The Avengers are a fictional team of superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The team made its debut in The Avengers #1 (cover-dated Sept. 1963), created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby. Labeled “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes“, the Avengers originally consisted of Iron Man, the Wasp, the Hulk, Thor, and Ant-Man. The original Captain America was discovered trapped in ice in issue #4, and joined the group after they revived him.

The Avengers could be considered as a Lee and Kirby’s renovation of a previous superhero team, All-Winners Squad, who appeared in comic books series published by Marvel Comics’ predecessor Timely Comics. A rotating roster became a hallmark of the series, although one theme remained consistent: the Avengers fight “the foes no single superhero can withstand.” The team, famous for its battle cry of “Avengers Assemble!”, has featured humans, superhumans, mutants, Inhumans, deities, androids, aliens, legendary beings, and even former villains.

The Avengers have appeared in a wide variety of media outside of comic books, including several different animated television series and direct-to-video films. The Avengers also play a central role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) being the focus in multiple MCU feature films, beginning with the eponymous 2012 live-action film, The Avengers, and followed by the sequels Age of Ultron (2015), Infinity War (2018), and Endgame (2019), the latter two of which were based on The Infinity Gauntlet storyline. The Avengers also featured in Captain America: Civil War (2016), which drew loosely from the 2006 comics storyline “Civil War”. Individual members of the team also have standalone franchises, such as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America or Ant-Man.

FIRST APPEARANCES

The team made its debut in The Avengers #1 (cover-dated Sept. 1963), created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby.

POWER and ABILITIES

The Avengers is among the strongest teams in the Marvel Universe, known to fight cosmic threats on a regular basis. Their powers vary, with street-level warriors like Captain America to planet-busters like The Incredible Hulk.

ORIGIN STORY

When the Asgardian god Loki seeks revenge against his brother Thor, his machinations unwittingly lead teenager Rick Jones to collect Ant-Man (Hank Pym), the Wasp and Iron Man to help Thor and the Hulk, the latter of whom Loki used as a pawn. After the group vanquished Loki, Ant-Man stated that the five worked well together and suggested they form a team; the Wasp named the group Avengers.

ENEMIES & ROGUES

The Avengers has fought almost every villainous organization in Marvel.

ALLIES

The Fantastic Four, X-Men

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