The Avengers Were Jerks to Spider-Man on His Tryout to Join the Team

In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Maurice F., we take a look at Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3 (by Stan Lee, John Romita and Don Heck) and see how the Avengers decided to be jerks to Spider-Man when they determine whether to have him join the team.

Okay, to start with, after the Avengers formed at the end of #1 (where they literally decided to say, "We were just hunting down the Hulk because we figured that he was a public menace, but, eh, sure, let's have him on the team"), the first new member to join was Captain America, who impressed them in battle against the Hulk and Namor, so fair enough. No worries here...

Then, however, Avengers #16 came out and the Avengers let Hawkeye join after he BREAKS INTO THEIR HEADQUARTERS AND TIES UP THEIR BUTLER!!

That was at least a showing of some sort of skill. The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver then get added to the team merely by WRITING A LETTER ASKING TO JOIN!

But in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3, suddenly new applicants have to be given a TRIAL before they join despite that, you know, obviously not being the case for their three previous members (and it wouldn't be a requirement when the Vision joins a few years later, either).

How stupid does Wasp sound, by the way? "I have decided that I will now take on Wasp attributes for no reason."

So Thor goes out and just gets Spider-Man...

When Spider-Man gets to meet the team, however, he's on edge and he's all, "So, what do I have to do?" And he picks fights with the Avengers. It doesn't help that everything he says has the Wasp going, "See! I told you! Spiders suck! I am a moron!"

Finally, they come up with a ridiculous task for him...

I love the notion that the Avengers were all "Too busy" to just take the Hulk in themselves. Dudes, you were sitting around and staring at a photo of Spider-MAn for hours, you're not too busy! And I also like the whole "we were all too busy." Sure, I bet Hawkeye had too much going on to take down the Hulk by himself. Sure. It's just so ridiculously messed up to send Spider-Man off to fight someone as dangerous as the Hulk as a TEST.

Anyhow, Spidey actually somehow manages to pass the test, but in the process, he learns that the Hulk is secretly Bruce Banner and since the Avengers ridiculously forgot to tell Spidey WHY they wanted him to take in the Hulk (actually, they forgot to tell the reader, as well, as it seems a bit unclear), he figures it wouldn't be fair to Banner, who Spidey really respects as a scientist. So he pretends to fail his mission...

You're too good for them, Spidey! Just wait until they disband and reform, maybe you can join them then!

Thanks for the suggestion, Maurice! If anyone else has a future idea for I Love Ya But You're Strange, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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