…So yeah, once again, we’re talking about the new Avengers team. And btw, if you’re looking at the cover for the Free Comic Book Day issue and NOT hearing the Avengers theme from the movie, you’re doing it wrong. lol But yeah, with the team scaled down to seven, it seems the members are selected both for being legacy heroes and for having a wide array of varying powers and abilities. And honestly, I think that’s a good move. So, let’s take a look at what each member brings to the table, and how they might relate to one another, starting with someone the team wouldn’t be complete without…
While the original Captain America, Steve Rogers, wasn’t one of the original five founding members of the team, the legacy of Captain America is such that it wouldn’t be Earth’s Mightiest Heroes without him. And let’s face it, folks, regardless of if this is permanent or not, regardless of if Steve will ever regain the supersoldier serum and his youth or not, Samuel Thomas Wilson has proven himself as worthy stand-in for the role. As such, him being in this team is a must. However, despite currently acting as a leader for the Mighty Avengers, he hasn’t really done so for very long, which could prove an issue when it comes to being a possible contender for leader of the All-New, All-Different Avengers.
In any case, Samuel is a master acrobat and aerialist, which he makes perfect use of with the wings carried over from his old Falcon persona. Also assisting him in the sky is his pet bird, Redwing, with whom he had a telepathic link to (though Redwing MAY have been killed in a recent issue of All-New Captain America). He’s also been trained by Steve Rogers in a number of different martial arts styles when action needs to be taken to the ground. His body has been taken to the peak human range, able to press about 480 pounds. And, as is a must for anyone carrying the name of the iconic hero, Sam also wields Captain America’s shield, which is made out of Vibranium and thus able to absorb immense kinetic energy, making it near-indestructible. After one of the few occasions where that near-indestructibility was tested a bit too much, though, the shield was rebuilt using the mystical metal, Uru, making it stronger than ever. If that metal sounds familiar…well, the next Avenger on this list wields a weapon made from the same stuff.
“Whomsoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor”. That WAS the inscription on Mjolnir, the mighty hammer wielded by the God of Thunder, Thor. However, recent events have led to the inscription reading “if SHE be worthy”. Personally, I would’ve gone with the less gender specific inscription of “if THEY be worthy”, especially since this isn’t the first time a woman’s held the hammer, but regardless, the point stands: The new Thor is a woman. We don’t know WHO yet, but whoever she is, she’s proven so talented with Mjolnir that even Thor Odinson has given her his blessing and his name. The only real problem she has going into joining the Avengers is that she appears a bit inexperienced as a team player. Despite this, she does appear heroic-minded, and is most certainly one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
As I said before, Thor wields Mjolnir, a weapon made by the dwarven blacksmiths Eitri, Brok, and Buri, who used the core of a star as the mold. The star later went supernova, almost destroying Earth, and may have been the resulting force for what killed the dinosaurs. In addition to being a weapon composed of Uru and possessing immeasurable strength and durability, it also comes complete with a number of abilities. Thus far, the female Thor has demonstrated that she’s gained superhuman strength and can lift 100 tons for sport, can channel electricity with or without the hammer in her grip, can survive the vacuum of space, possesses chronokinesis, is near-invulnerable, and possesses immunity to all Earthly diseases and infections. And, as the chosen wielder of Mjolnir, she is the only one who can lift it, can summon the hammer to her hand from anywhere, and by tossing it and holding onto the leather thong, she can use it to fly at the speed of sound. Also, this Thor apparently possesses finer control over the hammer while it’s in flight than Odinson, even from a long distance. This is likely due to her apparently higher levels of self-restraint, able to keep a tighter focus than the former God of Thunder in battle. She may literally take every aspect of the former Thor and improve upon them all. However, she also has the same weakness as the enchantments involving Don Blake and Eric Masterson: Prolonged separation from the hammer will cause her powers to slowly fade. In order to maintain her maximum potential, she has to remain in direct contact with Mjolnir. But, considering her mastery over the hammer in such a short amount of time, this is a relatively small weakness to have, as she may prove to be the single most powerful of the new Avengers team.
Here’s where there’s kind of a big question mark present. Granted, it wouldn’t be the only one on this team, but I’ll get to that. As readers of the current Marvel product know, Tony Stark was inverted in the event AXIS. Basically, he’s more or less a villain now, although how you could tell considering some of his behaviour over the past few years (starting Civil War, mind-wiping Captain America, etc.) is a bit in question. However, the Iron Man suit on the cover is clearly in the old school hot rod red and gold, as opposed to the chrome Superior Iron Man. So, either he’s been reverted to normal, which could lead to more than a bit of discomfort and mistrust on the team for various reasons, or Secret Wars has brought back an earlier Tony Stark, one who didn’t do any of the crap his more recent incarnation has been responsible for, which could lead to Superior Iron Man being the old school evil twin scenario…which could be interesting, honestly. Of course, one other possibility is that it’s not really Tony in the suit, which would fit the trend of the others being newer characters stepping into old shoes. Personally, I’m kinda hoping for Pepper, since then the gender ratio of the team would be a bit more even.
Regardless of who is in the suit, anyone who has read the comics or watched the movies has a decent idea of what to expect. Repulsor blasts, flight capability, enhanced strength, is airtight so he can survive underwater and in space, and will likely have a vast number of hidden weapons and equipment installed. And, assuming it IS Tony under the suit…well…
This is where the other question mark on the team is. Vision’s personality and overall sense of self can differ, depending on current programming on his brain patterns. And since I’m not reading Uncanny Avengers, I don’t really know much about his current persona. However, if it’s kept unique from past versions, it would help to contribute to the theme of this team: Recognizable names and costumes, new personalities/characters. Regardless, Vision has nonetheless proven time and again to be a key component to any Avengers team, and can work his way into any gathering of heroes easily enough.
Vision’s abilities have generally been pretty consistent, so we can expect him to have his hyper-intelligent brain, capable of analyzing and processing information at the speed of the world’s greatest super computer and possess superhuman reflexes, can absorb solar energy and release them as energy beams, and has the ability to alter his own density to fly, turn intangible, become hard as diamond, or lift anywhere from 50 to 90 tons. Also, he can adjust and alter his vocal processor, optical scanners, and audio tuners, and can even use holograms to make himself appear human. Despite this, he’s not invincible, as there are those in the Marvel Universe with superior strength and speed to his. And while his brain is extremely fast-working, he HAS been shown to be capable of being distracted, which can be a problem. Also, despite not being human, he was once shown to be knocked out by a drug………Yeah, not sure how that worked. o.O
Probably the member I’m least familiar with. I don’t really know much of anything about the Nova Corps, other than them being intergalactic police officers, keepers of the peace and upholders of justice. I do know that Samuel Alexander is a teenager, one of three on the new Avengers team, and has been an official member of the Avengers since December, though he’s on probation for going after Kluh (basically, think the Hulk, only even more powerful and rampaging……YEAH, seriously) alone. So yeah, he can be a bit headstrong, over-confident, and still has a bit to learn about being part of a team, but he’s got a good heart, and the potential to be a great Avenger. Also, apparently he was named after Jeph Loeb’s son, who died of bone cancer when he was only 17.
By putting on his helmet, Sam gains access to the Nova Force, a near-limitless source of energy. Different members of the Nova Corps can harness different levels of power from it, depending on their rank. As a centurion, Sam can lift up to 20 tons, possesses limited amounts of telekinesis, can fire concussive energy blasts in beam and sphere format, possesses a sort of cosmic awareness, can fly at seemingly physically impossible speeds, and can instantly translate any language to English, though he also knows some Spanish and Morse Code on his own. However, his strength and speed do have limitations, as proven in his fight with Kluh, who very nearly killed him, and has apparently left him suffering from a memory disorder, so that could be a problem for him.
The superheroine that I will not shut the fuck up about. XD So, I’ll make this quick: Kamala might be the newest and most inexperienced member of the team, which could lead to more than a bit of a problem, as is her HIGHLY over-protective family, but she’s a quick learner on the job, and has already proven herself time and again as a hero. And, because of a previous team-up she was a part of, I’m sure her and the last member on this team should work well together. Also, as an Inhuman, she can work well as an ambassador between the two groups, and I’m sure could likely call in support from a certain giant teleporting dog with superstrength that’s come to her aid more than once.
As one of two members of the team who can’t fly, Ms. Marvel nonetheless has no problem getting around. Given that she can alter her body to any size and shape that she wants, she could literally walk across whole city blocks in less than a minute. Of course, being able to shrink and grow to any size also makes her a nice stand-in for other size-changing Avengers like Ant-Man and Wasp, and being able to stretch out any body part means they won’t need to call in Mr. Fantastic anytime soon (thank goodness). She can even change her appearance to look like other people, meaning she could be a covert infiltrator if she wanted. Lastly, she has an accelerated healing factor, having once recovered relatively quickly from being shot. That said, this ability comes with a handicap, as she can’t use her other powers while healing, and the more she uses it, the less malleable her cells will be for a while, hindering her polymorphic powers, so she still needs to be careful on the job.
The last member of the All-New, All-Different Avengers, Miles is a member of the Ultimates. However, considering the rather bleak future of his world with Secret Wars rapidly approaching, it seems the Ultimate Spider-Man has managed to make it into the new Marvel Universe as a member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Despite being one of the youngest Marvel heroes of all time, Miles has nonetheless proven himself as the replacement of his world’s Peter Parker, instilled with the same sense of responsibility and possessing a lot of the former Spidey’s creative and calculating mind.
Anyone who knows Spider-Man has a general idea of what to expect when it comes to Miles’ main abilities: He has superstrength, agility, durability, and reflexes. He can stick to and walk across walls by reversing his own electron attraction, and can swing from structure to structure using the web shooters worn on his wrists passed down to him from Peter. And, of course, he possesses the Spider Sense, which grants him omnipresent detection of his surroundings, and seems to have greater potential than even Peter’s due to the genetic enhancements done to the spider that bit him. However, despite this, he’s not as good at being able to recognize and respond to threats detected by the Spider Sense just yet, and while he’s picked up quite a bit of fighting skill just from watching tapes of his predecessor, he’s otherwise had no formal martial arts training. To counter-balance this, he has two abilities unique to himself: He can blend himself and his clothes into his surroundings as a form of invisibility, and he can use the Venom Blast, a paralyzing touch with varying levels of effectiveness on different opponents (apparently works best on opponents with genetic alterations to their body). As such, anyone who only has knowledge of the more well-known Spider-Man abilities can be caught off-guard in a fight with him, which is how he even managed to defeat the mainstream Peter Parker in a fight after their first encounter led to a bit of a misunderstanding.
Anyway, that’s the magnificent seven members of the All-New, All-Different Avengers. Got any thoughts or opinions on this team, or other heroes you’d maybe like to see join later on? Lemme know in the comments below, and let’s see how everything turns out on Free Comic Book Day. Ja né!
…but I digress. The Avengers are a large group. In fact, I’m fairly certain every major superhero in the Marvel universe has been a member of at least one incarnation of it. Some have been a part of SEVERAL, *COUGH!*Iron Man*COUGH!*. As such, I can pretty much get away with having whatever Marvel heroes I want on my own Avengers team. The question is, who? Well, there’s plenty to choose from, but I think I’d want the team to be diverse and not have a lot of powers be shared by multiple members. Also, for obvious reasons, I wouldn’t want more than one character with the same alias. So, with that out of the way, I’m left with a simple question: Amazing Spider-Man or Ultimate Spider-Man?
Now, lemme clear something up: When I say “Amazing Spider-Man or Ultimate Spider-Man?”, what I really mean is “Peter Parker or Miles Morales?”. Now, if you’re wondering why I would even ask such a thing…Well, you probably haven’t been reading the comics as of late. Plus, as is my custom with writing superhero teams, I like a diverse team with multi-ethnical flavour, so the temptation to include Miles partly stems from that (though I will admit that I object to making a hero black JUST BECAUSE Obama was elected). There are other reasons too, but I’ll get into that in a bit. First, let’s look at why I would go with his predecessor, Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man.
First appearing in 1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15, Peter Benjamin Parker was the average high school bully-magnet nerd, albeit with a real talent and passion for science. However, his life changed the day he was bitten by a radioactive spider. Initially trying to cash in on his success by becoming a novelty TV star in a costume, called ‘Spider-Man’, his failure to stop a fleeing burglar, seeing it as not being his problem, resulted in the crook murdering his Uncle Ben. Realising his new powers came with a responsibility to use them wisely, Peter instead dedicated his life to fighting crime. He has since been a member of both the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.
Thanks to the spider bite, Peter possesses superhuman strength, enough to bench press 10 tons, enhanced speed and agility, insane levels of durability, and can crawl along walls. Using his advanced scientific mind, he also created a pair of web-shooters, which are strapped to his wrists and shoot a synthetic polymer adhesive, very similar to a spider’s webbing, used either to tie up foes or swing between buildings. The webbing is fired by placing the right amount of pressure on the trigger in his palm with his middle and ring fingers, which was designed intentionally as to avoid accidentally firing them by making a fist. He’s also created spider-tracers, which are tiny devices that send out a signal for him to track down. He even developed his own martial art, ‘The Way Of The Spider’, which uses his abilities and arsenal to their fullest potential. But the greatest asset to his abilities is his Spider-sense. To quote Wizard of ScrewAttack!, the Spider-sense “gives Peter omnipresent detection of his surroundings. This is how he’s able to swing through New York without looking where he shoots his webs.” Of course, even with such an ability, Spider-Man has to be able to react to its warnings, so if he thinks he’s not in danger or simply isn’t able to move fast enough…well, you get the idea.
For all of his abilities, both superhuman and otherwise, Spider-Man isn’t perfect. He does possess an inferiority complex, probably at least partially due to years spent being bullied for his lunch money. He’s a bit anti-social, again, probably because of being a bully magnet, has a bit of a fear of women…which is odd, seeing as how many girlfriends he’s had (gotta be the tights. Oh yeah. lol), can be somewhat accident-prone without his Spider-sense, and has apparently dealt with severe amounts of Oedipal guilt, and if you don’t know what that is, for the love of God, DO NOT LOOK IT UP. And yes, I suppose I should bring this up: Because he’s CONSTANTLY agonising over the meaning of right and wrong, and has this little irritating problem with acting like a grown-up, he once traded life with his wife for life with his repeatedly dying aunt to the devil, and not because she was dying, but because it was his fault, meaning it was less about her and more about his own pain. And for those wondering, NO, if I EVER write Amazing Spider-Man, I am not including the events of One More Day and the deal with Mephisto to his back-story. You can make whatever argument you like, IT WAS WRONG, DAMMIT.
So, there’s the arguments for and against Peter Parker. Now, let’s take a look at his arguably lesser-known successor from another universe, this is Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man.
First appearing in 2011’s Ultimate Fallout #4, Miles Morales exists in the Ultimate universe, which is usually used for modern retellings of long-time superheroes without having to reboot the entire franchise, something other comic book companies might’ve wanted to consider. Regardless, Miles is of mixed heritage, being half Mexican and half African-American, and is the nephew of the Ultimate universe’s Prowler. An Oscorp scientist was using Peter Parker’s blood to recreate the formula that turned him into Spider-Man. However, Prowler stole the formula, but one of the spiders created through it snuck into his duffel bag. It then bit Miles when he was visiting his uncle, whom he was unaware was the Prowler. At first, due to the urgings of his friend, Ganke, he engages in super-heroics, but quickly quits. However, following the death of the Ultimate universe’s Peter Parker when he saves his family and friends from the Green Goblin, Miles realises that he could’ve been there to help him, and after learning of Peter’s story from Gwen Stacy, decides to become Spider-Man, later being allowed to join the Ultimates.
Through the bite of the genetically engineered spider, Miles possesses most of Peter’s abilities, although his Spider-sense isn’t nearly as effective. He also has Peter’s web-shooters, which were given to him by Aunt May and Gwen after they accepted him as the new Spider-Man, and a similar aptitude for science. However, Miles has two abilities unique to himself. The first is that he can camouflage himself into his surroundings, including his clothes, to make himself unseen by most opponents. The other is the venom strike, an electrical touch that can be conducted through clothes, and even across certain materials like the Amazing Spider-Man’s webbing, to paralyse the target. Speaking of, it should be noted that, during a cross-over event called Spider-Men (one of the only post-One More Day stories I’m actually tempted to buy), an altercation born out of confusion between the Amazing Spider-Man and the Ultimate Spider-Man resulted in Miles actually disabling his predecessor with the venom strike, although one could argue this was simply due to a lack of understanding on Peter’s part of Miles’ unique powers.
With all of that said, however, Miles has his issues as well. For example, while mainstream Peter Parker is generally portrayed as having been bitten by the spider roughly in his mid to late teens, Miles was THIRTEEN. While quitting superhero activities as quickly as he did might seem odd, when you consider that he was 13-years-old, having to bear the weight and responsibility of being Spider-Man, and is the son and nephew of thieves, trying to determine if he really could be a good person (the whole nature vs nurture thing), it becomes a bit easier to understand. In fact, he’s arguably more sympathetic than Peter, as they both tend to deal with their problems in similar fashion, and often-times have made the same mistakes (aside from one rather big one I already mentioned), but one actually IS a teenager, while the other simply BEHAVES like one. Plus, just try not to feel at least a little sorry for a kid his age that has to fight the worst criminals and horrifying super-villains comic book New York has to offer. If he doesn’t grow up to be completely mentally unstable, it’ll either be the work of a miracle, or because he was killed in action.
So, there you go. Arguments for and against both the Amazing Spider-Man and the Ultimate Spider-Man. Who would you rather see written alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? Leave your comments below, or simply vote for your favourite. I’ll probably be doing similar polls for other heroes of the Marvel universe, so keep your eyes peeled. Either way, you can probably expect the Avengers fic to come out either Spring or Summer 2014. Ja né!
- COMICS: Peter Parker And The Human Torch Reunite In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.5 Preview (comicbookmovie.com)
- F and G must see in collaboration with InterComFilm brings you this exclusive interview with Marc Webb on “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (fandgmustsee.wordpress.com)
- “Amazing Spider-Man 2” Tumblr Offers New Movie Hints (comicbookresources.com)
- Felicity Jones Confirms She Has Costume in ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ (aceshowbiz.com)
- Cataclysm : The Ultimates Last Stand 2 (shadowandflamewithmagik.com)
- Why Sony’s Refusal To Work With Disney Could Work In Spider-Man’s Favour (contactmusic.com)
- Batman and Robin vs. Spider-Man in world’s nerdiest MMA match (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
- More All-New Marvel NOW! Arrives in Marvel’s February 2014 Solicitations (comicbookresources.com)
- The Spider-Man Universe Is Expanding: Venom, Sinister Six Getting Their Own Series (news.softpedia.com)
- Newswire: Sony firms up plans to turn Spider-Man into its own Avengers-style movie universe (avclub.com)