You’ve seen a list like this before, claiming to rank the best and the worst members of a superteam. Those lists were fun, but this is the only ranking of the Avengers you will ever need! After all, the Avengers are Earth’s mightiest heroes; it’s important to determine whether a hero is indeed mighty, or if they would be better off as a reserve member of the Secret Defenders. Forget what you’ve seen before- this is the most scientific, indisputable, well-reasoned Avengers ranking of all time.
The rules are this: each hero was ranked taking four main factors into consideration. First is their superpowers. This is Earth’s Mightiest Heroes after all. Are they powerful? Are they unique? More points are given to characters with greater powers, but also to those who can do things no one else can. Thor ranks very highly here, Hawkeye does not. Next up is their personality. Are they a team player? Would you want to be on a team with them? Captain America ranks highly in this category, Quicksilver ranks near the bottom. Third, the characters were rated in how interesting they are. This is determined by looking at how many excellent Avengers stories they appeared in, how much they contributed to those stories, and whether or not they could (and have) headlined a solo series. Spider-Man ranks highly here, Swordsman does not. Finally, there is a factor that we will call “classic Avengers status.” Preference is given to heroes that served with the team a long time and was with the team for critical moments. Vision ranks very highly here, Wolverine has certainly been an Avenger for many issues of comics, but he does not rank as highly.
Are we clear? Those four categories taken together give you your scientifically determined Avengers score. Today we’ll take a look at some of the worst heroes to carry official Avengers ID cards. For our purposes, there have been 96 official members of the Avengers. Again, this is not to rank them simply as characters, but also as members of the world’s most powerful superteam.
The worst Avenger of all time, Starfox has many special powers, but he’s remembered for one in particular. According to the official Marvel wiki, Eros of Titan’s “chief power is to stimulate the pleasure centers in the brains of others.” Gross. In the hands of someone with scruples that would be bad enough, but Starfox uses those powers in exactly as creepy a way as you’d imagine. Plus whenever he’s involved, your likelihood of encountering his brother Thanos, goes way up. Keep this awful loser as far away from the Avengers as possible.
#95 Doctor Druid
Anthony Druid is a poor man’s Stephen Strange. Take away the psychedelic fun and the sex appeal and replace it with being psychically tricked into betraying his team, and you have an awful Avenger.
#94 Jack of Hearts
The most memorable things Jonathan Hart ever did was explode to death. You could blame Scarlet Witch and her terrible, horrible, no good very bad day (a day which will be mentioned frequently on this list), but that was only after he freaked out about how destructive his powers are and killed himself. Yikes.
Elvin Haliday is a thirteen-year-old kid who transforms into a shirtless, super-strong, adult biker. That’s weird, even for the Avengers. He made more sense on the New Warriors, and really needs a new mask, preferably one that covers his nose.
Poor Dennis Dunphy. You always get the feeling that Steve Rogers invited him to the Avengers out of pity. He’s a super-wrestler who was mostly ignored while on the Avengers, then started living in a sewer. He’s got one of the worst superhero costumes of all time, and has spent more time as a villainous henchman than a hero. I hope he gets the help he needs, I’m really rooting for the guy.
A mostly evil wizard, Kaluu teamed up with Luke Cage’s Mighty Avengers for a surprisingly long time. He’s full of potential for an awesome redemptive arc, but never really managed to make an impact.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Walter Newell. His main problem is that he’s a weak substitute for Iron Man, with a myopic obsession with the ocean. All the silly jokes you’ve ever heard about Aquaman apply, but more so.
Alex Summers is a classic X-Men character, but his tenure leading the joint mutant/human Unity Squad was mostly a disaster. He made a fool of himself in front of the press, tragedy befell almost all of the members of his team and he himself left in disgrace. After marrying Janet Van Dyne a.k.a. The Wasp, having a daughter with her, losing the daughter to time travel shenanigans, and being turned magically evil by the Scarlet Witch, Alex kidnapped Janet and went on the run.
Kelsey Leigh could have been cool. She has a cool look, and was a single mother of two from a blue collar English town. She has a pretty basic power set, some cool looking weapons but… she just sort of quietly vanished. Lionheart looks great on a splash page, but never did much of note.
Following Captain America is always going to be a tough act, and Sam Walker certainly has his moments, but when you get down to it he’s a substitute and a jerk. He’s what your uninformed friends thought Captain America would be like- a rude, right-wing, jingoistic nut. He’s the version of Captain America who would be questioning whether it’s OK to punch a Neo-Nazi if they have American citizenship.
#86 Power Man (Victor Alvarez)
This version of Power Man “can absorb chThere have been a lot of Avengers over the years- and I mean a lot. Marvel’s mightiest superhero team has gone from a band of plucky adventurers to a multi-team, world spanning organization including every hero you can name, a bunch you cannot.
A lot of different people have tried their hand at ranking the Avengers, figuring out who’s the best, and who would be better off as i (life force) from his environment, granting him superhuman strength generation of personal force fields and, accelerated healing” according to the official Marvel website. Vic is pretty cool, and speaks his mind, but he spends too much time playing second fiddle to the older members of the team. He works much better teamed up with other street-level heroes.
One of the earliest additions to the team, Jacques Duquesne will probably be best remembered as the man who trained Hawkeye. Still, you have to do something pretty spectacular to distinguish yourself as a non-powered member of the Avengers, and Swordsman hasn’t. Plus, when your main thing is carrying around a deadly blade on a team with a no-killing policy, you’ve really got to question your life choices.
Maybe the all-time greatest member of the Defenders, Patsy Walker has a spotty record with the Avengers. On the one hand, she’s yet another costumed martial artist, but she distinguishes herself by also being an expert in dark magic. That’s pretty cool. Still, recent comics have shown us that Patsy works best as a solo freelancer. Her personal life brings too much baggage to the team.
#83 Moon Knight
Speaking of personal baggage… Moon Knight is literally crazy. The whole point of Moon Knight is that he’s insane, he doesn’t even know who he is or what he can do. Does he have superpowers? Probably not- unless he actually does. Moon Knight is the perfect character for a solo comic, but his aggressive insanity and lack of reliable powers disqualifies Moon Knight from Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Hailing from the recruitment drive of the late 90s, Maria de Guadalupe Santiago is one of those superheroes created by a white guy who has the powers of her homeland, in this case taking on South American animal abilities. There’s a way to make that work, but Silverclaw was quickly forgotten.
What are Abyss’s powers? I’m not sure, what aren’t her powers? She’s the last of her kind, some sort of cosmic embodiment of the void of death, she’s made of gas, she can mind control the Hulk. She’s extremely powerful. She’s also never appeared in any story with her own agency or as anything more than an intriguing plot device.
#80 Living Lightning
Miguel Santos actually predates the late 90s recruitment drive by showing up in West Coast Avengers as early as 1990. Still, for a dude who is exactly what his name says he is, he doesn’t do much with all that power. He shows up sporadically as an Avengers associate, and is quickly forgotten again.
Cool as a solo act, super weird as an Avenger. Blade originally joined Luke Cage’s Mighty Avengers wearing an off-brand Spider-Man costume and going by the name Spider Hero. He proved himself valuable to the team, and was eventually unmasked, before taking up the identity of Ronin, one of those superhero names that gets passed around from hero to hero. The Daywalker is a lot of things, but a prominent Avenger is still not yet one of them.
Part of the Avengers Unity Squad, Shiro Yashida was mostly a jerk. Considering his job was to be the face of human/mutant relations, he did a pretty poor job. He gets points for saving the world and being one of the most competent members of a pretty dysfunctional team. He never died or turned evil.
Here’s another Avenger with an anger management problem, but at least that’s part of his powers. Chris Powell has a space amulet that makes him a flying, bladed, barely-in-control powerhouse. He joined the West Coast Avengers, but instead of redeeming himself, his superhero career sort of fell apart. He was the only adult kidnapped by Arcade in “Avengers Arena.” That’s pretty embarrassing.
There’s a proud history of Avengers who started as villains before becoming heroes. Flint Marko did not get there. After a short stint with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, he went right back to robbing banks and teaming up with the Sinister Six.
Another one of the cosmic plot devices that joined the team in Jonathan Hickman’s run, Nightmask seems like a nice… person-thing. He was grown in a Martian machine by Ex Nihilo, then granted Multiversal knowledge by the White Event. Nightmask’s biggest problem after being very confusing is that the use of his powers cause him to age backwards, potentially to the point of no longer existing! Until he solves that problem, he should take a break from superheroing.
A great X-Man and a member of the Avengers Unity Squad, Rogue had a huge chip on her shoulder about human/mutant relations. Honestly, her anger was justified, but considering how high stakes their missions were, Rogue’s attitude was a huge liability.
#73 Red Hulk
Thaddeus Ross’s membership on the Avengers never entirely made sense. He’s the Hulk, but red and less out of control, but he hates most of his teammates. He spent a surprisingly long time as a member of the Avengers and considering his vast strength, accomplished very little.
#72 White Tiger (Ava Ayala)
The amulet of the White Tiger gives Ava Ayala superhuman strength and speed, kung fu mastery, and the ability to never have to sleep or eat. Still, stronger-than-average martial artists are easy to come by on the Avengers. Ava gets pretty far on sheer confidence alone, but she’s going to have to really come through to become an important Avenger.
#71 Captain Universe
Of all of Hickman’s superpowerful plot devices, none were more powerful or more plot device-y than Tamara Devoux. Not the first human to have possessed the infinite powers of the Universe, Tamara ended up playing a crucial role in “Infinity” and “Time Runs Out,” but how much was by her own agency and how much was an expression of cosmic destiny was never clear.
#70 Ex Nihilo
The first villain in Jonathan Hickman’s “Avengers” run, Ex Nihilo had powers as weird as his look. He could, among other things, control and create life. He should have been a major asset to the team, but seemed more interested in his own mysterious agenda.
Kevin Connor has the most potential of all of Hickman’s cosmic additions to the team. He has potentially infinite energy powers, but is an undeserving loser. That pretty much embodies the theme of great power and great responsibility.
Vance Astrovik has a lot going on, much of it really cool, but little of it having to do with the Avengers. He’s been a Defender, he was a mainstay in the New Warriors, he’s even an important member of the Guardians of the Galaxy under the name Major Victory (there’s a lot of time travel and multiverse stuff involved). He was recruited to the Avengers in the late 90s, and even survived a battle with Ultron. If Vance could consistently stick with one thing for a while, there’s hope for him yet.
As one of the most prominent members of the New Mutants, one would think Sam Guthrie would stick with X-teams, but he branched out and joined the Avengers. He made more sense there than even he anticipated, and brought a great sense of enthusiasm to the team. Still, personal stuff got in the way and he ended up leaving the team (and Earth) to go raise a baby.
Today more people think of Mantis as being associated with the Guardians of the Galaxy, but she was one of the first Avengers recruited in the 1970s. There have been far too few psychics in the Avengers over the years; there should be a space for Mantis. She’s a powerful, classic member of the original team who never managed to do much.
#65 Mr. Fantastic
Believe it or not, Reed and Sue Richards were made official members of the Avengers in issue #300 during the big X-Men “Inferno” crossover. By comics legend Walt Simonson no less! Still, despite being a genius with a fairly unique superpower, Reed Richards is an insufferable know it all. He should stick to adventuring with his family in the pages of “Fantastic Four.”
And with that, we’ve ranked a third of the Avengers. There are still plenty more to go, and we’ll continue the ranking in part 2. So far, it’s a pretty indisputable list, right? Oh, you disagree? Feel free to sound off in the comments, and tell us who you think the is the worst all-time Avenger!
Keywords: avengers, ranking, list, earth’s mightiest heroes, comics, marvel