Avengers: Infinity War shocked the world by showing general moviegoing audiences something comic fans have known for years: That the Avengers could get their asses handed to them.
While prior to Infinity War, the Avengers and characters of the MCU were pretty much always successful in stopping the bad guys and saving the world, that's far from the way it is in the comics. With a huge, rotating roster of infinitely powered supervillains, the Avengers regularly have the odds stacked against them, and regularly wind up losing in one way or another.
Sure, eventually everything turns out alright, but there are dozens of antagonists who have come dangerously close to wiping the Avengers out, once and for all.
As we all impatiently wait to see how the film version of Thanos' saga plays out across Avengers: Endgame, let's take a look at all the supervillains who have nearly finished them off in the comics.
It is no coincidence that Marvel Studio's first-ever live-action Avengers film featured Loki as the primary antagonist, so too did the first-ever Avengers comic book, Avengers #1 in 1963.
In their comic book debut, the Avengers are actually only assembled by Loki himself, as he attempts to defeat them. Manipulating Bruce Banner and subsequently the Hulk's mind, Loki attempts to use the big green rage machine as a weapon with which he can defeat his brother, Thor.
Loki's plan seemed solid enough and probably would have worked, were it not for Rick Jones, the Hulk's long-time comic book sidekick. Jones sends a distress signal out asking for the help of other superheroes, telling them that the Hulk is innocent and is simply being manipulated. This radio broadcast is received by all kinds of characters including Iron Man, Ant-Man, the Wasp, and even the Fantastic Four.
Ultimately, Loki's actions wind up accidentally bringing about the formation of The Avengers as the original team of Hulk, Iron Man, the Wasp, Ant-Man, and Thor all unite to defeat Loki.