t is Avengers Week at SB Nation, and just like how soccer fans love arguing over whose favorite player is better or having a better season; fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe love arguing over which Avenger is best.
Some say Hulk due to his unmatched strength, or Iron Man due to his ingenuity and wit, whereas others might say the more hipster Avengers like Hawkeye are the best. However, unlike soccer players, Avengers cannot be easily compared based on statistics.
Luckily, that has been changed. Earlier this week I asked you to help assign “player” rankings to Avengers characters based on five characteristics I thought fitting for superheroes. Based on the average rankings assigned by the fans, I created individual profiles for each Avenger so you can decide for yourself, who is the true best Avenger.
Strength: Does this Avenger wield an unmatched strength on the battlefield, using their ability creating a sea of destruction in their wake?
Intelligence: How well do they use creativity and ingenuity to evade attackers and create traps for those less fortunate?
Outfit: This one is pretty simple. How cool do they look in the heat of battle? Do they look like a true superhero here to save the day, or just a dork in a cape?
Powers: Do they wield any supernatural powers, able to bend the laws of physics at their disposal?
Leadership: As fans of the Marvel series know, while the Avengers are a team, they certainly have some interesting, often clashing personalities. This characteristic gauge how well they can lead the team to get them through long battles.
Captain Steven Grant “Steve” Rogers is the only living, successful test subject of the Super Soldier Serum developed by Abraham Erskine during World War II, after which the patriotic super soldier became known as Captain America. He fought against the Nazis and their rogue science division HYDRA until he went MIA during the war. After nearly seventy years of being frozen, Steve awoke in the 21st century and became the leader of the Avengers.
As expected, the leader of the Avengers ranked very high in leadership yet was surprisingly low on strength and powers considering he is a genetically modified Super Soldier. There is a clear advantage to those superheroes who were born with their abilities, rather than a product of lab experiments.
Anthony Edward “Tony” Stark was a billionaire industrialist and inventor. He was the former CEO of Stark Industries, a conglomerate originally started by his father, Howard Stark. While in Afghanistan, Tony was captured by Ten Rings, and was ordered to build the Jericho missile for them. Instead, he, along with Ho Yinsen, used their resources to build a suit of armor and make their escape. Returning to America, Tony improves his armor and becomes the armored superhero known as Iron Man.
Iron Man, the Avenger who was on the brink of death before building an arc reactor to power the electromagnet and famous suit, was clearly going to rank very high on the intelligence scale. He scored higher on Leadership than expected, given his propensity for condescending jokes at the expense of the rest of the team. His armored body suit, giving him the ability to fly amongst many other things, did not grade as high for outfit as expected, however.
The Asgardian God of Thunder who made a name for himself as the mightiest warrior on his homeworld Asgard, and one of the founding members of the Avengers.
Due to his supernatural strength, Thor scored very high on Strength and Powers, yet his stereotypical ‘brawn and no brain’ personality led to a very low intelligence score. Interestingly, Thor is the self-proclaimed King of Asgard, yet he scored very low on Leadership.
Dr. Robert Bruce Banner is a genius scientist, who was involved in an accident involving intense levels of gamma radiation, which causes him to transform into the Hulk whenever he is stressed, enraged or seriously injured. After being recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. he joined the fray and became a founding member of the Avengers.
Hulk was the highest score on the strength characteristic and given his incredibly abilities also scored very high for his powers. However, despite being a genius scientist, was not as high on intelligence, and was the lowest score for leadership. The green and purple look didn’t sit well, as he was a very low score for his outfit.
Natalia Alianovna “Natasha” Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, is a founding member of the Avengers and the only female of the group. Natasha also played a crucial role in combating and defeating the HYDRA forces that had taken control of S.H.I.E.L.D
Black Widow scored very high on intelligence, due to her hacking and interrogation skills, however expectedly scored very low for powers, since she has no superhuman powers. Although she is an expert martial artist, scored very low on strength, especially when compared to those like Thor and Hulk who have superhuman strength. Black Widow dons one of the highest scoring outfits and scored very high on leadership despite her beginning spying on Tony Stark.
Black Panther is the monarch of Wakanda and although not an official member of the Avengers, he assisted the Avengers on multiple occasions.
As the King of Wakanda, Black Panther scored very high on Leadership and Intelligence, as well as the highest scoring outfit. However, Black Panther scored lower on Powers and Strength, despite the extra strength and power the black panther suit gives him. Overall, Black Panther was one of the highest overall scores, giving him strong consideration for best overall Avenger.
Clinton Francis “Clint” Barton, code name Hawkeye and Ronin, is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and founding member of the Avengers. Clint has no real superpowers but is the world’s greatest marksman armed with a recurve bow.
Hawkeye due to his lack of any superpowers, scored very low on Powers and was the lowest scoring Avenger on strength. Although he dons a bow and arrow, which I think is cool, he scored very low for his outfit. Overall, Hawkeye was by far the worst scoring Avenger, cementing himself as the worst Avenger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Hopefully, this data can help put your mind at ease knowing there is concrete, scientific, evidence to back up your claim that your favorite Avenger is in fact, the best (unless you like Hawkeye, then I am sorry).
If you are interested in examining the data for yourself, I placed the data and radar dashboards on Tableau here: https://public.tableau.com/profile/justin.fisher#!/vizhome/Avengers_15888585762070/Dashboard1