Meet the Astonishing Avengers- Magneto, Mystique, and… Deadpool?
There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkably evil people to fight an even more evil person… wait, what?
In 2014, Marvel launched their AXIS event that quite literally flipped Earth-616 on its axis. Heroes and villains suddenly swapped alignments, leading to a string of horrible heroes and virtuous villains duking it out in an incredibly entertaining, imaginative showdown.
In this series, Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch cast an alignment spell gone awry, causing heroes like Thor and Iron Man to take on a darker mentality, while anti-heroic others like Deadpool found their inner zen, standing up to the Axis of Evil Avengers and the hatemonger Red Onslaught. Enter; Magneto and the Astonishing Avengers.
Which former foes and various villains made up this truly astonishing assembly of Avengers? Time to meet the team!
After Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom performed their axis-inversion spell, Magneto took on a more heroic alignment than he had previously been known for. Still a staunch defender of mutant rights, Magneto worked to combat the Red Onslaught, who had the combined abilities of the Red Skull and Onslaught, a destructive entity created from the psychic abilities of both Magneto and Charles Xavier.
He stood up to an evil Scarlet Witch in a fight that infamously revealed that she and Quicksilver were not really Magneto’s children. After the Axis event ended, Magneto was returned to his normal personality, and reached out to his true daughter Polaris to help him protect the mutants who had been displaced by the inverted madness.
The mysterious and often murderous Mystique became entirely heroic as a result of the Axis-inversion. The Astonishing Avengers quickly discovered the now-evil X-Men’s plot to detonate a deadly weapon that would kill everyone on the planet without the mutant X-Gene. Mystique, now a kind and empathetic hero, worked to stop the X-Men from going through with their plan.
Sadly, the plan failed, but Mystique continued in the fight against the conquering mutants and the militaristic Avengers. She fought alongside her now-good teammates like Carnage, Sabretooth, and Loki until the reverse spell was cast and she returned to her evil methods once more.
Carnage originally joined Magneto’s team in an effort to get revenge on Deadpool, but after he had his morality changed, he put the rivalry behind him for the greater good and departed from the team. The madman symbiote became a bold hero, stopping robberies and apprehending criminals with no fatalities initially.
Cletus Kasady’s sociopathic nature still caused him to lash out at criminals and eventually he began to appear more like a villain again. Finally reuniting with Magneto’s band of Avengers, Carnage proposed the idea for the team of former-villains to take the blame for everything that had happened in order to protect the reputations of the Avengers, X-Men, and Inhumans.
Victor Creed was among the notable villains who got caught up in the events of Axis, becoming a hero who worked to protect the world from murderous mutants. Sabretooth stopped the inverted X-Men from detonating their weapon that would kill everyone without the X-gene, and assisted in the preparation of the reinversion spell, even though he knew it meant returning to a life of villainy.
The evil and intelligent Iron Man had developed a shielding device that protected him from the spell, not wanting to revert to his heroic persona. When the spell was performed, Sabretooth was just near enough to Tony Stark that he too was protected from the spell’s effects, remaining a hero. With a hero’s conscience, Victor Creed handed himself over to the authorities for the crimes he had previously committed.
When Deadpool got caught in the inversion spell, his madness faded away into something a little more peaceful. Wade Wilson had achieved inner peace and become Zenpool, a pacifist with a presence for mindful living. He traded in his red costume and weapons for grey and white monk’s robes, and took up a zen garden hobby.
As a part of Magneto’s Astonishing Avengers team, Deadpool tried to help stop the inverted X-Men and used his pacifist beliefs to talk his foes out of fighting. He prevented the murder of several other inverted villains, and enjoyed being able to hear his conscience. Of course, the Merc got his smart mouth back after the spell was reversed by Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch.
As a result of the inversion spell, Asgard’s famous God of Lies became an upstanding citizen, dedicated to the truth and justice across the Marvel cosmos. His brother, Thor, became a murderous berserker as a part of the Axis of Evil Avengers. Acting as an Agent of Asgard, Loki had to do everything in his power to stop the former God of Thunder from causing serious damage.
In a surprising twist, Loki and Thor traveled to the moon, where the former trickster found Mjolnir, which had been left behind when Thor became unworthy to wield it. This goodhearted version of Loki discovered that he could lift the mystical hammer, and used it until the reinversion spell was cast in the middle of their fight, causing Loki to become unworthy once more.
The team even included the likes of Absorbing Man, Enchantress, and Jack O’Lantern, all doing their part to protect the Marvel Universe. They might not have had all the tech and the organization of a traditional Avengers team, but it was nice to see some bad guys do some good for a change!
The Astonishing Avengers might now be defunct, but which Marvel villain would you most like to see reformed into an Astonishing Avenger? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t miss your chance to add these heroes and villains to your own ultimate Marvel collectibles team-up.