The original MCU Avengers are almost all gone, but they fight on in comic books

Marvel Universe: Avengers Assemble Vol. 2 #1 cover art
Marvel Universe: Avengers Assemble Vol. 2 #1 cover art (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The current phase of the MCU has unsurprisingly focused steadily on replacing the original MCU Avengers - Steve Rogers Captain America, Tony Stark Iron Man, Bruce Banner Hulk, Thor Odinson, Clint Barton Hawkeye, and Natasha Romanov Black Widow - with younger counterparts that embody their legacies while also introducing totally new heroes such as Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and others that will likely encompass the next generation of MCU Avengers.

Steve Rogers has passed his shield on to Sam Wilson. Tony Stark is dead, with his successor to be determined, possibly in the form of Riri Williams. Clint Barton is training Kate Bishop to be his own replacement. Natasha Romanov is dead with Yelena Belova taking her place as Black Widow, Bruce Banner is about to mentor She-Hulk to be a superhero, and Thor's fate is up in the air with the impending Thor: Love & Thunder possibly planning to kill off Chris Hemsworth's Thor as Jane Foster takes up Mjolnir.

Even though those classic, original MCU Avengers are currently finding replacements or setting up potential heirs to their legacies, the original six Avengers are still alive and well in comic books - and many of them are reaching important milestones with major stories as we speak.

So where are Steve Rogers Captain America, Tony Stark Iron Man, Bruce Banner Hulk, Thor Odinson, Clint Barton Hawkeye, and Natasha Romanov Black Widow in comic books right now? For the uninitiated, it may seem a bit daunting to dig into comic books, but there's no better place to find the continuing adventures of your favorite Marvel heroes, and Newsarama has your guide to catching up with the OG MCU Avengers in comic books right here.

Steve Rogers Captain America

Captain America in the MCU

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Just like in the MCU, Sam Wilson is currently serving as Captain America in his second comic book stint behind the shield. 

But unlike in the MCU, Steve Rogers is also Captain America at the same time, wielding his classic shield while Sam has taken up his own new version alongside his mentor as both Captain Americas lead their own separate titles.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

In fact, the first issue of Steve Rogers' solo title Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #1 goes on sale on June 15, kicking off a mystery surrounding secrets from the past hidden where else but in Steve's shield. 

Steve is also teaming up with Bucky again for the story, putting the two old friends side-by-side on a new adventure.

Tony Stark Iron Man

Iron Man in the MCU

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Tony Stark is very much alive and well in comic books, unlike in the MCU where he is dearly departed and remembered as a fallen hero (as seen in Disney Plus' Ms. Marvel streaming series). But there are still big things and big changes happening in Tony's life that make this a perfect time to jump into his comic book adventures in his solo Iron Man title.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

In June 15's Iron Man #20, which Newsarama has a preview of right here, Tony Stark proposes to Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat, a former Avenger who has been at Tony's side through a recent encounter with the villain Korvac which left Tony addicted to a form of powerful cosmic energy, necessitating a stint in rehab.

We haven't technically seen Patsy's answer yet - that likely won't come till the full issue of Iron Man #20 is released. But it's safe to presume she's going to say "yes," meaning Iron Man is about to be headed into wedding planning and possible marital bliss in comics.

Sorry Pepper. 

Bruce Banner Hulk

Hulk in the MCU

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

2022 marks 60 years since the Hulk debuted in the Marvel Universe. To celebrate, Marvel has pitted the not-so-jolly green giant against his fellow Marvel sexegenarian, Thor (more on him in a moment) in a crossover titled Hulk Vs. Thor: Banner of War which just reached its penultimate chapter in Thor #26 in which Hulk managed to lift Mjolnir, taking on the armor and powers of Thor to become a kind of Mighty Hulk/Incredible Thor hybrid.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

In more Hulk-specific events, Hulk is currently in a strange sort of status quo with Bruce Banner where their shared body is constantly Hulked out, with the personalities of both characters inhabiting the physical form simultaneously. 

Banner pilots the body, while Hulk's personality channels the rage that fuels it - leading to a recent incident in which Hulk transformed into an even more powerful incarnation known as Titan.

We're expecting more on Titan as well as the ramifications of 'Banner of War' in the upcoming 'Hulk Planet' story, in which Hulk arrives on a world populated entirely by Gamma-powered beings led by a queen named Monolith.

Thor Odinson

Thor in the MCU

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Remember how we mentioned the Mighty Hulk/Incredible Thor hybrid in Hulk Vs. Thor: Banner of War? Well, it's good Hulk's got Mjolnir - which has its own odd comic book status quo at the moment - because in the crossover's previous installment in Hulk #7, Thor got bombarded with Gamma, transforming into a full-on Hulk of Thunder. 

'Banner of War' aside, some major things have happened recently in the God of Thunder's life. For one thing, his father Odin died in battle, leaving Thor as King of Asgard (unlike in the MCU, he's actually taken to the role and the responsibility in comics). 

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

But there's a twist to Odin's death that somewhat ties into Thor's recent MCU status quo. As in the MCU, the comic book Mjolnir was destroyed a few years ago. But it was recently reforged with a slightly different enchantment - and with the soul of Odin living inside, complete with his irascible personality. 

Along with the return of Mjolnir itself, Odin's personality recently guided the hammer back to Jane Foster in Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor #1, setting the stage for her own return as Thor just as she'll take up the mantle in the MCU in Thor: Love and Thunder.

Clint Barton Hawkeye

Hawkeye in the MCU

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Clint Barton just took up a protege in the MCU, welcoming Kate Bishop, his longtime fellow Hawkeye from comic books, into the fold. But in comics, he's about to have an entire team of characters under his leadership - and not for the first time.

Following the events of Devil's Reign, in which now-disgraced former New York City mayor Wilson Fisk AKA the Kingpin outlawed superheroes in the city, newly elected mayor Luke Cage is pulling a bit of his own history into his administration to help overcome the superhero ban, which is too politically complicated to outright repeal without further legislation, by creating a new team of Thunderbolts, a team Luke himself once led.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

How does that fit in with Clint Barton? Well, once upon a time, when the very first incarnation of the Thunderbolts, who were actually the Masters of Evil in disguise, betrayed their leader Baron Zemo to defeat his world-conquering schemes, Hawkeye left the Avengers and stepped in to guide the team into actual heroism. Now, Luke Cage has tapped him to once again lead a team of Thunderbolts, this time under the employ of his mayoral administration.

And yes, that's America Chavez, who you just met in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and WandaVision's Monica Rambeau, on Hawkeye's team. 

At the same time the new Thunderbolts #1 is launching on August 31, Marvel Studios is reportedly working on a Thunderbolts film

Natasha Romanov Black Widow

Black Widow in the MCU

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Natasha Romanov is dead in the MCU, and her younger 'sister' Yelena Belova has taken over as Black Widow. In comics, however, both Natasha and Yelena are currently active - though hardly on the best of terms, as in comics they've traditionally been enemies.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Natasha herself - the OG Black Widow and a founding Avenger in the MCU - just finished a run on an Eisner Award-nominated Black Widow solo title from writer Kelly Thompson, artist Elena Casagrande, and colorist Jordie Bellaire which took a deep dive into some of the same themes of family, legacy, and trauma that the MCU Black Widow movie explored, though with a remarkably different concept.

In that story, Natasha is brainwashed to believe she's retired into suburban life with a full family including kids, only to discover that it's all a ruse.

Since the most recent Black Widow title concluded, Natasha hasn't had a starring role - yet. But that just means she's poised for a comic book comeback any time now.

The classic MCU Avengers roster takes its cues from the best Avengers line-ups ever from comic books.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)