I’ve finally been able to put my finger on one reason why The Avengers appeal to me so much more than that other super heroic fighting team I referenced earlier this month. They actually argue.
Simple, right? These heroes who save the day and universe time and time again get into fights with each other. Over leadership, over questionable decisions, over machine vs man. Sometimes they just bicker but even small nitpicks can turn into serious fights when the people involved have super powers. The addition of fighting adds a layer to the characters – the emotions make them human. For me it’s not enough to see them running around in costumes making the world a better place. I need dimension.
I believe taking the time to argue with someone shows you care. You have to have feelings to be mad at someone. I’m not saying that you should fight with the people you love nor am I saying that you must like every person you pick a fight with. Enemies obviously aren’t friends and battling them is different. In a group of friends though, quarreling should happen. It’s not natural for people to get along and agree all the time (similarly, it’s not natural to be butting heads all the time). A bit of unrest is healthy.
Having altercations is realistic considering the group of people, too. Consider a team of the most powerful beings on Earth. Everyone has an ego to accompany his or her powers, and the personality attached to that ego can be… interesting. Everyone has exceptional skills and is used to being the best. Hawkeye is the best marksman, Iron Man / Tony Stark is incredibly smart, Scarlet Witch is unmatched at casting hexes. It goes on and on. You put more than a few of these extraordinary people together, and eventually, there are going to be fireworks. And possibly broken objects.
Just imagine taking all those skill sets, every personality, every ego and forcing them into a cohesive team. They not only have to work together, they have to set up a hierarchy. The Avengers have a board, and one of them must run point and call the shots. The others agree to be subordinate (to a degree, they’re expected to speak up when they disagree with decisions). Regular people have trouble functioning in groups like this without occasional trouble. It would be ridiculous if the members of the Avengers didn’t lose their temper with each other.
And they do. They don’t have a fake, sugary “we love each other and fighting crime together is just the best” vibe. They do get along for the most part, but again, it’s all painted with a realistic brush. It’s not golly-gee, it’s not silly. The human touches like arguments are what make me connect with these amazing characters. The fact that they gripe at each other and tackle each other make me care.
Besides, in the end they are always there for each other.