Been a busy weekend, but let’s face it, I had to get to this sooner or later. I can’t talk about DC’s greatest heroes winding up at J.K. Rowling’s magical wizard academy without talking about Marvel’s big heroes and where they’d wind up. (I’d discuss the X-Men, but let’s face it, they already are at a school for people with strange and unusual powers run by a manipulative old guy who’s training them to use their powers to fight evil. The only difference is that Dumbledore didn’t generally chuck bowling balls at people’s heads to test their reflexes.) So who would wind up in which house? Who am I picking as an “Avengers” lineup? Let’s find out!
Captain America: An obvious choice for an Avenger, but a less obvious decision over which house he winds up in. On the one hand, you can’t question the courage of the star-spangled Avenger; this is a guy who wanted to join World War II before it even started, because despite the fact that he weighed ninety pounds soaking wet, he wanted to go sock Hitler on the jaw. And that’s before you even get into the “standing toe-to-toe with Thanos despite Thanos having the Infinity Gauntlet and Cap having his fighting spirit” thing. But courage, while it is an important trait of Cap, is not his defining trait.
The recent Cap movie actually showed it best, in the scenes between Steve Rogers and Professor Erskine (some of the best scenes in a great movie.) Cap doesn’t join up because he wants to go out and prove his courage fighting Nazis, he joins up because he believes strongly that he should stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves and it never even occurs to him that he’s one of them. He joins out of a sense of duty to protect others, and if that’s not Hufflepuff, I don’t know what is.
Iron Man: Lately, of course, it seems like Tony is a prime candidate for Slytherin; somewhere around the time he conquered his alcoholism, desperate writers have settled on “asshole control freak tries to use technology to control his surroundings and finds out the hard way just how badly that turns out” as his default story arc. (That is, when he’s not being mind controlled to kill lots of people. You begin to understand why they rebooted him three times.) But underlying the whole desire to control is a naive, almost pathetic belief that he can solve all his problems just by inventing cool enough stuff that it will fix everyone’s problems in the whole world. Tony Stark thinks that if he can create a better process, a better system, then he can create a better humanity. This belief that intelligence, properly applied, can solve any problem makes him a perfect Ravenclaw!
Thor: Thor routinely goes out and fights giants. Because he can. You’d just have to wave the Sorting Hat in his general direction to hear “GRYFFINDOR!” shouted out in the Great Hall.
Hawkeye: He’s one of my all-time favorite characters and a staple Avenger (who has, in my personal opinion, been mishandled worse under the Quesada/Bendis era of the series worse than any other character in the entire franchise, and that includes the decision to make Power Man and Iron Fist Avengers.) He’s also a joyously uncomplicated character, a brash manchild who found purpose and meaning to his life by joining the Avengers and adopting their ideals as his own. Arguably, Hawkeye’s turn under the Sorting Hat would involve a long, telepathic argument over whether or not they should just make a fifth house, because it’s downright insulting to stick Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in a bunch of lesser outfits. But eventually, the Sorting Hat would decide that a guy who deliberately forgoes Hank Pym’s growth serum to battle mad gods and alien armadas armed with a bow and arrows belongs in Gryffindor.
Hank Pym: Okay, maybe Hank Pym was handled worse by Bendis than any other character…let’s call it a toss-up, okay? (Yes, I have issues with Bendis’ handling of the classic Avengers characters. Specifically, I have several hundred issues, and all of them establish clear character beats that Bendis ignores because paying attention to established characterization takes up time he could be using to plot his latest three-issue long halting conversation.) The point is, Hank Pym’s defining character trait isn’t anger or emotional instability. He had a major nervous breakdown at one point that caused him to lash out against his friends and loved ones, but what caused that breakdown was the stress of trying to be a superhero even though he was never really cut out for it. He wanted to be a scientist, helping people through his inventions instead of hitting people, but duty to the people he cared about kept calling him back to it. It’s that sense of dedication to the Avengers that makes the Sorting Hat choose Hufflepuff over Ravenclaw, even though it might take a while to choose.
Wasp: Let’s see. Janet became a superhero because her father died and her new boyfriend suggested she help him avenge that death (two emotional connections early on.) She spent her free time volunteering at a local hospital reading to sick children (duty to the helpless.) She met a bunch of superheroes and immediately suggested they all bond together into a common group (more dedication to community and family.) She eventually wound up becoming the chairwoman of the Avengers–not because she was ambitious, but because a chairwoman was needed and it was time for her to step up and help the team. She eventually sacrificed herself…um, sort of, because Thor did something, or…*sigh* Bendis… *sigh* The point is, when you look at the Wasp’s career, she’s always been about dedication to her large, self-made, extended family. She might never have become a hero if she’d been left to her own devices, but she cares about heroes enough to want to help them out. She’s a Hufflepuff if there ever was one.
Bonus non-Avenger characters! While I will maintain, to my dying day, that the inclusion of Spider-Man and Wolverine into the ranks of the Avengers was a colossal mistake that shows that Bendis not only never understood any of the characters he was writing, he actually never understood the core concept of the book he took over and should not have been allowed near the series with a ten-foot pole, I also know that people probably want to know where they wound up. So for the record, Spidey‘s a classic Hufflepuff (“with great power must come great responsibility”), while Wolverine would be a Gryffindor until he got expelled for sneaking non-butter-beer into the dorms and wound up getting kept by Hagrid as a pet.
Which still leaves a lot of Avengers. Let’s face it, unlike the JLA, the Avengers has a constantly fluctuating line-up; feel free to add your favorite Avengers in the comments!