First off, if you’re one of the millions of people who are going to see The Avengers today, read this post first and consider contributing the price of your ticket to the Hero Initiative.
Ok, that said…Happy Avengers’ Day. It feels like we’ve been waiting so, so long for this. If you’re my age, you suffered through the Dark Ages of Marvel Movies, the 1986 Howard the Duck movie, the 1989 Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie, the direct-to-video Captain America movie from 1992, and the 1994 Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie that never came out but I remember it being mentioned in Wizard.
And then the Golden Age of Marvel Movies that started with Blade II and carried on to X-Men I and II and Spider-Man I and II and even Daredevil and the Ang Lee Hulk which I feel were terribly underrated. But then everyone wanted to make a buck off of the Marvel properties and we were served up terrible sequels to X-Men and Spider-Man, an Elektra movie, lazy takes on Ghost Rider and the Punisher (but not Punisher War Zone, that movie was INSANE), and that terrible, terrible, terrible Wolverine movie.
Finally Marvel Studios began to produce their own flicks, starting with Iron Man and continuing with the Hulk, Captain America, and Thor. A gamble to build towards an Avengers movie and with each release the understanding that catastrophic box-office failure could sink the whole plan. This isn’t like comic books, where an under-performing series can be offset by a title that features Wolverine - this was real-world money.
But the movies all did well enough, Disney threw in, and now we have an Avengers movie that is opening today. And this movie represents a cross-over of four different movies, and is supposed to spawn several new movie franchises and sequels to existing franchises.
And whereas I’m excited about the Avengers, I’m over the moon thinking about what we’ll get once the Avengers makes a billion dollars. And if the post-credits scene at the end of the Avengers tells me anything, it’s that the talk of a Guardians of the Galaxy movie and an Inhumans movie is maybe more than just talk, and we’ll be getting some serious Cosmic Marvel, and that Adam Warlock and Dr. Strange and all of the wonderful gods and demigods and alien races can’t be far behind. We’ll be getting Weird Marvel on Imax screens, and for my money there is nothing better than Weird Marvel.
So Happy Avengers’ Day, everyone. And Happy Avengers’ Day, Young Jason, who was obviously intimidated by a man in a Spider-Man costume. This day would have blown your goddamn mind.