The Avengers by Rank
There's no doubt that all of the characters from the heroes in the movie "The Avengers" are fun and powerful. But the question remains about which avengers are the best. Perhaps the most effective way to rank the heroes is not just by overall power, but by a combination of power, style and usefulness to the people of Earth in their time of need.
There's no denying that Clint Barton, or Hawkeye, is talented and deadly with a bow. But he also has no superpowers or special talents beyond his ability to shoot arrows with various things tied to the end of them. But this is the extent of what Hawkeye is able to do. Hawkeye works for the agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. The plus side of this character is that he comes across as just a regular military guy so there's a sense of realism there. And while Hawkeye is definitely an impressive hero, in contrast with the other members of The Avengers, Hawkeye just can't compete.
Thor is arguably one of the more powerful of the Avengers, since he is literally a god. He lives for thousands of years, is able to summon lightening, fly up into the sky with his huge hammer Mjolnir, and it takes a truly mind-boggling amount of damage to kill him. But in terms of defending the Earth, Thor is just not there very often. He's usually in Asgard, his home planet. In terms of style, Thor often gets made fun of by other Avengers. In the movie, Tony Stark makes fun of him by saying, "Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?" Capes and ancient Norse costumes just aren't in style much anymore.
4. Black Widow
Black Widow's real name is Natasha Romanoff, and she's a former Russian agent now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. She doesn't have any powers that are supernatural or far above what a normal human is able to achieve, but she makes up for it with a unique skillset. She is easily the best social manipulator of the team, and arguably the only one of them that is very good at this at all. In the movie "The Avengers," she is even able to manipulate the very manipulative god Loki into divulging small portions of his plan. She is also deadly in hand to hand combat. Overall, although Black Widow isn't towards the top of the pile in terms of sheer power, she is invaluable in terms of necessary skills.
The Hulk is another contender for strongest of the Avengers in terms of sheer power. Bruce Banner is a genius scientist who experimented with recreating the "super soldier" program that created Captain America in order to make humans immune to gamma radiation. The experiment went wrong, and now Bruce Banner turns into a giant green monster with immense strength and endurance whenever he becomes angry. The downside to the Hulk's power is that Bruce is not always able to control it. When he becomes too angry he may sometimes turn on his own teammates.
2. Captain America
Captain America's real name is Steve Rogers. He was an aspiring soldier during World War 2 who wasn't physically skilled enough to make the cut. As a result, he enrolled in a program that gave him a "super soldier serum," which made him into a fine example of a human in terms of physical skills. Since the government hesitated to send him into actual combat, Rogers got his name when they gave him the title "Captain America" to sell war bonds through spectacles around the country. Captain America is also highly physically resistant, strong, fast, dexterous and has a shield that is able to bounce off of anything with no loss of motion. Rogers is also military trained so he has experience as well as skill when it comes to battlefield tactics. Captain America's major downside is that he was frozen in ice for a long time so he has little knowledge of the modern world.
1. Iron Man
Iron Man's real name is Tony Stark. Tony Stark is a genius inventor who created the suit after being kidnapped by terrorists who wanted him to create a powerful missile for them. The suit he creates his impervious to damage from most conventional firearms. It also gives him the ability to fly, shoot lasers and detect light on frequencies most humans are unable to see. The suit comes with an A.I. program called "Jarvis" that helps Tony micromanage problems. In terms of being able to survive just about any damage, solve any problem and get on top of problems that threaten the Earth right away, there is no one better in the Avengers than Iron Man.
All of the characters from the Avengers are an important part of the team. But a few of them are more integral to the overall success of the team than others, and some occupy more of a leadership role.