The definitive, chronological, and up-to-date guide on collecting Young Avengers, Avengers Academy, and other youthful and in-training Avengers comic books via omnibuses and trade paperback graphic novels. A part of Crushing Krisis’s Collecting Avengers Graphic Novels: A Definitive Guide. Last updated July 2016 with titles scheduled for release through April 2017.
The Avengers has not historically included division for younger heroes, unlike the X-Men, whose entire premise was based upon a school. That made sense, since being an Avenger was a serious duty and frequently a job. A random team couldn’t declare themselves Avengers, though they could could be mutants by birth. And from a publishing standpoint, Avengers never had the cache to support more than a handful of titles.
That all changed in 2005 in a series created by budding superstar artist Jim Cheung and TV and film writer Allan Heinberg. In the wake of Avengers Disassembled fundamentally altering the team, a group of teen heroes arose to take on the mantles of their heroes – some of whom had fallen in battle. Inspired by Avengers members like Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Vision, Iron Man, and Giant-Man, this new group declared themselves Young Avengers.
With the proverbial seal broken and the Avengers brand hotter than ever thanks to the stewardship of Brian Bendis, Marvel seized the opportunity for a decade-long run of titles focused on a next generation of Avengers. While the Young Avengers continued in a string of mini-series, an official training-squad was coined in Avengers: The Initiative, followed by an actual Avengers school in Avengers Academy.
The line-wide Marvel Now relaunch in 2012 brought with it not one but three Avengers titles focused on training squads – a redux of Young Avengers from the hip team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, the Hunger Games inspired Avengers Arena (which became Avengers Undercover), and finally a team of android and robot characters in Avengers A.I.
- Young Avengers (2005)
- Young Avengers mini-series (2006 – 2011)
- Avengers: The Initiative (2007)
- Avengers Academy (2010)
- Young Avengers, Vol. 2 (2013)
- Avengers Arena & Undercover (2013 – 2014)
- Avengers A.I. (2013)
- Avengers Undercover (2014)
- Young Avengers in All-New, All-Different Marvel (2015)
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While this series relies on the fact that Avengers Disassembled just occurred, there is no prior reading or knowledge required – it’s a fresh start and entirely self-contained! Note that Kate Bishop as Hawkeye has her appearances tracked individually in the Hawkeye guide.
#1-12: Young Avengers Ultimate Collection (ISBN 0785149074)
This story begins just after Avengers Disassembled and continues across the first 12 issues of New Avengers. Includes Special #1. Also available in oversized hardcover (ISBN 0785130330). Reprinted in 2017 as Complete Collection.
The Young Avengers title continued to be evoked for special events through Avengers: The Initiative until the launch of Avengers Academy (which does not feature any of the same characters).
Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways (ISBN 0785123172)
Collects Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways #1-4.
Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers (ISBN 078513266X)
Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers #1-3
Young Avengers Presents (ISBN 0785129758) out of print
Collects a series of six one-shots focusing on each member of the team.
Dark Reign: Young Avengers (ISBN 0785139095)
Collects a 2009 five-issue limited series following the events of Secret Invasion.
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade (ISBN 0785135499)
Collects Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1-9, which re-introduces Scarlet Witch after a half-decade away from the spotlight. Also includes the B-story from Uncanny X-Men #526 and Avengers: The Children’s Crusade -Young Avengers. (In X-Men books, this occurs prior to Schism). Also available in oversized hardcover.
This series picks up from the events of Civil War, alongside The Mighty Avengers. However, this book maintains the “Avengers in-training” vibe, and (somewhat) precedes the Avengers Academy ongoing.
#1-19 & Annual 1: Avengers: The Initiative – The Complete Collection, Vol. 1 (ISBN 978-1-302-90411-1)
#4-5: World War Hulk: X-Men (ISBN 0785128883)
This is sometimes titled as “World War Hulk: Marvel Universe.” Includes Avengers: The Initiative #4-5, Ghost Rider #12-13, The Invincible Iron Man #19-20, The Irredeemable Ant-Man #10, and World War Hulk: X-Men #1-3.
#7-13: Avengers: The Initiative, Vol. 2 – Killed in Action (ISBN 0785128611)
Includes Annual 1. Also available in hardcover (ISBN 0785128689).
#14-19: Avengers: The Initiative, Vol. 3 – Secret Invasion (ISBN 0785131671)
Also available in hardcover (ISBN 0785131507). #16-19 later recollected in Skrulls Must Die!: The Complete Skrull Kill Krew
#26-30: Avengers: The Initiative, Vol. 5 – Dreams & Nightmares (ISBN 0785139052)
Also available in hardcover (ISBN 0785139044).
#31-35: Avengers: The Initiative, Vol. 6 – Siege (ISBN 0785148183)
Includes Avengers: The Initiative Special, which takes place chronologically before issue #20. Also available in hardcover (ISBN 0785148175).
Though this book continues the theme of the Avengers training younger heroes, all of them were invented newly for this title – there is no complex back story to catch up on! Your humble editor feels this was the best and most-consistent Avengers title out in 2011.
#7-13: Avengers Academy, Vol. 2: Will We Use This in the Real World? (ISBN 0785144978)
Available in hardcover (ISBN 078514496X).
Avengers Academy: Arcade – Death Game (ISBN 0785156305)
Collects Avengers Academy Giant Size, as well as two classic Arcade stories from Marvel Team-Up (1972) #89 and Spider-Man (1990) #25.
#29-33: Avengers Academy: Avengers vs. X-Men (ISBN 0785165819)
These issues are also collected in oversize format in the AvX Companion Omnibus.
Fan-beloved creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie present their take on the Young Avengers with a team of familiar faces Wiccan, Hulking, and Kate Bishop as Hawkeye – plus new additions Marvel Boy, Miss America Chavez, and Loki, and guest stars Speed and Prodigy.
#1-15: Young Avengers Omnibus by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie Oversize Hardcover
Also includes the introductory Loki & Ms. America Chavez story from Marvel Now! Point One
#1-5: Vol. 1: Style > Substance (ISBN 0785167080)
Also includes an introductory story from Marvel Now! Point One.
#6-15: Vol. 2: Alternative Cultures
Loki continues to Loki: Agent of Asgard.
This book pits the Avengers Academy cast and a number of other young heroes against each other in a Hunger Games knockoff designed by joke character Arcade. The creators have promised the senseless deaths of number of the characters in the cast … but the premise may be more than what it seems.
The cast includes Hazmat, Mettle, Reptil, Juston Seyfert, and X-23 from Avengers Academy; Nico and Chase Stein from Runaways; Cammi from the Annihilation events; the newly created Kid Briton, Nara, Bloodstone, Anachronism, and Apex from Braddock Academy; the newly created Death Locket (a teen Deathlok); and Darkhawk.
#1-6: Avengers Arena, Vol. 1: Kill or Die (ISBN 0785166572)
#7-12: Avengers Arena, Vol. 2: Game On (ISBN 0785166580)
#13-18: Avengers Arena, Vol. 3: Boss Level (ISBN 0785189289)
Most of the surviving cast members continue to Avengers Undercover, but X-23 continues to All-New X-Men.
#1-5: Vol. 1: Decent
#6-10: Vol. 2: Going Native
Spinning out of Age of Ultron, this title focuses on Hank Pym and a team of robotic Avengers.
#1-6: Vol. 1: Human After All
#7-12: Vol. 2: 12,000 AD