The Avengers is like any organization that’s been around for over half a century. There are people there from the beginning who make the place what it is. There are all these new people who just don’t respect history. And there are some people that just should probably move on.
When you’ve had rosters as broad and deep as the Avengers, it’s inevitable that some members will stay too long, or leave too soon. But who has overstayed their welcome? Who didn’t stay long enough? Here are ten Avengers who should have gone or should have stayed.
10 UNDERUSED: Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter)
There have been a couple of different Spider-Women on the Avengers over the years (there a few different Spider-People in general) and Julia Carpenter is one that hasn’t gotten her fair shake. Introduced during the epic crossover Secret Wars in 1986, Julia Carpenter joined the West Coast Avengers soon after.
She possessed many of Peter Parker’s physical attributes, plus psionic powers that augmented the strength of her webs. Despite being with the team a while, she never seemed to kick over as a character and eventually lost her powers and retired. She got them back (naturally) and still has a lot to offer as a superhero with a child at home.
9 OVERUSED: Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid remained with the Avengers for close to ten years through the late ’80s into the ’90s. Long story short, that was about ten years too long.
Imbued with mystic powers by the Ancient One, Doctor Druid was sort of a poor man’s Doctor Strange. He had magical abilities, some telepathy and thanks to his psychokinesis, could levitate himself and others. But his powers were vulnerable to the mere presence of iron, which realistically limits his effectiveness in any urban situation. In the end, he just wasn’t that distinctive a character to keep around.
8 UNDERUSED: Firestar
Firestar, on the other hand, was someone who could have stayed around longer. A graduate of the famous ’70s cartoon Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, Firestar has been on quite a few teams over the years, including the New Warriors and the X-Men, but has never really gelled anywhere.
Her powers are considerable and not just for making microwave popcorn, so she’s good to have around. Like a lot of female characters on the Avengers, it seemed like the writers didn’t know what to do with her, so they retired her and she dropped out of the team.
7 OVERUSED: Black Knight
Some characters who maybe also the writers didn’t know what to do with stuck around though. Black Knight stuck around so long he was able to get one of those cool ’90s leather jackets.
A dude with a sword, Dane Whitman first came into the team in 1969. His adventures with the team were vast, including bouts with Kang The Conqueror. He was also involved in a pretty complicated affair with fellow teammate and Eternal Sersi, which seems to be at least going to be hinted at in the upcoming MCU Eternals film.
6 UNDERUSED: Mantis
At least she’s gotten her due in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Still, Mantis is an intriguing character in the comics with a lot to offer and didn’t spend near enough time with Avengers. Smitten with the Vision, abducted by Kang, and locking horns – well, antennae – with Thanos, Mantis is a great Avenger.
Her powers have evolved over the years, from a deep and proficient proficiency in martial arts to a psychic empathy, super strength, and the ability to project energy blasts.
5 OVERUSED: Wonder Man
Just never that interesting as a character, Wonder Man debuted early on the Avengers in 1964 as a villain armed with ionic energy. He later became part of the team and then a founding member of the west coast branch, taking up through the mid-’90s.
Brash and really into parties, Simon Williams had the power to back up his inflated sense of self but never had the gravitas those powers ought to have conferred on him. He got a little more interesting during the Kurt Busiek Avengers run, but not much.
4 UNDERUSED: Ms. Marvel
Another character the writers clearly had no idea whatsoever to do with was Ms. Marvel, aka Carol Danvers. Victim of one of the worst Avengers stories – and one of the worst comic book stories ever written, period – of all time, Carol was absorbed by Rogue and basically forgotten.
Chris Claremont didn’t think she got her fair shake and salvaged her character by making her Rogue’s consciousness for several years in the X-Men comics. She eventually got free and began her journey back toward being one of Marvel’s premier heroes.
3 OVERUSED: Crystal
A member of the team for most of the ’90s and probably not the team’s highest point, Crystal never really clicked. An Inhuman with plenty of power – anyone who can control the elements of earth, fire, air, and water should be someone high on your dream list – she nevertheless failed to make an impression.
The most important thing to happen to her whole during her seven-year run on the team was her marriage to Quicksilver. Once she did, like a lot of other female characters (including Jessica Jones who got pregnant and left) the writers found a familiar endpoint for her.
2 UNDERUSED: Jeff The Baby Landshark
There can never be enough Jeff the Baby Landshark. This cute little guy with vicious shark teeth became a member of the West Coast Avengers after Gwenpool adopted him.
Though not quite as innately powerful as Baby Yoda, Jeff nevertheless participated in a battle on Gwenpool’s Island before sitting back and watching the Hulk mop up the losers. Afterwards, Gwen left Jeff with Elsa Bloodstone, ending his brief tenure as an Avenger. Jeff’s tenure was too short and there needs to be more Jeff.
1 OVERUSED: Ant-Man (Hank Pym)
Ant-Man is a great character in the films, primarily due to Scott Lang (ok, maybe Paul Rudd). Hank Pym? Not so much, and that’s even more true in the comics. Hank wore out his welcome at Avengers mansion a long time ago, but still somehow keeps hanging around.
After creating Ultron and, oh yeah, hitting his wife, it would be safe to assume that Hank was done. But the Avengers are a forgiving sort, apparently. Nevertheless, if there is one Avenger who can truly hang up his uniform and call it a day, it’s Hank Pym.
The Avengers had a lot of members go in and out of their ranks, but some overstayed their welcome while others were barely seen