Avengers

The 50 Greatest Avengers of All-Time Pt. 1

See who made Marvel.com’s official list of the greatest among Earth's Mightiest Heroes over the past 50 years!

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Today, the world at large knows the Avengers from not only comics, but their exploits on the small screen, in theaters and beyond. But 50 years ago, AVENGERS #1 saw Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assemble for the very first time to combat the threats none could overcome alone.

In the five decades since, dozens of men, women, aliens, machines, etc. have called themselves Avengers. From villains who once opposed the team to ordinary humans rising to the challenge and every form of hero in between, the top team in the Marvel Universe boasts the most impressive all-time roster around.

To celebrate the Avengers’ 50th anniversary, Marvel.com called upon a panel of experts that included fans and professionals alike to pick the 50 al-time greatest members of the team. This list will unfold in five parts and feature write-ups as well as information and digital comics links spotlighting each Avenger.

Please let us know what you think of our selections and share your own by tweeting @Marvel on Twitter and using the hashtag #Avengers50


50. THE TWO-GUN KID
First Appearance: TWO-GUN KID #60
Joined the Avengers: AVENGERS #144
Why He’s #50:
“Matt ‘Two-Gun Kid’ Hawk joined forces with the Avengers in a quite unusual way, considering he first crossed paths with the team when they traveled back to the Old West to fight Kang. While from another era, Two-Gun’s pursuit of justice and his rugged fighting style—both bolstered by his intelligence—proved a perfect fit for the modern day. During the Avengers’ involvement in the 50 State Initiative he led Arizona’s team, the Desert Stars.” – Tim O’Shea
Digital Spotlight Comic:
SHE-HULK (2005) #5

49. JESSICA JONES

First Appearance:
ALIAS #1
Joined the Avengers:
NEW AVENGERS (2010) #1
Why She’s #49:
“Following an unsuccessful super hero career as the super strong Jewel, Jessica Jones turned her unrelenting spirit towards a private investigator business, one that only ended up strengthening her ties to the hero community. As a full-fledged member of her husband Luke Cage’s Avengers, Jones overcame her own traumatic history as a hero to become the heart of her team, as well as a positive role model for her daughter, Danielle. As former private eye and investigative journalist, as well as a wife and mother, this tough-talking and hard-working woman became an Avenger unlike any other before or since.” – Brett White
Digital Spotlight Comic: NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #3

46. SHANG-CHI

First Appearance: SPECIAL MARVEL EDITION #15
Joined the Avengers:
AVENGERS (2012) #1
Why He’s #46: “As the Avengers’ exploits have expanded, the team's ranks have grown to include former solo acts like Shang-Chi, the master of Kung-Fu. Originally recruited by Captain America to fight alongside his Secret Avengers squad, Shang-Chi has gone on to become a vital member of the expansive modern roster. There, his mastery of ancient mental techniques helped Captain Universe overcome her mental blocks, and his incomparable fighting skills allowed him to go head-to-head against the mysterious Chimera. Shang-Chi’s tenure as an Avenger might still be young, but his inclusion on the team adds years of valuable experience.” – Brett White
Digital Spotlight Comic:
SECRET AVENGERS (2010) #18

IRON FIST

First Appearance:
MARVEL PREMIERE #15
Joined the Avengers:
NEW AVENGERS (2004) #27
Why He’s Also #46:
“With his best friend and longtime partner Luke Cage in charge of the Avengers, Danny Rand became an essential part of the group and even used his considerable fortune to bankroll the team during their time as a fugitive outfit. Iron Fist added a dose of fierce loyalty when the Avengers needed it most following the Skrull invasion and divisive fallout that rocked their confidence. The bond he formed with Cage during their time as Heroes for Hire eventually extended outwards to the entire team, with Rand forming unbreakable bonds where he least expected it: as a member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” – Brett White
Digital Spotlight Comic:
NEW AVENGERS (2010) #25

ANT-MAN (Scott Lang)

First Appearance:
AVENGERS #181
Joined the Avengers:
AVENGERS (1998) #62
Why He’s Also #46:
“From thief to hero, Scott Lang’s journey to Avenger did not prove an easy one. Even after helping the group defeat Taskmaster, it would be years until the team invited him to be a full-fledged member. The honor would cost him custody of his daughter and then his very life. He returned from the dead, thanks to the efforts of the Young Avengers, and, despite his diminutive power set, faced down a Doctor Doom drunk with power. He proved his courage and fortitude, but faced tragedy once more as daughter Cassie wound up killed in the conflict. Today he struggles with this terrible legacy while trying to honor her memory as best he can.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Spotlight Comic:
AVENGERS #223

45. STINGRAY

First Appearance:
TALES TO ASTONISH #95
Joined the Avengers:
AVENGERS #262
Why He’s #45: “With a one-of-a-kind underwater battle suit of his own design and construction, Dr. Walter Newell tested his mettle in combat with none other than Namor the Sub-Mariner, quickly learning that the life of a super hero would always come second to his career as one of the world’s preeminent oceanographers. The Avengers came calling on Stingray to transform his floating Hydro-Base island into their headquarters, but after a series of adventures, finally welcomed him into their ranks. His deep water exoskeleton and high-powered electrical offensive weaponry make him a force to be reckoned with, above or below the sea.” – Jim Beard
Digital Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS #289

43. U.S. AGENT

First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #323
Joined the Avengers: WEST COAST AVENGERS #44
Why He’s #43:
“John Walker’s career has been nothing if not controversial. From his beginnings as Super Patriot and the government’s official Captain America when Steve Rogers chose ideals over towing the line, Walker has been the wearer of the flag people love to hate. And yet he persists. He serves with people that openly hate him, with those whose patriotism he finds questionable and whose values he finds weak. He has lost his parents and sacrificed his ability to walk, all in the name of a country that has repeatedly used and betrayed him. People may not like John Walker, but they have to respect him.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Spotlight Comic:
MIGHTY AVENGERS #32

THUNDERSTRIKE

First Appearance: THOR #391
Joined the Avengers: THOR #433
Why He’s Also #43:
“Injured in a construction accident, and later mortally wounded by the villain Mongoose, the architect Eric Masterson received a new lease on life when the god Odin infused the architect with the spirit and power of his son Thor. Awarded his own Asgardian weapon, Masterson assumed the role of thunder god before embarking on his own adventures. As an Avenger, Masterson swung his uru mace amidst cosmic conflicts with the Kree and Shi’ar, and even against Thanos in his bid for the Infinity Gauntlet. Eric eventually relinquished the mantle and armament of Thunderstrike to his son Kevin Masterson, ensuring that Odin’s life-saving gift spawned not one, but three heroes from just two generations of Masterson men.” – Paul Montgomery
Digital Spotlight Comic:
THOR #445

42. ARES

First Appearance:
THOR #129
Joined the Avengers:
MIGHTY AVENGERS (2007) #1
Why He’s #42:
“For other gods-turned-Avengers, brawling stands out as part of the fun of being a super hero. Guys like Thor and Hercules have become known for their love of a good fight. For Ares, it's a bit different. He's the god of war. He's a soldier, not a bar-room brawler, and he takes the business of fighting very seriously. Iron Man tried to put his mind and muscle to good use as an Avenger, but his temperament also made him a good fit for Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers. Whether as villain or hero, he's always a formidable foe.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Spotlight Comic: MIGHTY AVENGERS (2007) #4

41. FIRESTAR

First Appearance:
UNCANNY X-MEN #193
Joined the Avengers: AVENGERS (1998) #4
Why She’s #41:
“Angelica Jones came on the scene as a young woman trying to find her confidence and make her way in the world. A mutant with radiation-manipulation powers, she struggled with her abilities and questioned whether she had what it took to be a hero. As a Hellion she remained afraid; as a New Warrior she could be uncertain; as an Avenger she finally developed the confidence to take control of her life. It took Firestar a long time to believe in herself as much as the Avengers believed in her, but now she knows full well the role of Firestar: a hero.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Spotlight Comic:
AVENGERS (1998) #13


The countdown continues tomorrow right here on Marvel.com, but in the meantime, share your thoughts on Twitter with us @Marvel using the hashtag #Avengers50!

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