The Avengers: Should They Wear Masks?

How do you showcase your big name stars and at the same time stay true to the look of a comic book superhero?

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By AUSSYACE - 4/10/2012
Here’s a perplexing question that super hero movies often face. How do you showcase your big name stars and at the same time stay true to the look of a comic book superhero? While it’s easy with some superheroes like Superman, who miraculously is able to maintain a secret identity with a simple pair of glasses, the majority of superheroes tend to prefer the use of masks to preserve their privacy. Also, because fighting supervillains is dangerous business, many superheroes might have some type of helmet or other protective headgear.

Do you cover up the face of your most bankable star with a mask? Or in the case of a character like Iron Man do you cover up every inch of your most bankable star with a full body suit of armor. The reality is that big name stars are a big part of filling theater seats on big budget movies, and fans of those stars are kind of particular about actually being able to see the star in the movie.
Superhero movies also tend to command high budgets, and check writers tend to be leery of spending big dollars without a big name star attached to a project. Just imagine trying to explain, we have Robert Downey, Jr., but he’s going to be covered from head to toe in armor for most of the movie. We also have Mark Ruffalo, but he’s going to be a big CGI green monster. Then, there’s Chris Hemsworth, you know the guy with the gorgeous blonde hair, but you want see it, because we’re slapping a big metal helmet on his head.



In addition to the whole covering up the biggest stars issue, there is another big factor when it comes to masks and headgear in movies. What looks really cool on comic book pages can often look kind of goofy on the big screen. For example, the outrage over Captain America not wearing his mask/helmet appears to only be eclipsed by the outrage over how weird Captain America looks when he is wearing his mask/helmet.

So what is a superhero movie to do? Do you upset comic book fans who cry foul over the costume not staying true to the character? Or do you risk missing out on the mass appeal or putting Robert Downey Jr.’s face front and center on your poster?

What do you think the best answer is? Should the Avengers wear masks?
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28 Comments
IgnurRant - 4/10/2012, 2:12 AM
If Evans can run around in a Walmart costume & horrible mask then Thor should have his helmet and Hawkeye his costume.
Ace101 - 4/10/2012, 2:36 AM
@IgnurRant Hawkeye has his costume albeit not the 616 version and Thors' helmet seems like its ceremonial and clearly he had a distaste for the helmet as you could tell by his expression in the pre-coronation scene when the servant gives him his helmet. Where as loki probably thinks hes badass (which he is) wearing that helmet, well since he was king for like half the Thor movie and he wants to rule Earth, its only logical he wears his helmet to show his presence and authority.

Ok on the matter of the article, i watch a cbm movie because of the characters not the actors, so more mask time would be cool. Would also love to see a live action version of wolverine in his yellow/black and blue costume and have him go berserk (god i loved when he went berserk in the X-men anime XD)


Oh man i have like the best x-men movie in my head right now, better write it down b4 i forget XD
Ace101 - 4/10/2012, 2:58 AM
Is it just me or would u love to see Thor say this at the end of the Avengers
" For now and forever anyone who needs to know will know, that Asgard and Earth are allies, attempt to defile one and incur the wrath of the other. And let it be known, Avengers, one and all, if the call is given. I will join your ranks once more." [frick] that would be so epic.
IgnurRant - 4/10/2012, 4:06 AM
@Ace101

If The Avengers was going to be a film that can be taken serious with themes that were an allegory to the current political state, then yes they should of used the Ultimate design. But it wont. Its gonna be full of lighthearted comedy & action aimed toward kids & selling toys.

Its clear that Marvel, especially after the release of IM2 they are in the business of making cookie cutter films. IM & TIH had a quasi real world approach in line with Ultimate-verse. IM had refernces to terrorist & Al-Queda & TIH was anti-government in a way. IM2, Thor &TFA were very comic book-y with a child like good vs evil template with no lasting meaning. Using the ultimate design is an insult to the Ultimate Universe & the better stories it tells.

As far as Thor not wearing his helmet, that is a cheap cop out. Yes Thor says he doesnt it like but its because the screenwriters wrote it. It could have been easily designed in a comfortable way for the actor. And wasnt that a deleted scene? So really holds no bearing on the film.

Marvel should just continue to go full comic book with all the fantasical elements & over-the-top plots that go with it.
bgharcourt - 4/10/2012, 4:45 AM
That was my biggest complaint about IM2. Flipping up the facemask just for the sake of actor face time. This is also why they had such trouble finding a cobra commander for GI Joe. All the actors that that got the casting call(save for JGL)refused to wear the mask. And not because it looked bad, because it covered their faces.
roguegiant - 4/10/2012, 5:03 AM
i would love for thor to wear his helmet but either way i will be there day 1
BANE5000 - 4/10/2012, 5:47 AM
To me, when it comes to Thor's helmet, I see it more as a ceremonial headwear, not something he would wear into battle. I know on the flip side Loki wears his when fighting , but i think in the case of Thor, its more like a " crown " for him to wear while in Asgard then battle headgear...

When it comes to other characters , such as Wolverine. I would love to see him wear his actual comic costume, mask and all. Though FOX may see it as ridiculous, I have an idea of how they can get him in his full X-Men gear...In his upcoming film The Wolverine, after Logan has proven to be a worthy person and warrior to those hes trying to help in Japan, maybe they present him with a sort of Samurai body armor that could resemble his costume from the comics, along with a mask for him to sport in the final climatic fight scene against Silver Samurai...What do u guys think?
TheRaven20 - 4/10/2012, 6:10 AM
I like that idea BANE5000. I think that would work!
breakUbatman - 4/10/2012, 6:47 AM
Nah I honestly don't think the face time issue is as much of factor as Studios make it out to be especially with a blockbuster. V for Vendetta did well at the box office and was great movie even though you never ever saw Hugo Weavings face. Batman seems to do fine as well, so I don't see why there should be a problem with any other characters.

Marvel and Disney just punked out, if they had just made Avengers first I'd understand but all the main players have appeared in solo movies before with exception of Ruffalo. Marketing wise there's a reason why posters have writing so people can read who the cast is, you don't need to show who the cast of Shrek is on a poster that's what interviews and behind the scenes stuff are for.

In the actual movie you know who is who so the only time masks should come of is during downtime.

Iron Man - Favreau and co solved this with the HUD setup
Captain America - The mask doesn't hide his identity at all
Thor - I'm not for the helmet but it doesn't obstruct his face
Hulk - they've modeled the character on the actor.

There's really no excuse for exposing your face mid battle just because you want to be a diva.
Gmoney84 - 4/10/2012, 6:49 AM
Hawkeye's classic comic book costume would've been shit-tastic on the big screen.
SuperSomething616 - 4/10/2012, 6:50 AM
I wouldnt say it was an issue...Super heroes have secret identities...ergo 50% of the time you will be seeing the big name stars face...

At the end of the day its the name more than the face that draws in cinema goers...just look at Nolans Batman films for example...
roguegiant - 4/10/2012, 6:55 AM
@ BANE5000 that idea about Wolverine sounds just right. that would be a perfect way to get Wolverine in his costume, but much like Wolverine wearing his costume during battle in the comics, Thor also wears his helmet during battle. its not, at least from what i understand ceremonial in the comics. even though it seems that way in the movie. its only because the producers or designers or directors or whoever didn't think it would look cool enough. believe me when i heard they were doing a Thor movie i was like how the hell are they gonna pull off that feather helmet. but that first scene in Thor with him wearing it put all that to rest. it looked awesome and i really wished they had kept it on during battle. i hope they at least put one tiny reference to it in the avengers instead of completely ignoring it
CorndogBurglar - 4/10/2012, 7:47 AM
A costume is just a costume. It has no effect on the actual story of a movie. at least not when the main characters are not trying to hide their identities. None of the avengers are trying to keep their identity a secret, so their is no point in hawkeye wearing a mask.

Spidey NEEDS one for obvious reasons. Hell, not even the xmen are hiding their identities. So masks are not something that is a must for me unless there is a reason for it.

Thor's helmet? Who cares, its just cosmetic. As long as he still acts like Thor I couldnt give a shit if he has a helmet on.

See what I mean? There are way more important things to worry about than how accurate a costume is.

Also, I find it funny that u talk about how IM and IH were grounded a little more in reality and that was a good thing, then turn around and and s
CorndogBurglar - 4/10/2012, 7:48 AM
And say that hawkeye should be wearing a ridiculous purple outfit and mask...
roguegiant - 4/10/2012, 8:23 AM







some assembly required
IgnurRant - 4/10/2012, 8:39 AM
@Corndog Burgular. first off cool name.

You are correct, in that thecostume is not more important but Marvels 3 latest films are more concerned with visuals than great story telling.

I think you misunderstood my other statement. IM was heavily influenced by Batman Begins for its quasi-realism & TIH followed suit. IM2 & all subsequent Marvel films have been more comic book-y and fantastical, even though TFA should have been a gritty war film with a bad ass Captain American Super Solider but I digress.

B/C the MCU has decided to go with a more colorful direction, far from the quasi-realism the first two films established, why not own up to it? Evans looks flamboyant in his costume. Hawkeye's costume is equally as vivid.
ThreeBigTacos - 4/10/2012, 9:31 AM
IgnurRant: WTF? Neither Iron Man nor Hulk were influenced by Batman Begins. They were both simply both less 'cheesy' and less 'comical' as Spider-Man. Look at X-Men, despite how good or bad you think the films are, they're far more darker with big issues of discrimination verses the under lining big issues of Iron Man (alcoholism, selfishness) and Hulk.
IgnurRant - 4/10/2012, 10:01 AM
@ThreeBigTacos First off cool name lol And I dont say that to everybody!

But you would be inccorect sir. Originally IronMan was to have The Mandarin as the main villain and would have been much more comic book-y. Faverau consulted with Shane Black who told him to look towards Batman Begins for inspiration & told him a quasi-realism is a better approach. Hence the Ten Rings as a terrorist organization.

IronMan set the intial tone of the MCU and Incredible Hulk was changed in pre-production to fit the formula. All this was said in the interviews and special features. Im too lazy to google it lol but its very true.
Tainted87 - 4/10/2012, 10:09 AM
Masks....
Do any of these characters have a secret identity they wish to protect? As far as loved ones who would be targeted by their enemies, well, at most, there's Pepper, and Tony already revealed his identity to everyone on the planet.
superotherside - 4/10/2012, 10:27 AM
I think people need to complain about something else... lol. I think they look great with or without the helmets. It's not a big thing IMO.
BIGBMH - 4/10/2012, 12:11 PM
I get it, but at this point, anyone who would be excited about Robert Downey Jr. being in the movie should already know he's Iron Man. Seriously, his names on the poster, he's featured heavilly in all the trailers/tv spots, and he's played the character twice in two major blockbusters. We don't really need to see his face on the poster.
ThreeBigTacos - 4/10/2012, 1:15 PM
Skeema: that's not the case all the time. Check out my editorial on the matter
http://www.comicbookmovie.com/iron_man/news/?a=57657
BANE5000 - 4/10/2012, 5:04 PM
@roguegiant

I think a good way for them to atleast reference Thor"s helmet in The Avengers is maybe at the end, when all i ssaid and done and the enemy is defeated, SHIELD and the Worlds Council hold like a thank u ceremony for the team and Thor can be wearing his helmet once again for ceremonial purposes...and to add a bit of fun to it, have Stark standing next to him, giving him this funny look and making a lil remark about the helmet like Loki did in the deleted scene and Thor gets a look on his face like " not you too " :]
masterhater - 4/10/2012, 8:44 PM
@ignurant that was hilarious!
masterhater - 4/10/2012, 8:52 PM
All I know is that Capt's outfit looks terrible either way.
Thors helmet is classic. Thor would look like Thor more if he had his helmet. It's not ceremonial in the comics and it should be the same in the movie. And I did see the deleted Thor scenes but still he would look more like Thor if he wore his helmet all the time.

Also if the reason he should not wear his helmet is because it's purely cosmetic and ceremonial... then what do u have to say about his cape? That shot doesn't give him any powers.
CorndogBurglar - 4/11/2012, 4:59 AM
@ masterhater

When I saw Thor's helmet is cosmetic and nothing else, I'm not saying I wouldn't prefer it. I would. What I'm saying is that little things like a costume change/alteration are really not that big of a deal. If they keep it, great. Just like the cape. I'm glad they kept the cape...BUT, if they would have gone the Ultimate Thor costume route, and left the cape out, it wouldn't have bothered me so much, because at the end of the day, we're still seeing 616 Thor on screen.

See what I'm saying?
CorndogBurglar - 4/11/2012, 5:11 AM
But the biggest thing everyone needs to remember is what purpose masks serve. If someone is not hiding their identity, then what point is there of wearing a mask?

Cap is the only one that wears a mask, but there is a totally different reason for that. Cap wears a mask because he is representing the American people. All Americans. He is the every man. By wearing a mask, he is making the statement that who he is does not matter, the important thing is what he represents.

I think that might get lost on most people, though...
STOOPUDR - 4/12/2012, 12:16 AM
I think the point CorndogBurglar is making is the most important deviation from the source material in all of the MCU movies. There are no secret identities. Tony told everyone he was Ironman. Steve constantly showed his face to the troops in Captain America. Donald Blake became a joke in Thor, and Hulk being Banner seems well known. The masks or lack there of are just a symptom of this change.

I don't have a problem with it. With these heroes secret identities are not needed. It would be cool if the costumes were more like the comic books, but so far for the most part they have been better. CATFA costume was an improvement. IM was an improvement. Thor was probably the best improvement. Look at his original suit in the comic. It was a cloth with circles on it. The movie suit had way more texture and shape to it. It was more than a fair trade for the helmet.

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