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  • The Avengers

    The Avengers is a team of superheroes, appearing in magazines published by Marvel Comics. The team made its debut in The Avengers #1 (Sept. 1963), and was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, following the trend of super-hero teams after the success of DC ComicsJustice League of America.

    Labeled “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes“, the Avengers originally consisted of Iron Man (Tony Stark), Ant-Man (Dr. Henry Pym), Wasp (Janet Van Dyne), Thor, and the Hulk (Bruce Banner). The original Captain America was discovered by the team in issue #4, trapped in ice, and he joined the group when they revived him. The rotating roster has become a hallmark of the team, although one theme remains consistent: the Avengers fight “the foes no single superhero can withstand”. The team, famous for its battle cry of “Avengers Assemble!“, has featured humans, mutants, robots, gods, aliens, supernatural beings, and even former villains.


    The first adventure features the Asgardian god Loki seeking revenge against his brother Thor. Using an illusion, Loki tricks the Hulk into destroying a railroad track. He then diverts a radio call by Rick Jones for help to Thor, whom Loki hopes will battle the Hulk. Unknown to Loki, the radio call is also answered by Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Iron Man. After an initial misunderstanding, the heroes unite and defeat Loki after Thor is lured away by an illusion of the Hulk and suspects Loki when he realises it is an illusion. Ant-Man states the five work well together and suggests they form a combined team; the Wasp names the group “the Avengers” because it sounded “dramatic”.

    The roster changes almost immediately; by the beginning of the second issue, Ant-Man has become Giant-Man and, at the end of the issue, the Hulk leaves once he realizes how much the others fear his unstable personality. Feeling responsible, the Avengers try to locate and contain the Hulk, which subsequently leads them into combat with Namor the Sub-Mariner. This would result in the first major milestone in the Avengers’ history: the revival and return of Captain America. Captain America joins the team and he is also given “founding member” status in the Hulk‘s place. The Avengers go on to fight foes such as Captain America‘s wartime enemy Baron Zemo, who forms the Masters of Evil, Kang the Conqueror, Wonder Man, and Count Nefaria.

    The next milestone came when every member but Captain America resigned and were replaced by three former villains: Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver. Although lacking the raw power of the original team, they proved their worth by fighting and defeating the Swordsman; the original Power Man; and Doctor Doom. They are soon rejoined by Henry Pym (who changes his name to Goliath) and the Wasp, along with Hercules, the Black Knight, and the Black Widow, although the last two do not obtain official membership status until years later.

    The Avengers are headquartered in a New York City building called Avengers Mansion, provided courtesy of Tony Stark (Iron Man‘s real identity), who also funds the Avengers through the Maria Stark Foundation, a non-profit organization. The mansion is serviced by Edwin Jarvis, the Avengers’ faithful butler, and also furnished with state-of-the-art technology and defense systems, including the Avengers’ primary mode of transport: the five-engine Quinjets.

    1970s

    The adventures increased in scope as the team cross into an alternate dimension to battle the Squadron Supreme and fight in the Kree-Skrull War, an epic battle between the alien Kree and Skrull races and guest-starring the Kree hero Captain Marvel. The Avengers also briefly disband when Skrulls impersonating Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man use their authority as founders of the team to disband it. The true founding Avengers, minus the Wasp, later reform the team in response to complaints from Jarvis.

    The Vision and the Scarlet Witch fall in love, although the relationship is tinged with sadness as the Vision believes himself to be inhuman and unworthy of her. Writer Steve Englehart then introduces Mantis, who joins the team along with the reformed Swordsman. Englehart linked her origins to the very beginnings of the Kree-Skrull conflict in a time-spanning adventure involving Kang the Conqueror and the mysterious Immortus, who are revealed to be past and future versions of each other. Mantis is revealed to be the Celestial Madonna, who is destined to give birth to a being that will save the universe. This saga also reveals that the Vision‘s body had only been appropriated, and not created, by Ultron, and that it had originally belonged to the 1940s Human Torch. With his origins now clear to him, the Vision proposes to the Scarlet Witch. The Celestial Madonna saga ends with their wedding, presided over by Immortus.

    Shooter also introduced the character of Henry Peter Gyrich, the Avengers’ liaison to the United States National Security Council. Gyrich is prejudiced against superhumans and acts in a heavy-handed, obstructive manner, insisting that the Avengers follow government rules and regulations or else lose their priority status with the government. Among Gyrich‘s demands is that the active roster be trimmed down to only seven members, and that the Falcon, an African American, be admitted to the team to comply with affirmative action laws. This last act is resented by Hawkeye, who because of the seven-member limit loses his membership slot to the Falcon. The Falcon, in turn, is unhappy to be the beneficiary of what he perceives to be tokenism, and decides to resign from the team, after which Wonder Man rejoins.

    1980s

    The first major development was the breakdown of Henry Pym, with his frequent changes of costume and name being symptomatic of an identity problem and an inferiority complex. After abusing his wife, failing to win back the confidence of the Avengers with a ruse and being duped by the villain Egghead, Pym is jailed. Writer Roger Stern later resolves this by having Pym outwit Egghead and defeat the latest incarnation of the Masters of Evil singlehandedly, thereby proving his innocence. Pym reconciles with the Wasp, but they decide to remain apart. Pym also retires from superheroics, but returns some years later.

    Stern developed several major storylines, such as “Ultimate Vision” in which the Vision takes over the world’s computer systems in a misguided attempt to create world peace; the formation of the West Coast Avengers; and “Avengers Under Siege” which involves the second Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil taking over the mansion and severely injuring Jarvis and Hercules, “War on Olympus” in which Hercules‘ father Zeus blames the Avengers for his son’s injuries and brings them to Olympus for trial and “Heavy Metal” in which the Super Adaptoid organizes several other robotic villains for an assault on the team. New members during the 1980s included an African American Captain Marvel named Monica Rambeau (who became the team’s new leader); She-Hulk; Tigra, Namor, Starfox and Hawkeye‘s wife, Mockingbird, while Henry Pym emerges from retirement to join the West Coast Avengers. Stern also created the villain Nebula, who claimed, falsely, to be the granddaughter of Thanos. The team also relocated for a period to a floating island off the coast of New York called Hydrobase. The Avengers moved their base of operations to Hydrobase after the “Under Siege” storyline was completed in The Avengers #277 (March 1987) where Avengers Mansion was severely damaged. The move to Hydrobase was undertaken in The Avengers #278 (April 1987). Hydrobase was later sunk during the “Acts of Vengeance” crossover in issue #311 (Dec. 1989).

    1990s

    John Byrne eventually took over writing both titles and revamped the comics to allow members to be active when available and reserve when not available and merged the two separate Avengers teams into one team with two bases. Byrne‘s contributions included a revamping of the Vision, and the discovery that the children of the Scarlet Witch and the Vision are actually illusions. The loss of the Scarlet Witch‘s children and the Vision (who is disassembled by government agents in retaliation for the “Ultimate Vision” storyline) drives her insane, although she eventually recovers and rejoins the team. This story also revealed that the Scarlet Witch‘s powers include wide-range reality manipulation and she is what the time-traveling Immortus refers to as a “nexus being” setting the stage for 2004’s eventual “Chaos” and “Avengers Disassembled” storylines. This played out in the “Darker than Scarlet” storyline which ran in Avengers West Coast from issues #51-62 (Nov. 1989 – Sept. 1990).

    The Avengers titles were then embroiled in the major crossover event “Acts of Vengeance” wherein Loki assembles many of Marvel‘s arch-villains (with his inner circle consisting of Doctor Doom, Magneto, Kingpin, Mandarin, Wizard, and Red Skull) in a plot to destroy the team. Loki orchestrates a mass breakout of villains from prison facility the Vault, as part of his Acts of Vengeance scheme, but he ultimately fails in his goal to destroy the Avengers.

    Bob Harras and Steve Epting introduced a stable lineup with ongoing storylines and character development focused on the Black Knight, Sersi, Crystal, Quicksilver, Hercules and the Vision. Their primary enemies in this run include the mysterious Proctor and the Shi’ar warrior Deathcry. During this period, the team finds themselves facing increasingly murderous enemies, and are forced to question their rule against killing.

    This culminated in “Operation: Galactic Storm“, a 19-part storyline that ran through all Avengers-related titles and showcases a conflict between the Kree and the Shi’ar Empire. The team splits when Iron Man and several dissidents execute the Supreme Intelligence against the wishes of Captain America. After a vote disbanding the West Coast Avengers, Iron Man forms a proactive and aggressive team called Force Works. During the team’s first mission Wonder Man is apparently killed again (his atoms are actually only temporarily scattered). Force Works later disbands after it is revealed that Iron Man has become a murderer via the manipulations of the villain Kang.

    “Heroes Reborn”

    Together with the Fantastic Four and others, many of the Avengers apparently died stopping the gestalt psychic entity Onslaught, although it is later revealed that Franklin Richards preserved these heroes in a pocket universe. Believing the main team gone, the Black Widow disbands the Avengers, with only butler Jarvis remaining to tend to the Mansion.

    “Heroes Return”

    Writer Kurt Busiek and penciler George Pérez launched a new volume of the series with The Avengers vol. 3, #1 (Feb. 1998). Busiek also concurrently wrote the limited series Avengers Forever, a time-travel story that explored the history of the Avengers and resolved many outstanding questions. New members during this run included the revived Wonder Man, Justice, Firestar, Silverclaw, and Triathlon. Busiek‘s run included many of the Avengers’ traditional villains such as the Grim Reaper, Ultron, Count Nefaria, and Kang the Conqueror.

    2000s
    “Avengers Disassembled”

    Successor writer Geoff Johns dealt with the aftermath of Busiek‘s Kang arc, as the Avengers are granted international authority by the United Nations. Members joining during this period included Jack of Hearts and the second Ant-Man. Chuck Austen followed as writer, and added a new Captain Britain to the team. Writer Brian Michael Bendis then rebooted the title with the “Avengers Disassembled” storyline. Titled “Chaos“, the story featured the deaths of some members and a loss of credibility for the team. The culprit is revealed to be the Scarlet Witch, who has gone insane after agonizing over the memory of her lost children and who subsequently loses control of her reality-altering powers. With the team in disarray and Avengers Mansion ruined, the surviving members agree to disband.

    “New Avengers”

    A new Avengers team briefly formed following the events of House of M, coming together as the result of a massive jailbreak at The Raft prison facility. This New Avengers lineup was composed of Iron Man, Captain America, Luke Cage, Wolverine, Ronin, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Sentry.

    In the company-wide “Marvel Civil War” story arc, Marvel superheroes were split over compliance with the U.S. government’s new Superhuman Registration Act requiring all superpowered persons to register their true identifies with the federal government and become agents of same. The New Avengers disbanded, with a rebel underground opposed to the act forms in a series retaining The New Avengers in its trademarked cover logo and New Avengers in its copyright indicia. Luke Cage led this underground Avengers team in that series. The team consists of himself, Echo, Ronin, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Wolverine, Iron Fist, and Doctor Strange. During the long-term infiltration of Earth by the shape-shifting alien race the Skrulls, we learn that Drew had been abducted and replaced by the Skrull queen Veranke. After the Skrulls‘ defeat, Drew, among other abducted and replaced heroes, was rescued. During the company-wide story arc “Dark ReignEcho and Iron Fist leave the team and the Avengers gain Ms. Marvel, the Bucky Barnes Captain America, and Mockingbird.

    At the start of the “Heroic Age” storyline, the New Avengers become an officially recognized team given independence from Stark‘s more traditional Avengers by Captain Steve Rogers, primarily due to Cage‘s distrust of a government backed superhero group. Captain America leaves the team to solely serve the main Avengers, Iron Fist rejoins the team, and Power Woman and Thing are also added to the roster. Steve Rogers has an occasional presence and Victoria Hand is added with his backing, causing controversy among the other members due to her previous ties to Norman Osborn.

    “Mighty Avengers”

    In response to the Civil War, Iron Man reforms the official team under the aegis of the government’s Fifty State Initiative program, taking up residency in New York City with the roster of Ares, the Black Widow, Iron Man, the Sentry, the Wasp, Wonder Man, and leader Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers).

    All but Ares and the Sentry leave this team (except for the Wasp, who died in the Secret Invasion) as it is taken over by Norman Osborn and the team migrates to the Dark Avengers book. In the pages of The Mighty Avengers, Hank Pym, assuming the Wasp identity of his fallen ex-wife, leads a new team of Avengers, claiming the name for his team as he is the only founding Avenger on any of the three active Avengers rosters. His team operates under a multi-national umbrella group called the Global Reaction Agency for Mysterious Paranormal Activity (GRAMPA). This team features the roster of Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Stature, the Vision, Jocasta, U.S. Agent, Quicksilver, and Hank Pym. Scarlet Witch (actually Loki in disguise) is a recurring character. Iron Man and Hulk were briefly with them during their battle with Chthon.

    “Dark Avengers”

    After the events of “Secret Invasion“, Norman Osborn assumes control of the formerly S.H.I.E.L.D.-sponsored Avengers, now under the auspices of his own agency, H.A.M.M.E.R. He retains Ares and Sentry from the previous team, and recruits Marvel Boy to pose as Captain Marvel and Daken to pose as his father, Wolverine, and brings Moonstone, Bullseye, and Venom from his previous Thunderbolts team to impersonate Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, and Spider-Man, respectively.

    2010s
    “Heroic Age”

    After the conclusion of the “Siege” story arc, which ended the “Dark Reign” storyline, all four of the then-current Avengers series (consisting of The Mighty Avengers, New Avengers, Dark Avengers, and Avengers: The Initiative) were canceled, and a new ongoing series titled Avengers was launched in May 2010. Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita, Jr., serve as regular writer and artist respectively. The full Avengers roster was revealed in issue #1 as: Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Spider-Woman, Iron Man, and team leader Maria Hill. At the Avengers’ first team meeting, Steve Rogers comments on an unidentified hero who is missing from the meeting.

    The launch marked the beginning of what Marvel calls the “Heroic Age“, after seven years of grim storylines, including a superhero “civil war” that pitted Iron Man against Captain America & Spider-Man, and the death of Captain America. According to Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada;

    Heroes will be heroes again… They’ve gone through hell and they’re back to being good guys—a throwback to the early days of the Marvel Universe, with more of a swashbuckling feel.

    A second title called Secret Avengers was released in May 2010, written by Ed Brubaker with Mike Deodato as regular artist. The second volume of the New Avengers series was relaunched in June 2010, written by Bendis and drawn by Stuart Immonen. A fourth title called Avengers Academy was also launched in June 2010, replacing Avengers: The Initiative. Christos Gage serves as writer, with Mike McKone as artist.

    During an international meeting between Steve Rogers and MI13, Captain Britain was offered a job with the Avengers. Captain Britain accepted despite mixed reactions from his MI13 teammates.

    Noh-Varr is asked to help the Avengers by building a time machine to save the future. After that crisis is over, Noh-Varr is officially invited to join the Avengers.

    The Hulk makes arrangements with Steve Rogers for Red Hulk to join the Avengers, just in time for him to assist the team in tracking down the Hood as he begins to search for the Infinity Gems to serve as a new ‘power source’.

    “Shattered Heroes”

    After the events of Fear Itself, the Shattered Heroes storyline led to several changes in the main Avengers team lineup when Quake and Storm are recruited and Vision re-joins the team upon being rebuilt by Iron Man. Also, Wolverine and Spider-Man leave the team and instead get more involved in their membership with the New Avengers.

    The Movie (2012)

    The Avengers (classified in the UK and Ireland under the name Marvel Avengers Assemble) is a 2012 American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was scripted and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson. In The Avengers, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America to form a team. The group must stop Thor‘s brother Loki from destroying Earth.

    Plot

    Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., arrives at a remote research facility during an evacuation. The tesseract, an energy source of unknown potential, has activated and opened a portal through space, from which the exiled Norse god Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steps through. Loki takes the tesseract, and uses his abilities to control the minds of several S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel including agent Clint Barton – Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and physicist consultant Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) in order to aid in his getaway.

    In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the Avengers Initiative. Agent Natasha RomanoffBlack Widow (Scarlett Johannson) is sent to India to recruit Dr. Bruce Bannerthe Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), while Agent Philip Coulson (Clark Gregg), approaches Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and requests that he review Selvig‘s research. Fury himself approaches Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) with an assignment to retrieve the tesseract from Loki. During his exile, Loki encountered the Other (Alexis Denisof), an alien conqueror who in exchange for the Tesseract offers Loki an army of the alien race the Chitauri in order for him to subjugate Earth.

    Rogers, Stark and Romanoff travel to Germany to apprehend Loki, who is recovering iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract’s power and demanding that the civilians kneel before him. After a battle with Captain America, Loki surrenders and is escorted back to a S.H.I.E.L.D. plane. However, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki‘s adoptive brother and the Norse god of thunder, arrives and attempts to free Loki to reason with him. Stark and Rogers confront Thor, and Loki is eventually returned to the Helicarrier, a high-tech, flying aircraft carrier, and placed in a cell designed to hold The Hulk.

    The Avengers are divided, both over how to approach Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. plan to harness the tesseract’s power to develop weapons. Fury admits that the events in New Mexico a year before made S.H.I.E.L.D. aware of extraterrestrial life, some of whom may see Earth as a target. The decision was made to produce weapons with the tesseract as a means of deterrence. As the group argues, Barton and Loki’s other possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling its engines in flight. As Stark and Rogers attempt to restart the damaged engines, Banner transforms into the Hulk, despite Romanoff‘s best efforts to calm him down, and runs amok inside the ship, fighting Thor. During a fight with Barton, Romanoff discovers that a blow to the head — powerful enough to knock Barton unconscious — is enough to break Loki‘s mind control. Loki escapes, killing Agent Coulson as he does so, and Thor and the Hulk are each ejected from the ship.

    Fury uses Coulson‘s death to motivate the Avengers into working as a team. Stark and Rogers realize that simply defeating them will not be enough for Loki; he needs to overpower them in a very public way so as to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Using a device built by Selvig, Loki opens a portal to the Chitauri fleet over Manhattan, summoning a Chitauri invasion.

    The Avengers rally in defense of New York, but quickly realize they will be overwhelmed as wave after wave of Chitauri descend upon Earth. With help from Barton, Rogers and Stark evacuate civilians, while Banner transforms into the Hulk again and goes after Loki, beating him into submission. Romanoff makes her way to the portal, where Selvig, freed of Loki‘s control, reveals that Loki‘s staff can be used to close the portal.

    Meanwhile, Fury‘s superiors attempt to end the invasion by launching a nuclear missile at Manhattan. Stark intercepts the missile and takes it through the portal toward the Chitauri fleet before running out of power and plummeting back to Earth, but the Hulk catches him as he falls. Thor escorts Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard, while Fury notes that the Avengers will go their separate ways until such time as a new world-threatening menace emerges.

    In a post-credits scene, the Other confers with his master about the attack on Earth.

     

    Source : Wikipedia

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