With a team book like Avengers, you can only focus on so many characters at a time… And for the foreseeable future, a good chunk of that roster is going to be taken up by Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man (as well as a Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, for reasons we probably don’t need to mention). That means some of our favorite characters probably aren’t going to get the time – or the room – to jump to the forefront, and become cultural icons any time soon. That doesn’t mean we don’t love ‘em; that doesn’t mean we don’t want to read about ‘em… It just means that the ten former Avengers listed here probably aren’t going A-List and getting their own lunch-boxes in the next few years:
10. Jack of Hearts
Complicating matters is that he’s dead, of course, but that hasn’t stopped too many other comic book characters in the past. Still, Jack of Hearts looks a little too weird, and has such a strange power set – “Zero Fluid” combined with alien genes to give him the power to fly and shoot energy, but he also has a computer in his brain that lets him think fast – he’ll never be as easy to understand as, “God of Thunder.”
9. Doctor Druid
Like a lot of the characters on this list, Doctor Druid’s main failing is that there’s a number of other far more interesting characters he’s reminiscent of, including the obvious: Doctor Strange. They even have the same basic origin, having trained with the mystical “Ancient One.” Also, he used to be called “Dr. Droom,” and that’s just plain silly.
Like a cross between Iron Man and Namor the Sub-Mariner, Stingray wears a mechanical suit that lets him fight evil underwater. Unfortunately, even Namor has trouble anchoring his own book, and really only works as an A-lister as a villain, or conflicted hero on a team… And the Avengers already has an Iron Man that can go under AND over water. Sorry, Stingray.
Though there have been some cool appearances by Triathlon – aka, The 3-D Man – his powers boil down to him being as strong as three athletes. When you already have most of the guys on the Avengers stronger than pretty much every athlete combined, you can see where Triathlon could lag a little bit behind. Plus: 3-D glasses have never, ever been cool. Sorry.
There’s a reason we don’t see a lot of good clones… They’re just not as interesting as their goateed, evil, counterparts. Yet for a brief time, a good clone of C-List Iron Man villain and Dr. Doom rip-off Madame Masque was a member of the Avengers. Again, there’s just too many copies to make this character original.
There’s already one guy in the Marvel universe who knows his way around a blade, and has a tough time staying on the Avengers, and his name is Black Knight. Add in a guy who’s main claim to fame is a sword that shoots poison gas (seriously, how unnecessary is that?), and you’ve got an uphill battle to getting kids to dress up like you at Halloween.
Poor, poor homeless D-Man. All he wants to do is be like the big heroes, so he wears Daredevil’s D, Wolverine’s costume, and desperately wants to be Captain America. Except unlike any of those characters, he has a heart condition which acts up whenever he exerts himself… Not the best quality for a break-out superhero superstar. We can’t see readers clamoring for a D-Man centric event called “Crisis on Infinite Heart Attacks.”
3. Two-Gun Kid
When you’re already having trouble selling the general public on why they should care about a guy with a bow and arrow, a character who’s main power is “having two guns,” isn’t really going to cut it – even if he is a time traveler from the 19th century.
2. Forgotten One/Gilgamesh
If you want a hero with godlike powers who’s deeds have been written in song, you call Thor. When he’s not available? Hercules. When neither of them are around? Well, you’re going to be hard pressed to remember hero who’s code-name is, no joke, The Forgotten One. Sure, he can actually take the other two in a fight… But not if that fight is based on “name recognition.”
1. Great Lakes Avengers (All Of Them)
Look, there’s no team of Avengers we have quite as much affection for as the also-rans of the GLA. From the super thin Flatman, to Mr. Immortal, who’s power is not dying (for long), the team is designed to be the worst team in the Marvel Universe… We love them because of that, but we’re never, ever… Ever… Getting a big budget GLA movie. Ever. Sorry.