We Live In An “Avengers” World

the-avengers-marvel-movie-image-412-11The other night I watched ABC’s Marvel: Assembling A Universe special, and was taken aback at how far we’ve come since that fateful day on May 2nd, 2008 when Iron Man first hit theaters. Back then, The Avengers was nothing more than a rumor, a pipe dream that we comic book nerds wished would happen, but tempered our expectations because it would probably never happen, and most undoubtedly suck.

My, what a difference a few years can make.The Avengers was not only a massive success financially and critically, but with comic book fans as well. Sure, there may be some things that we nitpick in the film, but by and large, that film stands by many as the greatest comic book movie of all time, simply because it achieved the impossible. Think about it, the only real trouble they encountered was that they had to recast Bruce Banner. That’s nothing considering what could’ve happened: What if Robert Downey Jr. suddenly decided that he didn’t care about playing Tony Stark anymore? Or if the chemistry between Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America wasn’t there? OR if Joss Whedon collapsed from the pressure of making the movie?

I could go on. But Marvel Studios did the impossible, and in the process, made the whole world realize why these characters resonate so much with us.

I guess my real point for bringing this all up is that we’ve all tended to start to needlessly nit pick our superhero films. Yes, we may all bitch and complain about “The Mandarin” in Iron Man 3, and yes, that plot twist did seem more like Marvel thought it was a great idea and believed that everyone would love it, and it blew up in their faces when a good chunk of the Marvel die hards lost their minds over it.  But we have an Avengers movie. We have a critically acclaimed trilogy of Batman films. We’re getting at least three superhero films a year!

And none of this existed 15 years ago.

The youth of today have no idea what it was like growing up in the 80’s or 90’s, when comic book movies were few and far between, and more often extremely bad. Characters that we never in a million years thought we’d see on screen are not only showing up, but in awesome ways as well. Technology has finally caught up with the wonders we’ve seen in the pages for years, and fans of comics are now getting the chance to sit behind the director’s chair.

As much as I’m trying to put a positive spin on this, I know it’s not a simple as saying, “appreciate what we have now”. Hell, just look at my reaction to the Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailers. But this also serves as a good example of what we CAN do when seeing new comic book movie adaptations. As much as I dislike the design of the character and the mix up of the Goblin legacy, there is a lot of stuff that I think looks absolutely fantastic. Spider-Man’s suit looks ripped right off of the page, and the action scenes look incredible. I also think Dane DeHaan is going to be a great Harry Osborn. Yes, the nerd side of my brain still can’t let go of the fact that he looks like Labyrinth David Bowie and Billy Idol had a baby, and that he shouldn’t be the Goblin first, but I’m trying to accept it. I’m not a filmmaker, I’m not in charge of the Spider-Man film series (as much as I’d like to be), Marvel won’t get those rights back anytime soon, and this isn’t the last time we’ll see a Spider-Man film. And hell, we live in a world where an Avengers movie happened and succeeded.

Of course, one of the reasons why The Avengers worked so well is because it had Marvel Studios behind them. They called all the shots, and the changes they made made sense within the context of the Marvel cinematic universe. One of the reasons why we get frustrated with the film adaptations of Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four is because they are under the umbrella of different studios, which many times decide to change or alter the source material…just cause.  But even with these films, just remind yourself of Earth’s Mightiest heroes on the big screen.

Say this out loud the next time you see something you don’t like regarding a comic book movie: “We live in an Avengers world”.  Angry about Green Goblin in ASM2? “We live in an Avengers world”. Upset over the fact that Man of Steel 2 is trying to cram as much DC universe as it possibly can into one 2-hour movie? “We live in an Avengers world”.  Bryan Singer messing up X-Men movie continuity? “We live in an Avengers world”.  The cast of Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four is toddlers? “We live in an Avengers world”.

Sure, it might not work for all of us, but it’s something. And like hair metal gods Cinderella once said, “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone”.  So let’s try and appreciate what we have here.

Posted on March 26, 2014, in Comic Books, Movie and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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