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The Past Was Close Behind: Ed Hannigan Predicts the New Avengers Lineup

This feature spotlights moments, exchanges, etc. from older comics that take on a brand new light when read in concert with later comic books. Here is the archive of previous installments.

Our latest example is Ed Hannigan’s cover for Avengers #221, which features theoretical Avengers, FOUR of which became the initial lineup of the New Avengers.

Obviously, since pretty much every Marvel hero has been an Avenger by now, this is less amusing than it would be when New Avengers #1 first came out, but still, it is funny to see this cover…

and realize that Wolverine, Spider-Man, Luke Cage AND Spider-Woman (none of whom would you ever expect to be Avengers in 1982) all made up the initial lineup of New Avengers in 2005 (along with Captain America, Iron Man and Sentry)…

If you have suggestions of future installments of this feature, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

Don’t make suggestions in the comments section!


Say, when this issue is reprinted in trades, does the figure of Rom on the cover get replaced by someone else?

Technically, you can say five, since Daredevil was asked, but declined to join that team.

It’s kind of interesting that of those as of New Avengers relaunching soon, only Dazzler, Rom and Silver Surfer have never been on an Avengers team.

This column could be a bit of a ‘cheat.’ Somewhere along the line Bendis has stated that he loved the cover to 221 and it was the reason he ‘asked every day if Marvel had the rights to Rom back.’ So he was directly inspired by this cover on his Avengers assignment.

Unfortunately I do not remember where I read Bendis say that….

I’d rather a team comprised of Black Bolt, ROM, Ant-Man, and Dazzler.

If only Dazzler made the cut…

Ferb Morgendorffer

January 13, 2013 at 11:00 am

I now want a What If showing how things might have gone if the future NAers had joined at this time, maybe with Strange or Bolt thrown in for some Illuminati intrigue.

@ Nick Marino If only Rom had made the cut maybe Marvel would have made an effort to keep/get the rights back. But yeah, Dazzler would have been cool too.

There was a parody of this cover on Secret Avengers (either #41 or #42) on which Rom was replaced by Jocasta. And Rom never appeared inside Avengwers #221, his appearance there was cover-only. His only story appearances outside of his own title were Marvel Two-in-+ne #99 and Power Man & Irom Fist #79.

Ivan, Rom also appeared in an issue of the Incredible Hulk.

Dazzler might actually make a good Avenger….

Incredible Hulk 296 has the Rom appearance.

… and Incredible Hulk 418 has human Rom appear.

All other Marvel Rom appearances are covered here- http://home.hiwaay.net/~lkseitz/comics/rom/comic/checklist.shtml

not to mention doctor strange also joined the line up later. wihich with daredevil declining would make it six of those on that cover became avengers technically

I recently got the HERO Initiative “Ed Hannigan Covered” comic size book that showcases a bunch of covers that Hannigan either did or laid out for others to do. It seems he was an unsung hero of Marvel in the 70s and 80s. Cool compositions, nice artwork. I hope he’s doing well.

Would’ve been five if Daredevil had been Ronin like originally intended.

Yeah, but sooner or later EVERYONE joins a team of Avengers!

Brian Cronin wrote : “Wolverine, Spider-Man, Luke Cage AND Spider-Woman (none of whom would you ever expect to be Avengers in 1982) all made up the initial lineup of New Avengers in 2005 (along with Captain America, Iron Man and Sentry)”

And Daredevil, who was supposed to be under the Ronin mask until Bendis pulled the worst bait-&-switch in the history of comics on us.

I remember getting that issue fresh off my local U Totem. I was disappointed that most of the heroes depicted on the cover failed to show up in the actual story, but I loved having Hawkeye back on the team and seeing She-Hulk begin to develop her post “savage” persona.

Parker Brothers was brought by Hasbro, which licenses the Marvel characters. Disney now owns Marvel and there are rumors that Hasbro could be acquired as well. So there is still hope for ROM fans to see him in the Avengers someday.

@Travis: Ed Hannigan remains my favorite Marvel artist from the 80’s much like John Romita Sr. was in the 70’s. Likewise, Ed’s DC covers are equally awesome, particularly his Batman stuff.

Ed’s covers for the original Marvel Universe Handbook featured every single character around at the time, and the giant-sized poster which Marvel released years later is an expensive rarity nowadays. His work is indeed highly underrated.

Amusing would be to reprint the cover replacing Rom with Sentry.

What did the lineup end up being with Avengers #221 anyway? I don’t remember… I was six years old at the time. Or do I have to pull out my longboxes?

JoeMac: That’s when She-Hulk joined for the first time. Resultant lineup was Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, She-Hulk and Hawkeye. (Clint had been off the team for a while at that point.)

Although the next few issues featured a lot of old Avengers like Yellowjacket and Black Knight and future ones like Ant-Man and Dr. Druid, the next to actually join was Monica Rambeau, six issues later.

That picture of the Invisible Girl looks a lot like one I submitted to Marvel : (

If Marvel ever does bring back ROM, Bendis will surely find a way to have it turn out that it WAS Sentry in the armour…

Dr. Strange and DD joined the lineup later. That is a pretty good prediction

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