However, Tate and I had both made quite a bit of headway on our Avengers discussions back when we first started working on our dream team ideas, so rather than leaving our reader(s?) hanging, I figured we'd save the alternates for later, and dive right into our ideas for the best line-up of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Cap is the leader of the Avengers. That’s not a fact, it is an ontological statement describing who he IS. Nobody is more qualified to lead the Avengers based on combat experience, tactical and strategic know-how or ability to inspire. When Cap says that you’ve got to get it done, nobody asks how, they just follow him to the job. On top of this, he’s an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, a gymnast and carries an indestructible shield that keeps him alive and in the thick giving orders where lesser mortals might be turned into red, white and blue paste.
Blah blah blah contrarian blah blah can't really argue blah blah blah and now my pick.
Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau)
I could mention her wide range of powers, or her many years on the team, or her stints as leader, but my choice of Captain Marvel (can't bring myself to call her Photon, let alone Pulsar) can be traced back to possibly my favorite moment of Kurt Busiek's run on The Avengers: the scene when Captain America and Hawkeye try to snap their ensorceled teammates out of Morgan le Fey's spell by appealing to their inner pride in being Avengers. A depressingly small number of them responded to the call, but Monica was chief among them. That's one of the things I looked for when picking my team: someone whose identity is tied so tightly with the team. Maybe it's the whole "living together in a mansion" thing, but to me, the Avengers were always closer to being a family than the Justice League, and it's that close-knit behavior which I most associate with them. Of course, that's not the only criteria, otherwise Captain America and Hawkeye both would have made the cut. I also tend to have empathy for those characters who have no outlet other than the team book: Cap and Hawkeye have ranged far and wide, but outside of Avengers, Monica has been sorely lacking in exposure for far too long, although Nextwave (which I have yet to read) might remedy that.
I own that issue of Avengers, awesome stuff. I can see why you'd use that as a criteria. With the JLA, theyr'e pretty much solo acts that come together for the biggest problems, but the Avengers are family and you want someone who is really committed to the fam if you're going to do a season of Real Word New York of the Marvel Universe. Which is essentially what the Avengers are. Several heroes, picked to live in a mansion, given a goofy job and then watched to see what happens when they stop being polite and start getting real.
I'd be curious to know now if Nextwave has sated your craving for Monica. I find the book hilarious, but I also have no emotional attachment to previous incarnations of the characters (those that existed before).
Bottom line, I can't really argue against this choice because she's acquitted herself as an Avenger well in the past but, once again, I find myself making some picks based on the awe they inspire. And Captain Marvel does not inspire my awe.