And there came a day unlike any other, when earth’s mightiest heroes were united against a common threat! On that day the Avengers were born! — To fight the foes no single hero could withstand!
The Avengers. May 4, 2012. Epic nerdgasm. As we prepare to see our favorite Marvel Comics superheroes together on-screen for the first time, the geek frenzy is building to a critical mass of awesomeness. But not everyone dutifully sees everything uber-director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) puts out, is a life-time member of the Black Widow fan club, or is intimately aware of the exact dimensions of Hawkeye’s bow. You’ve probably heard of the Incredible Hulk, maybe you watched Captain America: The First Avenger, and everyone saw Thor’s abs last summer, but you may be thinking: Who are the rest of these people?
Well, the truth is, they’re a lot like Disney characters!
Captain America = Aladdin + Sleeping Beauty!
It’s what’s inside that counts! Weak, sickly, and bullied, but honest, kind, and strong-willed, Steve Rogers refused to give in and wanted nothing more than to fight for the Red, White, and Blue against those Nazi stinkers! Not having access to a Genie, the government settled for pumping him full of “Super Soldier Serum” (patent pending). Having gone from a pathetic weakling to an attractive, well-muscled blonde, Cap took the fight to the evildoers! However, a tremendous explosion was his downfall, plunging him into a decades-long frozen tomb in the ocean. However, hope wasn’t lost! All that was needed was for a noble knight (thanks, Iron Man!) to plant a wet, sloppy kiss on Steve to awaken him to face a confusing new millennium, full of internet porn and body modification trends!
Iron Man = Merlin
He’s cranky, he’s brilliant, and don’t they say that highly advanced tech is indistinguishable from magic? Imperious and arrogant, Tony Stark knows he’s got the goods, and he can’t wait to rub it in your face, steal your date and then go pour himself a drink. Daddy issues haunt both men (Tony’s dad was a defense contractor, and Merlin’s pops was a demon, too!) and they both have to deal with being in the shadow of an annoyingly virtuous leader (that little punk King Arthur/that goody two-shoes Captain America), which they deal with through sarcasm and/or alcoholism.
Thor = Hercules
Vain, pompous and prickly, Thor’s lucky he’s got that silky hair and big ol’ hammer, or he wouldn’t get any play! While Thor is a true god, and Herc is only a demi-god, they’re pretty much the same dude, except Thor can call down lightning bolts and tame astrophysicists with his bulging pecs. Like Iron Man and Merlin, Thor and Hercules also have big-time daddy issues with their respective (literal) God-fathers, Odin and Jupiter (Zeus, if you prefer it Greek). They both also share a love for fashion-forward headwear, with Thor usually sporting a shiny winged helmet and Hercules rockin’ the laurel wreath! Fierce!
The Hulk = The Beast
Surly, destructive, feels persecuted, and lives in squalor. No, not that teenager who lives down the street, we’re talking about our favorite hulking brutes, the Incredible Hulk and the Beast! While the beautiful, but cruel, Prince Adam was cursed to show the true ugliness that lived in his heart, Bruce Banner was always a decent guy. Maybe a little too nice. In fact, he was transformed into the Gamma-irradiated Hulk while trying to save a stupid kid who was too busy playing his guitar to notice the huge bomb that was about to go off! It must have been the hippie lettuce. It was the ’60s, after all. Feeding into ridiculous bad-boy fantasies, all these ultra-violent jerks needed was the love of a good woman (that they kidnapped and terrorized until love bloomed.) Ah, romance!
Black Widow = Mulan
Though the movie version might differ, in the comics, Natasha Romanoff was a Russian orphan who was trained by the Black Widow program after WWII to become the ultimate assassin, and the official Hottest Spy Ever™. Eventually turning her back on her Commie handlers, she defected to the U.S. and joined the Avengers to fight for freedom and democracy! One of the few women in the testosterone-swamp known as Avengers Mansion, her deadliness and Soviet discipline made her not only an asset on the battlefield, but also a frequent team leader. Kinda like a certain underestimated Chinese girl who had to pretend to be a guy to show the ol’ boys’ club what she could do. Who run the world? Women with swords!
Hawkeye = Robin Hood
It takes a real badass to go up against Frost Giants, space aliens and killer robots with just a bow and arrow, especially when you’re fighting next to super soldiers, a god and a bonafide monster. Fortunately, Clint Barton is that badass. More Katniss Everdeen than our friendly foxy Disney archer, this grim bowman is more likely to sink an arrowhead into your face than letting out an “Oo-De-Lally” and playing a prank on Prince John and Hiss. Plus, he and the Widow have a thing going on. Rawrr!
Loki = Scar
What about our big bad? Loki, the villain of the piece, the overlooked brother, the schemer, forced to accept his brother Thor’s inevitable rise to the throne … or is he? Though his plans fell apart in Thor, maybe he needs to talk to another devious brother, who actually took out the king, got rid of the heir, and settled his narrow ass on the throne. Sure, it all went to hell for Scar in the end, but that’s what happens when you trust hyenas!
If you’re still on the fence about seeing The Avengers, here’s some more incentive! Sex sells!