The most iconic superhero team of all time may well be the Avengers. Over the years there have been dozens of different members, coming from all corners of the Marvel universe. Many of them the most powerful and strong-willed people the universe has ever seen.
Although it is a rare honor to become an Avenger, it is an even rarer honor to be chosen as the team's chairperson/ leader. Of the many leaders the Avengers have had, many of them have been great, while some have been bad. Here are the top five best Avengers leaders, and the top five worst.
For most of her history, Captain Marvel would have, and should have, been listed as one of the best Avengers and Avengers leaders. After the recent Civil War II, however, that changed.
Taking a pro-interventionist stance, Captain Marvel chose to use the Avengers to stop crimes before they happened. The ethical implications of such a decision are obvious, and obviously pointed out to her throughout the series. Despite that, she still leads the Avengers to war with one another, almost leading to the death of Tony Stark.
Despite this, she has been a great leader in other respects, and is by far the best leader the Ultimates has ever had.
When certain events caused the public to further distrust mutant superheroes, Captain America decided to form the Avengers Unity Squad. Made up of humans and mutants alike, this Avengers team was held up as an example of unity between humans and mutants.
The best leader of this team by far has been Rogue. She defeated the Red Skull while he had Xavier's powers and helped the team overcome many impossible obstacles. She even continued to lead while she was dying from undergoing Inhuman Terrigenesis.
Iron Man could have easily been the number one leader on this list. Save for one event: Civil War. Much like Captain Marvel's actions in Civil War II, Iron Man's actions were not so heroic during this event.
While he thought he was doing right, Stark was clearly in the wrong. This is especially evident from the fact that the Superhuman Registration act was so quickly overturned only a few years after the massive event. In deciding that all superhumans should be forced to reveal their identities and work for the government, Iron Man fractured the Avengers for years, and got Captain America killed (though he did come back).
Despite this, for most of his history Stark has been a great leader. He just had some bad moments.
After Steve Rogers had the Super Soldier Serum removed from his bloodstream, he lost all his powers and quickly aged into an old man. Unable to carry on the mantle of Captain America, he decided to pass on the mantle to his longtime partner, Falcon (Sam Wilson).
Sam not only took on the responsibility of Captain America, but also the leadership of the Avengers. Sam made for a competent replacement in both respects, leading the new Avengers team too many great victories.
When Captain America first decided to form the Avengers Unity Squad, he chose Alex Summers (aka Havok) as its leader. Since it was the actions of Alex's brother, Cyclops, that sowed additional distrust for Mutantkind, it seemed fitting that Alex would be the one to bring everyone back together.
It would have been. If not for Havok's actions. Shortly after taking leadership, Alex left the team. That would be bad enough, but he also went back to be with his brother. The man who caused all their problems in the first place.
When the original Avengers decided to disband, there was a void left in the superhero community. Someone needed to take their place. So, the New Avengers were formed. Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, and Ms Marvel were prominent members of the team, although other heroes came and left the team over time.
This team's best leader was Luke Cage. Character-wise, it always made sense that Luke was a great leader. Until the New Avengers, he never got to fulfill this potential. He wasn't a disappointment.
A co-leader with Black Widow, the Black Knight was also a short-lived leader of the Avengers. Although not in any way incompetent, he is most likely the most forgettable Avengers leader next to Doctor Druid.
What probably makes him the worst is that he wasn't even needed. The team would've done just as well, if not better, with Black Widow as its sole leader.
One of the founding members, Wasp has been an Avengers staple for decades. Although not the leader of the team when she first joined, she proved her ability over time and quickly rose to the top.
Other than the number one leader, Wasp has been the Avengers leader longer than anyone else. This is a testament to her great leadership as well as the respect she's earned from other Avengers.
A magician endowed with many mystical abilities, Dr. Druid isn't exactly a standout among Marvel characters. It's hard to imagine him as the leader of the Avengers, but it did happen for a time.
Elected as leader by Thor, She-Hulk, and the Black Knight, Druid was only the leader of the Avengers for a short time. While it seems baffling, it makes sense upon learning that the three other Avengers at the time were mind controlled into choosing him as their leader. After learning that it all makes sense. After all, he was the fourth best option.
Your favorite Avenger's favorite Avenger. Captain America was born to be a leader. He's lead the time through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Much like the Civil War event showed Stark to be not a very good leader, it also showed why Cap is the best. Even though he knew he was right, Rogers saw all the damage the heroes were doing. In order to save civilian lives and not further lose their trust, he surrendered. This surrender eventually leads to his death. A truly great leader indeed.