Triathlon and Silverclaw, the "original" Avengers created by Kurt Busiek and George Perez, are among the more interesting additions to the Avengers roster in some time. The thing that strikes me the most about them is that they are so much in line with the "spirit" of new Avengers members.
Silverclaw for instance, is a great addition because she has what good Avengers should, a connection to the other characters. She's Edwin Jarvis's soap opera baby. She's an Avengers ingenue, in the tradition of Hellcat and Firestar. When she guessed "Captain America" was really a disguised Taskmaster, it showed she had brains.
Oh...and there was that story where she TRANSFORMS INTO A LLAMA and smashes a wall. TRANSFORMS INTO A LLAMA.
Silverclaw's most interesting use was in AVENGERS: CELESTIAL QUEST by "Stainless" Steve Englehart, where she was the young, inexperienced Avenger terrified of sexuality, who gets fellow hero Inertia to open up. Silverclaw as a character changes and grows on camera while we watch.
And then we have the Silverclaw origin arc by Kurt Busiek and Perez.
Silverclaw is from an intriguing region of the earth, and she has an interesting look: with the nose ring and the silver tipped hair all.
I don't think people realize how cool and versatile Silverclaw's power is. She can change into an electric eel-woman and fire electrical bolts. Or become a chameleon and blend in with backgrounds.
As for Triathlon...okay, yes, he has boring powers, true. And they're the kind that are so vaguely defined that they can be virtually limitless. For instance, there's the idea he has three times normal human hearing as well. It prompts jokes like "is IT three times peak human, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?" But still, his over-arching agility, even in the context of the Marvel universe - is something else, and he's done some incredible stuff with it...witness for instance, his "mugging" of the Atlantean control sphere in "Kang Dynasty."
Still, Triathlon had a very nuanced and interesting origin as a disgraced track star. His reaction to his misbehavior is that he is not proud of it, but doesn't dwell on it and let it consume him, as Atlas from THUNDERBOLTS allowed to happen.
And I love the "threes" that keep showing up over and over! Like his THREE Olympic Gold Medals. That's so cool and so very comic book, where the one guy that gets eight limbs is named "Otto Octavius."
In the Kulan Gath story, Triathlon got ALL the best lines. "That's mighty WHITE of you!" Or "I've gonna get some water for the rich lady!" If they ever make a Triathlon doll, that's GOT to be two of the sayings when they pull the chord.
Like Silverclaw, Triathlon worked great in Avengers dynamic. People focus a great deal on the racially charged atmosphere Triathlon brought, but I for one applaud Busiek and Perez for talking about race openly. People forget, however, that Triathlon was a wonderful foil for Ms. Marvel - she was given a second change by the Avengers and was grateful, as opposed to Triathlon, who resented the circumstances of his introduction. The two had chemistry! In fact, I'm surprised Triathlon hasn't shown up yet in Ms. Marvel's own book. They had a Cap/Hawkeye dynamic - conflict that becomes mutual respect.