Although the exact purpose of the initiative has not been directly explained on-screen, it is implied that it employs people with special powers and abilities to defend the Earth against threats that may be too complicated to handle.
The Avengers Initiative is said to have once been been scrapped in favour of "Phase 2", which involves using the Red Skull's research of the Tesseract to develop and distribute weapons of mass destruction to combat extraterrestrial attacks, following the arrival of the Destroyer and Thor in New Mexico.
Those involved with the Avenger Initiative include:
Fury is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. who takes personal interest in the Avenger Initiative
Romanoff investigates the suitability of Tony Stark for the Avenger Initiative under the name of Natalie Rushmann.
Stark is brought on as a consultant for the Iron Man suit by Nick Fury.
Coulson contacts Stark about his escape from the Ten Rings in Afghanistan and discovers Mjölnir in a New Mexican desert. It is revealed in the final episode of Season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by Nick Fury that Coulson himself, is an Avenger.
Selvig is brought in after being involved in New Mexico, Fury asked him to look at the Tesseract.
Rogers was recruited by Fury for a new mission.
Nick Fury's right-hand woman.
- The Avengers Initiative has a lot of resemblance to the Ultimates program in the limited series The Ultimates, in that the group is formed as a government-sponsored team to combat the threat of the Chitauri.