I caught wind on the Twitter (by the way, I twit or twat or tween or whatever the hell you call it now: follow me!) that various Marvel personalities were throwing around their Avengers dream rosters. Who would be on the team, why, etc. You know, for when someone inevitably assassinates Brian Michael Bendis and the Marvel Universe stops writing itself. Well, that got ole’ Marty to thinking, and here’s what he came up with.
My Avengers would be a sort-of proactive international super spy group. More Checkmate or Suicide Squad than that new X-Force that makes me so sad. Lots of sexy spy stories involving being dropped behind enemy lines and having their existence denied vehemently, mixed with some occasional, I dunno, avenging. Space would play into the arcs moving forward but we’re not quite there yet are we?
Let’s get started…
Captain America: Field Commander/Ace
Mostly because I’m sure someone will insist I have a recognizable player on the team and I have no interest in writing most of the regular Avengers crowd like Thor, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, etc.
More than that, this is what James Buchanan “Bucky/Winter Soldier/Captain America” Barnes is supposed to be all about. This is his whole schtick now. So let him headline a team that does what he does instead of putting him on a team that does what they do, now with more Captain America!
He would be the field leader but not the decision maker which will have him butting heads with the powers that be on a regular basis (see below). Drama!
I might have to do something about that outfit b/c it totally sucks. Seriously the only thing that can make Steve’s old outfits look good is Bucky in this polished turd of a thing. I appreciate some of the practical elements of it, but this is superheroics people, practical has nothing to do with it.
Standing out as a shining beacon in the night wrapped in the American flag doesn’t really suit a covert ops team. The gun, knife, robot arm and shield should be sufficient.
Bonus: I Get to play with a major icon without being bogged down by all that major icon hangover since he’s not Steve.
Agent Abigail Brand: Oversight/Leader
Because Abby Brand is a badass who deserves more play. Plus she heads her own international/planetary intelligence agency which can fund such an endeavor.
She would be the top brass for the team and mostly stays back at base. We’d find a way to get her out into the field every once and again though, just to remind people she’s five foot eleven of half-alien distilled kickassery.
By and large she acts as part antagonist and part only-friend-the-team-has. She opens up space stories as a probability. By the fourth arc when the team is needed to clean up a particularly ugly mess of hers that risks setting off a war between the Kree and whatever the hell Karolina from Runaways is supposed to be’s race (Majesdanian?), we’ll see that Ms. Brand is not always as careful as she claims.
Bonus: Middle-aged, green-haired, Nick Fury-in-space broad!
Domino, no wait, I’m sorry, I mean…
Domino: Counter Intelligence
Because Rob Liefeld created exactly two characters that I enjoy and Domino is one of them. I have a hankering for this kind of spy-bait character and I like that a lot of her ass kicking is self-made. Her power (probability manipulation) is subtle and helpful but she still has to get her ass up in the morning and try hard.
Plus this is the kind of book she’s made for. Lots of tough-guy high spyery that utilizes her marksmanship, undercover and looking good in skin-tight leather skills which serve her so well in this business.
She has just enough of the devil in her to be the loose cannon but with enough in-built loyalty to not tread the staid lone wolf on a team thing. In fact when the necessary “who’s the plant” story gets underway she’ll be a nice red herring up front but when it comes down in the end it’ll be obvious she’s one of the few people you can trust.
Bonus: She will not have sex with Wolverine in this book!
Yeah, sure, he’s dead. Whatever. That doesn’t even slow people down in comics anymore and I have stories to tell damnit. I can even work that angle as a mystery as to how or why he’s alive or who he is in the first place (appearing off panel, Oracle-like for much of the series). I’ll handle it fanboys.
Listen, if it’s going to be an international superspy team than there’s going to have to be some internations in there. Something our mighty Russian dwarf friend brings to the table.
Ultimately, he’s not meant to be a field guy so much as a tech-head and communications feller, but he’s occasionally Titanium Man so there’s that. He can fill my Iron Man slot if need be (that sounds suspiciously dirty). He’ll even mug to kill the Hulk every once in a while just to make himself at home.
Bonus: Sometimes a super-intelligent Russian midget in power armor is its own reward.
Jamie Madrox: Jack of All Trades
Sure, I’d have to get him off his current team; you’ll see some a lot of that on this list. It’s a dreamcast people, relax. Besides I don’t know how much longer X-Factor has and I am nothing if not opportunistic.
As written, Jamie can do anything he’s already done which is everything, so he’s a good fit for this kind of international spy-thug gig and an excellent catspaw in every way. One of his dupes was a SHIELD agent in good standing which we’re going to invoke to get him away from Val Cooper. Expect Ms. Cooper to not take that lightly b/c its total garbage.
Bonus: Madrox as semi-successful, self-defeating noir detective has been good to him but a play at legitimacy wouldn’t run amiss.
Danielle Moonstar: Infantry
Because it’s my fantasy and I can put whoever I want on the team so feel free to lick my nuts if you don’t like it. Before you cry foul on my putting too many mutants on the team (guilty), I’d like to point out Dani isn’t a mutant right now. Also, it’s the Marvel Universe where sometimes everyone is a mutant, I’m not worried about it, neither should you be.
Dani gets shuffled around and abused a lot. People really can’t seem to get their heads around what she’s good for. Well, allow me to tell you, she’s good for superheroing.
Without her powers she’ll feel weird hanging onto the X-types and move naturally into international derring-do. That isn't to say she'll abandon her X-friends only that she'll feel bad mooching their food. She’s been a SHIELD agent and a terrorist before so we've definitely got a precedent. I, for one, can't wait to see the kind of shit she kicks without powers.
Plus interacting with the Majesdanian Particle Whoozits before it can fire at the Kree Physiological Transmorphithing will have some interesting repercussions when played against those ridiculous quantum powers she had that one time.
Bonus: Dani, w00t!
Because I think Teddy is about ready for the big leagues, moreso than several of his teammates, including his boyfriend. Which is another motivating factor, I think Teddy needs some time away from his boyfriend to be his own thing. Don’t worry, I plan on more than a few guest spots for Billy, b/c they’re adorable and I like them. Only that I don’t want any couples on my team.
Yon William would be assuredly a guest in the book, not a member. He’s got a long way to go, whereas Hulkling is a shape-shifting super tank and you don’t need a whole lot of training for that. Still, being a little “green” (it is to laugh) will certainly be highlighted within the first arc or three.
Bonus: A chance to differentiate him from the other homosexual teenaged Skrull prince.
Hawkingbird: Weapons Expert
Speak of people who are ready to step into the big leagues, when Ronin/Hawkeye turns the team down, he suggests Kate as his surrogate. While not as good as her predecessor, she certainly fits the bill, is willing to learn and shows herself surprisingly able to take tough orders. Almost frighteningly so. Look for that to have consequences in the second or third arc.
Bonus: I love everything about Kate, so it's all a bonus at this point.
Alternates and Addenda (aka If I Can’t Get My First Choices)
Mystique: Counter Intelligence
Mystique is actually my first choice for the counter intelligence position. I insist on having at least one shapeshifter on the team, but I wouldn’t want her to be redundant (Skrulls aplenty). On the other hand I think Marvel is really excited about her being nebulously evil again, so she’d probably be more difficult to get than Domino. At the very least, expect her to stop by as soon as I can get my hands on her.
But is she friend or foe? Dum dum dummmmm!
By the way, good luck trying to find a picture of Mystique where she doesn’t look like a total tart. Thanks for that, internets. Seriously, I’m okay and even embrace that Mystique is a femme fatale of the old school and uses her shapeshifting to be super-hot more often as not. She’s also a WWII era superspy triple-agent and entirely capable in every way. She doesn’t screw the guy, she waits until his pants are around his ankles, breaks his arm in three places, bounces his head off the toilet, takes the microfilm and walks out the front door wearing said-same pants.
At least that’s who I’ll be writing her as.
Skrull Mar-Vell: Powerhouse
I admit, I kind of dig the new Skrull Mar-Vell. Mostly b/c it’s fucked up that the Skrull programmed one of their own to pretend to be a Kree champion only for him to discover he preferred it that way. Plus I imagine my first editorial note would involve the lack of powerhouses on the team and that I need at least one more big name (I’m so not using Iron Man).
Even if that wasn’t the case--because Joe Q was on fistfuls of mescaline or something--I would still like this faux-Mar-Vell and Hulkling to interact more than once in my book. I think they would have a really cool dynamic worth exploring. So even if I’m not forced to use him, I wouldn’t mind borrowing him for a bit.
I’m actually not a big fan of Bobbi other than her being Marvel's Black Canary to Marvel's Green Arrow. At the same time I don’t hate her and if I can’t break up the Young Avengers for the sake of my team, I would nab Bobbi instead. Get her away from hey boyfriend/husband.
Actually, I would dig on having her hang around to train Kate anyway (maybe after the aforementioned incident). Not doing any field work, just a touchstone between the Hawkeye name and the real Hawkeye. Also, I would knock Bobbi up in a New York second. Not to depower or defame her, but to, you know, have her move on with her life. After being kidnapped and replaced by Skrulls I’d rather think she’s tired of the game and might want a few years of peace.
I’m sure once I was done with the title the kid would disappear, become evil, get killed or be absorbed into Jamie Madrox or something. Because no one wants to read about mothers and infants… unless BMB is writing them.
Speak of dead people. Doug and his handheld Warlock device would be my next choice to Gremlin. They’ll be replacing the above-referenced mighty midget after he is revealed to be working with the Russian government to subvert and regain control over the Winter Soldier anyway.
I would have it really be Doug, but I would have Warlock be just a semi-sentient piece of the original. That way if the guy appearing in Nova ends up being the real Warlock we can have a more proper reunion later.
What do you mean how would it really be Doug? His time-travelling/dimension-hopping ex-teammate just came back to comics proper, death is seriously the least of my dream-casting concerns.
Now with my team assembled they get to hop around the globe righting wrongs and causing international incidents.
Speak of which, as I mentioned above this team eventually needs more international types on the team and that would come down the pike sometime after the space bits and after the team is captured and has to rally after the fact for UN approval.
So there you have it, internets: Marty’s Avengers, taking the world by storm in 2011! I know adding Santa Clause to the roster is a bit of a stretch, but I think it’ll bring in that elusive Scandinavian dollar.
Now everyone write Joe Q and tell him he simply must hire this charming young man who has yet to invest in his own website. B/c that’s how business gets done.