Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that later this week Marvel’s long-anticipated The Avengers finally hits movie screens across the nation. Featuring comic book heroes Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk (as well as Hawkeye, Nick Fury and the Black Widow), it promises to be an action-packed big-screen event.
If the movie is decent—and the early reviews indicate that it is—then this should be an absolute blockbuster, making a bajillion dollars and, of course, spawning a sequel (or two).
Since Marvel and Disney *apparently* have all the rights locked up on this franchise and its characters, I thought in order to cash in, I am working on a variation of the theme that might make for “corporate synergy” (if I can throw a term out that I would never use in real life but big studio suits seem to eat up like Kobayashi visiting Nathan’s on the 4th of July). Plus, it also uses established well-known names—which studios love because name recognition = easier marketing = more $$$ in their pockets to spend on cocaine, Porsches and cat jugglers—and makes for easier cross-branding.
So, taking Marvel’s Avengers franchise and mixing it with Disney’s Hall of Presidents, I am proposing to create a new super hero team—and lucrative film franchise!—called:
(You know, like “The Commanders-In-Chief” … fer crying out loud, do I have to explain everything here?)
Okay, so to ease the transition, I thought I’d move existing presidents into roles that already exist in The Avengers, both the movie and the comics. So, starting at the start for both groups:
Yeah, this one’s a gimme. Both are true American icons, both are military men, both are unquestioned leaders, and I’m pretty sure Captain America’s shield and Washington’s dentures were made of the same material. Or they will be in the movie—when Washington gets in trouble, he’ll pull out his teeth and fling them like ninja stars at enemies! Maybe groom that wig into little wings like Cap has … come on, this stuff writes itself!
At first, it seems that the old Bull Moose and Rough Rider might make a better Hulk, but Teddy Roosevelt is Iron man because like Tony Stark, he carried unwanted metal in his chest: Before a campaign speech in 1912, he took a bullet to the chest during an assassination attempt, and not only proceeded to give his entire speech before going to the hospital, but wound up leaving the bullet in rather than having it removed. Also like Tony Stark, Roosevelt was a charismatic maverick. Bully!
Okay, speaking of bullies …
Sorry, but when you are known as “the fattest president ever,” (335 pounds!) that makes you the prime candidate to take on the role of The Hulk. And really, who wouldn’t want to see this former commander-in-chief turn green with rage, rip his shirt off and shout, “TAFT SMASH!!!”
Going (slightly) more sophisticated …
Yes, the beard is an important part of this, and although U.S. Grant had an equally impressive set of whiskers, the ol’ Rail Splitter gets the nod because he could handle an ax like Thor wields the mighty Mjölnir. In addition to towering over rivals, Honest Abe was also a bit of a badass, and allegedly had freakish strength from all those years chopping logs. Also like Thor, Lincoln had an affinity for distinctive headgear—can wings be added to a stovepipe hat?
Next up …
These two are a perfect pair in that both are usually overshadowed by more flamboyant members of the group, but to overlook either would be a mistake. Both lost their parents at fairly young ages and used those events to become something better than normal men. Jackson was a legitimate tough guy with a chip on his shoulder, fighting in the American Revolution as a 14-year-old and subsequent other scraps (including leading ragtag American forces to victory in the decisive Battle of New Orleans), earning the nickname Old Hickory in the process. He also may or may not have shot an apple off a goat’s head at 300 paces, except no one outside of my own imagination can seem to verify it.
Okay, reaching outside of the movies—
One of my issues with the new Avengers movies is that that have discarded a few of the characters that have traditionally been part of the team in the comics and the animated TV show (which I watch with my kids). First is Ant Man/Giant Man, a.k.a. Dr. Hank Pym, who is a sometimes aloof scientific genius that can shrink and grow to various sizes in order to fight crime. Jefferson is known as genius for his vast intellect and wide-ranging abilities—of all of the presidents, it seems as though Jefferson would be most likely to tinker in a lab and accidentally discover a formula that could shrink or grow him as necessary. Both characters also had issues with women; Dr. Pym was often busy slaving away in the lab and was abusive to his wife while Jefferson often got busy with the slaves rather than his wife.
Speaking of infidelity—
It only makes sense: the nation’s first “black” president dons the cowl as the Black Panther, one of the first mainstream black superheroes. Similar to T’Challa (the Black Panther’s alter ego), Clinton’s father died when he was very young; also like T’Challa, who is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, Clinton seemed predestined to rule. In terms of super hero skills, Clinton has unusually strong powers of persuasion, although I haven’t quite figured out how getting trailer park mamas to disrobe in the back of an El Camino for a quickie can be used to fight evil. I’m sure it probably doesn’t hurt, although there are some who might disagree.
Speaking of (again)—
After everything he put her through, there’s no doubt that the wife of the “first black president” wishes she really was a Black Widow. [*insert rimshot*] Okay, Hillary is nowhere as sleek, sexy or mysterious as the comic or movie version of the Black Widow, nor is she a former Soviet spy (or so she claims) but let’s be honest: Is there anyone who has been in the White House in the past half century who you would fear more in an actual street fight than our current Secretary of State? Seriously, she scares me—I can picture her tearing my beating heart out of my chest and taking a bite of it, then standing there laughing while I expire. And does anyone else out there think she really hasn’t killed a mate or two after she was done with them?
I can make all sorts of comparisons between Nick Fury (the hardcore leader of the comic-book team and Avengers support unit, S.H.I.E.L.D.) and the current President of the United States, but let’s be honest: Obama is the coolest president we’ve had since Teddy Roosevelt, and if you’re going to step into a role being personified by Samuel L. Jackson, you better bring a little swagger with you. Plus, they both look good in black.
All right … time to start working on that script. COMMANDERS, ASSEMBLE!