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highlyverbal said on July 6th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I am a complete idiot about comics these days, so I am not offering any suggestions. However, I do dig how many “classic’ Defenders people suggest, despite Mr. Seavey’s warning: “…but half of the Defenders is pushing it.” Looking over the suggestions, he was too prophetic…

Doctor Strange, Hulk, Namor (all 3 founders!), Hellcat, Valkyrie, Moondragon are all core Defenders in my mind.

The Defenders had a lot of churn, of course, and even if we just count up to the 70s we still get: Clea, Black Knight, Namorita, Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage, Falcon, Hawkeye, Wasp, Hank Pym (as Yellowjacket), Spider-Man

expanding to the 80s seems too easy:
Black Panther, Beast, Wonder Man, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Nomad (= Cap)

(And I am leaving out all the “Defenders for a Day” suggestions that seem like cheating: Stingray, Polaris, Havok, Jack of Hearts, Hercules, Iron Fist, Quasar.)

(And wiki informs me that if I knew about things after the 80s, the Secret Defenders and the Last Defenders (or whatever) would capture: Doctor Druid, Iron Fist, She-Hulk, Deathlok, Hank Pym (again, as different hero), Northstar, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Wolverine (!), and Captain America (!!))

Basically the only difference between the Avengers and the Defenders seems to be which billionaire’s mansion they hang out in. Tony Stark’s or Kyle Richmond’s.

highlyverbal said on July 6th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Ooops, I meant Mr. Smith’s warning, I had the wrong author! Sorry, sir!


Here’s my 18:

Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Hank Pym, Wasp, Hawkeye, She Hulk, Wonder Man, Tigra, Moon Knight, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Black Knight, Luke Cage, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), Photon, Black Panther


Ok, so keeping in mind that I haven’t regularly read comics in 20 years, and have no idea who’s dead, who’s alive and who has undergone some bizarre transformation that would make this not work, how about:

1. Captain America
2. Iron Man
3. Hawkeye
4. Northstar
5. Quicksilver
6. Wasp
7. Black Widow
8. Doc Samson
9. Jocasta
11.Moon knight
13.Black Panther
17.Hank Pym

Like I said, I haven’t been reading comics for the past twenty years, and this is just off the top of my head. And yes, my omission of Thor was intentional.


Just for kicks, I’m going to assemble a list cherrypicked from the “random” button on the Marvel wiki. So here we go:

1. Machine Man, in full Warren Ellis mode, to represent robots everywhere.
2. Hussar, on loan from the Imperial Guard
3. Northstar
4. Hulk
5. Human Torch (the random button actually landed on Thing, but there’s no reason for Thing on a team that already has Hulk; as the only FF member that hasn’t served as Avenger, I can see Johnny doing a “proving himself” sort of arc. And it might be fun to see his personality bounce off of Northstar.)
6. Thor. (bit of a vanilla entry there, random button. Oh well; at least he fulfills the “founding member” role.)
7. Psylocke (button came up with Jamie Braddock, but…. no. And while Brian’s got some interesting points, his sister brings the psychic power set.)
8. Crimson Dynamo (as… the Iron Man substitute? The Russian? I dunno.)
9. Topaz (fulfills the “mystic” spot, and with her manifestations of both Caucasian and Indian forms, she’ll be able to sympthize with Psylocke).
10. Arkus (Altantean distantly related to Namorita). Sent by Namor, because he couldn’t be bothered.
11. Domino. Think of her as a Black Widow alternate.
12. Juggernaut. Doesn’t work great with the Marvel status quo, and even worse with the Hulk on the team, but… eh… I like Cain.
13. Tagak the Leopard Lord. An interdimensional tracker who came to Earth in search of a criminal. He’s blind, but can see through his leopard companion Opak. Well, the Avengers do usually have a a spot for an animal hybrid.
14. Wyre. An assassin who worked for the Secret Empire, had a change of heart, and joined Alpha Flight. His power is that he can shoot “nonorganic fibres” that he can then control. He’d have something in common with Cain, at least.
15. Captain America. (Two founding members! That’s gotta make them a real Avengers team, right? Right?)
16. Human Torch. The Jim Hammond version. Obviously redundant with Storm on the team, but that’s the point–he clashes with Machine Man (for being too cozy with the fleshies) and Johnny (for muddling up his chance at personal glory on the Avengers), but doesn’t leave, because he feels he has nowhere else to go. Plus, I’m sure you could come up with some hilarity based on the failings of a robot built in the 1940s.
17. Storm. Yeah, alright.
18. Triton. On loan from the Inhumans, and not thrilled to be there. Idolized by Arkus.

…Okay, that’s a ridiculous team. But at least I had fun making it.

Jilliterate said on July 6th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Captain America (Steve Rogers)
Falcon (Sam Wilson)
Iron Man (Tony Stark)
The Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff)
The Black Panther (T’Challa)
The Wasp (Janet van Dyne)
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers)
Amadeus Cho
Dr. Strange (Stephen Strange)
Hellcat (Patsy Walker)
Moon Knight (Marc Spector)
Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)
Darkhawk (Chris Powell)
Jessica Jones
Luke Cage
Echo/Ronin (Maya Lopez)
Iron Fist (Danny Rand)
Photon (Monica Rambeau)

Late to the party, but my list is mostly just characters I really LIKE, which I know is no way to logically put together a team. My only real rule is I cut Thor and Hulk, two obvious choices, because to me, they’re too darn strong for a team set-up. Leads to the “Worf Effect” too often. Which means I probably shouldn’t have included Dr. Strange, but I do find his poorly-defined powers and abilities a little easier to work with than a god’s.


Well, obviously, you’ve gotta have the “core trio” of Cap, Iron Man, and Thor. Hawkeye is another old hat, and a more Professor-ish Hulk can fit in pretty easily. Since the team is now leaning pretty far white-male, I’d add in Monica Rambeau (Nextwave!), Black Panther, Storm, Falcon, and Shang-Chi. Wasp and Carol Ferris, I loved in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and you can’t have Wasp without whatever Hank Pym’s calling himself this week. Beta Ray Bill works as both a “nuke” hero and a good tie to Marvel Cosmic, plus he adds an alien look. Black Widow was in the movie, and is pretty bankable at this point. For villain points, I’d add in Scarlet Witch (because we desperately need to forget Disassembled ever happened) and Crimson Dynamo (because I like his look), and finally, let’s toss on Baron Zemo in his Citizen V persona, just to see what happens.
Now, the blacklist. The fact that there’s still a persistent argument that Spidey doesn’t belong on the Avengers even today is a good justification to not do it; besides, you only need so much star power. Wolverine goes back to X-Men, because he only shows up when a book is flagging, and the film just cracked 1.5 billion (also, I personally can’t stand him). Luke Cage goes back to Heroes for Hire (hopefully luring Bendis away forever). Vision is the one “classic” Avenger I’ve never liked, and Quicksilver’s not one of my favorites, either. Sentry is dead forever, because he is the worst Avenger. Nova is also dead forever, because everything Marvel Cosmic did is slowly being ground up and sucked back into Marvel Earth status quo (Annihilus, Black Bolt, Silver Surfer), Thanos), and I’ll be damned if Nova’s sacrifice is undone too. This opinion’ll change quick if Star-Lord comes back with him (preferably exploding alongside him out of the Cancerverse to double-clock Thanos in the jaw at a pivotal moment).
So, yeah. I’m not honestly the best man to ask, though; I was always more of a DC guy.

Yvonmukluk said on July 7th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

My 18 (Disregarding current continuity where it conflicts):
1-6:Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye. ecause the movie showed that team works, and it serves as a good foundation, seeing as it contains the mainstays and is instantly recognizable to someone coming in from the movies.
7: Spider-Man. As a whole bunch of other people have pointed out, Spidey has always been good for a team-up. Maybe he doesn’t live in the tower, but he’s pretty much the most moral superhero other than Cap (and anyone who mentions something about a deal with Mephisto is a dirty stinking liar).
8: Winter Soldier. Because that allows several interesting character interaction possibilites (there’s obviously his previous interactions with Cap, his relationship with Widow, possible tensions with Hawkeye over killing people in the past-see Hawkeye in thunderbolts for an illustration of this-and a cople of other characters I’ll introduce later on). Give him the Ronin costume and identity for in-public work.
8 & 9: Ant-Man and Wasp. Because they’re mainstays and they belong. Maybe finally sort out their relationship stuff for good, and break Hank of that wifebeater label.
10: Songbird. Because she’s worked long and hard at redemption, and she’s earned the right to be counted alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (note that she should also stay a Thunderbolt-if Wolverine can be on two teams, so can she).
11: Hank McCoy. Because he’s awesome.
12, 13: Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Because I actually like the idea of two Heroes for Hire working their way up to being avengers.
14, 15: Dr. Strange and the Thing: Because they’re two guys who got put on the team and everyone went ‘why did nobody think of this before’? They work well, end of story.
16: Black Panther. Man owns a country, which gives him resources nobody else can. Tony has wealth and Thor power, but some diplomatic clout is an advantage all its own.
17:Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers).
18: X-23. her character arc has taken her to Avengers academy, but she has the experience to play with the big boys part-time. She and Bucky can support each other with their shared guilt about being an assassin (Natasha’s mostly over it, but she can still help them). Not to mention, she can pick up her ‘Talon’ codename and stop using the label the facility gave her.

the theme of this line-up is ‘Anyone can be an Avenger’. It doesn’t matter if you turn into a giant green ragemonster, or if you’ve made some bad mistakes, if you’ve been on the wrong side of the law or bred to be a weapon, if you’re willing to atone for your wrongdoings and give your all to stand up for those weaker than yourself, you can be an Avenger. There would maybe be a focus on the Avengers’ support staff (Jarvis is the most obvious example, but there should be other people as a supporting cast-the guys who keep the tower running behind the scenes, who signed up because they don’t have superpowers but still want to make a difference. And the SHIELD guys, naturally including Phil ‘taze you and watch supernanny’ Coulson).

Looking back at this minster comment, I guess I kind of turned the avengers into the Justice League Unlimited by mistake. Dang.


Just throwing a name out there …


… because he’s got loads of experience, a fairly diverse power set beyond his main power, and the team could benefit from a non a-hole speedster.

(Though – let’s be honest – Quicksilver and Northstar are more fun to write BECAUSE they’re a-holes)

SilverHammerMan said on July 7th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I’m seeing a fair bit of dissent on the whole “Spidey as Avenger” issue, and I’m firmly against him being on the team. Even if we accept that Spidey has moved on from being hated and distrusted, which I personally don’t buy, because I hate Dan Slott’s writing and figure it’s only a matter of time before someone winds back the clock on that one, he’s still a street level hero. To me, Spider-Man is about fighting more mundane stuff, he doesn’t work nearly as well when he’s doing world saving stuff *cough*Dan Slott*cough* and is best served by remaining a hero of the people, rather than one of those ivory tower superheroes who only fights extradimensional world conquerors from a parallel past. Same goes for Daredevil, he’s just hilariously out of place on the Avengers.
For that matter I don’t think the Hulk should be on the team either, he just doesn’t work to me on a team.
And I’m seeing a lot of Sentry hate here, am I the only one who enjoyed the Age of the Sentry miniseries? It was great fun.

Bluebeard said on July 7th, 2012 at 10:46 pm



1. Captain America: The point-of-view character. Cap is also the leader of the Avengers, the guy everyone can rally behind as they fight the baddies. He’s also a classic Avenger.
2. Iron Man: Founding member and part of the Avenger Big Three.
3. Thor: Founding member and a part of the Avenger Big Three.
4. Hulk: The Hulk is awesome that’s why. Besides, the team nees an unstable giant green man who wrecks stuff. At the same time, when he reverts to Bruce Banner, his expertise on gamma radiation can prove quite useful to the team.
5. Wasp: The ‘spirit’ of the team. Wasp being brought back from the dead for this run of Avengers mean that they’ve officially entered a brighter era. Of course, now that Wasp is back…
6. Ant-Man: You get Ant-Man. Who instead of trying to atone for all the bad and making things worse would actually just focus on being a hero for once. Ant-Man could do the world a lot of good and it’s time that he was treated respectfully as a founding member of team.

7. Black Panther: Who doesn’t love T’Challa? Classic Avenger.
8. Hawkeye: Hawkeye has proved his salt as an Avenger and he’s another member that I consider a classic.
9. Black Widow: Probably my favorite female character from Marvel, Black Widow would basically be the Black Widow from the Avengers film because that worked for her. A dangerous assassin who simply wants to atone. Add in extra chemistry with Hawkeye and bingo.
10. Jessica Jones: Can’t really remember why I added her.
11. THE SENTRY: Yes, I know that everyone moans when they hear this name. TBH, as I choose my Avenger roster, I imagine the ones that would be fun to work with and were open to be fixed. The Sentry is perfect for that. He has a lot of room for growth and being at the center of a lot of shit in the Marvel universe means that he shouldn’t just be left to forget.
12. Storm: Black Panther’s wife and the team’s connection to the X-Men besides Magneto’s kids.
13. Scarlet Witch: Classic. Plain and simple.
14. Quicksilver: Every team needs a douche.
15. Echo/Ronin: I like the character.
16. Moon Knight
17. Winter Soldier: Because everyone loves Bucky Barnes.
18. X-23: This way I can technically have ‘Wolverine’ on the team.


Note that this is my ideal HICKMAN Avengers (and Shang Chi because he’s a lock anyway) in the current Marvel (which is why all the mutants are here). If this were just 18 characters I’d like to see on the team then you’d see names like She-Hulk, Hercules, Falcon, Two-Gun Kid, Namor, Radioactive Man, and maybe Beta Ray Bill and the original Human Torch.

1) Captain America
2) Iron Man
3) Thor
4) Hawkeye

These four are the absolute minimum you need for a proper Avengers line-up.

5) Black Widow

Partly because of the movie and partly because Hickman does spy stuff so well.

6) Blue Hulk (Rick Jones)

They need a Hulk (and “A-Bomb” is a stupid name anyway) but Banner and the Ross aren’t team players and everyone expects Jen. Plus Rick’s history and plot-device powers make for some great storytelling tools.

7) The Ant-Men

I was going to go with Pym but the other two are too fun not to use. Ideally I’d have the team use whichever one is available at the time … and it should generally be whichever Ant Man is LEAST suited for a situation.

8) Spider-Man

I like the IDEA of Spidey on the Avengers a lot better than the execution. Hopefully Hickman can fix that.

9) The Human Torch

All other members of the F4 all got a chance so now it’s Johnny’s turn. Besides, Hickman has written less of the HT than he has the rest of the F4.

10) Druid

The team is a bit short on magic users but I feel like Dr. Strange has better things to do. Plus Hickman already defined the character.

11) Songbird

Because she should have been an Avenger years ago.

12) Beast
13) Iceman
14) Rogue

After AvX I feel like the team needs more mutants (and Wolverine DOES NOT belong). Beast is in because he’s already an Avengers mainstay and another genious is always a plus. Iceman is one of the most powerful beings on the planet – even though he doesn’t like to show it – and has worked well outside of the X-Men in the past. Rogue is an Avengers archetype twofer; she’s a reformed Avengers villain and a reformed mutant terrorist.

Plus Bobby, Peter, and Spidey have the whole “Almost Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” thing going on.

15) Moondragon

They’re sort on telepaths and she gives Hickman an excuse to do cosmic stuff.

16) Makkari

An Eternal speedster who plays well with others; what’s not to love? He seems like a better fit for the Avengers than Gilgamesh and Sersi at any rate.

17) Machine Man

I like the idea of having a robot’s perspective but Vision and Jocasta are too connected to Pym and other Avengers to truly be outsiders. Despite his protesting, Aaron Stack really does want to understand his human teammates.

18) Shang Chi

cole1114 said on July 8th, 2012 at 1:40 am

I’ve liked the idea of Spider-Man being an avenger for a while, because him being reviled by the public at large simply doesn’t work in the continuity anymore. He’s evolved too much to be an outcast any more, honestly. He’s made all these friends in the superhero game who always talk well about him in interviews and stuff, JJJ is the only guy who REALLY hates him and is a “good guy” anymore.

But Wolverine, someone who murders people, should absolutely not be on the team. I mean, he killed all those AIM guys in AVX just a few short weeks ago! Iron-Man would have just like arrested them or something!


Ooh, tough one. My favourite Avengers was the Busiek/Perez run, which had a pretty ideal mix of characters, but I also had an unhealthy love for West Coast Avengers.

For me, the Avengers should not be the Justice League, just a collection of the company’s most popular characters. The Avengers should consist mainly of second-tier characters who don’t have their own book, where the Avengers is their only gig. Sure, have the Big Three, but Wolverine, Hulk, and Spider-Man need not apply. Heck, you don’t even really need the Big Three, or at least not all of them.

So here’s my ideal list:

1. Captain America
2. Thor
3. Iron Man
4. Hawkeye
5. Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers)
6. Scarlet Witch
7. Vision
8. Hercules
9. Beast
10. Wonder Man
11. Monica Rambeau
12. Shang Chi
13. Firebird
14. Hank Pym
15. Wasp
16. Darkhawk
17. Chamber
18. Elsa Bloodstone


Wolverine is a killer, not a murderer? Read Children’s Crusade, where he repeatedly tried to murder Wanda in cold blood and said they should do the same to a teenage boy. He’s a murderer, no bones about it.

I agree with tyg that the problem with Spider-Man is more on his end of the title than on the Avengers’, but I’d add that having characters with their own books detracts from the Avengers because nothing can happen to them. It’s why pre-Bendis, the book was really about Hank, Jan, Clint, Wanda, Vision and Simon, not the so-called Big Three.

Anyway, if I got to pick, we start with the core six Avengers, headlining what I think is probably a pretty classic lineup:
1. Hank
2. Jan
3. Clint
4. Wanda
5. Vision
6. Simon

Add in some of the others Tyg mentioned who’ve got a solid history with the team:

7. She-Hulk (Jen, of course)
8. Herc
9. Julia Carpenter (keeping her in the Madame Web incarnation could be interesting if it can be expanded beyond being Exposition Girl)
10. Black Panther
11. War Machine
12. Spider-Woman I (of all the characters Bendis has added, she’s the only one I think who’s made much sense and actually felt like an Avenger)
13. Valkyrie (a nice addition in the Bendis era, though fortunately I don’t have to give him credit)

And some newcomers:
14. Songbird
15. Heather Hudson (Of all the Alphans, she’s got the most Avengers-y feel to me, though obviously some work would need to be done to make up after the most recent AF series; possibly Rita DeMara/YJ if Heather can’t be made to fit)

And the because-they-kind-of-have-to-be-there group. Though as mentioned above, they don’t really do much for me, in part because their status quo is determined by their solo titles, so nothing really matters in Avengers. They’re there to facilitate the others’ stories. Still, perens include characters I’d probably prefer to use instead, having the Big Three just pop in from time to time.

16. Cap (Faiza; liked that idea, Jim)
17. Iron Man (Black Knight; kind of need him if you’re going to have Faiza)
18. Thor (La Espirita/Firebird, who seems like still has plenty who could be done with her)

Lots of characters I really like don’t make the list because they simply don’t feel like Avengers to me, even if they’ve been on the team (Firestar, for example, and even Justice and Rage) or just ran out of room (Tigra; Nova, who I guess fits in better than most of the old New Warriors thanks to the Annihilation-era stories)


Whoops, forgot to mention that while I like how Hulk’s been used in the soon-to-be-missed Avengers: EMH series, it just doesn’t seem like he could be incorporated the same way in the comics. I wouldn’t mind him in that role, though.


Whoa tough call but
1)Iron Man
2)Captain America
4)The Wasp
5)Scarlet Witch
7 Ms.Marvel
8)The Black Widow
9)The Vision
10)The Hulk

And no Wolverine ever. Keep him on the X-teams.


Hmmp. How many times have I listed ‘my’ chosen team of Avengers? This is different though. The logistics of 18 members is quite challenging, so I’ll give it a whirl.

Firstly I’ve always liked it when Thor is a leader of the team, as otherwise he can be reduced to a bruiser. So let’s imagine Cap and Iron Man are busy and therefore unavailable for this version.


Luke Cage – my favourite idea of Bendis’ run was putting Cage front and centre. His upward mobility is a natural progression of the ‘Hero for Hire’ stuff that had become a cliche.

Mockingbird – Bobbi’s back and that’s good, so put her in the big leagues.


Dani Moonstar – play up her Asgardian connection with Thor

Spitfire – a speedster and a vampire? That’s a twofer.

Red Hulk – I really like Jeff Parker’s take on the character and Ross as a superhero brings an interesting angle as he’s seeing things from the other side of the fence, but still brings that military strategy and discipline with him, so he’s not just another bruiser.

Toxin – I don’t actually mind Spider-Man being on the team, but one of the ideas Milligan had in his Toxin miniseries that I liked was Parker delegating some of his duties to the reformed symbiote.

Phyla-Vell – I have no idea what she is calling herself this week.

Captain Marvel – ….although Phyla’s claim to this name has just been taken by Carol Danvers, so that could be a nice source of conflict.

Tonaja – Sean McKeever created an interesting cast of characters for his Young Inhumans book that appear infrequently.

Blade – Because Paul Cornell made him work as a team-character. Real well.

Century – a character created for Force Works with an unforgivably confusing backstory, designed no doubt to make him seem mysterious like Wolverine, I’ve always felt sorry for the bloke.

Battlestar – a Cap sidekick who didn’t get his due.

Dusk – Slingers was a fun comic folks.

Oubliette – now that Noh-Varr is back, really curious what happened to her. She can bring the amoral ‘wolverine factor’ prized by Bendis (ie – she’s willing to kill if need be).

Moon Knight – he’s not just Batman….hell he’s a lot more interesting than Batman, when done right (which is only occasionally).

Yellowjacket – Hank Pym weaponising his abilities as opposed to exposing himself to the experimental particles was a creative notion and one I’d like to see again.

Grant Flynn said on July 8th, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Some good choices made throughout but would like to add my thoughts too…

Core 5

Cap, Iron Man, Wasp, Hawkeye, Thor

The mainstays of most writers and that play off well with each other and the other members

Regulars 7

Black Panther, Black Widow, Beast, She-Hulk, Ms Marvel, Falcon, Moondragon

All have various personality traits that can add conflict and spice to the proceedings

Newbies 6

Nova, Gravity, Antman (Eric O’Grady), Songbird, Talisman (Elizabeth Twoyoungmen), Living Lightning

Some underused (Gravity, Living Lightning) and some that have finally graduated to the big leagues (Nova, Songbird)

Would have included people like Doc Strange and Iron Fist/Cage but they always work better as outsiders. You know its gone wrong when Doc Strange suddenly appears……

SilverHammerMan said on July 8th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

My plan was to have the movie line up in addition to my picks, but I ran out of spaces and wasn’t overly interested in some of them, so I made some cuts, in order to arrive at my line up.

1.Hawkeye – He’s been on the team for a long time across it’s various incarnations it’d be fun to see him in an elder statesman/leadership role, because he’s a capable person, but simultaneously one who isn’t super intellignet or a strategist, so he would actually be inclined to defer to the expertise of his teammates.

2. Black Widow – (Relatively) fresh off the movie, the character is hot right now and I think it’s a good idea to get her out there as much as possible.

3. Nightcrawler – Back the the dead, he’s an acrobat and a teleporter, and it’d be fun to see him outside of the X-Men. He’s also a swashbuckling prankster and could fill that position in the wake of Spider-Man.

4. Shang Chi – Since he’s already been confirmed.

5. Phylla Vell – I don’t know much about the character, but someone else suggested that she could have some interesting interactions with Carol Danvers, and she’d also make a handy link to Marvel’s cosmic properties.

6. Jubilee – She’s a mutant, a vampire, and no one’s doing much with her in the X-franchise, so she’s available. She could also have some fun character dynamics with Elsa Bloodstone (A vampire and a vampire hunter on the same team? Preposterous!) Beast and Ant-Man (who view her vampirism as something to be cured and utterly fascinating respectively) and Amadeus Cho (whom I could easily see crushing on the cool older vampire girl, to her amusement and occasional annoyance)

7. Beast – The team needs mutants, especially in light of the fallout of AvX, and Beast is fun, visually unique and has a history on the team. With both him and Nightcrawler on the team there’s something of a furry blue guy reduncancy, but whatever, I think it could work.

8. Wonderman – He’s something of a mainstay, even if he is a bit of a jobber, and I’d like to see him played as sort of the Plasticman of the team, not really taken to seriously, but far more powerful than he gets credit for. I mean, the dude’s some kind of immortal ionic energy being at this point, give him some credit. He’s also a stuntman/movie star, which I think could be fun, and since Beast is on the team and the two are apparently tight, I’m indulging my love of a good bromance.

9. Hercules – He’s a funny, boisterous, bisexual god, that’s awesome. He can also swing back and forth from comedic to tragic for great effect, and as a bonus, Amadeus Cho comes as a supporting character, probably one who will openly mock the Avengers while secretly pining for membership, an act that will fool absolutely nobody on the team.

10. Ant-Man – Hank Pym is in serious need of some character rehabilitation and having read the original stories in one of those Marvel Essentials books, I’m convinced that he is much, much more interesting as Ant-Man than as Giant Man. I’d like see the mad scientist angle played up and finally move past the whole incredibly stupid wife beater phase at long last. Plus, Hank Pym should be in his most iconic identity if that movie project is happening.

11. Wasp – Back from the dead, I don’t have any strong feelings about the character, but she seems fun and she’s a classic.

12. Black Panther – He’s a fun character with cool abilities, a neat backstory and he could open the door for some fun international intrigue plots.

13. Ghost Rider – I really like Johnny Blaze and I’m not sure he’s being done justice right now (I’m pretty sure the Spirit of Vengeance is currently with some woman who manages to have demon-fire-boobs while transformed) Not to mention the team needs a magic user and I’d like someone other than Doctor Strange, so I imagine that Johnny Blaze himself could bring some folksy wisdom and a sort of John Constantine angle to the table. Plus, the character could act as a convenient doorway to Marvel’s occult side, one that is often ignored. And maybe Hickman could straighten out just what the hell the Ghost Rider is at this point, seriously, it’s gone from Hell’s bounty hunter, to enslaved demon lord, to fallen angel, to servant of Heaven or some crap and it’s all kind of stupid and annoying and confusing to me.

14. Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers of course) – I think she’s neat and she’s got a history, so why not put her on the team?

15. Elsa Bloodstone – I wanted Blade, but in my head he’s far too obsessive and genocidal to be on a team like the Avengers, so I think Elsa is a good substitute and comes with the added bonus of being a snarky British lady who actually enjoys her job. Also a convenient link Marvel’s monster properties.

16. Toxin – Emmet put this one forward and I think it’s a great idea. It would allow for a fun Spidey-like character without the problems that I feel come with using the actual Spider-Man, plus I like the idea that Peter was busy with his own stuff and vouched for Toxin as a suitable replacement on the basis that it would be a good way to expose him to positive role models and thus keep Toxin on the straight and narrow. Plus we could get some good fun out of a straightlaced cop and father who is prone to occasional childish outbursts from his symbiote. Unfortunately I think the guy who had the Toxin symbiote is dead or something right now and it’s on Eddie Brock, which is a bit of a problem.

17. Northstar – A high profile gay character and a Canadian, not to mention a speedster which the team definitely needs, not to mention supplying a rare mutant character who ISN’T caught up the X-Men’s drama, which could lead to some interesting conversations with Beast, Nightcrawler, and Jubilee.

18. Patriot – I’d like to see someone fill the Captain America role physically and given that the USAgent is currently unavailable, I think Elijah could be good. He could also have some fun interactions with the other youngsters by virtue of being both a bit less familiar with the older heroes personally and thus a bit more respectful, in contrast to Jubilee’s lifelong exposure and Cho’s perpetual teenage snarkiness. Plus I really, really, really, like his costume.

SilverHammerMan said on July 8th, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Huh, now that I see it all up there that is INCREDIBLY long winded, so here’s the short version:

1. Hawkeye
2. Black Widow
3. Nightcrawler
4. Shang Chi
5. Phylla-Vell
6. Jubilee
7. Beasy
8. Wonderman
9. Hercules
10. Ant-Man
11. Wasp
12. Black Panther
13. Ghost Rider
14. Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers of course)
15. Elsa Bloodstone
16. Toxin
17. Northstar
18. Patriot.

I chose this lineup because I think it would provide some good character interactions, allow some characters who need attention to actually get it, and these characters have good connections to the various corners of the Marvel universe, allowing for diverse stories and settings. The only one I’m not sure of is Patriot, since I mostly just included him because I think he’s neat.


Well this dates/ages everyone. Mine’s pretty trad, though I can’t find a place for Moondragon, however hard I try. Luke Cage has just muscled his way in past her.

1. Captain America
2. Thor
3. Iron Man
4. Hawkeye
5. The Black Widow
6. Hercules
7. The Vision
8. The Scarlet Witch
9. The Black Panther
10. Wonder Man
11. The Wasp
12. The Black Knight
13. Spider-Woman
14. Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers)
15. Hank Pym (as himself or Ant Man)
16. She Hulk
17. Luke Cage (he deserves it by now)
18. Quicksilver


Oh, and thanks to whoever said ‘Jack of Hearts’, I needed a laugh today 😉

The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on July 10th, 2012 at 11:15 am

As one of (I believe) two people who listed Jack of Hearts, you’re welcome.

But what’s wrong with JoH? Granted I’m thinking of the version that existed in the 80s/90s, I don’t know what’s been done with the character since then. But certainly powerful enough back in the day, and quirky enough not to have his own series, and a funky costume, and y’know?

Also like the idea of Talisman on the team.

highlyverbal said on July 10th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

@tUGE: “quirky enough not to have his own series”

I think ol’ Jack did manage a 4 issue mini-series (in 1984). His powerset seems a bit strong. Didn’t he recharge a sun?!

The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on July 10th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I should have said “ongoing regular series” I guess…. I actually remember (and possibly still own) that 4-issue miniseries. I think the idea was that he was crazy powered and only getting moreso. Recharging a sun rings a bell. Maybe he should have teamed up with Dark Phoenix… she eats the suns, he recharges them! (or maybe that Perrier astro-lady?)

But I don’t remember how the miniseries ended, if he was still crazy overpowered or not. For him to join the Avengers he’d have to be a bit below “sun-recharger” levels I would think.


Winter Soldier
The Wasp (Janet Van Dyne)
Black Panther
The Beast
Amadeus Cho
Black Widow
Misty Knight
Machine Man
Luke Cage
Shang Chi


I think it’s worth contemplating what we actually want out of an Avengers team when we’re designing them. What ARE the Avengers? Are they a government sponsored superhero team, like Ultimates where when they worked best, invaded [MUSLAMISTAN] and then got the crap kicked out of Washington because of it? Are they one of several equal-level, different-situation teams in the 616 universe that allows them to have crossovers like Avengers versus X-Men with some (however low) level of plausability? Or are they really the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, their world’s premium, top-flight heroes willing to band together to take on Thanos, Kang, Ultron and whatever else? This last definition puts them perilously close to being their earth’s Justice League for a lot of people (and let’s be honest, nobody gives a rat’s ass about any DC team that ISN’T the Justice League. Certainly not DC’s villains.), but to be honest this is where I feel they work best and where they need to be, otherwise they lose all credibility. The Fantastic Four are The Family, as well as The First Hero Team. The X-Men are The Outcasts. The Avengers can’t afford to be The Other Guys, so they need to be The Big Shots. So with that in mind, here’s my take:

1. Iron Man – Yes, Tony comes before anyone else, and this isn’t just based off of movie hype or the fact that EMH set him (wisely!) as the team lead. Tony is the MOST IMPORTANT MEMBER OF THIS TEAM. He (co-)founded the team. He bankrolls it. He allows them to use his awful mansion and awesome tower as a base, he finances the Quinjets, he leads, he follows, he has a gimmick that DC can’t go near for fear of people scoffing at them, and he’s a downright likeable guy.

2. Captain America – Never drops farther than #2 on any Avengers list, period. He is the indisputable moral and ethical heart of the team. He’s not the guy who will get you the warm fuzzy moments like Spidey or The Thing will, but he’s the guy who’s going to pick you up when the earth’s crumbled around you, when your spirit is broken and your heart is unsure, and he’ll dust you off, point you to the heavens and show you that shining star high above the chaos. If you are doing the Avengers without Cap in it, you are missing out on the very damn soul of the team. He allows you to open up stories on government, ethics, time travel, and symbolism with a straight face. There are precisely TWO Marvel heroes who can legitimately talk about being heroic symbols (and the other wears red and blue too) and not only is Cap one of them, everyone knows it.

3. The Hulk – The Muscle. Not Thor, Thor isn’t The Muscle. The Hulk wants to be The Strongest, and never, never stops in a straight fight. That’s fantastic. You can write stories on that forever. He doesn’t have the strongest rogue’s gallery, but whatever. His power level elevates the team to be a credible threat to some real knee-rattling villains. Bruce gets in here too. Bruce Banner is a FASCINATING character who is always criminally underused in everything but his own comics, and even there stupid shit is constantly happening to him (Now it’s a crazy Banner who is inhabiting the Hulk’s brain! What?!). Anytime you get access to a brilliant scientist character who can tell Reed Richards to sod off when talking about his field, you take him right away – this is
COMIC BOOKS. We can USE that!

4. Thor – The Noble Warrior. The God Trying To Be A Man. The Rival whenever we want someone to fight The Hulk to a standstill. A link to the deep-ass sectors of the Kirbyverse. Sexy as hell. Just get the fuck rid of Donald Blake.

5. Giant Man & The Wasp – No, shut up, they’re a pair. They are OBVIOUSLY a pair. That’s the point. The worst damn thing Marvel ever did was have Hank take a shot at Jan, because it escalated things to the point where there was no going back. Yes, obviously there is in real life, but not in comics, not in this idealized world where people who beat women get punished. Stick them back together, a happy couple playing off each other (because for goodness sake Jan’s not going to get with anyone else at this point and Hank’s a complete mess on his own), give Jan lots of comic lines and bury Hank’s Yellowjacket persona. Plus Giant Guy and Tiny Girl is just a cool idea. Hank fully grown should be a threat to most villains; not near Hulk or Thor levels, but credible enough to make them pause. Ultimate Cap’s beatdown on Ultimate Hank would never even come close to happening.

6. Ms. Marvel – The clue’s in the name. Now HERE’S your female lead Marvel has been crying out for since practically forever. Spider-Woman is so completely not this person, even though Bendis desperately wanted her to be. The name alone, yeesh. But Carol, Carol is so pregnant with potential it’s postively lurid; a tough, single, hard-working, cool, secret-agent-soldier-superhero with an awesome costume (the red and blue one, the Warbird one is too lacklustre) and a clean enough back-story that we can put her at the forefront of just about every story and make it seem like she’s encountering Kang fresh for the first time. She can learn with us, she can grow to lead, she can be buddies and drink beer with the big boys and kick the shit out of Wolverine when he goes off and she’s just THE BEST.

7. Spider-Man – Hey look, it’s that premium-team thing rearing it’s head! One of the best things Bendis did with New Avengers was make a quick job of signing Spidey up to the team, because it makes SENSE. All of us – you, me – we love Spidey. We want the guys we like. We don’t buy Justice League to read about Manitou Raven. And almost the entire Avengers roster likes him, and he’s uncomfortable with that, and some don’t, and he’s uncomfortable with THAT, and that’s great! He’s done the team-ups, he’s got the connections, he fits in as the joker, the warm, beating, every-man heart of the team while Cap is the proud, noble soul. He never gives anyone up or let’s the bad guy win, and you get the feeling that if there really, truely was a big bad ruck in 616, he’d somehow, through sheer mad luck, come out smelling of roses at the end of it. And he’s got one of the best rogue’s gallery in the business.

8. Hawkeye – Clint needs to be on every Avengers team, period, more for his little moments than the big stories. Bendis’ insistence on turning him into this guy who will go all-guns-blazing into Norman Osbourne’s Tower of Evil Avengers with a gun and a plan, that’s not him. Not because he made fun of him on TV, or whatever stupid reason he had. And he DEFINITELY does not kill. That’s what the next guy is for.

9. Wolverine – Again, old Avengerers are going to hate having Wolverine around, but he’s just SO GOOD FOR THE TEAM. He IS the guy who will go off and be The Punisher, but unlike The Punisher he has that samurai soul, that moral code that makes some kind of sense. He can be a regular joe after a day’s worth of killing evil, and ONLY HE CAN, because he’s lived through so much of this life and has such an incredibly readable outlook on it that it takes a lot to phase him. He’s Heath Ledger’s Joker, coming into the Avengers fully formed and ready to go. He won’t go awol at the drop of a hat (if Cap tells him not to), but he’s one of the guys who gets to say no to Cap from a point of authority, and it’s not just from their history together. Plus, he’s also got access to an amazing rogue’s gallery.

10. Black Panther – T’Challa is just such a fantastic character that Marvel writer’s should be falling over themselves to use him. A king of a sovereign, succesful nation that backs the Avengers and moonlights as a superhero? That’s goddamn fantastic. He’s also probably the coolest head on the team, and the most ninja on a team with Spidey, Clint and Logan. That’s A Thing. What’s even better is the fact that he CAN’T BE THERE ALL THE TIME, and the stories that haven’t yet been written on his conflict between being a part of his superhero club and RUNNING HIS COUNTRY could fill a library shelf.

So, okay, there’s the heart of the team. Here’s the colour:

11 The Vision – With a big, huge caveat: REDESIGN NECESSARY. The vision as he has been for over twenty years is completely lame. He is terrible. He is a robot who wears red and yellow and green and is an afterthought when Ultron is around, and that should never happen. The Vision needs to be stronger, he needs to be one of the top guys power-level wise on the team; he’s Ultron’s perfect creation, a living weapon of synthetic destruction, smart as a library of Einstein’s, able to interface with any hardware at will, distanced from humanity but trying to understand it because he see’s Ultron’s vision of the world as fundamentally wrong. All the best Vision stories are long told, and frankly the big one is Robot Falls In Love With Human. So we reset the clock on the dude, make him pretty much a Geth with one mighty mind, and set him loose with an artificial mind’s views on the world tempered only slightly by his growing humanity.

12. The Sentry – My God, was this ever the biggest missed opportunity or what? The Sentry as The Superman who had to make everyone forget about him works, the Sentry whom is a giant ticking time-bomb waiting to go off works less-well, but Sentry as a Bendis-Twist drugg-addict-cum-Angel-Of-Death was just one of the most heartbreaking cases of character assassination ever read. But perhaps where we’re at now is a good place – Bob’s been killed, the Void has been vanquished (the Void NEEDS to be tamed to let this character grow) and pretty much only Reed and Bruce need to remember Bob. (And Rogue. LOL.) From here we can go a number of ways – make his inevitable new form slightly power-drained, or change his rampant agoraphobia (upgraded to Arsehole-Raving-Locotitis by Bendis) into something writers are comfortable to deal with, and then set about exploring a hero who was once the Golden Boy, but now – Hey, maybe HE doesn’t remember! Maybe now it’s down to Reed and Bruce and Spidey and Cap to teach HIM how to be the hero he once was! Oh and he really was a kid accidentally drinking a secret serum, not a grown-up druggie with a faceless wife who hates him. My God excise that entire strain, post-haste.

13. Power Fist – I love everything about The New Power Fist. Everything. He’s Shang Chi multiplied by Interesting. Ass-kicking Kung-Fu Billionaire. Yes. Access to the Seven Capital Cities. Yes. Plenty of room to grow. Yes. Occasional use of Luke Cage without having to shoe-horn him in everywhere just because the writer loves the character? I’ll take it.

14. She-Hulk – Another fun character, we don’t have enough of those. Also She-Hulks one of those characters who fits into the small poker-table moments well. She can socialize at Tony’s fund-raising soiree’s just as easily as sitting down at Clint and Logan’s poker table. Jen’s got a ton of ties to half the characters on this roster, can slip into any conversation with ease and has been an Avenger on and off forever. She’s also been under-used considering the capacity for Big Fight Moments her power-set gives her. Plus she’s a lawyer, and therefore helps eliminate ANY NEED for Matt Murdock being near this team, at all, at any time.

15. Namor – The only reason the King of Atlantis isn’t on this list earlier was a I lost the earlier draft I did where I had him at 6. Everything I mentioned for T’Challa counts double for this guy, and for God’s sake he just doesn’t make sense being on the X-Men. Yes TECHNICALLY he’s a mutant, he’s also the superhero king of half the damn planet, and has been fighting against and alongside Cap since before Scott Summers first put on his glasses. He’s another great loose-cannon character, and along with Logan is another guy who gets to say “No.” to Cap where others can’t.

16. Cleo – I Hate Wanda Maximoff. I hate her. I hate her stupid outfit. I hate her ill-defined, seemingly unlimited power set. I hate the fact she’s protected by her stupid family. I hate the fact Bob Reynolds gets killed after his odd wobbly moment yet this reality-altering lunatic gets to coast by because she’s pretty and artists like drawing her crappy hair. But I want a magic guy (the Avengers don’t NEED one, but I felt I was on to a thing here) and Doctor Strange is too fucking important for this shit. Seriously, Stephen should be bothered from his business MAYBE if it’s Kang fucking with time with the armies of a billion dimensions at play. So here’s this idea instead – the woman who gilted him to become Sorceress-Supreme of her own hell-dimension. She’s essentially a new character for the purposes of this, so we can say she lost a battle with a rival, or with her world’s Baron Mordo or Dormammu himself, and had to cut loose most of her knowledge and magical essence to hide herself. She’s not a nice person, she’s mostly on the team for protection, but she can bring entire dimensions of magical, demonic enemies into play (Mephisto? Blackheart? Shuma-Gorath? Dormammu?), would play well against Namor, and can grow to become more heroic (or less!) as the team progresses.

17. Black Widow – The cheesecake-cum arse-kicking Russian cheesecake secret agent-assassin? Sure, we can make room for that, but let’s be honest about what she is. She’s mostly here to appear every now and then to have a redhead in black on the page, on those cool infiltration-ninja-streetlevel stories where we need to find The Hood’s new base and steal the Gazebo of Gondolin or whatever.

18. J.A.R.V.I.S and The Tower – This is one thing the movies and the show got completely right – the mansion is dated and uncool, Jarvis the fat old butler is dated and a joke. Turn J.A.R.V.I.S into the Tower’s AI, let the team play off him during their down time. When the tower gets hacked or attacked, we’ve got a team member taking damage. If the AI is compromised, we’ve got a face on the suddenly unsafe base. And a super-penthouse on top of a huge skyscraper is just cool.

The Great One said on July 13th, 2012 at 12:53 am

1. Thor: Member of the ‘Holy Trinity’, Thor Odinson is perhaps Earth’s Mightiest Hero indeed. Voted in as the current chairman of the team, Thor is a little unuse to being a leader, but he slowly grows into the role. Thor’s approach to the team is that they’re Avengers first and should consider that before anything else.

2. Captain America: Member of the ‘Holy Trinity’, Steve Rogers is a trusted face amongst the superhuman community. This is why he is there to give the team a face to rally behind as they fight against crime.

3. Iron Man: Member of the ‘Holy Trinity’, Tony Stark is the financial backbone of the team. Providing money for their bases, equipment, and Quinjets, Stark also suits up to fight the bad guys as Iron Man.

4. Hulk: Seen to the public as an unstable ticking time bomb, Bruce Banner and the Hulk are at peace. Now they can focus on what truly matters, smashing the enemy and saving the world.

5. Hawkeye: One of the greatest Avengers of all time, Clint Barton takes on superpowered menances without fear, using only his trusty bow and arrows that never seem to miss the spot. With a heart full of courage, Hawkeye is counted amongst the senior members of the team.

6. Black Widow: The russian spy and one of the deadliest women in on the planet, all without having any superpowered abilities, Widow risks her life day by day. She seeks to redeem herself of all the evil she’s done in the past. The Widow still struggles, especially with her tendency to be thrown into the most craziest situations. As the team’s stealth master, Widow normally leads any black-ops missions.

7. Luke Cage: Having proved his worth as an Avenger countless times, Luke Cage is now a family man. Recruited by the Avengers, Cage rarely ventures out unless he has too. Instead, Cage is mission control for the team.

8. Valkyrie: A true Avenger, Valkyrie is quick on her feet and another powerhouse that the team can count on.

9. Black Panther: The Black Panther is a man who is feared by most super-villains which is why they rarely travel to Wakanda. As the current king of Wakanda, the Panther has a very important position in the world and is also a powerful ally to the Avengers.

10. Wolverine

11. Spider-Man: Mistrusted by the public, Peter Parker has somehow found himself thrusted into the big leagues. At the same time, he’s also one of the more respected members of the team due to his ability at his age. No doubt, Spider-Man will one day be one of the greatest superheroes in the Marvel Universe.

12. Captain Marvel: A heavy-hitter and the current Captain Marvel. With the legacy and prestige this name carries, Carol still struggles to prove that she is worthy of it. Her message is clear, though; evil-doers beware…

13. Firebird: A devout Roman Catholic and one of the more religious members of the team, Firebird believes her powers come from God. While her relgious beliefs come into conflict with the more cynical members of the team, Firebird is still a true Avengers. Active in Mexico mostly, Firebird helps the team cover the world as they fight villains.

14. Vision: The android returns to the Avengers, bringing his wife Wanda along with him. Stoic and unmoving, Vision is still capable of showing human emotion.

15. Scarlet Witch: Wanda is on a quest of redemption after rejoining the Avengers. She barely was added to the roster, only accepted after Vision refused to join unless Wanda could as well. Now given a second chance, Wanda plans to avenge the wrongs that the villains and she has caused.

16. Moondragon: A telepath and veteran member of the Avengers. With a tweaked origin, Moondragon is one of the many misfit Avengers. While mysterious and sometimes using her telepathic powers to her advantage, Moondragon is still considered a great Avenger especially with her connection to the Cosmic side of the universe.

17. Ant-Man/Beast: An expert on mutant genealogy and mighty hero in his own right, the Beast is also a genius. He sees how important it is to improve mutant-human relations and joining the Avengers who’re comprised mostly of human heroes is the perfect way to show this. The world might be off-put by his blue-hair and beastly appearance, but the Beast is truly a good person.

18. Doctor Strange: The team’s magic consultant and expert on anything out of this world. As one of the team’s more powerful members, Strange assists the team when they have to take on huge threats like Dormannu or when investigating the supernatural.


Sheesh, this is taking longer than I thought to count up.

I’m just leaving this comment here as a marker–if you leave your list after this, you probably won’t get counted because I’ll be busy posting the results.


Any listing of an Avengers line-up with Storm in it is wrong.
I like your addition of Excalibur and Amadeus.

I would dump Cage and some others. I like the big team and a varied membership but certain people…like Master of Kung-fu shouldn be on the team..ever.

Here’s my list.
1. Cap
2. Thor
3. Wasp
4. Pym (as Giant Man but changes as it pleases him)
5. Iron Man
6. Herc
7. Beast (with out the bandeleer strap he never uses, I dont mind the lion head at least he is blue and furry)
8. Ms. Marvel
9. Hawkeye
10. Vision
11. Sersi
12. Battlestar
13. Namrita
14. Quasar
15. Tigra
16. Vance Astro
17. Firestar
18. Black Panther

i dont know that thats any better. But thats what I can think of. 🙂

keep up the great blog.


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