The Avengers did not always treat the idea of a chairperson as a major thing, and in fact, for the first 100 or so issues, they not only rotated chairpersons, they did not even always say who WAS the chairperson! So you could theoretically argue that any number of Avengers were chairpersons during the early years, but for the sake of this list, I am just listing the top five Avengers who were specifically noted as being chairpersons. Without further ado, here are the Avengers who have been chairperson of the Avengers (counting both branches) the most issues!
(Check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far)
5. Black Widow
Definitely a weird choice to see in the top five Avengers leaders, but Black Widow was the chairperson of the Avengers for over FIFTY issues!
Her stint, though, was bizarre because she was really more of an administrative chairperson, and her teammate Black Knight did most of the field leading. Natasha served as a sort of administrator for Captain America when Cap was chairperson, and when he left, she got his job, but stayed as an administrator.
When Black Knight left the team, Natasha, due to necessity, took over being field leader, as well.
She's also notable for being the Avengers leader who couldn't manage to form a new team when she thought Cap and the rest were killed during Onslaught, despite a goodly chunk of her current team still being alive (her, Deathcry, Quicksilver and Hercules - or basically the same lineup she was leading just a year or so earlier!).
4. Iron Man
Iron Man only edges out Black Widow because I'm counting him as at least CO-chairperson during the early New Avengers issues. That's fair, right?
He certainly SEEMED to be leading the team.
Currently, as head of SHIELD, he is the technical "head" of the Mighty Avengers, but I think Ms. Marvel is more of what you would consider the chairperson of the group.
Hawkeye gets here by virtue of basically being the main leader of the Avengers West Coast throughout their history, specifically the first 40 or so issues (plus the dozen or so appearances before their ongoing series) and then a later stint on the team.
Wasp edges out Hawkeye due to her short-lived stint as Avengers chairperson when Captain America left the team during Kurt Busiek and George Perez's run, and Scarlet Witch was unprepared to take over the job as full-time chairperson. That's what happened, right? I'm not misremembering that, am I?
Anyhow, Wasp led the Avengers for most of the 80s, from #217-278, with a few notable gaps in between (when Vision became the leader of the team).
1. Captain America
Captain America was the first Avenger to be named permanent chairperson (although I think they said chairMAN back then, which is weird, because by the time Cap got the job, Wasp had specifically BEEN chair for a few issues), and in the first 100 issues, while Cap wasn't TECHNICALLY the chairperson all the time he was on the team, while he was there, everyone essentially treated him as the leader.
In fact, Wasp had the embarrassing scenario of being chairperson when the Avengers were caught up in Secret Wars and have everyone say, "Yeah, okay, but we'd prefer Cap be the leader of everyone, okay?"
So yeah, Cap and Avengers chairperson go together nicely, well, except for him being dead, of course.
That's the list!
Agree? Disagree? Let me know!