When I was a kid, nothing entertained me more than anything that had to do with science-fiction and comic book characters. It was difficult though, liking those things because there were far less movies and TV shows with those themes than there are today. With comic book characters especially, it just wasn’t an accepted part of mainstream entertainment. When I was kid, Superman was the only superhero franchise that Hollywood had enough faith to make. I know the Man of Steel is an iconic character but I personally thought he was really boring as far as superheroes go. I longed for the day that every superhero could get their own movie. I would have to wait several long years before anything like happened. In fact, I’d have to wait until I was well into my 20s before the “golden age” of superhero movies were upon us.
I had to wait that long because all the other geeks who thought like me had to grow up as well. As kids, we had no power. There was no way to tell Hollywood we wanted to superhero movies and even if we could, kids don’t have a lot of spending power. Once we got older though, we were no longer just kids who liked superheroes, we were adults who had money who were willing to spend that money on superheroes. We also started having kids who learned to like superheroes as well. Thus began the era where superhero movies were popular and profitable.
As a kid, my ultimate entertainment dream was to see a movie that featured a whole team of superheroes. They would all have their separate movies and then come together in one spectacular team-up movie. Characters could also appear in each others movies in one single unified fictional universe. At the time, this was crazy to want because they weren’t even making any superhero movies outside of Superman.
Now you might be thinking, this already came to pass with all the X-Men movies. While technically they are a mutant team of superheroes that appeared together in a single film, none of the characters had individual solo movies made first. All the characters were crammed into a single film that really did not allow for extensive character development (except for Wolverine because he was special).
The Avengers is the movie that fulfills the dream I had long ago. All the main characters appeared in previous movies and have their own legitimate movie franchises. They didn’t even have to waste a single minute in bringing the audience up to speed on any of the characters. Marvel has spent the last three years building up to this movie. No one goes into The Avengers and has to ask where that Stark guy got his suit. No one wonders why that guy’s hammer is so powerful. No one questions why that round shield can deflect anything. In most cases, each character had a two hour long character development piece done for them before The Avengers even started. It is the true film that I had been waiting for since I was a child.
If I could be honest though, I always thought that if my dream would come true, it wouldn’t have been The Avengers who did it first. As a kid, I preferred The Justice League over The Avengers. They had more famous members and they had Batman… Batman! Though it’s easy now to see why The Avengers made it out first. While Marvel has been almost flawless in bringing its intellectual properties to the big screen, DC Comics appear to be stumbling like a drunk in an alleyway with no pants on. It’s really stunning how good one company is and how terrible the other is. With the exception of Batman, DC Comics just don’t know how to make a superhero movie (and they best be kissing Chris Nolan’s ass for decades). Keep in mind they have Superman and Wonder Woman in their stable, yet all we get is the weak-ass Green Lantern. A Justice League movie would be a license to print money but they can’t even get that going.
Ok, geek rank over!