The biggest buzz in the cinematic world these days is all about Katniss, Peeta, and the Hunger Games arena. But a couple of months down the road, Comic Con goers will no doubt put hair-braided, mocking jay-pinned fangirls to shame when they descend on local theaters in all their costumed glory for opening night of The Avengers.
The super-powered team that makes up the Avengers clan is touted as the "Earth's mightiest heroes." Whether you're a long-time comic book purist or simply dabble in the modern movie adaptations, you're bound to have an inclination to favor one hero or another. This leads me to my hypothetical, imaginative scenario question: If you put the Avengers in a Hunger Games arena, who would survive?
Yes, yes -- I realize the Avengers are all on the same team in real life. Um, real comic book life. But in the interest of I-don't-see-why-not, here's my own take on the question. Formulate your own opinion and do tell!
Let the games begin!
Up first we've got the "genius billionaire playboy philanthropist" in a fancy suit. To his credit, the man's got brains and talent. And swagger. You can't deny Tony Stark's swagger factor. The reupulsor rays are impressive, no doubt, as is his ability to fly. But let's face it -- he's a bit unstable now and again (mostly again). Put him in the right stressful situation (e.g. an elaborate, televised fight to the death) and who's to say he won't fall apart on you? Not to mention, his abilities and skills lie almost solely in that sleek power suit. Malfunctions? Announcements from The Capitol that anything but hand-to-hand combat is suddenly outlawed? Sorry, but you're screwed, Iron Man.
Admittedly, if this scenario was adapted into a smash-hit book trilogy, the skinny-boy-turns-rippling-hunk aspect would be golden fodder for the tweenaged emotional feeding frenzy. In that case, he's sure to win himself a few love-struck fans. But Team Shrieks & Giggles aside, an avid hormonal, patriotic following isn't going to do the captain much good in the arena. His best bets in combat? That fearsome shield and his superhuman endurance abilities. But is it enough to ensure a victory? Debatable.
Emotional? Impulsive? Anger management issues? In most scenarios this would be a recipe for disaster, but given that this is a gruesome fight to the death, I'd imagine the violent tendencies aren't too out of place this time. The Hulk's downfall, from what I can see, is if you managed to catch him when he wasn't in his beefed-out, green mutant form. Get that guy calm enough and sleeping in a cave somewhere and the competitors might have time to swiftly eliminate him before you can say "gamma radiation." Sure, I wouldn't want to mess with the Hulk in hand-to-hand combat -- but Bruce Banner? Not so intimidating.
Hunger Games, meet the mythical Norse god. If this character's back-story wasn't so busy bouncing everywhere in the universe from Asgard to Donald Blake to the golden apples of Idunn, it might be easier to form a legitimate opinion on his battle qualifications. But regardless of the fuzzy details, a few characteristics carry through across the board: This guy's got a hammer of doom, a golden belt of strength and the ability to occasionally throw people/things out of the earth's atmosphere with his bare hands. Not to mention the abilities to control weather and travel through time, of course. A formidable threat? I would say so.
I almost feel like this one's not even worth delving into. Sure, a spy/martial artist/sniper/potential ballerina/Soviet agent would strike terror in most people's hearts in the real world -- but in the arena? I'm actually thinking she'd be the first to go down. Personal bias against Scarlett Johansson aside (sorry, but when is she not playing a hard-to-like, sleazy character?), I don't think the Black Widow stands a chance out there. Though, if I was the one writing the story, I might leave her in for a few extra chapters to keep some love story intrigue alive. Also, is it just me, or does this character's life story continually ring eerily similar to Sydney Bristow in Alias?
I take back what I said about the Black Widow going down first. I've re-thought the scenario and I think Hawkeye will sacrifice himself for her in a fit of old flame romantic fervor, after which she will be the next to go as she seeks vengeance for his demise. Hawkeye, you're definitely lovable with your circus-performer-turns-unwitting-villain-turns-hero-turns-villain-again-turns-your-story-is-actually-really-confusing-when-it-comes-down-to-it history, but the endearing qualities might not be enough to make your archery skills pull off anything impressive in the arena. Actually, your back-story was long and confusing enough that I might prefer an early demise just to avoid deciphering all of it. Whose side are you even on? Too much justice vs. twitterpation to unravel for my taste.
And the winner is...
So who's my money on? Drumroll, please! Here's how I envision it going down: Hawkeye will make his exit at the hands of the Hulk (took more time re-stringing his arrow than it took Banner to transform), after which the Black Widow will attempt to avenge him. Alas, she's no match against the Hulk -- but she does wound him in the process. As he's busy sleeping off his injuries, Iron Man happens upon him and that's the end of the mighty green fury. Iron Man and Captain America will have a good showdown, but a swift shot to the back with the boomerang shield and Tony Stark's suit will malfunction mid-flight. Cue fiery crash, which attracts good ol' Thor to instantly speed over from a few miles away. A few thunderclouds and a toss to the nether-regions of the ozone later, Captain America is no more. Ladies and gentlemen, we have our winner!
Sure, Thor's 2011 movie wasn't the most exciting two hours of my life, but the pros and cons seem pretty clear to me in this particular case. Who will you be voting for? Fill me in while I go hand paint my "Move Over Jane Foster" t-shirt and purchase some hammer-themed accessories.