From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivially specific topic of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
It can’t be easy. With names like Thor, Hulk and The Scarlet Witch sharing bunk space in the Mansion or Tower, having absolutely no superpowers at all has to be a bitch. Getting stuck as third base coach at the annual X-Men/Avengers softball game is bad enough without super-powered tolerance to alcohol meaning there’s NEVER a beer left in the fridge. While the Avenger’s roster makes for a who’s who of flying, shield hurdling, hammer tossing super-folk, OG sifts through to the trivial, and gets to the goods in this week’s Top o’ the Lot: Avengers Without Superpowers.
Honorable Mention: Stingray
Stingray’s story is your basic affair. Genius oceanographer designs and wears underwater battlesuit to study and protect the ocean. Dr. Walter Newell had a whole slew of Silver Age adventures with everyone from Namor to Hulk, but didn’t really come to the attention of the Avengers until Stingray’s ocean headquarters, Hydro-Base (catchy, I know) became a convenient place for the Avengers to have some water adventures. Reserve status and an opportune HQ aside, Stingray barely makes the Lot just for being a bit different, and the pickings were slim. But don’t feel sorry for him…
It may have been an on-again/off-again relationship, but Jacques Duquesne, Swordsman, made for some early Avengers comics intrigue back in the day. Was he on the Mandarin’s side? Was he on the Avengers’ side? Was he on his own side? It was kind of all three, but the Avengers finally won Swordsman over. Personally, I think it was the ladies that finally persuaded him. They don’t call him “Swordsman” for nothing. A really big sword and no superpowers to speak of put Swordsman into of the Top o’ the Lot, but just the tip.
4. James “Rhodey” Rhodes/ War Machine
Rhodey wasn’t just Tony Stark’s go-to guy for covering a shift as Ironman after an all-night binger, James Rhodes paved his own way when he donned the War Machine armor and joined the West Coast branch of the Avengers. Although the Ironman flicks have made him a household name, and he’s even getting a brand new comic series come early 2014, I’ll always remember Rhodey as the Ironman nobody wanted. Who’d a thought he’d end up being as cool as War Machine ended being? Not this guy, but the new Iron Patriot overcompensates for something, and ends up smack dab in the Top o’ the Lot.
Barbara Morse gets left out of the discussion far too often, but Mockingbird was one half of the romantic duo that made the West Coast Avengers a thing. Maybe her better half got more of the attention, but the Hawkeye/Mockingbird relationship was one of the first real relationships I remember getting in on back in the day. Yeah, I know she got some Super-Soldier Serum treatment along the way, but the Lot is slanted and biased for a reason, and Mockingbird gets the center spot in the Top.
He may be the quintessential Marvel hero without powers, but not on my list. Despite my own feelings, it’s an easy argument to make for Clint Barton to be at the Top. Does it matter that he wears purple? No. Does it matter that his choice of weapon is ancient? Nuh-uh. Does it matter that he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer? Well, yeah, it does on this list anyways, but the mass appeal of Hawkeye just cannot be denied! Pick your version: The Avengers movie, Ultimate Universe, regular 616. The guy is just plain old cool no matter your preference. The guy never misses, except this time, when he misses the top spot in the Top o’ the Lot.
1. Iron Man
Iron Man isn’t just the most recognized Avengers, and the richest, and the one with the coolest toys, but he’s got the entire package. Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist; even if you take all that stuff away, Tony Stark is a deep, troubled and intriguing character. He’s been the outcast drunkard, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and everything in between. There’s nothing he hasn’t done, and nothing he can do if he just had a day or two to work it out. While it pales in comparison to Batman’s 15 minutes to solve any problem (yeah, you knew Batman was going to show up in a Lot about heroes without powers) it’s still enough to put Iron Man at the very Top o’ the Lot of Avengers without powers.
See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.