***This article contains a spoiler for the ending of Avengers #10/#700. You have been warned.***
The Avengers have been a cornerstone of the Marvel comics since their debut in the classic Avengers #1 (September 1963), but there have been some really odd membership choices. That includes the latest character to be offered membership: Blade.
Yep, the day-walking vampire hunter was solicited by The Wasp, who actually isn’t even a member right now, on the last page of Avengers #10 (January 2019) which is the landmark 700th issue of the series if you go by the Marvel Legacy numbering. Please don’t ask me to explain that. Anyway, here is the image from the final page of the book as Wasp finds Blade held captive in a castle in Transylvania.
Blade is a peculiar addition to the marquee super-team in the Marvel universe, but it will actually be his second tour with the squad. He was disguised as Ronin when he was recruited to the Mighty Avengers during the Infinity event in Mighty Avengers #1 (November 2013).
However, Blade is far from the worst fits in the long storied history of the Avengers. Here is a list of the fourteen members that just don’t quite fit in.
- Hulk – joined in Avengers #1 (September 1963)
Hulk is officially a founding member of the Avengers, but he never stays around long. “Leave Hulk alone” is his usual response when he gets invited to work with the team. Heck, his cousin She-Hulk and even his adversary Red Hulk have been more reliable teammates over the years.
- Moon Knight – joined in West Coast Avengers Vol. 2 #21 (June 1987)
Marc Spector was an odd choice because he is a squad all his own. With his multiple personalities, including the Egyptian god Khonshu, he doesn’t need any other teammates. His personality disorder even manifested teammates Captain America, Wolverine, and Spider-Man for a while in an underrated run beginning with Moon Knight Vol. 6 #1 (May 2011).
12 & 11. Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic – joined in Avengers #300 (February 1989)
The husband and wife team of Reed and Sue Richards were without a team after the Fantastic Four split up. After working with Steve Rogers in his guise of The Captain, he asked them to help recreate the Avengers after they disbanded a couple issues earlier. They fit in so poorly that they never even changed their FF uniforms.
- Ghost Rider – joined in Avengers Vol. 8 #1 (July 2018)
One of the recent recruits to the team, the Robbie Reyes version of Ghost Rider has actually been retconned in as a legacy member since the original Ghost Rider was shown to be a member of the “Avengers 1,000,000 B.C.” But what are the Avengers going to do with a guy that drives a flaming car and whose purpose is to send people to hell? Apparently, he is their chauffeur.
- D-Man – joined in Captain America #349 (January 1989)
Oh, poor Dennis Dunphy. The former Ultimate Class Wrestler who took costume design tips from Daredevil and Wolverine doesn’t just fit into the Avengers, he doesn’t fit in anywhere in the Marvel universe. Steve Rogers took him under his wing as a sidekick, and he was the first person Cap asked to join when was reforming the team, but then he died before he could ever officially join. He got better (it is Marvel after all) and has basically been used as a joke in Avengers reunions ever since, like when he was homeless and very stinky at this gathering.
- Two-Gun Kid – joined in Avengers #147 (May 1976)
A time-trapped western gunfighter from the 19th century, why wouldn’t he be asked to join the Avengers? Ummm…because he is just a time-trapped western gunfighter from the 19th century, maybe? He was only an honorary then a reserve member of the team, but still, come on!
- Swordsman – joined Avengers #20 (September 1965)
The Avengers had a history of allowing villains to rehabilitate their reputations by joining the team. It all started with Hulk, then Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Hawkeye. The villain Mandarin used a fake image of Iron Man vouching for Swordsman to join the team just so he could plant bombs to destroy the team. He did have a change of heart, but he got caught diffusing the bombs, revealing the deception. He got expelled from the team the same issue he joined!
- Sub-Mariner – joined Avengers #262 (December 1985)
Namor is not exactly the “joining” type, but after the Avengers helped him refocus his life after being exiled from Atlantis, Captain America reminded him that they were teammates in The Invaders during World War II. They had so much fun stomping out Nazis so he should join a team again. Yeah, it didn’t last long.
- Echo – joined New Avenger #11 (November 2005)
Everyone expected the mysterious hero Ronin to be either Daredevil or Hawkeye in disguise. When it was revealed to be the woman with photographic reflexes by the name of Maya Lopez, it kind of seemed like a letdown. Since no one really knew who Echo was, why did she have to hide her identity at all? It will be interesting to see who the NEXT hero to join the Avenger dreed as Ronin is going to be!
- Deadpool – joined in Avengers #0 (October 2015)
A de-powered Captain America thought he could contain and control Wade Wilson if he had him join the Avengers to essentially take the place of Wolverine who was dead at the time (he is getting better; it is Marvel after all). But even a living legend cannot control Deadpool. Silly Cap.
- Doombot – joined in Avengers A.I. #1 (July 2013)
Doombots are Dr. Doom’s robotic doppelgangers that he uses as security and to confuse his enemies. Henry Pym takes possession of a damaged one at the end of the Age of Ultron storyline. After he gets the Doombot working again, he is forced to join the Avengers A.I. Division under threat of Pym destroyed it using the black hole in its chest. Totally normal, right?
- Gilgamesh – joined in Avengers #300 (February 1989)
This guy has been around the periphery of the Marvel universe since debuting in Eternals #13 (July 1977) and joined the Avengers in the same issue that added Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. He is an Eternal that had been mistaken for the mythical hero Gilgamesh so much that he eventually just took the name. He was also known as The Forgotten One, which is what should also happen to his time with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The buffalo-head helmet doesn’t help, either.
- Dr. Druid – joined in Avengers #278 (April 1987)
This actually a difficult selection because Dr. Druid became an Avenger after assisting in one of the greatest storylines in Avengers history – Under Siege – when Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil captured Avengers Mansion and beat their trusty butler Edwin Jarvis within an inch of his life. Dr. Druid helps win the day and eventually takes Wasp’s spot on the team. However, he turns out to be a real jerk that drives Captain Marvel from the team so he can become chairman and eventually leads them to disband while being manipulated by the villain Termanatrix.
There is my list, who do you think I missed? Tell me here in the CPG Forum.
By Rob Otto