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

The Avengers Initiative (a.k.a Phase 1) was a secret project created by S.H.I.E.L.D. to create the Avengers, a collection of the most able individuals to defend Earth from imminent global threats; these individuals functioning as a response team to said threats which are too great for the forces of mankind to handle.

The Initiative was scrapped by the World Security Council after the alien incursion in New Mexico in favor of a weapons development program known as Phase 2. It was eventually reactivated in 2012 during the Chitauri Invasion.



"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, Director Nick Fury used finances to observe individuals who possibly had super powers, sending agents to investigate these individuals and have them placed on the Index for later encounters. In 2008, Agents Phil Coulson and Melinda May discussed this "initiative" enacted by Fury as they went to Manama, Bahrain to investigate Eva Belyakov.[1]

First Recruit

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

Nick Fury meets with Tony Stark to talk about the Avengers Initiative

Tony Stark went home after he publicly announced he was Iron Man, only to find Nick Fury already there. Fury went to find Stark to inform him that there was an entire world of incredible people, just like him, and of the Avengers Initiative.[2]

Requested Member

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

After meeting with Jasper Sitwell in a cafe, Phil Coulson informed him that the World Security Council had accepted the Avengers Initiative, but had ordered the Abomination to join the team roster, as they were blaming Hulk for the destruction in New York City. They ended up sending Tony Stark to meet with General Ross and convinced him to refuse Abomination's admission into the project, as well as attempted to recruit Hulk into the team.[3][4]

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]

Nick Fury decided that, after reading Black Widow's review about him, Stark was not fit to join the Avengers Initiative, though the Iron Man armor was.[5]

The Avengers Initiative was scrapped soon after by the World Security Council after the alien incursion in New Mexico in favor of a weapons development program known as Phase 2.[6]

The Search for Captain America

"You've been asleep, Cap. For almost 70 years."
Nick Fury to Steve Rogers[src]

Sixty-five years after Captain America's crash landing, a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Fury searched for his body. A fan of the Captain, Coulson, was also part of this small team. The team searched for two years to find Rogers' body. When they finally found him, they defrosted him and then shipped his body to New York City. When Rogers arrived in New York City, he was kept in a simulated 1942 environment to try to ease him into what was happening.

When he awoke, he quickly realized it was not real and escaped into the streets of a 2011 New York. In Times Square, Rogers encountered Fury who told him that he's been "asleep" for nearly seventy years. Rogers then realized that many of his old friends were very likely dead, including his love interest, Peggy Carter.[7]

Testing The Database

Clint Barton is ordered by Nick Fury to break into the Helicarrier and access the database of the Avengers Initiative to test their security.[8]

The Avengers

The Avengers Assembled

The Avengers assembled.

"We're running the world's greatest covert security network and you're gonna leave the fate ofhuman race to a handful of freaks."
"I'm not leaving anything to anyone. We need a response team. These people may be isolated, unbalanced even, but I believe with the right push they can be exactly what we need."
Gideon Malick and 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.[9]

Thor returned to Earth from Asgard in order to get his adopted brother.[9][10]

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, Nick Fury and Maria Hill agree that it was the correct choice to form the team, and that they will return for any future threat.[9]


  • Tony Stark (Iron Man), a self-proclaimed eccentric genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist, with a technologically advanced suit of armor.
  • Bruce Banner (Hulk), a mild-mannered scientist, whom had been transformed into a raging monster after going through a terrible accident while trying to recreate the Super Soldier Serum.

Former Candidates

  • Emil Blonsky (Abomination), a former special-ops operative of the British Royal Marines who was transformed into an hulking monster after being injected with Doctor Banner's blood and with a variant of the Serum.