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Top Five One-Term Avengers

Top Five Month continues (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) with a look at the the top five Avengers who only served one term with the Avengers (I am stretching the term a bit as, for me, one term is measured from when they joined until they left the team, even if the makeup of the team around them changed dramatically in the time interval).


5. Spider-Woman II

Julia Carpenter is one of the more unlucky Avengers, in the sense that she had the bad luck of following up another Spider-Woman, and as we all know, comics like to revert back to the mean, so a name like Spider-Woman is hard to hold on to, and once you lose it, no one really wants a part of you anymore, which is a real shame in the case of Julia, who was a really good character.

Luckily, now as Arachne, she got a little attention during Civil War, even joining Canada’s Omega Flight.

4. Quasar

Quasar was a pretty strong character who never really got to have a shining Avengers moment. I think the writers felt that he was too powerful, which has some truth to it, but it is still a shame. I liked him. He’s dead now.

3. Crystal

Crystal as an Avenger is still weird, but to be honest, I think her tenure in the Avengers is probably a highlight of her comic career. She was really fairly well-adjusted during her Avenger tenure, which was not really the case when she was in the Fantastic Four, and since she stopped being an Avenger, has she had more than a dozen lines in fifteen years?

2. Beast

The perfect “I get why he can’t be an Avenger again, but darnit, I wish he was an Avenger again!” character.

Beast was such a fun Avenger.

1. Captain Marvel II

You all know that I am a big fan of Monica Rambeau! Sadly, she fell victim to the same thing that Julia Carpenter had, which is that once you lose your famous name, writers are less willing to write a character. Although Warren Ellis did some good stuff with her in Nextwave.

Captain Marvel II was a real special character. She was a really neat member of the Avengers, and had a very long single term with the team (over 50 issues!).

I hope she is someday ineligible for this list.

Anyone you’d rather see on this list?

For the record, the following Avengers are what I would call “one term Avengers,” although the newer ones I guess shouldn’t really count (which is why none of them made the list)

Ant-Man II (Scott Lang)
Doctor Druid
Human Torch I
Iron Fist
Invisible Woman
Living Lightning
Luke Cage
Mister Fantastic
Moon Knight
Skrull Spider-Woman
Thor II/Thunderstrike
War Machine


“Comics like to revert back to the mean”. There should be a Cronin Theory of Comics on this subject.

Hmm, so this list includes west coast avengers as well then? Probably not Forces Works or Great Lakes Avengers though..

Gilgamesh doesn’t make the list?! This is an outrage!!!

why can’t Beast be an Avenger again??

By your definition, I think The Sentry is a two-term Avenger. His first term was on the New Avengers team, then that disbanded and he was recruited for the Mighty Avengers team. It wasn’t just a cast change, he was in an entirely different book!

(Technically I suppose that makes Skrull Spider-Woman a two-term Avenger too.)


July 19, 2008 at 1:24 pm

I see that Gilgamesh was added (after the earlier comment?)…
but that shouldn’t really concern anyone.

He WAS known as “The FORGOTTEN One”, right?



How about a “worst” from that big list?
What else can you do with Dr. Druid, Gilgamesh, Rage, Sersi* and Starfox**?

*Fine as an Eternal, abysmal Avenger.
**Who stopped being tolerable as soon as they gave him that name; he was fine as a supporting character from Starlin’s fake New Genesis version of Titan in his 70s cosmic stuff).

Doctor Druid
Living Lightning
Skrull Spider-Woman
Thor II/Thunderstrike
War Machine

Spider-Man and Wolverine aren’t one term Avengers? How? Do I need to turn in my nerd card for not knowing this?

People, people, PEOPLE. Worst one-term Avengers… Need I remind you of Deathcry?

Not sure about Wolverine. But, Spider-Man was officially given “reserve member” status. Almost immediately (the same issue, I believe) the Avengers were teleported away and Spider-Man and the other reserve members became active members and took off to find the Avengers. This is separate from time when he served with the Avengers and was offered member status, but refused.

Now, about Wolverine…

It’s funny to think of Beast as a one-termer, because it was in the Beast & Wonder Man buddy days that I really got into the Avengers. I wasn’t at all aware of who was writing it at the time, but Perez’s artwork was a big selling point.

Oh, and I’d have to add Namor to that top five.

Quasar’s dead now? Hell, that’s no big deal to him. He died TWICE during his own series.


Random Stranger

July 19, 2008 at 7:33 pm

“Quasar’s dead now? Hell, that’s no big deal to him. He died TWICE during his own series.”

Yeah, but he got a good send off holding the line nearly single handedly against a space armada commanded by Annihilus, a cosmic baddie who could reasonably take Quasar in a one-on-one fight, instead of just going down like a cannon fodder chump. Since he was one of those characters no one really knew what to do with and he had an appropriate death I’m in no hurry to have him revived.

Wasn’t Scott Lang a two-termer? Or did he only join after Heroes Return?

Top Five One-Term Justice Leaguers! I demand it!


There’s your top 5 right there.

What about Justice and Firestar?

Spider-Woman II I always had a soft spot for…lots of great potential there. Sandman also, even if he didn’t last long. And your assessment of Crystal is 100% accurate.

why can’t Beast be an Avenger again??

He’s too good of a character for the X-Books ever to let go of.

I see that Gilgamesh was added (after the earlier comment?)…
but that shouldn’t really concern anyone.

He was on the list of possible choices, but the comment was saying he should be on the top five.

Wasn’t Scott Lang a two-termer? Or did he only join after Heroes Return?

Yeah, he joined during Johns’ run for the first time.

Johns thought he deserved finally becoming a real Avenger.

Funny thing about the Beast — I love him on the Avengers, not so much in X-Men. It’s like he’s two different characters depending which team he’s on.

He’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better on the X-Men.

Oh, and I’d have to add Namor to that top five.

I was thinking of him as having two terms.

He left before Under Siege and re-joined later on.

Wolverine is a one-termer, agreed, he should be on the list.

Top Five One-Term Justice Leaguers! I demand it!

Sure, but only if you promise not to complain about too much Marvel stuff in the future! :D


July 19, 2008 at 11:27 pm

All you do is Marvel, DC, Archie, Image, Dark Horse and Valiant!

How can you call yourself a blog for all comics if you don’t do more on Virgin comics?

For Shame Mr. Cronin, for shame!

“sniff” I miss my Avengers.

I thought that Quasar, Living Lightning and Captain Marvel II were all two-termers. During the latter part of Busiek’s run through the end of “Kang Dynasty”, when the Avengers were trying to go global and pull in as many members as possible, those three were the ‘space team’ manning an orbital station. They weren’t major fixtures in the book (and Quasar couldn’t set foot on Earth in that period), but neither were Black Knight, Jack of Hearts or a half dozen other team members.

Namor rejoined?!? Wow, he was in the Avengers so briefly and so reluctantly in the ’80s, I’m amazed he had time.

Pedro Bouça

July 21, 2008 at 3:22 am

I liked Thunderstrike myself…

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

How is Ares a one-term Avenger on a list that excludes the “newer” ones?

“I liked him.” — Brain Cronin, referring to Quasar.

I think Quasar fell into the Idiot Flash problem of group comics, where everyone needs to only have one personality trait when wokring together, btu can be well-rounded int heir own books. Quasar was Mr. just-fell-off-the-turnip-truck. I never understood why anyone who read JLA would buy a Flash comic; the guy’s an idiot! Ditto for Hawkeye being a blowhard, Thor being noble, etc.

I’d have to re-read it again, but I think Namor should count as having only one term, as his time away from the team was fairly brief (though Under Siege, for it’s time, was a fairly lengthy storyline). I saw it more as a leave of absense then a true departure.

There was a story arc where Spider-Man guest starred, and at the end of which Captain America offered him membership and he accepted. Then, after their first mission, even though Spider-Man’s various powers were key to success, he decided that it was all a bit too cosmic for him to be hanging out with Thor and Cap and declined membership.

During the story arc, he remained a guest star according to the cover blurbs, but he was treated as a full member by the other Avengers.


The Namor thing has me thinking — if one storyline’s interruption counts as a term-breaker, is Beast truly a one-termer? Hank left occasionally for little things like the Dark Phoenix saga or (if i recall correctly) being killed by Korvac.

How is Ares a one-term Avenger on a list that excludes the “newer” ones?

The list that excluded the newer members was the top five list.

Still no love for Justice and Firestar? :(

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