The Avengers! Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Since first assembling in 1963’s The Avengers #1, Marvel’s premier super team has valiantly protected the Earth from vicious villains, invaders from beyond time and space, and all manner of depravity. Protecting the free world is a tall order, and it requires a certain type to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Avengers. To be an Avenger, you must be brave. You must be strong in heart, mind, and body. And it definitely helps not to be totally crappy. Unfortunately, the Avengers have had plenty of members that didn’t meet that final criteria.
After over 50 years of operation, there have been plenty of heroes to fill out the Avengers roster. Most of these heroes are among the best Marvel has to offer. And then there are the 15 sad souls that inhabit our list. These Avengers members are boring, forgettable, useless, silly, and, in the end, just plain crappy. You won’t find Captain America or Iron Man here, folks. These are the C, D, and F-Grade heroes that have cluttered Avengers Mansion over the years. These are the Avengers that even the West Coast Avengers would rather forget. These are the 15 crappiest Avengers members EVER!
Despite being the literal king of Atlantis and master of the waves, it took decades for Aquaman to gain respect among comic book fans. Now, take Aquaman, strip away everything that makes him awesome, and stick him in a dorky suit, and you’re left with Stingray.
Oceanographer Walter Newell has been running around as the nautical Stingray since 1969, which is an awful long time for someone to be boring. Looking more like an NHL mascot than a world saving superhero, Stingray uses his highly advanced suit to traverse the waves, with enhanced swimming speed, near-superhuman strength, and the ability to project electricity from his gloves. Newell has served as an Avenger on numerous occasions, but even his time with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes couldn’t make people care about this snooze of a seafarer.
Comic-dom is littered with generic names. Spider-Man. Aquaman. Batman. But you’d be hard pressed to find a name as generic as “Pod.” Of course, that’s fitting, since the name, much like the character, is utterly forgettable.
Aikku Jokinen bonded with the Pod armor after stumbling upon the alien suit while hiking in her home country of Sweden. The suit grants Aikku a litany of superhuman abilities, along with a veritable arsenal of weapons. As Aikku now shares a mind with the sentient Pod armor, the human struggles to adjust to the new thoughts in her head and her new responsibilities as a member of the New Avengers. Pod’s character development is interesting and shows promise, but Pod, at her core, is just a low rent Iron Man with a truly uninspired name and costume. She might be new to the hero scene, but Pod is one crappy Avenger.
You know those sad commercials where children from third world countries look sad, and they play “In The Arms Of The Angels,” and you get sad? Man, those commercials are sad. Anyway, while most people turn the channel to avoid the crushing guilt, at least one person was paying attention to these tear jerking commercials: Jarvis, the Avengers’ butler.
When Jarvis plopped down the money to sponsor Lupe Santiago through an orphan sponsorship program, he likely wasn’t expecting to eventually have a shapeshifting crime fighter show up at his doorstep, but that’s just was Santiago did. Taking the name “Silverclaw,” Santiago served as an honorary member of the Avengers, using her ability to shapeshift into various animals to aid the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But when your team is made up of super soldiers and actual gods, a lady who can turn into a snake just isn’t that useful. Boring, forgettable, and just plain useless, this Beast Boy-light was definitely one crappy Avenger.
Through the power of kung-fu, he manages to fight back the tides of evil. Through diligent training, and the centering of mind and body, he manages to use his martial arts prowess to take on all manner of villainy. That’s right, it’s Iron Fist! Oh yeah, and Shang-Chi is here, too.
While Iron Fist has become Marvel’s de facto martial arts master, Shang-Chi has served as a perennial also-ran for the title of “guy who knows kung-fu.” Sure, Shang-Chi is trained in all manner of unarmed combat, and his knowledge of the fist has allowed him to triumph over opponents the world over, but his borderline racist ’70s chop sockey origins and dull-as-dishwater personality all add up to one totally forgettable character. Shang-Chi’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it run with the Avengers was definitely crappy, and left fans wondering why the Avengers didn’t opt for a better martial artist. Maybe opt for Iron Fist or Echo next time, guys.
Listen, let’s not kid ourselves: There have been some truly terrible, ridiculous, downright sexist female superheroes over the years. Characters that exist more to be ogled than to be taken seriously as characters. Marvel is certainly guilty of creating some cringeworthy female characters over the years, but few can match the sheer ridiculousness that is Tigra.
When Tigra was introduced in 1972, she was intended to be a character that would appeal to female readers. Problem is, Tigra is just a tiger woman in a bikini. Despite her eye-rolling appearance, Tigra has served as a full blown Avenger, chosen personally by Captain America himself. With her superhuman agility, her razor sharp claws, and her feline hunting skills, Tigra certainly isn’t a push-over. But the Avengers have plenty of members that fit the role Tigra inhabits that don’t dress like a furry on spring break. Tigra’s just too ridiculous to be an Avenger, which earns her a place on our crappy Avengers list.
10. DOCTOR DRUID
There are embarrassing superhero careers, and then there is Doctor Druid. Despite becoming a member of the Avengers, this master of the mystic arts is mostly remembered for his series of eye-rolling mishaps that eventually ended in his death.
Dr. Anthony Druid attained mystical enlightenment from a Tibetan lama, only to later find out that the lama was actually the Ancient One in disguise, who had trained Druid as a back-up for Dr. Strange in case the Sorcerer Supreme had turned away from the Forgotten One’s teachings. Starting out as a pitch hitter for the Master of the Mystical Arts is bad enough, but Doctor Druid claimed his power over the mind was his greatest strength, only to end up mind controlled by the villainous Terminatrix while a member of the Avengers. Druid would leave the Avengers, join the Secret Defenders, end up mind controlled again, fake his death, and then later die for real, acting thereafter as an antagonist ghost in the alternate dimension called Weirdworld. A crappy end to a crappy Avenger.
9. BLACK KNIGHT
The Avengers have a man in a highly advanced robotic suit that is capable of taking on entire armies single-handed. The Avengers have a marksman that can hit a target with an arrow from miles away without breaking a sweat. Meanwhile, the Black Knight is a guy with a sword who dresses like a staff member at Medieval Times.
That’s not to say that Dane Whitman is totally outclassed in battle. Wielding the mystical Ebony Blade, the Black Knight used his world class skills with the blade to go toe-to-toe with all comers as a member of the Avengers. But without the blade, Whitman is pretty much just a guy in armor. Also, the Ebony Blade is cursed, having slowly driven Whitman to near madness. So, just to recap, Whitman is a regular guy in a suit of armor, wielding an evil sword, who is next to useless without said evil sword. Yeah, he’s one crappy Avenger.
Thunderstrike is the Crystal Pepsi to Thor’s Pepsi. Thunderstrike is the New Coke to Thor’s Coca-Cola. What we’re going for here is that Thunderstrike is a B-Grade spin-off to a far superior character that never should have existed in the first place. And he most definitely makes for one crappy Avenger.
During the tumultuous crap shoot that was the ’90s, beloved comic characters were getting replaced faster than you could say “number one issue with a foil cover.” Such was the case with Thor, who was briefly booted from the mantle and replaced with the ponytail sporting, goatee rocking mortal Eric Masterson. Masterson would later ditch the Thor mantle and take on the name Thunderstrike, but despite joining the Avengers, Masterson was just a less interesting, less powerful, more watered down version of Thor. Face facts, true believers: Thunderstrike is not only a crappy character, but he’s definitely a crappy Avenger.
D-Man doesn’t just figuratively stink; no, this Avenger literally stinks. Dennis Dunphy, better known by his superheroic alter ego Demolition Man, is the only Avenger to smell so bad that his teammates refused to stand downwind of the do-gooder.
Considering D-Man’s checkered past, Dunphy’s poor hygiene makes sense. A former pro wrestler that primarily spent his time homeless and living on the streets, D-Man had a big heart and a desire to fight the good fight, leading to the Avengers looking past Dunphy’s body funk and extending the gentle giant an invitation to the team. But during his brief tenure with the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, D-Man did little of consequence, ultimately sacrificing himself to defeat Flag-Smasher, only to return later distinctly not dead. D-Man is a fun character, but boy is he a crappy Avenger.
The Marvel Universe has had plenty of dumb, silly, and downright groan inducing costumes. Looking at you, Tigra. But there are few terrible costumes on par with Gilgamesh’s truly horrendous Avengers duds.
The being known as The Forgotten One counts himself among the ranks of the ageless Eternals, meaning he has seen civilizations rise and fall, he’s seen mighty mountains reduced to rubble by time, and he’s definitely lived long enough to know that wearing a giant bull head is dumb. When the Avengers roster was downright empty, The Forgotten One was tapped to join the team. Ol’ Forgotty changed his name to Gilgamesh, slapped on a skirt and a bullhead, and charged into battle. Sure, Gilgamesh is strong, and sure, Gilgamesh has the wisdom that only immortality can bring, but a hero this crappy deserves a place on our list.
While Avengers members such as Nova and Ms. Marvel have gone on to prove that teenagers have every right to join the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Rage didn’t exactly help the Avengers to reconsider their anti-teenage policy in the ’90s. In fact, it was his age, and his concealing of his age, that got Rage booted from the team.
Despite being only 13, Elvin Haliday has the body of a full grown man, thanks a run-in with toxic waste. With his rippling muscles and superhuman strength, he seemed a perfect fit for the Avengers. As his superhero alter-ego Rage, Haliday would occasionally butt heads with team members, but he helped the team triumph over foes as varied as the Collector and the Hate-Monger. But when it came out that Rage wasn’t even out of middle school, Captain America kicked him to the curb. You can’t save the free world if you have a curfew, Rage, and that makes you a crappy Avenger.
You know when you go to the Dollar Store, and there’s the toy section filled with knock-offs of Spider-Man and the Hulk, and they have names like “Punch Guy” and “Smash Man”? Well, Justice has a name like that, and a personality to match. What we’re saying is that this bargain bin superhero is generic as sin, and he still managed to end up an Avengers member.
Originally taking to super heroics under the name Marvel Boy, college student Vance Astrovik used his mutant powers of telekinesis to fight the good fight. Astrovik would eventually change his name to Justice, as the youth clearly yearned for a name that would make it impossible to find him on Google. Justice would go on to join the Avengers, where the hero would struggle with feelings of inferiority when fighting alongside his idols. Sure, Justice eventually shrugged off his complex, but Astrovik’s run with the Avengers was, much like the hero himself, super forgettable and of little consequence.
Listen, the Avengers have members that are able to lift entire mountains. The Avengers are routinely lead by the greatest soldier and tactician in the world. With a roster filled to bursting with heavy hitters, a hero like Triathlon, with his power to be thrice as good at everything, just seems downright silly.
Olympic track star Delroy Garrett was granted the powers of the 3-D Man, making Garrett three times faster, three times stronger, and so on and so forth. Despite a power set that essentially equated to “being pretty good at everything,” Garrett ended up on the Avengers, where he promptly accused the Avengers of including him as a token minority. Garrett eventually dropped the ginormous chip on his shoulder and gained the respect of his Avengers teammates, but his time on the team was short lived. Triathlon left the Avengers and promptly slipped into obscurity, much to the surprise of no one.
Despite being the Earth’s premier super team, the members of the Avengers don’t always have sterling records. Past members have engaged in criminal activity as varied as theft and espionage. But only one Avenger has a sexual assault charge on the books: Starfox.
The Eternal known as Eros of Titan has the ability to stimulate the pleasure centers of the mind using psionic suggestion, which makes people, specifically women, more open to persuasion. Starfox uses these powers to seduce his way across the galaxy, hopping into bed with any woman that falls under his sway. When Starfox isn’t busy knocking boots, he served as a member of the Avengers, helping the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to take on the likes of Annihlus and Maelstrom. But he’s also been taken to court for sexual assault after using his powers to seduce a married woman. This walking roofie is a truly crappy Avenger.
1. TWO-GUN KID
Yes, the Two-Gun Kid. With the amazing power of owning two guns. This crime fighting cowboy managed to turn his ability to possess firearms into a spot on the Avengers, despite being thoroughly outclassed by just about every other member on the roster. And boy, was he a crappy avenger.
Hailing from the Wild West, Matt Hawk fights crime in his time period as the masked Two-Gun Kid. When the Avengers were sent back in time to the 1800’s American Frontier, the team joined forces with the gunslinger to fight the insidious Kang the Conqueror. Hawk ended up tagging along with the heroes back to the modern day, where he quickly enlisted as an Avenger. Problem is, with a laundry list of super powered heroes filling out the Avengers roster, a time displaced cowboy with outdated six shooters was less of a help and more of a hindrance. The Kid would eventually hit the ol’ dusty trail back to his own time period, but not before earning our top spot as the crappiest Avengers member of all time.
Who did we forget? Is there honestly someone worse than the folks we listed? If so, let us know YOUR worst Avenger of all time in the comments!