Earth's Mightiest Heroes-it takes broad shoulders to support a title like that, and many Avengers have heeded the call over the years. But after the battle concludes, who stands tall as the glue holding the Avengers together?
Many would argue that the honor falls squarely upon Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, and that their reunion in this week's SECRET INVASION #6 represents a major turning point in the war against the Skrulls-but what of the dissenters?
We got a few takes from various Marvel editors and creators.
It's Friday, so kick back, relax and enjoy.
DAVID AJA (former artist of IMMORTAL IRON FIST):
Hawkeye may not most important Avenger, and obviously is not the most powerful, but he has always been my favorite. He was the bad boy, the funniest one, the cocky guy of the group, the anti-hero and although he was part of a team he also was so independent. I love the way he was there, as if the Avengers-yes, the mighty Avengers!-would need desperately a guy with a goofy costume and a bow. He was the best. I identified with him. I also wanted to say those things to Cap, you know, "Hey you, old glory, time for fresh blood, I'm the best here and the names of my arrows are cooler than the unpronounceable name of that hammer's guy."
DAVID MICHELINIE (former writer of AVENGERS):
Call me old school-it wouldn't be the first time-but I gotta believe the most fundamentally important character ever in the Avengers was/is Captain America. He's a born leader, the head that makes the rest of the body function as a whole. And key to that role is the fact that, unlike other members, he
didn't start out as a business executive, a scientist, or a sideshow sharpshooter. He was groomed and trained to be a soldier, and that's exactly what the Avengers-the ultimate paramilitary squad without the official label-is.
HUMBERTO RAMOS (artist of RUNAWAYS):
Wasp, definitely. Black Widow. Scarlet Witch. Am I right, boys?
PAUL CORNELL (writer of CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI: 13):
For me, the central Avengers were always Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Giant-Man and the Wasp. Those were the Avengers when I first encountered them as a child, and I can't emphasize enough the hideous horror of the team changing into a bunch of strangers a scant few issues later.
Especially since that meant I had to bid farewell to Giant-Man, always my favorite. I liked how they called him "high pockets." Henry Pym is still my favorite Avenger in a lot of ways: I like how he's accumulated personality traits over the years, in that gravitational way that super heroes do, to the point where he's now the flawed one.
I'd like to see him get over that, again. Being giant would help, I think.
KEVIN GREVIOUX (writer of NEW WARRIORS):
Personally, I think the big three, Thor, Iron Man and Captain America belong together in the Avengers like bacon, eggs and hash browns. But if I had to pick my other essential members, I say the Vision, the Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man and at least one
of the Pyms.
RAFA SANDOVAL (artist of INCREDIBLE HERCULES):
I have always liked Hawkeye. He led the West Coast Avengers, and his aptitude to find the right strategy in those moments of extraterrestrial threat was always impressive.
RALPH MACCHIO (Marvel Senior Editor):
The unsung "hero" in the formation of the Avengers has to be the God of Evil, Loki himself! Without him there would be no Avengers period. It was Loki, who, in issue #1 of THE AVENGERS got the Hulk all riled up by messing with his mind and this brought Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man
and the Wasp together to take him on. That was the inciting incident that brought those heroes together who then decided to band and become something greater than the sum of their parts. I think we need to pat the good ol' God of Evil on the back because he inadvertently brought into being perhaps the greatest force for good in the Marvel Universe.
Thanks Loki! And wow, you sure have changed lately.