Marvel Comics is doing a promotion where they have assigned a super hero to each of the fifty states. As a professional creative type writer person, and as somebody who has visited most of the states, I was fascinated by their choices. It was almost like if it isn’t in New York or LA, it might as well be on the moon.
I was a little bewildered at first, but luckily I was given access to Marvel’s internal memos detailing their creative process. Marvel’s secret internal communications are in italics.
Because I haven’t followed comics for a while, in order to understand some of this stuff I brought in special guest commentator, Correia 2.1, my teenage daughter who is a walking encyclopedia of all comic geek trivia. We went through the entire list together, and because of her unique insights I have tried to put down our conversations verbatim. Everything in Bold is an actual comment made by a 16 year old girl who is from the comic industry’s ideal target demographic.
Most of the state’s greatest avenging needs were suggested on Facebook by readers who live in those particular states, so we could get their unique resident insights.
Alabama – Avenged by Thor
Alabama is where all those racist redneck Trump voters live right? Give them Affirmative Action Thor. That’ll show them!
Wait. Thor’s a woman now?
It’s a long story, Dad. Marvel was trying to be shocking again.
Back in my day we just had Beta Ray Bill.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Thor must keep the peace between Alabama and Auburn fans.
Alaska – Avenged by Hellcat
Hey, we put a bunch of low level heroes in different lame red states during the Civil War plotline. We normally ignore those hicks, but which street wise New Yorker did we temporarily stick up in Moose Jaw?
On Jessica Jones, isn’t she a rich New York TV reporter?
Yep. That’s supposed to be Hellcat I think.
Oh, Alaskans are going to love her.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Hellcat will use her TV skills to provide voiceover work for the hit TV show Alaska Ice Road Bush Pilot Deadliest Crab Pawn Shop.
Arizona – Avenged by Nova
Arizona is one of those western states we know nothing about. It’s a desert. Use somebody with fire powers. Like Nova!
But Sir, Nova isn’t actually a fire themed character—
Shush! Are you trying to get us canned! Shut up and draw!
Isn’t Nova like an earthling drafted to be a Green Lantern style space cop, only without the magic ring?
What’s that got to do with Arizona?
Run with it, Dad. We’re only in the As.
Arkansas – Avenged by Tigra
What’s big in Arkansas?
She looks like a stripper.
Bet you Bill Clinton puts the moves on her.
I’m too young to get your old people jokes, Dad.
California – Avenged by Ironman
Sorry, sir, but Robert Downey Jr. said he’s not willing to commute. He’s staying in Malibu.
Well, that makes California easy!
I guess Ironman makes sense for California. Tony Stark has a mansion there.
Yeah, but he’s going to feel dumb when he finds out California gun laws ban everything on his suit.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Ironman will use his powers to help California’s state government install methane recording fart meters on cows.
Colorado – Avenged by Hercules
This legalized pot gives me the munchies. I sure could go for a gyro right now.
Wait… I know what to do for Colorado!
Colorado gets cold. He’s from Greece. He’ll probably want to buy a sweater.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: The Greek demigod Hercules will use his mighty strength to help recently transplanted Californians find their nearest dispensary.
Connecticut – Avenged by Black Widow
Black Widow is all about espionage, guile, stealth, cunning… What state really sums up that vibe for you guys?
Brilliant. Give that man a raise!
Delaware – Avenged by Captain America
I know he’s super popular and stuff, but America… Come on! What a tired idea that is! Stick Cap someplace super lame!
I thought Steve Rogers was from Brooklyn.
He is. This is proof Marvel works for Hydra.
They should have picked Joe Biden. He’s already like Delaware’s Batman.
Florida – Avenged by Ant Man
Florida is easy. We just use Florida Man.
I’m sorry, sir. We didn’t make him up.
Wait… Florida Man is REAL?
They should have used Swamp Thing.
They should have used Wendell the Manatee.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: I don’t know but I bet it involves cannibalism and bath salts.
Georgia – Avenged by US Agent
Let’s give those rednecks low rent Captain America. They’ll never notice the difference.
He’s the one that replaced Cap when the government got all authoritarian right?
Dad! You paid attention. I’m so proud of you!
A federal authority figure in Georgia… Yeah, Marvel sure got their finger on the pulse of American culture.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Working security at DragonCon.
Hawaii – Avenged by Havok
Hawaii! This one is easy!
Sorry, sir. Though we used him in Spiderman, we don’t actually own the rights to Barack Obama.
He’s going to get really hot wearing all black in the sun.
I think the Rock should have got Hawaii.
I don’t know if the Rock counts as a super hero.
Idaho – Avenged by She Hulk
How many friggin’ Hulks do we have anyway? Use them all!
Man, I’d love to get avenged by She Hulk.
Don’t tell your mom I said that.
States Greatest Avenging Need: She Hulk will work with the agricultural extension office to prevent the scourge of potato blight.
Illinois – Avenged by Beast
Now I know this one is legit. Hank McCoy is hard core when it comes to Chicago style deep dish pizza.
You’re making that up.
No. It was totally in the X-Men.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: realistically considering our crime rate they should have sent somebody more bulletproof.
Indiana – Avenged by Winter Soldier
Hollywood named a whole movie after him! We’ve got to stick him somewhere!
Shouldn’t Bucky be like in Alaska or something so he can fight Russians easier?
On the bright side, he’ll probably really enjoy GenCon.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Winter Soldier is going to finally live up to his name, and make sure the roads are properly plowed and salted after an overnight snowfall.
Iowa – Avenged by Hawkeye
We’ve got to use everybody in the movies! They’re the only thing keeping our lights on. The arrow dude. Stick him someplace where people use those arrow shooting things!
You mean bows, sir?
Yeah! Someplace where they shoot those skinny Bambi animals with them!
Strangely this one works.
Yeah, I can see movie Hawkeye, just kind of chilling on the porch with a beer, watching the wind rustle the corn, and then shooting at the raccoons getting in his trash.
Mom hates when you do that, you know.
Kansas – Avenged by Sentry
Kansas is easy. That’s where Superman landed. So we’ll just put Superman there.
Uh… Sir, we don’t own Superman. That’s the other guys.
Hmmm… No wonder his recent movies all suck ass. Very well. Use our version of Superman!
We will get right on it!
The Sentry is possibly one of the most powerful people in the Marvel universe.
Corn is very dangerous.
But they made him agoraphobic and afraid to leave his house.
Oh, then let’s put the guy afraid to go outside in a place that is entirely flat forever. Makes perfect sense.
Kentucky – Avenged by Cannonball
This one actually makes sense, Dad. Cannonball was a coal miner there.
I was hoping for Raylan Givens.
Okay. That would be cooler.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Cannonball can use his super powers to make sure we don’t’ run out of Mountain Dew.
Louisiana – Avenged by Spectrum
I have no idea who Spectrum is.
She’s from Louisiana.
What happened to Gambit?
I think he died.
What? I didn’t know that.
(said with a straight face) Channing Tatum killed him.
(blinks) We have raised you well.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: air conditioner repair.
Maine – Avenged by Scarlet Witch
What’s in Maine?
Lobsters and… uh… Stephen King?
Better bring out the big guns then.
So the Sentry is in Kansas and the Scarlet Witch, who can literally change the whole universe with a thought, is in Maine.
I’m not thinking the Avengers are super good at risk assessment.
Maybe they should have Tony Stark build a super computer to predict that stuff.
Oh snap. She went there.
Maryland – Avenged by Sam Wilson: Captain America
Wait. Captain America is already in Delaware.
This is Sam Wilson’s Captain America.
But Sam Wilson is Falcon.
(sighs) They made him all social justice so that people would get mad and talk about Marvel on the internet.
I’m glad the movie versions don’t suck.
Massachusetts- Avenged by Captain Marvel
Wait. We’ve got two Captain Marvels, a Ms. Marvel, and a Marvel Boy… There had better be a Marvel Dog on my desk by morning!
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Punishing people who say Worchester instead of Wooster, or Harvard instead of Hah-vad. And something called “wicked pissor”. And Townies. Whatever those are.
Michigan – Avenged by the Thing
I don’t think the Thing would hang out in Detroit. He seems more like the kind of dude who would go up to the UP and spend all his time fishing.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: I suppose the Thing could Avenge the Lions inability to make it to the Super Bowl.
Minnesota – Avenged by Quake
Minnesota has earthquakes, right?
(Marvel staff shrugs)
Shouldn’t California have gotten Quake?
Probably. But Marvel is in the entertainment business. They love California. They aren’t going to give California some lame super hero nobody has ever heard of.
Mississippi – Avenged by Rogue
This one is pretty straight forward. Rogue is popular and from there.
Yeah, but we hate southerners. Shouldn’t we screw with them somehow?
Hmmm… My dislike of everyone different than me loses to my lack of creativity today.
Missouri – Avenged by The Wizzer
Missouri? Screw those guys. Missouri can go to hell and die.
In case you were ever wondering which state Marvel Comics staff hate the most, now you know.
What did Missouri ever do to them?
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Missouri needs a low budget Flash with a stupid name for reasons.
Montana – Two Gun Kid
What’s in Montana?
I don’t know what’s in any of those fly over red states. I don’t think we’ve had anybody on staff who actually speaks hillbilly here at Marvel since we put in a Chuck Dixon proof fence.
Cowboys it is!
Two gun kid? Only having two guns in Montana puts this guy way below average.
I’m 16 and I own more than two guns. How many guns do you have, Dad?
Since this is going on the internet, I have zero guns. I lost all of them in a freak canoe accident.
Nebraska – Avenged by D-Man
Who the hell is D-Man?
I’ve got nothing.
Neither did Marvel.
Nevada – Avenged by Red Hulk
I know. Let’s put a Hulk in every state we’ve ever nuked or accidentally irradiated!
Good thing we’ve got so damned many Hulks!
Why did Hulk turn red?
He’s not Bruce Banner, Dad. Red Hulk is General Ross.
You’d think by now they’d have like a OHSA briefing about how not to get gamma irradiated.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Making damned sure what happens in Vegas REALLY stays in Vegas.
New Hampshire – Avenged by Spiderman
I know, we’ve got this New Yorker who gets around by web slinging between tall buildings. Let’s put him in New Hampshire!
How’s that supposed to work?
Trees are like buildings! Shut up and draw!
What’s in New Hampshire?
It’s a magical land with a Dunkin Doughnuts on every corner.
That sounds nice.
New Jersey – Avenged by Ms. Marvel
I figured this title would be preachy and boring because it got a Hugo nom.
Ms. Marvel is actually pretty fun.
Okay. I’ll take your word for it. I’m still bummed New Jersey didn’t get Frank Castle.
That’s because you’d put the Punisher in every state if you could.
Damned right I would.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: I’ve been to Trenton. Somebody needs to get avenged for that place, big time.
New Mexico – Avenged by Hulk
This one works. That’s where the gamma bomb tests were.
Oh, so New Mexico gets nuked and gets cool Hulk, Utah gets all the downwind cancerous fallout and we get lame rip off Hulk. Thanks a lot, Marvel.
No argument there.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: HULK SMASH! HULK DISCOVER METH!
New York – Avenged by Luke Cage
This is the toughest one of all. We’ve got like 6,000 heroes living in the New York area. It’s amazing we’ve got any crime left.
We already sent Spidey to New Hampshire. Luke Cage has the most recent Netflix show. Let’s go with him.
But what about Daredevil?
Send him to Jersey. He can commute to work.
But you can’t make a blind man ride the ferry! Twitter will get mad and say we hate the handicapped!
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Ninja turtles in the sewers
North Carolina –Avenged by Namor
We’ve still got to use Namor. Let’s stick him in Utah.
(staffer checks map) Sorry, sir. All they’ve got is a big salty lake. No ocean.
Hmmmm… What have we got left with a coast line?
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Mighty Prince Namor will patrol the inter coastal water ways, preventing over fishing… Namor will probably really be in a really pissy mood over this crap assignment. Namor does not feel that his talents are appreciated.
North Dakota – Avenged by Machine Man
Nobody likes Machine Man, but nobody lives in North Dakota, so it’s a wash.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: I sure hope Machine Man is good with tractors and oil rigs, because otherwise he is going to be super bored.
Ohio – Avenged by Black Knight
None shall pass.
Wrong Black Knight, Dad.
Tis but a flesh wound!
Come back! I’ll bite your legs off!
Oklahoma – Avenged by Thor
Shouldn’t we stick Thor in Minnesota where the Vikings are?
No. Too many earthquakes.
Wait… I thought Thor was already on this list once already.
That’s pandering Thor. This is movie Thor. Try to keep up, Dad.
Oregon – Avenged by Sunspot
Portland is awesome. Those are our people. We need to give those hipsters and goony beard men somebody awesome to show we care! Something bold! Something unique!
(15 minutes later) what the shit is this?
Who is Sunspot?
What’s wrong with his head?
Pennsylvania – Doctor Strange
Sir, the bribe money came in from Pennsylvania.
How the crap does Pennsylvania get amazing Benedict Cumberbatch and we get Amadeus friggin’ Cho?
I’m sensing some jealousy, dear.
Shut up, Dad!
Rhode Island – Iron Fist
Nothing says mystical kung-fu wanderer dragon puncher like Shangri-La.
We’re still on Rhode Island, sir.
Aw, close enough.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Ninjas. Rhode Island is lousy with ninjas.
South Carolina – Avenged by Marvel Boy
Captain Marvel’s son who he really regrets.
(squints suspiciously at daughter)
South Dakota – Avenged by Jack of Hearts
We just made this ridiculous looking one up right now. The geeks will pretend they know who he is, so regular people will never catch on.
Jack of Hearts? I loved when Bruce Campbell played him on the TV show.
That’s Jack of All Trades, Dad.
Well, who is this weirdo then?
Uh… He goes way back.
You’re the expert.
Tennessee – Avenged by Wasp
Come on guys. There’s got to be something in the south besides rednecks.
Can’t. We’re saving Swamp Butt to be the villain in a new story line revealing Captain America was really in Hydra all along.
Didn’t we just do that?
Yeah, but this time we’re going to really mean it.
Texas – Avenged by Firebird
It’s the biggest red state of all. This alien reality confuses and frightens us.
I hear it’s really hot there. Just use one of our many fire people.
Why does Texas get a space alien?
You’re thinking of Starfire. She’s DC.
No. The Marvel one hung out with Spiderman on TV when I was a kid.
No. He’s a boy. And he’s Japanese.
Frick. Whatever. Little Ms. I know all the fire people!
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Firebird punishes people who litter.
Utah- avenged by Totally Awesome Hulk
Hey… Utah’s that weird state out in the desert, right? What’s their big thing?
RUN WITH THAT!
I got excited when I saw our home state got the Hulk.
Nope. Read it again. We get the Totally Awesome Hulk. Not the Incredible Hulk.
Cheap knock off Hulk? That’s bullshit.
Don’t cuss, young lady.
He has a flowhawk. Is he supposed to be a hair dresser?
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Totally Awesome Hulk will find slow minivan drivers blocking the left lane and hurl them violently from the freeway. Okay, that would actually be Totally Awesome.
Vermont – Avenged by Irredeemable Ant-Man
This list has got two Thors, three Caps, half a dozen Hulks, and an Ant-Man of the week. Aren’t you worried fans are going to realize we’re just phoning it in?
Whenever sales drop we’ll just pull some dumb stunt, make some ridiculous change, and milk the publicity.
We’re so clever!
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Explaining basic economics to Bernie Sanders
Virginia – Avenged by Quicksilver
But isn’t Quicksilver from some made up eastern European country?
Sure, but they stuck his sister in Maine.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Sticking a speedster in Beltway traffic is just cruel.
Washington – Avenged by Jocasta
Let’s get so obscure for Washington that even the dorks won’t know who we’re talking about!
Who is Jocasta?
Hmm… I think she’s this mutant that peels her skin off and underneath she’s like Colossus.
According to the internet she’s Ultron’s girlfriend.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: She’s here because Microsoft upgraded her operating system.
West Virginia – Avenged by Valkyrie
Anybody ever been to west Virginia?
(surveys room. No hands go up)
Well, you can never go wrong with Vikings.
Wisconsin – Avenged by Quasar
We’re at the end of the alphabet. What other obscure piece of crap do we own the IP for?
Now you’re just messing with me.
No, Dad. Quasar is actually a thing.
Quasar Avenger of Wisconsin, I think I heard somebody declare that was their name once on an episode of Cops while they were getting arrested.
I didn’t say he was a good thing.
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: I have no clue who Quasar is. Is he a dairy farmer?
Wyoming – Red Wolf
For Wyoming, we’ll use Henry Standing Bear from Longmire.
Disney doesn’t own that, sir.
What?! We own everything else!
State’s Greatest Avenging Need: Crack down on illegal Utahans crossing the border to buy good fireworks.
Canada – Avenged by Deadpool
Sorry, sir, but I don’t think Canada is a US state.
Shut up! Ryan Reynolds is hot right now.
This pick is totally not fair to Alpha Flight. Vindicator even wore a friggin’ Maple Leaf.
If they’re going to start using foreign countries, they should have given Deadpool Mexico instead. He loves Chimichungas.