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Top Five Avengers Courts Martial

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Here is an archive of all the past top five lists!

Today we’ll take a look at the top five Avenger courts martial.



The very first one of these came in Avengers #7, when Stan and Jack had the other Avengers punish Iron Man for missing too many meetings…



The punishment didn’t even last through the entire issue, as they needed his help later in the issue.

Hawkeye had a “court of inquiry” in Avengers #230 into his use of deadly force on Egghead at the end of Avengers #229. Roger Stern, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott showed it…





This one misses the top five because there was little suspense that they’d find him guilty of anything (heck, the “verdict” was given off panel) but it was still a great piece of speechifying by Hank Pym.

5. Warbird’s second court martial (Avengers Volume 3 #55 by Kurt Busiek, Patrick Zircher and Scott Koblish)

Warbird’s killing of the Master during the Kang War was only slightly less obvious that she was going to be found innocent, so she makes it to #5 on the list.




4. Iron Man’s sort of court martial (Iron Man #229 by David Michelinie, Bob Layton and M.D. Bright)

This one would be a bit higher except it is unclear if it was even technically a court martial. More like, “Uh, hey Iron Man, everyone thinks this Armor Wars of yours is nuts. You just actually led to a dude’s DEATH! You can’t be an Avenger anymore, but we’ll let you slide on the whole ‘possible murder’ thing”).


Go to the next page for the top three!

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Okay, the vague resemblance of Hank’s robot to Jocasta is just unsettling.

I never noticed the double-splash page symmetry between Carol’s first and secon courts-martial. Neat.

For what it’s worth: I’m a military lawyer by trade and I actually have prosecuted courts-martial. (Note my grammar there: the plural goes on the word “court,” not “martial.” Everybody–including me–says it the other way, but it’s not correct.) These didn’t bother me when I was younger, but now that I’ve actually done a few cases, it drives me batty given that what I’m reading doesn’t resemble a court-martial in the least. I’m going to suspend my disbelief and assume that these are called “courts-martial” in name only as an administrative matter under the Avengers charter, and are limited in punishment to suspension or removal from the team. Do I have it right?

Considering the team in question, I’m surprised only one court-martial got interrupted by a marauding robot. And even then, it’s Yellowjacket sending it in!

interesting to see miss marvel wind on this list getting court martialed twice. and was figuring the one where hank got it for creating ultron would make the cut

I´d have included Avengers 7, the first Martial Court vs Iron Man. Great list, though

A pity that it was abandoned.

Suggestions of Top Five: Avengers characters that were longer (need not be continuous)

I never would have realized the two page spread of both of Warbird’s courts martial were the same if they hadn’t been posted here. That’s pretty cool.

Curious to see–when the current arc is done with Uncanny Avengers–if Remender plans to put Wolverine through one of these.

Also didn’t realize there had been more than one courts-martial in the Avengers (we all know the top spot). Great article!

I´d have included Avengers 7, the first Martial Court vs Iron Man. Great list, though

Good call, I should have had that as an Honorable Mention. I’ll edit it in there.

It’s strange that in both court-martials, Wanda is the only one who seems to remember and show remorse for what happened to Carol back when the Avengers were carrying the Idiot Ball.

This is the first time I’ve actually seen Pym’s court martial….good lord, no wonder people gave him shit for all these years, That rant was face-meltingly embarrassing, and the whole plot with the robot was stupid on so many levels, especially since Jan was aware of the whole ploy (and lucky for Pym, or else he’d be a fine paste by now.).

does anyone else notice that the beginning panels of both warbird/ms. marvel stories are almost identical?

Didn’t Mockingbird have a court martial too, for letting Ghost/Night Rider fall to his death, in the Old West? In the pages of WCA…

Man thats good stuff.

The Warbird court martial was my favorite, just for Quicksilver’s testimony. His contempt for Carol (and everything) was great.

Nothing screams “exciting super-hero action” like super-heroes sitting around a table and discussing their rules and charters!
Sorry, I love the Avengers, but these are all horribly boring. Number 2 is also a pretty blatant homage to number 1, but I suppose most of Kurt Busiek’s run was an homage to something from Avengers’ history.
Sorry to be so negative! I really do like that the Avengers is a more formal organization than most super-teams, and the idea of a super-hero court-martial is sort of neat. But these are all examples of “not much fun,” which is NOT how I like my super-hero books.

Technically, it’s “courts-martial” not “court martials.”

The Hawkeye one is one of my favorite issues from one of may favorite Avengers’ runs (and the best presentation that Hank Pym has had). The Stern/Milgrom/Sinnot run was pure comics gold.

The thing about Quicksilver’s behavior is that, while he is being a tactless jerk, he is absolutely right. Between her drunkenness and her secrecy about her powers, Warbird should never have been allowed to stay on the team. She arguably became even WORSE in Civil War.

…and I’m perfectly aware that most of those statements could easily be applied to Stark. I don’t understand why he gets a pass for the kinds of things his fellow founders like Pym and Banner will never live down. What kind of science hero HASN’T built an evil robot or three?

Hawkeye’s call for Iron Man’s I.D. card was serious enough since it wasn’t so much about the Armor Wars but rather Tony’s apparent murder of the Titanium Man/Gremlin and the whole stink it had raised with the Russians. (Who actually helped set things up so Tony would get the blame.)

Avengers #213 was my second issue ever of the series and it was the story of Hank’s downfall, from start to redemption, which made me an Avengers fan. The way Yellowjacket undergoes that meltdown in #213 is the stuff of legend. Keep in mind that I knew nothing about most of these characters going in. Reading that issue, I initially thought that Yellowjacket was supposed to be a villain.

Roger Stern’s wrap-up of Jim Shooter’s story arc is quality storytelling. Hawkeye’s testimony and Hank’s steadfast defense of his friend perfectly bookends Hank’s insane rant in #213 and brings everything full circle. It’s all very moving, especially the way Cap pleads for Hank not to resign despite the way Hank treated Cap during the Elfqueen inquest. I urge anyone who hasn’t read these issues to check out the Trial of Yellowjacket trade paperback which reprints the whole saga and then some.

Bloody hell, what’s with the artwork in the Moon Knight one?

That Iron Man issue was the first Marvel comic I bought :-)

Stark deserved a court-martial just for that perm-mullet monstrosity on his head.

I do love Iron Man’s punishment in the first court. “How dare you not show up for a meeting! Your punishment is to not show up for any meetings for a week!” (It’s appropriate, but hilarious as written.)

God, that panel with all the Avengers looking embarassed for ranting Hank is just brutal. “Hank… for Heaven’s sake… stop!” It’s actually cringe-worthy.

I guess I can see how some would find it boring, but I like the idea of the Avengers being a more formal team. Having courts-martial and bylaws and chairpeople and all that makes perfect sense for them.

I know Hank was off his meds, but did he actually think they wouldn’t be able to put two-and-two together when they saw the robot come crashing in right after he pressed the button on the big, bright red remote control he pulled out of his belt? Seems like a bad choice for a trigger device, esp. for a guy who’s specialty is making stuff smaller.

Adam, most of these seem to be “hearings” or “courts of inquiry” rather than being called “courts-martial” (despite the title of the post). The procedure appears to be rather ad hoc depending on how bad the situation is, and how confrontational.

A Horde of Evil Hipsters

September 13, 2013 at 9:13 am

That early scene with Iron Man totally explains Civil War. The other Avengers were total dicks towards Stark back then, and he took his sweet time plotting revenge.

Wow, the art in Moonknight must be one of the worst I’ve ever seen.

I miss the days when heroes held their members accountable for stuff.

I like that they suspend Iron Man for one week. Y’know…unless there’s a villain attacking and lives are on the line. Then I guess you can show up and help us.

Um, you can just have a drink now and then and NOT be an alcoholic, you know. Once a week, once a month, that’s not alcoholism. hell, people in the UK regularly go out and knock back several pints once a week and aren’t raging alkies. Being alcoholic means drinking all the damn time.

Sure, but I don’t see why you bring it up. At the time, Carol was drinking all the time, and was starting to be a danger to herself and others.

I miss the days when heroes held their members accountable for stuff.

Just during Hickman’s recent Avengers run, both Spider-Man and Wolverine were kicked off of the team (Wolverine because he was over-committed and Spider-Man because he was, well, you know, secretly Doctor Octopus).

I like that they suspend Iron Man for one week. Y’know…unless there’s a villain attacking and lives are on the line. Then I guess you can show up and help us.

And later on in the issue when Thor has his acid trip, Iron Man, Hank and Janet snap him out of it and he asks Tony if it’s been one week already.

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