CBR's Guide to Free Comic Book Day 2016
All month-long we’ll be featuring top five lists about either the Avengers or the X-Men. Here is an archive of all the past top five lists!
In this installment, we’ll look at the top five honorary Avengers! With all the dozens and dozens of ACTUAL Avengers, it’s surprising to see that they still managed to get in some honorary members, as well!
NOTE: Avengers’ support staff are not honorary members. So no Jarvis, no Peggy Carter, no John Jameson, etc.
To give you an idea of who exactly we’re working with here in terms of eligible people, the honorable mentions and the top five cover everyone but Flux and Moira Brandon, neither of whom are even worth counting as honorable mentions, as the former never even appeared in an issue of Avengers and the latter appeared in one story (not a BAD story, but come on, she just doesn’t compare). So if you wish to disagree with the choices, go right ahead, but THESE ARE THE CHOICES YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH. If you don’t like one of the top five, your only option is to suggest someone from the honorable mentions list.
I liked the second Swordsman. He was a useful character. I didn’t hate his girlfriend, Magdalene, but nor did I particularly like her either. I appreciate the fact that Kurt Busiek wrote them off before a future writer killed them off for the heck of it (a fate that befell at least one of the characters on the following list).
Not a Deathcry fan at all. Marrina was a good character, but she was barely in the Avengers and when she was, her most memorable moment was almost killing them all! Not a fan of Teen Tony or Masque.
You have to love the idea of a lady stealing Yellowjacket’s costume and his powers and then becoming a criminal, only to end up helping out the Avengers when the Avengers priority alarm hidden in her costume keep beeping so much that she couldn’t help but respond to it and end up helping the Avengers save the world! She went on to become a notable member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Sadly, she was killed off in ridiculous fashion just so that the title could advertise “Two Avengers die!” and one of them is an honorary member and the other was a member for less than 10 issues! SO lame.
For awhile there, the Whizzer was a pretty major presence in the pages of the Avengers as he was thought to be the father of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver for a while there.
3. The Guardians of the Galaxy
Jim Shooter really used the Guardians well as he brought them into the Avengers to deal with their old foe, Korvac. I still love that they are on the cover of Avengers #181 as theoretical members of the team. Yeah, they’re really going to cut down the membership of the team to seven and somehow keep one of the Guardians?
2. Captain Marvel
I originally had him #1, but then I thought more about it. On the one hand, Marvel is clearly the most notable superhero associate of the Avengers who never actually joined the team. And on that same hand, Captain Marvel was part of three of the most notable Avengers stories of all-time, namely the Kree/Skrull War, the Korvac Saga and The Final Threat (the story where Thanos, Warlock, Pip and Gamora all die). However, those three stories were literally it for his appearances, and besides Kree/Skrull War, he wasn’t exactly a major focus of any of those other stories. Now on the OTHER hand…
1. Rick Jones
Rick Jones, that dude was HEAVILY involved in Avengers lore. First off, he was part of the Kree/Skrull War, as well. Hell, he ENDED the damn thing. However, Rick and his friends actually FORMED the Avengers!!! When Loki wanted to mess with some Earth heroes by making them all think that the Hulk went rogue, Rick and his friends tried to get the Fantastic Four to investigate, since Rick didn’t think that the Hulk would do the things he was accused of. Loki diverted Rick’s signal to the FF and sent it to the heroes who would ultimately form the first Avengers lineup. In #4, Rick was right there for Captain America to dwell on in his sort of creepy obsessive fashion that Cap used to obsess over stuff back in the day. In #8, Rick and his friends help the Avengers defeat freakin’ KANG! Eventually, Rick became Captain America’s partner. Plus, Rick was heavily involved in the Avengers Forever mini-series.
Is it a close call? Yes, but I think Rick takes the cake.
By the way, it is a great sign of how messed up gender politics were back in the day that for a while there the Wasp’s role on the team was deemed to basically be the same as Rick’s. “Wasp, you’re my superhero partner. Rick, you’re some kid. Yeah, I think you’re both basically honorary Avengers. Maybe Wasp could take notes for our meetings, as well?”
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