For months, there has been a lot of speculation among comic book readers whether the Avengers movie would be satisfying. Even popular Marvel Comics writer Ed Brubaker received flack about it weeks before its release.
Our own Nerd Caliber writers debated whether the movie would be entertaining, such as Dave Palmacci’s Why The Avengers Movie Will Suck and Steven Savage’s Don’t Worry About The Avengers First Movie. After watching it this weekend, I decided to share not just what I liked and disliked about the movie but also some suggestions of what they could have changed and where new fans can go to read more great Avengers stories. I will do my best to avoid spoilers, but I make no promises.
Much credit to the financial success of the Avengers film must go to Joss Whedon, as he not only directed but co-wrote the film. It’s great that Marvel hired someone that knows how to work with a lot of cast members (Buffy/Angel), has a great handle on science fiction (Serenity) and with mysterious government agencies (Dollhouse). He can also write great dialogue and humor (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog). I can’t think of a better director than Whedon that could juggle all those factors perfectly into this movie.
I’m not a big fan of the superhero versus superhero stories, especially since Marvel has been beating that horse to death (Avengers Versus X-Men, Civil War, X-Men: Schism… serious Marvel, are your villains just not interesting to you guys anymore?). However, I was entertained throughout the movie as to how they fought each other, whether it was with words or fists, and how in the end they had to learn to work together.
Also, I think this is the best version of the Hulk I’ve seen on the silver screen.
Is it just me, or are they trying hard for superheroes to be as maskless as possible? Yes, I know everybody loves the actors, I do too, but if I pay money to see superheroes than I want to see superheroes with their masks. I mean, even the Ultimate’s version of Hawkeye has cool shades.
How I Would Make It Better
Any real fan of the classic Avengers would only be annoyed with one major thing, the lack of Henry Pym and Janet van Dyne, aka Ant-Man and The Wasp. Even though the fanboy in me is pleased that Loki was their first villain just like in the first issue of the Avengers, it just didn’t feel like an Avengers film without them. And before you say that someone with miniature powers would be useless to the team…
Heroes with miniature powers find solutions to problems that gamma-radiated or Asgardian-born fists could not solve. Now if Marvel prefers to introduce Ant-Man and the Wasp with a film of their own first, what I would have done is introduce them as part of a group of SHIELD scientists hypnotically controlled by Loki like the character Professor Erik Selvig. Sure it’s cool that they tied in Selvig from the Thor movie, but wouldn’t it be a bit cooler if the scientist was Henry Pym instead? Even if the producers felt having two characters with miniature powers was too much, Henry’s other superhero personas, such as Giant-Man, would fit in the action perfectly with the alien invasion at the end.
If You Want To See More
If any of you want to see a more thorough origin and other adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, I would definitely check out the cartoon series The Avengers: Heroes Assemble! (Marvel Super Hero Collection). The episodes where they fought Kang and Ultron are the most fun I had watching a superteam work together since the good old JLU days.
For reading, there are a lot of great sagas in the Avengers series. I would recommend ULTRON UNLIMITED, The Korvac Saga (Marvel Premiere Classic), Under Siege, and Mark Millar’s The Ultimates. I would also recommend strongly to stay away from every Avengers story written by Bendis. Yes, all of them.
…this is a great superhero film and definitely worth viewing many more times. If you are looking for something with that is more thought provoking in a superhero movie, I would wait for The Dark Knight Rises. If you are looking for something more Oscar-worthy, I would wait for the Hobbit. But if you are looking for a good story, funny dialogue, and tons of action, don’t miss this.
As great as the Avengers movie was, what would you change? Are there any other Avengers graphic novels you would suggest for us to check out?