The Avengers are often called Earth’s mightiest heroes — and, with the likes of Thor and The Hulk on their team, few can argue that the title is unfitting. However, over the years, some of the team’s mightier heroes have had to take a leave of absence, which leaves large gaping holes in the lineup that need to be filled. So when Iron Man and Captain America aren’t around to save the day, it’s time to call up some lesser-known, and often times completely ridiculous, superheroes to rise to the occasion. Here are the ten worst Avengers of all time.
If there were an award for the most generic superhero ever created, it would have to go to Justice. Not only is his costume extremely bland, he has completely unoriginal powers like the ability to shoot energy blasts and create force fields. And, surprise surprise, he’s is all about justice — pretty much the most cliche of all superhero motifs. It’s almost as if he were a knock-off superhero picked out of the bargain bin at a dollar store.
9. Red Hulk
Take The Hulk, get rid of all the personality traits and dichotomies that make him a great character, now, paint him red. What you’re left with is the gamma-irradiated alter-ego of Hulk’s adversary, General Thunderbolt Ross. Even though Red Hulk will probably never be as respected as the the original Hulk, one advantage he does have over the green giant is that he maintains his tactical genius whenever he transforms into a rage monster.
Mantis is the half-German, half-Vietnamese martial artist believed by the Kree to be the future mother of the Celestial Messiah (the most important being in the universe). As an Avenger, she’s battled the likes of Zodiac, Ultron, and Thanos; and, even though she has a number of strange, outlandish powers, it was never really explained why she became an Avenger in the first place.
Considering Thanos is one of the most powerful individuals The Avengers have ever faced, you would think his brother, Starfox, would be nothing to sneeze at. Guess again. Starfox has absolutely none of earth shattering might of his older brother. What he does have though, is the hilariously obscene power to make other people want to have sex with him, even if it’s against their will. When he first joined The Avengers he intentionally failed to mention this ability. Needless to say, he did not last.
6. Jack of Hearts
Jack Hart (ugh, yes that’s his real name) is the son of a scientist who created an experimental energy source called “zero fluid.” After being exposed to the fluid, Jack’s physiology was mutated and he attained the ability to shoot energy blasts from his body. Keeping in theme with his birth name, Jack decided to choose a playing card motif to help define his newfound powers, and, after spending some time in space, The Avengers decided to add him to the team since they’re roster was pretty thin at the time.
5. U.S. Agent
If you can imagine what the result would be if someone tried to blend Captain America with The Punisher, you probably have a good idea what U.S. Agent is all about — a psychotic, patriotic, vigilante who has no problem using violence to get results. Sure he’s helped the Avengers in the past, but, in the end, he’s just a crazy Cap copycat.
4. Gilgamesh/The Forgotten One
Gilgamesh is an immortal hero who joined The Avengers during one of their dry spells. He liked to where a bull’s head as a hat and his most impressive achievement was his inability to impact the team in any way whatsoever. Perhaps Jack Kirby was hinting at this character’s charisma when he gave him the nickname The Forgotten One.
Delroy Garrett was a disgraced Olympic athlete until a strange cult gave him the amazing power of — get this — three times the physical abilities of a man in peak physical condition. It’s unclear whether or not he was called 3-D man for this reason or because his eyes turned green and red when he was using his ability to see through disguises (another pretty feeble power). One thing is painfully obvious though, Triathlon is about as lame as superheroes come.
When he designed an armored exoskeleton suit made of super-hard artificial cartilage, Walter Newell became The Stingray — a hero who can dive pretty deep and move fast underwater. But if you don’t think that’s enough to strike fear into the hearts of villains everywhere, keep in mind that he also has Ph.D in oceanography and is a skilled inventor of aquatic equipment. In all seriousness though, the only reason Stingray was ever an Avenger was because the team needed to use his hydrobase as a launch site when the U.S. government placed airspace restrictions preventing The Avengers from launching quinjets in downtown Manhattan.
1. Doctor Druid
How exactly does one attain the title of worst Avenger of all time? First of all, spend most of your life as an ordinary psychiatrist. Second, get a crash course in the mystic arts so you can one day maybe, just maybe, have the chance to fill in for Dr. Strange (Marvel’s primary mystic arts user). Third, claim that mind-control is your only fundamental superpower and then proceed to get your own mind controlled by a super villain, thereby endangering your entire team. Yup, that about sums up Dr. Druid. After leaving The Avengers in disgrace, he actually joined another team, got mind-controlled again, then faked his own death, betrayed a different team, and then finally died for real. If you consider Captain America the cream of the crop when it comes to Avengers, then Dr. Druid would surely have to be the sludge of the slop.