Cult Film, TV, Geek Art
Superheroes are privileged. Really, it’s another word for “super” given the way the movies have depicted these characters. It doesn’t necessarily mean they were all raised eating off of silver spoons, but these people do have some pretty ridiculous advantages in life.
In this May’s Captain America: Civil War, we might wind up seeing the biggest collection yet of superheroes in a single film (you know, despite the fact that it’s not technically an Avengers movie). So just for a fun and different look ahead at the upcoming Marvel blockbuster, I wanted to sort through the Avengers with an eye toward which ones are most privileged and which ones have done the most with the fewest advantages.
I’ll start with the most privileged and make my way down the list…
Moviepilot, a site that frequently posts news and interesting discussions related to popular film, did a write-up last November of the most powerful Avengers, and put Thor at the top of the list. Why? Because, as they put it, he’s the god of lightning and thunder, and possesses the mighty hammer Mjolnir. Translation: he’s as privileged as it gets in the known universe! Marvel Studios has had to reign in Thor’s powers a little bit in an effort to keep things fair, making it look like an Iron Man or Captain America could hang with him. But never forget this guy was born the heir to a kingdom of gods and can summon freaking lightning.
2. The Vision
He may be among the newest Avengers on the big screen, but The Vision has advantages the others could only dream of. Think of something you’d love to be really good at… perhaps you’d like to be an NBA basketball player. Now imagine if you simply came into being one day in the body of LeBron James with the mind of Michael Jordan. That’s basically The Vision’s situation. He’s created as a better form for Ultron, but then turned good and empowered by a mystical mind stone that pretty much makes him invincible. This guy has all the tools to succeed the moment he opens his eyes for the first time, by absolutely no effort of his own!
3. Black Panther
We don’t know just how Black Panther will be portrayed in the cinematic universe yet, because the character is making his debut in Civil War (to be followed by a solo film). But if it’s anything like the comics, this guy is sort of the human version of Thor, which is to say he’s born into power. As the chief-in-waiting for the Wakanda tribe, T’Challa has the right to eat special herbs that give him super powers, turning him into Black Panther. Talk about the one percent…
4. Iron Man
Some might consider Iron Man to be the most privileged superhero thanks to his wealth, and indeed that’s what gets him so high on the list. Online lottery site Lottoland likes to have fun with its users by posting various articles teasing ultra-wealthy culture, and in doing so wrote up an interesting list of the richest fictional characters, with actual amounts for their estates estimated. Tony Stark came in at number four with an estimated worth over £8 billion (or about $11.3 billion). That’s a lot of privilege, though the common argument is that Stark’s real superpower is his mind.
5. War Machine
If Iron Man is the Bill Gates of superheroes, War Machine is the old friend who gets to use all of Bill Gates’s stuff. Yes, he’s a successful army man in a high-ranking position, but he’s basically handed a superhero suit because he happens to be friends with Tony Stark.
6. Captain America
Yes, he shows immense courage and integrity to earn his chance at becoming a super soldier during World War II. And yes, his own background lacks privilege. But in case you’ve forgotten the details of Captain America: The First Avenger, read through the character’s cinematic universe wiki…. That’s right. He’s literally just overheard by someone who has the power and inclination to give him a super-soldier serum.
Scott Lang is a sympathetic burglar who pretty much accidentally steals a superhero suit. He’s then instructed on how to use said suit by said suit’s creator, in a ridiculous stroke of good luck. It’s more fortune than privilege, but still, this guy’s not doing much on his own to become a superhero.
Hawkeye earns his Avenger status by essentially being an elite human soldier. However, he is gifted with some pretty out-of-this-world technology in the form of a quiver of arrows that can seemingly do all things.
Falcon, too, earns his status, though his friendship with Captain America sure seems to give him a boost. Also he didn’t exactly come by those wings via his own genius engineering.
10. Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch is an interesting case. On the one hand she’s basically the psychic/mystical version of a superhero, in that she was simply infused with power one day. On the other hand, she was driven to that point out of pure desperation, so it’s hard to call it a privilege.
11. Black Widow
Black Widow learns to kick ass out of pure necessity and with no inherent superpowers. There’s nothing privileged about it.
Finally there’s Hulk, whose superpower is more curse than blessing. Sure he can turn into a giant indestructible green monster, but in no way is it a privilege. And that means that in a way, the Hulk is the most impressive of all the Avengers, doing the most with the fewest advantages.