As the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers have incurred the wrath of the Marvel Universe’s most nefarious villains. However, one of the biggest threats the team has ever faced was not a collection of supervillains but rather a collection of fellow superheroes and former teammates called the Revengers, with each of the group’s members holding a personal grudge against the Avengers team.
Introduced by Brian Michael Bendis and Gabriele Dell’Otto in 2011’s New Avengers Annual #1, the Revengers sought to dismantle the Avengers to hold them accountable for their actions as the self-appointed defenders of Earth. Although they weren’t around for long, the Revengers were a motley crew that raised compelling questions about the consequences of the Avengers’ actions. Now, we’re taking a closer look at the members of this team and why they wanted to take down the premier Marvel super-team.
Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Don Heck in 1964’s Avengers #9, Simon Williams was transformed into Wonder Man by Baron Zemo and Enchantress after a perceived slight against him and his family by Tony Stark. As the Avengers are trapped by Zemo, Wonder Man repents at the apparent cost of his own life, only to survive and continue to serve on the team after his eventual recovery.
After witnessing the consequences of the Avengers’ actions and negligence for years, including the creation of Ultron, House of M, Civil War and Dark Reign, Wonder Man rejects an offer to rejoin the Avengers and instead creates his own ensemble to hold them responsible. Dubbing them the Revengers, Simon takes charge of the team and recruits its roster to attack the Avengers directly.
Introduced by Mike Carlin and Ron Wilson under his civilian alter ego Dennis Dunphy in 1985’s The Thing #28, Demotion Man — better known as D-Man — was an athlete that used performance-enhancing drugs to become a superhero. Experimented on by the villainous Power Broker, D-Man’s powers grew even more unstable and he suffered severe mental and physical trauma while on a mission with the Avengers.
Years later, D-Man would resurface, still visibly troubled and delusional from the Power Broker’s experiments and brain damage he would endure prior to his disappearance. Claiming that the Grandmaster had tasked him with recovering the Infinity Gems from the Avengers and that the heroes would not respond to him, Wonder Man took advantage of D-Man’s delusions to recruit him onto the Revengers.
David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane’s Eddie Brock had been menacing Spider-Man for years as Venom, with Brock and the Venom symbiote sharing a mutual hatred against Peter Parker. Brock would eventually seek redemption, first as his own antihero, and then by separating himself from the symbiote altogether as he prepared to succumb to the terminal cancer that the symbiote kept at bay. With the criminal charges against him dropped after a spirited legal defense by Matt Murdock, Brock began working at Martin Li’s soup kitchen.
Li unknowingly used his powers as Mister Negative to cure Brock of his cancer with the unintended side effect of the symbiote’s remnants in Brock’s bloodstream transforming him into Anti-Venom. After saving Spider-Man from Norman Osborn and the new Venom Mac Gargan, Brock launches a crusade against Mister Negative’s operations before joining the Revengers to oppose Spider-Man once again.
Created by Reginald Hudlin and Billy Tan in 2005’s Marvel Knights Spider-Man #13, the infant Ethan Edwards was adopted by a kind family after his spaceship crash-landed in Iowa as a clear pastiche to Superman. Instilled with his family’s strong moral values, Ethan left for New York City and to work for The Daily Bugle while secretly serving as the superhero Moral Man, mentored by Spider-Man.
Discovering he has all the powers of the Fantastic Four combined, an investigation of his spacecraft reveals that Ethan is actually a Skrull sleeper agent sent to Earth with the powers of Super-Skrull. Ethan attacks Marvel’s First Family only to be defeated easily by the Thing. Swearing revenge after the Skrulls’ failed invasion of Earth during Secret Invasion, Ethan joins the Revengers under the new moniker Virtue.
Created by Roy Thomas, George Perez and Joe Sinnott in 1976’s Fantastic Four #177, Griffin Gogol was an average plumber who had his latent superpowers unlocked by an extraterrestrial cure for his smoking habit. Taking on the name Captain Ultra, Gogol attempted to join the villainous Frightful Four but was rejected due to the severe pyrophobia that resulted from his aversion to cigarettes. Gogol moved to Chicago where he became a minor superhero while his pyrophobia was cured through intensive therapy by Doc Samson.
Despite being approved for the Initiative after registering following Civil War, Gogol was still constantly disrespected by his peers. Frustrated and angry, Gogol accepted Wonder Man’s offer to join the Revengers in a desperate effort to gain recognition for his incredible powers and abilities.
One of the biggest tragedies to come out of Civil War was the death of Bill Foster, the size-changing superhero known as Goliath. Goliath had sided with Captain America’s underground, anti-registration faction early in the superhero conflict and joined them on a seemingly routine rescue mission at a burning chemical factory. Ambushed by the government’s pro-registration forces, Goliath attacked a seemingly resurrected Thor only to be killed by the faux God of Thunder, eventually revealed to be the cybernetic clone Ragnarok.
Hudlin, Greg Pak, and Koi Turnbull had introduced Bill Foster’s nephew Tom Foster in 2007’s Black Panther #23, with T’Challa informing him of his uncle’s demise. Angered by the murder, Tom replicated the Pym Particles that allowed Bill to change size from his student lab at M.I.T. and vowed to continue the Goliath legacy. Wonder Man recruited Tom to join the Revengers for a chance to avenge his uncle’s death by confronting Iron Man.
Tom wasn’t the only character to go under the moniker of Goliath on the Revengers, with Erik Josten joining Wonder Man’s impromptu team. Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck in 1965’s Avengers #21, Josten was introduced as a villain that worked alongside Baron Zemo and the Enchantress, going as far to join the Masters of Evil as the original Power Man.
After developing the superhero persona Atlas to pose as a hero with the Thunderbolts, Josten genuinely enjoyed the public admiration for his good deeds and decided to make a deliberate effort at his own atonement. In the wake of Civil War, Atlas is able to register with the federal government’s Initiative but his size-changing powers are found to be too unstable for him to be actively employed as a superhero. Frustrated and humiliated, Atlas joins with Wonder Man’s Revengers.
Created David Anthony Kraft and Rich Buckler in 1977’s Marvel Spotlight #33, Eric Simon Payne was a member of a demonic cult known as the Agents of Fortune. After Payne had his latent psionic abilities awakened and gained a mystical cloak, he joined the Defenders to turn against the cult and save the world.
The nature of Payne’s powers and his connection to the cloak would wreak havoc on his mental health for years, resulting in intermittent stays in psychiatric hospitals over the course of his superhero career. Wishing to see a world where the Avengers were held accountable for their actions, Devil-Slayer decided to join the Revengers.
Created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Tom Tenney in 1994’s Force Works #1, Century was a genetic construct by the extraterrestrials Hodomurians designed to house the collective experience and memories of the species’ one hundred best warriors. Summoned to Earth by Scarlet Witch along with the villainous Scatter resulting in Wonder Man’s death, Century joined the new Force Works team to carry on Wonder Man’s legacy.
After Force Works disbanded, Century began exploring Earth to learn about his new home before being approached by Wonder Man following his resurrection. Century agreed to join Wonder Man’s Revengers, feeling he still owed the superhero due to his earlier death being linked to century’s arrival on Earth.
Marvel's Avengers have gained their fair share of enemies including the Revengers, a superhero team of antiheroes with a vendetta against the group.