Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 Horrorthon Posts

Okay, I know that the clues and teaser scenes in all those Marvel movies over the past few years have been intrusive and irritating, but nevertheless I admit that I’m totally sold on this Avengers scheme, now that the Joss Whedon (!) payoff movie is actually in production. (It had seemed like one of those Hollywood pipe dreams that don’t actually come true.) When I was a kid, I vaguely hoped this kind of thing (essentially live-action “Super-Friends,” minus the weirdo sidekicks) would happen, but those hopes faded as I got older and grew more aware of the realities of Hollywood.

In “Origins of Marvel Comics,” Stan Lee wrote about the monetary value of bringing characters from one comic book series into another, since a popular property like Spider-Man could boost sales of a weaker title like “Fantastic Four” (especially if he appeared in the cover art). Which was great, and they did it constantly…but obviously it didn’t cost anything to have Jack Kirby or Gene Colan draw Spidey rather than drawing somebody else. (They own the characters, the stories, the names, the logos, and even the it’s just India ink at a dollar a bottle, right? And a salary you’re paying anyway.) But orchestrating the cinematic equivalent is vastly more difficult and expensive—a long-term chain of steps that can fail if any of the intermediary fail (which is why they’re on their third Hulk).

But wow, what a payoff! Look at the glorious multi-poster banner! Look at Johannsen and Downey, Jr. next to Evans and Hemsworth! (With Hopkins, Rourke, Paltrow, Bridges and, um, Loki looming in their pasts! And all-new weirdo sidekicks!) Yeah!