- “And there came a day, a day unlike any other... when Earth's mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat... to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand... on that day, the Avengers were born.”
- ―Nick Fury in The Avengers
The Avengers are a team of super-heroes assembled by Nick Fury and the intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D. through the Avengers Initiative. They exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Marvel Animated Universe. They first appeared as a team in 2012's The Avengers. The Avengers were formed to combat threats that could not be dealt with alone.
The team currently consists of Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Nick Fury and Hawkeye. They were initially brought together by S.H.I.E.L.D. to combat Loki, Thor's adoptive brother. The Avengers are based on the superhero team created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and feature a similar roster to Mark Millar's Ultimates, the Ultimate Marvel Universe version of the team. But with the addition of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision, the team begins to resemble the Mainstream incarnation.
The team was initially formed by Nick Fury to "fight the battles that S.H.I.E.L.D. never could".
- “There was an idea, Stark knows this. Called the Avengers Initiative. The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they become something more. See if they can work together when we needed them to. To fight the battles that we never could.”
- ―Nick Fury in The Avengers
Nick Fury assembles the team when an unexpected threat associated with Thor's brother Loki and the Tesseract appears. The team initially have difficulty and refusal to obey each other; for example, Tony Stark is reluctant to working under the command of Captain America, Thor demands that Loki is his responsibility and the team is uncomfortable with the presence of Bruce Banner. When Loki attempts to destroy the team and promote his godlike supremacy to Earth in a public way, the Avengers depart from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s command and rally in defense of New York as it is invaded by the extraterrestrials known as the Chitauri.
Captain America takes command of the team and they each work to suppress the invasion force. The Hulk beats Loki into submission and Iron Man sends a nuclear weapon fired by the World Security Council into the portal through which the aliens enter Earth and their fleet is destroyed, breaking the neural connection with their ground troops and instantly killing them. The team take Loki as their prisoner and Thor takes both Loki and the Tesseract back to Asgard. The team disbands but agrees to reassemble when another global threat requires their combined efforts.
The team was mentioned by Harold Hogan as the "Super Friends" and were mentioned once more by Harley Keener.
Loki makes a reference to the Avengers by calling them Thor's "new companions".
Shortly after the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., Wolfgang von Strucker was preparing for an attack from Captain America and his "colorful friends". Strucker also implied that he used the twins against them.
Avengers: Operation HYDRA
While the other Avengers spent time with their loved ones, Black Widow went to Sudan to investigate HYDRA. Here, she discovered a secret laboratory of HYDRA, Romanoff then informed her teammates about the situation. Immediately, the other Avengers went to Sudan to face HYDRA troops led by Doctor Jensen. The Avengers easily defeat the troops, a HYDRA soldier asked Jensen to flee, she instead decided to stay and fight the Avengers. With the battle all but lost, Jensen took a Chitauri weapon to face the Avengers. When Jensen was defeated by the Avengers, she did not understand why she was defeated because she had more power than all of them.
The Avengers went to Sokovia to taking down the last known HYDRA base and retrieve Loki's Scepter. Although the base had much protection, they easily defeat the HYDRA soldiers, who wore Chitauri armor. During the battle, they fought against the twins, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. The battle was successful as they captured Baron von Strucker and regained the scepter. Days later, Stark organized a party in honor of the victory over HYDRA, but when the party was over they were attacked by Ultron, an artificial intelligence designed by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner.
The Avengers went to Salvage Yard to investigate why Ultron needed the Vibranium and also destroy the mad robot. Here, they came across Ultron and Maximoff twins, this leading to a fight between the two sides. Stark fought Ultron, while the others fought the twins and Klaw's men. Thanks to her powers, Scarlet Witch was able to beat almost all the Avengers, including Hulk. Eventually, Iron Man defeated Ultron before facing Hulk, who was under Scarlet Witch's mind control. After a fierce battle and causing many civilian casualties, Stark defeated Hulk. As the world's governments were unhappy with Avengers' actions, Barton took them to a warehouse.
After spending a few days on Barton's farm, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Captain America went to Seoul, South Korea to steal the new synthetic body of Ultron, while Stark went to Norway to investigate who was the secret enemy of Ultron as Banner returned to the Tower. The Avengers went to Seoul managed to steal the synthetic body, however Ultron managed to capture Romanoff. When Captain America found out the intentions of Stark to use the android for his benefit(Wanda had told him that Tony would look for a way to fix the things, no matter how). He ordered him to destroy the android because it was very dangerous, but as Tony sought to resolve what he had caused. This led to a fight between Rogers's side and Stark's side; but soon Thor arrived and using his Mjlnir gave birth to synthetic android. Cap asked Thor his reasons and he replied that Stark was right because the android would be able to defeat Ultron. Minutes later, they saw how Vision lifted Mjolnir and demonstrating that they should trust him. The next day the team went to Sokovia to stop Ultron for last time.
Arriving in Sokovia, the group helped to evacuate the city in order that civilians not being casualties during the battle. Although Ultron had a big number of Sentries, the Avengers were able to defeat him and his army. During the battle, Quicksilver sacrificed his life to protect Hawkeye and Sokovian child from Ultron. While Scarlet Witch destroyed Ultron Prime's body, a Sentry activated the core causing Sokovia back down to Earth. Eventually, Vision defeated Ultron; while Thor and Iron Man prevented Sokovia hit into Earth. After Ultron's defeat, Scarlet Witch, Vision, War Machine and Falco joined the Avengers as Stark, Thor, Barton and Banner had left the team.
Months later, Falcon was in charge of protecting the New Avengers Facility. During his watch, he realized that someone had infiltrated into the facility with unknown reasons. That someone was Scott Lang, who presented as Ant-Man. Wilson asked Lang the reason of his infiltration; Lang replied that he only was looking for a device that he needed.
That answer did not like Falcon and immediately attacked Lang, who using the skills of his suit and attack techniques that Hope showed managed to defeat Wilson. Days later, he began the search for Ant-Man because he believed he could be useful to the Avengers. He later along with Steve Rogers were able to capture Bucky Barnes after months of search.
While preventing the theft of a Biological Weapon, in Lagos, Scarlet Witch accidentally causes the destruction of a building (and killing several Wakandan humanitarian workers), while trying to contain the blast of a suicide vest. This incident causes the United Nations to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will establish a UN panel to oversee and control the Avengers. Either the Avengers sign it, or they either retire or shall be arrested. While Tony Stark, Vision and War Machine are for it, in order to limit the collateral, Steve Rogers feels the Avengers should trust their judgement, and concerns that this shall make them Political Pawns.
The conflict is made even worse, when Captain America's Friend, Bucky Barnes, is framed for a terror attack, and the Pro-Accord side are ordered to apprehend him. This splits the Avengers in to Two Factions, the Pro-Accord Side (Iron Man, War Machine, Vision, Black Panther, and Peter Parker, recruited by Stark), and the Non-Accord (Captain America, Falcon, Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Hawk Eye and Ant-Man, recruited by Falcon). Black Widow apparently starts on the Accord side, but she had be revealed to have been on Captain's side the entire time.
After an Air Port Battle, The Non-Accord side (minus Captain and Winter Soldier) are arrested and imprisoned on the Raft. The Avengers now down to; Iron Man, Vision and a now paralyses War Machine. Steve Rogers however sends Tony a message, saying that he holds no ill will to Tony and if he ever needs them, give him and his team a call, who at that time being brokn ot of the Raft (and Tony ignores Thunderbolt Ross' calls for help, to give them a head start).
This "Secret Avengers" Faction claim Asylum in Wakanda, under Black Panther's protection.
Marvel Animated Universe
The team was formed during a massive breakout in the supervillain prisons the Vault, the Cube, the Big House and the secret fourth prison, the Raft. Iron Man faced the inmates of the Vault, Henry Pym and Wasp did the same at the Big House, and the Cube inmate Hulk saved Leonard Samson, then all them plus Thor fought together against the Raft escapee Graviton. After seeing how well they worked together, they decided to become a team and Wasp suggested the name Avengers.
Shortly after the team was formed, Amora the Enchantress created distrust between Hulk and the other Avengers, causing him to resign the team. Following him, the Avengers find the frozen Captain America, who joins the team.
After the Avengers help Black Panther to recover Wakanda, he returns to New York with them, as a new member. During a Gamma crisis caused by Hulk's Enemy the Leader, the jade giant rejoins, alongside new member Hawkeye.
The Avengers' enemies also form their own team, the Masters of Evil, led by Baron Zemo and the Enchantress. The Masters of Evil defeat the Avengers one by one and capture them, but Black Panther and Hawkeye cause a diversion so Hank can find a weapon to get the upper hand, and the Masters of Evil are forced to retreat.
Among other menaces, one of the greatest enemies the Avengers faced was Ultron. The robot created by Henry Pym tricked Radioactive Man, the Serpent Society and Red Ghost to follow his plans, and then attacked the Avengers with their own technology. He was finally stopped when he was about to wipe humanity with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s arsenal. However, Pym, feeling guilty, resigned the Avengers.
When the Masters of Evil tried to use the Norn Stones, each Avenger faced a Master and destroyed the stones, but they were transported throughout the Nine Realms, where they found Loki Laufeyson was the mastermind behind the Masters of Evil. The Avengers helped the Aesir against Loki's forces and saved the Nine Realms. After returning Earth, Captain America was captured and supplanted by a Skrull.
The Avengers had more adventures not knowing about the Skrull spy. When facing Ronan the Accuser, they got a new member in Ms. Marvel, who got Kree powers during a previous crisis. When the Avengers found one of them was a Skrull impostor, not knowing who, distrust made several of them leave, and Skrull-Cap remained as leader.
The real Captain America and other prisoners of the Skrulls managed to escape and returned to Earth to help the Avengers against the Skrull invasion. While the Avengers faced super-powered Skrulls, Cap defeated his doppelganger in single combat.
Members of the avengers frequently are a part of Ultimate Spider-Man episodes, since both the Avengers and Spider-Man are allied with S.H.I.E.L.D.
In "The Avenging Spider-Man" Part 1 and 2, Spider-Man gets an offer to join the Avengers, leaving behind his old team (Nova, Power Man, White Tiger and Iron Fist) to protect the world. He accepts, and quickly becomes a pawn in Loki's trap. Loki and Spider-Man switch bodies, and Loki continues to manipulate the Avengers into believing he is Spider-Man. Spider-Man gets attacked by the Avengers, and Loki corners him and then switches back, to create the illusion of it just happening. The real Spider-Man then swims through the sewer to Midtown High and asks his old team to help him. At first they believe that he is Loki, trying to harm them, but Nova realizes that (because of the sewer smell) it must be the real Spider-Man; since Loki would never travel through the sewer.
Behind the scenes
- Joss Whedon talked about the power levels of the various Avengers: "I had to find a way to service all the characters, to figure out why they're in the room in the first place. My biggest concern was that if I didn't pay enough attention to minutiae then the film would become generic in its concepts and visuals. Or that I'd be so concentrated on those things, I'd look around and the film wouldn't be about anything."
- On the action scenes and what Whedon terms "the hierarchy of power". "If this guy hits someone, he falls down. If this guy hits someone, he flies backwards. Its very complicated."
- Whedon commented on Mark Ruffalo's 'Hulk' actions: "It's fun to say that Mark Ruffalo and I fought a great deal, because he's the sweetest man that I may ever have met. Yes, we did actually lay out some mats and tussle but just trying to figure out what the Hulk would be doing, what a person does in a real fight. Once he gets angry you have to keep asking "well what's making him angry now..." and go moment-to-moment. That's been the hardest thing in this movie. Mark is tremendous, I think he's going to blow people away - again - and we've gone where nobody has. We [have] Hulk in the house and everything p#%$es him off."
- The roster of the team is similar to that of the Ultimates roster in the comic book miniseries The Ultimates. The Ultimates were conceived as the Ultimate Marvel Universe's equivalent of the mainstream Avengers. The Avengers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe bear a strong resemblance to the Ultimates in that they were formed by S.H.I.E.L.D. as a government-sponsored team to combat the threat of the Chitauri. Like in The Ultimates 2, the team leaves S.H.I.E.L.D. employ and becomes independent.
- Henry Pym (Ant-Man) and The Wasp are on the original Avengers roster in the mainstream comics (along with The Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes), as well as their Ultimate universe versions being in the first roster of the Ultimates, but are absent from the live-action film.
- It should be noted that Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Iron Man, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Vision and War Machine were all members of at least one incarnation of the Avengers at one point or another in the 616 comics as well.
- The speech in the first teaser trailer was taken from the introduction of many Avengers comic books since the 1970's. In the TV series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the new intro features Nick Fury stating a speech similar to this one.
- The movie's roster was seen in the sequel series Avengers Assemble with Falcon.
- The first line up in The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes is the same as the line up in the first comic. It stayed that way with the absence of Hulk and the inclusion of Captain America.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes version of the Avengers was the closest to the early version of the Avengers that had originated from the mainstream comics (same original line-up, organized by circumstances, and the name is the Wasp's initiative. The villain makes them fight against Hulk, who leaves the team in disgust. Captain America, who was frozen in the artic after WWII, is freed and found by the Avengers, who make him their new member.
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