If you are a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or superhero movies in general, it is pretty much guaranteed that you have had a conversation with your friends about who the best, strongest, coolest, or greatest Avenger is. It’s not an easy debate to avoid when you have a team of super awesome superheroes.
We finally got to see the Avengers go at each other in Captain America: Civil War, and let’s be honest here, it was pretty awesome. But, did it really help settle the age old debate about who the greatest Avenger is? It doesn’t seem so; in fact, it might have caused more controversy! Well, have no fear ladies and gentlemen. Today, we are going to take a look at the Avengers and decide who is the greatest of them all.
Who is the strongest?
Obviously, strength is a pretty important attribute when it comes to a superhero, but in the case of the Avengers, bigger muscles don’t always equate to more strength. Take a look at the fight between Hulk and Thor in the first Avengers movie. Hulk was clearly more muscular, but Thor is the god of thunder, and generally you don’t want to mess with a god… unless you are the Hulk (right, Loki?).
So instead of breaking it down by pure strength, we have to take powers and effectiveness into account, and when it comes down to it, you can easily argue that Scarlet Witch and Vision are the strongest Avengers in the MCU. If you haven’t seen Civil War yet, there are going to be a couple of small spoilery moments below.
As we all know, Vision has one of the infinity gems right in the center of his head, so if he chose to, he could seriously mess up anyone he fights. When you add in the fact that he can phase through walls and people, he becomes an unhittable opponent who can basically one-shot you with an infinity gem.
On the other hand, Scarlet Witch is the only Avenger whose powers extend beyond the physical realm. Not only can she manipulate matter with her awesome red powers, she can also manipulate minds. This makes her probably the single most terrifying Avenger on the squad. As we see in Civil War, she is able to lock Vision in a body bind spell and basically shove him through the planet about as far as she wanted to.
When you compare her skills to the pitiful lightning, web slinging, arrow shooting, and suit flying of the other Avengers, you can make a pretty convincing argument that she is by far the strongest Avenger on the team.
We can literally spend days and days talking about superhero fights to the death, so let’s move on to a different category in our “greatest” debate.
Who is the coolest?
Coolness is a very subjective personal attribute. Everyone has a different measure way to measure cool, so this category will strictly be broken down by the age old standard: “Would you like to sit down and have a drink with this person?”
Obviously all of the Avengers would have amazing stories to tell, but imagine life outside of the Avengers. Bruce Banner might be a cool guy, but I don’t think he would be the best conversational partner. In this case, it seems Captain America or Iron Man would be prime options.
Captain America is a thoroughly fascinating person. He helped defeat the Nazis in World War II, he volunteered for a secret government experiment that made him Captain America, and he genuinely seems like an all-around nice person. You could just sit down and talk about the WWII days with him for a while, and then transition to how he has been adjusting to life in the 21st century after being frozen for so long.
Tony Stark, on the other hand, is an incredibly intelligent person with a larger-than-life personality. He likes to have fun with everything he does, and after the opening events of Iron Man 1, he really does have a heart of gold. It would likely be enlightening to talk to him about science and his inventions, see what his vision of the future is and how he plans to continue to help humanity improve. Even though most of this talk might fly right over my head, it would be incredibly fascinating, similar to having a talk about astrophysics with Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
As for who is cooler… personally, I would have to go with Cap. Tony has a ton of awesome gadgets and worlds of knowledge I will never share, but he also has a huge ego, and doesn’t seem to make friends easily. Cap seems like a guy who you can hang out with on a regular basis and always have a good time. He is perfect best friend material.
Who’s best in a fight?
All of the Avengers fight and all of them fight well, but some are better than others. It has nothing to do with their individual strength or powers, like we talked about before. It has everything to do with their wits and their experience in battle. So while Avengers like Scarlet With, Vision, and Hulk are awesome, they probably aren’t the most battle savvy.
One of the best ways to accumulate good fighting intelligence is through fighting, so experience heavily factors into this category, and it seems two of the Avengers clearly have the most experience – Thor and Captain America. You can argue that Hawkeye and Black Widow also have years of action under their belts, but their time prior to the Avengers was more based around spy-like missions, not so much leading people into large scale battles.
Captain America is a war hero. He led men into battle against the Axis forces during World War II. This has undoubtedly taught him valuable combat experience that most of the Avengers do not have. He can assess combat situations and make quick decisions that can save lives. His combat awareness has definitely saved the Avengers’ lives on more than one occasion.
Thor, on the other hand, is the god of thunder and commander of Asgard’s army. He has led multiple campaigns against the Frost Giants and other enemies during his time as the protector of Asgard. Not only has he gained combat experience, he has learned how to deal with enemies nobody on Earth has even seen before, giving him a very distinct advantage over Cap. Add in the fact that Cap only fought for a limited time in World War II, and it is pretty clear that Thor is probably the better battlefield commander.
If I was planning a battle, I would definitely want both of these guys at the table with me, but when it comes down to it, Thor, the humbled Thor that came after the events of the first Thor film, would be the better of the two.
So, Who is the Greatest Avenger?
Even after breaking down the Avengers to see who is the strongest, coolest, and best in battle, it is still hard to say who is the greatest. Every Avenger brings something important to the team, and without each one of them, it would be hard for the group to overcome the most dangerous of enemies. Civil War saw the two sides fight to a standstill, and you can bet that without all of them, New York and Sokovia would have been completely decimated.
When it comes down to it, you can make an argument for every one of them as the greatest, but what really matters is that from now on is that they stop fighting each other and keep fighting the bad guys!
This post was originally written by Nick Caminita.