Young Marvel fans may only know the Avengers as the breathtaking, larger-than-life figures that will be soaring across the big screens next month, when Avengers: Endgame is released
But of course, the cadre of heroes were conceived well before the era of dazzling CGI we now live in. They started out on the pages of comic books, having been created by the late great Stan Lee in 1963, but when they made the leap to the screen, producers were faced with the challenge of making the Avengers look suitably heroic using just basic props.
When you compare previous manifestations to the most recent incarnations, portrayed by the über-heroic likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth, the older versions look kind of silly, to be honest. Clearly it isn't a fair comparison, but let's proceed regardless.
So here we have the Spider-Man (or Spider-Men) of past (left) and present (right):
Spider-Man has aged well. Credit: Walt Disney/Columbia Pictures
As you can see, new Spidey (as portrayed by Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming) looks lean, poised and glossy, while the older version (played by Nicholas Hammond in the late 70s TV show) looks like a bloke who's pulled some tights over his head and glued some plastic eyes on top.
In fairness, that is - presumably - pretty much what they did when making the costume for the 1977 Spider-Man film.
Now let's take a look at Captain America:
Captain America used to look a lot like a dad with too much time on his hands. Credit: 20/20 Vision/Disney
So on the right there is Chris Evans looking dashing and courageous, and on the left there is Matt Salinger - quite possibly a fine actor, but here he looks like he works in a timber warehouse Monday to Friday, and takes his role in the Neighbourhood Watch way too seriously on weekends.
You can't help but feel they could have done a bit better here - the older Captain America film was released as recently as 1990. Indeed, they could have done better in almost every regard with this film, which was roundly bashed by critics and punters alike.
To give you a better sense of how shit this film was/is, it has only a seven percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was described by one critic as 'just all wrong' - costumes included, evidently.
Moving on, here's Thor:
Which one do you reckon looks more formidable? Credit: ABC/Disney
A hero based on a hammer-wielding Norse deity associated with lightning and storms should strike fear into your heart. On the right, Chris Hemsworth does just that, looking mean as he perfectly executes the 'don't mess with me face' that goes well with a raised hammer.
On the left is Eric Kramer, who appeared as Thor in the 1988 TV movie The Incredible Hulk Returns (yes, we're coming to the green guy), and tragically looks like a librarian who has been forced into being a superhero but insisted on wearing a helmet.
And lastly, let's take a look at Hulk:
The Hulk used to just be a hench guy painted green. Credit: ABC/Disney
Nowadays, the musclebound behemoth really is superhuman, thanks to CGI amplifying Mark Ruffalo's likeness, and all that.
In the past, however, they had to make do with painting a hench guy green - the hench guy being Lou Ferrigno. To be fair though, Lou was very hench in the aforementioned The Incredible Hulk Returns, and The Incredible Hulk TV series before that... He certainly did a better job of it than the countless DIY fancy dressers to have attempted it since.
Avengers: Endgame will be released in cinemas on 24 April and there shouldn't be a lick of unconvincing green paint in sight.
Featured Image Credit: Disney/ABC