The Avengers movie sucked, and here’s why.

§ May 21st, 2012 § Filed under movie reviews, retailing § 15 Comments

…Ah, I’m just yankin’ your chains, I thought it was pretty good. And, let’s face it, with a handful of popular superhero films functioning as prequels and the unavoidable advertising onslaught, the film could have been directed by the reanimated corpse of Ed Wood and still pulled in more money over the course of the opening weekend than most everyone who’s reading this has ever seen, combined. But, credit where credit is due, Whedon and the gang did a good job making all this nonsense entertaining and appealing to the general public, which kept people buying tickets past that first weekend. Of course, they had good characters to work with, thanks to Jack Kirby and the rest of the Marvel Bullpen, and in a good and just world it would have been “Jack Kirby’s” — well, okay, “Stan ‘n’ Jack’s The Avengers” and not Marvel’s The Avengers on the marquee.

And, yes, as you’ve likely heard, the Hulk is the best part of the film. Finally, it is understood by Hollywood that Hulk smashing stuff is fun, and the Hulk/Banner relationship can have some gravitas without dragging the rest of the film down with it. I fully expect this newly-remade golden egg-laden goose to be cut open for new Hulk movies, but perhaps I’m just being cynical.

I’m not going to go overlong on my comments about The Avengers, like I usually do for my movie “reviews,” but I did want to note a couple of things: first, when I saw Iron Man and Captain America teaming up to fight Loki, the 12-year-old part of Mike’s brain immediately thought “WHOA! COOL!” while the grown-up part of Mike’s brain thought “…what the hell am I looking at? Is this actually happening?” Fortunately, 12-Year-Old Mike won out, because, damn, it was Iron Man and Captain America fighting Loki. In live-action. On a movie screen. Played by actual adults. That hits me right in the nerd-spot.

Second, there’s this bit of business which really annoyed me ahead of my seeing the film. Thankfully, they were just very minor props whose sole use was as beacons for Iron Man’s costume, and we didn’t get any sales pitch beyond a long, lingering look at them onscreen, but still, I glared at them and thought unhappy things when I saw them. “Ooh, I know what you are!” I thought, clutching at the armrests of the theatre’s chair. …Okay, I actually just rolled my eyes a bit, but c’mon.

Finally…did I mention that this post may contain spoilers? Because freakin’ THANOS, man:

I’m totally in the bag for Jim Starlin, especially for Thanos, and if we get full-on Thanos action in the next movie, as implied by that mid-credits scene, that will indeed be an Oscar-winner…in my heart. I mean, just picture this on the silver screen:

You’re right, it would be beautiful.

So, anyway, The Avengers…a fun superhero movie, and probably in the top…oh, six or seven superhero movies ever made, I’d guess, somewhere after these two.

Speaking of Thanos, I’ve had a handful of people coming into the shop over the last couple of weeks asking after 1) Infinity Gauntlet, 2) Thanos Quest, and 3) Iron Man #55 (the first appearance of Thanos), usually saying something along the lines of “I bet these are really popular thanks to the Avengers movie!” Well…not really, no…those particular titles have been in high demand for the better part of twenty years. I don’t think I’ve had every issue of Infinity Gauntlet in stock at the same time more than a dozen times since the series wrapped up way back when, and copies of Thanos Quest blow out the door almost as quickly as we buy them. And it’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure nobody cared too much about Iron Man #55 ’til after Thanos came back in the early ’90s…now I almost never see copies of it.

To answer Andrew‘s question from the other day, about the Avengers movie effect on sales…actually, I don’t think I’ve seen that big of a bump. We’re doing very well right now, but I’m not getting that “we’re only here because of the Avengers movie” vibe from anyone…except maybe the people looking for “key” Thanos comics. Avengers Vs. The X-Men is doing exceptionally well, though that’s more preaching to the converted than bringing in new readers. I am getting some kids here and there picking up Avengers comics that probably normally wouldn’t, and, you know, I’ll take it.

images from Silver Surfer #34 (February 1990) by Jim Starlin, Ron Lim & Tom Christopher; Warlock Special Edition #6 (May 1983), reprinting Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 (1977), by Starlin & Joe Rubinstein; movie poster from Internet parts unknown…I just like the sound of “Los Vengadores”

15 Responses to “The Avengers movie sucked, and here’s why.”

  • Lawrence Fechtenberger says:

    Well, I am happy for you if you are happy about Thanos, but I really, REALLY wanted the villain of the second movie to be the Space Phantom.

    Come on, that would have been perfect.

  • Lawrence Fechtenberger says:

    Also, the third movie should show the Hulk leaving the group and joining up with the Sub-Mariner.

    Then, in the fourth movie, the team discovers Captain America in the Arctic, still alive but in a state of suspended animation…wait, there may be some problems with my plan, after all.

  • It wasn’t The Incredibles, but it’s pretty good for what it was, being the superhero version of Rio Bravo.

    Which ain’t bad, either.

    I loved Hulk punching Thor off-screen.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    I’m glad 12-year-old-Mike won out.

    I’m ESPECIALLY glad you were hit in your Nerd-spot too!

  • Dan Latta says:

    You have mastered the art of damning with faint praise, Mr. Sterling.

  • Andrew-TLA says:

    I’d almost rather have them save Thanos for Avengers 3. Let’s have the next batch of solo movies feature villains who don’t die at the end, who can then form the Masters of Evil and team up with Kang or something for Avengers 2.

  • Greg says:

    If someone asks for a Thanos story, you should sell them that issue of Spidey Super Stories where he has a helicopter and fights Patsy Walker.

  • googum says:

    While Thanos does sound like fun, and I have a ton of fond memories of beating him on the old Marvel Super-Heroes game; getting him and not Warlock would be like getting short-changed. It would take at least a movie or three to set up, but how great would Warlock’s death be on screen? (“Short time? You fool! It’s been an eternity!”) Marvel may actually have trained audiences to be OK with that, with the Nick Fury appearances: here’s 30 seconds, that will pay off two movies later…

  • Prankster says:

    As a few people have suggested, if cameos by Nick Fury and mentions of The Avengers Initiative were the Easter eggs in the Marvel movies so far, setting up Thanos makes it possible that we’ll start to see the Infinity Gems popping up throughout the Marvel Movieverse with the big payoff being some version of the Infinity Gauntlet saga in Avengers 2 (which will probably take more years to come together than usual for sequels).

  • Kevin Parks says:

    When you wrote – “That hits me right in the nerd-spot.” You reminded me of my on inner 12 year old and then I laughed tilI I stopped.

  • T.F. says:

    @ Greg, that’s my favorite Thanos story, too!

  • Tommy says:

    boring pice of doo, doo, glad I didn’t waste money seeing it in theaters, Don’t get me wrong I knew this wasn’t gonna be anything like christopher nolans batman series, and I watched it mostly as a spectacle of current CG technology, but even watching it from that perspective, indifferent to the quality of storyelling and intellectual stimulation, I was dissapointed. the animation looked cartoonish and bland,(I mean seriously I’ve seen more viscerally moving CGI in video games, granted I did watch it in low quality on my dirt quality laptop, but still fundamentally CG quality was rubbish), the action was unimaginative typical american shoot the bad guy fare, Worth at least one watch just to understand where the collective conscious is at, but If I where ever forced to watch it again I would consider it cruel and unusual punishment.

  • RG says:

    The Avengers is like The Transformers and Revenge of the Sith. Fine the first time you watch it. Hideous torture if you dare to watch it again. The emptiness of the digital video and the emptiness of the paint by numbers story become more and more painful when viewing the blu ray. Robocop, Hellboy, and X2 stand up to repeat viewings. Not this. The old Avengers comic was a way Americans could pretend Vietnam wasn’t happening. I think this movie is a way to pretend Afghanistan isn’t either.

  • I agree with Tommy and RG. This article wasted my time. I hated the movie like the other two guys did.

  • Mikester says:

    I’m sorry my article forced you to read it.