By Ben Morse
The Avengers came together to combat the foes no hero could face alone, and in the time they've been active, they've faced down some of the meanest, most powerful and most terrifying foes imaginable.
This week, the newest incarnation of the Avengers took the fight to the would-be "Kingpin of Super Villains," the Hood, and his army of powered up baddies in NEW AVENGERS #37.
Here at Marvel.com, we got so jazzed about the Avengers launching into seemingly overwhelming odds once more that we decided to ask Avengers creators past and present about their personal favorite epic battles in the storied history of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
It's Friday, so kick back, relax and enjoy.
Mark Waid (former AVENGERS writer):
The beginning of
a lengthy battle
Greatest Avengers battle? Easy. The ongoing war with Kang that began in AVENGERS #129 and sprawled across the next half-dozen issues, plus Giant-Size editions, to introduce the Celestial Madonna storyline. I loved those stories—the notion that Kang, as a time-traveler, could attack, lose, go mend his wounds for years, and then return mere minutes later in the 20th century to attack again
—good times. I'm 12 years old again just talking
Brian Michael Bendis (MIGHTY AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS writer):
AVENGERS ANNUAL #10. The Kree-Skrull War—an artistic and story highlight of the entire book. The Korvac Saga, the Avengers-Defenders war...
Christos Gage (HOUSE OF M: AVENGERS writer):
Avengers vs Masters
of Evil in final
Avengers Under Siege, by Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer, in which the Masters of Evil captured Avengers Mansion. That was an epic that truly deserved the name. Great story, great art, great action and character moments to make it all resonate—like the bit where Cap realizes the bad guys have destroyed the few mementoes he had from the World War II era. I almost cried—manly tears, of course. This was a perfect story in every respect!
C.B. Cebulski (upcoming AVENGERS FAIRY TALES writer):
Personally, one of my favorite Avengers' throwdowns, as cheesy as it was, is in AVENGERS #239, the reserve Avengers versus Fabian Stankowicz, the Mechano-Marauder on the set of the [David] Letterman
Show. It had a kooky premise, but spotlighted some of my favorite "second-tier" Avengers at that point, like Black Widow, Hawkeye and Mockingbird. And in the end, it's Dave who takes down the bad guy!! But I don't think they ever offered him Avengers membership...
Joe Casey (AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES writer):
Okay, okay...I know there's going to be plenty of guys who name check the tried and true smackdowns like the Kree-Skrull War, the Michael Saga, the Under Siege storyline, etc...but I'm more inclined to hold up AVENGERS
#183-184—written by David Michelinie and drawn by John Byrne—as a prime example of the Avengers at their ass-kicking best.
Taking on the one and only Absorbing Man—who, in his defense, was just trying to escape to a more peaceful life in South America—it was a shakedown mission for neo-classic members like Ms. Marvel and the Falcon. These two issues are—for me—a perfect example of balancing balls-to-the-wall action and on-the-run characterization. In fact, the George Perez cover for issue #184 is a bona fide classic in the "one against many" genre of super hero
Invasion there was
the Kree-Skrull War
Roy Thomas (former Marvel Editor-In-Chief, former AVENGERS writer):
I think the Kree-Skrull War was the best.
SPECIAL TGIF BONUS!!!
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN writer—not to mention former ULTIMATE X-MEN writer and ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR co-creator—Brian Michael Bendis couldn't make it to our Ultimate TGIF party quite on time last week, but he did check in this week with his favorite Ultimate memory:
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #13. And not because I love me so much I can't think of anything but me. But because of what the issue represented to me.
I was still fresh faced at Marvel and wasn't sure how all this was going to go. I was a handful of issues into my run when it occurred to me that Peter should tell MJ he is Spidey. He just would. It was as clear as day to me. It breaks the cliche of "super hero and girlfriend" and seemed absolutely essential to who these characters were.
It was not part of our original plan. It was not what I said I was going to do when I got the gig...but I pitched it and [then Marvel President] Bill [Jemas] and [Editor-In-Chief] Joe [Quesada] said yes. Without blinking. I knew I was in the company of people who were all about story and that I was going to have a great stretch at Marvel. It was a big, big moment.
And also while making the book, I discovered that [artist] Mark Bagley had untapped abilities that fed our creative relationship to this day. Then when the book shipped many doomsayers of the idea of the Ultimate Universe politely stopped screaming at me and many hopped on board and stayed.
So: me, me, me, I, I, I.
Oh and I liked ULTIMATES too.
You can read classic Avengers comics right now at Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.