Swinging a Cat – Hulk Style (or, How I learned to love the Avengers)on May 22, 2012 at 11:04 am
I got into comics relatively late in life. I never read them as a young kid. I think the first comic series I ever started collecting were the Ranma 1/2 and ElfQuest books, with more (less embarrassing) titles to come later. I honestly couldn’t tell you what drew me to those comics in particular; just that they WEREN’T superheroes. Because superheroes were dumb. Before all of you protest, I was into My Little Ponies before all you bronies thought it was cool, so suck it. Where my other 80′s Ladies at? What WHAT.
In hindsight, I’m sure if that really helps me.
I preface with this to say that I knew very little about mainstream superhero comics, or specifically the Avengers, before the movie. What I knew about Iron Man, I learned from the movies. And before his own movies, Thor was a goofy costume that blond nerds wore to conventions. I knew Hulk got really big and hit things, and figured that was the end of that. Captain America had the longest history for me (“He fought Nazis, right?”), but even HE was a bit skewed in my mind; the first I learned about HIM was a goofy one-issue comic my dad got from a drug rep at work about Cap fighting evil Asthma monsters, and a bunch of kids come in and save him with their inhalers. As for Green Arrow… err, I mean Hawk Eye, and the Black Widow? Yeah, never heard of them before the movie. So I guess you could say that my review of this movie is fairly free from the biases of nostalgia and fanboyism.
So keep all that in mind when I say that the movie was HOLY SHIT AMAZING OH MY GOD AHHHH!!!!!!
The primary thing I was impressed by was the fact that none of the Avengers felt like they were given the short end of the stick as far as screen time, or “Bad Ass Moments”. In particular, I was concerned going in about Black Widow, being that she hasn’t had her own movie (much like Green Ar-HAWK EYE Why do I keep DOING THAT), AND because she’s the only female Avenger. We’ve seen the “what if the Avengers posed like the opposite sex” poster parody. We know that in many summer blockbuster, comic book action, and man’s popcorn movie that very often, the female characters end up being just back grown support roles, overly forced love interests, or talking delivery systems for tits. Widow didn’t feel like this at all, and a lot of credit goes to Whedon for being able to create believable, strong female character that didn’t feel like she was just an accessory to the men.
But beyond just Widow, everybody had their moments to shine. Even if you haven’t seen the other movies, you got what each character was about, and you completely understood why they sometimes Just. Don’t. Get. ALONG. The back and forth dialogue between the characters was just so rich and so on-point. So much was said within a few words and so much meaning got across in 40 seconds of back-and-forth fighting that didn’t seen possible. Whatever Whedon’s drinking, I want a life-time supply. Seriously.
The Hulk was probably my biggest surprise in the film. I haven’t seen the most recent Hulk movie, giving up on the character after Ang Lee’s mess as more of a “How can you make a big green guy who hits things interesting?” Trying to give Hulk depth, in my mind, just wasn’t possible. Not only did this movie prove me I was absolutely wrong, but it made me seriously reconsider Tony Stark/Iron Man as my favorite Avengers character. While Stark had more laughs-per-minute (a term I’m borrowing from The Totally Rad Show), The Hulk’s comedy moments, like his fists, hit WAY harder. My favorite mini-moment in the movie was one with the Hulk and Loki, which… well, if you saw the movie, just read this post’s title. You’ll know what I mean. And seriously, if they use anyone besides Ruffalo in the next Avengers movie, or even ANOTHER attempt at salvaging the Hulk solo-movie franchise, I might have to get a little smashy.
The only minor, teeny tiny issue I had personally with the movie (and I say personally because nobody else could possibly have this problem), is that at certain, unflattering angles, Loki looked a bit too much like an Ex of mine. On the bright side though, it just made it easier to hate him. …I guess it’s not that much of a problem, now that I think about it.
So there you have it; My review of the Avengers, coming weeks after most of you have already likely seen it twice. Yes, I realize I’m late to the game. But what do you expect? Superheroes are dumb.