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50 Greatest Avengers Stories: #20-16

by  in Comic News Comment

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Avengers, we’re doing a poll of the greatest Avengers stories of all-time! You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 50 Greatest Avengers Stories!

Each day will have five more stories on the countdown (eventually I think it’ll get to three stories a day). Here is a master list of every story featured so far. Here are #20-16!

Enjoy!

20. “The Final Threat” Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2


Written by Jim Starlin, drawn by Starlin and Joe Rubinstein

After leaving Warlock and Marvel, Starlin was wooed back for the opportunity to wrap up all of his Warlock plots on his own terms. He chose to do so in this epic tale involving the Avengers, Thing and Spider-Man. Essentially it is the Avengers, Thing, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel and Warlock versus Thanos and his collection of infinity gems. Starlin resolves the fates of pretty much every character from his run on Warlock (and in each instance, his resolution is to essentially kill them all so other writers couldn’t mess with them).

19. “The Avengers/Defenders War” Avengers #115-118 and Defenders #8-11


Loki and Dormammu teamed-up to manipulate the Avengers and the Defenders into fighting each other in what was really the first extensive inter-title crossover (there had been many inter-title crossovers before, but never THIS many issues). Steve Englehart wrote it and Bob Brown and Mike Esposito did the art for the Avengers’ side of the conflict while Sal Buscema and Frank Bolle did the art for the Defenders’ side.

18. “The Nights of Wundagore” Avengers #185-187


In this classic three-parter drawn by John Byrne and Dan Green and written by the triumvirate of Mark Gruenwald, David Michelinie and Steven Grant, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s true parentage is revealed (although it would not be for a few more years before the fact that Magneto was their father was made ABSOLUTELY explicit). The Scarlet Witch was possessed by the demon Chton in this story, making it the first “Dark Scarlet Witch” storyline, an idea that has been used often since (including at least two stories on this countdown).

17. “The Serpent Crown” Avengers #141-144, 147-149


Steve Englehart juggled two fascinating adventures at once in this acclaimed epic. Half of the Avengers are in the past fighting against Kang while the rest of the team find themselves in battle with the Squadron Supreme. This was the first time that the Squadron Supreme fond themselves brainwashed into fighting against the Avengers (Something that would happen often since) through the use of the Serpent Crown. Englehart also used this storyline to introduce Patsy Walker as Hellcat. George Perez drew this series, with inks by a few different guys, including Sam Grainger and Vince Colletta. There was a fill-in story in the middle of the arc (which is why #145-146 are not included).

16. “Civil War” Civil War #1-7


Mark Millar, Steve McNiven and Dexter Vines reshaped the Marvel Universe for years with this storyline that pitted Captain America against Iron Man over the idea of whether superheroes should be forced to register with the government (and thereby trusting the government with their secret identities). Captain America leads a group of heroes who want nothing to do with registration while Iron Man leads the heroes who are willing to comply with the government’s request. Eventually, Iron Man and his Avengers end up having to hunt down Captain America and his Secret Avengers and, well, things do not go very well. This series massively shaked up the Marvel Universe as a whole but especially the Avengers, who ended up splintered into two teams, an officially sanctioned one and a rogue one.