Sorry, guys, I know I’m failing at the whole consistent updating thing. I’m trying.
I’m still not what you’d call a big fan of superheroes, but over the past couple years, I’ve been slowly wading my way into that fandom. Not so much for the stories or because superpowered people duke it out and save the world, but because of the characters. And now that I actually have five favourite characters, I figured I might as well make a listing. Because… why not?
Note that “EMH” refers to The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon and “MCU” refers to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Though my first introduction to Sam Wilson was in EMH, he was only in one episode and was mind-controlled for the majority of his screentime.
So I’ll be talking about the MCU take on him.
Right off the bat, the MCU introduced him as a normal, unassuming, ex-military, personable guy, which made me like him right away. He also treats Steve Rogers like any other soldier he might meet, no special treatment, no fanboying (*coughcough* Coulson). He’s supportive, works well as part of a team, and is willing to suit up again, despite having wanted to leave that sort of stuff in his past.
The original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, did not leave much of an impression on me when I met the character in EMH. The guy who stole Pym’s suit in order to save his daughter, on the other hand, stood out more, even if he’s only in two episodes (and one of those is just as a brief cameo).
The MCU took the latter guy, Scott Lang, and made me like him more. A lot more.
As I already said in my review of Ant-Man, Scott is a relatable, almost-everyman. That was the first and most important thing the film gave me. As such, his non-superhero-related problems are at a level we can all empathize with and he has to work through them just as we would have to. And while saving the world is a good thing, Ant-Man focuses not so much on saving the world, but on “saving their world”. Every hero has to make sacrifices, but I think his strikes home most poignantly. As someone commented on a bit of soundtrack from the film, “He didn’t even hesitate. That’s a true hero.”
As we have not seen the Black Panther in the MCU, I’ll just have to stick with EMH’s take on the character (and hope that the MCU does him the same way, ’cause I like him).
T’challa, unlike the above two, is not a normal guy. He’s the king of an uncharted African nation. (So why he joins the Avengers on the other side of the world for extended periods of time is beyond me and a point against him, but he makes up for that in other ways.)
The things that strike me most about Panther are his calm calculations (and responses to others), cool exterior, loyalty, value of friendship, and tactical abilities. (And his fight moves. They’re just cool.)
#2: Hawkeye (Clint Barton) – EMH
Is it bad that the number-one thing I like Hawkeye is his mouth? I’ve not seen Age of Ultron yet, so I don’t know if they worked on this much in the MCU, but EMH gave him the snark he apparently has in the comics. And by snark, I mean he’s got it in scads. He’s got an answer for everything and he has quite a few really good lines in the cartoon.
From what EMH has given me, Hawkeye is pretty passionate, even though you might not know it to look at his laid-back exterior. He operates well both as a solo act and as part of a team and has his loyalties. Plus he’s got no superpowers whatsoever, and that always earns a point with me. And while he is very snarky, he’s not mean like Tony Stark. Stark can say something and make it bite, but Clint can say the exact same words and pass it off as a joke. Which is why I firmly believe that Clint Barton is the only person who can call Captain America “Old Man” to his face and get away with it.
I think just about anybody who knows me would know that this spot would only be filled by Captain America. And even if you didn’t know me enough for that, maybe you caught the couple hints at it when I described Falcon and Hawkeye. He’s certainly not perfect, but he sorta shouts “moral compass”, and that always sits well with me. A friend jokingly accused me of liking “boring, lawful-good” characters (“lawful-good” being a role-playing-game term that basically means that a character does the lawful thing no matter what). And while, sure, that might mean less inner conflict within these characters, I think it also means that they know exactly what they should shoot for. And that’s a good thing.
Steve Rogers is a patriot, a good soldier, a leader, and a dependable man. He knows exactly what he stands for and he will fight for it. He’s… he’s just Cap. And that makes him the best in my book.