Todd Kenreck: What class would Marvel characters have in D&D? I talked to Jim Zub, the writer for The Avengers, and the D&D comics, about just that.
Jim Zub: I mean, Thor is obviously barbarian, right? If you're talking about Avengers as D&D characters, Scarlet Witch is more of a sorceress, because it's instinctive magic. Like, she is less trained in the mystic arts than someone like Brother Voodoo. Brother Voodoo is someone who has learned more formal magics, but he's also kind of calling upon spirits and other beings for power. So maybe he's more of a warlock, now that I think about it. Captain America's your paladin, of course. One of the things I like about him, though, is that he's so inspiring. He's one of the hardest characters to write, because you don't want to dip into corniness. You want it to always sound rich and true. That he's a genuinely leader character. He's a charismatic, capable, orator, and someone who brings inspiration to others. He's, like, the purest, best kind of paladin. Rather than being that, I think the cliché, of the stuck up knight who can't get out of his own alignment. I think Cap's just the best of us. So writing that sometimes can be a little weird, because you're like, I need to be so idealistic, but not so lofty that it feels unrealistic, if that makes sense.
I mean, Hawkeye's a rogue, right? Even more than a ranger, I think he's more of a rogue. So is Black Widow, now that I think about it. Yeah. I mean, Black Widow's gotta be, she's an amazing rogue, assassin, whatever you want to call it on that front. Using people, both in terms of her physical capabilities, but also her manipulative capabilities as a spy. That's some classic stuff right there. The Hulk's sort of tough, right? Yeah, he's sort of a barbarian with a curse. He's got like some, lycanthropy equivalent driving him into mad rages of barbaric rage that he cannot contain. Loki's an actual, like statistically in D&D he'd be a devil, giving you deals that you will regret at some future in time.
Even if you think you know the wording and you understand the curse that you're taking on, you don't. He's always wrapped it in four other levels of manipulation. Or that little extra tidbit that you just misinterpreted. Yeah, he's a devil with a contract. That's what makes him so ... But not just like a grotesque dripping skeleton bones, or creepy thing. He's utterly charismatic. I think the best thing about those kinds of characters is that what they have to say and what they offer you has to seem utterly reasonable. Like it is, it is the best choice in the moment. It can't just be like, here's clearly signing your soul away. Well duh, I'm not gonna do that.
It always has to be ... No, believe it or not, this is the lesser of evils. And by doing this you're saving more people, and everything's gonna be great. So you have to be pulled into it naturally, you can't just be a fool, you know? That's what's really scary about those kinds of characters. If they have that real powerful charisma and ability to corrupt, it's because they're doing it with a smile, and you're willing doing it. You're not being pulled into it. You're choosing. Yeah, it's some fun stuff. Everything gets filtered through D&D man.
Todd Kenreck: Thank you, Jim Zub, for being on D&D Beyond. We'll have a whole lot more of that interview with Jim coming up soon. I'm Todd Kenreck, thank you for watching.