Top 5: Worst Avengers

 

As Marvel’s flagship super hero team, The Avengers have played host to a who’s who of Marvel greats. But in that time, they’ve also had a few stinkers — whether they can smell it or not. This just covers the major Avengers teams, whether they be New, Secret or West Coast. We decided to spare A-Next, the Great Lakes Avengers and other ancillary squads.

5. Living Lightning

Although the Avengers have become a welcome home for reformed super-villains, this is one former foe who should have been forgotten. He joined the team in Avengers West Coast but quickly slid down that ladder from full-fledged Avenger to reservist, then later an Initiative recruit and now last seen as a bodyguard for an Avengers Academy student.

 

4. D-Man

This former pro-wrestler always wanted to be a hero, and despite designing a costume to ape both Wolverine and Daredevil he’s never really measured up. Even a short tenure as a sidekick to Captain America couldn’t help this would-be hero. His brightest moment came when he beat the Thing, Protector and Valkyrie in a pie-eating contest in I Am An Avenger #2.

 

3. Jack of Hearts

Although basing his costume off of playing cards and his real name of Jack Heart, the Jack of Hearts doesn’t get a pass and is easily one of the most forgettable members of the team.

 

2. Starfox

This super-powered sex magnet came to the Avengers after his friend Captain Marvel died, going from trainee to full Avengers in a matter of issues. He conveniently left out his ability to control the pleasure centers of people’s brains on his job application, only telling his team-mates months later. No number of “Sorry!”s can get you out of that one. I’d rather have that furry space pilot from the Nintendo games on the team than this guy.

 

 1. Henry Pym

It doesn’t matter if you call him Ant-Man, Wasp, or the other aliases he’s gone by over time, Henry Pym the root of many of the Avengers’ biggest problems over the years. This founding Avenger created Ultron, was court-martialed by Captain America and kicked off the team on more than one occasion. To top it all off, he proposed to Wasp in a drug-induced haze and committed full on spousal abuse years later. Maybe it’s a good thing Marvel’s downplayed Pym’s role in the Avengers recently in the comics and movies?

Comments

  1. Gilgamesh had to be number 6, right?

  2. Triathalon didn’t make the list?

    Wonder Man might qualify more than Hank?

    • Wonder Man is a great Avenger.

    • He’s supposedly one of the more powerful Avengers, but I can’t think of a single truly notable thing he’s done on the team other than branching off to found the WCA.

    • Wonder Man saved the entire world in the Avengers: Emperor Doom graphic novel. Seriously, Doc Doom built a machine that amplified Purple Man’s mind control power and took over the world. Wonder Man was the only one who was immune due to his “ionic energy being” status. You can guess the rest.

    • Really, Doom saved the world. He got bored and let the Avengers win.

  3. Triathlon would have to be 7.

  4. Doctor Druid anyone?

    Hank Pym would make one hell of a villain. Has Marvel ever tried this?

    • Hey let’s calm down here Doctor Druid is awesome and shouldnt be anywhere near this list

    • Love that idea! Hank gets tired of being looked down on by his peers and goes all Ultimate Reed Richards evil genius super villain! Love it!

    • Agree – Pym going all evil super genius would be awesome. That would make more sense in the Ultimate universe than he deal with Reed, but what’s done is done. I would buy a “Pym goes evil” book.

    • It never fails to amaze me that some fans think turning a hero into a villain is a ‘good thing’. Any second-rate writer can do that, given the editorial go-ahead. Personally, I think the reverse is more interesting (as we saw in the original run of The Thunderbolts, way back when).

  5. this list could be 4 times as long and still not run out of terrible avengers haha (especially if you added the non-major squads)

  6. Surprised to see Hank Pym, I love that guy. Marvel always gives him the short stick.

  7. Henry Pym — Great Avenger or Greatest Avenger?

    Also, D-Man? So that’s who that guy is?!? Never knew that.

  8. The Avengers cartoon has done more to make me like Hank Pym then anything that has gone on in the comics.

    Also, Gilgamesh and Silver Claw being left off this list is a travesty

    • Yeah, Silverclaw should definitely be here. You put Busiek and Perez together and that’s what you get? Something went horribly wrong.

  9. Ouch, number one is a low blow…

  10. Great list but come one! Jack of Hearts wasn’t that bad!!

  11. If they were the actual Avengers I would probably be reading it.

  12. Aww, Hank is my favorite Avenger.

  13. My only experience with Jack Of Hearts was during his last few stories, where Geoff Johns more or less Geoff Johnsed the character. I quite liked what I read of him.

  14. Clearly, I’m the only person who ever liked Starfox. Of course, that might be because he was on the Avengers when I first discovered the Marvel comics waaaaaaaay back in the mid-80s.

    • nope…what has two thumbs and has STARFOX on his fave Avengers list?

      Yup, this guy.

    • Starfox is great! You’re right. First off, he’s got a great family. His brother is Thanos and he uplinks easily into the whole Marvel Cosmic-verse. Second, he is anti-macho, a great counterweight to the Wolverines on the team. Third, he’s not afraid to use his suggestion power to get ladies in his bed…and I’ve always figured he did the same with men. Let’s see a plot where Starfox suggests Steve Rogers into bed with him…and the ramifications the next morning when Agent 13 stumbles in.

      Agree with suggestions that Gilgamesh and Triathlon belong on the list in Jack’s and Starfox’s place.

      I also thought Reed Richards was a horrible Avenger.

    • Yes! Let us celebrate that he is a serial date rapist!

    • No, he’s a SUPER serial date rapist.

  15. Once again, Gilgamesh is The Forgotten One.

  16. It’s funny: 5, 4 and 3 are three of my favorite Avengers characters, behind only Gilgamesh, Triathlon and Dr. Druid, and followed by the female Yellowjacket. Similarly, I have zero interest in reading an Avengers book about Captain America, Thor and Iron Man. I really like Z-list characters, which I suppose makes me a hipster comic-book fan: “My favorite Avenger? You’ve probably never heard of him, but I’m really more of an Astro City fan, anyway.”

    • You win the award for best comment so far!

      I agree wholeheartedly. Most of my favourite Avengers characters are either not currently on the team(s), or play minor roles.

      Cap, Thor and Iron Man are good in their way, but what I want to see is Black Knight, She-Hulk, Moondragon, Stingray, Swordsman and Tigra taking on universe shaking threats and implausibly beating them.

  17. Gotta agree here. Banner has had arguably a much more detrimental effect than Hank. True Dr Pym did make Ultron, but Bruce is responsible for the Abomination, the leader, the Red Hulk (still a terrible idea) and countless other villains, monsters and henchmen.

    I also liked Slotts direction with Mighty Avengers. The whole Sorcerer/Scientist/Engineer Supreme idea was full of promise and Hank was just begining to show some real leadership. I haven’t read anything with him in of late, but he definitely doesn’t deserver to be on this list with an intergalactic rapi– I mean Starfox.

  18. No Mantis? Really??? People love Mantis?

    And I’m sorry, but Hank Pym is one of the best Avengers because he’s one of the most human and flawed. They threw Hawkeye’s flaws in your face, but that was just to make him more endearing. Hank has baggage that he’s always trying to redeem.

    And I agree. He’s eventually gotta go Ultimate Reed/Onslaught on everyone.

    • As much as I would love to see that, the problem is he never could offer a realistic fight.

      Its well established that, although beyond intelligent by our standards, he is just not in the same league as Tony or Reed.

    • I agree that Mantis deserves a spot on this list. She is to the Avengers what Faith or “the Fat Lady” was to Joe Kelly’s JLA run; ramming down the character’s throat that a character is “amazing” or “inspiring” doesn’t make it so.

      For those not aware, Faith’s power is that she can “inspire confidence in other people”. If this sounds like a cheap and convenient Maguffin employed by Kelly to explain why his new pet character deserves a spot on the JLA, that’s because it is.

  19. Doesn’t Conor or Ron have like a guy’s crush on Jack of Hearts? I never even knew about the guy until he was killed in “Disassembled”.

    What about Tigra? What is her superpower other than sluttiness?

    • Not me.

    • Tigra has enhanced speed, strength, agility, reflexes, senses, etc. and she has claws. She is a were-cat person, so you know she has the same stuff going for her as like Wolfsbane or Feral or Wild Child or any of the million other “half-animal” people. Tigra does seem to be the lamest of the bunch by far though.

  20. Henry pym wtf thats wrong. Rage, deathcry ,firebird, mantis, swordsman. But not pyn the mans,founder.

  21. What makes Hank Pym such a great character is what makes him such a terrible Avenger. He’s easily the most flawed character on the team and despite his best intentions, he’s almost always showed his true colors as a “bad person” whenever things have gotten rough, but the fact that he has always picked himself back up and confronted his mistakes head-on has made him into a really inspiring character over the years.

    I had forgotten about Living Lightning completely. An academic with electrical powers, now who does that remind you of? Dann and Roy Thomas might as well have called him ‘Totally Not Black Lightning’.

  22. So is number 5 still living la vida lightning?

    ba-dum-DUM-crash!

  23. I was never into Avengers at all until the last 5 years or so. And I think I fell off of everything but Academy and Secret about two years ago when the Heroic Age was new. I wasn’t around for most of these guys. Do the Academy students and the Initiative members even count as Avengers?

  24. I would definitely have stuck Rage in there…

    Oh, and Doctor Druid’s girlfriend (Merina?) who ended up transforming into a giant sea serpent and nearly killing the entire team…

    But I also think that when written well, Dr Pym is awesome!

  25. Ha, I love when that wife beating, insecure wreck, Pym, gets the bashing he deserves! His costume should be a white tank top.

    I bet his growth serum never worked on a certain part of his anatomy. That would explain a lot.

  26. I might be quite angry at that no. 1 if I didn’t think it was a cheap stunt to get lots of comments.

  27. Pym tops the best of the worst list.

    Another personal best for ol’ Hank.

    Yes!

    P.S. I smell mini-series. Worst Avengers is one title they haven’t tried yet.

  28. Pym at #1 is bollocks.

  29. Wolverine should be #1, but that’s just the cantankerous ex-Avengers fan in-me talking.

  30. How has nobody mentioned the Sentry?

  31. Pym at #1 is nonsense, as is the whole spousal abuser thing. It was 30 years ago, he was not right mentally, and the story itself wasn’t that strong, but to keep referring to that one point which took place over two issues is lame. Despite the recent re-visiting of Stark’s alcohol problems, does anyone say “That drunk Iron Man”?. Looked like a cheap shot at Pym for no reason.

  32. Hank Pym is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Marvel universe.

  33. Of recent years, protector or marvel boy or what ever the hell his name is. what a waste.

  34. The Scienctist Supreme is by far the best Avenger out there. Once they sidelined him to Avengers Academy I dropped all the books. F Reed Richards, Pym is the smartest man in the MU.

  35. Also where is the Sandman?

  36. I think the difference is that, while Bruce Banner did all those things, he wasn’t in control whereas hank knew exactly what he was doing.

  37. great list!

    I think Pym would make a great villain, I only really liked him during the Avengers Forever series. Then again I haven’t read Avengers in 5 or 6 years so maybe he’s cool again?

  38. Black Panther was the worst Avenger ever. I am ONLY talking about his role with the Avengers back in the 70s. As Christopher Priest proved in the 90s/2000s, Black panther is an AWESOME character when written correctly. But back in the 70s, Black panther’s main job was to point at the giant monster and say “Look! A giant monster!” and then Thor would hit it with his hammer. He was USELESS on that team. But that’s how he was written back then.

    Here is how forgettable Black Panther was back in the day. They did a story line where Cap decided that everyone who was ever an Avenger would be considered an active Avenger and would be on-call if needed. They had this huge meeting at Hydro Base where every Avenger ever gathered. Afterwards, they all left, except for what became the current line-up of the Avengers (I’m doing this off of memory, but I believe the line-up was Cap, Thor, Gilgamesh, Black Panther, She-Hulk and Quasar.) anyway, Hydro Base gets invaded by the Lava Men, there’s this whole battle and the Avengers end up going underwater to look for the culprit…..and halfway through the story, Black panther just vanished. He never left, he was never mentioned…..he was so forgettable, the WRITER FORGOT HE WAS IN THE STORY.

    THAT is a bad Avenger.

  39. I’m not sure what’s so bad about Living Lightning. A sparse record of past activities only means the character hasn’t been given a fair chance. All it would take is one good writer to give him a decent story. And considering how many Avengers are straight white dudes, I’m really hesitant to just throw away a gay Latino character.

  40. Henry Pym kicks ass in the Avengers cartoon. Proof that he can be done right.

  41. D-Man will always have a special place in my heart thanks to Bendis.

  42. I always thought Living Lightning had a real lameness about him. He was just bland and uninspired. All the other guys on the list have something to like about them, yes, even D-Man. He’s so lame he’s cool. LL is just lame.

    Didn’t know he was gay until I read these comments. Don’t care. He could be bi or a tranny or a necrophiliac for all I care – still lame. Black Vulcan is still way cooler!

  43. I can’t see how Wolverine doesn’t make this list if Hank Pym is on it? A murderous alcoholic who has semi-inappropriate relationships with under-age women whom he later dumps for even younger proteges all while trying to steal another man’s romantic interest would make for a terrible teammate. Wolvie’s the worst!

    For Shame. Jack of Hearts died for Wanda’s Sins!

    But for serious…. how this isn’t 5 entries for the Sentry, I’ll never know.

  44. Jack of hearts is one of my favorite characters. He has been underused, and then was martyred later on, that and the limited miniseries that I read one time ago that I can’t remember, either who wrote or who drew it. That’s sad, because I really enjoy it.

  45. You are crazy! Pym is a complex character with lots of regret and he is one of the reasons I always choose Marvel over DC (if I have to choose one over the other). He may be bad news for the Avengers themselves, but for readers he is an excellent addition to the team.

  46. I’m just glad my boy Thunderstrike didn’t make this list.

  47. I didn’t know opinions could be wrong until I saw who you picked for number 1

  48. There were certainly some losers on the Avenger teams over the decades and I’ll agree with a number of your choices. Personally, I thought Jack of Hearts was a character with a lot of potential and he has had some good moments. Enjoyed his appearances in the last Marvel Zombie series.

    Henry Pym was badly used by several writers and I feel that it would only take one really good writer to turn him back into a decent character. In a way he’s Marvel’s Ray Palmer and Ray has had his run of bad luck, but is still well respected by his peers.

  49. What would happen if Starfox and Spider-woman met at party?

  50. Hank Pym is classic! I love that he’s a very flawed character, Ant-Man/Giant Man, Yellow jacket into calling himself the Wasp in memory of his dead wife and borderline obsessive in not letting go at the same time made for good dynamic in his character. Hell I thought he was the best part of Avengers Initiative and the Mighty Avengers run they should’ve kept on with and dropped New Avengers cause they’re not new anymore, especially when everyone is back. Mistakes aside, he’s classic.

  51. C’mon…..wheres all the YellowJacket Love? Cant believe Hank made the list and Triathlon did’nt!!

  52. 1) Hank Pym is fraking awesome and should not on this list
    2) Did you not read Geoff John’s Avenger’s run? That made Jack of Hearts a memorable character imo. The Swordsman should have been on this list besides Jack of Hearts or Ant-Man.

  53. No Dr. Druid?!? Seriously!?!

  54. I have just watched the Black Panther and his creation. All I have to say is oh my f’n god. This has to be THE WORST idea ever. Black super hero, and what a shocker, he comes from the jungle. Gay gay gay and not happy he anything to do with the Avengers. Need to make this stupid ass character disappear for good !!!