from the pages of the classic Marvel Comic created in 1963,
the Avengers were a group of the world's foremost
super-heroes, given official status as a peace-keeping force
by the U.S. government. Their base of operations was Avenger's
Mansion located in New York City. From their high-tech HQ they
were on call to protect the world from globe-threatening
villains wherever regular law-enforcement agencies would be
sure to fail.
Avengers first aired in October of 1999, but the storylines
and the group roster were influenced mainly by the Avengers
comics from the early 1980's - the height of Marvel's
dominance in the pulp-comic world.
Brilliant scientist and leader
of the Avengers was Hank Pym (a.k.a. Ant-Man). Wearing a
cybernetic helmet and high-tech armor that increased his
strength, Ant-Man could shrink himself to the size of an ant
or grow to gigantic proportions.
Heiress Janet Van Dyne (a.k.a.
Wasp) was both a founding member of the Avengers and the wife
of Ant-Man, who gave her the power to shrink to insect size.
Her tiny wings gave her the power of flight at that scale. The
Wasp's firepower was increased by a protective battlesuit,
which included two extra bug-like robotic arms containing
The most powerful member of the
Avengers was Simon Williams (a.k.a Wonder Man). His body was
super-charged with ionic energy, transforming him into a
living powerhouse. He had superhuman strength, was impervious
to bullets, and had the ability to fly.
Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a. Scarlet
Witch) was born a mutant with the power to 'hex' an object,
causing strange, unpredictable things to happen. With a simple
gesture she could make gun barrels melt, force objects to fly
through the air, or cause things to burst into flames.
The Vision was a synthezoid - an
artificial being - created by Ultron as a weapon to destroy
the Avengers. But when the brain wave patterns of Wonder Man
were downloaded into his computer mind, the Vision betrayed
his evil master and instead joined the Avengers. The Vision
possessed the power to alter his density, becoming as
immaterial as vapor or as hard as a diamond. He could also
fire beams of solar energy from his eyes.
Cocky and confident, Clint
Barton was the expert archer known as Hawkeye. His quiver
included a variety of high-tech arrows designed for
specialized tasks. Hawkeye also wore protective body armor
that incorporated the component parts of his bow.
Greer Nelson underwent
treatments to improve her athletic abilities. Something went
wrong and she was instead transformed into a fur-covered
creature with incredible speed, agility, and the enhanced
senses and claws of a cat. Taking the name Tigra, she became a
fearless feline fighter who loved the thrill and the danger of
Social worker Sam Wilson adopted
the costumed identity of the Falcon in order to fight the
crime that was rampant in his neighborhood. He used artificial
wings that allowed him to soar alongside his trained falcon,
Redwing. After he saved the President's life, the Falcon was
made a member of the Avengers and given a combat suit that
incorporated a number of built-in weapons.
As mighty as its members were,
Avengers failed to capture the appeal of a wide audience like
other Marvel Comics based series done around the same time,
such as X-Men and
Spider-Man. After a
single season the series was cancelled, forcing the Avengers'
more popular contemporaries to shoulder the burden of saving