The more I read of the Avengers, the more I notice that the number of current, active members fluctuates. Seemingly a lot. It becomes apparent when they call in all members, including past ones, to help fight a big baddie. By the time they all arrive they flood in and crowd the room to the point where they can barely fit. Or the street corner.
They had to be transported on a bus for goodness sake because it’s the only vehicle they could all fit into. And sorry, but you have to see it to appreciate how funny that is:
Surely at some point it has to be a security hazard to have that many members of the team. Sure, only active members have the latest codes and access to highly sensitive information and clearance to actually get into Tony Stark’s mansion, but… You can also point out that they are superheroes, and they’re not the type who just divulge top secret information or often get into situations where they’re tortured for it. However, I see it as a numbers games. The more people who know, the more who are likely to screw up.
For reasons not at all related to my thoughts on the subject, Captain America eventually limits the team to having only six members at any given time. This happens way down the road in issue #211, but for the purposes of creating my dream team, I’m going to steal Cap’s rule. If I could have only six Avengers who my team, who would I pick? I mean, the illustration above shows why it’s such a hard decision. I have a large pool to pull from, and every one of them has an extraordinary skill to bring to the table (it’s one of the requirements for joining the Avengers – no random snapping civilian for them). It’s not easy to choose, but I managed to narrow it down:
Iron Man’s suit of armor and all that comes with it factors into my decision to keep him on the team, but mostly? He’s Tony Freaking Stark. He’s got the brains to design weapons and gadgets and anything the Avengers would ever need, and he has the money to manufacture all of it. The Avengers have the use of his mansion, and Stark generously covers the expense of any damages they incur while maintaining justice.
And though not being on the Avengers team doesn’t mean you’re automatically against them, I wouldn’t want to risk Iron Man siding with anyone else. His protective shell means he is willing to throw himself into fights head first (and maybe a little recklessly), but his rashness gives the rest of the team a chance to figure out a plan of attack.
Plus, he has roller skates.
Is this even a conversation? He’s the Hulk. Sure, he’s unstable, uncontrollable, and wildly unpredictable. Some of the best people are. In this case, that person / creature just so happens to be someone who is a force of nature. Hulk gets included just because of raw power. No other Avenger is able to wreck the entirety of a few blocks with just a few footsteps. He’s dangerous, but I think it’s a worthy risk.
I know, the Wasp doesn’t seem like an obvious choice. In the beginning, she had a difficult time finding her place and actually being a contributing member of the team. She gets there though. Her ability to change size is incredibly useful. In tiny Wasp form, she can get to many places that the Avengers can’t (like the ear canal I referenced earlier this month) because of her size and mighty wings.
The size advantage also goes the other way. Her genetic modifications allow her to become positively giant and her skills grow with her. Her strength in that state was nothing to be trifled with. She only calls upon that particular power in times of great emergency. Which sort of ties in to why I want her on the team. She thinks actions through and considers consequences. She doesn’t dive headlong into battle as carelessly as some of the other members. She is a deft strategist, and I think that’s indispensable.
The Scarlet Witch was another must-have for me. I can’t say that I’ve found a lot about her character to be endearing so far, but I have to note her helpfulness. On more than one occasion a member of the Avengers points out that only Scarlet Witch’s hex stopped whichever villain is at hand. Her skills with hexes (they alter probability to the disadvantage of enemies) are unique. No other hero quite has anything like it, and therefore she can make a difference where brute strength cannot. And, she has a pretty fantastic costume.
Besides the fact that I consider Scarlet Witch and Vision a pair which shouldn’t be separated, he brings powerful abilities. He can manipulate his density to suit the situation and foe. It’s handy to be either as lightweight as a ghost or as tough as a diamond. He’s almost invulnerable. I mean, besides being able to withstand punches he can phase between different densities to fool enemies.
He’s also on the list for his lack of pesky human emotion. Humans can try to be objective, but they ultimately fail. Even the super ones. In situations where hundreds of thousands of lives or entire planets are at a stake, I think there needs to be a walking computer (it feels rude to call him that, but he can process calculations at amazing speed) around to present the cold hard facts. Someone needs to be able to talk numbers and not feelings.
I had trouble settling on the final spot. I was torn between Hawkeye and Thor. Hawkeye is an unparalleled marksman, but Thor and his fancy hammer win. Mjolnir isn’t just a blunt weapon to hit someone over the head with. It can be used that way – and it has – its crushing force is deadly. Thor can use the combination of his strength and Mjolnir to take down enemies single-handedly.
He can also use the hammer to focus his ability to summon the elements of the storms which are at his fingertips. He can pair the hammer with his superhuman strength and reflexes and use it to deflect bullets from himself and other team members. Finally, not just anyone is capable of wielding the hammer. That built in security measure gets extra points, too.
Anyone who knows me realizes it was difficult for me to leave Captain America off the list (especially after I swiped his rules!). He does have impressive skills, but since I was playing the strategy game of trying to cover all the bases of strength and smarts, I had to choose Thor over him. No one tell him.
Who would you include in your dream team of six Avengers?