Everyone likes to believe that the creation of The Avengers was nothing short of divine intervention that bestowed the groundbreaking idea into the heads of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Instead, in 1963, Daredevil #1 was delayed because artist Bill Everett fell behind on his work, and, since Marvel needed to put something out to fill the hole, Stan Lee just came up with the idea to put a bunch of pre-existing heroes together in one book. Basically, Avengers #1 was nothing more than space filler.

But since then, the property has become one of the most recognizable and important at Marvel. Throughout the years, talent like Neal Adams, Roy Thomas, Kurt Busiek, Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar, and countless others have worked on various Avengers books in their quest to make Earth’s Mightiest Heroes the most high-profile series at the company.

The rosters may have changed over the years, but there's no denying the fact that seemingly every decade has given birth to dozens of memorable Avengers stories. From plots involving alien invasions to more traditional supervillain brawls, as well as the occasional tale with a bit of social commentary and moral ambiguity, the team has been able to adapt to all sorts of storytelling.

Unless you have been living without a television, the Internet, or the ability to see for the past four years, Marvel's The Avengers is making its big screen debut this Friday, courtesy of director Joss Whedon. To celebrate, we’re counting down The 10 Best Avengers Stories Of All Time.

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