Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.
He chose the then least-successful comic, The X-Men, which the company was phasing out. Lee's response, according to Adams: "Why don't you do the last two X-Men and then do an important book like The Avengers?"
"I actually did 10 issues," Adams says. "It was after those 10 issues that everybody and their brother became fans of The X-Men and every new artist wanted to do The X-Men."
In 2012, the "important" comic finally gets its own movie, with The Avengers finally hitting the screen (after a warmup that included two Iron Man movies, two Hulks, Captain America and Thor). The erstwhile expendible X-Men franchise, meanwhile, will flex its muscles again next summer when Hugh Jackman dons his adamantium claws for The Wolverine. And, not to miss a marketing opportunity, Marvel released an Avengers Vs. X-Men comic book series last month.
Herewith, a thumbnail comparison of the two Marvel franchises on film.
Born: September 1963 in Avengers Comics #1.
Original Members: Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp
Related Movies This Century: Seven (The Avengers, Two Iron Mans, Hulk, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America)
Domestic Box Office: $1.26 billion (source: Box Office Mojo)
You Don't Want To Make Him Angry: Hulk
Boy Scout: Captain America
Fanboys Drool Over: Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow
Brains Behind The Operation (Onscreen): Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)
Brains Behind The Operation (Real life): Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly)
Oscar Cred: Gwyneth Paltrow (won), Robert Downey Jr. (nominated twice), Mark Ruffalo (nominated), Jeremy Renner (nominated twice), Samuel L. Jackson (nominated)
Evil British Actor: Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Best Cameo By Marvel Founder Stan Lee: Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner on a red carpet in Iron Man
Born: September 1963 in X-Men Comics #1
Original Members: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Beast and Iceman
Related Movies This Century: Five (X-Men, X-Men 2: X-Men United, X-Men 3: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class)
Domestic Box Office: $932 million (source: Box Office Mojo)
You Don't Want To Make Him Angry: Wolverine
Boy Scout: Cyclops
Fanboys Drool Over: Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, Rebecca Romijn as Mystique
Brains Behind The Operation (Onscreen): Prof. Xavier (Patrick Stewart)
Brains Behind The Operation (Real life): Bryan Singer (first two movies).
Oscar Cred: Halle Berry (won), Anna Paquin (won), Ian McKellen (nominated twice), Ellen Page (nominated), Hugh Jackman (hosted), Jennifer Lawrence (nominated)
Evil British Actor: Ian McKellen as Magneto
Best Cameo By Marvel Founder Stan Lee: Hot dog vendor in X-Men; old man watering his lawn in The Last Stand.