Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? More like Earth’s Mightiest MENACES! It’s no secret that the Avengers cause a lot of collateral damage — so they have to prioritize who to save and when. Ever since Thor flew through the local Halal Guys, I’ve found myself thinking about which ones I can count on to have my back if they know I’m Muslim. Here’s my best guess, arranged in a neatly ranked list based on existing reports.
#24 — Hawkeye
Some Americans go to Asia to “find themselves.” Hawkeye went on a five-year killing spree in Japan to lose himself. This man has not examined his biases a day in his life. If he sees me getting mugged, he’s tying up both of us “just in case.”
#23 — Scarlet Witch
She will simply kill me. It has nothing to do with my race / religion though, so I’ll take my chances with her over Hawkeye.
#22 — Nebula
I am not even in Nebula’s jurisdiction, but that’s okay. She spent a brief amount of time on Earth and picked up a “Blue Lives Matter” sticker for herself. She doesn’t totally get what it means, but that’s also okay.
#21 — War Machine
Rhodey is a military man first and foremost. I hear he’s saved a Muslim or two in his time, but he’s at least indirectly responsible for what happened to my buddy Yusuf. Some people don’t get Stark Tech to help them walk, Rhodey.
#20 — Nick Fury
Also a military guy, but at least we hang out. Fury always makes the time to chat with me at parties — but we both know: If there’s a fire, he’s ditching me to save the VIP room.
#19 — Black Widow
Natasha “doesn’t see color.” She also doesn’t see “me” trapped in the aftermath of all she’s wrought.
#18 — Vision
I had high hopes for Vision, but he got really into Jordan Peterson after the Sokovia Accords went down. Who is he to decide if my life is any more valuable than a serial killer’s? Impossible to say.
#17 — Thor
Thor says if he were my god, I wouldn’t have to pray five times a day — and he would let (make) me drink, and we could keep our shoes on in the mosque. I told him that’s not how it works and he’s being weirdly bitter about it.
#16 — Wasp
I don’t know how to explain it, but Wasp fasts during Ramadan. She doesn’t know any Muslims, but she likes to feel like she’s a part of something bigger.
#15 — Winter Soldier
Bucky thinks “woke culture has gone too far,” but he doesn’t see what religion has to do with anything. Sure, he’ll save an Islam.
#14 — Rocket Raccoon
I’m not under Rocket’s protection either, but he ranks above Nebula because he’s secretly a sweetheart who fights for marginalized lives everywhere. He’ll save me but he’ll kinda be a dick about it. “Can ya hook me up with some Muzz-lam tech?” No, man.
#13 — Doctor Strange
He took the Hippocratic oath. I don’t know or care if he’s racist. He is legally obligated to save me.
#12 — Iron Man
Depending on his mood, Tony would save me either because he’s (A) repenting for a lifetime of mistakes, or (B) really into shawarma. But he’d also pat me on the back for being “one of the good ones.” Between you and me, I think he was just as liable for Yusuf as Rhodey was. But Yusuf won’t hear it. He just really wants Tony Stark to sign his Iron Man merch.
#11 — Quicksilver
Quicksilver really wants to be friends, but he’s trying too hard in my opinion. He wants to speedrun the five prayers any% and he wants me to show him the beaches in Bangladesh sometime. He keeps saving me hoping it’s Ramadan, so he can say “Oh, you are fasting? Me too, haha.”
#10 — Shuri
Shuri doesn’t get out of Wakanda much — but if she gets a ping about me drowning off the coast, she’ll be at the scene. She has notes though. “Your form could have been better,” “You were wearing that near the water?” “Ew. Who is your barber? You should wear hijab,” etc.
#9 — Captain America
Steve Rogers is an egalitarian. I’m confident he’d move heaven and earth to save me. Half my family would be starstruck, but the other half would be disappointed. My uncle thinks it sends the wrong message about interventionism and I should’ve just taken the L on this one.
#8 — Shang-Chi
Shang-Chi lives in San Francisco, so he knows a bunch of Muslims in tech. He respects that I’m trying to make it as a writer and thinks I should open a Patreon (though he didn’t explicitly say he’d subscribe). My dad’s not an international crime lord, but honestly? We vibe.
#7 — Okoye
Okoye will save me — albeit reluctantly. For the record, she has nothing against Muslims. She just can’t stand gamers.
#6 — The Hulk
I don’t put much stock in heroes who say “Of course I’d save you! I have Muslim friends!” but Bruce Banner has seven PhDs. When he says he has Muslim friends, I believe him.
#5 — Captain Marvel
Of course she’d save me! She has a Muslim friend.
#4 — Falcon
Sam Wilson will pull me out of a burning car while giving me movie recommendations. It won’t be a Kumail Nanjiani flick either; he’s seen some foreign films about Muslims that’ll change my life.
#3 — Ant-Man
Not only will Scott save me, but he’ll also be really earnest when he asks “Whoa, not even a sketch?” “So if you can’t draw Allah, how do you know what He looks like?” “Do you have to say Peace Be Upon Him every time?” Honestly, he asks a lot of questions — but I appreciate him for trying to learn.
#2 — Spider-Man
Spider-Man grew up in Queens. He saves like 20 Muslims a day and probably donates clothes for Eid. Peter Parker is an honorary Muslim, MashaAllah.
#1 — Black Panther
T’Challa isn’t Muslim but he knows more about the faith than I do. He’ll save me in pretty much every scenario. The caveat: he’ll embarrass me so badly in front of my family that I might die afterwards.
Honorable Mention — Ms. Marvel
She’s not an Avenger yet, but I have to acknowledge there’s a Muslim superhero out there before someone badgers me about it. People keep asking me if I know her and I keep having to say “We don’t all know each other!” It’s so annoying.
(I do though. We met at a wedding.)