By X35 8 Comments
Over the course of their 50 year existence, the Avengers have gone through many many line-up changes - some lasting a single issue and others lasting over 30 issues! While most people remember the fairly traditional line-ups, there have been some incredibly odd line-ups over the years. And here are, in my opinion, the 5 weirdest line-ups to the Avengers!
5. Captain America's Evolutionary War Team
During the Evolutionary War crossover, there was no East Coast Avengers team. They had broken up following the manipulations of Princess Ravonna who had infiltrated their ranks posing as Nebula and driven Doctor Druid to madness. So, when the High Evolutionary threatened the world it wound up that Captain America (then as the Captain), the Falcon, Hercules, Beast, Jocasta, the Hulk (then as Joe Fixit) and the sadly not-pictured second Yellowjacket assembled to go into action. It was a very interesting assortment of characters and seeing the Hulk back with the Avengers temporarily was fun. In fact, this Avengers team is probably a highlight of the entire Evolutionary War story. Maybe if they'd stuck around past one issue they would've easily managed to shrug the "weird" label, but after beating the High Evolutionary, the team went their separate ways which led Steve Rogers to form a new group.
This team fought against the High Evolutionary in Avengers Annual (1967) #17.
4. Captain America's Inferno Team
Immediately after the Evolutionary War, Inferno broke out. It was a pretty inconvenient timing since there was still no East Coast Avengers team. Cap (still as The Captain) decided to form a new Avengers team. First up he recruited his close friend Demolition Man (or D-Man) for the team and set out to recruit others. While he managed to convince Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four, Thor and the Eternal known as Gilgamesh to join he unfortunately also lost D-Man who was killed in action (later retconned). This new team is pretty much the most famous of the quirky Avengers line-ups over the years and it's honestly no surprise they didn't last long. Celebrating the 300th Avengers issue with the debut of this team is a bit of a laugh considering by #302, it had reshuffled and dropped the Fantastic Two replacing them with more classic Avengers.
3. Human Torch's Avengers
The original Human Torch led a rather weird team of Avengers for one issue after Operation Galactic Storm. The Torch had recently been depowered and threatened by his old enemy the Hyena. As an Avenger, he hoped the team would help him out but discovered most the members were in space involved in the Kree/Shi'ar war. So, he was left with a team of Hank Pym, Wasp, Quicksilver, Tigra, Mockingbird and Machine Man. This team of b-listers didn't really do much except follow the Torch around who eventually foiled Hyena's plan to manipulate him. It's not necessarily a bad team of Avengers, in fact there's a certain classic feel to it, but it's just the case that there's no real heavy hitter to the team and the Torch was always an odd choice to lead the team especially when Pym and Wasp are there.
This team fought against the Hyena in Avengers West Coast (1989) #83.
2. Mockingbird's Avengers Team
There was a story called Avengers Disassembled in the 80s. It didn't have Scarlet Witch going insane or horrible retcons and ignored continuity, it was in fact based around the dissolution of Hawkeye and Mockingbird's marriage. Mockingbird had recently being drugged and raped by the Phantom Rider and in anger allowed him to fall to his death from a cliffside. Her husband Hawkeye was furious...not that his wife had been raped...but because she kept it a secret and he was firm that Avengers don't kill in any circumstance. This led to the team breaking up and Mockingbird, Tigra and Khonshu (who was posing as Moon Knight) left and formed their own group of Avengers who were more loose on the whole killing thing. They were later joined by Black Goliath for a while but the team broke up following a battle with Phantom Rider's spirit and Khonshu's possession of Moon Knight revealed. It was another odd line-up particularly since it's such a small line-up, again they were incredibly underpowered and none of them were big name characters. Despite that, the team existed longer than all of these other teams listed. Tigra eventually rejoined the main team, Mockingbird betrayed them and then shortly after started to patch things up with Hawkeye and Moon Knight left having never wanted to join the Avengers in the first place.
1. Black Widow's Acts of Vengeance Team
Okay, this one was just flat-out weird. Not necessarily a bad team just an odd line-up. It's not that their underpowered - Captain Marvel, Moondragon and Firebird are quite powerful in that respect - and their all quite varied in terms of speciality... it's just that they're so ridiculously second tier. Even the villain they fought exemplifies how kinda lame the team is. During Acts of Vengeance, the Avengers were a target for a highly organized and unrelenting attack of various super-villains and amidst all this Black Widow found herself leading a team consisting of herself, Captain Marvel, Stingray, Firebird, Moondragon and Hellcat who were trying to salvage the now destroyed and sunken Hydrobase. They wound up fighting the Awesome Android. The other Avengers team were fighting Loki, Freedom Force and U-Foes at this time and these guys get stuck with "Awesome Andy". One of the other things that make the team stick out as particularly weird is how there's only one guy among 5 women. While it's often the case that the Avengers line-ups are sausagefests, it does just look more bizarre when it's practically an all-girl squad. And it's really not surprising that the team only appeared in one issue, but it certainly can go down as an interesting assembly.
This team fought against the Awesome Android in Avengers Spotlight (1989) #27.