November 18, 2011

Who are the Avengers?

Before reading the rest of this article, hold onto your pants and watch this. Don’t forget to click full screen and high definition!

What do we do? We get ready.

The Avengers Movie theatrical trailer finally released on the interwebs just a few weeks ago and here at Recultured we want to make sure you can spout geeky-comic-book linguo to your friends before watching this epic mash-up of the (Marvel) world’s best super hero team. The Avengers are a mix of Marvel’s iconic superheroes. There is much fluidity in who is an avenger. At one point Wolverine and Spider-man were both Avengers. At other times even notorious super-villians were Avengers. But that’s for another day. For now, here is the list of the superheroes in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers which hits theatres on May 4th, 2012.

Warning: I’m not a comic book expert so please no  “It says on page 42 of Issue #132 that Captain America didn’t actually chew bubble gum!” comments.

Who is S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Taken from Marvel.com:

S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division) is an extra-government intelligence and security organization dedicated to protecting the nations and peoples of Earth from all threats, terrestrial or extraterrestrial

1. Captain America (Steve Rogers)

Steve Rogers was just a regular schmuck who loved his country: America. After being injected with a super serum, he was reborn as Captain America. What makes Steve Rogers such an interesting character is that he is from a different time. He’s not the modern day guy who grew up in the age of the internet. No, Rogers was born in 1917 and lived during war time He officially became Captain America in 1941 and led America to victory against enemies and villains such as the Red Skull. However, in the closing days of the Second World War, Captain America met his fate. In an attempt to stop the super-villain Baron Zemo, Captain America was accidentally blown off a plane and is tossed into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. Unable to find his body, Captain America was presumed dead.

S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers find Captain America’s frozen body and revive him. Lucky for the world, Rogers was frozen in a block of ice and managed to live according to the comic book laws of physics. Armed with an indestructible iconic shield that serves as a defense AND a boomerang to the face, the Avengers gained its most iconic member and leader.

2. Iron Man (Tony Stark)

If you thought Captain America was cool, wait till you meet Iron Man. Tony Stark was just a regular run-of-the-mill billionaire with a genius mind before he was Iron Man. A celebrity in the eyes of many, he was kidnapped and suffered a near-fatal chest wound that led him to the creation of the Iron Man suit: a terrifyingly powerful weapon of mass destruction and uber-win. He’s clashed with many evils from the Crimson Dynamo to The Mandarin time and time again.

He is called in by Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. to defend the Earth and founded the Avengers. The tech expert that he is, Stark develops weapons for S.H.I.E.L.D. and becomes a huge asset to the Avengers. He often has disagreeing views with Captain America. Iron Man’s actions lead to one of Marvel’s greatest tales of war and sadness over society and opinion. It’s quite beautifully written. For the interest of not delving into spoilers, here is a link to read the rest. Click at your own risk.


3. Thor

Looking past the semi-decent movie released earlier this year, Thor is actually a pretty interesting character. He is the son of Odin and the ruler of Asgard. He is sent to Earth because he was cocky and self-centered. Odin’s goal was to teach Thor the meaning of the word humility. While on Earth, he learns to appreciate what it has to offer and chooses to remain there as a guardian. He wields Mjolnir, a hammer similar to Excalibur that can conjure lightning. He’s fought with powerful foes such as the Super-Skrull and his half brother Loki.

Thor joins S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers in order to stop his brother Loki from destroying the planet. Since then, he’s been a long-time member and founder, dedicating his time to help Nick Fury with future S.H.I.E.L.D. initiatives. He is often one of the few founding Avengers who can handle themselves one-on-one with the Hulk.


4. The Hulk (Bruce Banner)

Let’s introduce this one nice and easy…

Doc Bruce Banner,
Belted by gamma rays,
Turned into the Hulk.

Ain’t he unglamor-ous!

Wreckin’ the town
With the power of a bull,

Ain’t no monster clown
Who is as lovable.”

– The Incredible Hulk TV show

The Hulk is the Mr. Hyde of Bruce Banner. Bruce Banner was a brilliant scientist until a gamma bomb experiment went awry and zapped him full of Hulk beams. Unable to control his emotions, he turns into the Hulk when anxious, stressed or angry. Tough life. What’s interesting about the Hulk is his characterization. Marvel really plays on the idea of Banner, withdrawn from people and always hiding his emotions, and Hulk, a monster built on rage, a powerful emotion. The worst part of his story is that he can no longer interact with human beings and have a meaningful relationship anymore for fear of hurting those he loved should he turn into the Hulk.

This makes an interesting question. Why is the Hulk, an uncontrollable monster, part of the Avengers? There have been notable instances where the Hulk lost his cool and the Avengers actually had to take down Hulk before the super-villain. The Hulk makes for a double-edge sword. On one hand, he’s extremely powerful, on the other, he’s extremely difficult to control. This may make for an interesting plot point in the movie, but who knows?

5. Hawkeye (Clint Barton)

I bet a ton of you have no idea who this guy is. Lemme say that he’s not one of the founding Avengers. In fact, Antman and Wasp were the two missing characters from the movie who founded the Avengers. Nonetheless, Clint Barton was one of the earlier recruits, much like Captain America.

Barton lost his parents as a child and, with his brother, escaped to a carnival. While at the carnival, he was befriended and trained by The Swordsman, Trick Shot, and a boat-load of other heroes to become a master archer. He undertook the name Hawkeye and performed in the carnival as an act. Aspiring to be Iron Man, he became a costumed-superhero. During his superhero days he met and fell in love with Black Widow and eventually joined the Avengers.

From that point on, a whole web of truth and lies begins between Iron Man, Black Widow and Hawkeye. Perhaps we may see this in the upcoming Avengers movie?

6. Black Widow (Natalia Romanova)

Born Natalia “Natasha” Alianovna Romanova (Holy cow that was a mouthful!), Black Window is one of the most complex secret spy agents, double-agents and even triple-agents in the Marvel universe. She was recently portrayed by Scarlett Johansson in the recent Iron Man films and has since grown in popularity. Black Widow originally served as an operative for the Soviets and originally was a villain. She attempted to seduce Tony Stark and battled him as Iron Man. She is turned into a heroine through her encounters with Iron Man and Hawkeye and soon enough, attempts to defect from the Soviet government and join the Avengers.

Like Tony Stark and Clint Barton, Black Widow has no super powers of her own. She is, however, super athletic, a world-class gymnast and a weapons specialist. She is deceptive and a master of seduction (Men, be afraid!). An experienced spy, Romanova can handle her own in one-to-one combat and is stealthy, sneaky and cunning.


7. Nick Fury

The operational mastermind behind it all. You best know him by his incarnation in films portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson. Nicholas Joseph “Nick” Fury demonstrates leadership, confidence, cunning and a bad-ass eye-patch.  Fury is a war veteran who lost his eye to a grenade while leading the Howling Commandos during World War II. At that point, he was known as Sgt. Fury. He  was assigned as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international intelligence agency, after the end of World War II.

Fury is known as one of the most strategic minds in all of the Marvel universe. A tactician by nature, Fury is intelligent, smart and knows how to lead in battle. That is his biggest asset.




There you have it! The team is all together and ready to start. Impress your friends with your new-found geek wisdom. Stan Lee would be proud!


(All pictures courtesy of Marvel.com)

About the Author

Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

  • I wasn’t really looking forward to this film before because I’d never read a Marvel comic and of all the film’s characters, I’d only ever seen the Iron Man movies… but this article’s GREAT! I found it to be very informative for someone who’s unfamiliar with the story, and now I’m excited to watch it!

  • This article was quite an interesting read! 

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