Much as I hate to say it, I kinda have to blame Wally West.  Before his late 90s (you should excuse the expression) run in both Titans and JLA, membership in super-teams was an exclusive affair.  If you wanted to join one, you had to quit the other, and generally the membership was held to a manageable level (with the exception of the Legion of Super-Heroes, whose entire M.O. is ‘Giant Super-Team’ and is thus exempt.)  These days, nearly every hero in the Marvel Universe is an Avenger, even those who have for decades made a point of operating entirely solo.  Indeed, given that there are five or more monthly titles bearing an Avengers logo, the team has easily surpassed the LSH in terms of heroes-per-month (which one might think negates the stupid arguments that the Legion is too complicated, but that’s another train of thought entirely.)

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) liked it better when characters weren’t allowed to hold simultaneous membership in multiple teams, asking:  Does it bother you that everyone is an Avenger, including most of the Fantastic Four and a good portion of the X-Men?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

14 Comments

  1. Absolutely. Not only is it frustrating to see so many different Avengers titles on the stands, it actually takes away any speciality that the Avengers have. “The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” doesn’t mean as much when every single hero on earth is the mightiest. The Avergers no longer, aside from who is on which team, are unique.

  2. I think it’s cool that all the heroes are organized, can be called upon in times of need. I mean, that’s why superhero team-ups were cool for me, I always thought all of them should be working together. I remember in the Iluminati issue that was a prelude to Marvel Civil War, Iron Man suggested that pooling all the heroes together would have prevented the SHRA in the first place. And that’s what’s kinda happened now – Avengers police their own, which is why the Superior Spider-Man is on probation. It’s pretty cool.
    On the other hand, it means that there’s not really an “Avengers” team so much as there is a coalition of heroes with a really odd name. Who are they Avenging? It’s like they expect to fail. The Defenders woulda been a cooler name, but it’s waaaay too late to make that name mean anything.

  3. Yes. (There aren’t enough exclamation points for this one.) It isn’t a team, it’s a loose — fairly meaningless — confederation. Mix that with the multi-team members and the non-joiners, and I’d be just as happy to never see the word “Avenger” again. Just sayin’.

  4. I’m more bothered that characters are on multiple teams and in their own books at the same time. They have enough characters that every book should have its own set, and then the characters shift occasionally.

  5. SmarkingOut Adam on

    They have pretty much made the Avengers the “big emergency response team.” Given that, it makes sense to have the best people for the job on the team, regardless of their other affiliations. It has pretty much become Marvel’s “All Star Team,” so no, it doesn’t bother me.

  6. Yes,
    The Avengers, like the Justice League SHOULD primarily be the big guns of their comic universe. Jack of Hearts, really?
    Squirrel Girl is soon to be a playable character in the Facebook Marvel: Avengers Alliance. The arc to get her started today.

    • SmarkingOut Adam on

      THIS, I agree with. The Avengers SHOULD have Wolverine, the Thing, Havok and Dr. Strange. Hawkeye (despite the fact that I like the character) still boggles the mind.

  7. I don’t really mind characters holding a spot on two teams so long as one is more or less a backup position (think of people in various jobs who also volunteer as firefighters). I remember when several characters were reserve Avengers even though they had spots on other teams, and that didn’t really seem to be an issue.

    But when you have a character as a main part of more than one team, that can be troublesome.

    At the same time, I don’t think every character should be part of a team, particularly when you have a team like Avengers. Sure, having reserve members in case one or more members are unavailable or incapacitated is fine, but I don’t think the official roster should be overflowing.

  8. It definitely bothers me. We have way too many books, way too many teams, and way too little continuity or justification for them.

    The Avengers specifically have become a parody of themselves ever since Wolverine was allowed in. There is no longer even an attempt at making membership mean something anymore. The cash-grab aspect is simply way too obvious to ignore.

  9. It used to bug me, but then I remember I am reading a book about a guy with adamantium claws and a healing factor and get over it.

  10. Yes, in the same way I am bothered by the fact everyone was a mutant and therefore eligible to join one of the myriad of X-teams. Or by the shear number of Spider, Bat and Super comics there were/are. It’s a tawdry marketing tool to cross-sell (I am a tawdry marketer; I know of what I speak).
    Give the integrity back to the story-tellers and find good editors; cross-overs and characters in other, non-native teams should be rare and exciting, not an excuse to jam a particular character into every book.

    Just one team per group, please. Far too many Secret, New, International, Dark Forces and Factors out there; their are not special any more.

  11. in this 18 man avenger prime team era
    we can cut 3 of them as under powered and pointless
    Cap, Hawkguy, black widow the last two I love but have no place on the team now

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