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Matching Michigan football members with their Marvel counterparts

Come for the comparisons, stay for the epic Photoshop work.

The first week of Michigan’s football season is still months away, but this weekend is about as exciting as a Wolverine-less one can be. On Thursday, “Avengers: Endgame” releases, putting the finishing touches on Marvel’s 10+ year, 20+ movie Infinity Saga. On Sunday, Jon Snow and the armies of the living will face off against the dead at the Battle of Winterfell. It’s 2019, geekdom and fandom go hand in hand.

I couldn’t help but resist the clickiest temptations of the Avengers’ release. Thus, I decided to do this. We’re going to recast Avengers: Endgame (only the non-snapped folk) with some characters from Michigan’s football program. Sorry in advance. We’ll start with my inspiration for even going down this road

Josh Gattis is Captain Marvel - The only person in the world with more confidence at a podium than Gattis is Brie Larson, so this felt like a natural fit. The points of comparison here are plenty. First, both are young, exciting entries to the respective franchises/programs. Gattis was coaching wide receivers at Alabama while Carol Danvers spent the last Avengers movie doing space things. Going into the 2019 season, Gattis is seen as a game changer. His speed in space mantra has taken Michigan football by storm, and early video indicates a completely different Wolverines offense. Both Michigan and Marvel fans alike cannot wait to see how these characters fit into the story. Game changers, let’s hope?

Tru Wilson is Ant-Man - Honestly, when I first came up with this, the joke was simply “they’re both big and hit a lot harder than you’d expect”. In the days since, I’ve added on another line of thinking. Wilson and Ant-Man are inclined to larger roles in the future. It’s long been rumored that Endgame will include some sort of time travel, possibly including the Quantum Realm, a plot point introduced in the Ant-Man movies. Wilson, after the departure or suspension or ejection of nearly every Michigan running back from last year, could be the team’s #1 at the start of the year. How’s that for glowing up?

Lavert Hill is Nebula - This is the one I’m saddest we didn’t get a chance to create an image for. Don’t worry, greatness awaits, but this is a rather straight forward comparison. Both Hill and Nebula have spent their “lives” being overshadowed by other “siblings”. In Nebula’s case, Gamora was always the favorite daughter of Thanos while Hill hasn’t gotten the same respect that Jourdan Lewis and David Long got. With Lewis/Long gone and Gamora... also gone... Hill and Nebula prepare for their moment in the spotlight.

Shea Patterson is Captain America - He really just kind of looks like he could pull it off. Anyway, Captain America is the Avengers’ quarterback while Patterson is Michigan’s. Both guys have taken up leadership mantels despite massive changes of scenery. Cap left the 1940s and woke up in the 2010s while Shea jumped from Oxford to Ann Arbor. Politically and socially, those two experiences are probably similar. Despite not being the most flashy or physically imposing Avenger, it’s Cap’s leadership and poise that make him such a valuable asset to the team. Harbaugh and company will need those things in spades from Patterson going forward.

Michael Onwenu is The Hulk - I originally had a very terrible Photoshop job of Big Mike’s smile plastered on the Hulk’s raging body, but we place a high value on production here at Anyhoo, both Mike and The Hulk represent their respective team’s muscle. Onwenu is going to be the anchor of a Michigan offensive line that has relatively high expectations in their second season under Ed Warinner. If Big Mike can #SmashLikeBanner, Michigan’s offense could hum.

Donovan Peoples-Jones is Thor - Hand up, a large part of this is because DPJ has become probably my favorite player to watch on the team, and Ragnarok is my favorite MCU movie. Additionally, both are the roughly the same size and can bring the thunder. In the same way that Thor’s arrival to Wakanda turned the tide there, DPJ’s penchant for explosive plays and punt return touchdowns can flip any Michigan game at any moment.

Ben Mason is Black Widow - First, SEX APPEAL. Second, they both change their hair all the time. Third, while neither is the most physically gifted member of the team, they just may be the grittiest. Similar to how it feels like Black Widow has been around forever, flipping between different MCU franchises, Mason is going on his 100th year at UM and has played for both the offense and the defense. Who looks better in spandex and leather? Hard to say.

Don Brown is Rocket Raccoon - Rocket is one of the scrappiest and sharp-tongued characters in the MCU. He also loves hyper-aggressive battle tactics and explosions. You know who else is scrappy, sharp-tongued, hyper-aggressive, and loves big plays? Don Brown, that’s who. (Thank you Mak for making my new phone wallpaper). Rocket lost many of those closest to him in Thanos’ snap, and Brown enters 2019 having to deal with the departures of Chase Winovich, Devin Bush, David Long, and Rashan Gary. While Sweet Rabbit tries to avenge the Guardians of the Galaxy, Brown pushes on without his Guardians of the... Endzone.

Brutus Buckeye is Thanos - Mak and I are probably going to regret giving those folks down south such a wonderfully meme-able Photoshop, but here you go. Every time Brutus snaps his fingers (plays football against Michigan), half of the Wolverine faithful #LiterallyDie (on Twitter). He’s the big bad villain. Nothing matters besides beating him. The Avengers, like Michigan, have defeated minor villains and little brothers, but the Buckeyes have managed to own Harbaugh and this rivalry. Will things change? We’re in the End Game now.

Jim Harbaugh is Iron Man - The Wolverines journey here began when they fired Jabba the Hoke and replaced him with Harbaugh, similar to how the MCU got started in 2008 with the release of the first Iron-Man movie. At this point, Michigan football begins and ends with Jim. He’s the main character, just like Tony Stark. Throw in some parallels between Harbaugh’s step back and Iron Man playing a smaller role in the MCU outside of the team-up movies, and there you go.

2019 is going to be a huge year for both the MCU and Michigan Football. Hopefully by year’s end, we’re living in a Thanos-less universe with a defeated Brutus as well. We can hope.