As I was watching “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” two thoughts kept popping up; the first was “!!!!!!!”, and the second was “would we be better off if Iron Man were handling this?” It’s useless to discuss that first thought without air punching and jump kicking, so I’m doing the second. Here’s a comprehensive run-down on how each Avenger would do in each other’s movies (which doubles as a comprehensive run-down on why I’m still single).
Iron Man (2008)
Tony Stark is captured by a terrorist group and blackmailed into building them a super-missile, but instead he makes an Iron Man Suit and becomes Iron Man. He escapes, goes home, and kills an old guy who’s turned himself into a Transformer.
But if instead of Iron Man it was:
Thor: I’d watch ten minutes of frustrated terrorists trying to explain to dumbass Thor what a missile is, but I think that’s more suited for Funny or Die than a multiplex. Also suited for FoD is Thor trying to build an Iron Man suit. Eventually he’d get frustrated and just start flinging lightning at everything. Now we’re talking!
Hawkeye: Hawkeye the spy would not get captured. If he’s in Terrorist Land, he’s infiltrating, so we’d get an awesome scene of Hawkeye single handedly bringing that outfit down. Even though they all have machine guns and he has arrows. And they live in a cave with nowhere to take cover. There’s a reason Stark needed that iron suit. Fuck it, Hawkeye takes 35,000 rounds.
Captain America: Gonna be sad. Cap would never accept blackmail from terrorists, so they’d chain him down and decapitate him in front of a horrified America. Wait, what am I saying? I just saw Cap take down a freaking fighter jet/Rottweiler thing in TWS! So forget it, he flips around and punches the terrorists, then goes home and punches that old transformer man too. God bless America.
Black Widow: I legitimately think she could take out the terrorists. I know I know, Hawkeye got the Sonny Corleone special, but Black Widow is made to flip around caves taking guys out.
Hulk: So how far do the terrorists get in their attempt to capture Banner? Obviously not far; as soon as something explodes it’s over BUT! I wanna think differently. I wanna think Banner suppresses his inner “hulk”, lets himself be captured and decides to build his own Iron Man suit! He’s got the brains for it! So when the terrorists realize Banner isn’t building them a missile, they move to kill him but uh oh! It’s Iron Banner! They bring out the explosives, it seems like they’ve got him and then Bruce hulks out of the iron suit and it’s actually the HULK! Smash! Roar! Puny terrorists!!! Hey Hollywood let me make a Hulk movie, you guys suck.
So Who Should Have Been In “Iron Man”? I’d say Iron Man. That story was perfectly suited for him. And wow I’ve already written 575 words and there’s like eight more movies.
The Incredible Hulk
Bruce Banner is running from the Government and the 2003 Ang Lee film. That dude from Pulp Fiction shoots himself with steroids and fights the Hulk and loses. It’s dimly lit and unsatisfying.
But If Instead Of Bruce Banner It Was:
Thor: The government chases Thor because the government is run by George W again. Thor stands there dumbfounded at why everyone is mad at him. They shoot and he moves out of the way. It’s awkward.
Hawkeye: Government turns on one of it’s best spies. So yeah it’s a Bond film but with a less cool protagonist, more arrows and less women.
Captain America: This is basically the plot for The Winter Soldier, except Cap would have to fight the Abomination. So it’s a much sadder version of The Winter Soldier.
Black Widow: She’d do whatever it takes to win, which means she’d hit that super soldier serum and turn into some unholy monster herself. A great tragedy for lonely nerds everywhere.
Tony Stark: Tony Stark vs. the government in an all out war! Now we’re talking! I think Tony would win and become ruler of the United States. Not sure how he’d do against the Abomination; maybe he’d fling it into the ocean. Wait, I think Tony would defeat the US Government and I’m excited about it? I just gained insight into the spread of tyranny. And you thought this was just a comedy article.
So Who Should Have Been In “The Incredible Hulk”? Besides Hulk, only Thor is a sure bet against the Abomination, but that movie would suck. So I’m going Iron Man; he brings energy, charisma, and a fighting chance. Get your brooding ass out of here Norton!
Iron Man 2
So two of the first three MCU films were Iron Mans? Iron Man fights Whiplash and then Whiplash turns into Iron Man and fights him again. Black Widow is introduced and is awesome. Iron Man does not hit that which is the movie’s most unrealistic element.
Thor: Thor would absolutely annihilate Whiplash. Mickey Rourke would not bring a date to the premier.
Hawkeye: So we’re saying Hawkeye, one of the best spies in the world, enters the Grand Prix? He’s determined to be James Bond I guess. But not even Bond in his Pierce Brosnan days is cartoonish enough to compete with Whiplash. Hawkeye is rent in twain.
Captain America: I’m having a lot of fun imagining these guys entering the big race. So there’s Cap, flooring it and winning. I don’t think Whiplash stops him. Cap is too good a driver. Whip gets mad and wets himself in front of everyone. Cap kicks his ass. I’m still jump kicking from The Winter Soldier by the way.
Black Widow: Putting the words “Scarlette Johansson” and “whips” together is not going to keep me focused enough to finish the column, so we’re moving on.
Hulk: Hell yeah! Bruce Banner, despite trying desperately to not get excited, decides to enter himself into the Grand Prix. Whiplash wrecks Banner’s car in an elaborate suicide attempt. Hulk causes $50 million in property damage.
So Who Should Have Been In “Iron Man 2”? I’m going with the funniest guy to put in that race which is far and away Thor. Also there’s not a ton of complexity here – it’s just good guy vs bad guy – and Thor can handle that without getting too confused.
Thor gets kicked out of Asgard and walks the earth as a mortal man until he Sword in the Stone’s it and becomes Thor again. Then he fights a giant metal dude so that 3 of the first 4 Marvel movies can end the same way.
Iron Man: The man of science would be just as out of water in Asgard as Thor on Earth. He’d react to the news that all he’s ever known is wrong the same way he reacts to everything: drinking and making quips. He’d hit on that hot warrior chick. The Asgardian’s get annoyed and send him to earth to fight the metal guy; he wins but after fighting so many of these he has an existential crisis.
Hawkeye: Hawkeye in Asgard is so absurd it’s delightful. It just wouldn’t make sense. There’d be no conflict. It’d be an art film.
Black Widow: Black Widow goes to Asgard and… Oh gosh all this is ludicrous. Any of these people in Asgard. Let’s try Cap:
Captain America: Cap in full regalia finds himself in Asgard. His faith is challenged, he overcomes that and… He figures out Loki’s the evil one and tells Odin… Hey look I found a plot that sorta works! Odin asks who the hell Cap is and sends him back to earth. Then a revenge-seeking Loki goes after him and we get that scene in The Avengers except Iron Man isn’t there to help. Damn, how many times in this article am I gonna kill Cap?
Hulk: Hulk goes berserk in Asgard and we get two solid hours of the most ultimate action ever put on screen. He’s too much for them so they banish him to Earth, and he kicks that metal guy’s ass too. Eventually he Sword in the Stone’s the hammer and uses it to get back to Asgard and we get two more hours of action. Movie is as long as The Lord Of The Harry Potters and worth every second.
So Who Should Have Been In “Thor”? Thor, then Hulk. The rest are a mockery.
Captain America: The First Avenger
A scrawny guy gets roided up and dominates the competition. So it’s basically a biopic of Lebron (forgotten fact: he was drafted as a 5’9” 145lb white point guard). Cap is sent to World War 2 to beat up a guy who’s already had his face peeled off. It’s a bit of a downer.
Thor: The Red Skull’s arrogance would vanish within three seconds of fighting Thor because he’d be incinerated. But what’s fun is imagining Thor getting into that super soldier making machine. How does he come out of that? 13 feet tall? Hair like Cousin It? Like the dog creature in “TMNT: Secret of the Ooze”?
Tony Stark: So we’re assuming Tony has invented a time machine, gone to WWII and brought his tech with him. He blasts the RS then sneaks into Auschwitz and arms the Jews with 2014 movie weapons. Shut up and take my money.
Hawkeye: Finally a movie Hawkeye wouldn’t be useless in! He’s actually a reasonable Cap replacement but he’d need more help to take down the Red Skull. Like maybe…
Black Widow: Yes! These two are Marvel’s answer to the Mission: Impossible crew. Great villain and platform for their brand of action. My only thing is they have to keep Haylee Atwell and make it a love triangle. Hawkeye having to choose between her and Scarlette would make him at once the most enviable and sympathetic hero since Samson.
Hulk: Hulk in World War 2? HULK IN WWII??? Forget the Red Skull, this movie is a series of short films about Banner in Poland, Nanking, Pearl Harbor, Dachau, and more. Pretty sure you could get Tarantino to direct. The best would a wide shot in Nanking of a ton of Imperial soldiers being tossed 300 feet in the air while the Hulk roars beneath.
Who Should Be In “Captain America: The First Avenger”? All of them. I want Marvel to make all of these films.
Iron Man 3
Oh gosh we’re just starting Phase 2? Whatever, I’m having fun. Iron Man swaps out one awesome suit for twenty Ikea suits while never really wearing one to fight anyway. He bravely uses drones instead. This movie supports the use of drones. The bad guy isn’t that terrifying in that he’s a homeless man who blows dudes for crack. The other bad guy uses a PED called “Extremis” which lets him breathe fire. He leads a terrorist group that’s also on Extremis and they melt stuff. This movie deep sucked hordes of jungle nuts.
Captain America: He’d organize an attack on that terrorist group with the help of the military to save the day. I don’t know what he’d do with the dragon dude, he’d probably die. No! I’m sick of killing Cap! He tosses his shield at Ol’ Draco and decapitates him. But damn it, dude can just regenerate. Oh well Gwyneth Paltrow saves the day anyway so it’s not like Cap has to do anything. New script: Cap cracks open a beer and let’s everyone else do the saving, just like Iron Man did.
Thor: Thor wouldn’t break into pieces if someone spoke, so he’s got that on Iron Man. He’d go through the fire terrorists like weed through Larry Sander’s bong. At least his IQ matches the plot.
Hawkeye: Look, the man shoots arrows. It’s cool. But not here. It’s not his movie, man. Just…
Black Widow: She’d take that Extremis stuff and make herself even hotter. She’d win – look I don’t wanna think about this movie anymore.
Hulk: Hell yeah! Victory in ten minutes! 2 billion property damage!
So Who Should Be In “Iron Man 3”? Iron Man, but for real this time. Get him in the suit and fighting!
Thor: The Dark World
Thor takes on some Elves that are no freaking joke. One elf in particular named Kurse is strong enough to give Shaq problems on the low block. There’s also a really cool action gimmick with portals that I loved because I’ve never played the game Portal. Loki is back and top notch. The stakes are about 16 bazillion times higher than “The Avengers” but whatever, Thor doesn’t need his friends.
Iron Man: Waaay out of his league. Way out! And this is Iron Man! Who besides Thor stands a chance?
Hawkeye: Hawkeye decides enough is enough and takes on the elves single handedly and wins. Then he goes home and bangs Black Widow till she’s knitting. Hawkeye’s got this, y’all. That or he dies instantly.
Black Widow: Black Widow would be one face in a crowd of thousands that get stomped by the Elves.
Captain America: Cap gets raped by seventeen elves.
Hulk: Hulk’s confusion at being thrown through portals would be the funniest thing since my dog ran around the neighborhood dragging a crate of nails. Besides that, Hulk takes on the Elves, Asgard, Earth, everyone. Infinity dollars in property damage. He wouldn’t win, but he wouldn’t lose either. We would lose.
So Who Should Have Been In “Thor: The Dark World”? Chris Tucker. Would love his “daaaaamn” at getting sent through a portal.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
SHIELD is compromised, tries to (MINOR SPOILER I THINK) kill a ton of civilians, and goes after Captain America. He, Black Widow and the Falcon team up to right the ship in this awesome freaking movie.
Iron Man: Iron Man wins this and does so in fashion. Remember in The Avengers when he hacked all SHIELD’s secrets in like 45 seconds? Yeah SHIELD doesn’t stand a chance. That’s a lot of capitalizing SHIELD. Forget caps from now on, except for this one:
Cap: Oh wait, this is already his movie. I was trying real hard for a “caps lock to Cap America” segue but alas. It would’a been as dumb as…
Thor: Second consecutive forced segue! I don’t think Thor would have done well here. He would have no problem taking out the bad guys, but he also wouldn’t have the know how to stop them from killing millions of people. In the end there is no US government and Earth no longer has an overpopulation problem. Yaaay way to go Thor…
Hawkeye: Where was he in this movie btw? He’s a shield agent and Black Widow was there. I think he spent the entire time masturbating. But anyway, Hawkeye in Cap’s place just wouldn’t have the brawn to carry it out. He’s like the Danny Green of the team; play D, stand at the corner for open 3’s, and masturbate on the bench. Anything more than that and you’re in trouble.
Black Widow: Already in the movie and she’s great. I’m about two seconds from spewing out a ten part series on all the ways I love her, so let’s move on.
Hulk: And here’s where I admit I wrote this column for two reasons. 1) It’s fun to imagine Hulk laying waste to all these bad guys, and 2) Scarlette google search. So anyway, in this scenario shield decides to hunt a guy who once punched someone so hard it rippled through multiple dimensions. Good call!
Who Should Have Been In “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”? Cap. Too easy for Stark and the others wouldn’t handle it as well.
So What Did We Learn Here?
Hawkeye would die a lot. Thor is comically miscast in anything but a Thor movie. Elves hate Cap. Hulk is a plot destroyer; really what is there besides Hulk smashing? You can swap out Iron Man for really any of these heroes (besides Thor) and get similar results, plus quips. And Scarlette Johannson inspires me to write such lewdness my editor sent this article back twice. Wait a second, so did we learn anything? Anything at all?