So, I saw The Avengers movie last Sunday at a crowded theatre in the Ottawa suburbs. Let’s face it, there isn’t much else to do in Kanata on a Sunday–or otherwise, for that matter, unless you’re a Sens fan. Now, I read a lotta Marvel comics from the 60’s and 70’s when I was a kid, which explains my interest in these recent Marvel Universe films, this one being no exception. I mean, with all those those super heroes (not to mention famous actors) in one film, it had to be good, right?
Mind you, the star-studded ensemble cast was still short a few faces from the glory years. While Maclean’s mourned the missing Ant-Man(/Giant-Man) and The Wasp, I can appreciate that their inclusion would have increased the movie’s already considerable special-effects budget. Me, I’d rather see Vision, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, but for all I know, Marvel could’ve killed off all those characters years ago. However, Maclean’s writer Peter Nowak has a point: a true Avengers origin story would rightfully include the two size-shifters, who both appeared in Avengers #1 back in ’63.
Now, I can’t say I’ve read the inaugural issue, but as per Wikipedia:
“The first adventure features the Asgardian god Loki seeks revenge (sic) against his brother Thor. Using an illusion, Loki tricks the Hulk into destroying a railroad track. He then diverts a radio call by Rick Jones for help to Thor, whom Loki hopes will battle the Hulk. Unknown to Loki, Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Iron Man also answers (sic) the radio call. After an initial misunderstanding, the heroes unite and defeat Loki after Thor is lured away by an illusion of the Hulk and suspects Loki when he realises (sic) it is an illusion. Ant-Man states the five work well together and suggests they form a combined team; the Wasp names the group ‘the Avengers’ because it sounded ‘dramatic.'”
Truth be told, I wouldn’t have thought that Loki was the impetus for the group’s foundation, but it turns out the movie got things right in that regard. That said, I can see how the above storyline wouldn’t make for much of a summer blockbuster–to say nothing of the decision to cast Scarlett Johansson as a character who didn’t join the team until issue 111. I mean, the leather catsuit was pretty hot, but wouldn’t you have rather seen her dressed like this? As a side note, I’m genuinely curious as to whether her Russian is better than Harrison Ford’s. (She sounded better to these ears, anyways!)
But I digress. The problem with tying such blockbuster movies as Thor, Captain America and the Iron Man duo together (not including The Hulk since neither Eric Bana nor Edward Norton were in this picture–though I did like Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Bruce Banner) is that you had to build on those storylines, none of which were written in the 1960’s, cept maybe Cap’s–and only to an extent. This whole deal with Thor and the TesseracT came in much later–in fact, I’m not sure it was ever part of the Golden God’s domain until the Kenneth Branagh film. As I recall, there was a Cosmic Cube associated with Captain Marvel, but I never read too many of his stories…
In any case, I thought the whole thing with them battling Loki and some strange alien-like gods from another realm was a little overblown, although it did look impressive in 3D. Whereas I recognized most of the storylines that made up the first two Tobey Maguire Spidey flicks, this one completely lost me. Now I guess I know how the purists who were pissed off at Guy Ritchie’s fast-paced Sherlock Holmes films feel. On that note, I never did see A Game of Shadows…