The Avengers: My Superhero-Size Confession

First, I must give a shout-out to my own young superhero, Bengal, who celebrated his last day of sixth grade today. He did a lot of growing up this year, and is still the smartest, funniest kid I know. I’m always proud and happy to be with him, and can’t believe I deserve to have such a wonderful, challenging, handsome, silly, and generous child. Go, Bengal!
The last day of every school year is special at our house. We always try to do something fun to celebrate. Today, the plan was to go to Jimmy John’s and get subs for lunch, hit the local Barnes and Noble, and then see a movie. The school had so many yummy things to eat at the sixth grade promotion ceremony, we decided to go right to the bookstore and just have popcorn and ICEEs for lunch at the movie. (Yum!)
I bet you’ve already guessed that we went to see The Avengers.
Bengal wanted to see The Avengers during its opening weekend, but his parents are movie-crowd wimps. We always wait a couple weeks until the crowds die down.
I’m here to confess that I had very little idea of what was going on for the first fifteen minutes of the film. What’s more, I was stunned to see Iron Man in it. And Thor! (I love Thor!) And The Hulk! Wait…Captain America was there, too. It slowly (very slowly) dawned on me that they were all part of The, uh, Avengers.
We had seen the individual superhero films–although I confess I skipped The Hulk. David Banner/Hulk will forever be Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno to me. Mark Ruffalo is handsome and charmingly self-effacing, but his alter ego is CGI. It’s not the same.
Thor was a very fun film. Captain America was charming. Iron Man definitely rocked–despite featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, whose uber-sweet onscreen persona makes my cavities hurt.
I knew they were all Marvel Comics characters, but I had no idea that together they comprised the Avengers franchise ensemble. Go figure.
(Can someone explain the whole Scarlett Johansson character, the Black Widow/Natasha Romanov, please? Hawkeye was in Thor, but where did Scarlett come from? Everyone in the film seemed to know her.)
I promise I come by my ignorance honestly. I plead no brothers. Comic books were things they sold at 7-11, and they got ink on your fingers. Boys read comic books. I read comics in the newspaper, but I never connected them with actual comic books. For a couple decades now comic books have existed beside graphic novels–books for grownups with pictures. Of course you knew this. Of course I know this. But I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t been paying good attention.
The last comic book I read was in a bookstore–Archie Comics, I think. A gift for a niece. The last manga/graphic novel (or story)? Dark Water, from the short story by Shoji Suzuki, who wrote the Ring Series (Ringu/The Ring¬†films).
Did I like The Avengers? Yes. I didn’t like it as much as the individual films, but it hung together pretty well given the large number of primary characters. It was quite good-natured and the aliens were shiny and creepy. Loki continues to be a terrific tragic villain. I’ll definitely go see the next installment, and you can bet I’ll see Iron Man 3.
We saw the trailers for the new Batman/Dark Knight and Spiderman films. They look good. And I’m pretty sure those guys work alone. Right? Please tell me I’m right.
(Avengers image borrowed from these folks)

9 thoughts on “The Avengers: My Superhero-Size Confession”

  1. Tia Nevitt says:

    I didn’t know about the Avengers till my husband got us briefly into the X-Men in the 90s. You kinda learn about the others thru osmosis.

    Have not seen Thor or Captain America yet. Wll look for them on Netflix.

    Would you recommend the Avengers for a tender hearted 11 year old girl? We’d like to see it.

  2. Hi, Tia! Oh, the X-Men. I *still* don’t have them figured out. I know Wolverine b/c it’s Hugh Jackman. That’s about as far as I get. Highly recommend both Thor and CA for the whole family–with the caveat that there’s plenty of action-flick, non-bloody violence. Nothing uncomfortable. The Avengers works, too. But you might give her a little primer on who everyone is, first. Wish I had had one! xo

  3. Cin says:

    Laura,

    Black Widow shows up briefly in Iron Man II (I think, possibly in the after the credits scene). You did sit through the credits, right? It’s absolutely required for Marvel movies.
    If you need a comic book primer, I’m your gal. Thor’s a junkie (imagine that!) and I too have learned by osmosis.

  4. Cindy, I have such a terrible memory–but I think we have Iron Man II on dvd, so I will peek.
    Your coolness factor was already way high in my book, but now you’re superhero cool! xo

  5. CarrieMarie says:

    teehee, i saw this yesterday, too, and of course had to write a post about it. i love the style & comedy interwoven into these movies, but especially this one because it was written by joss whedon. love! : )

    also, how NEAT that y’all do something fun for end of school!!

    (um, on the comment verification, it says please prove you’re not a robot (teehee) and to type the two words. except, one “word” is a picture. what do i do w/ that? LOL

  6. Tia Nevitt says:

    My husband had the Dark Phoenix saga in graphic novel form, which helped introduce me to a bunch of the X-Men. We followed the comics for a couple of years in the 90s until they did one of those stupid crossovers–one that changed the whole history. It cured us of comic books, even though I guess the history change turned out kind of temporary.

  7. CM–I love that you crush on Josh Whedon! It was a crazy-stylish film, and quite witty. I will definitely see the next one.
    As to the captcha–that’s too silly. But your comment got through!

    Tia–Another case of writers alienating their readership. A cautionary tale, for sure. I worry, every day, lol.

  8. Animus says:

    Little late to the game. Scarlett Johansson’s character was actually a major part of Iron Man II’s plot. She was playing a new assistant to Tony Stark that was hired, named Natalie. At the film’s climax (or slightly before it), she reveals she’s an undercover SHIELD agent sent to keep tabs on Stark and that her real name is Natasha Romanov.

    As for Batman… He’s one of the core members of the Justice League (WB’s been trying to make a movie for decades now) along with Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter. In Gotham, he leads the “Bat Family,” which is a pretty big network. and he also leads a rogue group called The Outsiders.

    Comic history is rich and absurdly complex, unfortunately.

  9. Ok, I’ve got a REALLY big confession. I thought until just now that The Avengers was a remake of the TV series starring Diana Rigg – one of my favorite series of all time. I was looking forward to seeing it for that reason – thank you for the warning. I would have been completely confused!

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