Hero Swap: Captain America and Achilles

The Rules: Everything has rules, and our recurring Hero Swap articles are no different.

1. The Rule of One. Only one character can be swapped out per movie.
2. Main Street Rules. The main character is the one to be swapped out.
3. The Main Character from One Thing Can’t be Added as a Supporting Character in the Other.
4. All of These Rules Will Be Broken Eventually.

 
Here we are again, swapping two of the most well known fictional characters of all time. Achilles is the nearly invulnerable Ancient Greek hero, with a very vulnerable heal, while Captain America is the golden boy of Marvel, and an All-American Hero. (He is not in HYDRA no matter what the current line of comics are pretending). So, what happens when these two legends switch places? Get ready to find out.
 
Which Versions are Being Swapped?
Achilles from the movie Troy is being swapped out with Captain America from Captain America:The First Avenger. What’s great about this is that Brad Pitt will be in a Captain America movie (in a roundabout way) which is something that I wrote about here.
 
Which Character Fares Better? 
Now, things begin to get a lot more interesting. Captain America and the Troy version of Achilles are vastly different characters. Cap is motivated by his love of country, his desire to do what is right, and to protect his friends and loved ones. All very noble and worthy endeavors. Achilles on the other hand, is motivated simply by his desire to be remembered, and to have his legend endure forever. He participates in the Trojan War only because his mother tells him that it will be the greatest war ever fought, and that his name will never be forgotten. So, having them switch roles changes both movies a lot, and makes it difficult to assess which character would fare better.
I think that both characters would be able to accomplish what the other does. Captain America is obviously superhumanly strong, and fast, two traits ideal for the hand to hand combat he would have to endure in Troy. The only real question is whether Cap would even agree to participate in the Trojan War (or the battle in the beginning of the movie) at all? Since I’ll address this in the next section, I’ll skip this for now, and assume that Cap would be able to complete all of the tasks that Achilles does throughout the film. Now, would Cap be defeated by Paris, as Achilles is, during the sack of Troy? I want to say no, simply because he doesn’t have the weak heel as Achilles does, and he shows the ability to shrug off gun shots throughout the MCU (I know this is cheating somewhat, but come on check rule number 4). Cap would also be able to inspire the Greeks, and especially his own troops, as well as, if not better than, Achilles. Cap is shown as a natural leader, and his charm and charisma would certainly be just as effective among soldiers of a different time.
Now, would Achilles be able to accomplish what Cap does? This is tricky because obviously Achilles doesn’t need the super human serum (a fact that will also be addressed in a later section) but, how close is he to matching Cap in terms of super human ability?
I think the above video makes it pretty clear that he is nearly on the same level, especially since earlier in the film he literally throws a spear through a mans face, and later defeats the Trojan hero Hector, who is pretty awesome in his own right. (One website estimated that the spear throw above travelled at 630 miles per hour). Plus, and this is again cheating, the writing of Statius say that Achilles is invulnerable besides his ankle, so I’m choosing to interpret that as a sign that he could survive the stay in the ice that Cap did. I also believe that like Cap, Achilles would fare about as well in terms of motivating the men under his command.
In this instance, it appears that both characters fare equally well. Both heroes even have lifelong companions (Bucky and Patroclus) that the internet desperately want them to be in love with. (Achilles may actually have been lovers with Patroclus, but in Troy, they’re cousins).
 
Which Movie is Changed More?
I feel like it’s important to address the issue of weaponry right off the bat. Captain America is obviously well known for wielding his mighty shield, but transporting it along with him into the events of the movie Troy would be far too great an advantage for him. I’m 86.9% sure that he’d be able to breach the “impenetrable” walls of Troy just by throwing it through the gates. Plus, Achilles needs something, and swords and his bronze/leather shield isn’t going to cut it agains the tesseract weaponry of HYDRA. So in that respect both movies remain the same.
In terms of plot, I’d have to say that Troy is changed significantly more than Captain America:The First Avenger. The main reason is that I really don’t think that Cap would participate in the Trojan War, and would probably do his best to prevent it from happening at all. Achilles only went to be remembered, and the only reason that Captain America would go would be to spare the lives of more people. Now, that may seem like a pretty compelling reason to go, especially given his desire to do so in his own movie, but what’s more important to Cap is doing what is right, and I don’t believe that he would think that going to war over a man’s wife being stolen (or to add Troy to your own kingdom) were very worthy reasons. Furthermore, one of my favorite scenes in Troy is when the armies of Mycenae led by Agamemnon are gather to fight Thessaly, a battle which is only prevented by Achilles defeating the Thessalian hero in single combat. Agamemnon calls for Achilles in the scene below (at 37 seconds).
                                    
Now imagine for a second that you are a Greek soldier witnessing this, imagine how hyped up just hearing the name would get you. Imagine the jubilance you felt as you knew he risked his life to save yours. Imagine hearing your king shout for him. Now imagine that instead of hearing him call for Achilles, he shouted for Steve at the top of his lungs. FOH if you think I’m getting pumped to go to war with a dude named Steve. Steve’s doing my taxes? Pumped. Organizing my library? Super Pumped. Recommending me a nice place to have brunch? Best eggs I’ve ever had. Lead me into battle? Sorry dude, I got a midterm to study for.
Meanwhile, Captain America: The First Avenger isn’t changed nearly as much. While Achilles wouldn’t need the super human enhancement, he would still be drawn to the war, and would still venture (alone if necessary) to rescue Bucky from the clutches of Hydra. Achilles would do whatever it took to be remembered forever, and if sacrificing himself and being frozen in ice was the only way to do it, be damned sure he would.
Which Movie is Better After the Swap?
Captain America: The First Avenger is obviously better after the swap. Troy would probably become a political drama about the power of one legend to make a difference in overthrowing a tyrannical king, with deigns on an empire, while Captain America: The First Avenger is an awesome action movie filled with drama and intrigue. I get that some people may want to see the political drama over the action blockbuster, but for my money, I’m watching the blockbuster.
And that’s a wrap on this edition of Hero Swap, feel free to comment below or on Facebook about any of the categories, and who should be swapped next.
 

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