EDITORIAL: The Avengers Line Up!
I just wanted to put my 2 cents in on what I think of The Avengers Movie line up and get your opinions in the process.
For months now the speculation regarding the upcoming film The Avengers, has been cause for debate among over expectant comic fans everywhere. Who's going to make up the roster? Is it going to follow The Ultimates? Who will they face? Speculation about Edward Norton portraying Bruce Banner has fueled many an argument. The Pyms have fanned other hot debates. The studio can't make an Avengers movie without so and so. If they do have a part in the movie, what actor will they get for the character. And so on and so on and so on.
Everyone has known for sure that Captain America, Iron Man and Thor would be featured in the film, and that is where the opinions start to go in every direction imaginable. Some people want to see the original line up from 1963 and will accept nothing short of that. Other people want to see The Ultimates and can't envision anything else being adaptable to the big screen.
Now, before I go any further, let me tell you what I would have wanted. I am an Avenger nutcase. I have always loved comics but without a doubt I would trade any other comic or all other comics for The Avengers. Other people have their own favorite but The Avengers are mine, by far. It's not even close. I have been reading The Avengers since the late 70's so I'm pretty up on all things Avengers, discounting the crap they tried to pass off as good comics in the 90's. That stuff almost killed the title permanently.
Knowing that, you could probably guess that I would love to see the original line up. Well evidently, that's not going to happen. The line up that has been announced is Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Hawkeye and The Black Widow (and no I don't count Nick Fury as an Avenger). Is it possible that there will be more characters introduced in the movie that have yet to be announced? Yes, it is completely possible but not likely and I'm OK with that. Here is why you should be also.
The Avengers as we all know, have been around for almost 50 years. After the first four or five years the line up began to look like a revolving door with the proverbial who's who of the Marvel Universe walking in and out every four or five issues. Marvel always used The Avengers to promote their up and coming or completely new characters that they really could not place in a self titled comic. The Fantastic Four had a closed roster, The X-Men was a private party (mutants only) and none of Marvels other group titles lasted long enough for them to promote anything new. So, outside of a stint on The Avengers a relatively unknown hero may have Marvel Two in One or Marvel team Up to look forward to but it was going to be a one shot deal.
During this in and out, merry go round roster ride there have been some constants from early on. Discounting the original five, I would consider Hawkeye, The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Hercules, The Black Panther, The Vision, The Beast, Wonderman, Mrs. Marvel and The Falcon to be these constants. The Black Widow could be placed in this group also. Even though she was not a member until much later, she was in and around the team much earlier than others in this group.
Other heroes came and went but if you place the original five on a list with these others you will find The Avengers line up has always consisted of at least two of these people and one of them is always the leader.
Out of this group Hawkeye and The Vision may as well be considered The Avengers staples for the simple reason that they have never had anywhere else to go. Sure they have worked with other heroes and teams but they absolutely don't fit in anywhere else. They are each in their own way a product of The Avengers in the same manner that Martian Manhunter is a product of The JLA.
Now in recent years, marvel has tried the reverse of it's previous promotional tactic to bring The Avenger titles back to where they belong as Marvels premier comic books. Instead of using the title to promote its individual characters, Marvel has used it's prominent heroes such as Spider Man, Luke Cage and Wolverine to boost Avengers sales, and it worked.
Which brings me back to the topic of who should be in the movie. I have already stated that I thought it should be the original team but thats not going to happen. For whatever reason, Marvel has decided to leave The Pyms out of the movie (as far as we know). Well if you are going to replace these two classic characters, it should be with two other classic characters, which takes us back to the second list.
The two that stand out as true blue, through and through Avengers on that list are Hawkeye and The Vision, for reasons that I already stated. Alright, so Hawkeye is a shoe in, what about The Vision? He can under no circumstances, be used for this movie. WHY, you ask? If Hank Pym has not been introduced you can't use the most famous creation of his most famous creation without severely angering the fan base. You have to go with your next logical choice.
The movie needs a woman in the fold to replace The Wasp and offset all the flying testosterone. The Scarlet Witch would be perfect. However, she won't work without her famous brother being close by and it's entirely possible that she is off limits because she is a mutant and Freakin Fox has the rights to Marvels mutants.
This leaves us with The Black Widow, who not only has been around the team almost since the beginning but has ties to almost every character in the Marvel Universe. She can be used fluidly in almost any film Marvel wants to shoot in the future. Like it or not, she is actually a better catalyst, or glue to hold Marvels plans together than The Wasp could have ever been.
To wrap up a long story, I am not at all dissatisfied with the line up Marvel has announced. I think it gives them a very solid platform to build any and all movies they have planned in their future.
As for the Pyms, I am sure they will show up in an Avengers movie soon enough. There are too many possibilities out there that are directly tied to them for Marvel to ignore them.
To all the other purists out there that are disappointed with this line up, I say sit back and give it a chance. It looks like it could be one Hell of a film.
As usual, let your opinion be heard below.
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