February 21, 2024

when thinking about MCUthe first Avenger, it’s likely that Steve Rogers’ Captain America will jump to mind. This question, however, does not have as clear an answer as you might expect.

It was the idea of ​​the Avengers Initiative Samuel L. JacksonBefore Nick Fury was promoted to director of SHIELD. Seeking to provide greater protection to the entire world against threats both in-world and beyond, Fury sought to assemble a group of super-powered and exceptionally skilled individuals as an emergency response unit. SHIELD has interacted with enhanced humans and demonstrated awareness of advanced technology and supernatural objects since its founding in 1965 by Peggy Carter and Howard Stark.


Fury had a long and distinguished career with the US government, serving as a colonel in the US Army before working as a CIA operative before joining SHIELD. As a SHIELD agent, Fury met Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in 1995 and discovered greater threats to Earth and its people from extraterrestrial forces. Having already spent much of his life in the service of protecting citizens from enemy threats, Fury decided to actively pursue the Avengers Initiative and build an index of potential recruits for the team. Now, considering Chris Evans Steve Rogers was lost in the ocean and was not expected to survive since 1945, and SHIELD was still to be officially formed until 20 years later, Fury’s initiative took on a clearer shape some 50 years after Rogers’ disappearance and his recovery did not occur until 2011. , it seems pretty clear that Steve wasn’t the first official recruit.

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What inspired the Avengers initiative?

Iron Man 2's Avengers Initiative recap
Image via Marvel Studios

Also, Carol Danvers was a major inspiration for the initiative with her call sign from her time in the US Air Force, Avenger, although integrated into the initiative’s code name, she was not an official member of Fury’s team. Carol chose to return to outer space and help the citizens of all worlds with her superpowers, leaving Fury with a special page to call upon if she ever needed his help. With neither the original Super Soldier nor Captain Marvel available to join the team, Fury began his own quest, seeing real progress after being promoted to director of SHIELD and devoting resources to the project.

There were other early influential groups of heroes that gave Fury reason to suspect that there were heroic individuals with incredible abilities to form the Avengers team. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) worked closely with the US military, and eventually with Howard Stark and SHIELD in the development of Pym particle technology. A colleague of his, Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne) was also working on a related project, codenamed GOLIATH. Pym and his wife, Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) fielded occasionally as the original Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Foster managed to grow to at least 21 feet as part of Project GOLIATH. These incredible minds, along with earlier innovators like Abraham Erskine, inventor of the super soldier serum, were at the forefront of the Avengers’ initiative to develop powers that could lead humanity into a new era and strengthen Fury’s belief that extraordinary beings were possible.

The first Avengers

Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man gather as Avengers
Image via Marvel Studios

Two candidates who could be considered original members of the group are Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), called the Black Widow, and by Jeremy Renner Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye. Neither of them have literal superpowers, but they have honed their combat, weapon handling, espionage, and intelligence to the pinnacle of what is physically possible, making them perfect candidates for the initiative. Hawkeye has been a SHIELD agent since 2004 after being recruited by Fury, and was tasked with persuading Black Widow to help fight the oppressive Red Room, who trained young women to become master assassins. Both became highly respected and trusted agents of SHIELD and were instrumental in recruiting the Avengers when other extraordinary individuals entered SHIELD’s radar.

However, it could easily be argued that neither Hawkeye nor Black Widow were officially part of the Avengers Initiative in those early stages. as Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), were assigned to learn more about potential candidates, but Coulson himself wasn’t technically an Avenger. Then the next potential first avenger is Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), aka Iron Man. Coulson appears in both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 Trying to discuss the initiative with the volatile Stark. In the post-credits scene Iron Man, Fury also shows up at Stark’s high-tech home to discuss the initiative, implying that Tony could be recruited. However, we see inside Iron Man 2That Stark is too unstable and untrustworthy and therefore only dismissed as an advisor.

Avengers Assemble

Stark’s influence (and great wealth) helps form the Avengers and explore other possible recruits, and when the Chitauri invade with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in The Avengers, is one of the first to join and officially join the Stark team. There was also a post-credits scene the incredible hulk which indicated that Stark was instrumental in forming the Avengers team long before the events The Avengersbut this seems to be linked to the Marvel one-shot, the consultant where Coulson reveals that Stark was sent to dissuade Ross from his plans to join the Emil Blonsky initiative. This addressed the awkward continuity errors caused by the timeline of the intervening events Iron Man, iron man 2, and the incredible hulkbut it also establishes Stark’s involvement with the initiative and his willingness to work with SHIELD.

After all, it seems The Avengers the film is the first time that the entire team is assembled and each member is officially registered. This makes it difficult to determine exactly who the first Avenger might have been, as roles were switched and reversed for special agents like Hawkeye and Black Widow to become the Avengers, and Stark was recast as an advisor. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) also recruited Black Widow during the events of the film, when she was brought out of hiding after the riots. the incredible hulk.

Captain America, who was brought out of the ice and thawed out in 2011, may have been the first Avenger when he woke up in a SHIELD facility and served the US Government. Aware of SHIELD’s extraordinary abilities and his illustrious career, his training was likely created solely to prepare him to lead the charge when the Avengers were formed, which is precisely what happened when Loki appeared on Earth seeking to subdue mankind. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), like Danvers, was preoccupied with off-world responsibilities, but his brother’s antics brought him back to Earth in time to join the rest of the Avengers and defeat the Chitauri invasion.

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