84 Avengers Members Ranked From Worst To Best Some of the greatest superheroes of all time have heeded the call of "Avengers Assemble!" Also, a lot of randos. by ,
So how do you get to be the worst Avenger? Dr. Druid — Dr. Anthony Ludgate Druid — was a psychiatrist (an occupation largely centered around sitting and talking), who got trained by an ancient mystic to be the backup sorcerer if anything happened to the more popular Doctor Strange. Besides being a literal superhero understudy, he also got mind-controlled by a villain named "Terminatrix," left the team in disgrace, joined another team, got mind-controlled again, faked his own death, betrayed at least one more team, and then bravely got killed for real.
Jack of Hearts
Jack of Hearts is a half-alien whose scientist father exposed him to experimental "zero fluid," giving him the power to shoot energy blasts. He chose a playing-card-themed identity for unclear reasons and hung out in space for a while, before joining the Avengers during an emergency hiring crisis, and eventually blew himself up in space — along with a child murderer he grabbed on the way. Classic super heroics.
This dude is a disgraced Olypmic athlete who got his powers from a weird cult that subsequently pushed the Avengers to bring him on as a diversity hire as part of a secret plot to infiltrate the team. Very questionable. He later becomes the 3-D Man, maybe because he didn't feel dorky
Justice, aka Vance Astrovik, is about as generic as superheroes get. He's like some off-brand toy in a dollar store, and while he's not particularly offensive, he is depressingly bland.
The Forgotten One
Rule of thumb when choosing your superhero name — don't make the joke that easy for future compilers of definitive rankings. The Forgotten One is Gilgamesh — you know, from the epic poem! From high school! Marvel's Gilgamesh is from Jack Kirby's race of Eternals, early godlike heroes created by aliens during prehistory. Gilgamesh joined the Avengers during another low-membership era, wore a bull's head over his regular head, and was eventually killed by a villain named "Neut."
Sersi is another Eternal, so she's older than dirt, and palled around with the Avengers for a while before Captain America extended an official membership offer. Also, they already knew each other from when Cap traveled back to Ancient Mesopotamia. She was the inspiration for the character of the same name in Homer's Odyssey (older than dirt) and she can fly, manipulate minds, manipulate matter, and — sure, why not — is immortal.
We had to look this guy up. Blue Marvel debuted in 2008 as one of Marvel's occasional Superman analogs (see The Sentry higher on the list — but not that much higher). He seems like a pretty cool guy; a Korean War veteran (older superheroes are pretty rare!) who became a living antimatter reactor, got Superman-ish powers, hung out with JFK, fought racial injustice, and eventually teamed up with Luke Cage's Mighty Avengers team. So, at least now we know who he is — and so do you!
Ava Ayala is the fifth hero to don the name and costume of White Tiger, an originally male hero from the 1970s, and a title passed on to both male and female characters — although notably always nonwhite. The current White Tiger derives increased strength and agility from magical tiger amulets she inherited from her brother, the original White Tiger. She's also a pretty big character on the
Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.
The Original Human Torch
This isn't Johnny Storm, the famous Human Torch from the Fantastic Four. Oh, no. This is the original android Human Torch who debuted in 1939 and was a member of the Invaders with Captain America and Namor in World War II. This is the Human Torch that no one really cares about, and has "human" in his name despite being a robot.
Mantis is a half-Vietnamese martial artist who was basically the resident flirty bombshell character in mid-'70s Avengers comics. She has a weird vocal tic where she constantly refers to herself as "this one," and left the team to live out a Kree prophecy that she would mate and give birth to a celestial messiah.
We're doing Quasar a solid by using a more recent drawing of him – when he was actually an Avenger, he looked like a total dweeb. But hey, respect is due for him not trying to cover up his overwhelming dweebiness at the time.
Victor Alvarez is Luke Cage's successor as Power Man, and mostly exists in Cage's shadow. He's cool, but hasn't done a lot to distinguish himself just yet.
U.S.Agent was created to basically be the opposite of Captain America – patriotic, but a total douchebag. He actually was Captain America for a while, but eventually reverted to just being a violent Cap knockoff.
Speaking of dickish alternate versions of beloved characters, the Red Hulk is the gamma-irradiated version of Hulk's nemesis General Thunderbolt Ross. Unlike most versions of the Hulk, Ross was able to keep his tactical brilliance whenever he turned into a monster.
Ares joined the Avengers during the Brian Michael Bendis era, and was basically a maniacal, hyperviolent Thor analog at a time when the real Thor was unavailable.
Nick Fury Jr.
The mixed-race son of the original Nick Fury has mostly replaced his dad as one of the top agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but still seems like a pale imitation of the version of Nick Fury from the Ultimate Universe, or the one played by Samuel L. Jackson in the Marvel movies.
Firestar is best known to Gen Xers as one of the three stars of the
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the early '80s, but is kind of an also-ran in comics. She's got some nostalgic charm, but she's mostly quite generic.
Swordsman is a French-ish, debonair Errol Flynn-type who is best known as the mentor of Hawkeye — a more famous purple Avenger with a better spot on this list. He's a nonpowered weapons expert (like Hawkeye) who has been both a hero and villain (like Hawkeye) and originally joined the Avengers as a double agent sent to kill them, had a change of heart, joined the team in full, and eventually settled into the usual Avengers retirement plan of getting killed.
Black Knight is a character built upon a strange contradiction – he's all about continuing a legacy from medieval England, but is actually an American. He's not a bad character, per se, but is one of only a handful of Marvel heroes dating back to the '60s to never attain any kind of iconic status.
Starfox is Thanos' brother (sure) and has the power to make you horny for him (OK). This is everything you need to know about Starfox.
Tigra is a furry sex-symbol (probably?) who rarely wears anything but a bikini in order to show off her stripes and, um, tail. An occasional but memorable Avenger, Tigra was a normal woman who got transformed into the mythic defender of an ancient race of cat people (we think). She's another strong, fast, acrobatic character with retractable claws. Most recently she got pregnant for two months and gave birth to a kitten-baby because comics/cats.
Captain Universe is a near-omnipotent being that has taken on many host bodies. The most recent host, Tamara Devoux, became a member of Jonathan Hickman's Avengers, but her role has mostly been limited to serving as a deus ex machina and someone who says totally inscrutable stuff all the time. Also, like most omnipotent cosmic forces, she loves pie.
Night Mask is another mysterious cosmic character from Jonathan Hickman's Avengers. He mainly serves as a sidekick to Star Brand, who also has roots in the New Universe, but mostly says a lot of ominous, cryptic exposition. For some reason he does not ever wear a mask.
Sharon Carter is first and foremost an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but has been a valuable member of the Avengers' secret black ops squad in recent years. She's also Captain America's girlfriend!
Sunfire has somehow spent more time as a member of the Avengers than he ever did as an X-Man. He's an unrepentant asshole and deeply antisocial, but was able to overcome this to become a key member of the Avengers' Unity Squad.
OK, let's do this one super quick. Sometimes referred to as the first "Ultimate" character (existing outside Marvel's 1960s to present continuity in their rebooted Ultimate Unvierse) this rogue alien teen was folded into the primary Marvel universe, where he begrudgingly shed his desire to conquer Earth and joined the grown-up Avengers under the name Protector, then a team of teen Avengers. He is a hunky boy with white hair who loves to dance and shoot lasers.
Valkyrie is also known as Brunhilde/Brynhildr, the Asgardian leader of the Valkyrior who usher dead viking warriors into the realm of Valhalla — and because this is comic books — also don human identities and fight crime on Earth. She knows Thor! They're, like, basically from the same hometown. She has a big sword and rides a winged horse and sometimes assembles teams of female superheroes to beat up the guys just for the hell of it, so that's pretty dope.
Echo — previously under the guise of shared superhero secret identity Ronin — is both Native American and deaf, so that's cool. The mysterious faceless and gender-ambiguous Ronin identity has been used multiple times to conceal a surprise team member, but Echo was the first (after teaser images and fan speculation spilled the beans on the original intent to have the mask conceal Daredevil). Echo has "photographic reflexes," meaning she can copy the fighting techniques of others (get it? Echo?) and is also a ballerina and concert pianist, etc., etc., comics.
When Abyss was introduced at the start of Jonathan Hickman's
Avengers run, she seemed like a straight-up villain, but has shifted into a more ambiguous role as a member of the team. She isn't as developed as she could be, but has a great creepy vibe.
Ex Nihilo also seemed like a villain at the start of Hickman's run, but that was a great bait and switch. He looks kinda satanic, but is in fact a force for life and creation in the universe.
Eden Fesi is often played as a handy plot device – he can teleport himself and others across time and space – but when he's allowed a character moment here and there, he's a charming presence among his fellow noobs in Hickman's Avengers.
A sexy robot of some kind, Jocasta is what happened when Ultron (the evil robot voiced by James Spader from the commercials) tried to build himself a girlfriend. He named her after the mother of Oedipus, which seems unhealthy even for a killer computer network, but then she fell in love with The Vision (a good robot) and spent the rest of her Avengers tenure exploding and unexploding.
YES SQUIRREL GIRL. We're not even 100% sure she's an official Avenger. We don't care. Wait, yes we do. A lot. About Squirrel Girl. Doreen Green is a mutant with squirrel-like appearance and abilities, including prehensile tail, and the ability to command squirrels — first and foremost, her sidekick "Monkey Joe." She defeated Doctor Doom with squirrels in her first appearance, has an unexplored past romance with Wolverine, and was briefly the Avengers' official nanny. SQUIRREL GIRL.
Captain Britain has only popped up in the Avengers now and then over the years, but has always been a welcome presence, both as a powerhouse and as a character with strong ties to the multiverse.
Venom (Flash Thompson)
Remember Spider-Man's bully, Flash Thompson? He went to Iraq. Yeah. Then he lost both his legs and succumbed to alcoholism. Yeah. Anyhoozle, he got bonded to the Venom symbiote in the character's relaunch as a militaristic anti-hero and it gave him new Venom legs and also Venom guns, and very Venom-y anger issues. Because his clothes are an alien, he most recently spent some time with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure!
Hyperion has spent most of his existence in comics as a stand-in for Superman, but he's become a strong presence in Jonathan Hickman's run on Avengers. He grew out a beard, became a father figure to the super advanced "Zebra Kids" in the Savage Land, and is now best bros with Thor. A huge improvement.
Moon Knight is "Marvel's Batman" and because Marvel is crazy, so is Moon Knight. A highly trained mercenary, Marc Spector died and was resurrected by an ancient Egyptian god, unless he imagined it (he also has multiple personality disorder) or, as was most recently suggested, is actually the host to an interdimensional entity. He has a little airplane shaped like the moon and throws moon-a-rangs and yeah. Sometimes he pretends to be a cab driver.
If this was a ranking of Marvel superheroes in general, Storm would almost certainly be in the top 10. But she only served in the Avengers for a few issues in the Bendis era, and didn't contribute that much. Still, she's
Storm, so she's still ahead of a lot of characters.
Star Brand is Jonathan Hickman's spin on an old New Universe character, and is basically like a skinny outsider kid like Peter Parker who is granted the incredible power and responsibility of becoming the Earth's sentient defense mechanism. He's extremely powerful, but has the perspective of a college kid who's in way over his head, but excited to be doing cool cosmic superhero stuff.
Nick Fury's right-hand woman. You know Maria Hill — she was in the movie! She was played by the woman from that show! She's more by-the-book than Nick Fury, and has taken over for him a number of times as the government's top superhero-wrangler. She frequently butts heads with Iron Man, Captain America, the X-Men, and basically anyone who gets out of line and needs to get sent to Marvel's Principal's Office. She lives in a fourth-floor walk-up and cuts her own hair.
Susan Richards may be crucial to the Fantastic Four, but she's mostly a footnote in the history of the Avengers. Still, she gets some of the best and most surprising moments in the later issues of Hickman's Avengers.
Daredevil was an Avenger? Daredevil was an Avenger! The Man Without Fear and/or Blind Lawyer From Hell's Kitchen was one of the heavy hitters who came in during the two-thousands to help make the book a flagship title. An actual loner (we're looking at you, Wolverine), Daredevil's reaction to joining any club that would have him as a member: "I must be out of my mind."
Havok is a longtime X-Man who joined the Avengers as the co-leader of the Unity Squad, a mash-up of X-Men and Avengers characters devoted to pursuing the dream of the late Charles Xavier. Havok can be a bit dull, but he's really stepped up as an Avenger, and his romance with Wasp has been a good development for both characters.
Sentry's introduction to the Marvel Universe was kinda gimmicky — he's supposed to be a secret lost character dating back to the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby days — but he became an interesting wild card during Brian Michael Bendis' run on the franchise. Basically, he's Superman with severe schizophrenia, and everyone has to live in fear of him losing control of his immense power.
Rogue is an X-Man to the core, even as a member of the Avengers Unity Squad, where she fights alongside Captain America and Thor for Charles Xavier's dream of the peaceful coexistence of humans and mutants. She fits into the Avengers well in part because she's a bit of an outsider — she is a great contrast to old school Avengers characters like Scarlet Witch and Wasp.
Amadeus Cho is a young Korean-American dude who is either the seventh or eighth smartest person in the Marvel Universe, depending on who you ask. It's weird that this is actually ranked, but Cho is a really cool guy and contrasts nicely with other super-genius characters like Reed Richards, Hank Pym, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner.
Shang Chi is basically Marvel's version of Bruce Lee, and it's awesome to have Bruce Lee as a member of the Avengers. Now that he's gained the ability to self-replicate, he's a one-man kung fu army.
Smasher is the best of the characters Jonathan Hickman created for the Avengers – she's an unpretentious farm girl who became a Shi'ar superguardian by sheer dumb luck. Her romance with Cannonball has largely played out off-panel, but every time it comes up it's a refreshing dose of humanity in Hickman's sprawling space opera storyline.
Ant-Man (Scott Lang)
Let's make this as painless as possible. Scott Lang is the second Ant Man — an all-around good dude who turned to burglary to support his family. He is going to be played by Paul Rudd in the movie. He can shrink down real small while still maintaining the strength of a regular-size person, and boss ants around with his hat, but his main superpower is having way less baggage than the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym.
Cannonball is best known as a member of the X-Men, New Mutants, and X-Force, but has become a great addition to the Avengers alongside his best friend, Sunspot. He's just a really good bro, and his relationship with Smasher is very sweet.
Monica Rambeau, aka the second hero to use the name Captain Marvel, aka Photon, Pulsar, and sometimes (currently?) Spectrum, Monica was a New Orleans police officer who gained the ability to transform into and project any kind of energy. The first African-American woman to join the team and — more excitingly — to briefly lead it, Monica is secretly way more fun as the leader of Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E., a different cult hit Marvel comic where she dropped the codename altogether and fought a giant gorilla dressed as Wolverine. Good times.
Think of him as Kung-Fu Batman. As a boy, Danny Rand's billionaire father led his family on a basically suicidal search for a fabled lost city in the Himalayas, with only Danny surviving. Danny is rescued by the citizens of the mystical city, trained in martial arts, and graduates from kung-fu school by punching his hands into the heart of a dragon, imbuing them with "The Iron Fist," a Chi-focusing technique that lets him punch real hard. He's also a wealthy playboy, in case the Avengers need an extra.
Hercules is Hercules! You know, from Hercules! He's from Mount Olympus and his father is Zeus! He's Hercules, but on the Avengers! That's not weird! It's certainly no weirder than Thor! Thor is in the movie and everyone is basically fine with it! Don't act like it's weird that the Avengers are friends with Hercules.
Black Bolt is a difficult character to have in a group dynamic — the sound of his voice is so destructive that he does not speak — but he's become a valuable addition to the Avengers in recent years, where his immense power and regal presence have added to the gravitas of Jonathan Hickman's
Winter Soldier (as Captain America)
You guys know this story, right? Captain America's gee-gosh World War II sidekick survived and became the brainwashed, cyborg soldier known as the Winter Soldier. Sixty years of Soviet assassinations ensued, followed by a bromance cut too short by Cap's death. Bucky donned a shiny black-armband-style tribute costume and became a version of Cap that was way more comfortable with shooting people. Cap comes back, bromance resumes, everyone is happy.
James Rhodes is a less douchey Iron Man with a shoulder-mounted Gatling gun. He's a highly trained lieutenant in the Marine Corps, which sounds a little more responsible than being a drunk inventor, and replaced Iron Man on multiple occasions before getting his own no-nonsense armor with approximately 3,000% more heavy artillery glommed onto it.
It's weird how similar the romantic pairings of Hawkeye and Mockingbird are to DC's monochromatic archer Green Arrow and their bird-themed martial artist Black Canary — so let's not talk about it! Mockingbird aka Bobbi Morse is a hand-to-hand combat expert and super spy who wears goggles and fights with batons. She's Hawkeye's ex-wife, which is fun, and currently portrayed by Adrianne Palicki, more or less sans codename, on
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
This is a tricky one but it's worth it. In 2001, Jessica Jones was introduced as a foul-mouthed private eye who readers were informed was a former superhero who had actually been living in the Marvel universe all this time — she had a crush on Peter Parker in high school! Jessica was so bad at being a superhero (especially flying) that she went more or less civilian until a romance with Luke Cage brought her back into the Avengers family. She's currently balancing her peripheral role in the world of superheroics with raising their adorable baby. Oh and she's getting her own Netflix show starring Krysten Ritter.
Sunspot was a relatively obscure X-Men character for many years until Jonathan Hickman brought him into the Avengers and slowly built him up into a surprisingly effective leader. He and his best friend Cannonball have been set up as the Captain America and Iron Man of the next generation of Avengers, with Sunspot naturally falling into Iron Man's playboy billionaire role.
Reed Richards is most iconic as the leader of the Fantastic Four, but he's had a crucial role in Jonathan Hickman's New Avengers, where his vast intellect has been a major resource in that team's attempts to stave off the destruction of the multiverse.
Doctor Strange wasn't in the Avengers for a loooooong time, which is strange given that he's an iconic Marvel character and his skills as the Sorcerer Supreme are very useful to Earth's mightiest heroes. He's become an important character over recent years, especially as part of the "Illuminati" group of Avengers in Jonathan Hickman's run.
Wonder Man is one of those old school Avengers that never really broke out. Actually, he "died" in the issue he first appeared in. He has Superman-style strength, flight, and invulnerability, and an "ion-based" body that also lets him shoot (and sometimes turn into) energy. Oh, he's hopeless in love with the Scarlet Witch, and he's a famous movie star, so no secret identity. He is BFFs with Beast and it's adorable. Aaaaannnnnd he currently lives inside Rogue's head, but don't ask.
Hey look, Thing was an Avenger! He was actually an Avenger kind of a lot — Ben Grimm got recruited to the Hawkeye-led West Coast team in the 1980s and Luke Cage's Avengers team in the modern era (this one had Spider-Man and Wolverine on it too; it was nuts). Think of the FF as Ben's family and the Avengers as his work friends. Oh, and poker buddies.
Namor is the great wild card of the Marvel Universe — you just never know when he's going to play the hero or the antagonist, or some fascinating mix of the two. He's been a member of a few Avengers lineups, but he's at his best in Hickman's
New Avengers, where he must stand aside his sworn enemy, the Black Panther.
Speaking of bromances, Falcon is Captain America's most enduring non-Bucky partner and mainstream comics' first African-American superhero (Black Panther is from a country in Africa that they decided to just make up). If you've only seen Falcon in the movie, here's some cool stuff they left out: He has a telepathic link with his pet ACTUAL falcon. He can see through the eyes of nearby birds. Oh and, like Bucky, he took on the mantle of Captain America. Yeah, Falcon is great.
Like her cousin, He-Hulk, She-Hulk has been an on-again, off-again Avenger more or less since her introduction, and is also said to be the last character created by Stan Lee during his original tenure at Marvel. As an Avenger, Shulkie had all kinds of heroic and comedic adventures, but unfortunately spent her last day as an Avenger hypnotized by The Scarlet Witch and shredding The Vision in half with her hands. They're cool now.
There was a taboo about Spider-Man ever going the Avengers at Marvel for decades, but once he finally joined as a full-time member during Brian Michael Bendis' run on
New Avengers, he fit in like he was meant to be there all along. These days it seems absurd that Marvel's most iconic superhero wouldn't be an Avenger.
Wolverine also was another character who wasn't supposed to be an Avenger, but finally joined up in the Bendis era. He'll always be best known as a key member of the X-Men, but he's become a mainstay of the Avengers over the past decade and it totally works.
We mean the Jessica Drew Spider-Woman — the red and black one. A fairly recent addition to the Avengers, and indeed to the mainstream Marvel spotlight, Jessica Drew's backstory is hopelessly mired in comic book nonsense, but she's a super spy with spider powers, including little electric zaps and pheromones that sexually attract human men — just like spiders have!
Quicksilver is an odd and abrasive character — he's basically an ultra-snobby Eurotrash guy who is uncomfortably close to his twin sister, the Scarlet Witch — but sometimes you need an absolute turbodouche to be a part of a group dynamic.
Hank Pym, aka Yellowjacket aka Ant-Man aka Giant Man, is one of the founding members of the Avengers, and has long been an essential member of the franchise. He's become a very complicated and not entirely likable character over the years, mostly thanks to his often being portrayed as a deeply insecure and volatile genius, and that one story where he beat his wife, the Wasp. To Marvel's credit, that aspect of his character has never been swept under the rug, and he's been allowed to grow into a complex and very flawed hero.
The Beast has the distinction of being a crucial member of both the X-Men and the Avengers, and fitting in seamlessly with both groups of characters. He's a lot more developed in the X-Men since he's spent more time in them over the years, but he's a delightful presence in Avengers comics, especially when he's hanging with his good pal Wonder Man.
OK so — The Vision is an android built by Ultron to — nope, nope, nope never mind. The Vision is the Avenger's colorful token robot. He has a solemn Mr. Spock thing going on, and a pretty cool power where he can affect his density to be ethereal enough to pass through walls or diamond-hard enough to be indestructible. If you screw with him he'll reach into your chest and solidify. Despite being an android, he has twin babies with Scarlet Witch who turned out to be mental constructs — wait, haha, nope, nope, almost got me, but nope. Vision is in the new movie.
Wasp may be the most underrated major member of the Avengers — she's been a mainstay since the very beginning, and practically embodies the optimistic, moralistic spirit of the group. Her socialite/fashion designer background adds a touch of class to the team, and her on and off romance with Hank Pym is one of the most complex relationships in superhero comics.
It's Hulk! A founding member of the Avengers during their first happenstance team-up against Loki, Hulk left almost immediately due to the workplace politics of being a literal monster. Hulk is strongest one there is and the angrier Hulk get, the stronger Hulk get. Hulk has been an Avengers enemy more often than he's been an ally, and sometimes they shoot him into space. As the (non-Loki) break-out character of the movies, expect his Avengers membership to remain full time for the foreseeable future.
The fighter pilot that learned to fly. Captain Marvel first appeared as the Air Force's Carol Danvers before getting powers in an explosion of alien technology and becoming — and sorry for this — Ms. Marvel in the '70s. After getting supercharged and calling herself Binary for a while, she officially took on the mantle of Captain Marvel just a couple years ago in a fiercely popular reboot that catapulted her to the Avengers top-tier. Captain Marvel is now poised to be Marvel's first female-led superhero film, taking off in 2018.
Another character borne of good intentions that needed a little clean-up to become their current incarnation as Avengers superstar. A juvenile delinquent in Harlem, Carl Lucas was framed for a crime he didn't commit and volunteers for a process that gives him super-strength and unbreakable skin. As "Power Man" he and his bestie Iron Fist ran a business as "heroes for hire," before noble intentions (and writer reboots) made him the perennial Avengers leader he is today, and (mostly) discarded his metal tiara and catchphrase: "Sweet Christmas."
Stop laughing. Hawkeye is an uncannily gifted archer, acrobat, and martial artist, who uses an arsenal of trick arrows and a crash course in S.H.I.E.L.D. training to be the rough around the edge living weapon who holds his own next to gods and monsters. Also, you need to be tough to wear that much purple. Hawkguy has led multiple Avengers teams and also, briefly, was called Goliath and could get real big, but that was just a phase.
T'Challa, the most famous hero to bear the ceremonial mantle of Black Panther, is king and protector of the technologically advanced (fictional) African kingdom of Wakanda. He's also the first black superhero in mainstream American comics, and spent his first appearance handing the Fantastic Four their asses as a test to see if they were worthy enough to help him, and mentions as an aside that he's the richest man in the world. He's an Avenger's mainstay, and basically Batman if Batman was a @&$#ing king. No wonder Chadwick Boseman is bringing him to the screen in 2017 (maybe sooner).
Scarlet Witch started off as an X-Men villain in the early '60s, but has evolved into one of the best and most iconic members of the Avengers. Her reality-warping powers have made her one of the most powerful and dangerous members of the team, and her loose grip on reality has led to disastrous consequences a few times over. She's a glorious mess, especially when it comes to her relationships — her ex-husband is the android Vision, she has a deeply unhealthy thing going on with Wonder Man, her father is Magneto, and she's alarmingly close to her twin brother, Quicksilver. Scarlet Witch is an unpredictable character, but you can always count on her to make the Avengers more interesting.
Thor may be the God of Thunder and absurdly powerful, but that's not the only reason he's been a crucial member of the Avengers since day one. He's friendly yet authoritative, and has a way of making everyone around him feel welcome and worthy of his company. If Iron Man is the brain behind the Avengers, Thor is the heart.
If James Bond settled down and married one of his femme fatales, and they were also incredibly psychologically abusive parents, you might get Marvel's redheaded Russian-ish super spy. Born in the 1920s (YEAH.) Natasha Romanova is a Soviet-trained killer (in the comics, she studied under the Winter Soldier!). She first came to America to seduce and/or kill and/or team up with basically every Marvel hero before becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. freelancer and the deadliest Avenger (sorry, Wolverine).
It just isn't the Avengers without Tony Stark. He's an essential part of the team dynamic along with Captain America and Thor, but he brings a complexity and moral ambiguity to the franchise that drives many of the all-time best Avengers stories. He's a wish-fulfillment character in that he's an ultra-rich genius playboy, but it's his flaws — his troubles with alcohol, his arrogance, his willingness to make unilateral decisions — that make him so interesting and relatable.
Captain America wasn't a founding member of the Avengers, but it's almost impossible to imagine the Avengers without him. He's the one true leader of the group, and brings out the best in all his comrades whether they're as powerful as gods or just normal people with the will to be heroes. He's profoundly decent, delightfully square, and nearly unbeatable in combat.
Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!