My last post about Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch made me think about my favourite Avengers rosters. The image above from Volume 1, issue 28, depicts the earliest version I remember, from the Power Comics reprints of the mid-60s. The Collector remains my Ur-Avengers Villain.
Let’s look at my Top Five line-ups from the storied history of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!
Number 5) Thomas/ Colan Era
This represents the second line-up I glommed on to as a child. Granted, it’s got two strong, silent types in T’Challa and Vizh but they’re really very different. I like Clint’s sombre colour scheme and I’m very fond of the red-and-gold Buscema costume Jan’s wearing.
Number 4) Early 90s Avengers
Ah, the Team Jackets Era. Yes, there are two immortals on the team (three, if we’re counting the unseen Sersi) but this is a majestic line-up. I would prefer to see Natasha back in her Bronze Age jet-set black outfit, rather than Frank Miller’s unflattering grey outfit.
Number 3) Busiek/ Perez Era
I like this roster because of the unusual preponderance of super-heroines. I also like Hank modelling Clint’s outfit ( the Avengers need a giant). Almost perfect; I would lose Triathlon, I’m afraid.
Number 2) The 80s Avengers
I actually prefer Starfox to Namor as an Avenger; I never felt the Sub-Mariner was a good fit on the team. If Jan were in her classic red-and- gold (or Byrne’s black, white and red), she’d look like the leader.
Number 1) The Englehart/Conway/Shooter Era
Englehart designed this line-up for ferment with the ideological poles of Past and Future (Tony and Cap); the Old Marrieds and the New Marrieds; and the Quirky Outsider. This is how I picture The Avengers. If I could trade one member, it would be Hank for Hawkeye.
Runner-up: The Marquee Names
I totally understand the need to bring a team like this together. A street-level “urban noir” team with a big box-office sensibility. But they should be the Champions or something. I’d also lose Fishbowl Man. ( Unless he’s a new version of Wally Wood’s Faceless One from Astonishing Tales, which would be immense.)
Here’s my suggestion for a ready-made new iteration of The Champions.
Obviously, it isn’t really feasible; Reed and Sue belong in the FF, no question. But this Kirby Kast appeals to me for the same reasons Justice League Detroit does. It’s a really fresh, audacious take on an old favourite.
Speaking of FF members, there should always be a West Coast Avengers and here’s a line-up I like:
I would change teeny-tiny Firebird to her Esperita persona but that’s a roster that works for me. So: what’s your ideal Avengers team? Something old and something new, like this:
Next: Hold me, Thrill me, Kiss me, Kill me
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