Sunday, October 26, 2014




Created by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby  First Appearance: THE AVENGERS #1 (1964)

When you speak of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, you speak of The Avengers! Originally consisting of Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Ant-Man and the Hulk, the team didn't get its unity and heart and soul until Captain America joined the group in The Avengers #4 (1964). Since then an ever evolving rotating roster and sub-teams have become the hallmark. While Cap, Iron Man and Thor have become the highest-esteemed and most valuable team members, no matter who is within its ranks, the team lives by the credo; "And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's Mightest heroes found themselves untied against a common threat! On that day, the Avengers were born, to fight the foes no single superhero can withstand." And they are lead forth by the battle cry of "Avengers Assemble!"

Today, the Avengers are bigger and badder than ever due to blockbuster movies and best-selling merchandise everywhere you look. But long before the mass-media had given them widespread acceptance, the Avengers have been fighting the biggest and most dangerous battles that the Marvel Universe had to offer. And that's something they will continue to do despite their world-wide claims to fame. The Avengers are simply the last line of defense for planet Earth! Even intergalactic races, war-mongers and cosmic beings throughout the universe respect and fear them.

As "Greatest Battles" go, none are bigger or have more at stake than the ones that the Avengers are usually in. No matter what major event, crossover, saga, or all-powerful villain comes on the scene to threaten the Marvel Universe (and your limited comic book money), you can bet that the Avengers will be somewhere in the thick of it fighting the good fight with gusto and glory. Simply put; if it's a big-deal, then step back and watch the Avengers handle the situation as only they can!

The 5 battles I listed here are those such events and situations that changed the face of comics and kept us coming back for more. Enjoy the greatness of superhero action at its finest because that's what the Avengers are all about...

5.) THE AVENGERS #19 - 22 (1999)


Writer: Kurt Busiek  Artists: George Perez and Al Vey

Made from pure Adamantium, the insane, robotic organism known as Ultron is ready for world domination. He recreates all of the previous Ultrons as well as hundreds of new bodies, many whom are made of secondary Adamantium. With this unstoppable army programmed to do his bidding, they completely obliterate the Eastern European nation of Slorenia. When the Avengers arrive on the scene, they battle through legions of Ultron's army and are almost completely overwhelmed. Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther and Firestar manage to press on, finally getting to Ultron himself. As the battle rages, the Avengers cannot manage to hurt their impregnable foe. But once they are given Vibranium when Jutsice shows up, they are finally able to hurt and defeat Ultron.

4.) JLA/AVENGERS #1 - 4 (2003/2004)  

Writer: Kurt Busiek  Artist: George Perez

Krona, the Maltusian from the DC Universe travels to the Marvel Universe to seek the truth of creation. There he meets the Grandmaster, who proposes they test their universes against one another. Should Krona win, the Grandmaster will lead him to Galactus, the only being in the Marvel Universe to witness the creation of existence. Should Krona lose, he is to spare the Marvel Universe from entropic destruction. Krona accepts and picks the Avengers to represent him as the Grandmaster picks the Justice League of America to represent him. The JLA and Avengers eventually encounter each other in a fanboy's dream slugfest of the ages. They each have to fight for the twelve artifacts of power and the winner is the team who collects the most of them. Various teams of Leaguers and Avengers travel across the two universes and battle it out to retrieve them. In the end, both teams meet up in the Savage Land (dead-even in artifacts collected) for an all out slugfest for the Cosmic Cube. After a battle royal of epic proportions, the JLA wins when Captain America tells the Avengers to stand down as he and Batman discovered that they are all just pawns in a big cosmic game. Losing in the outcome, Krona refuses to keep his end of the bargain, summons Galactus and attempts to force the knowledge out of the World-Devourer. Galactus is saved by the remaining strength of the Grandmaster, who manages to merge the two universes into a single reality. Of course this makes the two teams join together and eventually avert the crisis as every single hero who was ever a member of both the JLA and Avengers defeat Krona and restore reality.


Writers: Roger Stern, Tom DeFalco, Mark Gruenwald and Steve Englehart  Artists: John Buscema, Ron Frenz, Paul Neary, Al Milgrom, Tom Palmer, Vince Colletta, Joe Sinnott and Bob Layton

Baron Helmut Zemo bands together the largest Masters of Evil formation ever to destroy Captain America once and for all. His plan is so great that it becomes one of the Avengers' darkest hour in their entire history. The Masters of Evil will ambush the team in Avengers mansion, take them hostage and totally abuse them (especially on a personal level). They beat up Jarvis the butler (this scene made me afraid of Mr. Hyde as a kid), and nearly kill Hercules, putting him in a coma. This leads other less powerful Avengers to come to the forefront and battle on while desperately trying to gather up more forces. Despite how foolproof Baron Zemo's plan had been, you can never count out Earth's Mightest Heroes! They manage to regroup stronger than ever and overcome the insurmountable odds to defeat the Masters of Evil with Cap and Zemo slugging in out in the final confrontation.

2.) THE MIGHTY THOR ANNUAL #6, THE AVENGERS # 167, 168, 170 - 177 (1977/1978)

Writers: Jim Shooter, David  Michelinie, Roger Stern and Len Wein  Artists: Sal Buscema, David Wenzel, Pablos Marcos, Win Mortimer, Bob McLeod, Joe Rubinstein, Dan Green, Rick Bryant, Klaus Janson, Joe Sinnott and Ricardo Villamonte

The cyborg Michael Korvac travels back in time and manages to absorb a portion of the Power Cosmic from Galactus. From this, Korvac now becomes a near omnipotent being who wants to transform the Earth into a utopia. Misinterpreting his intentions, the Avengers (teaming with the Guardians of the Galaxy) are sent into action and into a deadly battle with Korvac and his mate, Carina (who is the daughter of the Cosmic Elder, the Collector). This battle proves to be one of the toughest the Avengers will ever engage in with many team members going down in brutal fashion. In the end, it's Korvac who commits suicide because he sensed that his beloved Carina was beginning to doubt his intentions. This angers her as she attacks the surviving heroes, until she is finally slain by Thor thus ending the battle. The entire fight was being watched by Moondragon, who realizes that Korvac only wanted to help mankind, with his dying act being to restore the life of the fallen Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.

1.) THE AVENGERS #89 - 97 (1971/1972) 

Writer: Roy Thomas  Artists: Sal Buscema, Neal Adams, John Buscema, Sam Grainger, George Roussos, TomPalmer, and Alan Weiss

The Avengers greatest battle is also their most cosmically cataclysmic! Never before was a saga played out this grand in scope with such an enormous cast of characters and with so much hanging in the balance. When both the Kree and the Skrull extraterrestrial races attempt to establish ports on Earth in order to gain a tactical advantage over the other in their long-running intergalactic conflict, the Avengers stand before them. As the defenders of humanity, they interject by taking to the stars and attempt to put an end to the war and bring peace to the races. The epic is widely considered the highlight of its era and has been a major influence in all the sweeping story arcs that have come thereafter. Only in the Avengers could anything be this big and only the Avengers are big enough to stop it.

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!

Check out other "THE TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF..." here:

John Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, RETRO FAN, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing, runs the Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John likes to think he's the real Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at or follow him on Instagram at megostretchhulk.