)Note: Very minor spoilers are peppered throughout this post. If you aren’t somewhat caught up to what’s going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as of the start of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on Disney+, proceed at your own risk!)
So people need to understand that I’m a nerd at heart.
I’m a massive fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and recently got invested in the extended Star Wars universe: The latter means that I am definitely not a die hard fan who read all the stuff that was decannonized after Lucasfilm Ltd. was purchased by Disney. Still, I’ve tried my best to immerse myself in the stuff connected to the main timeline afterwards. My only big blind spot (no pun intended) is the Star Wars Rebels cartoon. This is because the series never received audio descriptions until Disney+ started going back and producing some recently. (Unfortunately, it’s only the first season…. which is a whole other story I have strong opinions about.)
Anyway, all of this is to say that I’m a nerd.
When nerds get too much time to think, they often ponder very nerdy things. Lately I’ve been spending way too much time thinking about what would make the most interesting Avengers team in the current MCU. While I know the Avengers franchise is now being used for big saga ending events, I wondered what a team would look like if it was in films more like The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
Now a few caveats when it comes to my self-imposed criteria:
- I limited the team down to seven members. I know the team grew out to include more in the proceeding films, but the first line-up had six with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye. I figured that adding one extra member was fair since there are so many more to choose from now.
- I didn’t want this to be a sausagefest again. This meant the team would be made up of four men and three women. If it had been an even number, I would’ve divided it in half.
- I tried to take the status of where heroes are currently at into consideration. That’s why you don’t see someone like Scarlet Witch or Doctor Strange on my main roster. Right now, Wanda is presumed dead and Strange is in another dimension. So to make a long story short: If there isn’t a feasible way for someone to be on the team after their last official MCU appearance, they weren’t considered. When it comes to the future however… well, read on for more about that.
- Finally, the idea of my team was to create the most interesting pairing and not necessarily the most powerful group. I know that the Avengers are created to deal with the MCU’s biggest threats, but so much of the fun is about how members interact with one another. With that being said though, I did try to balance personalities with power sets and experience. While I love Kate Bishop for example, she’s a character who needs to be built up some more before becoming an Avenger.
So without further delay, here’s my team.
Marc’s Mighty MCU Avengers
Captain America (a.k.a. Sam Wilson)
To me, you can’t have an Avengers team without Captain America.
Beyond that however, the unique interplay Sam brings to the team is seeing him struggle to lead and not crack under Steve Rogers’ legacy. While this was somewhat explored in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I think it would be interesting to see how others view his ascension to the mantle. Do they think he’s only the leader because he picked up Captain America’s moniker? Does it lead to any resentment or dismissal of authority? How about Sam’s relative inexperience and desire to carve out a unique path of his own?
These are all things the new Cap would grapple with and remain fertile ground to explore.
You know it’s an odd team when Thor is the most stable and consistent pillar on it.
I think it’s important to have an OG member to carry on the first team’s legacy and it feels like Thor is the best choice. Considering they’ll be facing cosmic threats, you need a hero with some serious firepower and Mr. Odinson fits the bill. He can also provide comic relief or drama in equal measure and that’s necessary for a group with a lot of different character dynamics at play. Thor has also changed a lot since first joining the team, so I’d love to see him play Sam’s right hand man (or god in this case) and provide a shoulder to lean on. Having wise words to offer from his own experiences, it’s something Cap would need as he continues to evolve.
In addition, Thor’s interactions with the new recruits could also create some great running bits.
After some huge changes, Vision has the potential to become the highlight of any new team.
For one, he’s back from the dead… sort of. After his body was reanimated as its own being and powered by Wanda’s chaos magic in Wandavision, he was also given the original’s memories to make him complete again. The big question though is just how much of the old Vision’s personality still remains. After fleeing the hex in the series finale, no one really knows why or where he went even. Now that he is without the mind stone, is the synthezoid colder and less human? What did he learn after leaving Westview and what state did that put him in?
Considering no one even realizes he’s alive, seeing him interact with previous co-Avengers would be fascinating. Having him re-learn how to interact with Sam, Thor and vice versa would create lots of interesting moments as the group attempts to come together. His interactions with new recruits could also provide updates on the team’s progress as it moves along. Seeing him trying to understand new concepts he hasn’t encountered before would also make for some great stories.
After all, what is comprehension if not Vision persevering?
Now onto the new recruits!
Rounding out the male side of the team, I really wanted to drop ing a wild card that would keep everyone on their toes. What better than a superhero with dissociative identity disorder who doesn’t even know if he’s real? This addition excites me because each one of Moon Knight’s personalities and alter-egos would bring a new dynamic to the team.
Being the avatar of an Egyptian god, it would also be really intriguing to see how he would play up against an actual norse god in Thor. Maybe they could explore how different gods co-exist and what their hierarchy is in the MCU. Wy don’t they get involved in specific events and is there resentment between different gods over being so disaffected or removed?
The only drawback here is that I think Moon Knight would only work on the team in a limited capacity. You would have to be telling a very specific story to justify his recruitment considering the character’s mental state. Maybe it’s better to monitor him as part of the team instead of having him out in the wild? If it does become an issue however, he could be rotated out and replaced by someone else after dealing with a villain more tied to his mythology. Perhaps the alternative is to keep him around as a ticking time bomb the team has to deal with after things go south?
Either way, it doesn’t fit into a neat package and that’s why he works as a wildcard to me.
Kicking off the female side of my Avengers is someone new to the superhero game.
With Hulk being off this team, I thought that including his cousin for a power boost would be a good idea. Given that she’s definitely not just a carbon copy though, Jennifer Walters could instead act as a fan surrogate. With her ability to break the 4th wall and outsider’s perspective, She-Hulk would call out the ridiculous situations the Avengers get themselves into and make people feel like one of our own has made it onto the team.
Beyond that, who wouldn’t love to see the team’s downtime explored on a future season of her show? I mean, It could answer so many things that no one has even thought of yet: Imagine Thor finally confronting Noobmaster69 in person. How about a fundraising rally involving the team for Sam’s sister and the family business? Maybe Steven Grant gets transferred to a New York museum and needs help opening a new Avengers exhibit. What if Vision learns about bootleg Avongers merchandise and his AI causes him to seek out and destroy anyone who is selling it? Most of these are really dumb ideas probably, but the possibilities for truly good ones are endless!
As far as interactions, how about an ongoing gag of Jen trying to flirt with Vision? What about trying to dissect the mental gymnastics it takes to explain Moon Knight? You could even have it where She-Hulk and Thor have mutually reciprocated feelings for one another… only to find out that Bruce is mad over his “work friend” hitting on his cousin. (You won’t like him when he’s angry!)
And finally… Avengers ladies night anyone? ‘Nuff said.
Quake (a.k.a. Daisy Johnson)
Comics often have a trope of young heroes gaining experience to earn prominence over time.
It happened with Dick Grayson being Robin and then leading Teen Titans as Nightwing before striking out on his own. Cyborg was another member of that team for years until graduating to the Justice League in DC Comics’ New 52 continuity. Even in Marvel, Kitty Pryde started out as someone too young to be on the X-Men, working her way up to now leading one of the main rosters. Even supporting characters like Beast, Rogue and Luke Cage have made it onto various Avengers teams after serving in smaller roles.
I’m all in on the trope and in that spirit, I picked Quake (a.k.a. Daisy Johnson for my team. Starting out as a hacker named Sky, she learnt her true identity, gained Inhuman powers, learnt to control them, faced her parents, was trained by Phil Coulson and ended up on an outpost in space across seven seasons on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it was. Daisy’s continued progression as a character was a major focus of the show and the paternal relationship Coulson had with her pushed it forward throughout the first five seasons.
Because of this, I think it would be a logical step to show her reaching that next level. Past members such as Hawkeye and Black Widow have gotten onto the team with lesser abilities and similar training, so why not? I also think it would be nice to see some continuity between the pre-Disney+ shows and MCU as a whole. While supporting film characters appeared as cameos in early seasons of S.H.I.E.L.D., the only one who crossed over from a Marvel Television show into films was Agent Carter’s Jarvis.
While She-Hulk would be a surrogate for the audience, Quake would be the one needing to adjust to being around Marvel’s heavy hitters: It’s a similar role with a more serious slant since she comes to the team with a more impressive pedigree. Daisy has already been in all kinds of crazy world-ending situations, was trained by one of the best S.H.I.E.L.D. agents while also having experience with time and space travel. Throwing her into a new situation where she needs to prove herself all over again would create a great character arc.
It’s something where she’d have to navigate dealing with heroes like Thor, a new Captain America and Vision. Who better than Daisy to draw some humanity out of the latter? She’s proven to be a team player who works well under pressure and that’s what Sam needs while making his mark as team leader. Given how she viewed Thor in the first season of S.H.I.E.L.D., having her trying to control fawning over him or becoming a fan girl would also create some great comedy. Quake’s computer background gives her a unique skill set for this version of the group as well.
The only reason I can see it being tricky is because of her Inhuman origins. Many believe Marvel Studios wants to distance itself from having Inhumans on earth, instead making it a closer knit group revolving around the royal family (Blackbolt, Medusa, Crystal, Lockjaw, etc.) It was insinuated that Ms. Marvel is a mutant at the end of her Disney+ series whereas she’s an Inhuman in the comics. If it’s their’ true plan to differentiate mutants from Inhumans in the MCU, one of two things would have to happen:
- They would need to reintroduce Quake as a new character and decannonize Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- They would need to bring back the same Daisy and not focus too heavily on her backstory.
I think the second option works fine because fans of the show still have that connection to her character. Quake’s development there is more important than the Inhuman background or having to explain how she got her powers at this point. The character is strong enough on her own and anyone invested in the Avengers will be familiar enough with Daisy to just go along for the ride. It’s really not that different from Kingpin and Matt Murdock’s re-introductions into the MCU after Daredevil ended on Netflix.
And let’s be real, Cloe Bennett’s Daisy Johnson is just someone that everyone wants to see again.
Photon (a.k.a. Monica Rambeau)
My last pick for the team, Monica was one of the first new characters introduced in phase 4.
Okay, so she was a child in Captain Marvel but does that really count? Anyway, I almost forgot that Monica was an option until the very end so she really was my last pick. Unlike my experiences playing childhood sports though, it’s not because she isn’t extremely good at what she does.
With her military background and status as an agent of S.W.O.R.D., Monica is uniquely suited to help deal with extra-terrestrial threats. Her fearlessness at tackling a situation head on is also an asset, along with the unique power set she acquired in Wandavision.
Even so, Monica’s personality is necessary as the heart of my team. Showing great empathy when trying to understand Wanda, she provides another perspective and path to handle different situations. Having a wildcard like Moon Knight around, Monica could be the key to reasoning with him along the way. She also brings her experience with Vision, his existence being something the others are naturally going to question. I also believe Monica’s military background would allow her to relate with Sam in a unique way (and really, don’t we all need some people to ship?)
On the flip side, I think her interactions with other teammates could be interesting if she takes the hard ass military approach. How does Monica play off the more light-hearted She-Hulk? Does she become a mentor to Quake as the former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent tries to gain her footing? How about Thor’s more immature side? It could be really fun to have someone around who can smack some sense into him when he needs it.
Rumoured to use Photon in The Marvels as a tribute to her mom, Monica just has tons of potential.
To Be Continued…
Psst… it’s time for me to share a little secret.
I was originally going to list some alternate members to rotate in or who didn’t make the cut, but I’ll have to post that later this week. I honestly did not expect to write the novel I did about Quake’s inclusion. Apparently I felt it was the hardest sell amongst the seven members though (and that’s for a group including Moon Knight!)
Any opinions or picks of your own? Drop a comment below or come share on my Discord server! (opens in new tab)