Infographic: Here's Every Avenger That Marvel Ever Invented

And a question: why didn’t Marvel choose their most mainstay Avengers for the film?

The Avengers has such a rich 50-year history, that’s it’s easy to forget that the whole comic was really a knockoff to begin with. Marvel, facing competition from DC’s popular Justice League of America (complete with comic book juggernauts like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman), decided to build a cross-comic superhero team of their own.

It featured a norse demigod, a guy who rode ants, a girl who shrunk into a wasp and a dude in a robotic suit. If you thought The Avengers movie looked absurd, know that issue #1 was way worse.

First appearance 1963-2011.

And so these incredibly detailed infographics by Jer Thorp do the knock-off series of superhero scraps almost too much justice, as they meticulously and elegantly plot the appearance of every one of the 132 Avengers through almost 50 years of issues, with each hero designated by a three-color shield borrowed from Captain America.

They also sort even more information, like representing which Avengers made the most common appearances (Captain America leads the pack, followed by Iron Man, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Hawkeye, Wasp, and Henry Pym). What did Vision do, you ask? He changed mass at will. Scarlet Witch? She gave people untimely bad luck. Henry Pym was Ant-Man. He was the shrinking "guy who rode ants*." None of these abandoned character makes a fantastic visual… well, depending on your definition of fantastic.

Every Avenger 1963-2011.

So yes, maybe you consider The Avengers movie absurd. But if you actually considered just how absurd it could be (and you can, thanks to these brilliant infographics that put the entire cast of characters into an objective perspective)—we’re talking ant rodeos, people!—you’ll likely gain a new appreciation for why The Avengers film has Scarlett Johansson stand in the middle of a firefight with two tiny pistols for 20 minutes: Because one of the world’s most beautiful women fighting off aliens from another galaxy with karate chops and water guns alone is actually the most relatable, grounded moment in Avengers franchise history.

*Pardon my harshness, Ant-Man fans. I’ve just always been more of an Atom man myself—yet another character Marvel ripped off from DC back in the day.

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10 Comments

  • Stephen Joseph McGlone

    Originally, DC was about the science & how do the super powers work.
    Marvel was more into the characterizations & why the supers were good or evil.
    DC characters were often 2 dimensional. Marvel characters were so emotional that the stories felt like soap operas.
    As the comics industry grew, they began getting new writers & artists who were inspired by both companies.
    Marvel didn't often try at first to make original abilities, because they were more interested in the characters
    So, yeah, a lot of Marvel characters had similar abilities but broader emotions.
    I've always liked both companies & I like the way they have both developed.

    I also appreciate the other companies that have come along & I see their influences on Marvel & DC.

  • Brett

    agreed. ultimate nullifier grade FAIL. Uatu weeps.

    FOOM is coming back, y'know.

    In fact, we never left. And, we're PISSED.

  • Edward

    You've got a great story, it brings a lot to mind, I just wish you delivered the information without the hate mail flare. Can you not show me passion for DC without trying to deface a thriving competitor? 

    "Talk about pushing your convictions onto someone else! I'm glad you don't have superpowers, we've got enough villains who think themselves doing the world a favor."

    That was my initial response. Your content is lost on your reader with your delivery.

  • Mughi

    And Justice league consists of a ridiculously overpowered alien, a brooding sociopath, a reincarnation of an ancient Greek goddess, a Martian with a Neanderthal browline, a neurotic  with a ring that makes giant green boxing gloves, and a guy who talks to fish.

    See? I can do it too.

  • Justin C. Farmer

    It is so funny to me when people make fun of comic book movies based on their "ridiculous premise." If you are going to a comic book movie with no internal ability or willingness to suspend your disbelief is is you are are ridiculous. It also comes off as immature and snobbish. Yes said immature.  People that can't enjoy their inner child while watching hulk smash stuff are the least mature among us so called grown ups.  Now for the Ant man jibes. ant man is both one of the most conflicted and most important characters in avengers history. As a character he is also one of the most complex. Take away his powers he is a driven workaholic with an uncomfortable mix of insecurity and extraordinary confidence. One could make an interesting  and compelling story based on his personality alone. Of any of the geniuses in the marvel Universe only he and Mr Fantastic exhibit the drive to discover  and learn that seem apparent in real life geniuses. Stark is a genius but his big thing really is being a narcissist who in my opinion uses his genius to through it in the faces of the bullies he knew in middle school. Banner is so stuck dealing with his condition and trying to find ways to deal with it that that is all he does as a scientist.  ant man never stops discovering and inventing he can compete with Stark at his own game and with banner and Mr Fantastic too.

    about the ants. It is not just ants but insects that he can control. I think that that can be pretty darned visually effective and terrifying if done right on the big screen.

  • Treach_naughty

    this article is true from a non-fan, hipsteristic point of view. me as a comic fan who knows where the script came from, it;s pretty much fantastic