My brother and I grew up reading comic books. Every week, we looked forward to Wednesday, when the new issues would arrive at the news stand.
Now, it seems as though every summer, we find ourselves looking forward to the next big Hollywood blockbuster based on a comic book series.
Over the past few years, both Marvel and DC comics have made a killing at the box office, and interest by viewers has expanded to record-setting heights.
Some of Marvel’s more recent films, such as “Iron Man,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “Thor” have made an effort to give audiences a general concept of the genesis of these individual characters while attempting to subtly tie them all together.
Fans of these movies finally get to see all of these characters together for the first time in “The Avengers.”
The Tesseract, a source of unlimited energy previously seen in “Captain America,” has been found by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and his group, SHIELD.
However, Thor’s mischievous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has resurfaced in some distant realm, and has made a contract with a rather ominous alien species.
In exchange for the Tesseract, Loki would be granted an army to conquer earth and become its new king.
Loki uses the Tesseract’s power to teleport himself to earth, easily dispatching most of the agents around him and gaining control of the Tesseract.
Nick Fury finds himself in a very desperate situation, so SHIELD begins putting together a team. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) calls Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) to inform her of her next assignment: bring in the big guy.
Romanoff assumes the big guy is Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), but he quickly dismisses any confusion. Coulson says, “I’ve got Stark, you get the big guy.”
The Hulk, otherwise known as Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), has been apparently living in Calcutta since his last appearance on the big screen in 2008.
Romanoff sets him up so that she can get him to a remote location, just in case the green guy makes an appearance.
Reluctantly, Banner agrees to use his knowledge of gamma radiation help Fury locate the Tesseract.
A lot of hardcore comic book fans were critical of Bruce Banner being played by yet another actor. They were disappointed that Edward Norton didn’t sign on after doing such a good job in the last film.
I think Mark Ruffalo did a great job with the little bit of dialogue he actually had in the movie. I also don’t think it matters very much who plays Bruce Banner.
If my memory serves me correctly, Banner’s physical appearance is rather average, until he becomes an “enormous green rage monster.”
Nick Fury holds a meeting with the “board,” and they express their skepticism toward his plan to put such a team of misfits together. They tell him war is not won by sentiment. Fury says, “No. War is won by soldiers.”
Queue Captain America (Chris Evans). After being frozen in a block of ice for over 70 years, Cap is found alive, but he is in for a world of surprises. However, there is one thing that has not changed.
When he left the world, it was at war. And once again, the world finds itself at war.
While Captain America is chatting with Agent Coulson on their way to the Avengers base, Coulson gives a nod to avid comic book collectors. He mentions his collection of Captain America cards, and then tells Cap that it “took me a few years to collect them all. Near mint.”
Iron Man gives a sarcastic shout-out to The Avengers comic books when he mentions “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” but “The Avengers” is no joke. The action was top notch, and all other comic book directors should be taking notes on this film.
I was worried about whether or not the movie would be able to successfully contain all of these characters together, but it was pulled off flawlessly.
The film’s big climax flows effortlessly from one great superhero to the next as they destroy the army opposing them.
“The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider man” certainly have some big shoes to fill; “The Avengers” is going to be hard to match.