In recent years, the Avengers have become some of the most recognizable characters on the planet thanks to their massively successful film franchise. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk are the superheroes that appeared as members of the team in their first big-screen team-up in 2012. Since then, several more members of the team's comic book roster have been introduced into the films, including Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Vision, Ant-Man and more. However, even with Marvel Studios' ever-growing super-powered cast, there are dozens of less well-known Avengers who aren't likely to show up in the movies anytime soon. Because hey, they can't all be winners can they? For every Iron Man, there's about ten characters as obscure as 3D-Man.
You won't find any A-listers in this quiz. Instead, it'll showcase the the weirder Avengers, the goofy ones, the ones who can't be in the movies for complicated licensing reasons, the ones who were created as temporary replacements for other characters, and even the forgettable ones. Their inclusion on this list isn't a statement on their quality, just on how well-known they are. There's always hope for them though, characters like Starlord have been bumping around in obscurity for decades only to become hugely popular overnight. You never know...
This fuzzy blue guy is by far the most well-known character in this quiz, considering he's had prominent roles in four different movies so far. But still, his former status as an Avenger is more of a footnote in his story. Dr. Hank McCoy is of course best known as a founding member of the X-Men and is one of the foremost scientific experts on mutation in the Marvel Universe. His mutant powers are remarkable ape-like agility and somewhat enhanced healing (he's got nothing on Wolverine in that department).
She's got radioactive blood.
Jen Walters is not only over 7 feet tall, green and super-strong, she's also a very well-regarded lawyer. However, unlike Daredevil, who keeps his superhero identity and career as a lawyer separate, Jen is very open about her superheroics and usually shows up in court in her big green state (she wears a suit though, she's not a rube). The reason she bears such a resemblance to the Hulk is because she's his cousin and once received an emergency blood transplant from him, giving her a more controllable version of his powers.
No, he's not a DC character
This guy is probably the quintessential Avenger that no one really cares about. There's nothing wrong with him, he just doesn't really have a ton going on for himself despite being on the team quite often. His first appearance showed him sent by the Masters of Evil to infiltrate and kill the Avengers, only to redeem himself and turn against his overlords shortly before his death. And for a while, he was essentially the Avenger that never was. That is until many years later when he was revived and joined the team for real.
If he goes crazy, will you still call him Superman?
An interesting story device, the idea behind this character was essentially: "what if the Marvel Universe had a Superman-like character who was deeply emotionally disturbed?" Though the character had his first appearance in the 2000s, it was "revealed" that he had been part of the Marvel Universe since its earliest days, using his near-limitless powers to assist the likes of the Fantastic Four and Avengers before having a mental breakdown and erasing himself from the collective memories of everyone in the world.
Not Captain America
Yeah, he kind of looks like he's just Captain America in a simpler, darker costume, but he's actually not Steve Rogers at all. John Walker originally went by the name Super-Patriot and adopted a much less idealistic and optimistic take on patriotism than Captain America. When Steve Rogers briefly stepped down from the role of Captain America, Walker took over and acted as a more brutal and unforgiving superhero than Steve. After Rogers' re-assumed the mantle, Walker finally adopted the code name he's most known for and was placed on the Avengers.
Not Captain Marvel anymore
Before Carol Danvers assumed the role of Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau held the title. Her powers allow her to become and control various different forms of energy including gamma radiation, light, neutrinos, and electricity and many others. Instead of simply being recruited by the team, she actually sought out the Avengers and "auditioned" her impressive powers for them, eventually ascending to the role of the team's leader. Since her time on the Avengers, she has assumed other code names including Photo and Pulsar, before settling on her current one.
One of Marvel's biggest new heroes
Okay, she's pretty far from obscure compared to a lot of the other characters on this list, but she's only been around for a few years and is still a rising star at Marvel so she's fair game. Kamala Khan is a teenager from New Jersey who discovers that she is an Inhuman and has shape-shifting powers which allow her to stretch and alter her size among other things. One of her go-to techniques is growing her fists to a large size. She's a huge fan of superheroes, including one in particular from whom she borrowed her code name and insignia.
Two Avengers have gone by this name and worn this suit in rapid succession. The first was Maya Lopez, AKA Echo, a deaf assassin with photographic reflexes. The second (and more famous), Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye, shortly after his death and subsequent resurrection due to the erratic reality-warping powers of other longtime Avenger Scarlet Witch. Barton ditched his usual bow and arrow for a pair of katanas to join the New Avengers, keeping his identity hidden from his teammates at first.
Thor's not the only god on the team
If Norse mythology is real in the Marvel universe, there's no reason why Greek mythology wouldn't be as well, right? That's where this guy comes in. Though initially he and Thor's fiery personalities didn't mesh well at all, they eventually found that they had a lot in common and developed a deep respect for one another. He initially joined the Avengers some time after Thor's temporary departure, helping to fill the god-shaped hole he had left. He later helped to found the LA-based superhero group the Champions alongside the likes of Ghost Rider, Ice Man and Black Widow.
No, she doesn't have a more famous cousin
Jessica Drew gained her superpowers at a very young age. Her father was a colleague of Herbert Wynham AKA the villainous High Evolutionary, known for his bizarre experiments around human/animal hybrids. At the age of three Jessica fell gravely ill and her father attempted to save her by splicing her DNA with that of a radioactive spider. It not only cured her, but also gave her super powers (including the ability to fly, which is kinda weird). She worked as a HYDRA agent before defecting to SHIELD and beginning her career as a superhero.
She eats nuts and kicks butts
This character is something of a running gag in the Marvel Universe. Not because she's bad, quite the opposite in fact, she's managed to use her modest powers (namely the ability to talk to Squirrels and her strong teeth) to handily defeat some of the most formidable foes around, including the likes of Dr. Doom, Thanos and M.O.D.O.K. In addition to her impressive record, she's known for her sunny personality and relentless enthusiasm. Originally a member of the Great Lakes Avengers, she has since joined the New Avengers team led by Sunspot.
A real card
No, this elegantly dressed isn't some kind of mascot for a casino, he's a superhero. Besides his costume, his most eye-catching feature is his half-purple face. His father was a human scientist and his mother was a member of a purple-skinned alien race called the Contraxians. The left side of his face's exposure to his father's invention called the Zero Fluid caused his alien heritage to manifest itself and granted him the power to create concussive blasts. His time on the Avengers was brief as his uncontrollable and dangerous powers caused him to commit suicide.
A Defender and an Avenger
Patsy Walker is a particularly strange character. She's been pushed in several different, often bizarre, directions by different writers over the years. Created in the 1940s as the star of a line of humorous romantic comics (yeah, those used to be quite popular), she was later integrated into the Marvel universe as the lab assistant of Dr. Henry McCoy (the Beast) and soon after started donning a cat-themed suit and joined the Avengers. Strangely, it was later revealed that she had ties to the occult and even married a man whose name is literally Son of Satan.
Don't make him angry either
No, it's not just the Hulk with a new paint job, it's actually a different character. General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross has been Bruce Banner's tormentor since he was first transformed into the Hulk. General Ross considered the Hulk a danger to society and fought for years to hunt him down with the full power of the US Army. Years later, Ross underwent a procedure to gain Hulk-like powers himself. Along with super strength and heat generation, Red Hulk retains Ross' strategic mind in his super-powered form. He has acted as both a villain and a hero.
He's a fighter
This guy was an occasional enemy of his half-brother Hercules and Thor long before he made the rather unlikely career move of joining the Avengers. After millennia as the Olympian god of war, he decided to put his conquering days behind him and settle on Earth. After the events of Civil War saw the Avengers fracture into Iron Man's "official" Avengers and the resistance's underground Avengers, this guy was recruited to the former alongside other heavy-hitters like the Sentry and Wonder Man.
Sam Alexander is not the first superhero to hold this superhero title. The title and super-powered suit come courtesy of an intergalactic police force based on the planet Xandar. Sam grew up with a deadbeat father who often claimed to be a part of this organization, something his family assumed was merely drunken nonsense. However, at age 15 Sam discovers that his father was telling the truth and dons his badly injured father's costume to fend off an alien invasion on his behalf. This jumpstarted Sam's superhero career.
Not exactly shining armor
Plenty of people have sketchy uncles, but Dane Whitman's uncle is probably a bit worse than sketchy. Upon learning of his family's relation to a medieval hero named Sir Percy, Whitman's uncle developed an arsenal of high-tech medieval-inspired weaponry and became a supervillain, battling the likes of Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Avengers. However, on his deathbed, he told his nephew of crimes and implored him to restore honor to the family name by wielding Sir Percy's magical Ebony Blade and fighting alongside the Avengers.
Eden Fesi is a quiet and contemplative type of superhero. He doesn't get directly involved in fights very often but his abilities are extremely helpful for a team of superheroes, particularly one as large and varied as the Avengers can be. He's a teleporter, but unlike the famous teleporting X-Man Nightcrawler, he can open and maintain portals to anywhere. This means that he can, if necessary, transport an entire team of Avengers from one end of the universe to the other in a matter of seconds. Not too bad.
He's a bit of a creep
Growing up on Titan, one of Saturn's moon, in a society of ancient technologically advanced superhumans called Eternals, Eros lived his life very differently from his more famous brother. They may not look similar at all, but he's the brother of the death-worshipping intergalactic conqueror Thanos. Eros' more modest powers allow to psychically manipulate the emotions of others (something that often rubs his teammates the wrong way) as well as more general purpose powers like increased strength and durability. Though Eros would be a perfectly good superhero name on its own, he opted instead for something else...
Slightly better name than Marvel Boy
Noh-Varr is one of those guys who can't catch a break. He was a young Kree from a inter-dimensional spaceship whose ship was destroyed on Earth killing the rest of the crew and leaving him stranded on an unfamiliar planet in an unfamiliar universe. Adopting the name Marvel Boy and using his advanced Kree technology he became a costumed adventurer. Unfortunately for him, he found himself imprisoned and manipulated by various parties including Norman Osborn who recruited him in his so-called Dark Avengers. During his brief time on the proper Avengers team, what name did he go by?
Another Marvel Boy
You'll never believe it, this guy ALSO went by the name Marvel Boy before switching to a different name. I guess it's just one of those names you pick when you can't think of anything better. Vance Astrovik's telekinetic powers led him to try to join the Avengers at a young age, but he was initially rejected. Instead he was placed on the New Warriors, a team of young up-and-coming superheroes. He did eventually get the chance to join the Avengers alongside his fellow New-Warrior (and girlfriend) Firestar. By that time, he had changed his superhero name to...
Master of Kung Fu
In the 1970s, Marvel sought to take advantage of the growing American appetite for martial arts films and television shows by releasing martial arts based comics. This character is the product of that initiative, appearing often in the comic series entitled The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. After a significant absence from comics, he returned as a part of the the street-based superhero team Heroes for Hire. In recent years, he joined the Avengers and was exposed to inter-dimensional energy which gave him the power to create duplicates of himself at will.
Outer space martial artist
One of the many superheroes in the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe whose origin and backstory prominently involve the supervillain Thanos. Heather Douglas was an average child on Earth whose family was killed at random by Thanos, feeling responsible for his son's crimes, Thanos' father Mentor adopted Heather and raised her on his homeworld Titan. On Titan, Heather learned various telepathic and martial arts-based abilities from an ancient order of monks. This monastery was itself eventually destroyed by Thanos, further cementing him as her mortal enemy.
A cosmic force
Though the person in this picture is Tamara Devoux, the only person to assume this title during their time as an Avenger, this entity is not so much a person as a cosmic entity that attaches itself to a host for a finite amount of time. The powers granted by the aptly named Enigma Force allow its hosts many powerful abilities including psychic awareness, molecular re-arrangement and in some cases even time travel. Tamara Devoux was granted these powers after spending ten years in a coma following a car crash.
This snarky teenage character often brags that he is among the smartest people on Earth, on par with the likes of Reed Richards, Doctor Doom and Iron Man. He is best known by his birth name though he has briefly gone by the code name Mastermind Excello and currently possesses the powers of the Hulk (it's a long story, don't worry about it). Before gaining superpowers of his own, he could usually be found outsmarting opponents, hacking into things and providing tactical advice to heroes.