First, if The Avengers were real - if I had to staff them with actual human beings - I would choose the following:
- Richard Branson - knight, entrepreneur, balloonist, and founder of the Virgin family of companies. He's the Tony Stark of the Real Avengers.
- Ice T - No, not Mr. T. That's too obvious. The Real Avengers need a Wolverine, somebody dangerous and trigger-happy. They need Ice T. As the man says: "If you think you got an 'S' on your chest? You better wear two vests."
- Bono - hey, if he was good enough to be nominated for the Nobel Prize, he's good enough for the Real Avengers. Plus, his tagline could be: "Am I buggin you? I don't mean to bug ye."
- Mary Lou Retton - the 1980's version of America's sweetheart, Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton, thawed from cryosleep. Every team needs a spunky, annoying junior member whose curiousity always gets them in trouble.
- Gary Busey - because he is Gary Busey.
- Daljit Dhaliwal - former anchor for ITN World News, this Indian-born beauty has a mind like a steel trap, and would act as the human computer for The Real Avengers. Plus, she's fluent in 6 languages and is an expert archer.
But enough about the Real Avengers. Wow, that was just a little throw-away joke that turned into a whole thing. Let's talk about the ultimate comic-book Avengers team.
Here's my dream line-up (This is so message-boardy of me.):
Captain America - You have to have Cap, or it's not The Avengers. As a matter of fact, in order for it to be a valid Avengers roster, it also has to include either Iron Man or Thor as well. Despite his lack of raw power, Cap is an unparalleled combatant with one of the finest tactical minds on earth, and has one super power: the writer is always on his side.
Iron Man - He's got the money, he's got the hardware, he's got the smarts. You have to have one scientific genius on the team, and I'm going for Tony Stark over Hank "Ant Man" Pym. I mean, how smart can Hank Pym be, really? He invents Pym Particles, which allow you to grow or shrink - and 9 times out of 10 the dude chooses to shrink. Who would choose to be Ant Man instead of Giant Man? He's an idiot. And anyway, Stark is loaded - you'd never have to worry about who's paying for dinner with him on the team.
Thor - How could you not want Thor on your team? I'd have him on just to make him say funny stuff in that Olde English dialect of his. "Hey, Thor! Ask me who let the dogs out again!"
Black Panther - Black Panther is rich, too, and he has his own country. Plus, he looks cool. You have to have one guy on the team whose job is to just pose in the background looking cool.
Scarlet Witch - I would pick the pre-crazy version of the character, of course. Her powers are so loosely defined that she can do pretty much anything a writer wants her to do.
Hawkeye - Every superhero team needs a guy that shoots things. Green Arrow, Cyclops, Human Torch, Hawkeye... They're just handy to have around. Plus, Hawkeye is the best character ever. Now that he's alive again I can stop mailing Bendis dead cats.
Ms Marvel - Notice I said Ms Marvel, not Warbird. Ms Marvel has white Batman eyes, which really works for me. Plus, that sash... Mmm...
So there you go. I'm not adverse to The Wasp, Hercules, She Hulk, or Namor on my team either. Under no circumstances would my team have The Vision, The Black Knight, Sersi, or USAgent because they suck.
You heard me: USAgent sucks.
I know, I'm really going out on a limb here.