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Knowledge Waits: 11 Superheroes That Refused Membership in the Avengers

by  in Comic News Comment
Knowledge Waits: 11 Superheroes That Refused Membership in the Avengers

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Here is a collection of all of the installments in the feature so far.

Today we take a look at eleven superheroes who, at one point or another, refused membership in the Avengers.


NOTE: I don’t mean longterm Avengers who turned down membership temporarily at different points in their lives, like Cap having to leave the team for one crisis or another or Yellowjacket not joining back up at various times. I mean heroes who had either never been members or who had not been members for such a long time when they turned the offer down that it was basically like a fresh offer (like had Wonder Man turned the Avengers down after he returned from the “dead”).

One of the first, and most prominent, heroes to turn down Avengers membership was Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3 (by Stan Lee, John Romita, Don Heck and Mike Esposito). The Avengers are oddly procedural about the whole thing, even calling in Daredevil – not to offer HIM membership (he had not yet been officially offered up as a possible member – yes, I know, that’s as dumb as it sounds) but to see what he thought about Spider-Man…

The Avengers then offer Spider-Man membership, but first he has to pass a test. He has to get the Hulk to the Avengers so that they can capture him. Spidey starts on that path, but then feels bad for the Hulk and lets him escape, thus squashing any chance he had of being an Avenger…

The Avengers had pretty good luck for the next few years.

In Avengers #211 (by Jim Shooter, Gene Colan and Dan Green), Moondragon brings a bunch of heroes to the Avenger Mansion to test to see if they would make good Avengers. When they come to, they all leave. Since none of them were actually OFFERED Avengers membership (one of the heroes, Tigra, talks her way on to the team), then I don’t think it counts as refusing membership. But if you count it, that’s three more heroes, as Iceman, Moon Knight and Angel all turn the Avengers down.

In Avengers #221 (by Jim Shooter, David Michelinie, Bob Hall and Brett Breeding), the Wasp holds a meeting for prospective new female Avengers. While there, they’re attacked. Dazzler, Invisible Girl and Spider-Woman all turn her down (Black Widow does, as well, but I’m not counting her, since she had been an Avenger relatively recently at the time). She-Hulk takes her up on the offer, though…

In Incredible Hulk #284 (by Bill Mantlo, Sal Buscema and Joe Sinnott), the Hulk (who had just recently gained the ability to remain the Hulk even with Bruce Banner’s intellect in charge) is offered membership in the Avengers…

We see in the next issue (by Mantlo, Buscema and Chic Stone) that he turned it down, as Bruce explains to Scott Lang that he wants time to just be “Bruce Banner,” as well…

In Spectacular Spider-Man #90 (by Al Milgrom and Jim Mooney), Black Cat is looking for Spider-Man (who had disappeared during the Secret Wars event) and is offered membership in the Avengers by the Vision…

While she doesn’t OVERTLY turn it down, she never follows up on it, so I think it counts as turning it down.

Go to the next page for more Avenger membership refusals!

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