Movies & TV / Columns

Comics 411: Favorite Avengers Lineup

February 6, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
All-New All-Different Avengers 1

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Invaders #1, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we discussed Bill Maher’s Beef With Comic Books. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Prez Gar: “He needs to be careful. since the company he does his show for, HBO, is going to have a series based on Watchmen. Let’s see if HBO asks him to do any cross-promotion. And the man behind HBO’s biggest cash cow, George R.R. Marin, was inspired to become a writer by reading comics. He even had a letter published in an issue of Fantastic Four, before he added an extra R in his name. (Fantastic Four #20, back in 1963.)”

Desmond Black: “In reality, Bill Maher should only matter about as much as we allow him to matter.”

Michael L: “I stopped caring about anything Bill Mahr had to say once he praised the 9/11 hijackers for their bravery and commitment.

Mahr was a failed actor and a failed comedian. He only got attention for being a shit-stirrer thanks to his show Politically Incorrect. His HBO show has been pretty much more of the same.”

Amazing Larry: “Bill Maher is a pompous ass. Enjoy whatever makes you happy as long as you’re not hurting anyone. Life is too short to worry about what old farts like him think. That said I do enjoy his show and agree with a lot of his stances but not this.”

Jeremy Thomas: “Civil War.

Yep, that one. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that this is a book that is anything but “kid’s entertainment.” Sure, it has big fights and dramatic storytelling that kids will love. But the political allegories are strong and there have been multiple books of scholarly essays critiquing its themes, relevance and impact.

And while I don’t believe comics have anything to prove to Maher, this is one that he would be hard-pressed to dismiss as kids’ stuff.”

Double J: “So now that u see that his simple gimmick is to say incorrect things to piss u off so you’ll pay attention to him , u can join the rest of the people that see it and not give a dam about his opinion?”

Too many great comments to share here so head over to last week’s column, HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we discuss our…

Favorite Avengers Lineup

Avengers Assemble! With Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame trailer getting so much love along with a popular meme on Facebook going around listing your dream X-Men team, I thought it would be fun to look at several Avengers lineups over the years and see which one is your favorite.

I’m going to leave out CURRENT team and spin-offs and just look at past teams. Man, Avengers has had a ton of spin-off teams. I never thought about it until I started flipping around.

THE FOUNDING TEAM
This lineup only lasted two issues, with Hank Pym switching from Ant-Man to Giant-Man and the Hulk departing entirely, but they made an impact. They were accidentally brought together by Rick Jones to combat Thor’s brother Loki, the Avengers weren’t exactly big on teamwork but they created the Marvel formula of super-heroes joining together to do the work that no single hero could have done.

Members: Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Ant-Man, Hulk

CAPTAIN AMERICA JOINS THE TEAM
Issue #4 saw one of the most iconic events in Avengers (and Marvel Comics) history. The discovery of the frozen body of WWII legend Captain America, floating in the ocean! The theme of Captain America adjusting to a “strange new world” was set and he was quickly drafted into the ranks of the Avengers. He gave the team the much needed leadership they were missing.

Members: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man, Wasp

CAP’S QUARTET
This team was a little strange. After the founding members left, “Cap’s Kooky Quartet” was born. While they weren’t powerful, this team had character. Cap brought together a crew of former criminals and managed to take on the Masters of Evil, Kang, the Mandarin and Dr. Doom. Impressive when you realize they didn’t have a true powerhouse on the team.

Members: Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch

KREE/SKRULL WAR TEAM
The Avengers that were involved in the Kree/Skrull War are among the most recognizable as any. Some with a twist. This team featured several longtime members and founders, notably Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, in his first outing as the shape-changing giant Goliath, and honorary Avenger Captain Mar-Vell. This squad is a great example of a team that doesn’t look strong on paper but rised to the occasion to conquer seemingly insurmountable odds.

Members: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, Ant-Man, Goliath, Vision, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel

THE KORVAC SAGA TEAM
Throughout the ’70s, the lineup of the Avengers fluxuated around a core group of members and I always liked the one that fought during the “The Korvac Saga”. Most of the decade featured a small group of Avengers often joined by one or two guest stars who would come and go depending on the story. It was pretty cool that all these members came together during Korvac’s ascension and gave us the Beast/Wonder Man friendship and the long-running subplots as the Hank Pym/Ultron/Vision/Wonder Man family tree. After Korvac was dealt with, the team went back to “normal” but gave us an excellent story.

Members: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, Yellowjacket, Beast, Wonder Man, Hawkeye, Whizzer, Scarlet Witch, Hellcat, Moondragon, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, Mantis, Falcon

MID/LATE ’80S AVENGERS
This period was a mixed bag. They had some great character additions (Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), She-Hulk, Namor, Black Knight, and Hercules) and some that weren’t so hot (Dr. Druid) but they were there for one of my favorite storylines the destruction of Avengers Mansion by the Masters of Evil.

Members: Captain America, Black Knight, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Hercules, Wasp, Namor, She-Hulk, Thor, Dr. Druid

HEROES RETURN TEAM
After the “Heroes Reborn” experiment, Marvel learned you couldn’t go wrong with giving fans what they want: Great Avengers storylines with a great lineup. They got off to a great start by snagging Kurt Busiek to write and George Perez to draw. We got most of the classic Avengers team members we loved and a couple new recruits. By issue #4, things were really cooking.

Members: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Hawkeye, Justice, Firestar, Warbird (Carol Danvers), Giant-Man, Wasp, Triathlon, Silverclaw

THE NEW AVENGERS
I like to call this the Moneymaker team. The New Avengers were launched in the wake of the seminal “Avengers: Disassembled” storyline and introduced some Marvel mainstays to the Avengers who had long avoided membership among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. You had Captain America and Iron Man along with Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, and Wolverine. You could also squeeze Sentry and Echo/Ronin on that list. As you can imagine, this era of the Avengers was had strong characterization and high energy stories.

Members: Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Echo/Ronin.

AVENGERS 1959
It came out that Nick Fury had formed the Avengers before the original team that we knew came together. This team was more on the secret side and just barely made this list.

Members: Sabretooth, Silver Sable, Kraven, Dum-Dum Dugan, Namora, Ulysses Bloodstone, Dominic Fortune.

MIGHTY AVENGERS
Like the original, this team was brought together by the deeds of Loki. With a twist. They had a good run with fighting Chthon and taking on Norman Osborn’s team during Dark Reign.

Members: Wasp, Hulk, Stature, Vision, US Agent, Jocasta, Hercules.

ALL-NEW AVENGERS
This impressive group launched a new era that fulfilled its promise of being “All-New, All-Different”. After taking on Kang the Conqueror the team didn’t last too long thanks to ‘Civil War II’. The core of the team would go on and form the Champions.

Members: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Nova (Sam Alexander), Thor (Jane Foster), and Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Iron Man, Vision, Captain America (Sam Wilson).

AVENGERS OF 1,000,000 BC
The Avengers of 1,000,000 B.C. was a group of powerful beings assembled at the dawn of man to slay a deranged Celestial who tried to tear the Earth apart. I suppose this is the original, original lineup.

Members: Agamotto, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Lady Phoenix, Odin, Starbrand.

OK, I know this jumped all over the place but which team is your favorite. And if you happen to name a spin-off like West Coast Avengers, Force Works, Young Avengers, Secret Avengers, Avengers Academy, Avengers A.I., A-Force, Ultimates, Great Lakes Avengers, U.S. Avengers…you get the picture.

Since just about everyone has joined the Avengers at this point, what’s your guess when Galactus becomes a member?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!