By TJ Dietsch
“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!
David Liss first made a name for himself as the writer of thriller novels like “A Conspiracy Of Paper” and “The Whiskey Rebels,” but in the last year he's shown himself to be also quite when it comes to hard edged super hero comics.
He transplanted T'Challa, the former King of Wakanda, from his home to the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen in an effort to strip Black Panther down to his essence and see how he performs on his own, without any of the technology or powers native to his homeland. In BLACK PANTHER: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR—soon to be renamed THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN ALIVE—Liss takes several classic elements from past mythos as well as urban-based elements more commonly seen in the world of Daredevil and Spider-Man. He’s also exploring the hidden noir past the Marvel Universe in MYSTERY MEN.
When asked for a list of his favorite Avengers, Liss went for the classics, plus a recent addition and one who should come as no surprise.
5. Captain America (Steve Rogers)
“Maybe he's not one of the original members, but he's come to embody the group more than any other single character. Cap has consistently been written as the guy who will always do the right thing, and will always try to get others to do the right thing, yet somehow never seem sanctimonious or priggish while doing so. Even when he was dead, the legacy of Steve Rogers was inescapable.”
4. Luke Cage
“I love how Luke Cage has emerged as the most viable alternative to Captain America, which is pretty cool in light of his marginal origins. Like Cap, Luke Cage is driven by a strong moral center, but he's also a much more rounded and recognizably-human character, and it's always interesting to see him in emotionally or morally challenging situations. He is both an everyman and, at the same time, our best [self].”
“One of my favorite Marvel characters ever. Who doesn't like a loose cannon with a smart mouth? Plus trick arrows are always cool.”
2. Ms. Marvel
“Maybe it's her messed up history or her sense of being undervalued, but I love how Ms. Marvel always seems to have something to prove. She has a cool power set and is easy to underestimate, and when she's given adequate plot or sub plot space, adds a lot of compelling narrative to any Avengers story.”
1. Black Panther
“Maybe I'm biased, but the Avengers is always better for having Black Panther on board. The group has a history of adding non-team players to the team, but Black Panther is both a terrible team player and a great guy to have on the team. Powerful, dangerous and enigmatic—having him around makes things much more interesting.”