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For other uses, see Avengers (disambiguation)
For other uses, see Phase One (disambiguation)
For other uses, see Avengers Initiative (disambiguation)

"THE AVENGERS INITIATIVE was a program created by S.H.I.E.L.D. Director NICK FURY to bring together a group of remarkable people to face extraordinary threats. Fury's original list of prospective recruits included Anthony Stark, Thor Odinson, Natasha Romanoff, Clint Barton, Bruce Banner, and Captain Steve Rogers. The team first assembled for the BATTLE OF NEW YORK."
Watchers Report[src]

The Avengers Initiative (originally conceptualized as the Protector Initiative), also known as Phase 1, was a project created by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury to form the Avengers, a response team comprised of the most remarkable individuals humankind has to offer. The Avengers Initiative was supposed to defend Earth from imminent global threats that are beyond the warfighting capability of conventional military forces.

The Avengers Initiative was scrapped by the World Security Council in favor of a weapons development program known as Phase 2 but was eventually reactivated in 2012 during the Chitauri Invasion.

History

Foundation

"We have no idea what other intergalactic threats are out there. And our one woman security force had a prior commitment on the other side of the universe. S.H.I.E.L.D. alone can't protect us. We need to find more."
"More weapons?"
"More heroes."
Nick Fury and Phil Coulson[src]

Nick Fury writing up "The Protector Initiative"

In 1995, S.H.I.E.L.D. was involved in the conflict with the Kree and the Skrulls, and Nick Fury teamed up with Carol Danvers to save the Skrulls from the Kree and retrieve the Tesseract. Having been inspired by Danvers and witnessing firsthand how humanity is not capable of dealing with intergalactic threats, but also witnessed how someone with superpowers could be Earth's protectors when S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't enough, Fury became determined to protect the Earth from future intergalactic threats like the Kree. Since Danvers had left Earth and wouldn't be available whenever the next threat arrives, Fury sought to find individuals with incredible powers and abilities just like Danvers in hopes of bringing them together as a team to fight as Earth's protectors. The initiative was originally named "The Protector Initiative", however, after Fury saw Danvers' call-sign from the time when she was in the United States Air Force, he renamed it into the Avengers Initiative.[1]

Financing

Hawkeye and Black Widow's Initiative files

"S.H.I.E.L.D.'s putting every dime into the Triskelion."
"Well, not all the dimes. Fury's quietly started a new initiative. Instead of this catch-and-release with powered people, we form a team, take Earth's mightiest to find out if they're heroes."
Melinda May and Phil Coulson[src]

While S.H.I.E.L.D. was devoting a majority of its resources into the building of the Triskelion, Nick Fury used finances to observe remarkable or enhanced individuals, sending agents to investigate such individuals and have them placed on the Index for later encounters.[2]

Fury had also included two of S.H.I.E.L.D. most elite agents, Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton, for the Avengers Initiative due to their unique and incredible skills that rank them above other agents. Fury always kept the modified pager he could use to call Danvers but opted against asking her to join the Avengers, instead continuing the search of other powerful individuals and only bring Danvers as a last resource.[3]

First Recruit

Nick Fury introduces the Initiative to Tony Stark

"I'm here to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative."
Nick Fury to Tony Stark[src]

Following Tony Stark's public announcement that he was Iron Man, Nick Fury visited him at his mansion. Fury told Stark that the world is full of incredible individuals, just like him and presented him with the Avengers Initiative.[4] However, after reading Black Widow's review on Stark, Fury decided that he was not fit for the Initiative, so S.H.I.E.L.D. listed him only as a consultant.[5]

Requested Member

Tony Stark is sent to ask about Abomination

"They want Blonsky in the team."
"The Abomination?"
"They really don't like when you call him that."
Phil Coulson and Jasper Sitwell[src]

The World Security Council issued an order to S.H.I.E.L.D. to accept Emil Blonsky as a candidate for the Avengers Initiative, due to his military record but disregarding his instability and the recent incident in New York City. Phil Coulson was against Blonsky's participation, so he sent Tony Stark to meet with Thaddeus Ross to make him disapprove Blonsky's release from imprisonment, as Bruce Banner had more potential to join the Initiative.[6][7]

Testing The Database

Clint Barton was ordered by Nick Fury to break into the Helicarrier and access the database of the Avengers Initiative to test their security. Barton was able to accomplish this easily, and after looking over Fury's report on the candidates, he questioned Fury on their reliability, which Fury assured him that they needed to count on them.[8]

Closing the Project

"Phase 2 isn't ready, our enemy is. We need a response team."
"The Avengers Initiative was shut down."
Nick Fury and Gideon Malick[src]

In the wake of the alien incursion in New Mexico, the World Security Council made the ultimate decision to shut down the Avengers Initiative and ordered S.H.I.E.L.D. to relocate their resources for the Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and the Phase 2. Regardless, Nick Fury did not abandon the Initiative and kept Thor as a potential candidate.[9]

Search for Captain America

Captain America is found after sixty-six years

"You've been asleep, Cap. For almost seventy years."
Nick Fury to Steve Rogers[src]

Sixty-six years after Steve Rogers's crash landing, a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Nick Fury searched for his body. After two years of searching for Rogers' body, S.H.I.E.L.D. eventually found him being frozen in Arctic. They discovered that Rogers was still alive and shipped him to New York City after they defrosted him. S.H.I.E.L.D. also simulated 1942 environment for Rogers to try to ease the fact that he was in the cryo-sleep for nearly seventy years. Once Rogers woke up, he was greeted by Nick Fury who informed him about the situation and welcomed him into the new time.[10]

The Avengers

"There was an idea, Stark knows this, called the Avengers Initiative. The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to, to fight the battles that we never could."
Nick Fury[src]

Loki stole the Tesseract from Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S., and destroyed the base, killing eighty people during the process, causing Nick Fury to revive the project. He called in Captain America to join, and sent Black Widow to get Hulk, who was now living in a rural village in India. Meanwhile, Phil Coulson was sent to Stark Tower to retrieve Tony Stark, although he was initially disapproved from the participation in the Initiative.[11] Thor returned to Earth from Asgard in order to get his adopted brother.[11][12]

The Avengers assemble and fight as a team

After the Avengers were formed, they were not cooperating and failed to prevent Loki's escape from the Helicarrier. They believed they were not meant to be together and were thinking of disbanding the team. It was only Phil Coulson's death that motivated them to fight the Chitauri invasion on New York City. After their victory in defeating the Chitauri, Fury and Maria Hill agree that it was the correct choice to form the team and that they will return for any future threat.[11]

Alternate Universe

Fall of the Avengers

"The Avengers Initiative. Seems our killer is going after the candidates."
"If someone wanted to kneecap S.H.I.E.L.D., that's a good place to start."
Nick Fury and Natasha Romanoff[src]

In an alternate universe, Hank Pym accessed the information about the Avengers Initiative and decided to disrupt it as retribution for the death of his daughter. After getting access to the list of potential candidates, Pym went on a killing spree to murder all of them and destroy everything Nick Fury was trying to build. First, Pym killed Tony Stark through a Lithium Dioxide syringe, while Black Widow was accused of the assassination of Stark. She was arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D., however, Fury ordered her to find the truth behind Stark's murder by getting off S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar.

In New Mexico where S.H.I.E.L.D. was researching the Mjølnir, Thor broke into the research site to retrieve his hammer. Pym assumed that Fury would try to recruit him, so he killed him by causing Hawkeye to misfire and shoot Thor with his arrow. Accused for disobeying an order and killing Thor, Barton was taken to a holding cell where he was murdered by Pym as well. Due to Thor's death, S.H.I.E.L.D. had to deal with Loki and the army of Asgard who invaded Earth to avenge their prince. Loki eventually gave Fury an ultimatum to find Thor's murder until the next day or the Asgardians will proceed as Loki intended.

On the run from S.H.I.E.L.D., Romanoff arrived at the Culver University and asked Betty Ross to help with the investigation of Stark's death. Ross discovered that the Lithium Dioxide syringe did not contain any foreign substances and it did not even enter Stark's body when he was murdered. Romanoff updated Fury on her discovers and he concluded that the murders were connected by the Avengers Initiative and told Romanoff that she and Bruce Banner were the last remaining candidates. Romanoff found Banner at the university and attempted to get him out before they found themselves surrounded by the United States Army forces led by Thaddeus Ross. Pym used a chance and provoked Banner's transformation into the Hulk and while he was fighting the military, he entered his body and killed him.

Romanoff logged into the S.H.I.E.L.D. database and discovered that someone accessed the Initiative files through Hope van Dyne's account. Soon after, Pym attacked and killed Romanoff but not before she informed Fury about her discoveries. Fury figured out that Pym was behind the attacks and together with Loki, he set up a trap to take him down, which resulted in Pym being defeated and apprehended by the Asgardians. However, Loki broke his deal with Fury and led the Einherjar to conquer Earth for him, so Fury restarted the Avengers Initative, recruiting Captain America and Captain Marvel into the team to fight Loki.[13]

Candidates

Appearances

Appearances for Avengers Initiative

In chronological order:

References

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