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Now that Comic-Con is over, it's time to do that thing we love the most: talk about Comic-Con. More specifically, in this case, there's a question that's been lingering in the air ever since The Avengers: Age Of Ultron ran its reel of preview footage. When The Avengers each try to pick up Mjolnir, there are varying and humorous ways in which each of them fails. But what if the hammer had to find a new home within the super group? Who would be full of the right stuff to hammer out evil, and who'd be (spoiler alert) left home ironing?
For each of the Avengers, we'll be rating them on a scale from one to five, one being the worst and 5 being the most worthy, in three different categories: Moral Compass, Selflessness, and Strength. Adding each of those scores together (on a scale of 15), we'll be ranking the group from least- to most-worthy of the honors, with a bonus round of grab bag characters from outside of The Avengers (and even a possible villain or two that will be free of rating).
No need to break out the calculators. We've done all of the math for you fine folks at home! So now, without further delay, let's start our rankings with the hero least fit to wield Mjolnir...
Tony Stark/Iron ManMoral Compass:If there were any Avenger that were least fit to take on the responsibilities of Thor's almighty hammer, it'd be Stark himself. His moral compass, while on a much better keel than it was the first three or so decades of his life, had an absolutely horrible rating before he even dreamed of becoming Iron Man. The women, the alcohol, the blind eye towards global conflict while he got rich enough to indulge in the first two even more... these pretty much take Tony out of the running for at least a decade or so of personal growth. Rating: 1/5
Selflessness: Speaking of personal growth, Tony Stark only ever became Iron Man because he was saving himself from the Ten Rings terrorist cell. Every improvement he's made to the armor between Iron Man and Iron Man 2 has been to keep himself alive, and to be faster and stronger. While he starts to take the world's needs into consideration, his egoism still outweighs his heroism. He's working on fixing that pretty effectively, and becoming a benefactor/believer in the Avengers Initiative (a program he barely made it into) is a good step forward. Still, it's going to take some soul searching before Tony even thinks he's ready for hammer time. Rating: 2/5
Strength: Here's a weakness that isn't Tony's fault, as a human can only be so strong. While Stark is in top fighting shape, he doesn't rely on his physique to power him through a fight. That's the advantage of having a suit propelled by Repulsor Ray technology, but it's also the disadvantage as he needs his suit to fight any sort of physical threat. Thor's strength Rating: 2/5
Final Assessment: Tony Stark is the least worthy wielder of Mjolnir. It's OK, Tony. You wouldn't have liked Asgard anyway. There are too many rules, the women are more than likely immune to your charm (and DEFINITELY stronger than you), and you'd be wearing a set of those drapes you've mocked yourself. Final Rating: 5/15
Cliff Barton/HawkeyeMoral Compass: Cliff Barton, aka Hawkeye, is a pretty straight arrow. In fact, the only time we've ever really seen him lose his heroism is when he was hijacked by Loki and his scepter in The Avengers. Other than that, he's pretty close to Captain America in his moral fiber, as well as goal focus. He sees the mission for what it is, and he proceeds to execute it with precision and minimal engagement. We really haven't seen his weaknesses, outside of being controlled by an angry adopted god, but the man is a soldier's soldier. Without Natasha, he probably wouldn't even have a personal life. Rating: 5/5
Selflessness: When we first see Hawkeye, we see him holed up in a "nest," which is where he prefers to be. While Hawkeye is a perfect lone wolf type to keep a look out for impending danger, he's not particularly a team player by nature. Sure, he gets along with the team and works effectively with them, but if you gave him the choice, he'd probably go it alone. It's hard to break someone out of the lone wolf mentality, and Mjolnir's power will only make Barton work in harder, more isolated conditions. Rating: 3/5
Strength: Cliff Barton is another case like Tony Stark: a non-super powered hero in a super powered team. However, Hawkeye is even worse off than Stark is, simply because he only has a special bow and arrows arsenal to defend himself. Yes, he's a terrific shot, and the arrows he does keep around are indeed handy. But SNL got it right when they pointed out that a Hawk without arrows just doesn't hunt. Rating: 1/5
Final Assessment: While Barton is no slouch at all on the Avengers' team, he's still a bit behind when it comes to his defensive abilities. Final Rating: 9/15
Natasha Romanov/Black WidowMoral Compass: Natasha has done some bad stuff, stuff that we've never seen but have heard heavy allusions towards in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Knowing the bits that we do of her checkered past, she's obviously not a complete "white hat" when it comes to the hero business. And yet, she's so determined to make up for that part of her life that she'll do pretty much anything she can to clear out her infamous red ledger. Her S.H.I.E.L.D. Membership certainly helps her case. So does her handling of the situation where Cliff Barton was under the control of Loki during the first two acts of The Avengers. Rating: 4/5
Selflessness: While Romanov is an effective field agent who can work well with her S.H.I.E.L.D compatriots, she and Cliff Barton share the same flaw that puts them below others when it comes to hammer consideration: she's too focused on herself. Case in point, the beginning of The Avengers shows her on a mission that she was previously assigned to. When she gets the call from Coulson to come in, it takes the mention of Barton's defection to get her to come into the fold. And to think, we almost didn't have a Hulk if it weren't for her attachment to Barton. Rating: 3/5
Strength: While not a super-powered member of Earth's mightiest fighting force, Black Widow does have a huge ace up her sleeve – as well as wrist-mounted tasers that protect the sleeves she's hiding secrets up. I'm, of course, talking about her agility and superior close combat skills. She might not be a super solider like recent partner Steve Rogers, but hell if she can't take down a corridor full of baddies with some quick moves. Rating: 4/5
Final Assessment: Natasha Romanov isn't a bad candidate for Mjolnir's ultimate power. Her lone wolf attitude and her "need to know" behavior keep her ranked as a mid- to high-ranked substitute. Final Rating: 11/15
Bruce Banner/The HulkMoral Compass: Bruce Banner is a moral man whose dedication to the betterment of humanity through science is an admirable pursuit. If it were just him I was grading, he'd get a full five. Unfortunately, the Hulk isn't exactly a moral smasher, particularly if his presence is triggered by traumatic or explosive means. Sometimes Dr. Banner can control his Hulk form and achieve an objective. Other times, he's as much of a danger to his allies as he is his foes. We know that as time goes on, his control over the creature within weakens, which means by the end of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, he might just have a one way ticket into space. Rating: 3/5
Selflessness: When Bruce Banner is in control of himself or his green rage monster form, he is a rather selfless person. Case in point: The Hulk jumps off of a building to save Tony Stark as he's plummeting back to Earth after The Avengers' thermonuclear finale. Banner's kinship with Stark is so strong that even in his hulked out form, he saved his hetero life partner in science without a second thought. The fraction of time that he's out of control is outweighed by the times he's in control of his inner monster. Rating: 4/5
Strength: The Hulk is probably the strongest damned member of the whole Avengers team. The man can take a lot of knocks in his svelte, green form; and he can maintain that mood until he doesn't need to use the rage anymore. The biggest advantage for Bruce Banner is also his biggest liability: he can keep being angry, and he'll keep himself Hulked out. Rating: 5/5
Final Assessment: Bruce Banner has the heart and The Hulk has the muscle to make the singular entity that both occupy a good choice for Mjolnir's immense power. Neither know corruption or ego (at least, from what we've seen so far) and with the hammer of the gods in his hands, Banner and The Hulk could almost be unstoppable. Final Rating: 12/15
Steve Rogers/Captain AmericaMoral Compass: Captain America and moral fiber go together like peanut butter and analogies about effective teams. As if Steve Rogers wasn't enough of a boy scout before he became a super soldier, Doctor Erskine's serum only amplified his inner hero to the level of his strength. A born leader, a natural warrior, but a man whose ethics are still in tact as well, Captain America's exploits during The Winter Soldier show that he doesn't just "follow orders" if he see something wrong with what he's being tasked to do. If he has a problem with something (like Project Insight), you're going to hear about it and quickly. Just hope you're not on the wrong side of the argument. Rating: 5/5
Selflessness: If there was ever a textbook example of selflessness, it would be Steve Rogers. Before he became Captain America, Rogers tried to bluff his way in to the US Army to fight World War II. A professional "little guy" himself, he knew that the Nazi scourge was a menace that had to be stopped, and that only intensified once his transformation was complete. Even after his 70 year freeze, his ego remained in check in a world that could be described as being overrun by concerns of personal comfort. There's giving someone the shirt off of your back, and then there's staying aboard a crashing helicarrier to try and morally redeem your brainwashed best friend. The shirt doesn't cut it anymore. Rating: 5/5
Strength: With the shield, the Captain is a beast of defensive fighting, and a hell of a thrower. Without the shield, he'll still kick your ass up and down the walls of a hijacked cargo ship. The shield is just there to protect his human physique and give him a rest, but even if he takes a hit, he can still take more damage than a normal Avenger.Rating: 5/5
Final Assessment: The perfect candidate, bar none, is Captain America. His moral perfection, coupled with strength and lack of ego all put the Star Spangled Man head and shoulders above all others in the ranks of The Avengers! Though, to be perfectly honest, Steve Rogers would probably pass on the duties, as the man who does not truly crave power is usually the one who deserves it most. Final Rating: 15/15
The Grab Bag Bonus RoundYou'll notice that Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and The Vision are all absent from the list. The reasoning is that there's not a lot of Marvel Cinematic Universe material to go on with all three characters. However, out of the three, The Vision would have to be the biggest candidate for hammer duty, simply because he's pre-programmed with a moral code and can make himself as dense as ten times that of depleted Uranium. Though a case could be made for Scarlet Witch or Quicksilver, considering their abilities might offset their questionable moral standing as HYDRA lab experiments.
So who, outside of The Avengers, deserves the hammer the most? Well, for starters, a big case can be made for Phil Coulson. He's basically a more "normal" version of Captain America, except he's a little looser in personality and morals. Outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe realm, Peter Parker/Spider Man would be one of the best candidates for the great responsibility of this great power. X-Men wise, Professor X OR Magneto would sound awesome, but Magneto would be the better choice due to his lack of mobility issues. (Sorry, Professor.) Really, there are plenty of excellent choices in the Marvel universe for a future stewart of Mjolnir. However, I can say unequivocally, there's one person that I know could never have Mjolnir.
Sorry folks... it ain't happenin'!