The Avengers were the second superhero team created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for the American company Marvel Comics in the early 1960s, following the Fantastic Four. Initially comprised of Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man, Ant Man and the Wasp, soon joined by Captain America, the Avengers soon became a repository for many of "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" including Hawkeye, the Vision, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, and the Black Knight. After being introduced to the British public in Odhams weekly title Smash!, they joined the Marvel UK line-up in the pages of Mighty World of Marvel before graduating to their own title. They also occasionally appeared in reprint titles from Alan Class Publishing, either with or without Marvel's authorisation.
Avengers Weekly and appearances in other titles
The Avengers, the third title published by Marvel UK after Mighty World of Marvel and Spider-Man Comics Weekly, was launched on 22nd September 1973, after the characters had been given a brief tryout in the pages of Mighty World of Marvel #46-48. The first two issues carried free gifts; a sheet of rub down transfers and an 'Avengers Wonder Weapon', respectively. Early issues featured reprinted adventures of the Avengers themselves plus Marvel's master of the mystic arts, Doctor Strange, but from issue #28 the title gained a third strip, Master of Kung Fu, and the title was changed to 'Avengers & Master of Kung Fu' to reflect this; this was an attempt to cash in on the Kung Fu craze which was then sweeping the country. The MOKF sub-heading was later removed from the cover, but the MOKF strip itself continued for some time, alternating in later issues with the similarly themed Iron Fist. From issue #95, Avengers absorbed the failed Savage Sword of Conan weekly, the title of which was duly added to the masthead. The title was cancelled after issue #147 (14th July 1976) and merged with Mighty World of Marvel, though the Avengers themselves would subsequently have a lengthy career in various Marvel UK titles including MWOM, The Titans and, most notably, long runs in both Super Spider-Man and Marvel Super-Heroes Monthly, as well as appearing in Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars (although this last series sadly did not continue the unbroken run of Avengers stories which had continued from their first appearance in MWOM to their last in MSH, almost ten years later).
Other Avengers Titles
Avengers Annuals were also published, in 1975-1978 (Conan also featured in the 1977 and 1978 annuals), and an Avengers Treasury Edition (with a stiff card cover) was published in 1982 (also featuring the Hulk).
Since the dissolution of Marvel UK, the Avengers have gone on to star in several reprint titles published by the company's successors, Panini, including Avengers United, Avengers Unconquered and Avengers Assemble.
- Avengers #4, the return of Captain America (reprinted in Avengers Weekly #1).
- Behold the Vision/Even An Android Can Cry (reprinted in Avengers Treasury Edition).
- The Kree/Skrull War (reprinted in Mighty World of Marvel).
- The Avengers/Defenders War and the Kang/Celestial Madonna Saga (reprinted in Super Spider-Man.
- The Korvac Saga and The Yesterday Quest (reprinted in Marvel Super-Heroes Monthly Vol 1).
Called together to battle Loki, god of mischief, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man and the Wasp decided to form a permanent group to fight the foes they could not defeat individually. Over the following years, they were joined at one time or another by almost every hero in the Marvel Universe, including Captain America, the Black Knight, and even Captain Britain. They are Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
- This article relates to Marvel's Avengers. For comics based on the British TV series, see The Avengers.
- Appearances of Avengers (Marvel UK)
- Character Gallery: Avengers (Marvel UK)
- Images that feature Avengers (Marvel UK)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Avengers (Marvel UK)
- Avengers (Marvel UK) quotations
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