Obviously the second post after my re-emergence as a blogger had to be Marvel-themed. It’s only right given how much I have blogged about Marvel previously, and given that this week saw the end of Marvel’s ‘Avengers’ phase. Endgame was all about drawing everything to a close – which makes it a supremely difficult movie to review without spoilers. And there will be no Endgame spoilers here. So rather than reviewing the most recent in the Marvel avalanche of awesome movies – other than saying ‘it’s awesome, go see it’ – I thought I would take a trip back through Marvel memory lane.
I wasn’t always a Marvel fan – shocking, I know. To this day I have never read a Marvel comic, and hadn’t stepped into a comic book store until my ex-comic book store employee fiance took me to the awesome Heroes for Sale on K Road about six years ago (where they are now sick of the sight of me). When the original movies – Iron Man, Thor, Captain America – first came out, I watched them and enjoyed them, but wasn’t like ‘OMG THESE ARE AMAZING’. And to be fair I doubt the fine folks at Marvel knew what was coming either. For me, it was only when Joss Whedon – creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and my second favourite dialogue writer of all time – took the reigns of the first Avengers film that I was like ‘okay, you fully have my attention now’.
And Joss didn’t let me down. Avengers (or Avengers Assemble as it is weirdly only known as in the UK) remains in my top 5 films of all time. I was expecting to love the banter and relationships between the Avengers themselves – and I did – but the thing that REALLY won me over was the bad guy. I maintain that Loki is still the best bad guy ever. Does it help that Tom Hiddleston is that great combination of super sexy and super smart and it comes through even when he’s dressed like a reindeer and being a tool ? Hell yes. But it was more than that. It was the extra element the God of Mischief brought to the story that really made it sing. And I would also argue this was the first Marvel film where they really brought the funny – and that’s the thing I love the most about these flicks. The action scenes are fun – sure – but if you had a whole movie which was just them all bantering and piss taking I would still watch the hell out of it.
Tony Stark is still probably my least favourite Avenger, but that didn’t stop me loving Iron Man 3 (which after the dire disappointment that was Iron Man 2 – was quite something). Iron Man 3 recognised the fact that the bad stuff that happened in Avengers was going to have some psychological impact on those involved – and maybe it was seeing the softer, less arrogant side, of Tony Stark that I enjoyed. And again this brought the funny – especially in his banter with kid side-kick Harley. And I am sorry, any movie with Ben Kingsley taking the piss out of himself as a wanna-be theatre actor can take my $20 and run with it.
The next addition to the Marvel roster that really made me stand up and cheer was Guardians of the Galaxy. People thought this movie was a real risk – a space opera with wise-cracking heroes – one of which is a racoon and one of which is a tree – but man did that risk pay off. I came for Chris Pratt, and stayed for the kick-ass soundtrack, hilarious script, and the action sequence ending in a dance-off. Hell yes.
Most recently, other than the amazing world building in Black Panther and the ‘OMG what just happened’ ending of Avengers Infinity War, it was Captain Marvel that made me return to the cinema three times in quick succession. After waiting WAY too long for a female-led Marvel film we finally got one that was worthy – Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel kicked butt AND had fun while doing it. Some reviewers have criticised it for being too heavy handed with the girl power – but I couldn’t disagree more. This is the film we needed right now, building on the solid start DC had already made with Wonder Woman. And I can’t wait to see more of Carol – and maybe a spin off for her feline sidekick? – in future.
So yes, seeing Avengers Endgame wrap things up was bittersweet – but knowing we have more to come on the big screen (a new Spiderman film, another Black Panther and FINALLY the Black Widow movie Scarlett Johansson should have had years ago) and the small screen (a Loki show, a Bucky and the Falcon show and a WandaVision show) – means it’s far from over. And for me, this phase of Marvel will always have a special place in my heart. Iron Man 3 was the first movie ‘The Fiance’ took me to – and seeing and talking about comic book movies was how our relationship started to grow. So thanks Marvel, you made very good things happen 🙂