50 Greatest Avengers Stories: #25-21
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 #25-21!
25. “Avengers Disassembled” Avengers #500-503
Picking up a plot from John Byrne’s run on Avengers West Coast (which showed up earlier on the countdown), Brian Michael Bendis had the Scarlet Witch essentially go nuts and take down the entirety of the Avengers, leading to the deaths of Ant-Man, Vision and Hawkeye. In the aftermath of the battle (which involved the Scarlet Witch using her reality-warping powers to bring forth most of the Avengers’ greatest villains), the team disbands, leading to Bendis relaunching the title as New Avengers with the art team of this storyline, David Finch and Danny Miki.
24. “Young Avengers” #1-12
Enough voters convinced me to count this as one large story, which I think is probably accurate. In any event, after the events of Avengers Disassembled, the Vision had a back-up plan for recruiting the next generation of Avengers in case the original Avengers ever, well, you know, disassembled. This original team added members as the series went on (and as one of the members, Iron Lad, who was a younger version of Kang, realized he had to take over as Kang) and they slowly proved themselves in the eyes of Captain America, who was in no mood to have to worry about a whole bunch of teen superheroes. Writer Allan Heinberg built his team on the legacy of the Avengers, including a great Kree-Skrull battle at the end of the series. The art was by Jimmy Cheung (and at least a gazillion inkers) and it was breathtaking. Andrea DiVito and Drew Hennessey filled in during the middle of the series. Heinberg’s new characters were compelling and well-developed. They are still popular to this day in the pages of Kieron Gillen’s Young Avengers (where the romance between teammates Hulkling/Wiccan is still going strong) and Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye (where the new, female Hawkeye is a major supporting cast member).
23. “The Trial of Hank Pym” Avengers #227-230
Roger Stern follows up on Jim Shooter’s fall of Yellowjacket by giving us the rise of Hank Pym as the imprisoned Pym defends himself against the frame job by Egghead by going undercover with Egghead and taking down the villain and his new Masters of Evil. At the end of the story, Hank is asked back to the Avengers but he decides to retire from superheroing. Al Milgrom, Sal Buscema, Brett Breeding and Joe Sinnott did the art on this story. Stern did a really nice job trying to redeem Hank.
22. “Operation: Galactic Storm” Captain America #398-400, Avengers West Coast #80-82, Quasar #32-35, Wonder Man #7-9, Avengers #345-347, Iron Man #278-279, Thor #445-446
Bob Harras, Mark Gruenwald and Fabian Nicieza did the heavy lifting on this epic crossover of not just both Avengers titles, but every title STARRING a then-current Avenger, namely Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Quasar and Wonder Man. The Avengers get caught up in an intergalactic conflict once again, this time between the Shi’ar and the Kree Empire. However, while they try to bring the war to a peaceful resolution, they are unprepared for the actions of the Kree leader, the Supreme Intelligence. The Avengers then must split on whether they are responsible for avenging the victims of intergalactic war crimes. The split of the team impacted many relationships between Avengers for years to come. While Harras, Gruenwald and Nicieza directed the storyline, all of the writers on the books at the time wrote their part of the story and all the regular art teams drew their tie-ins.
21. “The Bride of Ultron” Avengers #161-162, #170-171
Jim Shooter, George Perez and Pablo Marcos delivered this classic storyline, which was oddly enough split apart by nearly a year. In the first part, spinning out of Ant-Man’s mental instability (something Shooter would return to later on) and his attack on the Avengers, Ultron kidnaps the Wasp and uses her brain waves to create a bride for Ultron. Dubbed Jocasta, she is left with the Avengers when Ultron escapes. He later returns for her in the second part of this story, and the Avengers have to defeat the evil robot while determine whether they can trust this new female robot who seems to want to be one of them. Shooter, Perez and Marcos were on quite a run during this period.