I really am just gob smacked in love with THE AVENGERS. This isn’t really the Kirby & Lee AVENGERS, it’s far more aggressive, far more modern. And at no point does The Hulk don clown makeup and starts juggling circus animals. But that’s alright, I was never particularly in love with that panel, though… I’d kinda kill to see it brought to life.
I pulled down my AVENGERS 1, took it out of the frame and reread it before heading to see AVENGERS last week. Not that I was looking to compare the two. Frankly, it was to bond with the history of the Avengers before seeing their cinematic debut.
There was a point in time when Marvel absolutely did not have their shit together, but it is clear that that time is something in the past. They’re hiring a man like Joss Whedon – a hardcore mega geek that beyond being a page-turning fanboy… he knows what he’s always wanted to see these characters do. Whedon understands archetypes and he knows how to make them cooler than that.
There’s a lot of chatter about how it is a miracle that Joss was able to juggle all these characters and to give each and every one of them time to shine and be awesome – but frankly, that’s not a miracle. That’s an issue of THE AVENGERS. That’s what the comic has always been about. Juggling the characters and their abilities. Throwing new things at them. Making them fight, bad guys & each other. I honestly don’t feel this is rocket science – just pay attention to the best comics and let these characters shine.
Whedon gets that. There’s a spectacle to just having these characters on screen together. It is primal. It speaks to the nature of geeks. AVENGERS was Stan Lee’s reaction to Julius Schwartz’s JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, but now… in terms of cinematic history, if DC ever gets off their ass and delivers an amazing JLA flick… Hack critics will probably reverse the influence and in terms of cinema, they’d be right.
My fellow comic geek film lovers… this is a sweet time to be a fan of this stuff. Right now – our wet dream is going to splash over the world and get folks roaring their approval. This is popcorn happy film going spectacle. This is an audience pleasing comic book epic the likes of which we haven’t seen before.
Watching the latest DARK KNIGHT RISES trailer after having seen THE AVENGERS… it makes DARK KNIGHT RISES almost seem like a serious parody of the superhero film’s potential. Angsty, over-wrought and a profound lack of color. You couldn’t have two more different Comic Book franchises than Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and this Joss Whedon explosion of pure comic joy!
I’m wildly curious to see how AVENGERS performs – Personally, the Marvel nerd in me wants this fucker over $1.5 Billion theatrical worldwide. I want an AVENGERS movie every 2 years at least. And I want MARVEL to not be cheap from here on out, but pay the talent that has brought them this far and leave the property in their hands until they wish to leave it, not for financial reasons.
I’d also love for Disney/Marvel to do the right thing and in a very public and financial manner to honor not just the work of JACK KIRBY and his contribution to the MARVEL Universe – but also UB IWERKS and his contribution to the world that Walt Disney made his. At the same time, I realize that corporations rarely ever do the right things, especially if they like to present the image of being family & community friendly.
AVENGERS should become the first complete MARVEL UNIVERSE film – from here – in all their films – they should allow themselves to more fully embrace the Universe that they have. This film – as fucking jaw droppingly awesome that it is – is just the tiniest fraction of the awesome that could come, if they keep their shit together.
Remember – traditionally – when any Superhero franchise hits a high water mark like this – the idiots in charge pull hard on the reins – and do stupid shit, like no longer working with Richard Donner or Tim Burton or Bryan Singer… and they bring in folks like Joel Schumacher or Brett Ratner.
At this point – Disney & Marvel should begin building to an all brand mega film that would cross studios – involve SPIDER-MAN, X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, AVENGERS, DOCTOR STRANGE, NEW MUTANTS, INHUMANS, etc… Marvel’s Universe is so rich, but the more interaction they build in, the more audiences will fall in love with the whole of the brand. Get these characters in some of those other films. Seed the future and do it with not just post-film cameos, but meaningful parts of the movies.
THE AVENGERS creates an instant hunger for them to just start doing everything right. Other studios should be banging on Marvel’s door with their characters and working to let Marvel has as much control as necessary, because they would see their profits soar.
I know – I know – where’s the review. It is hard after a single viewing where my primary sensation was FUCKING A! Watching the HULK be a hero was revelatory. Loki & Black Widow – love the scene. Stark & Banner? Killed me. Flying Monkeys & Captain America? GENIUS! I absolutely love Coulson geeking out on Cap! I could have gone with Nick Fury being a bit more of a badass – and to have the right gun… the one that Steranko designed. I love that Tony Stark is kicking so much ass in this film, because he wants to get laid. I love this film.
As big as the battle gets – I still longed for an even larger escalation. I can’t lie. This film feels to me like an opening skirmish. And it is. We get tremendous problems – but it is fairly localized. I can not even express the love I feel when Captain America starts taking over. It’s just… it is that moment that I never got with Cyclops & the X-Men. Throughout it all though, it’s the HULK that leaves the audience shivering in their seats hungry for more.
Watching the HULK in this movie – tells me beyond any doubt that MARVEL needs to begin to build towards the intelligent heroic HULK – and then place him in his own AVATAR-esque $250 million dollar Science Fiction/Gladiator flick – because we would lose our collective minds for that shit. Scared of the cost? Split it with FOX and have them toss in The Silver Surfer. C’mon… we all want it. It’d melt our brains. And all we could do is purchase tickets to the movie repeatedly and live in the lines waiting to see it again.
My only real disappointment with the film falls to Loki’s kemosabes. They’re just not the coolest badasses in the MARVEL UNIVERSE. Now – the post credit character is – and had he been involved THROUGHOUT – well I wouldn’t be ever so slightly disappointed. Someone on Twitter asked me to rate the film on a 10 point scale. To me, it’s about 9.975. They nailed their heroes perfect. I would love for Loki to be a bit more magical and not basically be an illusionist. BUT THESE ARE PETTY FANBOY NITPICKS.
Yes, I would’ve killed for Spider-Man to join the fight on the street. And had Luke Cage shown up to lend a hand – you see… this is what this film has left me to do – fanboy masturbate about all the additional fucking awesome things that could have been possible. Because the film doesn’t give you any real room to bitch beyond, “You know what would’ve been even more badass?” and that’s something that all geeks will be doing with their friends afterwards. But overall, that’s something that won’t hit most of us till at least a week after the film has been seen… thus me.
This is one of the most singularly satisfying geek films I’ve seen as a geek writing online. When you’re sitting there watching this movie – it’s goosebumps. Goosebumps because HOLY SHIT – THE AVENGERS.
I just want more. Like every year. And they all have to be much better than this – and I know – this is fucking great – but I guarantee if Joss could do ANYTHING HE WANTED – it would get fucking epic. This is a franchise that can go off Earth. That can fight for the Universe’s sake. This could all grow into something so epic that we could laugh at those days when AVATAR owned all. The only limits on the success of this franchise will be the shackles that the studio will put on it. This is one helluva beginning – let’s pray we see it continue for a quarter century or more.