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Off My Mind: How Mighty is Captain America's New Avengers Lineup?

Picking the members of a team has to be done carefully. Spoilers from AVENGERS #19

There's been a lot of discussion about choosing members of a team. We looked at the characteristics teams should have as well as how leaders of teams are selected. Some teams rarely change their roster. Other teams, like the Justice League or Avengers, are constantly changing members.

With the current disasters in the Marvel Universe, the time came to re-examine where they were and what would be best for the world. With so many members running around, Captain America felt the time was to narrow it down, to figure out who the actual team would consist of. Luke Cage's New Avengers would remain untouched but Cap's Avengers are considered the sanctioned authority.

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It was Tony Stark's idea that the team needed some old friends. Captain America now has to decide who stays on the team and who he needs to try to recruit. It won't be an easy task. He needs to figure out who will make the team balanced in terms of personality and firepower. And there's also the fact that not everyone asked will want to join the team. As we look over the roster he's chosen, be aware that there will be some spoilers to Avengers #19, but if you've seen the cover, you basically already know who's on the team.

== TEASER ==


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Cap started out asking Black Panther to rejoin. He told him he'd be there when they need him but he has other things he needs to do (he better do them quickly since word is out his title is ending soon). T'challa is in a weird place right now (not in terms of location). He left Wakanda and took up residence in Hell's Kitchen. Despite being married to Storm, he insisted on fighting his own battles without her help. And similarly, he doesn't want the Avengers' help either.

He told Steve that it wasn't a friendly face he needed but instead, firepower. He suggested his wife. Storm is an insanely powerful mutant. There's no question why many call her a goddess. Besides firepower, she is also a formidable hand-to-hand fighter. Having lead the X-Men for so long, she even has some tactical skills. She can fly and blast enemies from afar. She is clearly a great addition to the team.


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Vision originally joined back in Avengers (Vol. 1) #58. Don't confuse this Vision with the one running around with the Young Avengers. This is the original, the one destroyed in Avengers #500.

What does he add to the team? He's incredibly intelligent (he has a machine for a brain). This means he can also interface with computers and other forms of technology. He can fly (just like Storm). He can alter the density of his body, thus being 'bullet-proof' or able to phase through objects (pretty handy if you need to sneak into a place). He can emit solar radiation through the jewel on his forehead and there always his signature move, phasing his hand into someone and increasing his density until they pass out from the pain.

Vision hasn't always been totally stable so hopefully Stark got all the bugs worked out.

Red Hulk

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Say what you want about the name or idea, having a Hulk on the team is a great asset, as long as they don't smash everything. Red Hulk isn't your typical Hulk. As General Thunderbolt Ross, he has years of experience on the battlefield. During his war against Hulk, he went up against some crazy things. Not only is he good at tactical decisions, he's not one to back down from a fight.

Red Hulk has been with the team for a little while now. He joined up in issue #12 and has more than proven his worth and loyalty. He's also gone on several missions for Cap during his Commander Rogers days. Since the team doesn't need any more tactical members, it's his strength that will truly be an asset. Every team should have a powerhouse member and Red Hulk is it. If there's an enemy that needs smashing, you know he'll be able to get the job done.


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Agent Daisy Johnson hasn't been active in the superhero community for very long, she's only eighteen years old. But Nick Fury immediately recognized her potential. As a member of S.H.I.E.L.D., she soon gained Level 10 Clearance, the highest level possible (only Fury and Black Widow have this level of clearance).

Besides her aptitude in training and espionage, she also has her powers. The reason she's called Quake is she can generate earthquakes. She learned to control her seismic vibrations to be able to pinpoint them and cause individual items to explode. She even exploded Wolverine's heart from the inside. That and her black-ops skills come in real handy in different situations.


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Noh-Varr is a character that keeps popping up on teams then quietly sneaks away. As a member of the Kree, he possesses great strength and is also extremely intelligent (he managed to help build a Space-Time Continuum Viewer. He can also do some freaky things with the nanotechnolgy in his saliva, such as controlling people.

He officially joined the team in issue #6 and hopefully he'll play a bigger role in the team this time.

Hawkeye and Spider-Woman

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The two of these have been Avengers for some time now. Hawkeye joined in 1965's issue #16. Spider-Woman's story is a little different since when she first joined, it was really the Skrull Queen. She was brought back in New Avengers (Vol. 1) #48 and then joined officially on the Avengers in issue #1.

Both have experience and skills that make them an asset to the team. But, there might be some problems. Clint has volunteered to be a mentor or teacher at the Avengers Academy, now located on the West Coast.

The two are in the early stages of developing a romantic relationship. We've already looked at the question of whether or not team members should get involved with each other. This could cause some distractions that could be dangerous in the field.

Iron Man

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Iron Man's been around since the beginning. He's the guy with the vision. He's the one that wants to rebuild everything (the Avengers Tower, Vision, the team, etc).

He's a great guy to have on the team because of his brains. He can build some crazy suits than do a lot of damage to the enemies. And with Vision up and running, it'll be good to have a genius on the team in case something goes wrong.

As with some of the others, it's not clear how much time he'll be able to devote to the team. He has his own priorities with trying to rebuild his company (yet another thing to rebuild). But Tony's pretty much always been there for the team so this time shouldn't be any different.

Who's out?

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Spider-Man and Wolverine have been going back and forth between the Avengers and New Avengers. As Wolverine points out, they already have a mutant and a spider-person. Ms. Marvel will likely stay with the New Avengers. Doctor Strange is also a member of the New Avengers but with the Defenders coming back, who knows if he'll split his time between both teams. Iron Fist and Mockingbird will also remain on the New Avengers. The Thing is feeling bad about being possessed and destroying the Tower during FEAR ITSELF, so we'll have to see if he stays with the New Avengers.

Beast, Black Widow, War Machine, Ant-Man and Valkyrie are part of the Secret Avengers. Moon Knight doesn't appear to have a place on any team.


The team has a lot of leaders on it. Cap, Iron Man, Storm, Vision and even Red Hulk could all make plans during a battle. Hopefully everyone will not be able to resist the fact that Captain America is the ultimate leader and should always be looked to when time for decisions.

No telepath? Having someone with telepathy makes it easier for the team to remain in contact with each other. With all the brains and technology, they could easily whip up some sort of tiny communication devices but sometimes telepathy is easier. And you don't have to worry about batteries dying.

Magic? They don't have any protection against mystical attacks.

Speed? They don't have a dedicated speedster although Noh-Varr has been said to have fast reflexes. Hopefully speed won't be a major issue with all the other powers on the team.


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The team appears to be pretty well-rounded. There are a couple areas to be concerned with but it looks like Cap chose a pretty good roster. Black Panther will probably start hanging out with them more often. His fighting skills (along with Cap's) will add even more to the team when fighting the villains.

The big question is how will this team work together. With some veteran members and new Avengers, they're going to have to spend some time getting to know each other and each other's abilities. They could have all the firepower and skills in the world but if they can't work together as a team, none of that will matter.