The Avengers: A Bunch of Murderers


“No, how could you be worthy? You’re all killers.” — Ultron

Ultron was right. The Avengers are a bunch of killers, murders, and no one seems to care. If there’s a hint of conscience among them, it’s well hidden. One could make the case that Natasha (Black Widow) was remorseful about the red in her ledger. But she never developed any disregard for killing, as long as her justification was sufficient.


In Mark Gruenwald’s almost ten-year run writing Captain America in the comics, Captain America refused to kill except when absolutely necessary. The writers before and after him didn’t abide by that theory. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Cap was a killing machine, never giving it a thought. He got started on Nazi’s and never looked back.

Hawkeye and Black Widow, “a couple of master assassins,” according to Tony Stark. Black Widow first killed for her country and then for hire. She has a special skill set which she never hesitated to use. Hawkeye damn near killed Natasha at the behest of S.H.I.E.L.D., until he made a different call, recruiting a fellow killer to his team.


The late Iron Man got his start as a weapons manufacturer, creating weapons of mass destruction that killed soldiers and civilians alike. His body count is likely the second highest of all the Avengers, but only because Thor has been at it for over 1,000 years and had nine realms from which to choose victims. With the help of his hammer Mjolner, “the gates of Hel are filled with the screams of his victims.” With Thor’s new ax “Stormbreaker,” Hel may need to open up a new wing.


You could make the case that The Hulk would never contemplate taking a life except during those times when he lost control. The newest version, Professor Hulk is now a big green teddy bear that wouldn’t hurt a fly, that wasn’t already trying to kill him or his friends.

What is my point? With Avengers: Endgame closing in as the highest grossing film of all time, possibly surpassing Avatar. What lessons are being learned about the value of life? Our heroes are killers. Coming soon to a theater near you in 2019; John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, Gemini Man with Will Smith playing an elite assassin, Joker, Child’s Play featuring the return of Chucky, and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile based on serial killer Ted Bundy. Are we glorifying violence and murder enough? We just saw Thanos kill half the universe in Infinity War. Someone is bound to want to top that, and audiences worldwide are eating it all up.


Eight students were shot today at a school in Colorado. Schools and businesses practice and train for active shooters. We have become so inoculated against violent death that we glorify those that are the best at administering it, we call them superheroes. Even your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man now has, “Instant Kill Mode.” This was allegedly Peter’s least favorite feature, but as we saw in Endgame, he got over it.

That there is a thirst for death and violence in entertainment is obvious. It’s hard to imagine that there’s no real-world influence resulting. Is there no reward any longer for weaving a magical tale? Or is body count and revenue the only measure. Something to think about.

The Worst Thing About “Avengers: Infinity War” Was The Audience. Spoilers!


This is less a review of the movie, “Avengers: Infinity War,” than it is of the audience. While this may have been the most spoiled movie of all time, it’s apparent that some members of the audience should have been required to take a pre-course or something before being allowed to purchase a ticket.

First, this is not a movie for little kids, leave them at home! I know you took them to see Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and maybe even Avengers 1 and 2 and they were just fine. This is none of those movies, what’s different is that in all of those movies while the hero may seem defeated or even dead for a while. Before the lights come on, all will be restored more or less and all is right with the world. Not this movie.

The source material for Avengers: Infinity War, is over 25 years old. In the comics, the whole goal of Thanos is to wipe out half the universe. While his motivation may be changed in the film, it’s who Thanos is, it’s what he does. He succeeded in the comics and given that this movie as split up into two films. That he ends up wiping out half the universe is the one result you should have expected walking in the door. Half the universe dies, and you come back in a year to find out how they survive in Part Two. One of the reasons you don’t bring young kids, is that some of their personal favorites are among the dead, now you have to explain to them they should believe you and not their lying, crying eyes.


It shouldn’t have to be said at this point, but at the end of every Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie, there’s an after-credit scene that sets something up for the next movie or some related event affecting the MCU. When the credits started rolling, the percentage of people who jump out of their seats and head for the exits, continues to astound. Several of the movies have had two after-credit scenes and it’s maybe understandable to leave after the first one, there’s no excuse to leave before waiting for one, save those whose bladders couldn’t take any more after a 2.5 hour movie.

For those who stayed for the after-credit scene and watched Colonel Nick Fury send someone a page and a symbol appeared. I heard several people wondering, “what does that mean?” and “who was he contacting?” I passed a couple of those people and answered, “he paged Captain Marvel.” They were still confused. Hopefully, they’ll go watch the Captain Marvel movie when it comes out in March 2019, two months before the finale to Avengers: Infinity War.


I understand not wanting to be spoiled before watching the movie. There’s a huge difference between being spoiled and being totally ignorant. You have to know enough to be able to connect the dots or you won’t enjoy the movie. The motion picture was awesome by the way. Before the release of the yet to be named Avengers 4 movie, I’ll put out the basic information fans need to know before watching the film. Not knowing the difference between Asgard and Wakanda will be a problem. If you go in totally blind, at least show some pride and act like you know.

What I Disliked About Captain America: Civil War (Mild Spoilers)

 

I write about politics, family, I write poetry and more. I have yet to write about superheroes in film, yet it is here that I am as comfortable as any other genre. I grew up on comic books. Primarily Marvel, but I have a firm grounding in the DC Universe as well. In the past few weeks, I’ve seen Batman vs. Superman and today Captain America: Civil War and find I have something to say.

Batman vs. Superman had its moments. It followed up on the aftermath of Man of Steel and it was interesting to see Batman power up to the point where he could go toe to toe with Superman. I was slightly annoyed that the Superman who watched his Earth father die when he could have saved him in the previous film, suddenly was willing to sacrifice the world to save his Earth mother. What was worse was the feeble efforts to introduce the Justice League. While Wonder Woman was arguably the best character in the film. The “introduction” of The Flash and Aquaman was terribly weak and can’t compare to the juggernaut that Marvel has created with The Avengers which was set up by multiple individual character films. I’m glad I saw Batman vs. Superman for the sake of completism and being able to hold my own in a conversation but all in all, I could have missed it and been alright!

It’s Captain America: Civil War that was disappointing in a different way. Not that it was a bad movie. Like the fawning critics have made known it had a good story, amazing fight scenes and the much-anticipated introduction of Spider-man and the Black Panther did not disappoint. Ant-Man literally played a large role and generally speaking most of the other Avengers played their part and were consistent with their previous appearances and motivations. I get the impression that Falcon and War Machine were afterthoughts in the movies as they were in the comics but that is a relatively minor complaint. What I found disappointing was that the future of the superhero hero film itself looks dim to me. I told a friend that I’ve waited all my life for these characters to come to the big screen in a realistic fashion and Captain America: Civil War and pretty much all the recent Marvel movies not produced by Fox (and the Hulk movie) have done that. The problem is that they have almost nowhere else to go.

I am reminded of a report I once did on Monster movies and their rise and fall within a relatively short period of time. After Frankenstein, the Wolf Man and Dracula had a few successful individual films. Interest started falling and the only way to fill the seats was to put multiple monsters in the same movie. This gave us “House of Frankenstein” which begat “House of Dracula” and when we knew the shark had been jumped was in “Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein”. All three featured Frankenstein, Wolf Man and Dracula along with other monsters and they finally reached the point where there was no point.

The two Avengers Movies, Captain America: Civil War (which was close to a third Avengers film) and Guardians of the Galaxy were all outstanding movies. After the introduction of Doctor Strange, another Thor movie, a Black Panther film, Captain Marvel and another Ant Man movie. We’ll see a two-part Avengers Infinity War which is rumored to contain as many as 67 characters. What saddens me is the thought there’s nowhere for them to go from there.

The concept of a stand-alone hero movie where the hero singularly battles a foe has already gone by the wayside. This the third Captain America installment had at my count 12 uniformed heroes (depending on how you count Bucky Barnes) and there is little hope in the immediate future for a story which isn’t propped up by co-superstars. Thor: Ragnarok will feature The Hulk, Spider-man will feature Iron Man, it appears the Black Panther will bring back Bucky if not Captain America as well, Ant Man will introduce the Wasp. After Infinity Wars 1 & 2 where can they go?

I’m looking forward to almost all the Marvel (not produced by Fox) movies already announced. I’ll also see X Men: Apocalypse and hope to enjoy it. The Fantastic Four was one of my favorite comics but the movies? Not so much! It might seem a little early to be sounding the alarm but for superhero movies… the end is near.