Top 10 Avengers covers

Published on May 3rd, 2012

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With the Avengers film coming out in just a few hours I was thinking it would be fun to go back and look at some of the best covers from earth’s mightiest heroes. Please note I am not going to post key issues such as Avengers #4 the first appearance of Captain America in the “Silver Age” of Comics. These are some of my favorite covers till the very end of Avengers Disassembled event story line by Brian Michael Bendis in 2004. This also does not cover any of the New Avengers or the the ongoing avengers currently being published by Marvel. I would also like to thank marvel.wikia.com for there help with all the synopsis each issues.

Here is a bit of fun fact about myself, my first Avengers comic is Avengers #316, which I bought at a 7-eleven. I remember asking myself why is Spider-man wearing a space helmet  and having no idea what was going on. I also remember later that summer I found Avengers 275 – 314 in at Yard Sale for only $ 2.00. So minus a few issues here and there I have been reading Avengers since back in the 1990’s. I think I have only taken a break from the book before AvsX. That is why Avengers 316 is my favorite cover,  it holds a special place in my heart.

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Avengers #25 – Cover by Jack Kirby and Don Heck (February 1966)

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver recieve a letter from their Aunt in Latveria and decide to visit her. When they arrive they are jailed and discover it is a trap set up by Doctor Doom, who decides defeating the Avengers will instil fear in to the Fantastic Four,making them easy to defeat. The Fantastic Four attempt to assist the Avengers, but are not allowed, as interference could spark an international incident. Nevertheless, the Avengers escape and fight Doom to a standstill, where he causes a divertion and escapes.

Avengers #75 – Cover by John Buscema (April 1970)
Jarvis is alerted of an intruder by the Avengers alarm system, however this intruder turns out to be the former Avenger, Quicksilver, who has come seeking the groups aid. When he learns that the group is not there, he speeds over to the docks where the group is seeing Henry Pym and Janet Van Dyne off on a scientific study on the effects on oil fields on wildlife in Alaska.

Quicksilver arrives, and after some initial misunderstanding that leads to Quicksilver fighting the Avengers, he tells them why he has sought them out. He explains that after leaving Magneto, he, his sister the Scarlet Witch and the Toad eventually sought out a means to restore the Witch’s lost powers by reading ancient books of magic. While exploring one library of ancient books, they came across one such book. Compelled to incant on particular spell, Wanda transported a being known as Arkon to their world, he quickly decides to choose the Scarlet Witch as his mate. Arkon easily defeats Quicksilver and Toad (striking Toad with one of his thunderbolts, sending him to points unknown.)

After their battle, Arkon explains that he is the ruler of another world which is governed by the glory of combat. It’s a world gifted with eternal daylight due to an energy ring that exists around the planet. However, that ring one day dissipated and for the first time, Arkon’s world experienced darkness. Seeking the advisement of both scientist and prophet’s alike, Arkon learned that it was Earth’s scientists experiments with the atom bomb that has caused the destruction of his world’s light. With his story finished, Arkon vows to destroy the Earth, however he returns back to his own world taking the Scarlet Witch with him.

Just as Quicksilver finishes his story, the Avengers turn their attention to a TV shop where they see a news report that tells that Arkon has appeared at a conference of the worlds leading nuclear physicists, threatening to destroy the world.

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Avengers #96 – Cover by Neal Adams (February 1972)

Boarding SHIELD’s space station, the Avengers are granted the use of a space shuttle by Nick Fury so that they may travel to the Andromeda galaxy to rescue their captured friends Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel.

While traveling through space, they run into a Skrull armada and engage them in battle, and manage to fight back the invading force and board the lead ship.

They raise the Skrull home world where the emperor reveals to them that he has been manipulating Mar-Vel into creating an Omni-Wave device which he plans to use as a weapon. However, Mar-Vel has used the device to cast a holographic illusion of himself, and begins fighting to free himself and his friends. The Emperor orders his fleet to then initiate plan Delta before cutting off the transmission. The Vision, furious over the events and the risk to Wanda’s life, beats the ship captain nearly to death, to learn that plan Delta is a plan to raze the entire planet Earth. Captain America sends Goliath on a life or death mission to stop the Skrull craft that is to be utilized in this plot.

Meanwhile on the Kree homeworld, Rick Jones (captured by the Kree last issue) is brought before Ronan the Accuser, who has Rick locked up with the Supreme Intelligence. There the Intelligence explains that Rick is a important part of the Kree-Skrull War and opens a dimensional gate that transports Rick to the Negative Zone. When he arrives there he finds Annhilius there waiting for him.

Avengers #116 – Cover by John Romita Sr. (October 1973)

This is a continuation of the story started in Defenders #8… The Avengers have traveled to Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorium seeking work with Dr. Strange, however all attempts to get inside (Both passive and aggressive) have been met with resistance both from Dr. Strange’s man-servant Wong, and the mystical protections cast upon the house.

In the Dark Dimension, Dormammu savors the fact that he has tricked his mortal foe, Dr. Strange, into collecting the the fragments of the Evil Eye for him. Loki, being denied the restoration of his vision (for now) by Dormammu reflects on the past events that led to this current situation: How he had teamed up with Dormammu and tricked the Defenders into setting out to collect the fragments of the Evil Eye (destroyed by the Human Torch some time ago) thinking that it would be the means to free their friend the Black Knight who is currently trapped in stone, when in reality, it would allow Dormammu to take over Earth’s dimension. Using the Orb of Agamotto, Dr. Strange was able to pinpoint the different fragments and so the Defenders split up to seek them out.

Fearing being double crossed by Dormammu, and figuring if he would take over Earth, Asgard could be the demons next target, Loki decides to seek the aid of the Avengers. Appearing before them at Avengers Mansion, Loki explains to the Avengers that the Defenders are seeking out the fragments of the Evil Eye for sinister ends, and so the Avengers split up into groups to intercept each member of the Defenders in hopes of stopping them

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Avengers #135 – Cover By Jim Starlin (May 1975)

Continuing his travels through time to learn his origins, the Vision sees that after the original Human Torch’s “death” battling the Fantastic Four, the Mad Thinkers lab was soon visited by Ultron. Ultron explains his origins to the computer Quasimodo, and then explains his desire to use an android against the Avengers and how he had gotten the location of the Torch’s body from the Mad Thinker himself. Ultron then takes the Torch’s body leaving Quasimodo behind to be found by the Silver Surfer.

While back on Earth in Vietnam, Moondragon has arrived to greet the Avengers. The spectral form taking the shape of the late Swordsman explains to all present that Moondragon and Mantis were destined to live similar lives, and that one of them was to be the Celestial Madonna, Mantis being the first choice and Moondragon was the back up should Mantis prove to be unworthy of the title.

Back in time, Vision learns that Ultron was unable to repair the Torch’s body, and so sought out Phineas T. Horton to help repair the android. Horton, now a down on his luck property manager was easily coerced into helping Ultron. However, once the Human Torch was rebuilt into the body which would be known as the Vision, Phineas sacrifices his life trying to stop Ultron, but ultimately fails. Fearing that the Torch’s personality would be a cause for the Vision to revolt, Ultron then planned to use the brain patterns of Simon Williams (aka Wonder Man) to insure that the Vision would comply with his orders. This story is continued in Giant-Size Avengers #4…

Avengers #145 – Cover by Eli Katz and Dan Adkins (March 1976)

The mysterious masked Assassin has been hired by a man who is a representative for many of the Avengers former foes. After showing the Assassin a series of recordings of various Avengers in action as a team, or in their solo careers he asks the Assassin if the masked killer will take the job. After some consideration, the Assassin takes the job and vows that the Avengers will all be dead in a year.

A year later, Captain America happens upon a group of thieves robbing a store, all wearing Captain America masks. The Star Spangled Avenger battles these common thugs completely unaware that they are in the employ of the Assassin, and this is all part of the killers plan. Captain America makes short work of most of the crooks but one flees down the street, luring Captain America into firing range of the Assassin’s special weapon. The blast seemingly kills Captain America, and the Assassin then calls one of the local residents who’s window over looks where Captain America has fallen and ask her to call the police.

As planned, Captain America is taken to the hospital which brings in the rest of the Avengers. Thor and Iron Man arrive at the hospital first to learn that Captain America’s life is slowly dwindling away, when the two contemplate if Thor should try to aid the doctors as Donald Blake, Iron Man decides it’s better for them to go to his Long Island research lab. Hawkeye, having heard the news as well rushes into the hospital and toward Captain America’s room. There he finds two strange creatures about to enter the Captain’s room. Hawkeye fights them off however they manage to escape when they fill the hallway with gas. When he arrives outside Cap’s room he finds Beast, Scarlet Witch and Vision all waiting for him. Hawkeye relieves them from watch duty, however the Vision stays behind with Hawkeye to continue to watch forward. As the night carries on both Hawkeye and Vision reflect on their relationships with Captain America.

The Avengers are completely unaware that even now the Assassin is watching their every move and is going to strike again very soon. This story is continued next issue…

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Avengers #201 -Cover by George Pérez and Terry Austin (November 1980)

Jarvis is given a few days off for the first time in awhile. He decides to visit his Mother, who looks distraught. Jarvis learns that an adult bully, named The Bruiser, has been terrorizing the neighborhood. He has been attacking people, including his Mother, and stealing their money, all the while humiliating them. Jarvis decides to take on this bully, after he learns that his Mother’s eggs were vandalized. Jarvis defeats The Bruiser in short order, with the help of the other townspeople, embarrassing The Bruiser, and forcing him to terrorize another neighborhood, while having his Mother make pudding for everyone in celebration.

Avengers #275 – Cover by John Buscema and Tom Palmer (January 1987)

Ant Man and Wasp defend a comatose Hercules from the Absorbing Man and Titania. Zemo gloats over a captured Cap who is forced to watch Mr. Hyde beat up Jarvis.

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Avengers #316 – Cover by Paul Ryan and Tom Palmer (April 1990)

Iron Man and Vision take a ride out to the moon and find Nebula’s starship. They break in and are joined by the rest of the team and make their way to the control room to confront Nebula. However, once there they find Nebula has been subdued by Starfox. Unfortunately, an enraged Stranger shows up to spoil their victory.

Avengers #327 – Cover by Paul Ryan and Tom Palmer (December 1990)

The Avengers attempt to contain Ramskov and defend themselves from his radiation attacks. Captain America learns from Agent Sikorsky that the US has canceled the Avengers’ charter as part of an arms treaty with the Russians. Sersi and Thor transport the Avengers and Ramskov to a dimension where magic rules and not technology which temporarily restores Ramskov to normal. Unfortunately, they’re attacked by the dimension’s locals and repel their attack.

Simon Daoudi
Simon@ComicImpact.com