The Avengers are the premiere team of superheroes in the Marvel Universe. They have been involved in nearly all the major events. Yet, do they truly live up their name?
What does it mean to avenge someone or something? According to the Merriam-Webster dicitonary, "to take vengeance for or on behalf of; to exact satisfaction for (a wrong) by punishing the wrongdoer."
It was Wasp that came up with the name when trying to think of something colorful and dramatic. Of course Hank would try convincing the others it was the greatest name ever. It doesn't really feel like it fits. Do the Avengers actually avenge anyone?== TEASER ==
The Avengers are great heroes. The problem is, they don't necessarily seek out trouble or get vengeance after the villains have harmed others. Usually there is a threat and the Avengers show up to deal with it. The villains are often brought to justice but are those that have been wronged ever avenged?
What about all the bad things Scarlet Witch did?
She practically destroyed the Avengers and almost wiped out the entire mutant race. In the first issue of HOUSE OF M, the Avengers and X-Men met before seeking out Wanda. The Avengers view was to apprehend her. Some of the X-Men were calling for her execution after she caused the death of many mutants after they had been de-powered.
The Avengers aren't about "an eye for an eye." What did they do after the destruction and deaths for Scott Lang, Jack of Hearts, Hawkeye and others? They aren't executioners so they believed the answer would be to find her and bring her to trial. But when was the last time a superhero was put on trial?
Hawkeye, one of Scarlet Witch's victims, was later resurrected and came to terms with what happened. He found Wanda (or so he thought) and realized getting revenge against her wasn't going to solve anything. That still brings up the question of what does an Avenger actually do for those that have been wronged?
In the recent NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 and AVENGERS ANNUAL #1, we do finally see the team get a little ticked off and ready for some avenging. Wonder Man tried telling Captain America and Iron Man that they had to stop. The Avengers were causing more harm than good. He demanded they put an end to the team. When they brushed him off, he attacked the Avengers Tower and then later formed a team of Revengers. They attacked and demolished the Avengers Mansion and kicked the Avengers' butt.
For some reason, attacking the Avengers at the mansion and then proceeding to attack Avengers Tower (again), was enough to enrage the team. The Avengers were pissed and, in a sense, did avenge their teammates that were beaten (but no one was killed or seriously harmed).
Should the Avengers change their ways? Should they seek out the villains that have harmed or killed innocents? If they're going to sit around the Avengers Mansion (or whatever headquarters they're using) and wait for a supervillain to launch their scheme, they're not really doing any avenging.
They could change their name. The Defenders seem to have a better idea in defending the innocent. If the Avengers insist on keeping their name, why don't they bring in the likes of the Punisher or Ghost Rider.These guys strongly believe in avenging. Ghost Rider is a spirit of vengeance. Even Moon Knight, who seems to be off the team, believed in vengeance.
The Avengers don't need to go out harming or killing the bad guys but if they are determined to keep their name (they do have a major motion picture coming soon), they need to rethink their strategy. The meaning of avenging is very close to revenge. That's not really what the team has ever been about.
After this, we can move on to the X-Men and how their team name doesn't make sense either.