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)