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50 Greatest Avengers Stories: #30-26

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Avengers, we’re doing a poll of the greatest Avengers stories of all-time! You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 50 Greatest Avengers Stories!

Each day will have five more stories on the countdown (eventually I think it’ll get to three stories a day). Here is a master list of every story featured so far. Here are #30-26!

Enjoy!

30. “The Morgan Conquest” Avengers Volume 3 #1-3

Kurt Busiek, George Perez and Al Vey brought the Avengers back to prominence after an ill-fated attempt to reboot the Avengers on an alternate Earth. The plot involved every Avenger ever coming together to stop an attack by creatures from Norse mythology. This turns out to be a plot by the evil Morgan Le Fey to draw the Scarlet Witch out. Le Fey uses Scarlet Witch (and some other Norse magical items) to recreate the Earth as a medieval world where she is in charge. Luckily, a handful of Avengers manage to break free from her spell. Couple with an assist from an Avenger thought to be dead, the Avengers find a way to win and to officially regroup (with a couple of surprising new members).

29. “The Gatherers Saga” Avengers #343-344,348-349,355-363,372-375

This storyline began with Bob Harras’ first issue as the ongoing writer on the Avengers, which was also the issue that Steve Epting joined longtime Avengers inker Tom Palmer as the penciler on the Avengers. Epting lasted for the length of this saga, which involved a mysterious man named Proctor from an alternate reality who “gathers” alternate versions of familiar faces to the Avengers to serve him. Proctor is obsessed with the Avenger Sersi and has basically been killing his away across the mulitverse to get his ultimate revenge on her. Harras did a great job slowly unraveling this mystery and the slow burn allowed a lot of great character work with Black Knight, Crystal and Sersi, as they formed an unlikely but interesting love triangle.

28. “Betrayal by a Friend” Avengers Annual #10

This is the classic story where Chris Claremont (along with artists Michael Golden and Armando Gil) addressed the resolution of Avengers #200, where Ms. Marvel went off to limbo with the son of Immortus, a man who pretty much admitted that he had psychologically manipulated Ms. Marvel into falling in love with him. In this issue, Claremont allows Ms. Marvel (who is now powerless after having her powers sucked out of her by Rogue, who makes her first appearance in this issue) to express her anger and disappointment in the Avengers in one of the most heartfelt and tragic Avengers stories ever.

27. “Homeland Security” Ultimates #7-13

In “Homeland Security,” the Ultimates learn that an alien race has been infiltrating Earth for decades and now the Ultimates are going to go up against their most difficult threat yet – so dangerous that they might need the assistance of the first superpowered threat they ever faced, the Incredible Hulk! Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary drew this epic action tale that introduced the “shadow” Ultimates team of Black Widow, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (the latter two who seem to have WAY too close of a relationship for a brother and sister).

26. “Breakout!” New Avengers #1-6

In this modern re-imagining of “The Coming of the Avengers,” Brian Michael Bendis introduced the brand-new Avengers as a disparate group of heroes are thrown together to combat a mysterious prison break at the prison for super-powered criminals known as the Raft. The coming together of this new team inspires Captain America to re-form the Avengers. The new team heads to the Savage Land where they uncover a conspiracy behind the prison break (this conspiracy would ultimately lead into Secret Invasion). David Finch and Danny Miki did the artwork.

23 Comments

was wondering if the aftermath of the immortus storyline with miss marvel would make the list given its also when rogue first appeared in the mu.

The Gatherer Saga was #10 on my list (although I referred to it as the Proctor Saga. Hope it still got counted.) Morgan Conquest and Annual #10 were also on my short list. Alternately, Ultimates and Bendis’ New Avengers are just about my least favorite Avengers stories ever. I don’t get why Millar just making everybody assholes is supposed to be a good story.

Surprised Breakout showed up this early. I was figuring it’d be in the top 20 as despite the hate his run gets, Bendis’s run was popular. Especially the first volume of New Avengers.

I’m surprised Annual #10 came out this early. It made my list because of Michael Golden’s art work alone. I think it is one of the best drawn superhero comics ever drawn. That splash page with Cap flying out of the Avengers mansion was just stunning. And this is one of the best examples of Claremont that I’ve read.

Annual 10 is amazing. I remember being SO EXCITED!!! to be able to own the first appearance of Rogue on the cheap (I think I payed $5 in the mid-’90s, back when the issue listed for much more). I was surprised by how good the art was and have been a Michael Golden fan ever since.

“The Morgan Conquest” was a lot of fun. Seeing (almost) all the Avengers redesigned and renamed was cool. Perez’s art was great and the story moved at a good pace.

Ultimates 7-12: Remember when Millar & Hitch produced good comics? Hitch can draw very well but I don’t think he’s done a comic since that played as well to his strengths. Millar… well, I liked Ultimates.

Now we’re starting to get to the good stuff. (Although I’m not so sure those first two qualify.) Two from my list have made it so far, can’t wait to see if and where the rest end up. When this is all done, will you show the points/votes breakdown for each of the 50 choices?

My first two picks to make an appearance: “Breakout” and “The Morgan Conquest.” Damn, those medieval redesigns were awesome…

Looking back at New Avengers vol 1 there is a lot there that I like. I would have been okay if Breakout scored higher.

I think the Morgan Conquest is good, but perhaps not greatest.

Ultimates I can appreciate for its plotting, but in the end it is ‘not real Avengers’ and takes something really fantastic and squeezes it down to something that is not. I also think Hitch makes everyone look to much alike (across everything he does). I liked him better when he was more of a Alan Davis clone.

Annual #10 only at #28? Bendis will be sad.

kdu2814, I agree about Hitch. His characterization is non-existant, and his panels often look like they were designed for maximum awkwardness.

Breakout, to my mind, encapsulates a lot of what is wrong with Bendis’s Avengers work: he tried to make it look like a Michael Bay film, with badly plotted action and posturing instead of character development.

Morgan saga was a complete nerdfest! All past Avengers together in (another) paralel/alternate timeline was incredible. Hawkeye, at last, had a chance to say his piece to Captain America. It´s obvious that he was one of Buziek´s prefered avenger.
Perez´s art was still great and his ability to draw dozen of characters with great detail was a big bonus. This saga it always ring me a bell to JLA/Avengers.

I kne it was comming (and I am in fear of the first 6 issues being in the Top 10), but having Ultimates in your list of favorite Avengers stories is like having Die Hard 5 inyour list of favorite Die Hard movies: It’s TERRIBLE, it’s not really the Avengers/Die Hard and in fact it urinates all over the original concept.

I distinctly remember reading the first few issues of Ultimates, when everyone was excited at the edgy characterization, and wondering why almost no one else was seeing that those weren’t characterizations, they were one-dimensional cut-outs. They were character flaws posing as characters. They looked up with envy at the personality development of the Archie Crusaders. I really felt vindicated when many of my friends who had called me insane for critizising Ultimates, ended up agreeing I was right in my initial assesment. Right around this storyline, too.

Ultimates are going to go up against their most difficult threat yet – can they manage to pull it off without the power of the Mighty Thor?

Is there a chance you got confused with Grand Theft America? Because Thor was in the thick of the things against Chitauri. In fact, if he wasn’t there, Ultimates would end at #10.

Just poor phrasing on my part. I meant to refer to how they were still in a position where Thor was not helping them automatically (in #10 there is still debate between him and Fury over Thor’s involvement on the team), but sure, I can see how it could be phrased better, so I’ll edit it. Thanks!

30. I usually like alternate universe stories, and this is a good one. An interesting way for Busiek and Perez to begin their run. Needless to say, the art is awesome. A fun story.
29. The Gatherers Saga wasn’t great, but it was much better that the crap that came before, during and after it. As a result, it’s basically the only highlight in Avengers from #300-400 unless you count the bloated Operation galactic Storm. I have a bit of a soft spot for this as a result.
28. Great art. The story… well, it has its moments, and the message delivered by Claremont is important. I’ve always been iffy about the way he delivers it, though, because he seems to take out his grudge on the characters themselves rather than on the other creators who were responsible for #200. Not the part where Carol dresses the team down, but making them look incompetent and weak in their own title for the whole story. Claremont has shown this kind of pettiness many other times (see: his feud with Byrne). So I can’t say I think this is a great story. Important, yes. Great, no.
27. I’ve only skimmed this, so I can’t really comment.
26. The thing is, there’s no story here. The first half of the arc is extended “widescreen” bit which are just splash page after splash page of the skyline and people punching each other. The second half has no actual resolution. It sets up a bunch of questions but answers none of them. The whole arc is setup – setup, by the way, that is never paid off, not just in this arc, but even in later arcs. So how this ends up being anybody’s favorite “story” is beyond me since there’s NO STORY. If you think Wolverine and Spider-Man together in one title is kewl, then I guess that explains it.

I’m kind of with Scott on Avengers Annual #10. I think it’s a good comic, and a good story with great art. But I don’t think it’s a good Avengers story, mainly because they are clearly so incompetent and in the wrong in this story.

Not surprisingly, I think it makes for a good X-Men story.

Kurt Busiek and George Perez relaunch of the Avengers made me fall in love with Avengers all over again. So happy this made it on the list.

Had put an annual starring Black Knight and Blood Wraith that was part of this on my list. Wish that annual had been listed. Great issue.

Part of Gatherers saga I mean

Also, Bendis sucks. ‘Nuff said. Who voted for that crap?

The Gathering? Really?

The Gatherers Saga was the most unimaginative alternate universe story of all time. Harras has a storyline in which there are alternative universe members of the Avengers that will appear and he is using…monsters? Seriously, that’s what he did. There is the Coal Tiger (Black Panther) and there is Rik (I guess it’s Rick Jones) and the rest are monsters. I stopped buying the Avengers for a while this Harras run. The “big reveal” that Proctor was an alternate Black Knight was no surprise at all. If you have not read this story, avoid reading it. It is very disappointing.

I can recall reading the title sporadically during the Harras run, but the only thing I can really remember about it is the Sersi – Black Knight – Crystal thing. Oh, and Blood Wraith…… that’s about it I think. But it always amuses me that whenever I come across a write up on that period, that the love triangle bit is the what gets predominate mention, save for maybe the costume changes. Surprised that it hasn’t been nostalgically re-instated as of yet, or at least the Black Knight – Sersi part of it, rather.

Is any of this run in trade? I’d love to read it again.

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