The biggest Avengers facts every fan gets wrong

Over the last few years, the Avengers have taken the world by storm. It's definitely the most popular team of superheroes, especially when you throw in the likes of Thor, the Hulk and the expanded lineup who have yet to join the super squad in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. A lot of people are fans of the modern incarnation of the group, which means they base all of their knowledge of them from the movies, but there's a lot more to them than that. Here are the biggest Avengers facts that all of these fans get wrong.

Spider-Man wasn't an Avenger (for a long time)

There's a ton of excitement around the fact that Sony and Marvel signed a deal and now Spider-Man can appear in the Avengers' movies! While it will be cool to see him join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man is only a recent addition to the Avengers. He's been a long time ally and dependable affiliate, but he didn't officially join the team until the formation of the New Avengers. Before that, he had the somewhat confusing "reserve member" status. He wasn't officially on the team, and he didn't get a room in the mansion, but he could still be called on to fight the bad guys. He was basically an unpaid intern superhero, which is weird considering that Spider-Man has been fighting crime long before the Avengers even existed.

Nick Fury has never been their leader

He might be responsible for bringing the Avengers together in the movies, but Nick Fury originally had nothing to do with the Avengers in the comics. The team came together when Loki was trying to mess with Thor and accidentally affected other heroes with his evil shenanigans. The heroes all liked their chemistry and kept hanging out together to stop the bigger threats to the world. Fury, on the other hand, was working his way up the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. were two separate organizations for a long time. They got along with each other, and the Avengers would often help Fury out, but he was never their boss. In fact, Nick Fury is not a part of the modern day Avengers. As far as the Avengers are concerned, Nick Fury is just a guy who smokes way too many cigars and occasionally needs a favor done that usually involves dealing with the occasional super villain or interplanetary threat.

Captain America wasn't a founding member

It's understandable that a lot of people assume Captain America was one of the founding members of the Avengers—he's pretty much a figurehead of the group, and his movie was even subtitled The First Avenger. If the filmmakers were trying to be accurate, however, they would have named his movie The Sixth Avenger, because that's where he ranks. The modern depiction of Cap didn't appear until the fourth issue of The Avengers, where he was discovered frozen in an iceberg. He quickly joined the team, replacing the Hulk, who quit because he was constantly getting into fights with his supposed comrades. Later on, Cap would be given a "founder status" within the Avengers, but that was only really done as a jab at the Hulk. It was basically Iron Man and Thor coming out and saying that they liked Steve Rogers more than Bruce Banner.

Phil Coulson didn't come from the comics

One of the coolest moments from the first Iron Man movie is towards the end, when Agent Coulson reveals that he works for S.H.I.E.L.D. Throughout the movie, he kept referring to the organization by its full title, which is just too cumbersome for us to type and too lengthy for you to read. It was a nice easter egg for the end of the movie, and it only worked because no one knew who Phil Coulson was. Before Iron Man, he had never appeared in a Marvel comic. He was popular with fans, returned for a few more movies, and was eventually introduced into the comics. He made an appearance in The Avengers, and his apparent death was actually the event that triggered the heroes putting aside their differences and working together. He's basically what the Avengers are avenging! As a reward for his services, they gave him his own TV show that deals with all the unimportant and third-rate characters that you'll probably never see in any of the movies.

The Avengers is a singular organization

When people talk about The Avengers, they usually picture one team. In the comics, that's not entirely true. Sure, there's the official Avengers team, who live in the Avengers mansion (or Tower, depending on the time period). That team has also franchised out in the past, creating teams like the Avengers West Coast. However, there have also been a bunch of Avengers teams that aren't officially approved. Basically any group of heroes in the Marvel Universe can call themselves Avengers, as long as they think of a new adjective to throw in front of the name. There's the Mighty Avengers, the New Avengers, the Secret Avengers, the Avengers Initiative, and more—all with varying levels of validity. People act like being an Avenger is a big honor, but all anyone really needs is a friend who's willing to fight crime with them and hopefully a superpower or two.

Not Earth's most popular heroes

The assumption about the creation of the Avengers was that Marvel decided to put all of their most popular heroes in one book. It's the same thing DC did with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in the Justice League. But until recently, the Avengers team was made up of Marvel's B and C list characters. Before the movies, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America weren't huge hits when compared to Marvel's other lines of comics. The Hulk was an Avenger, but he left the team a long time before his comic series became popular. The Avengers, as they originally appeared, may have been better described initially as "Earth's Misfit Heroes!" Unfortunately, that's not going to sell a lot of comics, so Marvel went with the "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" tagline instead.