In his weekly “Talk To The Hat” interview at Comic Book Resources, Tom Brevoort spilled some beans about Avengers projects that never were, including this one:
The third one I can remember — and at least two different people pitched this at two different times — was an idea that never got as far as an official title, but it was essentially “Black Avengers.” It was “Let’s put all the African or African-American heroes together on a team for an adventure,” and in those cases too, there was nothing about the idea beyond “It’s a bunch of super heroes together” that said “Avengers” beyond the fact that “Avengers” is a term that’s salable. I think there’s something very specific about what “Avengers” means to the Marvel Universe. They’re the varsity. They’re the A-list. They’re the Man. They’re not about being super heroes because of demographics or ethnicity. They stand for something specific and occupy a certain role. If you don’t have some degree of that, then it doesn’t feel like Avengers.
Firstly, way to accidentally mix “We passed on a Black Avengers book twice” with “The Avengers are the Man.” Secondly, I can’t work out whether “Black Avengers” is a terrible idea, or a great one. It depends on the creative team and the story, I guess; I admit that I’d at least be curious enough to pick up the first issue if Priest were writing it (I wonder if one of the “two different times” the idea was pitched was the book that became Priest’s The Crew? Am I misremembering that he was upset that forces within Marvel thought it was “a black book” despite only one of the leads being black?). Is this just liberal white guilt talking, or is there actually something weirdly racist about “Black Avengers” as a concept for a series?