History of the Avengers - Some Assembly Required!

Earth's mightiest heroes stand as the planet's first line of defence against the most powerful threats in the universe.

In 2012, Director Joss Whedon first assembled The Avengers we know and love on the big screen in the movie of the same name, kicking off a worldwide cinematic phenomenon. But the Avengers you saw in the film were slightly different in their comic book debut.

The original Avengers debuted in the comic The Avengers #1 (September 1963). The five founding members were Ant-Man, The Wasp, Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk.

Cover art by Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers

The story goes a little like this...

The Norse God Loki was trapped by his father, Odin, after suffering defeat at the hands of his brother, Thor. However, even captivity could not quell Loki’s lust for vengeance and he remotely used his powers to frame The Hulk for nearly destroying a passenger train. While Loki hoped to engineer a battle between Thor and The Hulk, Hulk’s ally Rick Jones and his friends sent out a distress signal that was answered by Iron Man, Ant-Man, The Wasp and, of course, Thor.

Hulk battled the heroes to a standstill, but Thor quickly sensed his brother’s hands in these events. Thor left the fight to confront Loki and he returned to Earth with his brother to proclaim The Hulk’s innocence. Loki’s attempt to break free was thwarted by the assembled heroes. Before they parted ways, Ant-Man suggested that they remain together as a powerful force of good. Iron Man, Thor, and even Hulk readily agreed, while The Wasp named the team “The Avengers.”

Created by Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby. Who knew this dynamic team would grow into the sensational force that we would get to see in the movies today?!

But wait! When did Captain America join The Avengers?

Well it was in issue #4 of The Avengers comics (March 1964) that Captain America joined the team! Captain America steps out of the ice and into the modern era, helping The Avengers against enemies Alien and Atlantean!

Some other heroes that you know such as Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quick Silver joined in Avengers #16 (May 1965).

Black Panther, Vision, Hercules, Black Knight and Swordsman joined before the start of the 70's. For the trivia lovers out there, Black Widow didn't join The Avengers until Avengers #111 (May 1973).

The Avengers teams and stories went on to change throughout the years, which was a great way for Marvel to introduce new characters or allow other characters that might not be able to sell a run of comic books by themselves to enjoy some panel time with comic readers. It is sometimes good to go back and learn how it all started, especially for