It’s been a long road, but we can’t finish this volume of Funny Books (a.k.a West-Coast Funny Books) without a look at every, well, almost every Avengers team since their debut way back in 1963. We can’t cover every team, but we’ll look at the most notable.
The original Avengers that formed in Avengers #1 (1963) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, The Wasp, and The Hulk. They formed because of Thor’s evil brother Loki, a fact that has surprisingly stayed consistent throughout most of their various interpretations. The original line-up also has the shortest tenure, lasting only 2 issues before the Hulk left. Then in issue 3, Captain America joined up. Still, the team gets points for being the first.
The sophomore class of the Avengers has proven to be the most popular. Consisting of Captain America, the rebellious Hawkeye, and the twin Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, this team has more or less been the main characters of the Avengers book for years. This team started the tradition of building the Avengers around one popular hero and a collection of second and third stringers. The team would later be joined by Black Panther and Vision, and surprisingly, each member of the 60’s Avengers will be present in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Funny that.
West Coast is the BEAST COAST. Sorry, had to get that out of my system. The West-Coast Avengers where the first “spin-off” team for the Avengers and were lead by Hawkeye. Their gimmick was that they were set in the West Coast, which is novel enough for the New York centric Marvel Comics. The team included Mockinbird, Tigra, goddammit Wonder Man, sometimes War Machine, and later on the Scarlet Witch and new Vision. For a branch book, the team dealt with a lot of character development, especially concerning the Scarlet Witch. For that reason alone, it was the Avengers book of the 80’s.
Yikes. So, the 90’s Avengers, and Marvel in general, were a low point, but a low point worth mentioning. The line-up was: Sersi, the Black Knight, Captain America, Crystal of the Inhumans, Quicksilver, and probably other people. A large chunck of their tenure dealt with the weird relationship between Sersi and the Black Knight, who unsurprisingly died at the end of the run. But at least-Oh! I just remembered that Deathcry was on the team. Oh god, remember Dearthcry?
But it doesn’t end there!!!