Our weekly Versus smackdown this time out comes courtesy of Sutter Kaine, and I think it's a peach:
The concept here was to take the teams as they were originally founded, with that era's characters and powers. With two very major exceptions -- I've removed Superman and Batman from the JLA roster. My rationale is that DC deliberately kept them out of most issues of the JLA comics as they had enough exposure elsewhere in the company's titles. My real reason is that, come on, that would be totally unfair and uninteresting.
Having said that, let's take a closer look, shall we?
- JLA: Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter: Remembering that these are the incarnations of the characters as they appeared in the original issues, that would make Barry Allen the Flash and Hal Jordan the Green Lantern. This makes for a very strong team. Martian Manhunter has most of Superman's powers, albeit at a lower level, plus the ability to turn invisible and read minds. That's a major advantage, as no one on the Avengers was a mentalist. You've got the astounding super-speed of the Flash and the versatility of GL's ring. You'd think Wonder Woman is basically a female Superman, but in that era she really wasn't. Yes, she was strong and had her lasso, along with the bullet-deflecting bracelets, but she spent an awful lot of time getting tied up and spanked. I wish I were making that upu, but sadly I am not. Of course, that's exactly the kind of thing that could prove a fatal distraction to Tony Stark ... I didn't mention Aquaman, because, come on, Aquaman.
- Avengers: Thor, Hulk, Ant-Man, Iron-Man, and Wasp: Remembering again that these are the appropriate era's iterations, we've got Iron Man in the original all-gold armor. Hank Pym debuted as Ant-Man, though by issue two he'd changed to Giant Man. So you've got two insects, a Norse god, and an unstoppable monster. Hulk hadn't yet adopted "the madder I get the more invulnerable I get" construction he'd have in later years, but he was still immensely strong and difficult to bring down. At the time, Thor was probably the most powerful day-to-day character in the Marvel Universe. It's tempting to dismiss The Wasp as a flibbertigibbet fashionista, but she was the heart of that team. Plus, imagine a tiny little flyer with powerful stings loose in Iron Man's chunky monkey armor. Not pleasant.
Just looking at the heavy-hitter lineup of even the diminished JLA, I'm tempted to go that way. Plus, those characters were my favorite as a kid. But the Marvel characters had an edge to them, even back then, that's hard to discount. I keep thinking that while the JLA was busy moralizing, Thor and Hulk would be smashing their teeth in while Ant-Man and Wasp would be wreaking havoc.
So I'm going the other way and calling this one for the original Avengers.
But that's just me -- what I want to know is, what do you think would happen?