With hundreds of issues already in print and more arriving every week, it’s practically impossible to keep up with the Avengers’ comic book adventures - and it’s especially daunting once one figures out that there’s literally a prehistoric Avengers reading order. With folks like Thor and Hercules around, ancient Avengers members are nothing new, but the revelation that squads of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have been coming together since the year 1,000,000 BCE is a fairly recent one, and one that has shaken the Marvel Universe to its historical foundations.
The so-called Stone Age Avengers may be old, but don’t think of them as elderly superheroes. Instead, think of them as timeless. They’re not from some What If…? story or alternate comic book universe; they’re the very real, very relevant past of mainstream Marvel Comics canon - and they also happen to be preposterously cool.
Firehair, The First Human To Host The Phoenix Force, Founded The Stone Age Avengers In The Year 1,000,000 BCE
The Phoenix Force is a cosmic entity at least as old as the Marvel Universe that usually takes the form of a flaming bird. From time to time, it likes to bond with mortal hosts in order to unleash some fiery, rebirth-initiating destruction - and it seems to have a penchant for earthly redhead psychics.
The Phoenix Force’s first human host was a prehistoric mutant woman named Firehair. After bonding with Firehair during a moment of great tragedy, the Phoenix Force hoped to raze Earth and then move on to other planets, and Firehair almost went along with it - until she was convinced otherwise by a wolf she’d befriended as a child.
Recognizing how close she’d come to destroying her home planet, and reasoning that other such destructive forces might be out there waiting to strike, Firehair persuaded the Phoenix Force to join her in becoming Earth’s protector. She then set out in search of allies, slowly but surely forming the Stone Age Avengers.
The Team’s First Recruit Was A Mjolnir-Wielding Odin
About a million years ago, a relatively young Odin Borson traveled to Midgard and officially became an All-Father, creating human beings. He carried Mjolnir with him as he did, but he struggled to control it because his own father doubted his worth - a storyline that would be repeated eons later with Odin’s son, Thor.
As Odin watched over his creation, he saw humanity grow, thrive, and evolve, despite Bor’s attempts to inflict them with suffering. Some humans even began to develop miraculous powers, most of which were mystical in nature, giving Odin some people he could truly relate to. One such individual was Firehair, by then known as Lady Phoenix - and the two decided to join forces in order to face off against anything that tried to destroy their nascent sentient world.
Agamotto, The First Sorcerer Supreme, Joined The Avengers Before Ascending To Godliness
It is not known when exactly the sorcerer Agamotto was born, nor is it known what he was born as, save that it was something pre-human. In any case, by the year 1,000,000 BCE, Agamotto had begun to live amongst the early humans and had become the world’s first true master of the mystic arts. He dubbed himself the Sorcerer Supreme, a title he would hand down to generations of sorcerers to come.
To aid him in his protection of Earth, Agamotto created several powerful artifacts, including the Eye of Agamotto that still bears his name and the Book of Vishanti. He also welcomed allies in the form of the Stone Age Avengers, joining with them to save the world on several occasions before ultimately ascending to godhood and leaving the mortal realm behind.
The Discoverer Of Vibranium And First Black Panther Was Recruited Long Before Wakanda Existed
Long, long before the founding of Wakanda, a Vibranium meteor crashed into Africa and buried itself deep underground. Around the year 1,000,000 BCE, a leader of the local Panther Tribe - worshippers of Bast - discovered the meteor and its miraculous properties. After fashioning the Vibranium into gauntlets and presumably ingesting the Heart-Shaped Herb grown from its soil, this nameless individual became the world’s first Black Panther.
The cunning and noble Black Panther impressed Odin Borson more than any other mortal had before or since, and so Odin was overjoyed to welcome him into the Stone Age Avengers. In fact, Odin respected the Black Panther so much, he even allowed him to wield Mjolnir in battle, making him the second being ever to prove worthy of the mighty mallet.
The Black Panther would eventually hand his mantle down to a series of subsequent Black Panthers, and one of them would eventually found Wakanda - though it is unknown how many generations separated them from the original article.