Friday, November 6, 2015

MCU Avengers vs. 616 Avengers

So welcome to the first post of my comic blog.  For those who don't know me, I'm Dylan.  32, and having been reading comics since before I could actually read.  I've read more Silver and Bronze Age stuff than most people in my age group, and my tastes lean in that direction, but I've still got a lot of appreciation for the modern era.

And my thoughts occasionally travel in random directions.  Case in point, "If the MCU Avengers fought their 616 counterparts, who would win?"

Now, this is inherently unfair, because if nothing else, the MCU Avengers are relative rookies, whereas the 616 Avengers have had at least 10-15 years of experience.  I'll occasionally bring that up as a point of discussion.

For the purposes of this, I'll be using the six "main" Avengers from the films, as they've had the most screen time by which to judge--Cap, Tony, Thor, Hulk, Clint, and Tasha.

Captain America: On the one hand, MCU Cap is explicitly super-human, whereas 616 Cap is "peak human."  On the other hand, 616 Cap has a lot more experience fighting super-human bad guys, even if you set him at roughly the same amount of time being Cap, including during the war years with the Invaders.  MCU Captain America is also a played as more of a "soldier" than 616 Cap is, who is usually presented as being as much super-hero as soldier.  Ultimately, however, what sets either Cap apart from his fellow heroes is his head and his heart.

I also feel the need to point out that while he used them briefly, 616 Cap don't need no stinking magnets.

Verdict: Draw.  MCU Cap would keep 616 Cap on the ropes, before they ultimately realized there was no reason for them to be fighting.


Iron Man: This is one where the time factor comes into play.  Because MCU Tony's suit is significantly more advanced than anything 616 would have had after a similar amount of time being Iron Man.  So for my purposes, we'll give 616 Tony one of his more recent suits.  Now, MCU Tony has a significantly more varied arsenal than 616 Tony.  616 Tony primarily relies on his repulsors, with the occasional pulse bolt and uni-beam.  MCU Tony has rockets, tracking lasers, and all kinds of other tricks.  Additionally, MCU Tony has JARVIS to help run his suit, which is only a very recent addition in the comics.

While they have grafted a portion of MCU Tony's personality onto him, 616 Tony is also significantly more mature than his film counterpart.  Depending upon what point exactly he's from, 616 Tony also has a lot more skills in interfacing with technology.

Verdict: 616 Tony.  MCU Tony attempts to have JARVIS hack into 616 Tony's suit, only for 616 Tony to co-opt JARVIS and turn the tables on him.


Thor:  Some interesting variations here.  MCU Thor is explicitly not a god, but an alien, wielding incredibly advanced science.  616 Thor has bounced back and forth in the definitions of what Asgardians are, but usually defaulting to being actual gods (Thor himself being the son of the Earth spirit Gaea), with an explicitly magical hammer.  So these two start diverging a bit more than Cap and Tony.  Both, however, are phenomenally powerful, on a scale the completely redefines the meaning of the word, much more powerful than any of their teammates.

It's also not exactly clear how old MCU Thor is, but he seems to be only a few hundred years old, rather than the thousands of years old that 616 Thor is.  The timeline from the MCU wiki identifies Thor as having been a child in 977.  And while both of them are hot-headed, 616 Thor is, overall, less so than his cinematic counterpart.

 Question--Could either of them lift the other's hammer?

Verdict: 616 Thor.  This one probably goes closer than just about any other fight (except possibly the Hulk), and probably destroys much of the surrounding neighborhood.   616 Thor is simply much more skilled at using his hammer and its elemental powers than MCU Thor is, and capable of being the much more calculating warrior.


Hulk: The MCU Hulk is an unbridled force of destruction, a weapon to be aimed and let loose upon the bad guys and hope you get out of his way in time.  At the same time, he's also been show as being capable of using strategy when the situation calls for it.   As for 616 Hulk, well, that depends upon which incarnation you're talking about.  A thug?  A gangster?  A giant, tantrum-prone child?  Bruce Banner in Hulk form?  A mindless beast?  A non-Banner scientist?  For the purposes of this exercise, let's assume we're talking about the classic incarnation, the "Puny humans leave Hulk alone or Hulk will smash!" version.

Both are creatures of rage, growing stronger the madder they get.  Stronger and tougher than anything has any right to be, they're likely to keep fueling the other the longer the fight goes on.  Neither version is completely inexperienced at fighting someone stronger than him either (the Abomination, in both cases).

Verdict: MCU Hulk.  Ultimately, the MCU version edges out his counterpart in terms of pure nastiness.  The 616 version would be focused more upon proving he was stronger, where the MCU version would just be beating the crap out of him.


Hawkeye: One's a former carny turned super-villain turned super-hero, who's outsmarted cosmic beings, mouthed off to everyone from Captain America to Nick Fury, with an arrow for virtually every situation.  He's lead multiple Avengers teams and the Thunderbolts, proven to be as skilled with a sword and his fists as he is with his bow, an accomplished gymnast, and has been continually underestimated by countless super-villains.  He's got no problem leaping into battle against super-villains, elder gods, and killer robots.

The other is a SHIELD agent specializing in bows, with equally extraordinary marksmanship, who wants nothing more than to retire to his farm with his family.  He's obviously experienced, and adapts well, but more obviously feels in over his head when fighting threats greater than your average terrorist.

Verdict: 616 Hawkeye, by a landslide.  His greater variety of arrows, his use of his smartmouth to keep MCU Clint off-balance, and non-archery related skills make this only a small challenge for him. He also finds time to berate MCU Tony for stealing his schtick.


Black Widow: Both incarnations of Tasha are master spies and assassins, trained by Russia's Red Room to be the perfect killing machines.  Both are superb physical fighters, skilled with firearms, and possesses of advanced technology (their Widow's Bite).  Both have a sordid and bloody past, of which we likely know only a fraction of.  However, 616 Tasha is significantly older and more experienced than MCU Tasha, having been a child in WW II and had her aging slowed down significantly.  While we know that the Black Widow program has existed since at least the 1940's in the MCU, we have no suggestion as of yet that movie Tasha has an extended lifespan.

Both have significant "red in their ledger", but it seems to weight much more heavily upon MCU Tasha than her 616 version.  616 Tasha acknowledges that she's done a lot of terrible things, but she seems to have made more of her peace with it, and is moving forward with her life.  She's also tried on the role of "super-hero" more readily, whereas MCU Tasha is still mostly a SHIELD agent.

Verdict: 616 Tasha.  Experience and a greater willingness to tap into her killer instinct make her realize that she needs to take out MCU Tasha very, very quickly.  She'll put her down quickly, but mercifully.


Grand Total: the 616 Universe wins by a score of 4-1!

Agree?  Disagree?  Have thoughts on those Avengers I didn't cover?  Let me know in the comments!

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