The Avengers. The world’s mightiest heroes. Since Marvel first formed The Avengers back in the 1960s, their premise was simple: take the best and strongest superheroes and put them together to form a super team that can protect the world from any threat or invasion. Starting off with some of Marvel’s most popular characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, The Avengers very quickly became a hugely successful franchise within the Marvel universe. This has proved even more so since the Marvel universe exploded onto our screens and created the MCU, with The Avengers at it’s very centre.
Over the years, The Avengers comic books have seen many members of The Avengers come and go and it has also seen the inclusion of many other popular Marvel characters such as Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Ms. Marvel, each of them proving that they have the right stuff to truly be Earth’s mightiest heroes. However, there has also been some heroes that have joined The Avengers’ ranks that left us all saying “What?” and “Why?” Not everyone can be Captain America, I guess.
So here is our list of 15 of the worst members to ever be called Avengers.
15. Doctor Druid
The first entry on our list is a pretty poor character and superhero by himself, let alone as being part of The Avengers. Doctor Druid was actually Marvel’s first attempt at a magical character when he debuted back in 1961. Unfortunately for the character, Marvel really didn’t know what to do with him as his first incarnation saw him have some minor magical powers, powers which weirdly enough started to turn him Asian, which obviously makes total sense… So the character was abandoned.
Years later he was revived as a less impressive version of Doctor Strange, and not only that, but he was only really used as an aid to Doctor Strange. Because of this, it’s even stranger that Doctor Druid has been used a few times within The Avengers to help out against the likes of Baron Zemo. Overall, he’s a pretty useless hero that needs to be forgotten.
14. Captain Universe
The next entry on our list is a great example of writers creating a character in order to get themselves out of difficult situations without too much explanation.
When The Avengers had a big shake up a few years ago, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes found themselves not just defending the Earth but fighting intergalactic battles. Along with some familiar and popular characters, The Avengers also had new and updated characters such as a new incarnation of Captain Universe. The new Captain Universe has the Uni-Power, which is an ancient power source that grants its host incredible power when it needs it the most. In other words when the battles and bad guys get too much and it looks like it’s the end for The Avengers, Captain Universe gets stronger and saves the day without too much effort. No matter how much peril it looks like our heroes are in, Captain Universe will save the day at the last minute. In our view, this isn’t a great thing to have on a team of heroes, and the character herself isn’t very interesting either. Captain Universe has recently left The Avengers and has disappeared, but no one seems to have noticed.
Next we come to a character that we feel is pretty pointless and unnecessary. We know that, for some reason, Stingray is quite a popular cult character within the Marvel universe, but we struggle to understand why.
Over the years, big characters such as Namor The Submariner and DC’s Aquaman have come under fire from fans as their powers are based too heavily on their surroundings. In other words if you take them out of the water, they are pretty useless. Over the years, both Marvel and DC have gone out of their way to prove that these two big characters can be great in both worlds. However, when you have a character that seems to solely thrive in the water and yet has none of the powers that the others have, then what is the point? That’s what we get with Stingray. Essentially, he’s a marine biologist who can swim well and wears a cape! When Marvel has characters like Namor, why do they need Stingray?
Stingray spends most of his time helping out Namor, which is fine with us, many heroes need a sidekick, but how he ever managed to join The Avengers is beyond us. Sorry Stingray fans, but he should never have been an Avenger.
As you will see from our list, many heroes and even Avengers members have blurred the line between villain and hero. Whether they are trying to redeem their criminal past or they just keep getting sucked back onto team evil, some characters constantly struggle with their morals. Over the years, Marvel have done this with many characters and they have done it well. Creating some great storylines and some truly complex characters. However, the worst and the lamest of all of these anti-heroes is Swordsman.
Running away to join the circus in order to show off his swashbuckling sword skills, Swordsman encountered a young Clint Barton. Training Barton in the ways of fighting, the future Hawkeye started to see Swordsman as a mentor. That is until Barton caught Swordsman stealing from the carnival. Since then Swordsman has flicked between good and bad more times than we can count. He joined The Avengers with a promise to change his ways, which it turned out he was actually working for The Mandarin and was going to blow The Avengers up. He then joined The Avengers for real and tried to be the hero, but that didn’t last long. Thankfully an alien disintegrated him in the end and the crowd cheered!
11. Demolition Man
Demolition Man, or D-Man to his friends, has had a bit of a strange life as the character has changed dramatically over the years. Having suffered from mental problems, and schizophrenia, then running off to live with some hobos known as The Zero People, D-Man has had his fair share of problems. Firstly it must be said that we’re not surprised by his mental breakdowns as the character has struggled to come up with his own identity. Wearing a costume that is part Wolverine and part Daredevil, and constantly being confused for both, is going to give anyone a complex.
Being mainly associated with Captain America, Demolition Man is pretty strong and a skilled fighter, but the Marvel universe isn’t short of characters like that, and most of them are far better at it, so we don’t really see the need for him.
Demolition Man has suffered a few physical ailments as well, such as having a heart attack and being shot in the face. But each time he gets resurrected and put on one Avengers team or another. We feel it’s time for D-Man to go quietly into that good night.
10. U.S. Agent/John Walker
John Walker has had a strange and interesting life within the Marvel universe. Being introduced as the villain Super Patriot, Walker was supposed to be a bad version of Captain America.
Some time later, the government was having issues with Captain America, as in the good Cap wasn’t doing what the government was telling him to do. So they searched for a replacement and picked John Walker as the new Captain America. Although Walker shared a lot of Captain America’s views on patriotism, even when Walker was a villain, Walker was also a lot darker than the former Cap and was basically a bully and was willing to do whatever it takes, and whatever he was told, in order to get the job done, whether the job is right or wrong. Eventually Steve Rogers would come back as Captain America, and when he did, Walker took an old uniform of Cap’s and renamed himself U.S. Agent. So he basically became a cheap and angry knock off to Captain America.
Delroy Garrett was once a superstar athlete, but unfortunately for him he was stripped of his medals and kicked out of the sport when he was caught using steroids. Down on his luck, Garrett fell in with the Triune Understanding, a cult that claimed they could unlock the true potential of humans. In reality, the Triune had stolen the power of former superhero 3-D Man. With his new found powers Garrett became the costumed hero Triathlon and not long after that he joined The Avengers.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why Triathlon is so lame and a terrible member of The Avengers. His powers are pretty good, being on par with the likes of Captain America as far as strength, speed, and endurance go, but the character and the hero never really worked or gelled with the other Avengers. Recently Triathlon gave up his mantle and took on the 3-D Man mantle, but that hasn’t helped in making this character any better.
The world of comic books are no strangers to dipping into the world of mythology and legends for some inspiration. Although many of these have been a popular success, Thor, Hercules and Ares to name just a few, sometimes the mix between mythology and comic books doesn’t work and Gilgamesh is a perfect example of that.
Sometimes going by the name Gilgamesh The Forgotten One, or sometimes just Forgotten One, Gilgamesh is a member of a race of immortal super beings known as The Eternals. Many of his powers and backstory is pretty similar to other comic book heroes that have come out of myth and that’s one of the many problems with this character is that he’s basically a less impressive version of Thor. A superpowered strong hero who likes to speak with a ye olde twang isn’t anywhere near as interesting as his other god counterparts. It’s fair to say that The Forgotten One needs to stay forgotten for the sake of The Avengers.
Quicksilver is probably one of the most famous members of The Avengers, especially since his inclusion in Avengers: Age of Ultron in the MCU. We must point out that we have no problem with Quicksilver as a character, he is in fact one of the more interesting and complex characters that Marvel have. However, when it comes to being an Avenger, this guy is completely wrong and should never be allowed back in.
As we’ve mentioned on this list already, some characters ride the line of good and evil, hero and villain a lot. Quicksilver is the worst one for doing this and he’s constantly being thrown out of The Avengers or just changing his mind about the hero thing and re-joining Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He has also caused many deaths when he used the Terrigen Crystals in order to get his powers back. The fact is that Quicksilver is arrogant, selfish, and impatient and that’s when he’s on his best behavior. Quicksilver may be a great character but he’s a terrible Avenger.
Age, racial diversity, sexuality, and gender have been much debated within comic books for many years now and the next character on our list ticks two of those boxes.
Elvin Haliday was a 13-year-old kid from Brooklyn that became exposed to toxic waste. The reaction caused his body to change dramatically, not just in size and strength but also in appearance, as the 13-year-old boy suddenly looked 30. After being told by his grandmother to use his new found powers for good, Haliday changed his name to Rage and went to find The Avengers. Demanding that he joined because The Avengers lacked black members, Captain America accepted Rage, but his time with The Avengers wasn’t so great. Still having the mind and personality of a child, Rage didn’t really work within the superhero team. Soon enough people found out his real age and Rage was sent packing. Since then Rage has been part of New Warriors and is also back on the Reserve Avengers.
There are no shortage of arrogant, cocky, womanizing heroes within the Marvel universe, Tony Stark springs to mind first of all, but the worst, and the sleaziest, of them all is Starfox.
Starfox, or sometimes Eros, is another member of the immortal super beings known as The Eternals, and even more surprisingly, he is actually the brother of intergalactic monster and overlord Thanos. Unlike his brother, Starfox is a carefree, party animal who lives life to the max. Sometimes he joins up with The Avengers and straight from the get go he makes us all cringe as Wasp decides that Eros isn’t a great name for a hero and because she thinks he’s “foxy” and he’s been to the stars, she names him Starfox. Already, Starfox just being here has made everything so much worse!
Even more creepy and cringe worthy than that is that his main power is the ability to control other people’s emotions. It’s implied many times in the comic books that he uses his “power” on women and that’s how he gets them to “hang out” with him. This came to a head in an issue of She-Hulk in which Starfox was tried for sexual assault. Everything about this character is just wrong for The Avengers.
4. Mister Fantastic
Many people out there may be surprised to see such a popular and famous character as Mister Fantastic on our list of worst Avengers. However, as important as Mister Fantastic is in the Marvel universe and leading The Fantastic Four, he really, truly sucked when he joined The Avengers.
After Mister Fantastic and his wife The Invisible Women retired from The Fantastic Four, they wanted to focus on raising their son Franklin. But when he gets kidnapped, Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, and a few other heroes band together to go and rescue him. After this, Captain America makes them both Avengers. However, that’s where the problem starts with Mister Fantastic. Having been in charge of The Fantastic Four, and also being more of a scientist and explorer rather than an all-out hero, Mister Fantastic didn’t fit in with The Avengers and couldn’t handle taking orders either. This soon came to a head when Captain America realized his mistake in asking Mister Fantastic to join The Avengers and quickly demoted him to the reserve list.
The next entry on our list is a character that, not only do the fans not really want, but the other members of The Avengers didn’t want either.
A lot of Deathcry’s origin story isn’t known to us but what we do know is that she was a member of the Shi’ar, a vast alien empire made up of different species. Deathcry was stripped of her name and ordered by the Empress Lilandra to fight the Kree. With the help of The Avengers, the Kree were defeated and Deathcry was then ordered to join The Avengers in case the Kree came back. Her time with The Avengers is very forgettable and soon her death would be just the same. Picking a fight with Captain Universe, Deathcry was finally gone. She did make a reappearance in The Dead Avengers, and to try and give her character more depth, some of her backstory and her name were revealed. But by this point no one really cared and luckily Deathcry has faded away.
2. The Sentry
The number two entry on our list is the hero known as The Sentry. There have been many characters to bear the name Sentry but here we are dealing with the character that is widely known as “The Forgotten Character.” The character was retconned into having existed since the creation of the Marvel universe and has been an important part of The Avengers, Fantastic Four, and many other popular Marvel characters.
The other side to the character is “The Void.” Thinking that The Void is an evil archnemesis to him, The Sentry plunged into madness when he realized that The Void was actually a dark part of himself and his own psyche that he had to battle with. There have been many characters that have struggled within themselves and have had to deal with their own demons but for some reason everything about The Sentry is just bad and the character itself falls short of anything remotely interesting or entertaining. His timeline is all over the place and his very existence makes no sense within the comic books and everything about him just screams “what a waste of time!”
1. Red Hulk
The number one entry on our list isn’t just the worst Avenger but possibly one of the worst characters Marvel has created. Given the fact that The Hulk is such a popular character, there was always going to be other versions of him. Some good, some bad, some male and some female. It’s a big trend in comic books. While other versions of The Hulk worked, like She-Hulk for example, The Red Hulk doesn’t work on any level.
General “Thunderbolt” Ross is obsessed with taking down The Hulk, so much so that he himself gets turned into a Hulk monster. While at the beginning, The Red Hulk is just out for The Hulk and to prove himself to be the strongest, for some reason Red Hulk soon finds himself as a member of The Avengers. Not content with getting his butt kicked constantly, Red Hulk also tries to convince everyone that he has a great tactical and military mind, which he doesn’t. So he just goes around shouting angry things and claiming that he’s the strongest being around, and all the while not being able to stop the bad guys. As a villain he sucked and as a hero he was even worse!