Five Avengers Nobody Would Want as Exclusives

Five Avengers Nobody Would Want as Exclusives

There was an idea: to bring together a group of unremarkable people.

The Avengers are inarguably the world's most popular hero team. They're recognizable in almost every culture and society across the planet, and while they have their share of legends, gods, and monsters to fight the forces of evil, there's also been a few duds along the way. The immoral, the idiotic, or the just plain pointless have also occasionally had a place in the Avengers, much to the dismay of all involved.

But in this current market, where Spider-Man belongs purely to Sony's minions and those who buy the right cell phone can put their logo on Cap's shield… well, it means that this group is clearly getting split into slices for the upcoming Crystal Dynamics-developed Marvel's Avengers, and there may not be enough to go around to everyone who wants a piece. Then again, if publisher Square Enix is going to recreate the World's Mightiest Heroes in all its glory, can it truly leave out some of its less glorious members? When all the rights to Iron Man and Hulk are used up, what characters are left over?

Doctor Druid looks like a psychiatrist having a breakdown, rather than solving one. | Avengers #294, Marvel/Simonson & Buscema

Doctor Druid (Anthony Druid)

First Appearance: Amazing Adventures #1 (1961)

Powers: Druid magic/quite flammable

Doctor Druid has three major problems. Firstly, he has a dumb name. This applies whether you're talking about his superhero name or secret identity: He actually legally changed his name from Anthony Ludgate to Anthony Druid. Secondly, his first comic appearance is horribly racist, involving a plot point that allows him to gain mystic powers by changing into an Asian man. But thirdly, even once this aspect was dropped, Doctor Druid could basically be summarized as "what if Doctor Strange… but worse?" Worse powers, worse costume, worse backstory, worse track record overall.

To clarify, Ludgate was briefly an Avenger in 1987, and is probably most famous for screwing it up, becoming the leader of the team and an unwitting puppet of the villain Terminatrix. Not only that, but after screwing up yet again as leader of the Secret Defenders, he ended up going crazy and becoming a villain… Until the C-list hero Son of Satan killed him and burned his body in a garbage can (it was the '90s, after all). He's occasionally reappeared since then, and each time it feels like a net loss for the universe.

3-D Man might be one of the worst hero names I've ever heard, at least without becoming an outright parody. | Avengers Vol 3 #8, Marvel/Buseik & Pérez

3-D Man (Delroy Garrett Jr.)

First Appearance: Avengers Vol 3 #8 (1998)

Powers: Slightly enhanced physical abilities/is three-dimensional?

That name alone is a big red flag, but would it help if I told you at different times in his life Delroy Garrett Jr. was also known as Triathlon, or the Three-Dimensional Man? No? Good, that means you're holding onto some vestige of sanity. Garrett himself was an athlete who was banned for steroid use, only to join a cult named the Triune Understanding. They gave him a piece of alien rock that (barely) gave him superpowers, though managed to convince him it was his faith that had done so, and poor Garrett never thought to question this.

And what powers were those? Well, he had three times the strength, speed and stamina of a normal man. Still, it puts him beneath most of the Avengers, not to mention having no real combat training or expertise beyond running track, but at least the name "3-D Man" doesn't raise anybody's expectations too high.

Hello and goodbye, Grasshopper. | G.L.A. #2, Marvel/Slott & Pelletier

Grasshopper (Doug Taggert)

First Appearance: G.L.A. #1 (2005)

Powers: High jumps/powerful kicks/cursed with low life expectancy

If the Great Lakes Avengers are a joke, then Grasshopper is the biggest joke of the Great Lakes Avengers. GLA was a sister society to the West Coast and East Coast Avengers (respected teams that could actually combat evil), composed of D-list heroes with unremarkable powers and intellect. Grasshopper, who basically jumps around in a green suit and kicks things, is offered a place on the team after helping them deal with a crisis… only to be accidentally killed by the villain Zaran seconds later. Consequently, Grasshopper has only one achievement to his name: the shortest membership for any hero team in all of Marvel, 5.8 seconds total. Later on, two more people would don the costume and name of Grasshopper, also getting killed within minutes of doing so (though as far as we know, nobody's beaten Taggert's record).

I guess if Cap has the shield, Hawkeye has a bow and Thor has a hammer, a guy with a sword is just needed to round things off. | Avengers #20, Marvel/Lee & Heck

Swordsman (Jacques Duquesne)

First Appearance: Avengers #19 (1965)

Powers: Owns a sword/interesting moustache

Jacques Duquesne feels like the universe's first attempt at Hawkeye, only to come back round and get it right the second time. That's not a coincidence either, as "Swordsman" was one of Clint Barton's teachers at the circus where he grew up, helping him learn combat skills alongside his other teacher, Trickshot. But whereas Hawkeye would go on to become a true Avenger and worthy of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with gods and heroes, Swordsman went on to become a rather lame criminal. So why is he on this list? Well, because in Avengers #20, the Mandarin tricked the World's Mightiest Heroes into letting Swordsman join up, creating an illusion of Iron Man to vouch for him. The trick didn't last long and Duquesne was kicked out in the very same issue, going on to flip-flop between heroism and villainy until getting killed in Giant-Size Avengers #2.

Rick Jones' first act in recorded Marvel history was to get an innocent man turned into a hideous monster for the rest of his life. | Incredible Hulk #1, Marvel/Lee & Kirby

Rick Jones

First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #1 (1962)

Powers: Quite good with a ham radio/low instinct for self-preservation

Rick Jones is technically an honorary Avenger, having been the guy that brought the team together in 1963 for the very first time (even though it was by accident; he was trying to call the Fantastic Four on a ham radio). And yes, we'll admit it: Marvel's own Jimmy Olsen equivalent has had occasional superpowers, whether it was as A-Bomb or the Whisperer, or even being a creepy radiation ghoul in recent years.

But those aren't the version of Rick Jones that everybody remembers. It's the dorky teen who somehow knows just about every Marvel superhero on a first-name basis, and who was responsible for Banner's transformation into the Hulk. After all, Banner had to run out to save the idiot from driving across a military testing zone and playing the harmonica for a dare. Presumably as a playable character, he'd wander about the battlefield, accruing random powers and shedding them just as quickly, providing the occasional pep-talk in between for the other heroes who actually get stuff done.

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Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

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