Culture & Lifestyle
Published July 14, 2023

Your First Look at ‘The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’

Ahead of its August 29 release, we spoke to writer David Betancourt about revisiting the Avengers’ earliest history for this definitive biography.

PREORDER YOUR COPY OF THE AVENGERS ASSEMBLED: THE ORIGIN STORY OF EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES!

Have you ever wondered who the Avengers really are…?

Cover to The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Cover to The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

You may know them as Marvel’s premier super-team, an assembly of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes who boast remarkable power on their own and as a group. Now, a new in-depth biography from Eisner-nominated writer and journalist David Betancourt and illustrator Bex Glendining sheds a new light on the formation of the team in The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. On sale in bookstores August 29, this complete biography will offer a deep dive into the history of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, from their earth-shattering beginnings and cataclysmic lineup changes.

Through meticulous research, “The Avengers Assembled” will also reveal unparalleled insight into the characters, backstories, and motivations of Iron Man, Captain America, Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, Black Panther, and more. For collectors and comics fans, it is a comprehensive look at the evolution of your favorite Avengers stories.

In an exclusive first look at this new biography, we spoke to David Betancourt about what it took—as a researcher and as a fan—to get back to the Avengers’ roots.

You had a lot of ground to cover here. What was your approach to refining the Avengers’ origins across decades of comics?

DAVID BETANCOURT: I focused on the fact that this was an origin story. That core group at the founding of the team. Iron Man. Captain America. Ant-Man and the Wasp. The Hulk. Thor. We do have one chapter towards the end of “The Avengers Assembled” that gets into the future and younger heroes that answer the call to assemble such as Miles Morales (a personal favorite of mine), Nova and Ms. Marvel. But the essence of the book is the original team. What I decided to do was take a look at the first 100 issues of AVENGERS (1963) published by Marvel Comics. The march towards AVENGERS #100 is highlighted by the Kree/Skrull War, which took place between issues #89-97. That seemed like the perfect “big event” for the team to face. That’s when the Avengers go from being the protectors of Earth, to the protectors of the entire universe. I knew I wanted the Kree/Skrull War to be the big battle at the end. From there it was a matter of pulling what I thought were the best 25 comics from that initial run to issue #100. We knew we wanted the origins of each member, as well as looking into the first major roster changes when Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch show up. And then the defining moments from the Avengers’ time learning the ropes as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Preview page from The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Preview page from The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

What was your background with the Avengers as a fan?

DAVID BETANCOURT: Honestly, I didn’t become a dedicated Avengers reader until after the first movie came out around 2012 which brought me into the fantastic run of [writer] Jonathan Hickman. I started becoming an avid comic book reader in the early 90s when I was a kid, and that time period was all about Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s X-Men, which absolutely blew my mind as an 11-year-old. I did dabble in a little WEST COAST AVENGERS when I was younger because I was a big Hawkeye fan. I’ve always thought archers were cool. So obviously I was very happy when myself, Marvel and DK Books decided together that we wanted this to be an origin story of the Avengers and that meant going through the classic comics of the 1960s, which Hawkeye is a part of.

What was it like revisiting the classics?

DAVID BETANCOURT: I gave myself a lot of time to familiarize myself with those first 100 issues. Even when I became a serious collector of comics, those initial runs from the 60s were just something I looked at from a historical context. I was too busy reading the comics of my era. But these 60s comics are the Marvel Comics of my father’s youth. My dad was an avid Marvel Comics reader, and he shared his love of comics with me. So it was fun reading those issue and thinking of what it must have been like for my dad as a kid to watch the Marvel Universe connect in an Avengers team-up.

Preview page from The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Preview page from The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Any fun takeaways or discoveries from your research?

DAVID BETANCOURT: Tony Stark, no matter the decade, is always super suave, debonair, and the smartest guy in the room. It was fun getting into the mindset of someone who’s brain seems to be 20 years ahead of everyone else he comes in contact with. I also enjoyed getting to know the original Ant-Man/Giant-Man and the Wasp a little more. Hank Pym is so focused on being the best, he can’t see the best thing is already in front of him (that being Janet Van Dyne). It’s a tragic relationship. Perhaps the most fun for me was writing the chapter when the Avengers vote the Black Panther into membership. That’s a character I’ve had a chance to write in the past, and any time I can visit Wakanda it’s always rewarding and unforgettable.

Read an exclusive excerpt from The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the gallery below, then preorder your copy before it hits stores on August 29!

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW
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Preview page from The Avengers Assembled: The Origin Story of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

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