By Jim Beard
"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born-to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!"
As the Heroic Age dawns on the Marvel Universe and we prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we've got you covered on the history of Marvel's most prolific team of heroes!
So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!
How do we know for certain when the "old order changeth"? When it says so, right on the cover! AVENGERS #211 heralded another change-up in the
|AVENGERS #211 cover|
Captain America invoked his right as chairman of Earth's Mightiest Heroes to limit the number of members in AVENGERS #211, and a bevy of heroes waltzed in to apply. It all turned out to be a masterful manipulation by the so-called "goddess," Moondragon-known to the Avengers as a pain-in-the-butt-and one she retracted once realizing her folly. Alas, the team gained a new line-up in the wake of the Titaness' desire to call the shots: Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Yellowjacket and the she-cat known as Tigra.
Though serving the team well during their stay, the Beast, Wonder Man, the Scarlet Witch, the Vision and Jocasta all took a walk to clear their heads and re-assess their lives and careers. In hindsight, they stand as the lucky ones; what came next represented one of the lowest points in the history of the Avengers' membership.
|AVENGERS #213 cover|
Pym's arc rolled out in ever-increasing erratic fashion, his demeanor one of insanity and his actions a blot on his Avengers record. Designing and building a giant robot to attack the team so that he in turn could "save the day" backfired in his face and the Avengers found themselves forced to expel a charter member, a hero until that tragic day. The ultimate tragedy arrived in AVENGERS #217, wherein Yellowjacket's old enemy Egghead tricked Hank into invading SAC headquarters out west; Hank claimed he'd been duped, but the Avengers saw only guilt. Pym wound up in jail.
|AVENGERS #216 cover|
The menaces still attacked, of course. During this line-up's tenure the usual cast of cretins crawled out of their holes to prove themselves against the team: elfqueens, ghost riders, molecule manipulators and ageless immortals unable to die. Then, Moondragon reappeared and dragged the heroes off to the alien world of Ba-Bahi to fight a war for her sake. The Avengers resisted, naturally, but the bald-headed beauty insisted and drove them to battle armies of alien warriors on her behalf in AVENGERS #219.
|AVENGERS #220 cover|
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