By MARK TURNER
Nearly everyone at one time or another has read a comic book. More often than not we associate those drawn color images with our childhood and leave it at that. The fact is that comics are no longer a source of entertainment for children for the most part, instead covering topics like drug addiction, alcoholism, homosexuality and more.
Yes, there are comics made for children but not the majority. But at the core of these comics, beneath the surface issues of the day, is the basic fact that the core of them all involves heroes. And through the trials and tribulations various writers put their characters through that is always what we come back to.
Marvel Comics nearly went under until the early 60s when they began telling stories that involved more the more realistic aspects of life. Because of that a new form of hero was born, one that had problems and lived in the real world when not wearing a cape. Fans loved these stories so when it came time to turn them into movies, of course Hollywood messed it up, turning its back on what fans loved; until recently when fans flocked to see Robert Downey starring as Iron Man.
But that was only the beginning of a long-term plan at Marvel. Those that learned remained in their seats as the credits finished to catch a teaser for something coming down the line. It happened again and again after each Marvel character movie from the Hulk to Captain America. It was all leading to the first team up movie involving comic book characters. It was leading to THE AVENGERS.
If you haven't seen this film by all means run out and buy a copy today. This is not just a rental movie, this is a film that can be enjoyed over and over again, allowing you to catch new things each time you watch as well as enjoy the things you loved the first time around. For me it is the best comic book movie ever made and the only bad part is having to wait until the next Avengers outing.
The story revolves around the Tessaract, an energy source discovered at the end of the Captain America film. The top secret government agency S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate) has been trying to figure out how to harness the power of this object. That all changes when it suddenly opens a portal to another world allowing Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the Asgardian God of mischief and sworn enemy of his half brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth), to enter. Loki uses a staff to control the minds of scientist Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and top agent Clint "Hawkeye" Barton (Jeremy Renner). They escape with the Tessaract and force the hand of S.H.I.E.L.D. head Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) to engage the Avengers Project.
The project is an assemblage of various super heroes, people with abilities above the norm, to unite as a team to take on any problem considered too large for normal channels to handle. The first group that Fury assembles includes agent Natasha "Black Widow" Romanov (Scarlett Johannson) who recruits scientist Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) who turns into the Hulk. Captain America (Chris Evans) has been kept with Fury in preparation for this moment. Lastly they ask Tony Stark (Robert Downey) aka Iron Man.
Facing off against Loki he is captured but on the way back the team's airship is attacked by none other than Thor. A knock down drag out fight follows between Thor and Iron Man until Captain America breaks it up. With Thor on the team now, they take Loki back to the hellicarrier (an item that needs seen to be believed) for safe keeping. Unfortunately this doesn't end up being a good idea.
Selvig in the meantime has found a way to harness the Tessaract and open the portal to a far off galaxy that allows their army to enter our world. This was Loki's plan all along. Trust me this is no spoiler as scenes of the final battle were in nearly every trailer for the film before it opened. With Hawkeye rescued and now a part of the team will these seven heroes be enough to prevent an all out invasion of the planet? And will each member of the team be able to face their own personal demons and become the hero that he/she is destined to be?
This movie rocks like no other. The witty retorts, the campy lines when needed, the suspense of what will happen next fluctuate from scene to scene and keep you waiting to see what will happen next. Director Joss Whedon of BUFFY fame has put together a movie that brings a depth to the characters and story that mingle together to form a story movie that is filled with amazing special effects but effects that don't overshadow what is taking place.
The acting by all involved is amazing and each actor takes their turn at making their character believable. You watch and never question if Evans is really Captain America or if Hawkeye can really shoot arrows this way. You just believe. If any one stands out in particular it's Downey. He just commands attention every time he comes into view. His quips are some of the best and suit his character. Having been the first of this group to star as his character it's only natural.
The entertainment value of this movie is astronomical. From start to finish you'll sit at the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next. Even side characters are given special moments here. There is never a dull moment in this film.
One last note: as with all Marvel movies, even this movie has a secret ending to it. As a matter of fact it has two. The first comes early during the credits, the second after all the credits have finished. Stick around and watch both. Rumor has it that one of them will bleed over into the next Thor film. Iron Man 3 is nearly done filming. And the Avengers will return soon. One can only wait with anticipation until it arrives. .
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