Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have done a lot to defend the planet from all sorts of unimaginable threats. No matter what threat comes their way, the Avengers always seem to be the first line of defense in a time of need. Over the years, the team has accomplished all sorts of impossible feats, proving time and time again that good will always triumph over evil.
However, there have still been a few bumps along the way. Not every victory is made without a few sacrifices, and the same can be said for the comics themselves. It almost seems that for every great Avengers event out there, there has been a bad one. To look at some of the highs and lows for the team, here is our list of the 5 best and 5 worst Avengers events in Marvel History.
10 Secret Wars II (Worst)
While the original story may have been a huge success, Secret Wars II proved to be rather disappointing. While the original story was very simple, this one just seems to lack a lot of direction. It begins with Beyonder learning to understand day-to-day human tasks. After a series of very weird discoveries for him, he eventually grows into a much bigger threat.
While Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must assemble once again to take him down, a lot of Beyonder’s motives are unclear. Most of the story is incredibly jumbled and doesn’t make much sense. Overall, Secret Wars II was so disappointing that it lands itself as one of the worst Avengers stories in history.
9 Secret Wars (Best)
Not only is Secret Wars (the 1984 version) one of the best events in Avengers history, but it also gave us several iconic images and lasting effects. For example, the iconic cover of Hulk holding up an entire mountain to help save his friends comes from the cover of Secret Wars #4. Likewise, Spider-Man’s iconic symbiote suit made its debut during this storyline as well.
As far as the story goes, The Beyonder plucks many heroes and villains from throughout the Marvel Universe and places them in what he calls “Battleworld.” From there, everyone is simply forced to battle it out. For such a simple story, Secret Wars executes it so well that it has become one of Marvel’s greatest events yet.
8 AXIS (Worst)
AXIS was always intended to flip the Marvel Universe on its head. However, when the series actually did just that, many fans were let down by the outcome. Towards the beginning of the series, morality is flipped for the Marvel Universe, meaning that good guys became bad guys and vice versa.
While this is a very interesting concept, a lot of the characters seemed to echo each other. At times, it really felt as though there were no distinct voices anymore. Furthermore, there seemed to be some dramatic mischaracterization as well. With so many factors in what became a rather messy story, AXIS unfortunately fell apart on itself and became one of the worst Avengers events yet.
7 The Korvac Saga (Best)
Part of what makes The Korvac Saga so great is that there are several ways to approach it. On the surface, it is a fun crossover between the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy as they team together to fight the next cosmic-level threat to the universe. However, there is also a great layer of subtext that helps the book withstand the test of time.
Nowadays, it seems as though The Korvac Saga is becoming more and more forgotten. Despite this, the book is still relevant today. For a lesser-known story, it is still one of the best Avengers books that Marvel has to offer.
6 Avengers #200 (Worst)
While it may have been intended to be a celebratory issue for the title, Avengers #200 quickly became one of the most offensive comics ever. In what was supposed to be a happy moment for the team, it is soon discovered that Ms. Marvel was actually raped, resulting in a mysterious pregnancy.
If that wasn’t enough, the issue only gets weirder, revealing that Ms. Marvel’s “son” was actually the one who had raped her, using her body to transport himself to another dimension. For a reveal like this, it is incredibly difficult to see what the heroes were supposed to be celebrating. Thanks to the large-scale controversy brought about by this individual issue alone makes it easy to see how this is one of the worst Avengers events in Marvel History.
5 Civil War (Best)
Mark Millar’s original take on Civil War remains one of the most iconic Marvel comics ever. Not only does the book see virtually every major Marvel hero face off against another, but it also sees a lot of relevant politics interwoven into it.
While the aftermath of Civil War left a lot to be desired, the story itself is full of all sorts of twists, turns, betrayals, and surprises that make it a highly entertaining read. The final face off between Captain America and Iron Man is one of the most memorable and iconic moments within the series. Not only did the story translate well into the widely popular Captain America: Civil War (2016) film, but it also set the standard for all modern Marvel events.
4 Heroes Reborn (Worst)
During the late 90’s Marvel actually sought to reboot the Marvel Universe. The result was one of the worst things the publisher has yet to do. Needless to say, the reboot failed drastically and things quickly went back to the way they were.
As part of the initial launch, superstar creators like Jim Lee and Rob Leifeld helmed the redesign for many iconic Marvel heroes. Unfortunately, all the changes that were made seemed very unnecessary or unpurposeful. Though it is probably for the best that this reboot failed, that doesn’t change the fact that it is one of the worst Avengers events yet.
3 The Kree-Skrull War (Best)
At the moment, it seems as though the MCU is building towards their own adaptation of The Kree-Skrull War. In the comics, this was another cosmic-level threat that needed the assistance of many heroes across the universe to defeat it. However, despite the heavy presence of the Avengers, Mar-Vell remains the central focus of the book.
For many, The Kree-Skrull War is considered to be the best comic from that era. However, for others, it is arguably one of the best Marvel events ever. While many newer readers may not be familiar with the iconic crossover, it is easy to see why so many fans hold it in such high regard.
2 Secret Empire (Worst)
Marvel comics sparked a lot of controversy when they revealed that Captain America had actually been an agent of hydra for his entire comic book career. While this was later revealed to not be the case, the events of this storyline still culminated into what is considered to be one of the worst Marvel events in recent memory.
Not only did Secret Empire not deliver on promises made, but it also felt like a major cop-out. Considering the scale of the story, a lot of the decisions that got the characters to the end felt incredibly forced, as though there were very little rhyme or reason to them. In what could have been a great ideological battle between two versions of Captain America, the series ended with just another fist fight, making it an incredibly disappointing read.
1 Infinity Gauntlet (Best)
To this day, The Infinity Gauntlet is considered by many to be one of the greatest Marvel events ever.The story is so popular that it even served as the basis for films like Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Like in the movies, after Thanos assembles all of the Infinity Stones, he then uses them to wipe out half of all life in the universe.
While there are some pretty drastic differences between the comic and the movies, the core of the story still translates rather well. Likewise, seeing the Avengers lose on such a massive scale was incredibly jarring at the time that the book was published. Overall, with an incredibly wide cast of characters and a strong, mad villain at the helm, it is easy to see why The Infinity Gauntlet is one of (if not) the best Avengers events of all time.