He’d been doing his version of Luke Cage quite a while before Avengers, in both Alias and Daredevil.
As someone who was reading his books around that time, I remember the buzz around him for Alias, Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-Man. Those books really made his name for a wide audience I think.
When he took over the Avengers there was a lot of fanfare, but I feel as though “Disassembled” and his run on New Avengers was the first time readers started to see chinks in his armour, with his style not suiting big epic team books as well as it suited the more personal, street-level/crime-oriented ones.
His recent Jessica Jones was a great return to that kind of thing, my favourite thing he’s done in years.