The Avengers franchise is what made Marvel Studios the completely dominant force in comic based entertainment. The way they streamlined Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and other characters into an expansive universe that also includes television shows like Daredevil and Agents Of SHIELD is something that has never been achieved before in motion picture entertainment.
The Avengers continuity, even without including the individual characters is supremely daunting. So, I’ve put together a chronology of some of the best Avengers related books that are currently or were recently available in collected editions (the recently available are still around for pretty cheap on various online outlets and in bookstores) into ten TV seasons.
Now that Osborne has been defeated. Again. Like, twice last season. It’s time to move on. (Checks series for Osborn appearances). Yes, it’s time to move on. And speaking of time to move on, just imagine The Scarlet Witch muttering “No More Bendis” after one more ridiculous ending, we move into some other writers’ opportunities to tell Avengers stories.
The AvX crossover would have been so much more interesting if it were just a six part dance-off. Hulk got SERVED.
art by Bobby Rubio
Season 7: Some Reassembly Required
(showrunners Kelly Sue Deconnick, Matt Fraction, and Rick Remender)
Serial 1: Avengers X Sanction, Young Avengers The Childrens’ Crusade
(written by Allen Heinberg and Jeph Loeb, art by Jim Cheung and Ed McGuinness)
Remember? Remember that time when Wanda Maximoff blew up Avengers Mansion, killed a slew of lesser Avengers, remade the entire universe, and then disappeared? Well, she doesn’t. Wiccan and Speed believe that they might be her imaginary children from way back in the first season, so they and Magneto go traipsing around the globe looking for her. What they find is….you know, the whole point of the book. The Cable story is not super compelling but it sets up the impending super crossover
The Childrens’ Crusade. 3 episodes
Episode 4: Nova Origin
(written by Jeph Loeb, art by Ed McGuinness)
Sam Alexander’s dad was a guy named Nova who was part of a giant space opera storyline that we’re not going to get into in this continuity. But he died. Now Sam has his helmet, and with the help or The Guardians Of The Galaxy, he’ll become a hero. And he’ll see something that he should probably tell The Avengers about.
Nova. 1 episode
Serial 2: Avengers Vs X-Men, Avengers Academy AvX, Avengers AvX, New Avengers AvX, Secret Avengers AvX
(written by everyone at Marvel, art by everyone and their grandmother at Marvel)
The Phoenix Force is back! Which is, uhhhh, a big deal to the X-Men but The Avengers haven’t cared until now. But when it appears that Hope, the first mutant born after M-Day is going to host the most powerful entity in the universe, Cap and the crew get a little anxious and put Wolverine on the spot about fixing the problem. There are a bunch of cool side stories, including Iron Fist taking Hope to learn how to master The Phoenix Force. And, oh yea, The Scarlet Witch is back. For good. This is probably the worst trade I'm putting in this continuity. It's inexcusable garbage written by writers who should have told editorial that writing a series by committee with each person writing a an issue (sometimes, seemingly without having read any of the previous issues) was awful. But it feels important to the continuity. Hopefully, if I'm redoing this continuity in the future, this trade will be far far away from the list.
AvX. 4 episodes
Episode 9: Avengers Assemble
(written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Mark Bagley)
A team called The Zodiac is being run by Thanos? That…that can’t be good.
The Zodiac. 1 episode
Episode 10: Thanos Rising
(written by Jason Aaron, art by Simon Bianchi)
How did Thanos get to be the big bad bad in the Marvel Universe? By hitting every cliche in the Why I’m A Supervillain Handbook. But he did it on a different planet with beautiful art, so let’s check it out.
Thanos Rising. 1 episode
Episode 11: Captain Marvel In Pursuit Of Flight
(written by Kelly Sue Deconnick, art by Dexter Soy, Emma Rios, and Filipe Andrade)
Carol Danvers is a Captain again. And it’s time for her to get her time travel on.
Captain Marvel. 1 episode
Episode 12: Hawkeye My Life As A Weapon
(written by Matt Fraction, art by David Aja and Javier Pulido)
Clint Barton lives in an apartment building in New York where totally nobody knows he’s Hawkeye. He and his friend Kate Bishop (Hawkeye from The Young Avengers) have a serious problem with some Russian bros. What kind of Avenger story is this?
Hawkeyes. 1 episode
Serial 3: Avengers Arena Kill Or Die, Avengers Arena Game On, Avengers Arena Boss Level
(written by Dennis Hopeless, art by Alessandro Vitti, Kev Walker, Dave Johnson, Karl Moline, and Ricardo Burchielli)
Arcade has trapped sixteen young superheroes on an island where they are going to have to fight to the death. Only the lone survivor will be able to escape. Why aren’t The Avengers or The X-Men coming to help them? Hasn’t anyone noticed they’re missing?
Avengers Arena. 2 episodes
Episode 15: Hawkeye Little Hits
(written by Matt Fraction, art by David Aja and Javier Pulido)
Clint Barton is really bad at love, and dating, and, well, pretty much everything. Kate Bishop and a bunch of his exes guest in this adventure, and we get a story told completely from the perspective of Pizza Dog.
My Cherry Amour. 1 episode
Serial 3: Captain Marvel Down, Avengers The Enemy Within
(written by Kelly Sue Deconnick, art by Scott Hepburn, Matteo Buffagni, and Filipe Andrade)
After a run in with former Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, Carol starts to lose her powers, just when a bunch of mysterious events from Avengers past start popping up in NYC. Maybe some Avengers can help.
The Enemy Within. 2 episodes
Episode 18: Captain America Castaway In Dimension Z Books 1 & 2
(written by Rick Remender, art by Jonathan Romita JR)
Arnim Zola ships Steve Rogers into another dimension where nothing is familiar. Unfortunately, like many Remender Avenger books this isn’t great but it did have a huge impact on Steve Rogers’ storyline. Art by Romita JR looks a bit like he had to rush out issues of Hit Girl, as all of his young characters look the same: poorly drawn.
Castaway In Dimension Z. 1 episode
Serial 4: Captain America Loose Nuke, Captain America The Iron Nail
(written by Rick Remender, art by Carlos Pacheco, Nic Klein, and Pascal Alixe)
Fortunately, this Remender storyline works better and has far superior art. Cap was in Dimension Z so long that he’s having trouble reacclimating to the 616. And, unfortunately, his battle against some new villains is not going to end up returning everything to normalcy.
The Iron Nail. 2 episodes
Season 7 has the requisite 20 episodes.