The 5 Avengers Who Need to Assemble in the Movie (and 5 Who Shouldn’t Bother)

200px-Hawkeye_005cov.jpgBy Teague Bohlen

At the end of this summer?s smash super-hero flick Iron Man was this line: ?Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. I?m here to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative.? It?s was like comic nerd Viagra (and if your nerd erection lasted for more than three hours, you?re probably already blogged about it.)

So the Avengers movie is in the pipeline for 2011, and tied in not only to Tony Stark, but also the upcoming Thor, Ant-Man, and Captain America films, too (the latter of which is actually titled?at least as of now?as The First Avenger: Captain America.) That?s the three heavy-hitters and traditional triumvirate of the classic team, plus Ant-Man, who was?as Hank Pym, anyway?one of the team founders in the comics. Plus, it?s rumored that the Hulk might actually be both team member and villain this time around (sort of in the same vein as the Ultimates, though I doubt we see Edward Norton going around actually eating people?they?ll want to preserve the Hulk franchise there, too). But the real question is that given Cap, Thor, Iron Man and Ant-Man, who?ll round out the rest of the team? Perhaps more importantly, who does Jarvis need to keep off the cc: list for team invites?

Avengers Who Should Assemble in the New Movie:

4 & 5) Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch
These two come as a pair. One without the other is like having Reeses? with no chocolate, Chang without Eng, a Peanuts special with Linus but no Lucy. Individually, they?re pretty nifty. Pietro is a speedster with a bad attitude, and Wanda?s not only got an interesting power (and a versatile one, for plot purposes), but she?s also hot and a potentially unhinged. Bonus! But the topper here is the familial dynamic they?d bring to the team?not only the brother/sister thing, but some major Daddy issues: Magneto, anyone? Despite the X-Men existing courtesy of a different studio, having this character link would help draw the cinch on the many Marvel properties bag of tricks. And if they were to introduce Pietro and Wanda in the long-rumored upcoming Magneto origin flick (even as only minor characters in some way) and then develop them more here, how cool would that be?

3) Hawkeye
Clint Barton needs to be an Avenger. Like Martian Manhunter in the Justice League, this is a character that almost has no role outside the team he calls home. Some have said that Hawkeye is actually more the quintessential Avenger than is Cap, and there?s a good argument to be made there. He?s a team player, first and foremost, and he?s loyal to a fault. He?s also got a power set that?s insanely easy on the SFX budget. And anyway, isn?t it a rule that every super-team has to have one archer?

2) Black Panther
T?challa is a badass, and his powers are, like Hawkeye?s, fairly low-tech in terms of visuals. He also brings some regality to the team, being King of Wakanda, and some great tech too, courtesy of Wakanda’s natural resource vibranium (which may well be connected to the creation of Cap?s shield). Finally?and perhaps most importantly?he brings a good bit of multiculturalism to the team, which aside from him, would be pretty lily-white, Sam Jackson?s Nick Fury notwithstanding. This is no small issue, given that Hal Jordan gets screwed out of being the Lantern on nearly every TV iteration of the Justice League just because the African-American John Stewart was a GL for about five minutes. Anyway, the Panther has a lot going for him?and could merit a spin-off movie of his own, based on an appearance here.

1) Wasp
C?mon, if you?ve got Hank Pym on the team, you have to have Janet Van Dyne, too. They?re a team, after all, and their relationship strife is good story-fodder. Besides, this team needs some ladies so it doesn?t turn into a super-sausage fest. One thing to consider is which era they?ll draw from for Jan?s powers. We can probably rule out the ?insect? form from the ’90s, because, well, ick. But they could (again) borrow from the Ultimate Universe, and make Jan a mutant?no explanation of her powers needed, and it ties in the X-Men to the Marvel universe nicely. Either way, we imagine Ant-Man/Hank won’t be hitting or spraying her with raid. America might think it likes its superhero movies dark, but damn?that shit is pitch black.

Check out the Avengers who needn’t bother assembling on the next page!


Avengers Who Shouldn’t Bother Assembling:

5) Wonder Man
I like Simon Williams, actually. But in essence, he?s just a strong dude in a red safari jacket. Sure, comic book fans might love to see this guy in action, and they might forgive his sartorial indulgences, but movie fans will just grimace and wonder who the dweeb in shades is. (And before you wonder, no, his new ?ionic? form doesn?t help his chances.)

4) Triathlon
An Olympic athlete, Delroy Garrett found out that his powers came not from the cult he once served, but were stolen from the original 3-D Man himself. He went on to correct this injustice, but the fact that he was a new lame hero based on an older lame hero means that no one wants to see this guy in action again. After all, he?s got the strength of three men. That?s mildly impressive! The recent development that he?s gone back to the name 3-D Man only makes his exclusion easier.

3) Starfox
Strike one: his real name is Eros. Strike two: his main power is to stimulate the pleasure center of the brain, so he stops villains in their tracks by giving them an orgasm? Ick. (?Halt villain! Also, go change your pants.?) Three: he?s an idiot. I don?t care if you?re an eternal, Eros, and no, I don?t care who your brother is, or how big and tough he might be. You?re out. Four: Nintendo has already copyrighted the living hell out of his name. See ya, Eros.

2) Gilgamesh
Poor ol? Gil is a good example of how not everything that came from Jack Kirby?s pen was dipped in gold ink?this character, who first appeared in Kirby?s The Eternals, was borrowed for the Avengers’ new lineup in that book?s landmark 300th issue. But Thor was still on the team, which made Gilgamesh sort of redundant?how many gods can you really have in one group? (At least Hercules had the good sense to stay away when Thor wandered back to the team. ) And the fact that he wore a Taurus-inspired suit that made him look like Cow-Man didn?t help matters. There was a reason that Gilgamesh also went by the name ?Forgotten One.” Because he was, and mercifully quick.

1) Dr. Druid
Okay, first, his name is actually Dr. Druid. His last name is Druid, and he?s a doctor. This is very lame. It?s like if Superman?s kryptonian name was Zooperrr Mon. But it?s also only the beginning. He?s also got a myriad of mental and magical powers, so he?s sort of like Dr. Strange and Professor X put together, but not nearly as good as either of them. Despite this affinity he had for powers of the mind, he allowed his own mind to get taken over several times?first by an outside source (Terminatrix), and later by just going ape-shit crazy and being put down like a mad dog.

But the thing that makes Dr. Druid the biggest loser of all is that he was actually forced to take responsibility for being mind-controlled. He left the team (and heroics in general) because of it. This might seem unfair, considering the numerous times that Superman?s been dominated, or the fact that Jean Grey (as Phoenix, natch) consumed an inhabited planet (but she?s feeling much better now, thanks), or the multitudinous villains-cum-heroes that have changed their ways in a matter of a few panels (Hawkeye, Swordsman, etc., etc.) and been accepted as heroes. But then, perhaps they were only recognizing what readers already knew: that Dr. Druid was the worst Avenger of all.