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The Rough Cut 4-20-12: ‘The Avengers’ movie — like geek nirvana

April 20, 2012 - Keith Frederick
There are a lot of things I could’ve written about in this week’s column.

The coming season finales of the TV season. The start of the big album release season. Film festivals and music festivals. The Tupac hologram.

But my mind kept coming back to one thing: “‘The Avengers’ is coming out! ‘The Avengers’ is coming out! Oh my God, ‘The Avengers’ is coming out!”

To a lifelong comic book geek, I’m not sure there’s anything else that really matters in entertainment right now. On May 4, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and The Incredible Hulk will team up on the big screen, with Hawkeye, the Black Widow and Nick Fury thrown in for good measure. (Insert squealing geek noise here. Make sure it lasts at least four minutes, like in real life.)

Unless DC’s multitude of rights issues get cleared up and a Justice League movie starts to materialize, it really doesn’t get any bigger than this. The probable blockbuster brings together the big guns of the Marvel universe, after each of them has had a hit film in his own right. This sort of mash-up of hit film characters is unprecedented, really. The closest comparison I can think of is if the characters in “The Expendables” were intended to be Rambo, John McClane and the Terminator, instead of Steroids Stallone, Smirking Bruce and Plastic Surgery Schwarzenegger playing caricatures of themselves.

For those of you who did not spend your childhood buried in a comic, “The Avengers” debuted in Marvel Comics in 1963, when Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp joined forces to stop Thor’s evil brother, Loki, from causing havoc. The team discovered Captain America frozen in suspended animation in issue No. 4, and he quickly became the face of the team.

Between then and now, there have been countless deaths and resurrections, many villains and world-endangering battles, an Avengers roster that has included just about every character in the Marvel Universe and enough big stories to fill the multiplex every day for a decade.

The Marvel Movie Universe is once again joining the heroes together to battle Loki in “The Avengers” — minus Ant-Man and the Wasp, because the world isn’t ready to believe in a shrinking superhero who talks to ants. Yet.

A few days ago, someone was explaining to me the geekiness of another person by saying that he “knows the real names of all the Avengers, all their powers and their whole backstory.” I just stared, confused, and said, “Why would anyone not know their real names, powers and backstories?” I was then told that I wasn’t normal. Which I was totally fine with.

I think the bottom line with “The Avengers” movie is that it looks like a blast. Even for non-comic fans, these characters have proven to be interesting and a lot of fun.

Even if you don’t giggle like an idiot when Captain America looks at the Incredible Hulk and says, “Hulk. Smash.”

Not that I know anyone who does that.

Mirror Staff Writer Keith Frederick’s column appears monthly in Go. He can be reached at 946-7466 or by email

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