Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Five Avengers Assemble!


Karen: You may have noticed the poll on the lefthand side here asking you to pick your five favorite Silver/Bronze Age Avengers. Please vote, and let us know here in your comments who you voted for and why. I'm sure there may be some quibbles about people left off the list; essentially, I stopped adding heroes after Falcon joined the team, and long before Gilgamesh, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Dr. Druid, and a lot of other dubious members joined.

Karen: My own personal choices would be: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Vision, and Hawkeye. I guess I'm stuck around the Kree-Skrull time period even now.


dbutler16 said...

Only 5 members? C'mon, even Gyrich allowed 7!
Anyway, I went with the Wasp (you need a fun member) Cap and Vision (quintessential Avengers) Black Panther (I just love the guy, or at least the Silver/Bronze Age version) and Thor (my team needs some muscle. I'm already kicking myself for leaving Hawkeye off the team! Another quintessential Avenger who's also one of the most fun members to have on the team. It's tough for me to pick the Wasp without Ant-Man, and the Vision without the Scarlet Witch, and to leave Iron Man off, but with only 5 choices, somebody has to stay behind. She-Hulk is also one of my favorite Avengers, and Hercules is another one I'd have loved to include, but I guess I'll have to stick them on my West Coast team.

Doug said...

I voted for Cap, the Vision, Beast, Black Panther, and Hank Pym. Does that make a great team? Not necessarily, but I just went with my favorites over the period parameters.

It's interesting to me that as I type this there are 24 votes and no Avenger is even close to a unanimous selection. It also bears mentioning that the Vision is ahead of Iron Man and Thor from a popularity standpoint.


J.A. Morris said...

I went with this team:
Scarlet Witch
Black Panther
Wonder Man

No "Big Three" on my team.

Anonymous said...

Oooo, Karen. 5 is tough. OK...Cap, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision and Black Panther. I went largely with heroes who, for the most part, did not have their own series, the exception being Cap because he's Cap.

The question was "Silver/Bronze" but I thought about trying to come up with a Silver and a Bronze team. For Silver, I liked the kooky quartet (wait that's 4) but also liked when Hank and Jan came back (now I'm up to 6)...grumble, grumble...yeah, 5 is hard. Bronze? How about Visz, Wanda, Swordsman, Mantis and Hawkeye. I don't know about team but that would be one helluva soap opera.


dbutler16 said...

Yeah, I really love the Beast. He was another I was greatly chagrined to leave off my team. I mostly went with members I liked, but I did also try to form a somewhat balanced team.

humanbelly said...

Boy, with a poll or list like this, if you wait three months, I'm just as likely to come back with an entirely different line-up-! Big ol' flip-flopper. . . plus I like so many folks. My list is completely influenced by a big dose of hindsight for some characters-- not so much who was my favorite at the time. That's my main disclaimer. So:

WASP- But much more in the powered-up (Hank endowed her with a modicum of superstrength in MTU. . . we tend to forget that), leader-of-the-pack mode that she grew into. Fun & tough & charismatic.

HANK PYM- I'm not kidding. He has such a long, troubled, heart-breaking history, but you know what? He's INTERESTING. And in a way, very inspiring. You can't read Joe Casey's 2nd Earth's Mightiest Heroes mini-series and not come away thinking that Hank is the most out-of-his element, underdog of a superhero ever made. There's such a great man at the core of all of that dysfunction. . .

CAP: Steve Rogers, mind you. When he's at his idealistic and unflappable best.

VISION: He was my favorite character for many, many years. I loved he & Wanda getting married-- but I think the subsequent personality overhaul was so over-the-top that it would have mangled their relationship immediately. The artifical man struggling to be human (and generally succeeding w/out realizing it) was much more honest and compelling.

HAWKEYE: Thinks w/ his mouth; heart on his sleeve; leads w/ his jaw. PERPETUALLY "proving" himself as a (mostly) non-powered individual, and yet has an ego that drives him to pick fights with guys like Goliath and Hercules. And has a skill that drops the jaws of Asgardians. When Clint took on the Goliath role for a few years, it's one of the few times that a move like that worked, IMO, because his personality and team identity are so unique and endearing. Boy, how sweet was it, though, when he saved the Earth at the close of the Kree/Skrull War by improvising a bow & arrow in the final moment of extremis?

Again-- these'd be my favorites, not necessarily a "best team" list. Although I'd certainly enjoy the dynamic.


Inkstained Wretch said...

My list would be:

Iron Man: The quintessential Avenger in my opinion.

Thor: Like Iron Man, he was there from the start and if you're gonna be the go-to team to save the world, it helps to have (a) god on your side.

The Vision: He kind of was the heart and soul of the team in the Bronze Age, in my opinion. As an android who was brought to life by an evil mechanical monster but nevertheless yearned to be human, he was kind of the ultimate outsider. I think that was why so many readers were drawn to him. It helped too that he was rarely written in an overly melodramatic way.

The Scarlet Witch: You cannot have the Vision without Wanda. Besides, I always found her costume fetching.

The Black Panther: Always found him intriguing and was frustated that he wasn't showcased more in the Avengers comics. Glad to see he is getting some face time in the cartoon series.

Anonymous said...

This is a strange thread. What Karen asked us to do was pick our top 5 Avengers, not select a team, just name your top five individuals, and yet everyone (except Doug) has set about constructing a team, balancing it out, etc. This seems like the less interesting take to me, but it’s all good. I went for the characters that I associate with the most interesting stories:

Wanda: mysterious, beautiful, love triangle, married an android, studied proper witchery with Agatha Harkness, had maybe the only decently ret-conned origin ever and a tremendous origin story it is, and is the only person who can twat Ultron.

Hercules: loved him in both his original exile and that 2nd Stern/Buscema/Palmer run. I also liked him in Thor and the Champs.

Black Knight: interesting and original stories. Never too sure what his powers were and neither was he. Also the causal nexus of the Avengers/Defenders war. And, for once, a genuinely interesting love interest for Jan.

Vision: sine qua non.

Beast: I loved what he brought to the dynamic and I thought he was wonderfully written by both Englehart & Shooter. That period of Avengers (130’s to 180’s) is superb, but he still manages to be one of the best things in it.


david_b said...

Jeez, I like everyone's picks so far..

1) Karen's list to me makes the most sense for my favs.. (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Vision, and Hawkeye). I believe Vish inclusion without Wanda's just fine, as all the issues from ish 59 until Wanda's Silver Age return would attest.

2) Personally, we missed a BIG opportunity with Steve Englehart for another kooky quartet (Vish, Wanda, Mantis, and Swordsman..) around the ish 125 era, that would have made for a nice, stripped down team, perhaps adding an anchor like IM or Cap. Missed Englehart's Swordsman greatly, I like Tom's team idea but adding Clint to that team would have brought too much similarity.

3) From the late Silver standpoint, I enjoyed the tenure of YJ and Clint's Goliath together, so the five member team from that era would rank as well (Vish, YJ, Wasp, Goliath, Panther).

Edo Bosnar said...

Here's my five pics, and they don't necessarily reflect a perfect team, but just characters I really liked as team members for one reason or another:
Captain America - Avengers just don't seem to be right without him.
Wasp - same reason as Cap.
Ms. Marvel
Wonder Man
I guess my list shows when I really started reading Avengers regularly. Ms. Marvel seemed to be a perfect fit for the Avengers, and I loved the 'odd couple' vibe between Hank and Simon.
Guys I regret not being able to add: Vision and Hank Pym.

Earth66 said...

Vision - Because he reminds us of the human condition.

She Hulk - Strong on so many levels. Confident in her condition and identity.

Iron Man - Resourceful and ingenious, but only human under that armor.

Beast - Brains and Brawn. He proves you cant judge a book by its cover.

Wasp - A natural Leader. She understands people. She is easy for the average person to identify with. Excellent Spokesperson.

dbutler16 said...

humanbelly, another great thing about Hawkeye (I can't believe I left him off my list!) is how incredibly resourceful he is. I remember him defeating the Collector single handed after the Collector had captured all of the other Avengers, and I also remember him beating the She-Hulk in some kind of contest in a crossover between the regular Avengers and West Coast Avengers Annuals, where Death and the Grandmaster were having a contest. But then, best Hawkeye moments is really a post unto itself.

humanbelly said...


Marvel Team-Up #22.
The side-splittingly (but nonetheless awesome and delightful) impossible last-second shot that saves Hawk & Spidey from Quasimodo's robotic hordes. . .

Prefaced w/ something like, ". . .the angles look right. . ."


Dougie said...

I love this type of post. I spent an indecent amount of time thinking about this sort of thing but I feel many people here may share my affliction!

Five is a fiendishly difficult number since, as has been pointed out, Gyrich introduced a 7-memeber limit. (Like that lasted!)

Anyway: five Silver/Bronze Age favourites. (Damn! I wanted Monica Marvel!)
Cap: Where else should he be? He's the soul of the Avengers
Wasp: Jan's journey to chairman is fascinating; she's the public face of the Avengers.
Vision: the quintessential Avenger and the star of the book.
Scarlet Witch: more magic, less mutant, please. I can't handle the two of them being apart but I think Wanda should be the apprentice to Dr. Strange.
Beast: something rich and strange ( a quote I think Hank would appreciate). A brilliant left-field mind and an archetypal Marvel tragic monster.

I hate not having room for Hawkeye!

I totally agree that the Kooky Quartet would have worked in the mid-70s, but it would have been Thor's Kooky Quintet. When Swordsman died (as he absolutely had to, to cement Kang's role) Hawkeye would have naturally taken his place.

david_b said...


MTU 22 was one of my ALL-TIME favorite Bronze issues. Breezy fun, a MUCH-awaited post-Clash adventure with Hawkeye. You knew that a team of Spidey and Hawkeye would be frothy fun, and it was.

I know the story was a bit weak, but who cared..??

To coin a phrase.., 'the angles looked right'.


William Preston said...

A problem I had with the Avengers comic was, like any Marvel geek obsessed with continuity, I couldn't truly fathom how anyone on the team would have time to headline a solo book. Yes, I loved having Thor and Iron Man and Cap on the team (especially when Cap's own book slipped in quality), but I never quite bought the premise of those guys hanging around the mansion the way the X-Men hung around in Westchester.

With that said: Scarlet Witch, Vision, Wonder Man, Hank, Jan. What a ridiculous amount of internal conflict! You still had some really powerful beings on top of smarts.

Dougie said...

Because I love this kind of post so much, I'd like to point out that the most popular line-up so far would be: Cap, Vizh/Witch, Wasp and the Beast or the Panther.

Box office stars Thor, Iron Man and Hawkeye follow farther behind with Pym, Simon and She-Hulk.

There's a little love for Ms. M, Herc and Dane Whitman but I think it's obvious that Avengers: 2 needs the Vision and T'Challa to keep the Bronze Agers happy. If we were casting Modern Day Avengers, would Cage, Spidey or Logan make the list?

(Can we do one of these for the JLA? With seven members? Please?)

Anonymous said...

Beast, Spiderman, She Hulk, Wasp and Hercules.

The Bwahahaha Avengers.

Anonymous said...

Hi William – according to Stan, the whole reason Hank, Jan, Thor & IM left was continuity with their own books. Hank came back when we went out of TTA. The others didn’t return until Roy (never daunted by continuity as he was their go-to guy) took over.

Dougie said...

Der. The Top Five is actually: Cap, Vizh, Hawkeye, Iron Man and Wanda.

The sixth and seventh slots, Gyrich-style, would go to the Beast and Thor.

I wish we could have had a separate vote for Goliath-Clint.

Fred W. Hill said...

Hmm, my picks were the very same top 5 Dougies lists, although initially I picked Thor then swapped him out for Vizh. I can see arguments for leaving out all of the Big Three (or Big Four as it was in the mid-Bronze Age when T'Challa had his own series), and so exchanging Cap & Tony for Hank & Jan or the Beast & Wonderman.

Redartz said...

Very tough to keep it to five; a couple favorites inevitably are left out!

My choices: Captain America. The Avengers, to me, always seemed a bit off balance without him. Look in the dictionary under "leader" and see his picture.

Iron Man; a representative of the Big Boys. He has had a rich relationship with Cap, and his combination of strength and vulnerability is a plus.

Vision; for the same reasons Inkstained gave!

Scarlet Witch; a fascinating character who has gone through innumerable changes. She maintains a great strength of will; loved what Englehart did with her and Agatha Harkness.

Beast; who to me seemed more at home in Avengers Mansion than in Westchester. He is nearly a two-for-one choice as his comradeship with Wonder Man helped make the Bronze Age Avengers so enjoyable.

Karen said...

I knew picking just five would be hard, but you've all risen to the challenge. For me, leaving Wanda, the Panther, and the Beast off the list was difficult. I must also note that Moondragon has not received a single vote. Not a surprise!

dbutler16 said...

Yeah, Moondragon was just obnoxious. At least Dr. Druid had a redeeming characteristic or two, I think. Also interesting that only one person picked "other"

Besides She-Hulk, another member not listed that I sorta liked was Sersi. Yeah, really. She was fun. Even Starfox had his good points and his power certainly could lead to some interesting stories.

Inkstained Wretch said...

My all-time favorite moment with Moondragon was the issue of Marvel Two in One where the Thing throws her over his knee a gives her a good spankin' while telling her that his poker buddies in the Avengers say she's had this coming for a long time.

Totally politically incorrect and completely awesome.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Errr "... over his knee AND gives her a good spankin' ..."

Matthew Bradley said...

We are, in a sense, going down some of the same neural pathways we traveled when you asked us to pick our "essential" Avenger some time ago, although whittling it down to five is (probably) easier.

My picks (within a frame of reference from 1963 to roughly 1985): Henry Pym, Captain America, Hawkeye, Vision, Beast. Made no attempt to fashion a team per se, just picked my favorites.

As a romantic, I found it hard to break up couples (Hank but no Jan, Vizh but no Wanda). However, I do feel a marked leaning toward those who did not have the luxury of their own book or strip, which for the most part is true of all but Cap. No, I haven't forgotten the Giant-Man and Beast strips in, respectively, TALES TO ASTONISH and AMAZING ADVENTURES (or, for that matter, the fact that the Beast was once an X-Man, yet his blue and furry incarnation is an essentially new character), but the former frankly blew and the latter never had time to reach its potential.

Pym is one of my all-time favorite characters (TTA notwithstanding), and I liked his Goliath incarnation best, with Yellowjacket a close second. His ruination c. #213 epitomizes the Shooter Apocalypse for me.

Cap, although not technically a founding member, might as well be, and I will always consider him the heart and soul of the group, not to mention its best leader, hands down. I frequently enjoyed seeing him among the Assemblers more than in his own book. As the team's host and bankroll, Iron Man almost made the cut but, again, had his own book.

Hawkeye is another fave, epitomizing the heady days of "Cap's Kooky Quartet," and was one of the most consistent members in my day. Since he had virtually no life outside the team, he also seems almost the quintessential Assembler.

Vision is, quite simply, one of the coolest cats ever put on the page. His introduction kicked the book up to a whole new level, and he never disappointed. Love him.

As for the Beast, he symbolizes the later era of Englehart and Perez for me, and his unique personality was always an asset.

dbutler16 said...

Inkstained Wretch, was that MTIO #75, where they went to the Negative Zone and battled Blastaar and Annuhilus?

Matthew Bradley said...

dbutler16: It appears to be MTIO #62.

dbutler16 said...

Thanks for the info. I'll have to try an pick it up at the local comic shop the next time I wander by.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Matthew is correct: It is MTIO #62, part of three-issue arc wrapping up loose ends related to Adam Warlock's death.

You can see the panel in question here:

Matthew Bradley said...

That MTIO site is awesome, inspiring (in this writer, at least) equal parts envy and admiration. Talk about a labor of love!

Anonymous said...

You have to have Cap in there. The Avengers w/o Cap was boring to me. The Vision was the face of the Avengers to me during the Bronze Age and you can't have Vizh there w/o his better half. I always liked Shellhead there as well...just liked him and Cap together. I picked the Beast as #5 because he was always fun in the issues I read.

This was fun!


Karen said...

Just looked over the vote totals today and it appears that Cap is far and away the number one pick, with the Vision and Iron Man battling for second place. It's good to see ol' Vizh getting some love.

Karen said...

The polls are closed, all votes are in. here are the fabulous five:

Capt. America (69)
Vision (60)
Iron Man (57)
Thor (44)
Hawkeye (43)

Scarlet Witch (38)
Beast (33)

Thanks for participating!


humanbelly said...

Formidable team, isn't it? And with the sole exception of the Beast, it could really be considered a Silver Age roster-!

Ya gotcher Big Three.
Ya got three of Cap's Kooky Quartet (poor Quicksilver-- I know two folks who are big fans of his, and he barely registers a blip in this poll).

What's cool is that there are two relatively non-powered individuals (Cap & Hawkeye) right in there with three extreme heavy-weights (Thor, Iron Man, & Vision). Plus two mutants right there in reserve. This, of course, speaks to the fact that our interest (this group's, at least) seems to lay with the characters themselves and the dynamic they create, rather than with the specific gee-whiz factor of their powers.

This was a very fun poll, Karen. Thanks for setting it up.
(Hmm-- what's the chance for some kind of "BRACKETOLOGY" thingy again? That, too, was quite a hoot-!)


Related Posts with Thumbnails