Marvel’s Original Avengers Ranked: The Top Spot May Surprise You

Spider-Man: Far From Home will be wrapping up Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe this summer, and the movie will reportedly establish that the surviving members of the original six Avengers “are in their own corners of the universe” and will not appear in future Avengers movies.

This means that it is the perfect time to talk about which OG Avenger is the best and make a list to prove our point. While we love Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange – as well as every other superhero in the MCU – we have to stick to ranking just the original six, or this list would never end.

The original Avengers
Producer Kevin Feige, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner | Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Of course, no one will ever agree on which Avenger is the best or strongest. But, it’s always fun to put your opinion out there. Let the arguments begin!

6. Hawkeye

Poor Hawkeye. We want to love him, but Marvel just didn’t give us the chance. Sure, he can use a bow and arrow better than anyone, but does that really make him a superhero? Even Jeremy Renner has admitted that he has had a hard time with the character.

“In the first Avengers, I was just getting to know who Hawkeye was, and then zap, I go round like a zombie, I’m like Loki’s minion, and I’m still not even sure who Hawkeye was,” Renner told Screen Crush. “I’m a little frustrated because I was so excited to figure out who Hawkeye was.”

Marvel never gave Hawkeye anything to do, and he didn’t even appear in all four Avengers movies.

5. The Hulk

The Hulk got off to a rough start with Edward Norton’s portrayal in The Incredible Hulk, but by the time Mark Ruffalo took over the role in The Avengers, he started to take some massive steps in the right direction.

The Hulk smash is fun, and he is easily one of the most powerful members of the Avengers, but it’s Bruce Banner’s struggle of having a monster trapped inside him that makes the character relatable, and interesting to watch. Unfortunately, the character has been inconsistent, which is why he is so low on the list. But, he has some amazing potential thanks to Avengers: Endgame.

While The Hulk and Bruce Banner started out as two separate identities, his appearance as Professor Hulk – which gives the character The Hulk’s strength and Banner’s smarts – was something that fans were waiting to see. But, since he can’t do any solo films (Universal Pictures has those rights), his future is up in the air.

4. Captain America

While many people put Chris Evans’ Cap at the top of their lists, we just can’t do it. He doesn’t have Hulk’s strength or Iron Man’s intellect or even Hawkeye’s weapon skills. What makes him a hero is his unwavering morality. Yes, he always stands up for what’s “right,” but his outdated boy scout approach to things sometimes comes across as corny.

“If you get hurt, hurt ‘em back. If you get killed, walk it off,” he says in Age of Ultron. While that is cute, and there is no doubt he is a strong leader with a big heart who believes that anything is possible, his shield can only get him so far. Do we love Steve Rogers? Of course! He’s an incredible soldier who obviously spends hours in the gym. And, Chris Evans is incredible in the role. But, that’s not enough to make him stand out as the best Avenger.

3. Black Widow

She is a “super spy” and “deadly assassin,” says Marvel, and her skills range from judo and kung fu to ballet. Scarjo’s Black Widow is the best at everything she does, and she will always find a way to get the job done – even if that means sacrificing herself to defeat the enemy.

Unlike Captain America, Black Widow’s world isn’t black-and-white, but it’s living in that gray area that makes her so effective. She can get into places that others can’t, she is incredibly resourceful, and that helps her always get the information she needs. Black Widow also plays an important role in the Avengers because she can make difficult decisions and then pull the trigger.

The most amazing thing about her – and Scarlett Johanssen’s portrayal –  is that she can do all of this without any superpowers. No matter if it’s freeing herself from being tied to a chair or taking out a security-squad, Black Widow will get it done. There’s nothing the Black Widow can’t handle. And, if it wasn’t for her, the Avengers wouldn’t have known al lof the threats they were actually facing, much less defeat them.

Losing her in Endgame was brutal, but at least we have her solo movie to look forward to.

2. Thor

Like The Hulk, Thor didn’t get off to the best start in the MCU, and he even took a turn for the worse (does anyone like The Dark World?) But, he made up for it big time in Thor: Ragnarok and the four Avengers films.

Thor never runs from a fight – even if is over Fortnite – and the demi-god is never afraid to put the rest of the team on his back when needed. He is a protector who is willing to make sacrifices. And, even though he lost pretty much everything he cared about, he still fought to defeat Thanos and he put his life on the line while doing it.

This complex character is by far one of the strongest Avengers, and he will do everything he can to protect the people he loves. At the same time, he is far from perfect, but that makes him even better and more relatable. Chris Hemsworth has brought Thor to life in the best of ways. He risks his life for the greater good, and – as co-director Joe Russo says – he is both “hilarious and tragic.”

To top it all off, Thor has absolutely the coolest weapon of any superhero in the MCU.

1. Iron Man

The only reason Iron Man beats out Thor is that Tony Stark is the man who started it all, and Robert Downey Jr. is the reason that the MCU has become what it is today. Just like Thor, Tony Stark is a flawed Avenger who is a “loveable bad*ss” that has grown tremendously during his character arc.

It’s amazing that a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist is a relatable character. But, he is because he is so very human. When it comes down to it, Tony Stark is a guy who is just trying to do some good in the world, and he uses every resource available to him to make that happen.

Iron Man is far from perfect, but he wants to be a good guy who does the right thing. The fact that his own character flaws sometimes get in the way of that is what makes him like us. He learned from his mistakes, and his growth as an Avenger gave fans hope that they could follow in his footsteps.