Tonight (well technically tomorrow) Avengers makes its movie debut. For the last four years, Marvel/Paramount/Disney has made five films that have gotten us to the point where Earth’s mightiest heroes together.
What they’ve done is put together a cohesive universe for the Marvel films at least for the Avengers characters. So what does that mean for the future?
I read a blog post (from the LA Times I believe; sadly I cannot find the bookmark for it) saying that it may raise the bar for super hero films too high, especially in regards to the number of costumed characters.
They brought up the concern that this would lead to a veritable super hero appearance arms race, with all future films having to have a large cast of characters.
That said, should we be worried about this in regards to future comic book films? To that I’m going to say no. Avengers is a special case. It may be team film, but there is definitely a three-tier system to its characters.
Obviously at the top we have Iron Man, as Robert Downey Jr. has spent the last five years convincing us about how cool the character is. If it wasn’t for Iron Man doing so well, we might have not seen the subsequent Avengers family films. Captain America and Thor are up there as well, but that’s mostly because they had the last two blockbusters.
But after that, there really is a drop off with the rest of the characters. Yes, the Hulk is huge–literally and figuratively–but this is the third launch the character has had in the last decade. Consider him a gamma powered supporting character. That’s about the same for Nick Fury and for a lesser degree with Black Widow. Hawkeye is a step below them, not even being verbally identified during his debut in Thor.
What this film looks to do is less then introduce an audience to new characters, but to tell a story about how three (well four, we’ll give Hulk his due) extreme personalities can put aside their differences to work cohesively in an extremely intense situation.
I still haven’t seen the film yet and plan on doing so shortly. I hope I’m right.