The decision to move Wanda and Pietro into the Avengers, was that always the plan?

  I ask because as I read some of the older stuff they were never really shown as bad as the rest of the Brotherhood, did Stan always mean to make them heroes later on?

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I don't have any evidence one way or the other, but my guess is that Stan wanted to show some nuance in the human/mutant argument.  You had the X-Men on one side who were the "good guys" and you had the Brotherhood of "Evil" Mutants on the other.  The problem was that the Brotherhood--while wrong in their actions--weren't particularly wrong in their ideology, and I think Stan wanted some characters within the group of evil mutants who weren't quite evil.

Even if they were meant to become heroes, it seems unlikely they were actually intended for the Avengers, altho the X-Men would have seemed over-crowded if they'd joined back then.  Could they have been intended for possible replacements for Angel & Marvel Girl, the two weakest original X-Men?

It was interesting that Stan never kept a supervillain group together very long. 

Supergroups weren't as common back then as they are now, but I do remember how they tried to break away from the brotherhood by contacting the FF and that didn't work out. I don't think there'd be room in the FF for them but Wanda as a love interest for Johnny would have interesting.

Dave Elyea said:

Even if they were meant to become heroes, it seems unlikely they were actually intended for the Avengers, altho the X-Men would have seemed over-crowded if they'd joined back then.  Could they have been intended for possible replacements for Angel & Marvel Girl, the two weakest original X-Men?

I doubt the plan was to put them in the Avengers from the outset.  Wanda and Pietro debuted in X-Men 4, cover-dated March 1964, the same month that Avengers 4 came out.  They joined in Avengers 16, cover-dated May 1965 (both Avengers and X-Men were bi-monthlies in March '64).  I doubt that Stan and Jack planned it out that far ahead.  Keep in mind that Hawkeye didn't debut until Tales of Suspense 57, cover-dated Sept '64.

Certainly the twins were portrayed as having no villainy in their hearts and clearly were part of the Brotherhood against their will.  Magneto was about 99 and 44/100 pure evil, and even Mastermind and the Toad were fairly unsympathetic characters.  Stan and Jack were pushing the twins toward a heroic path all along, but dropped no hints (that I can recall) that they would end up being Avengers until they actually joined up.

I know Stan and Julius Schwartz both got in the habit of inserting footnotes that "the events in this issue happened after ______". The fans would pester them about continuity, particularly between two books in the same month*. I don't think Stan intended to move them or Hawkeye into the Avengers until he went sufficiently crazy dealing with the same-month continuity of Iron Man and Thor. He could have left Giant-Man and the Wasp in the Avengers. They only had two months left of their own feature.

Hawkeye was a natural as he originally intended to be a hero.

*or two continued stories in both books at the same time

Wanda and Pietro left the Brotherhood in X-Men #11 (My'65) the same month as Avengers #16 which makes it clear that Stan was planning on moving them to the Avengers!

That month, sure.  Mark asked if it was always the plan.

I seriously doubt Lee or Kirby had any such plans when Wanda & Pietro made their debut.  But once Stan made up his mind to dramatically change the line-up of the Avengers by ousting the remaining originals and leaving Cap in charge of newbies, Wanda, Pietro and Hawkeye were all natural picks as at that point Marvel was not overpopulated with underused superheroes or villains who weren't all that evil.  Of course, once that decision was made, they had to the "last" Brotherhood of Evil Mutants tale (well, at least until Roy sort of brought everyone but Mastermind back together a few years later), which coincided with the "last" Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil storyline. 


 Oh, and wasn't it nice that while Cap was out, having his final showdown with Zemo, rescuing Rick Jones, and then making his way from an Amazonian rain forest to New York, Iron Man, Giant-Man and the Wasp opt to quit, but do manage to recruit new members and hang around just long enough for Cap to return and find out his duties have been dramatically changed.  And Thor doesn't find out until he comes back from his troubles in Asgard, goes to re-hook up with his old Avenging pals and finds strangers have taken over ye olde mansion and decides, heck with it, I'm not hanging out with this gang while waiting for Captain America to come back from his stroll.  Interestingly, for much of the first 230 or so issues of the Avengers that I have, I can't recall any periods when Thor was an active member that Iron Man was not also an active member.  It's as if anytime they brought Thor back in, the writers felt they had to have Iron Man around too to sort of balance things out.

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It's even worse when you consider that Iron Man, Giant-Man and the Wasp didn't even know if Cap and Thor were still alive when they decided to go on hiatus!

Still Cap should have known not to miss a meeting!

Fred W. Hill said:

Oh, and wasn't it nice that while Cap was out, having his final showdown with Zemo, rescuing Rick Jones, and then making his way from an Amazonian rain forest to New York, Iron Man, Giant-Man and the Wasp opt to quit, but do manage to recruit new members and hang around just long enough for Cap to return and find out his duties have been dramatically changed.

It's like they say, if you do a good job the one reward you can count on is more work.

And Thor doesn't find out until he comes back from his troubles in Asgard, goes to re-hook up with his old Avenging pals and finds strangers have taken over ye olde mansion and decides, heck with it, I'm not hanging out with this gang while waiting for Captain America to come back from his stroll.

This was a neat moment, IIRC. Thor is blindsided by these three strangers. To make things worse he may have heard that they were bad guys. I can see Cap returning and Thor telling him he found these villains, kicked their butts, and turned them over to the cops.

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