May 3, 2012

Avengers: Some good, some so very bad

By ROD HARMON Deputy Managing Editor

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The Scarlet Witch, The Vision and Gilgamesh make our list of the best and worst of some of the lesser-known Avenger characters.

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Quote (Ms. Marvel to the Wasp, who is checking out a teammate during battle): "Focus on the monsters, you unbelievable tramp!"

5. Spider-Man: Assuming the Avengers are supposed to be "the word's mightiest heroes," you'd think Marvel would have made its most popular character a member early on. But although they flirted with the idea as early as the 11th issue, Spidey didn't become a full-fledged member until 2005. Of course, he's now one of the most popular characters in the Avengers franchise. And who else can call Wolverine "Mr. Stabby" and get away with it?

Quote: "I must admit, beating the living snot out of you was a great honor."


1. Hank Pym: As Ant-Man, Hank Pym was a founding Avenger. He served on three Avengers teams, sometimes as team leader. He was even headmaster of Avengers Academy, which trains young superheroes.

So why is Hank Pym on the "worst" list? Because he's a whiny, mentally unhinged jerk whose biggest scientific accomplishment was creating Ultron, an evil robot who wants to destroy the Avengers and kill all humans. He's had six different personas, and is constantly changing back and forth between them to assuage his ego.

Pym's wife, the Wasp, finally left him after he beat her, and he was kicked out of the Avengers shortly thereafter for screwing up in battle and then trying to fix his court-martial. As if that weren't enough, he actually thinks he's the smartest guy around -- he even calls himself "the scientist supreme."

Quote: "I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to retire from the business."

2: Dr. Druid: He was only an Avenger for about a year, but during that time, Druid (yes, he wore a robe) managed to let his over-the-top egotism lead to his being mind-controlled by a super-villain, resulting in the death of one Avenger, the near-death of another, and the dissolution of the team. Thankfully, he was killed shortly thereafter, and his body was dumped in a garbage bin. No kidding.

Quote (Yellowjacket to Dr. Druid): "I know you. You're a $%#."

3. Deathcry: Blame this one on poor writing. At first, Deathcry was a ruthless warrior from another galaxy who was sent to Earth as punishment for killing someone in a bar brawl. But it wasn't long before the geniuses at Marvel decided she would be a draw for the youth market if she talked like a Valley Girl and slept with a stuffed animal. Yeah, that's what ruthless warriors do.

Quote: "Some dude's creating a living solar system and setting himself up as its sun!"

4. Thunderstrike: He was like Thor, but with a mullet and sunglasses. Oh, and he had a hammer, which was also named Thunderstrike. Anyway, he was the replacement Thor when Thor was turned into a frog, and he got his powers after he was almost killed by a villain named Mongoose. Now you know why Marvel almost went bankrupt.

Quote: "The glare here is as bad as I thought! I'm glad I brought shades!"

5. Gilgamesh: An immortal whose alias was "The Forgotten One," Gilgamesh was beaten into a coma after only seven issues, and was later killed by Iron Man. Immortal? Not so much. Forgotten? Hopefully.

Quote: "If you have need of a hero, I am told that the time for one has long passed!"

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

Twitter: RHarmonPPH


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