Ever since the 1989 Batman movie came out, I have dreamed of a massive team superhero movie that didn't suck. Yeah, sure, there was the Justice League, but that had more of a B-movie feel to it. I would dream about seeing Batman and Superman in just one movie and think about how freakin' awesome that'd be if it was done right.
Mere cameos make me geek out hard; so an entire movie about the Avengers collected from their own respective individual movie pretty much does it for me. When the plan was announced after the success of Iron Man in 2008, I swear, I stopped breathing for a good fifteen minutes.
The Avengers premieres 10 days from now here in the Philippines, a whole week ahead of the United States (May 4, 2012). Don't worry, Americans, we'll livetweet about it so you won't feel left out. To contain my excitement a little bit, I decided to put together some trivia about the Avengers that most geeks probably already know but the uninitiated might not. Think of this as a noob's guide to the Avengers to get everyone pumped up for the movie.
Avengers First Appearance: Avengers #1, September 1963
It was written by none other than Stan "The Man" Lee and penciled and co-written by the legendary Jack Kirby. This move may be a response to DC Comics' Justice League of America, which first came together in 1960.
The first five Avengers are Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp and Hulk.
Captain America isn't a founding member? Nope.
Despite the Captain America movie being called "The First Avenger," in the comics he was actually the 6th. In Avengers #4, the team found Cap in ice in the North Atlantic. They thaw him out and make him an honorary founding Avenger.
How and why did they assemble?
They did it just like every other good old superhero team-up - it started with the heroes going toe to toe due to some misunderstanding. Iron Man, Thor, Wasp and Ant-Man went after Hulk, when all five heroes were manipulated by Loki. Ironically, if it wasn't for Loki, the Avengers never would have been formed.
In Avengers #1, which famous superheroes had a cameo?
The Fantastic Four! The Teen Brigade's (yes, that's what they're called) broadcast reached The Fantastic Four first before it got to Iron Man and Ant-Man.
Who came up with the name "Avengers?"
The Wasp. Her exact words were "That's right! We need a name! It should be something colorful and dramatic like... The Avengers! Or..." then she gets stopped cold by her husband Hank Pym, Ant-Man.
There have been a bunch of honorary members over the years - people who aren't exactly superheroes or Avengers material, but have earned a spot on the roster for their contributions. The very first honorary member was Rick Jones. Another special honorary member is Jarvis, Tony Stark's butler.Though he's not officially recognized, Captain America himself said "As far I'm concerned, this man is an Avenger."
The Guardians of the Galaxy is the only team to be made honorary Avengers after defeating Korvac.
For a full list of Avengers, check this list out.
The very first lineup change
Having a non-permanent roster has always been an Avengers thing. Members kept ducking out or coming back in for one reason or another. This started with the very first change in lineup and it was a drastic one at that (Avengers #16). All of the original members left, leaving Captain America in charge. The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Hawkeye were the replacements. It's interesting to note that all three were all former villains. They were known as Cap's Kooky Quartet.
The Avengers have seen their fair share of leaders, other than Captain America. The most notable ones would be Iron Man (original Avengers/ Mighty Avengers), The Wasp (during the Secret Wars), Bucky as Captain America (after Cap died in Captain America #25), Luke Cage (New Avengers), Hawkeye (Secret Avengers), Ms. Marvel (Mighty Avengers), and The Vision.
Being offered a membership
Two very prominent Marvel superheroes, at one point, were offered a spot on the Avengers roster but both of them declined. Who were they? Spider-Man and Daredevil. They both had their reasons for not taking Cap up on his offer.
Spider-Man was a reserve member for the longest time (1991), but eventually officially joined under the New Avengers in 2005. Daredevil was never really interested in joining the team, citing problems with the media and preferring instead to protect Hell's Kitchen, which he thinks is his primary responsibility. However, for some reason, he eventually joined the New Avengers in New Avengers Vol. 2 #16. This may be because Luke Cage and Danny Rand, two very good friends of his, are on the team.
Very few people have lifted Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. They say that to be able to do so, the hammer has to find you worthy. Needless to say, the list who have found themselves with that honor isn't very long. Among them is Steve Rogers, Captain America. This is why Thor sometimes refers to Cap as his "hammer brother."
Another guy would be Eric Masterson, who used the name Thor for a time, while Thor was out of commission.
Demon in a Bottle
Tony Stark has had trouble with the sauce. This was wildly publicized, as it was a bold move for comic book publishers at the time. However, what most people don't know is that Tony's not the only Avenger who used to have a drinking problem. That other Avenger would be Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers. She was nearly kicked off the team because of it. Well, she does fly. And, hell, walking under the influence is hard enough. Flying would get tricky.
The X-Men and the Avengers' history
Within the pages of The Avengers (Avengers #263), the X-Factor made their debut. The X-Factor members were the original five X-Men: Cyclops, Beast, Jean Grey, Angel and Iceman. X-Factor posed as mutant hunters, but secretly found mutants and helped them with their powers.
Also, Rogue's first appearance was in Avengers Annual #10 (1981). She was a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and she stole a bunch of Ms. Marvel's powers. This is why she used to fly around and have insane strength.
In 1984, the Avengers appeared in The David Letterman Show. Yeah, it's as weird as it sounds.
This is pretty recent, but this was a big way to explore Tony and Steve's relationship. Tony was pro-registration (as am I. GO TEAM TONY!), and Steve was vehemently anti-registration, comparing the act to fascism and the Nazi regime. Two of the very best friends in the Marvel Universe were divided over politics, and the dynamic was remarkable. Avengers Prime, a mini-series, started them on their way back to friendship. The relationships among Steve, Tony and Thor have been very interesting to watch since then.
Wolverine's real real name
Most people know Wolverine's real name is Logan. Most people were recently proven wrong. In Wolverine Origin, a mini-series in 2001, it was revealed that Wolverine's real name is James Howlett. Oh, wait. Why is Wolverine in an Avengers Trivia post? Because he's been an Avenger since 2005.
Current Avengers Roster:
- Captain America (Steve Rogers)
- Iron Man (Tony Stark)
- Hawkeye (Clint Barton)
- Protector (Noh-Varr)
- Red Hulk (General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross)
- Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)
- Storm (Ororo T'Challa)
- Quake (Daisy Johnson)
- Maria Hill
- Luke Cage
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
- Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlett)
- Iron Fist (Danny Rand)
- Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse)
- Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers)
- Thing (Ben Grimm)
- Dr. Stephen Strange
- Daredevil (Matt Murdock)
- Hawkeye (Clint Barton)
- Captain Britain (Brian Braddock)
- Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady)
- Giant Man (Hank Pym)
- Black Widow (Natasha Romanov)
- Beast (Hank McCoy)
- Venom (Flash Thompson)
I'm sure you guys have more little tidbits to add, so please, tell us all about 'em in the comments! So, again, we've got 10 days to The Avengers! I'll see you guys at the theaters!