The superhero consortium known as the Avengers was Marvel Comics' answer to rival DC Comics' Justice League of The united states. But as always, Marvel did things differently - weirdly differently.
Where DC populated the Justice League with its established "star" characters - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, et al. - Marvel boldly mixed B-list and ill-fitting characters into the Avengers.
Joining Thor and Iron Man had been the Wasp and Ant-Man. Remember them? Not unless you're an aficionado. The Hulk, too, was part of the genuine lineup, but because he was a rampaging monster, he was a bit unpredictable as a team player.
"The Avengers" No. one (1963) hit soda shops, drugstores and newsstands - there were no comic shops or iPads in those days, kids - with a story written by Marvel editor Stan Lee, illustrated by Jack Kirby and inked by Dick Ayers.
This week, 49 years following the fact, sees the discharge of director Joss Whedon's "The Avengers," starring Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain The united states, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Tom Hiddleston as baddie Loki.
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