Avengers

The 50 Greatest Avengers of All-Time Pt. 2

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

Read part one!

50. THE TWO-GUN KID
49. JESSICA JONES

46. SHANG-CHI

IRON FIST
ANT-MAN (Scott Lang)

45. STINGRAY

43. U.S. AGENT

THUNDERSTRIKE

42. ARES

41. FIRESTAR


40. SWORDSMAN

First Appearance: AVENGERS (1963) #19
Joined the Avengers: AVENGERS (1963) #19
Why He’s #40:
“You might be forgiven to recall the Swordsman as Clint Barton’s cutthroat counterpart, a saber brandished in place of a bow. After all, they dressed much the same in their early careers and both began as criminals at odds with the Avengers. You could be that reductive. Just don’t expect to wear that tie ever again. Jaques Duquesne mentored Barton in the Carson Carnival of Traveling Wonders, so without the Swordsman there could be no Hawkeye. Years after giving his own life for Mantis in a battle with Kang, Duquesne’s resurrected corpse defended the comatose Avengers from the Grim Reaper. He lived and died by the blade, an Avenger even in death.” – Paul Montgomery
Digital Spotlight Comic:
AVENGERS #129

38. MOONDRAGON

First Appearance:
IRON MAN (1968) #54
Joined the Avengers:
AVENGERS #137
Why She’s #38:
“If you don't know how the greatness of Moondragon, consider this: seemingly orphaned by Thanos, Heather Douglas trained in martial arts with monks on one of the moons of Saturn. She veered into villainy as she sought revenge on the Mad Titan, calling herself Madam MacEvil, and her hatred of Thanos eventually brought her into an alliance with the Avengers. Unfortunately Moondragon has never been much of a team player, but this much awesomeness can come with an ego.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Spotlight Comic:
AVENGERS #177

MANTIS

First Appearance:
AVENGERS #112
Joined the Avengers:
AVENGERS #114
Why She’s Also #38:
“Of all Avengers, Mantis may be the most enigmatic. For a time, she found friendship and a home among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, becoming an important part of the team along the way. A highly skilled martial artist, Mantis became a target of Kang because of her destiny to change the universe. Ultimately, the Conqueror faced defeat and Mantis embraced her role as Celestial Madonna. She married a Cotati in order to bring Quoi, the perfect child, into the world, a vital responsibility that took her away from the Avengers.” – Tim O’Shea
Digital Spotlight Comic:
AVENGERS #130

36. HAVOK

First Appearance:
UNCANNY X-MEN #54
Joined the Avengers:
UNCANNY AVENGERS #1
Why He’s #36:
“Nothing says ‘genuine Avenger’ like being hand-selected by Captain America. Following the tragic war between the Avengers and the X-Men, Steve Rogers formed the Avengers Unity Squad, a team comprised of both mutants and longstanding members of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. With his history of government service as the head of X-Factor and his brother Cyclops’ new role as a fugitive mutant revolutionary, Havok exemplifies the fact that the mutant race cannot be judged by the actions of the few. As the head of his team, Havok has risen up against extreme opposition, squaring off with the Red Skull and the Apocalypse Twins.” – Brett White
Digital Spotlight Comic:
UNCANNY AVENGERS #4

JUSTICE

First Appearance:
GIANT-SIZE DEFENDERS #5
Joined the Avengers:
AVENGERS (1998) #4
Why He’s Also #36: “Vance Astrovik grew up idolizing Captain America and dreamed of someday becoming an Avenger. After years of personal hardship and proving himself with the New Warriors, the former Marvel Boy made the big time as Justice—and found it perhaps too daunting. ‘Stage fright’ crippled Vance early on, leading to rookie blunders, but when he charged into battle despite a broken leg and saved his teammates from the lethal Ultron, none would ever doubt again that Justice had what it took to stand proud amongst any group of Avengers.” – Ben Morse
Digital Spotlight Comic:
AVENGERS (1998) #22

35. HELLCAT

First Appearance:
MISS AMERICA MAGAZINE #2
Joined the Avengers: AVENGERS #144
Why She’s #35:
“In her civilian identity as Patsy Walker, Hellcat has been in comics longer than most other Avengers! She started as the star of teen humor stories, but life as a super hero took her into some dark places and some very troubled relationships, all about as far as you can imagine from her romantic roots. Yet Hellcat remains a fighter, as scrappy as they come, and she's overcome every obstacle placed in her path way to earn a place in today's Marvel Universe as an Avenger, a Defender, and a hero.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Spotlight Comic:
AVENGERS #147

34. THE THING

First Appearance:
FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #1
Joined the Avengers: WEST COAST AVENGERS #9
Why He’s #34:
“In a fit of rage over his monstrous appearance, Benjamin J. Grimm left his original team, the Fantastic Four, and joined the West Coast Avengers. He eventually returned to the FF but much like the multi-tasker Wolverine, he has at times divided his strength between his original allegiance and the Avengers, including a recent run with Luke Cage’s group fending off threats mystical and street level alike. The Thing can always be counted upon to join arms with the Avengers to defend his city and his world.” – Ryan Haupt
Digital Spotlight Comic:
NEW AVENGERS (2010) #1

33. MADAME WEB

First Appearance:
SECRET WARS #6
Joined the Avengers:
AVENGERS WEST COAST #75
Why She’s #33:
Before serving as a soothsayer or a super hero, Julia Carpenter enrolled in what had been billed as a harmless study but proved anything but. Injected with an experimental serum, Carpenter soon found herself the newest Spider-Woman and whisked off planet during the Secret Wars. In the years that followed, she sacrificed her reputation and peace of mind to do the right thing and free the Avengers from prison. Striking out on her own, a fugitive from the U.S. government, she earned a full-time spot on the West Coast Avengers. There she tangled with the likes of Doctor Demonicus and Ultron on her way to becoming a stalwart teammate.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Spotlight Comic:
AVENGERS WEST COAST #81

32. NAMOR

First Appearance: MARVEL COMICS #1
Joined the Avengers:
AVENGERS #262
Why He’s #32:
“Invader, Defender, X-Man, and Avenger. Namor has a history of heroism as old as the Marvel Universe itself. While often seen more as a ruler than a team player, once deposed as King of Atlantis he joined up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. His time as a public member of the team may have been short-lived, but Namor served with honor and bravery, and retains substantial influence as a member of the shadow group of Avengers known as the Illuminati.” – Ryan Haupt
Digital Spotlight Comic:
AVENGERS #270

31. IRON PATRIOT

First Appearance:
IRON MAN #118
Joined the Avengers:
WEST COAST AVENGERS (1984) #1
Why He’s #31:
“James Rhodes didn’t ask to be an Avenger, or even a super hero, but when Tony Stark faced personal problems, the former fighter pilot recognized that the world needed an Iron Man and stepped in to spell his best buddy. To Rhodey’s credit, none of Stark’s Avengers teammates even noticed a new man behind the iron mask as he served with distinction and skill. Further tours of duty with the West Coast Avengers as War Machine and currently as part of the Secret Avengers program in the Iron Patriot armor have cemented Rhodes’ standing as a steadfast and reliable addition to the lore.” – Ben Morse
Digital Spotlight Comic:
WEST COAST AVENGERS (1984) #2

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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