It is important to note that while the Avengers are far from being a perfect team of flawless heroes, they have an impressive record when it comes to winning over losses throughout their Marvel career. Despite the fact that the Avengers seem invincible, Marvel revealed that they are not and even provided instructions on how an Avenger can be defeated.
First formed by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Avengers #1, the Avengers set the benchmark as a team that could not be defeated as they defeated Loki in a single issue. The Avengers had never been defeated by any villain since then, including the Masters of Evil, Kang the Conqueror, and even Doctor Doom, and a founding member himself, Giant-Man, explains the reasons behind their consistent victories, particularly during the early days of their adventures.
Hank Pym aka Giant-Man goes on a solo quest in Avengers #30 by Stan Lee and Don Heck to address a rather obvious issue regarding his powers. Previously, Giant-Man revealed that he no longer relied on Pym Particles to grow or shrink, but could instead do so by simply wishing to do so. The ultimate upgrade, however, proved to be a debilitating weakness since his body was no longer able to cope with the constant stress caused by altering its size. When Pym stayed in his Giant-Man form for too long, he was unable to return to his original height, and if he tried to use his powers again, he would die. As soon as Pym learned that a scientist in a South American country was working on size-altering technology, he set out to find him. At the doctor’s house, Hank found no one there, and the entire facility was in a state of disarray, probably as a result of an attack. The Avenger’s suspicions were confirmed moments later when he was attacked by an unknown group of assailants. Upon failing to defeat Giant-Man, one of the villains warned him that he would be defeated if he continued on his mission.
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Giant-Man’s statement in this issue may have been intended to sound intimidating, but it is actually more accurate than he realized. Over the years, the Avengers have fought villains who should have defeated them, such as the aforementioned Doctor Doom or Kang the Conqueror, but the Avengers always seem to prevail and operate within Marvel Comics to this day. The real failure occurs when they fight against each other. During the Civil War, the Avengers turned against one another in bloody combat, which resulted in a negative shift in the dynamic between them and even resulted in Captain America’s presumed death–a hero who embodied the essence of what the Avengers represented. This was the purest example of this occurring.
Besides the blatantly obvious Civil War, another instance where an Avenger was the only being capable of defeating another Avenger was Captain Marvel’s “The Last Avenger” story arc, during which Carol apparently killed her fellow Avengers in the reluctant service of the cosmic villain Vox Supreme. While Captain Marvel didn’t actually kill the Avengers, Vox knew she was the only one who could, as he was then aware of what Giant-Man is aware of in this issue: if you want to truly destroy another Avenger, you have to be an Avenger – a statement originally made as an intimidation tactic, but one that still rings true today.