The Avengers is simply the best superhero movie ever. Of course, this doesn’t diminish The Dark Knight in any way.
As a friend said, it’s apples and oranges to compare the two, while others claim The Avengers is the “anti-Dark Knight” as a positive. The two films, taken together, show the world two parts of the wide spectrum of possibilities that comic books are capable of, and they do so by not putting awkward nipples and rubber ears on costumes, but by honoring the sensibilities of the actual source material by not being slavishly devoted to it.
Comic book superhero movies are a dime a dozen these days. We’ve seen the evidence in that with failures such as the previous two Hulk movies, The Green Lantern and perhaps the epitome of superhero movie failures, Batman and Robin (1997), which is where I derived my comment about nipples on a superhero costume, which is just idiotic, I might add. Though a few of these fantastic flops may be enjoyed by a select group of viewers, the concepts and overall quality couldn’t be further from what the original comic book writers intended. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for ingenuity and creativity when it comes to movie making, but when you take Mr. Freeze, who is one of the most iconic bad guys of all time, and put The Arnold in a chrome-plated Kiss costume, a line has been severely crossed.
The real theme behind this week’s column is not preach to the choir by bashing awful movies, but to celebrate the sheer awesomeness of The Avengers.
Those of you who have read the comic series know exactly where I’m coming from, and those of you who don’t, well, I’m about to explain it to you.
Director Joss Whedon (the Buffy series) did an absolutely phenomenal job encompassing virtually every important element of The Avengers comic series, and this movie is, from start to finish, a work of genius.
The Avengers certainly took some liberties with the established canonical history of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but it was never wholesale change for the sake of change. Part of it was having to incorporate the characters as they were portrayed in their individual movies, and part of it was because there hasn’t been an Ant Man or Wasp movie yet. However, Loki is still the villain that brings them all together, Nick Fury is still a manipulative spy with a heart of gold, and Whedon had enough credibility in both the comics and live-action world to know when to go hard in the paint, and when to show restraint. Whedon also knew very well to make sure the dialog was the strongest part of the entire movie because after all, a comic is almost nothing without its word balloons.
I can’t say too much without giving away the entire movie, but I will say that this is a movie that the age-old comic nerd will surely appreciate and can’t wait to buy it on Blu-Ray and loop it for days (maybe that last part was just me). I rate The Avengers a solid 4.9 out of 5 stars, simply because a reviewer just can’t give a movie a perfect score.
Taylor Downey is a singer, musician and Northeast college student. On Twitter: @taylor_downey.