By Comic Relief
The Avengers Trailer has arrived. Enjoy!
Click here to watch official trailer
First off if you think we are talking about the British secret agent television show from 1961 that starred Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee respectively as Emma peel and John Steed, we are not. That mighty action adventure trailblazer deserves our highest pop cultural praise inspiring a list of similar sister and brother shows (Get Smart, The Man from Uncle, Johnny Quest and many more). I don’t want to get lost on a tangent, so let’s return to the subject of this article.
Not that the film opens until May 4th, 2012 but the Joss Whedon directed “The Avengers” is by many people’s standards Marvel’s finest team of super heroes ever created. The trailer is such a big deal because it represents progress on one of the most elaborate CGI fueled super hero events that Hollywood is likely to see anytime in the near future. Unlike the spectacle that should surround next year and 2013’s openings for “Spiderman”, “Batman”, and “Superman” this event demonstrates almost obsessive business and creative precision and planning; rarely seen in Hollywood or in this genre. Many may not know it but all of the previous Marvel Studio movies have been billed as integral to the overall serial or sequel event, so in franchise terms expect this series to way out number that of the enormous Harry Potter franchise. Regarding my previous introduction, some of you typically snarky fan boys or girls may be snarling, “What do you mean; the Fantastic Four and the X-men aren’t chopped liver.” And yes you would be right; those two franchises are as respectively formidable as two to five sequels would demonstrate. But the difference between the groups should be described in regard to character definition and the feature film business. I will explain both briefly.
Character Definition: When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby invented both the Fantastic Four and the X-men they were creating “box sets”, if you will, of super heroes. They knew they were designing a group so individual characters needed to compliment one another when featured together. Like many film casts seen in movies like “The Usual Suspects”, “Ocean’s 11” and “Bridesmaids” this is not an easy feat to accomplish. Referring to those movies, still after the movies premiere and distribution run, none of these specific characters could stand on their own in movies dedicated to them individually or solely. Like at the movies in comic publishing the X-Men character Wolverine is the only character that can sustain his own title independently.
What makes the Avengers special was the majority of these characters were individual sales winners whom were able to sustain their individual comic books before being affiliated with the group. Exactly like rival company DC Comic’s the Justice League of America (and Justice Society before it), these characters incidentally joined together to take on threats that none of them could handle on their own. As much as I would like to encourage juvenile fan rivalry between companies by mentioning that DC recently beat the pants off Marvel in the publishing arena in September, deposing Marvel as having the highest market share of any publishing comics company; I won’t. Because until DC and their parent company Warner Brothers Corporation learns how to make feature films for their comic book characters–the comparison would be wholly unbalanced. I don’t want to get lost on a tangent, so let’s return to the subject of this article.
Hollywood Business: In regard to business the Fantastic Four and the X-men are Twentieth Century Fox creations. The Avengers will be an independent product of the newly minted Marvel Entertainment Studio. Marvel is following their 21st century film successes with “The Incredible Hulk” (now played by actor Mark Ruffulo), “Iron man” (played by Robert Downey Jr.), “Thor” (played by Chris Hemsworth) and “Captain America” (played by Chris Evans) with a movie that collects all these characters in one story. Hollywood hasn’t combined individual franchises like this since it combined Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolf man in a story of their own in the 1940’s. Of course you could argue that the Aliens/Predator franchises did the same but one would have to delve into the horror-science fiction genre to make the argument. I don’t want to get lost on a tangent, so let’s return to the subject of this article.
Who are the other Avengers: Shield’s agent Coulson (seen in almost all of the previous movies by actor Clark Gregg), Shield commander Nick Fury (seen in almost all of the previous movies by actor Samuel Jackson), Shield agent Black Widow (seen in “Ironman” by actor Scarlet Johansson), Shield agent Hawkeye (seen in “Thor” by actor Jeremy Renner), and Shield agent Maria Hill(never seen in the previous movies by actor Cobie Smulders). Despite having long careers, in comics these five characters have only had mild success in the publishing arena.
If you think I haven’t discussed why this movie is an event, here is a review. The movie is an event because: it represents another victory over rival DC comics, it represents possible proof that Marvel produces its content better than original supporter and now current rival 20th Century Fox, because it represents another first in film content regarding the genesis of the team, and it demonstrates movie innovation in the collection of characters from different franchises. If that was not enough, these are some alternate reasons you may want to see the trailer.
- This will be the third time the Incredible Hulk will be realized in CGI in film history. And though audiences may likely debate how impressive the realism of the animation is, most still believe the CGI improves with each new iteration of the character. Many were impressed with the animation of the Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings” franchise but most agree the 3D animation of human beings still has some way to go before it is completely seamless.
- The last scenes from the 1940’s based Captain America movie, placed alter ego Steve Rodgers in the present time period. The trailer should finally present Cap in the uniform he will be wearing today. If you haven’t seen it already, audiences should expect many similarities and possibly surprising costume modifications from the comic’s uniform. Expect costume alterations in other character uniforms as well.
- The trailer is also supposed to feature the first time we will see two flying super heroes presented traveling together at the same time. “Superman the Movie 2”, the “X-men”, and “X-men: First Class” featured super powered beings flying simultaneously but these were superhero and villain combinations.
I’m sorry if this was an uncomfortable trip into the geek universe yet I can assure you the community waiting to see these events (with baited breathe) is huge and entertainment website blogs will likely be on fire discussing the event for some days to come. Comic fan boys and girls and groupies have demonstrated an ongoing appreciation for all of these details. Audiences waiting to receive these events like the recent presentation of the Superman movie’s costume fervently wait to transform these theatrical spectacles into multimillion-dollar paydays for film artists and producers at a box office near you.
Please join us for a discussion Tuesday:10/11/2011@7pE/12UTC.