The Avengers are Earth’s first and last line of defense. The team is made up of the most respected heroes, the ones that everyone looks up to. For the general public, the Avengers are the paragons of the hero community, the ones who can do no wrong. This is definitely not the case, though.
The Avengers are still human; it’s hard to be a paragon, to make the tough decisions. The Avengers make mistakes. The team has gone too far on multiple occasions. They’ve done things that they definitely shouldn’t have in their battles against evil, endangering themselves, the people around them, and often, the world in the process.
10/10 The Illuminati Wiped Captain America’s Mind
The Illuminati were a secret group made up mostly of Avengers who worked in secret to save the world when no one else could. The second incarnation came together to fight the Incursions, with Captain America joining the group. When the only way to save the Earth was destroying another, Cap followed through, but he threatened to tell the rest of the Avengers about the group.
Captain America is a respected and inspiring hero, but the Illuminati didn’t let that sway their decision. They mindwiped him, making him forget the group ever existed. It was a terrible act, but it wouldn’t be the last horrible thing the group did during the Incursions.
9/10 Iron Man’s Avengers Killed Goliath
The superhero civil war saw both sides going farther than they otherwise would have, but Iron Man’s Avengers started it. During a battle at a Roxxon oil refinery, Iron Man and Reed Richards unleashed their newest weapon, a cybernetic clone of Thor. This Thor clone ran through Cap’s team like a hot knife through butter and killed Goliath with a blast from his hammer.
Reed shut him down as Invisible Woman, a member of Iron Man’s Avengers at the time, shielded Cap’s team. Bill Foster was a friend to all of them, and his callous slaying was the first major event that made the other heroes realize just how far Iron Man’s Avengers were willing to go.
8/10 Iron Man, Reed Richards, & Hank Pym Designed A Negative Zone Prison For Their Enemies
Civil War was the gift that kept on giving for Avengers going too far. Iron Man, Reed Richards, and Hank Pym brainstormed new ideas for the superhero community. One of those was a Negative Zone prison, made to hold their enemies, which SHIELD helped build. During the superhero civil war, apprehended heroes were kept there.
Being in the Negative Zone for too long has an adverse reaction on those there. The whole thing was barbaric, but Iron Man got away with it. He’d close it after the war, but the fact that he used it on his friends at all is a terrible thing.
7/10 Wolverine Killing Hank Pym In The Past Created A Doomed Alternate Universe
Some Avengers can be pretty reckless, and it’s not always that surprising. The best example of that is Wolverine. The hero was known for being rather reckless with the X-Men, so anyone expecting him to be better as an Avenger should have known better. He proved this during Age Of Ultron. With the help of Invisible Woman, he went back in time and killed Hank Pym before he could invent Ultron.
While Wolverine did stop Ultron from existing and saved the world, he created a doomed Earth where a war between Doctor Doom and Morgan Le Fay threatened to destroy it all. He and Invisible Woman had to go back to the past and stop him from killing Pym. Wolverine then had to kill the other version of himself. It was a giant mess.
6/10 They Defended Scarlet Witch After Her Depowering Of The Mutant Race
Scarlet Witch’s actions against mutants are irredeemable to many, but the Avengers don’t include themselves in that number. The Avengers have long been about sweeping up the pieces of Scarlet Witch’s rampages, never holding her accountable or even getting her the help she needs. This was especially apparent when the X-Men repeatedly tried to get her to even feel bad about what she did.
It makes sense for the Avengers to not want mutants to kill Scarlet Witch, even though she did commit genocide, but they defended her from even being asked to apologize. The Avengers Unity Squad splintered for many reasons, but one of them was that Wanda would never admit she did anything wrong. Her fellow Avengers were on her side completely, which was a bit much.
5/10 Cap And Iron Man Never Tried To Talk It Out Before Civil War Started
The Avengers’ status quo has been drastically altered several times, but Civil War did a doozy on it. The whole thing was just a series of escalating too-far moments, but it all would have been stopped if Iron Man and Cap remembered they were friends and just talked it out. Both men could be reasonable, and a unified front between the two would have been better.
Instead of negotiating, both Cap and Iron Man immediately drew battle lines and started issuing ultimatums. The entire thing could have been prevented with some good old-fashioned diplomacy. Unfortunately, both sides just ran headlong at each other as if that was the only option.
4/10 The Dark Avengers’ Attack On Asgard Was The Last Straw
The Avengers are Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but the Dark Avengers were Earth’s Mightiest Pretend Heroes. Osborn’s team of villains disguised as heroes did a lot of damage, and it’s safe to say their whole career could be classified as going too far. However, their final act at the Siege of Asgard was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Osborn bit off more than he could chew, and his solution was the Sentry, which was a can of worms no one wanted to open. The whole situation went very bad, in this case almost world-endingly bad. The Asgardians and the real Avengers were able to save the day, but it was a close thing.
3/10 The Avengers Murdered The Kree Supreme Intelligence
Operation: Galactic Storm took the Avengers back to space to stop the war between the Kree and the Shi’Ar. They did their best, but the war ended when a Nega-Bomb was detonated on Hala, the Kree homeworld. The Avengers raced there to assist and discovered the terrible truth: the Supreme Intelligence had done the whole thing on purpose in order to jumpstart Kree evolution.
Half of the Avengers wanted to go home, disgusted by the whole thing, but the other half decided to avenge the billions who died. They attacked the Supreme Intelligence, with the Black Knight landing the blow that killed it. It was a terrible moment for the team.
2/10 The Illuminati Destroyed Alternate Earths During The Incursions
The Marvel Universe has suffered terrible catastrophes, but none could match the Incursions. The alternate Earths of the multiverse began to materialize and collide with each other, with the 616 Earth in near-constant danger. The Illuminati could only figure out one way to stop them: by destroying the other Earths the moment they materialized in their universe.
The Illuminati created an entire system that would detect the incoming Earth and destroy it with an anti-matter warhead. The group committed genocide on a wide scale. The irony is that while they were doing that, Doctor Doom was finding a way to gain godlike power, allowing him to save worlds instead of destroying them.
1/10 The Avengers Started The War With The X-Men And Only Made It Worse
Avengers Vs. X-Men’s war between the two teams is often blamed on the X-Men, mostly because of the Phoenix Five’s actions. However, this completely ignores the Avengers’ culpability during the early stages of the conflict. The Avengers listened to Wolverine, who was biased against Cyclops and Utopia at the time, and they went in ready to fight instead of ready to talk.
The Phoenix Five only came to be because of Iron Man’s foolish attempt to destroy the Phoenix Force with his armor. The irony is that if the Avengers hadn’t interfered, Hope Summers would have gotten the Phoenix, fixed the mutant race, and nothing bad would have happened.
NEXT: 10 Most Wholesome Avengers