With Avengers: Endgame out today, comic book and film fans will flock to theatres to see if there is anyone or anything that is capable of defeating the Mad Titan Thanos. Most likely, the film will conclude with a battle of epic proportions. However, what if instead of the Avengers attempting to punch or shoot Thanos, they simply challenged him to a rugby match? One 80-minute game of rugby to decide the fate of the universe. Obviously, once this match is announced pundits around the universe will chime in with their selections, but what would make the most sense? If the heroes of Marvel were to go up against the villains of Marvel in a rugby match, who cracks the starting XV? I decided to take a stab at who would be stepping on the pitch in this legendary clash.
Now first off, we need to establish some rules. In comprising these teams, I decided that any character from Marvel comics was fair game. This is not limited to the MCU. Why? Because picking from the entirety of Marvel’s catalogue was way more fun. Secondly, all powers and abilities will be considered legal in this match. Besides, I looked through the laws. Technically there is no rule that says you can’t use your adamantium claws or shoot webs or teleport so we will just assume it is all legal. Those are the only two rules. So here it is Marvel Heroes vs Villains Starting XV:
There is a lot of power in this front row. Hulk and the Thing are two of Marvel’s strongest heroes and will be a force up front. From Ben Grimm’s life before being hit by cosmic rays, he possessed plenty of athletic talent and that will be able to translate to the rugby pitch. I also really just want to hear someone yell “It’s clobberin’ time” during a rugby game. Beast is the obvious choice for hooker. His mutation will allow him to actually grab the ball with his foot and send it to the back of the scrum.
4. Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic makes the squad primarily for his proficiency in the lineout. His ability to stretch his body will be a vital asset. Beast literally just needs to put the ball in the air and Mr. Fantastic can go get it. Goliath is a massive body who can bring a lot of additional strength and power to the pack.
6. Agent Venom
8. Captain America
Captain America has everything you want out of a number 8. Size, speed, strength, never backs down and will do whatever it takes to win. Gambit might be a bit smaller but, he is a master thief. People think Richie McCaw bent some rules at the breakdown? Gambit will push the boundaries even more and nearly always come up with the ball. He can also kinetically charge any object he touches, such as the ball. This makes him a dangerous ball carrier as well. Agent Venom’s alter ego Flash Thompson has worked as a rugby coach. His actual rugby experience earns Agent Venom a spot on the Heroes roster.
10. Adam Warlock ©
Scrumhalves are traditionally the smallest guys on the pitch. They have also been known to be in the middle of some extra circulars from time to time. Wolverine fits the bill perfectly. His healing factor also allows him to play all 80 minutes without an issue. Adam Warlock is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe. Originally created by the Beehive, Warlock would soon come into possession of the Soul Gem. Warlock consistently devised the plans for defeating Thanos (the Avengers should probably use him) which makes him a huge asset in a rugby game against Thanos. In the Infinity Gauntlet he brought the team together. For that reason, Adam Warlock will also captain the Heroes.
13. The Guardian
In the centres we are going with two guys who have the best technology in their suits. IronMan and The Guardian’s technology will give them an edge in on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. IronMan’s targeting system will make his passes and offloads extremely accurate. The Guardian’s suit allows has a built-in navigation system allowing him to find plenty of holes in the defensive line. He also possesses the ability to stop the Earth’s rotation and seemingly teleport. That would be one hell of a step.
Wings & Fullback
Sentry is both one of the fastest and strongest characters in the Marvel universe. He also has an arsenal of other powers and abilities that include molecular manipulation, superhuman agility, and immortality. His lengthy list of abilities has led many to call him Marvel’s answer to Superman. So super strength, super speed, and you are compared to Superman? No, the Heroes can not have Jonah Lomu, but the Sentry is close enough. Spectrum is capable of traveling at light speed. She also possesses intangibility which allows her to pass through physical objects. For example, Spectrum can pass through a defender if they are actually able to keep up with her. Rounding out the starting XV is Spider-Man at fullback. Spider-Man is a reliable defender who will be incredibly agile as the last line of defense. His powers and the ability to spin webs give him a great set of hands under the high ball.
Notable omission: Thor
It is really tough to leave Thor out of this group. His skill set allows him to play nearly every position on the pitch. However, as the Avengers found out in their last bout with Thanos, Thor tends to arrive late. For that, he will be among the reserves.
Kingpin and the Rhino are both absolutely huge and incredibly strong which makes them great for a prop. However, The Blob takes it to another level. The Blob has a power known as “Gravitational Mass Allocation”. This allows him to render himself completely immovable as long as his feet remain in contact with the ground. Your feet will be touching the ground in a scrum so he can use it. The ability to be immovable? I can’t think of a more ideal power for a prop.
Super Skrull is a Skrull that possesses the ability to use all of the Fantastic Four’s powers. Super Skrull can be incredibly strong like the Thing, ignite himself on fire like the Human Torch, use force fields like Invisible Woman, and stretch like Mr. Fantastic. The last two are specifically why he makes the Villains squad. Super Skrull can compete with Mr. Fantastic in the lineout and he can put up force fields around rucks to protect the ball. In the Ultimate universe, Mr. Fantastic turned evil and became Maker. Maker possesses similar powers and he is just as smart (maybe smarter). This makes him an ideal second row player for the Villains.
This is a massive back row. Venom (Eddie Brock) will get the fun task of meeting Agent Venom at a lot of breakdowns. It is always a fun time when two symbiotes go head to head. The Juggernaut will provide the Villains with a powerful ball carrier. If he can run through walls, he can run through defenses. Thanos will be able to use the Infinity Gauntlet in this matchmaking him one of the most powerful players on the field. Hopefully, he doesn’t decide to turn this into a game of sevens.
Out of all the powerful beings in this match, the 9 and 10 of the Villains might be the x-factor in this match. Taskmaster possesses one of the coolest powers ever used in comic books; photographic reflexes. This ability allows Taskmaster to learn anything by simply watching it once. He learned to fight by watching Bruce Lee. Then fast-forwarded the tape so he could be faster than Bruce Lee. So Villains, before this game you sit Taskmaster down and feed him tape of Gareth Edwards, Joost van der Westhuizen, and Faf de Klerk and you got an elite scrumhalf. He is also a master tactician so you know all of Taskmaster’s decisions will be good ones. Bullseye never misses. Can you imagine a flyhalf who never misses a pass and never misses a kick? Every time the Villains are in the Heroes half it will be points. Bullseye can hit drop goals and penalties from everywhere. Every try will be converted. He can also maximize the distance on every kick to touch resulting in plenty of territory for the Villains. Taskmaster and Bullseye could be real difference makers in this game.
12. Doctor Doom ©
Every centre needs a little bit of magic. Doctor Doom is proficient in various type of magic that he can use to trick defenders and Loki is the god of mischief. Once the ball reaches the centres, defenses will have a difficult time finding the ball or tracking down the ball carrier. Doctor Doom also has super genius level of intelligence and literally believes that he is better than god (the dude killed the Beyonder so it is fair for him to believe that in my opinion). For these reason’s Doctor Doom is that captain too.
Wings & Fullback
11. The Void
15. Dark Phoenix
How can you possibly stop Sentry? You have the evil version of him on your own wing. Azazel is not as fast as some of the wingers on the Heroes, but he does have the ability to teleport. That should lead to some highlight reel finishes in the corner. The Phoenix Force is one of the most powerful beings in the universe. When it manifests itself into Jean Grey it becomes even more powerful. Honestly, who wouldn’t want her on this team?
Notable Omission: Magneto
I thought about putting Magneto in because he could bend the goal posts if your kick was a little off. Then I remembered that the kicker is Bullseye so it’s irrelevant.
So, there you have it. If the Marvel Heroes and Villains decided to square off in a rugby game this is how I see them lining up. Who do you think wins? What changes would you make? Follow @Bressette4 on twitter and let me know