The Rundown: Ranking ‘The Avengers’

Above: It’s time to rank The Avengers.
Above: It’s time to rank The Avengers.

With Captain America: Civil War set to hit theatres and make astronomical sums of money this weekend (and over the next several weeks), today’s theme for The Rundown was obvious: it’s time to rank The Avengers.

Now, this isn’t an expansive, deep-dive through the comics rankings; instead, this is a ranking of the characters that we’ve seen in the two Avengers films and that are going to be members of either #TeamCap or #TeamStark starting this weekend.

How are they ranked? It’s a combination of personal preference and their overall importance/impact to the group. It’ll be clear momentarily when we start getting into the rankings.

There are a couple characters that can’t be ranked at this time, but are tethered to this group through the upcoming movie. Winter Soldier, Black Panther and Spiderman are all part of Civil War, but Winter Solider was a conflicted villain last time out and this is the debut of T’Challa and Spiderman (at least in the MCU), so it’s tough to measure them against some of the more established characters and even the minor contributors that have already enjoyed a little screen time.

  1. War Machine

Sorry Col. Rhodes – somebody has to be last and it has to be you. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that anyone could jump into the armour and be War Machine. He’s the straight-laced, procedural dude that rides shotgun for Iron Man and that limits him because he is constantly standing in the shadow of greatness.

  1. Sharon Carter / Agent 13

She had a small part in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will be rolling with #TeamCap this weekend. What elevates her above War Machine is that she stood up to Brock Rumlow in the final showdown of TWS without any real support. That shows guts and moxie and that trumps being Iron Man’s buddy.

  1. Maria Hill

Robin Scherbatsky is a solid utility player in this ensemble and Nick Fury’s first lieutenant. Holding that designation puts her higher in this ranking. She played a vital role in the last Captain America film and has been the most visible minor character so far, which is why she lands ahead of War Machine and Agent 13.

  1. Falcon

Sam Wilson was the War Machine to Captain America’s Iron Man in The Winter Soldier, but what carries him higher up this list is that he’s not rocking some left over Iron Man gear. Instead, he’s got a bad-ass flight get-up with wings and is more of an individual. That said, he’s more of a sidekick in these flicks, so that limits his upside.

  1. Vision

He’s kind of the Spock of The Avengers, which isn’t bad, but it’s not as cool as being any of the characters that rank ahead of him. Vision had a limited role in Age of Ultron and should be a bigger factor in Civil War, but on screen time and overall blandness, Vision tops out at No. 10.

  1. Ant-Man

Scott Lang joins the squad for Civil War and gets a Top 10 ranking because he broke the mold in his stand-alone film last year. His abilities are unique and he’s the straight comic relief of the crew; he’s the guy that recognizes that it’s hilarious that he’s a superhero and enjoys it to the fullest.

  1. Hawkeye

Listen – Clint Barton should be a bigger character than he is, but so far, he’s like the sixth man of the core group of Avengers that assembled for the first movie – and he was brainwashed by Loki and needed to be smacked in the head to get straight in that flick too, which has to count against him.

  1. Scarlet Witch

When you can mess with the minds of various Avengers before realizing the error of your ways and joining the squad, you make a quick climb up the rankings. Wanda Maximoff also benefits by having distinct superpowers and not just being in a cool suit or being a super soldier or a god.

  1. Nick Fury

Does Samuel L. Jackson playing the character make him cooler? Absolutely, but there is also no denying that Fury has been a big part of this group, serving as the architect and de facto CEO of the collective, doling out assignments having the last word when push comes to shove. But he’s also more of a secondary character – a best supporting actor if you will – so that keeps him a little lower on this list.

  1. Thor

Thor lands at the five spot because he’s not as cool and smooth and fun as the four Avengers that follow. He’s a god, which also takes him down a notch – fairly or not – and let’s be completely honest: everyone likes Loki more, so when you bad guy brother is more popular than you, this is where you deserve to be.

  1. Hulk

“The Big Green Guy” has had some of the best singular moments yet, punching Thor in the dome and rag-dolling Loki before dropping the “puny god” line with perfection. Plus, Hulk Smash. Plus underneath the anger is a scientific genius.

  1. Black Widow

Nat deserves a solo flick, period. She’s a smart ass that kicks ass and has come to grips with the fact that she’s “got a lot of red in her ledger.” If you’re picking teams from The Avengers, you want Black Widow on your team and you’re taking her before just about anyone else. Plus, she’s foxy as hell.

  1. Iron Man

Tony Stark is great. If Ant-Man is the dude that really find the ridiculousness in the fact that he’s a superhero, Stark is the guy that loves being a superhero more than the rest. He relishes in being Iron Man, which overshadows a lot of his truly important characteristics, but it’s also why he’s the silver medalist here.

  1. Captain America

Cap is the man – grounded, moral, idyllic, but now he’s also questioning things and starting to stop looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses. Plus, he’s not reliant on a kick-ass suit of amour for his awesomeness – he’s a super-soldier – and the consummate team leader.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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