The Avengers are better known as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. After an incident with Loki caused some powerful superheroes to form together, the organization known as the Avengers has increased exponentially. In each incarnation of the Marvel Universe, there’s always a team to stop the greatest villains of all time. Usually led by the victorious Captain America, they have since become a well-oiled machine that is almost always at the top of its game.
In television shows and movies, the Avengers are portrayed as a militaristic team that officially operates in the world when superpowered individuals come. It takes a lot of work and expertise in order to be able to become a member of the team. It’s a grueling process and one that many young and upcoming heroes are ready for.
That said, many of these upcoming heroes look up to the Avengers, and so does the general public. While many members of the team are amazingly heroic, the horrible reality is that there are some who are not. As a matter of fact, they are the complete opposite of decent people, and we would even go as far to say that they are big jerks.
There are plenty of moments in the comics, movies, and shows that support this idea (especially in Civil War). If you don’t believe us, read further to discover 15 Avengers who are actually huge jerks. This list will also include honorary Avengers, not necessarily just people who are active members of the team.
15. Iron Man
This entry comes as no surprise. Even for people that just watch the movies, they know that Tony Stark doesn’t exactly have the best character qualities of any superhero. Before he became Iron Man, he was heavily known as a womanizer and egotistical alcoholic. Now as an official Avenger, you’d think some of those qualities would change. Not quite. Tony Stark still has a massive ego and struggles with having too many drinks. While he does attempt to do the right thing (especially in the comics) his methods of going about aren’t always the best. In Civil War, he recruited villains to his team to bring down Captain America and the Secret Avengers. In Age of Ultron, he went behind the team’s back and accidentally created a powerful psycho death robot. In Original Sin, it was revealed that he was inadvertently responsible for Bruce Banner’s gamma accident that turned him into the Hulk. The list goes on and on, and it’s crazy that Stark still remains a member of the Avengers with a lot of weight over the decisions that get made. He also has one of the Infinity Stones, being a member of the Illuminati.
14. Professor X
This entry also comes as no surprise, seeing how the leader of the X-Men has done so many terrible things that we gave him his own article. Professor X is portrayed as a decent fellow in FOX’s version of the franchise, but the comics tell a completely different story. Because of his powers, Charles Xavier can often convince people to do what he wants, and he has manipulated many of his friends on multiple occasions. Because of his abilities, Xavier often takes matters into his own hands and becomes judge, jury, and executioner when deems it necessary. Furthermore, the very concept of the X-Men is a hint to how full of himself he really is. He wanted a superhero team that would be named after him, and then he sends a group of young mutants to fight his battles for him. It’s not often that Xavier gets out his mansion and fights alongside the X-Men. And for those of you lamenting about how he took Wolverine in, don’t get ahead of yourselves. Professor X didn’t take Logan in out of the goodness of his heart.
13. Ant-Man (Hank Pym)
What is it they say about abusing your wife once? All metaphors aside, Hank Pym will forever be labeled as a wife-beater and someone who doesn’t have all of his marbles together. Due to his excessive use of the Pym Particles, Hank’s brain chemistry has been severely altered, even to the point where he’s had to take up multiple superhero identities (where do you think the original Yellowjacket came from?). Unfortunately for Janet Van Dyne, Pym became pretty crazy and when she tried to confront him about it, he assaulted her. That’s not even the worst of crimes either. He created an AI unit that held a lot of his personality. This robot became autonomous and eventually turned evil to become the villainous Ultron (in the comics). Considering that Ultron is one of the biggest challenges the Avengers have faced, Hank doesn’t have a lot of excuses there. In regards to the Ant-Man film, it’s probably better that they used Scott Lang instead of Pym in the main role. Lang was always a bit more stable than his predecessor, and Marvel doesn’t want any insane characters in their MCU roster.
12. Nick Fury
While not technically an Avenger, Nick Fury is often shown working with the team, and even formed them in the MCU, so I believe he counts. That said, Tony Stark once said that, “He is THE spy. His secrets have secrets.” And boy, does Nick Fury hide a lot of things.
He and Professor X are very similar because they both share the desire of control. Frequently will Fury attempt to decide what’s best for the entire world without the regard of one or more factors. Even in the MCU, there were a lot of things that he hid from Captain America, and decisions that he made that were extremely questionable. In the movies, he created a set of powerful Helicarriers in order to prevent wars before they even started. As we know from Rogers, people die when wars are fought before they begin. In the Ultimate universe, Fury was an even bigger jerk to many the Marvel heroes, the biggest example being when he showed up with a number of agents to Peter Parker’s door. What many of his actions prove is that he is not only a jerk, but he is also an insufferable meddler. Which is worse? I don’t know, but a combination of the two is a special kind of frustrating.
We all know Quicksilver as the Marvel equivalent of the Flash, except his origins are much different. Quicksilver is one of the twin children of the supervillain Magneto, yet somehow he gained super speed as opposed to magnetic powers. Whatever the reasoning may be, Quicksilver has become a fairly loved member of the Avengers thanks to his phenomenal appearances in X-Men Days of Future Past and Apocalypse. In the comics, he was originally a villain to the Avengers, but it wasn’t long before he finally became an Avenger himself. That said, he has a lot of personality quirks to overcome before people start looking up to him. Quicksilver has a serious attitude and ego problem being the son of Magneto, and it shows. He often goes against Captain America’s orders in favor of his own direction, and he sometimes despises having to help save humans when “they shun mutants.” That philosophy is dangerously close to his father’s, and the rest of the team will probably need to keep an eye on him. He also improperly used Terrigen Mist (an object of the Inhumans) to turn people into mutants despite knowing that it made them go insane.
10. Black Widow
Black Widow wasn’t a well-known character until her inclusion in Iron Man 2. Because she wasn’t greatly present in the comics, a lot of the information we have of her comes from the MCU. Despite being an Avenger, she’s definitely a bit of a jerk. When she was originally created in the Black Widow program, it’s clear that she was a remorseless assassin of sorts. After she got in with SHIELD, you’d think that she would do a complete 180. Unfortunately for her, that’s not the case. Being one of the spies that worked for the organization, Widow kept a numerous amount of secrets and was like a miniature Nick Fury of sorts. During her appearance in The Avengers, it’s clear that she heavily lied to and manipulated Bruce Banner in order to get him to go on the Helicarrier, and it’s also clear that she has hidden agendas behind her actions. She has since gone down a much more righteous path after Captain America: Civil War, but there are still some trials she has yet to overcome. She might be an overall jerk, but it’s clear that she wants to change that facet of herself.
9. Mister Fantastic
Marvel’s First Family is like any other family- they have issues. In any group, there are roles that each person takes inherently, and for Reed Richards, he takes the role of the egotistical leader (that’s a pattern we see a lot in the MCU). Not only did he decide to name his team after himself and plaster his logo on all of the members, Reed’s intelligence often leads him to the same philosophies of Professor X and Nick Fury. When he sees a situation and perceives a way to fix it, he takes matters into his own hands, without the regard for other people or the world around him. Despite his issues, Mister Fantastic did manage to get married to fellow Fantastic Four member, Sue Storm (Invisible Woman). However, his inherent jerkiness eventually soured their marriage and they became estranged during the events of Civil War. Richards sided with Tony and Hank Pym, and together, they formed one of the most self-absorbed groups in Marvel history. He helped create the clone of Thor that killed one of Captain America’s comrades, and his wife could no longer tolerate who her husband had become. You don’t need a high IQ to see that you suck at being a husband.
In his most noteworthy incarnations, Deadpool is not an Avenger. He just kind of does his own thing and breaks the fourth the wall. It’s nothing more complicated than that. With the All-New All-Different relaunch, though, Wade Wilson’s story became a bit different. After being renowned as a worldwide celebrity, Deadpool actually ends up helping the Avengers when the villains start rushing in, and Captain America gives him an honorary membership card, making Wade an official Avenger now. I won’t sugarcoat this, Wade is a pretty big jerk. However, he’s not a jerk like Tony Stark or Reed Richards. Instead, he uses his individuality and spontaneity to his heart’s content and chooses to do as he pleases. This means that if he really doesn’t want to follow orders, he won’t. Mind you, he is still the Merc with a Mouth, meaning that he still kills people for the right price. Avenger or not, there are certain aspects of Wade Wilson that are never going to change. He may not be as insufferable as some of the other Avengers, but he’s far from innocent.
7. Jessica Jones
People now know her thanks to a show on Netflix and a guaranteed spot on The Defenders. People that know her also know that she’s about as far as you can get from a pure hero. Jessica Jones has had a rough life and there’s no denying that, but it doesn’t necessarily excuse a lot of the actions that she has committed, as well as her way of going about it. From her comic incarnation to her TV show, Jones also has a sailor’s mouth, and if you decide to cross her, she’ll call you every name from here to Timbuktu. She used to be an optimistic superhero, but after a run-in with Kilgrave rendered her emotionally scarred and afraid, she decided to become a private investigator. Jones isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, and while that’s something to be commended, she is not afraid to go the extra mile when dealing with the bad guys. Perhaps it’s a result of the mental and physical torture she was put through by Kilgrave, but she is arguably not Avenger material. Did I also mention that she snapped Kilgrave’s neck at the end of the first season without hesitation? He had it coming, but it says a lot about her character.
Wolverine isn’t the most morally upright guy to begin with, and he doesn’t try to be. Much like Jessica Jones, Logan has had a troubled and painful past that led to his transformation into Weapon X. It took a lot of work and rehabilitation from Professor X in order to set him straight once more, but the damage had already been done. Wolverine has a lot animalistic instincts thanks to his mutant powers, and when threatened, he can respond very forcefully. He isn’t a big fan of people either, and often lets others know it. He can be harsh, insensitive, and about as close to a villain as you can get while still bearing the title of an Avenger. He is cruel to people he doesn’t get along with and even steals girlfriends from people (and by people, I mean Cyclops). Often times, his animal-like motives make him a prime candidate to be tampered with, and it’s been done to him multiple times. Once his Weapon X form completely took over his mind, and he practically killed the entire Marvel Universe. Let’s look at the bright side, though, he isn’t worried about killing his adversaries.
5. The Incredible Hulk
Anybody that turns into a giant green rage monster clearly has issues, and that’s indefinitely true of Bruce Banner. One unfortunate accident, and he’s one of the strongest heroes in the Marvel Universe. While it’s certainly clear why he became one of the founding members of the Avengers, that doesn’t change his overall behavior. Many times, the Hulk persona can reflect onto Banner and he can lash out and get very aggressive when people call him out. While he’s definitely a much calmer soul in terms of the MCU, that doesn’t change his overall identity. His biggest problem is vengeance, and when somebody wrongs him, he has a very hard time letting it go. This was shown in the Original Sin storyline where he found out that Tony Stark somehow caused his gamma accident. He then reasoned to kill Stark for bringing this tragedy upon him. One could blame the radiation for altering Banner’s brain chemistry, but at the same time, that doesn’t make him any less of a jerk. In Old Man Logan, the Hulk had lived a very long time and became the leader of a vicious group known as the Hulk Gang. And he ate Wolverine.
4. Namor the Submariner
When it comes to jerks from the Avengers team and the Marvel Universe as a whole, there is no one more frustrating than Namor the Submariner. This character has been around a long time, but it didn’t take years for readers to figure out that there was something off about him. He constantly flip-flopped from being a hero who stands for what’s right to being a selfish narcissist who doesn’t care about collateral damage. He has been on teams other than the Avengers, but each time he chose to leave because he saw himself as better than most. Apparently the reason for his jerkiness is that he has to evenly spread his time between land and sea, but his greatest attempts don’t stop him from still being a horrible human being. It doesn’t just stop there either. Namor seeks to be a homewrecker, constantly flirting with Sue Storm even in front of her husband (granted, she’s not married to a great guy). Not only that, but when there was a terrible crisis where it required the decimation of many worlds in order to save Earth-616, Namor was very willing to pull the trigger.
Cyclops is a character that has been through a lot over the years. He often got the shaft in the X-Men movie franchise, and was a forgettable addition during his early years in the comics. That said, Marvel was eager to make a name for Scott Summers, and they did this by making him an ignorant jerk who has almost no integrity whatsoever. Despite being a member of both the X-Men and the Avengers, Cyclops is consistently on the fence regarding his beliefs on humanity. More recently, he’s been closer to the side of Magneto in that aspect. We all know him as the lover of Jean Grey, who was killed after she became the Dark Phoenix. Since then, he married someone else and had a child with her. However, after Jean returned from the grave (as most superheroes do), he left his wife and child to reignite the passion with his former lover. He wasn’t even faithful to Jean either, he has cheated on her with Emma Frost in the past. His greatest philosophy in life is that the ends justify the means, and with that one sentence, there’s not much else you need to know about him.
2. Nova (Sam Alexander)
There are several people who have taken the name of Nova in the past, but the one that earns his spot on this list is Samuel Alexander. Sam was involved in a skateboard accident, and when he woke up, was met by the Guardians of the Galaxy. They were looking for his father, who was the previous Nova. Because they couldn’t find him, they gave the helmet to Sam and trained him to use it well. From a young age, Sam was given amazing powers, but this inflated his ego a bit too much. Frequently, he would disobey orders to do what he thought was best, and this resulted in a lot of frustrations with his colleagues. To make matters worse, he also didn’t believe his dad about being a superhero, and often referred to him as a loser. After he gained powers, he learned that his dad was right all along, but he couldn’t learn some humility. In the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, Nova’s personality is even more annoying, and he quickly becomes one of the most loathed characters in the entire show. This isn’t even from an audience standpoint, this is the perspective of other characters in the show.
1. Ant-Man (Eric O’Grady)
There were three people who bore the Ant-Man suit officially. The first two were Hank Pym and Scott Lang, both flawed but somewhat decent individuals. The third one, Eric O’Grady, had almost no redeeming qualities about him, and his comic series was dubbed The Irredeemable Ant-Man. Nobody gave him the suit in the first place, he stole it so he could do what he wanted. He spied on women while they were showering by shrinking to an undetectable size, and he would never follow through with anyone he worked with. He didn’t care what happened to others and simply shrugged at the thought of other people being harmed by his actions. Eric O’Grady was very irredeemable (am I right?) and a huge jerk at the start, but something in him changed when he got more involved with the Avengers. He slowly began to care for others, and in the end, he sacrificed himself in order to save lives. When all is said and done, Eric O’Grady is certainly still an insufferable jerk, but he died a glorious and loved hero. He had a better character arc than most of the characters on this list, and that’s something to be commended.