Hey pals! Long time no see. It’s been a long old time since I last posted but your gal has a masters thesis to write and jobs to apply for! It’s a crazy time to be sure, but in all this madness what could be better than some more ancient history fun right?? (I mean apart from a functioning government, the end of a global pandemic, or Lorde coming back).
Today it’s a pretty lighthearted one. In order to fill the hundreds of hours this quarantine has gifted me, I’ve been rewatching some old favourites and slowly allowing ancient history to invade even more aspects of my life. I’ve seen so many posts recently about Greek and Roman heroes, that I couldn’t help myself, I went there. It’s ancient heroes, Queer Classicist style. That’s right – we’re doing the Avengers of the Iliad.
(Don’t know the Iliad because you were actually cool in high school? Check out my previous How to Understand post “Troy story”!)
A quick heads up before we dive in !! Because I’d like this post to not take 17 years to write, I’m sticking with the original Avengers cast from the first movie. But hey! Let me know if you enjoy this and we can get an Endgame style update.
Without further ado, LETS GO.
CAPTAIN AMERICA // HECTOR
We’re starting with the og avenger, good ol’ cap. Captain America, what a guy. In the world of the Iliad, he’s hector – aka, the best of the Trojans: an amazing soldier, great strategist, and all-round solid dude. But while he’s definitely great at fighting he’s pretty shit at being sensible sometimes. Yes, I said it. Cap and Hector are two sides of the same coin – both have such a massive sense of honour that they’re willing to risk everything to maintain it. Look Andromache (his wife), and Priam (his dad) both tell Hector so many times to “just stay inside you big old idiot, just come inside the walls where Achilles can’t hurt you!” But he won’t, because, you know, honour and shit. And then our boy Steve goes and does exactly the same – putting away his shield whenever anyone gets mad that they didn’t think to bring one to the fight just to make it ‘fair’. Big idiot. You think Iron Man would step out of his suit to try and stop a baddie? No. Because he thinks about things. The labradors of the heroic figures, they’re nice guys, who fight for what they think is right, and are pretty damn good at it too. They would both die for the people they care about, and ultimately, whether it’s on the plains of Troy, or in the planes of the US army (sorry!!!!!), they both do.
IRON MAN // ACHILLES
The most iconic of them all, Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) has got to be the famed Achilles, loved by the gods, and by every tumblr fangirl ever. Let’s recap: “apparently I’m volatile, self-obsessed, and don’t play well with others” – it might’ve been Tony Stark who said this, but if you don’t think that could be straight out of Achilles’ mouth then I’m sorry but you’re having a giraffe. While Achilles is remembered as the best of the Greeks, Tony has got to be the best of the Avengers. Woah controversial I know!! But Captain America agrees with me, or are we all forgetting the “earth just lost her best defender” line??? Honestly Tony Stark and Achilles are two peas in a pod. Their tendency to self-destruct is motivated by their mahoosive ego, but they’ve got the skills to back it up. Neither of them likes having their stuff taken away, whether that ‘stuff’ is a super powered robot suit, or a kidnapped young girl. But even though their arrogance can result in confrontation, upset, and drama, ultimately they’d sacrifice it all for the people they love. When it comes down to it, neither one of them is afraid to save everyone, whether that’s the Greek soldiers, or planet Earth, at the expense of themselves.
BRUCE BANNER (AKA THE HULK) // PATROCLUS
I love them your honour. That’s all.
I mean that isn’t quite true, but that’s the gist of this one. Look our guy Patroclus can fight pretty damn well – he made it all the way up to the walls of Troy and it literally took a god to intervene to stop him! But he doesn’t want to. He’s not much of a fighter, he really just wants to look after people, which we see when he stops to patch up different wounded soldiers as he’s running about trying to make everyone stop fighting. Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s Brucey boy. I love him. With all my heart. Yes he’s an amazing fighter, he’s super strong, and he’s a great asset to the team, but he doesn’t want to fight. He wants to look after people. When he got recruited for the Avengers did they find him being all big green and angry and stomping on people to get his way?? No! He was helping sick and dying people in Calcutta. A prince among men, he tries to be better than what he thinks he is.
Plus if anyone has watched Tony and Bruce interact you know they’re in love okay. Tony Stark would die for Bruce Banner and that is a million percent the truth.
THOR // DIOMEDES
I recognise this is a little out of the box, and arguably a less well known character. But here’s the scoop on Diomedes, the gods are all fans of his, and give him powerups so he can interact with them on the battle field, where he takes on three of them, injuring two. In other words, he’s honestly super overpowered for this fight. What are you doing here Diomedes?? You could easily kick everyone’s butt if you tried. Sound familiar? It’s our pal Thor. Now I know the big old fight scene between Thor, Cap, and Tony at the start of the Avengers was pretty inconclusive, but let’s be real – this is an actual god we’re talking about. The Avengers are made up of a few spicy humans, and an actual god. A god. An actual hecking god. Look I’m just saying, if Thor wanted to, he could destroy the rest of the team in less time than it’d take to toast a pop tart (any 2010 fandom folk get that reference??). But he doesn’t!! Because he’s our friend!!! Just like I know that ~ t e c h n i c a l l y ~ a big old shark could destroy me and everything I love, but I truly believe that we’d actually be friends.
Also when Diomedes meets his friend on the battlefield only they’re on opposite sides now, but they do a friendship bracelet style armour swap anyway because they’re bffs for life?? You know Thor would do that. But yes, in conclusion, Thor and Diomedes are two super powered soldiers who honestly have way too many skills to be in this fight but have turned up because they love hanging out with their friends. And we love them for it.
BLACK WIDOW // AJAX THE GREAT
Okay look, I love Black Widow. I don’t think she gets enough credit. I know she only has like two guns and she’s just like a normal human compared to everyone else but I think she’s special. She’s my Ajax the Great. Ajax is a pretty solid fighter throughout the whole of the Iliad, he’s got military smarts, he’s strong, fearless, and he doesn’t need the gods helping him out because he’s got this thanks. And honestly? Natasha’s got this too. She’s smart enough to trick a literal god, and to figure out how to get her buddy Hawkeye to stop killing everyone, and powerful enough to take on the Hulk. Ajax protects the body of Patroclus, and literally single-handedly saves the Greek ships from being destroyed. He’s a solid fighter, but often overlooked next to his super powerful companions, just like Natasha. Oh, and did I mention? His best mate that he always fights alongside is Teucer, the famous archer.
HAWKEYE // TEUCER
Honestly I don’t have a lot to say about Hawkeye, just like most people don’t have anything to say about Teucer.
He’s a really good archer, who hangs out with his buddy Natasha/Ajax a whole lot. Look, don’t get me wrong - the original comic book Hawkeye? I can get behind him. But not in the Avengers, he makes me feel tired. Just like Teucer. A great archer that’s for sure, definitely helps out the rest of them, definitely kills a bunch of enemies. But at the end of the day, he’s an archer, the rest of them are super soldier heroes, and he just doesn’t stand out. Readers, feel free to fight me on this one, but hey – I just find him unremarkable.
NICK FURY // ODYSSEUS
Nick Fury is Odysseus. You can take that however you want to. Fury’s often quoted line: “I recognize the council has made a decision, but given that it’s a stupid-ass decision, I’ve elected to ignore it” is right out of Odysseus’ playbook. He’s smart, he’s tricksy, and he’s not afraid to sidestep the normal rules in order to succeed. Technically? He’s brilliant. An amazing strategist who comes up with all the out of the box ideas like to cover Coulson’s Avengers cards in his blood for a lil kick, or to hide the Greek soldiers inside a massive horse. You know, quirky ideas like that. Fury/Odysseus have their own thing going, when everything goes to shit, you best believe they have a way to get themselves out of it. Honestly, I don’t 100% trust him, but I know he’s (probably) on our side, and there’s pretty much no one you would want on your team more than him.
MARIA HILL // NESTOR
Maria is tired of your shit. She’s too smart for this. She’s been in so many fights, and has way too much experience to be stuck here being a glorified babysitter for a bunch of idiot heroes who keep fighting among themselves. Honestly why isn’t she just in control?? No one knows – well, except for Nestor. Because that’s exactly what he goes through. A really wise king who consistently is smarter/better than everyone around him, but has to listen to a bunch of dumb-dumbs who know way less than he does fight about how to get things done. Honestly if the Avengers had put Maria in charge from the start then Th*nos wouldn’t have killed who he did and the whole world would be a better place. I said it. Plus Nestor could’ve ended the Trojan War in 10 days, not 10 years. Diplomacy, brains, and experience, these two have it all, plus a ridiculous amount of patience which comes from having to cope with Achilles/Iron Man and all the crazy situations he causes. “Why are they all so dumb???” is their catchphrase.
AGENT COULSON // AENEAS
If anyone here knew about the Aeneid before reading the Iliad then you might get where I’m going with this one. Coulson and Aeneas are both guys that you kind of expect to play a bigger part than they actually do. I mean yeah Coulson has some pretty cool lines, and gets to use that big special gun, but he’s killed off pretty quick within the film franchise, despite having shown up in a lot of the earlier films. Greg’s a cool guy, and I’m just gonna say it – he deserved a bigger part. I want to know how that date of his went. Same with Aeneas, despite his upcoming titular role in the Aeneid, he’s pretty much a sideshow character in the Iliad, who doesn’t really stand out. Just two cool guys, who eventually got their own spin offs. You know what, they might be vaguely mediocre in the big scheme of things, but they seem alright, and that worked out okay for them.
LOKI // AGAMEMNON
Look before you get mad at me, we’re not talking about Ragnarok Loki here okay? We’re talking about greasy haired murdering, admittedly cool but still definitely a dick, major shit Avengers 1 Loki. He calls Black Widow a mewling quim!!! That’s old style English for a word even I’m not gonna say here! Remember when he’s trying to get everyone to kneel in front of him, and that old dude is like “woah Hitler throwback” and Loki’s like “nice, perfect time for my first public execution”?? Yep that’s got Agamemnon written ALL OVER IT.
Agamemnon thinks that because he and his brother are kings, they automatically deserve to get things, and by things, a lot of the time I mean people. Literally the entire Iliad pretty much revolves around Agamemnon refusing to believe that you actually shouldn’t own people – his narrative basically jumps from refusing to free his sex slave, to stealing someone else’s when he is forced to return her to Troy. He’s a bad guy. Avengers Loki is a bad guy. He kills innocent people just because he believes that he has the right to own planet Earth, and all of its people. Wake up call Loki and Agamemnon – people aren’t objects, and you don’t get to own them. Grow up and wash your hair.
And that’s where I'm gonna finish for today!! My take on who the Avengers would be in the world of the Iliad, or how Homer would cast our heroes. Honestly I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this – do you agree with my pairings? How would you change them? Let’s go wild with this.
As always, let me know if you have any burning questions you want answered or topics you’d love to read about, and I’ll get right on them!!!
Don’t forget to stay hydrated and stay political, and I’ll see u soon xox
P.S. @Marvel if you’re reading this, let’s work together on an ancient project okay?? I have a LOT of thoughts.