|The recent induction of Daredevil to the Avengers has got me thinking: when I first started reading comics, there was always a sort of conventional wisdom that there were certain Marvel characters that absolutely, hands down, no-questions would never been in the Avengers. For the longest time, that “common-knowledge” list was kind of set in stone. Spider-Man. Doctor Strange. Wolverine. Daredevil. But as the years have gone by, those rules have kind of fallen by the wayside. Larry Hama first tried out Spider-Man as an Avenger back in the ’90s, and then Brian Bendis made him a mainstay of his Avengers run, along with Wolverine and to a lesser extent Doctor Strange. Hell, he’s even got the Red Hulk on the team now, which I thought was ludicrous at first but have wound up enjoying quite a bit.So what’s the deal, then? Are there any characters left that should never get called up to the big league? Let’s go to the videotape…There really aren’t that many A-List or close to A-List characters left that haven’t wound up a regular visitor to Jarvis’ kitchen table at this point. (For the purposes of discussion, let’s say characters important enough to conceivably star or co-star in a movie, since that seems to be the driving factor these days.)For example, the Punisher, I think it’s safe to say, won’t be joining up anytime soon, just because of the sheer body count he tends to pile up.Then again, I would have said that about Wolverine a few years ago, too. But still, the fact that he’s constantly wanted by the law and has a couple stints in federal prison under his belt should keep him from getting a Quinjet ride anytime soon.Along those same lines, Deadpool, no matter how popular he gets, is a character I can’t see making sense as an Avenger.With Spidey and Wolverine you get a hint of the unpredictability and anarchy, but having Deadpool on the team for any length of time would be too difficult to justify logically. (And yeah, I know there was some business in SECRET AVENGERS lately, but that’s a whole other ball game…)
Ghost Rider is a little too creepy and chaotic for me to imagine him regularly showing up for meetings, sitting around the big round table with the “A” on it, riding shotgun in the Quinjet.
Here’s one that was actually tried, with so little success it’s barely been revisited since: Mr. Fantastic. Reed Richards was on an Avengers lineup in the late ’80s that included his wife the Invisible Woman, the Eternal Gilgamesh, and Steve Rogers in exile as Captain America, serving as “The Captain.” (Presumably Tennille was nowhere to be found.)
Not only was this lineup so unpopular as to be almost entirely forgotten today, but even the creators seemed to realize that the group dynamics were off, with Reed Richards serving on a team he wasn’t leading, and soon the power struggle between Reed and Steve Rogers was incorporated into the storyline for the brief remainder of that particular lineup’s existence.
Cosmic characters have never been the best match with the Avengers either, which is why we’ve never seen the Silver Surfer join up over the years.
While his moody, brooding heart-on-his-sleeve brand of adventuring was a decent fit with the Defenders over the years, the Avengers still feel too down-to-earth for the Surfer fit well in any sort of team lineup. Besides, where’s he gonna keep the Avengers ID card without any pockets?
Scott Tipton is still waiting for Rocket Raccoon to get his Avengers invite. If you have questions about the Avengers or comics in general, send them here.