It’s one for the biggest times ever for comic book and superhero fans. So let’s take a look.
1. Let’s Assemble at the Movies!
They said it would never happen, but it has. And it’s a media sensation. Marvel Studios’ The Avengers has finally hit theatres.
The movie is tracking at a very impressive 93 percent on the review-aggregating website Rottentomatoes.com, one of the highest scores ever for a comic book movie. And it could shatter some box-office records by the time the weekend is done.
But of course, that means it is already causing a backlash. The hype surrounding the movie has given way to a wave of detractors saying it is overrated. The New York Times’ A. O. Scott dared to describe the movie as full of “hectic emptiness” and “bloated cynicism,” and that caused none other than the movie’s Samuel L. Jackson, a.k.a. Nick Fury, to turn to his Twitter account where he said Scott needs to find a new job.
So much drama, and it’s just the beginning of the Year of the Comic Book Nerd.
2. Dark Knight Trailer Rises
Another very divisive event was the online unveiling of the new The Dark Knight Rises trailer, which will be seen in theaters playing Avengers.
The trailer forgoes the customary bombast seen in these sorts of movies in favor of simple, brooding musical cues and key dialogue moments.
The movie is going to be a juggernaut no doubt, but the chatboards lit up like Gotham under attack with comments. Most said the trailer was brilliant, but a vocal minority struck back, saying it looked too cold while they nitpicked Catwoman’s costume.
Some of the debate fell into the age-old division between Marvel fans, supporting Avengers and Spider-Man, and DC Comics partisans, lining up behind the Dark Knight.
Look, ultimately, it doesn’t matter who wins the argument. The biggest winners will be audiences who have plenty of comic book-inspired movies to argue over this summer.
3. Best Day Ever
Tomorrow is the first Saturday in May. And that means one thing: Free Comic Book Day!
Free Comic Book Day began in 2002 as a way for retailers and the comic industry to promote comics and help bring new readers into shops. The event has grown to include celebrity signings and a carnival-like atmosphere at some shops.
More comics will be printed than ever for year’s event, which promises to be the biggest yet, with the day having a spectacular tie-in to the Avengers movie.
Here’s what a couple of L.A. shops are doing:
Golden Apple, on 7012 Melrose Ave., will have web sensation Felicia Day and the cast of her web show The Guild at 11 am. and comic writers and artists such as Marc Andreyko doing signings. Look for the Cinco de Mayo taco bar.
Meltdown Comics, on 7552 Sunset Blvd., will have signings galore, including DC and Marvel writer Scott Lobdell. Plus a sidewalk sale, swag giveaways and discounts if you show your Avengers movie stub.
4. Another Hulk Movie? Hell No.
One of the stand-outs of the Avengers movie is Mark Ruffalo, who as Bruce Banner and the Hulk, steals many of the scenes.
The Hulk character has already starred in two previous movies, and Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige has said that a new Hulk movie in not on the horizon.
But that all changed this week when, in an interview with Forbes, Paul Gitter, Marvel president of consumer products, said the character could be back as a movie in 2015, supporting the proposed Hulk TV show.
“We repositioned him from where he was always misunderstood to now depicting him in a more heroic and aspirational manner,” Gitter explained.
The fact that Ruffalo has a six-picture contract, is another sign that a future Hulk movie could be just over the horizon.
But unless Hulk is reconceived in a major way, it’s a bad idea. The reason for Hulk’s sudden popularity now is due in part to his being a supporting character. Sometimes less is truly is more. For example, in the TV series Friends, Matt LeBlanc was goofy and charming; when he and his character spun off into their own series, Joey, not so much. And would a whole movie devoted to Boba Fett work? Doubtful.
The Hulk movies, no matter how good the talent behind them, ultimately fail to transcend because the story degenerates into a CGI-laden monster fighting off other monsters, and the character’s human grounding is lost.
Plus, the Hulk is usually mopey and wants to be left alone. So let’s leave him alone.
5. Weirdest Movie Tie-In?
There’s an incredible amount of Avengers merchandise out there for the summer’s first big movie. The better stuff includes the Hasbro super-hero action figures and the cool LEGO sets that reenact key set pieces.
But for those that want to smell like an Avenger? Now you can.
JADS International has a line of Avengers cologne. One set has includes the Mark VII (Iron Man), Patriot (Captain America), Worthy (Thor) and Smash! (Hulk).
Also part of the line is a Loki cologne, called Mischief, and a Nick Fury fragrance, called Infinity Formula.
But what do the women get? Just the Black Widow, inspired by Scarlett Johansson’s character. With citrus and berries, caramel and honey, some sandalwood, chocolate, patchouli and praline, it’s “for the woman who walks the tightrope of love and duty.”