Highlights from the Marvel NOW! Previews Catalog

Wed, July 13th
By Anthony Couto

Fan-Made "Marvel Ultimate Alliance" Trailer is Inhumanly Epic

Tue, July 12th
By Brandon Staley

New Iron Man Riri Williams Prompts Wave of "Invincible" Marvel Sellouts

Mon, July 11th
By Kiel Phegley

Mephisto's Son Beat the Avengers, but Don't Worry -- Miles Morales Can Handle Him

Sun, July 10th
By Brian Cronin

"Was 'Thor's' Jane Foster Once Deemed 'Unworthy'" & More Forgotten Storylines

Sat, July 9th
By Brian Cronin

Axel-In-Charge: Marvel NOW! Gets Young & Hungry with "Champions" and the New "Iron Man"

Fri, July 8th
By Axel Alonso

Biography

The Avengers

Marvel Comics' flagship superhero team The Avengers was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby in the spring of 1963 and published later that year in "The Avengers" #1. At that time, it was a novel idea for a group of heroes to team up; comics were almost exclusively populated with titles focusing on a single hero or at most a pair, usually in a hero and sidekick role. With "The Avengers," Marvel architects Lee & Kirby brought together the comic company's top heroes of the time under a single banner. Labeled "Earth's Mightiest Heroes," the group consisted of established characters Ant-Man, Wasp, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk. Although considered a founding member, Captain America didn't appear until three issues later, quickly becoming the group's lynchpin and most popular member.

"The Avengers" title proved quite popular on comics racks, quickly becoming one of Marvel's top sellers alongside "Amazing Spider-Man," which also debuted in 1963. As time went on, the roster of the team proved fluid, starting with several members resigning and Captain America recruiting former villains and newer heroes into the mix. While there's almost always at least one founding member in the team at all times, the tradition of an ever-rotating roster has been fertile fodder for storylines, including the ever popular recruitment drives. Over seventy-five characters have claimed membership in the Avengers team in its 45-plus year history, ranging from skilled humans, mutants, aliens, robots and even a few gods.

A new issue of "The Avengers" has been published virtually every month since September 1963, with the series proving popular enough to warrant numerous spin-off series. As of August 2010, there are four Avengers titles including the flagship, with additional limited series and even some alternate universe versions in the Ultimate and Marvel Adventures lines. Although "The Avengers" has been Marvel's de facto flagship title since its inception in the early 1960s, it was usurped as sales leader for years by Marvel's other big team book, "Uncanny X-men." The mutants' sales domination continued up until five years ago when writer Brian Michael Bendis took over the book.

In 2004, Bendis and artist David Finch were enlisted by Marvel to take the title and the team in a new direction. With the four issue story-arc titled "Avengers: Disassembled," the Avengers team as it stood was effectively broken up after the deaths of several key members and the long-running title was cacelled. From those ashes, Marvel launched a new book titled "New Avengers" which saw classic Avengers members partnered with newer heroes not traditionally associated with the brand such as Spider-Man and Wolverine. Writer Brian Bendis was already on his way to becoming one of Marvel's top writers, and his work on "New Avengers" cemented him as Marvel's resident big thinker. Popular crossovers and event limited series such as "Civil War," "Secret Invasion" and "Siege" only bolstered the team's renewed success, putting the team once again front-and-center on the comic shelves and the sales charts.

At the same time The Avengers were once again finding their footing, Marvel's movie business was kicking into high gear. After experiencing moderate success with the "Blade" movies and the first "Hulk" movie, Marvel invested its own money into the 2008 film "Iron Man," which ultimately proved so successful it led to the greenlighting of a stream of films centered on Marvel's key heroes – all of which were founding Avengers. A second Iron Man film followed in 2010, with films for Thor and Captain America planned in 2011 and a keystone "Avengers" movie promised in 2012 from fan-favorite director Joss Whedon.

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