The Avengers are ready to storm theaters and bring audiences the comic-book crossover event most fans could only dream of, but with so many heroes, gods and super soldiers assembling from across half a dozen different movies, the question remains: who’s the best Avenger?It's time to pick sides. Join both Player Affinity Movies and Comics in making the case for each member of the Avengers as truly being Earth’s mightiest hero.Kieran and Nicole feel that S.H.I.E.L.D., needs to get some credit in this contest. After all, if S.H.I.E.L.D. didn't exist, how would the Avengers have ever assembled?Real Name: Nick Fury, Phil Coulson , Maria Hill Played By: Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, Previously Played By: David Hasselhoff, Andre Ware, Philip Abbott, Jack Angel, Jim Byrnes, Alex Désert, Chi McBrideFeature Film Appearances: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers Notable TV or Video Appearances: Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Avengers 2, Iron Man: The Animated Series, Spider-man: The Animated Series, Ultimate Spider-man, Wolverine and the X-Men, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest HeroesMemorable Movie Quotes“It's not easy to do what you did. You made my men, some of the most highly trained professionals in the world look like a bunch of minimum-wage mall cops. In my experience, it takes someone who's received similar training to do what you did to them. Why don't you tell me where you received that training? Afghanistan, Chechnya? No, you strike me more as the soldier of fortune type. Who are you?” - Agent Coulson, Thor.“Sir, I'm gonna have to ask you to exit the donut.” - Nick Fury, Iron ManStrengths of the Movie Interpretation: S.H.I.E.L.D has billions of dollars in equipment at their deposal, including an airborne aircraft carrier, a large pool of well-trained agents and Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg are just so damn cool. Agent Coulson can move pretty fast for a out-of-shape middle-aged man.Weakness of the Movie Interpretation: In a world filled with superheroes, supervillains and gods, S.H.I.E.L.D. is rather powerless because it consists of ordinary people. S.H.I.E.L.D. must accost many people and heroes into doing their bidding and steal the work and equipment of civilians. Plus they lie, a lot. ~KieranAbilities/Skills: Nick FuryNick Fury has one of the greatest strategic minds of anyone in the Marvel Universe. He is a master of espionage and a born leader, with a lot of leadership experience originally gained from his leadership of the Howling Commmandos during WWII. His leadership skills were only further ripened when he became the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. During Fury’s service in the war, he was injured by a grenade. After the incident he began taking annual injection of the Infinity Formula. The Infinity Formula is an experimental drug in the Marvel Universe that slows the aging process, thus explaining why Fury is still pretty spry even though he is a WWII vet. Fury, like Marvel’s greatest assassin The Punisher, is at the peak of his physical condition despite not having any superpowers. He has expertise in hand-to-hand combat and in every weapon. His tenure as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. has made him one of the most powerful people on the planet by giving him numerous connections. His position also allows him access to the most advanced weapons and technology. Maria HillMaria Hill fails to have as impressive a repertoire as Fury despite her replacing him after he went AWOL as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. But she shouldn’t be dismissed despite her less-than-Fury-tastic abilities. Like Fury, Hill has no super powers. For a short time she had access to the same advanced weaponry and tech that Fury did. The rest of her abilities are basic S.H.I.E.L.D. agent qualities. She is a trained agent who is skilled in interrogation, hand-to-hand combat, marksmanship and the organization of information – meaning she can skillfully manage several operatives working on different operations at one time without becoming overwhelmed. Her weapon of choice is her handgun. Agent CoulsonAgent Phillip Coulson follows the S.H.I.E.L.D. trend of no super-powers and instead gets all of his power from his position in S.H.I.E.L.D. He has the political power to reposes belongings, he can break into weapons manufacturing facilities, and he is allowed to wield a firearm in public. He is also trained to wield that firearm skillfully and remains calm when under pressure. Arch Nemeses:
Hydra: Featured in the Captain America movie as a society working with the Nazis and run under the rule of Red Skull, Hydra is a huge enemy of the States because of its objective of global domination, therefore making them a top priority on the S.H.I.E.L.D. villains list. A.I.M.: When Baron Von Strucker created Hyrdra, he divided the organization into two branches: the Secret Empire and A.I.M.. A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) is another organization. Instead of filling their ranks with Nazi-sympathizers like Hydra, however, A.I.M. has some of the most brilliant scientific minds in the world. They were also corporation responsible for the creation of the Cosmic Cube, featured in the Captain America movie, which can reshape reality. Norman Osborn: Norman Osborn is a man with a lot of money and a great green suit – yes, Norman is the Green Goblin! But he used his civilian identity, money and connections to take over S.H.I.E.L.D. once and created H.A.M.M.E.R.Love Interest(s): Nick Fury: Lady Pamela Hawley
Back when Fury was fighting with the Commandos during wartime, he fell in love with a British nurse by the name of Lady Pamela Hawley. Before Fury could seal the deal and propose, his romance was cut short: Hawley died during a bombing raid on London.Maria Hill: Iron ManMaria Hill’s only love interest may not be such a shocker when you think about the billionaire’s playboy attitude, but Maria Hill did have a brief fling with Iron Man – but only in the pages of the comic Invincible Iron Man.First Comic Appearances: Nick Fury first appeared in Sgt. Fury #1 as the head of the Howling Commandos. Maria Hill made her first appearance in The New Avengers #4. Agent Coulson was originally created just for Iron Man back in 2008. He broke into the comic book world after but did not fully escape the movie industry. His first appearance was in Iron Man 2: Phil Coulson: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1. It would still take a year before Agent Coulson was recognized in the main Marvel Universe.
Comic Re-imaginings:Nick Fury began his career in comics as a white male, but after the popular performance made by Samuel L. Jackson, a black male given the role in the Iron Man movie, cartoons and even the comics began adapting his image to the Nick Fury character. In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Fury is the recreation of Samuel L. Jackson. Maria Hill has almost always been a solo-gal with only her short flirtation with Tony Stark. In the films, she is not set to have any relationship with Stark. In the comics, Agent Coulson was a much more spry blonde while in the movie he is an older brunette.Best Comics Issue/Moment:Nick FuryWhile Nick Fury was in the CIA, he recruited two agents: Richard and Mary Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man’s parents.Maria HillWhen Maria was fired from S.H.I.E.L.D. after it became H.A.M.M.E.R. under the reign of the notorious Norman Osborn, she began working for the Avengers – finally on the right side she started spending more time with Iron Man. Agent CoulsonCoulson has few comic appearances, but so far his crowning appearance has been when, in Battle Scars, Coulson enlisted the help of Captain America, The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. to save his friends. Call in the big guns, and they will come.Why S.H.I.E.L.D. Is the Best: S.H.I.E.L.D. members don’t have any powers and are the characters the audience can relate the best with – at least physically. But their other skills make them the superior of their human race. Even better, people like Fury have no fear – he’ll look Loki right in the face and not even blink an eye as he stares down a god. The mortality of S.H.I.E.L.D. also makes the likelihood that they will die much more great, making this team have much more tension to enjoy. S.H.I.E.L.D. gets the Avengers together and S.H.I.E.L.D. that creates the ultimate superhero team. Weaknesses: The S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives are not true superheroes. They have no godlike powers like Thor or a powerful suit of armor a-la Iron Man. They can be killed like any mortal man with bullets, knives, nuclear explosions, and everything else fatal to human beings. Only Fury has Infinity Formula keeping him young. Because of the grenade from WWII that resulted in Fury taking the Infinity Formula, Fury lost the vision of his left eye (a.k.a. the reason why he always wears that dashing eye patch). His vision is limited to his one right eye.
Why S.H.I.E.L.D. is Better Than Captain AmericaCap is out of his element – and his time zone. He needed S.H.I.E.L.D. to get him back into the game and help show him how much of an inspiration he was to the people – as well as explain what happened to him at the end of Captain America. Why S.H.I.E.L.D. is Better Than HulkHulk has the strength, but S.H.I.E.L.D. has the mind – and a containment unit especially for him in the movie that can keep him at bay.
One Thing We Hope S.H.I.E.L.D. Will Do in The Avengers: I want to see Agent Coulson with more funny lines, Maria Hill with more badass moments that would make the Black Widow proud, and I want Nick Fury to have no fear and take on super-powered enemies – and win, of course. ~Nicole
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.