Base of Operations
Stark Tower, midtown Manhattan; Infinite Avengers Mansion, created by Hank Pym and exists in Underspace; formerly Avengers Mansion (a.k.a. Avengers Embassy), 890 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York; a deep space monitoring station in the asteroid belt between the planets Mars and Jupiter; Avengers Headquarters, Manhattan; Avengers Compound, Palos Verdes, California; Avengers Island (a.k.a. Hydrobase); Avengers Park, Manhattan; Avengers Emergency Headquarters, somewhere outside New York City.
Avengers #1 (1963)
Luke Cage, Captain America (Bucky Barnes), Amadeus Cho, Iron Man (Anthony Stark), Jocasta, Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse), Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Stature (Cassandra Lang), Thor, Vision, Giant-Man (Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket, Henry Pym), Wolverine (James Howlett)
The group began with the random teaming of Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Wasp and Hulk, who joined forces to thwart the Asgardian menace Loki in response to a call for help from Hulk's teen sidekick, Rick Jones. Pym suggested the heroes remain together as a team, and his partner Wasp suggested they call themselves "something colorful and dramatic, like...the Avengers." The name stuck, and a legend was born.Avengers Mansion. Stark's butler, Edwin Jarvis, stayed on as the mansion's principal servant and chief of staff, becoming a valued friend, confidant and advisor to the group. Stark also drew up a charter and by-laws to guide the team, and sought A-1 security clearance from the federal government, but he encountered resistance from the team's first National Security Council liaison, Special Agent Murch, and the general public regarded the new team somewhat uneasily. Much of this early skepticism focused on the monstrous Hulk, who soon quit the team in a fit of rage, but the group's image improved dramatically after they recruited long-lost war hero Captain America, who became the inspirational cornerstone of the Avengers. Thanks largely to his presence, the team won its A-1 security status and rapidly became the most respected super-hero team of its generation. This newfound prestige was sorely tested when the remaining founders retired from active duty for various personal reasons, leaving "Cap" alone to lead a roster of unlikely new recruits, all former criminals: the outlaw archer Hawkeye, and mutant terrorist twin siblings Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. The public was baffled, but Iron Man hoped that rehabilitating them might make up for the team's early failure with the Hulk. The new roster proved him right, and "Cap's Kooky Quartet" did the founders proud. All four of them went on to long service records with the Avengers. Hawkeye in particular became a valued mainstay of the team second only to his mentor, Cap.
Avengers membership proved very fluid over the years. Thor, Iron Man, Pym and Wasp would all return for further tours of duty, though the unstable Pym did so in a series of alternate identities as Giant-Man, Goliath (an identity also used temporarily by Hawkeye), Yellowjacket and Doctor Pym. The four returning founders would all serve stints as team leader, too, and the group produced a series of impressive leaders over the years, notably Captain America, Wasp, Hawkeye and Iron Man. New recruits during the team's early years included the Swordsman (exposed as a double agent and expelled), Hercules, the Black Panther, the android Vision, and the Black Knight. Alien hero Captain Mar-Vell became one of the team's staunchest allies during the cosmic Kree-Skrull War. The Black Widow joined the team after years as an unofficial ally. A reformed Swordsman rejoined alongside his enigmatic lover Mantis, though he died protecting her from Kang and she soon left Earth to fulfill her prophesied destiny as the Celestial Madonna. Moondragon, Beast, Hellcat and Two-Gun Kid became members, though all but Beast opted for reserve status; the group attracted associates such as the aging speedster Whizzer, Wonder Man, the robotic Jocasta, the time-spanning 31st century Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ms. Marvel (later Warbird), all of whom helped the team oppose the mad man-god Korvac and his wife Carina.
By this time, the paranoid and combative federal agent Henry Peter Gyrich had become the team's new government liaison. He imposed reductions and modifications of the team's membership, during which time Falcon and Ms. Marvel joined, but he was eventually reassigned. The team worked more smoothly with subsequent liaisons such as Raymond Sikorsky, who later betrayed them by aiding a government conspiracy against the Vision, and lifelong Avengers fan Duane Freeman, who was killed by Kang. A humbled Gyrich would later redeem himself by serving admirably as the Avengers liaison to the United Nations. Meanwhile, the team continued to add new members such as Wonder Man, Tigra, She-Hulk, a new Captain Marvel, and Starfox. Rambeau in particular proved to be one of the team's most formidable and respected members.
The group suffered setbacks, going through many changes of leadership and several changes of headquarters, losing various members and even disbanding more than once (most notably following disastrous conflicts with Terminatrix and Onslaught), but the team always regrouped in some form or another, continuing to evolve and grow. Few heroes refused offers of Avengers membership, though allies who did decline the honor included Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Spider-Woman, Silver Surfer, Archangel, Iceman, Dazzler, Black Cat, Doc Samson, Shroud and Songbird.
Months later, much like the original inception of the team, a random gathering of heroes sparked the reformation of the Avengers. After teaming with Iron Man, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman (Drew), Daredevil and Sentry to contain a mass breakout at the super-criminal prison known as the Raft, Captain America invited his six allies to join him in rebuilding the Avengers. Most of them accepted, though Daredevil declined and the unstable Sentry had gone into seclusion. Leading intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D. was reluctant to sanction a new Avengers team, but Captain America reminded them that his "full champion license" status with the government gives him the authority to assemble any team he requires for any given mission, so he required no approval from the authorities to reassemble the Avengers. Iron Man offered the top floors of his new Stark Tower skyscraper to serve as the team's high-tech headquarters (staffed again by ever-faithful Jarvis), and the group resolved to capture the forty-odd Raft escapees-starting with Sauron, the prisoner whose liberation by Electro had touched off the jailbreak.
Capturing Electro and tracking Sauron to the Savage Land, the new Avengers teamed with Wolverine to oppose an illegal Vibranium mining operation run by Sauron's Savage Land Mutates and an apparently rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. faction. In the end, a retaliatory strike by the mainstream S.H.I.E.L.D. organization wiped out the entire mining operation except for a recaptured Sauron, conveniently eliminating almost all evidence and witnesses apart from the Avengers. Shaken by this, and by their discovery along the way that the Raft had been stockpiling supposedly deceased super-criminals held in reserve for unknown purposes, the Avengers have secretly dedicated themselves to rooting out the institutional corruption behind these events and have recruited Wolverine, whose espionage background and ruthless attitude are seen as assets for the team.
Realizing the potential danger of a loose canon Sentry, Iron Man held a secret conclave with the Illuminati and organized a large team to track down the hero. The Sentry warned the Avengers of his alter ego, the Void, who assaulted the Avengers and the other heroes. With the help of Emma Frost, the Sentry gained control of the Void. The Sentry accepted membership into the Avengers, which they hoped would prevent him becoming another Scarlet Witch situation. Returning to Stark Tower, the Avengers were stunned to find the Sentry's Watchtower located directly above theirs.
Tracking down the Silver Samurai (one of the escaped criminals from the Raft) to Japan with the help of Ronin, the Avengers found Hydra trying to strike a deal with the Hand and Clan Yashida. After defeating the forces of the Hand and Hydra, the Avengers confronted the Silver Samurai, who planned to stay in Japan to serve as a protector. Ronin returned to Japan to make sure that Samurai stayed out of trouble. Shortly after leaving, Spider-Woman freed Madame Hydra and accidentally nearly killed Captain America. When the Avengers interrogated her, she revealed that long before the Avengers had recruited her, she had lost her powers. Hydra approached her with the chance to regain her abilities provided she become a double agent for them in S.H.I.E.L.D. When Nick Fury learned this, he agreed to reinstate Spider-Woman into S.H.I.E.L.D. provided that she play a double agent for him. Spider-Woman regained her powers and things went smoothly until Nick Fury went underground and left Spider-Woman with no one to trust. The Avengers realized the situation, but before they could act, they were forced to go public since the Watchtower had alerted the public to their presence.