Ladies and gentlemen… boys and girls… I present to you: the summer blockbuster of 2012.
Marvel superheroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Thor join forces as the Avengers, under the direction of Joss Whedon of Buffy and Firefly fame. The team's individual films have, on the whole, been good to great, so even I, only an occasional fan of Marvel Comics, find myself with high hopes and expectations for this collaboration.
This raises the question: Why can't DC Comics do this with their stable of legendary heroes? Their Batman franchise is going gangbusters, but they've so far failed to gain traction with Superman (though a reboot is coming in 2013) or Green Lantern. The IMDb lists a Wonder Woman TV show coming later this year, with a movie in 2015. By contrast, Marvel assembled their team in just four years.
We'll likely not have an answer until well after The Avengers' May 4, 2012, debut.
UPDATE: Do not be fooled by cheap imitations!
2 thoughts on “Avengers Assemble”
I've also enjoyed the recent Marvel movies leading into The Avengers. I hope the superhero team-up will feature more than the explosions and typical Whedon snarky dialogue in the preview.
Warner Bros./DC came close to going ahead with a live-action Justice League: Mortal, but it was derailed by cost, production challenges, and Chris Nolan's insistence that his popular version of Batman not be used.
Assuming that Disney/Marvel's Avengers is successful, I wouldn't be surprised if WB/DC returned to the Justice League, but DC Comics is in the midst of a periodic continuity housecleaning, and WB has to wait for Nolan's profitable Batman trilogy to wind down. Let's hope that Zach Snyder's Superman reboot is more successful than Bryan Singer's and that Wonder Woman recovers from the abortive TV adaptation.
I've waited decades for these iconic characters to be done justice, and I'm OK with waiting a little longer as long as the finished films are good.
Follow-up conversation, reposted here:
>Thanks — just watched — I'm in between meetings, and remembered I have ear buds :-) I still haven't seen Captain America (or Green Lantern), but I've still been looking forward to it — plus it's Whedon! Curious to see how he deals with it. I still want more Firefly though :-) -Dave I.S.
>I did. It looks awesome, although it barely gives any idea what it is about. That I think is actually a good thing in this case. We know who the Avengers are; we don't need the plot spoiled for us. -Paul J.
>>Dave and Paul, I'm also looking forward to next year's Avengers. We'll see whether director Joss Whedon is able to split the difference between the team's classic origin involving Loki and the modern and grittier Ultimates takes on the characters (the official synopsis implies extraterrestrials).
We already know that Robert Downey Jr. has bounced back as one of the strongest actors of his generation, so I'll be curious to see how the large ensemble plays off of Tony Stark's personality. As entertaining as Mystery Men or Watchmen were, we have yet to see a straight-up superhero team in live action that wasn't an ironic parody or metafictional critique.
Dave, you should definitely rent Captain America when it comes out. As for Firefly/Serenity, at least there's the comic book continuation! Excelsior! -Gene
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