The Avengers….A Humble Beginning
With Avengers: Age of Ultron, everyone has been reminded of how great a concept Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are, and with the ending of the film, been shared the best part of the concept, that the membership can change. In the 1960s, this was almost a foreign concept. In the Golden Age, the Justice Society changed membership a little, but in the 1960s, the membership of super-hero teams was pretty static. The Justice League added three members by this time, but no member left. In the first four years of the Avengers, the membership changed drastically, with members leaving the team, joining the team with a roster that varied from the mightiest characters Marvel had created at the time to what was referred to as “Cap’s Kooky Quartet.”
Enjoy the cover gallery below, all pulled from the Grand Comics Database. Some of these are the most iconic covers around, with art by Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Gil Kane, and John Buscema. There are some worth taking special attention. Avengers #8 with the first appearance of Kang, with a design that sets the villain apart from heroes behind a yellow shield, making for an imposing figure, despite not really showing his face. Avengers #16 was where the new membership took shape, giving the candidates on the cover, and while it may seem ridiculous to find the Masters of Evil on this cover, keep in mind that Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were also villains from other comics. Given that the Black Knight’s heir became an Avenger later in the series, his inclusion on the cover is not quite so shocking. Avengers #49 has a menacing Magneto hovering over Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch almost as if he is literally manipulating them like puppets, in one of the best designed covers of this chunk of Avengers history.
Share in the comments what your favorite one of these covers is and let us know what series we should highlight with a cover gallery next.