Editorial: How DC Can Pull Off A Justice League Movie That Can Compete With The Avengers

With the release of the highly successful Marvel team up film The Avengers just last month, and release of Christopher Nolan's last Batman film The Dark Knight Rises rapidly approaching, I figured now is as good a time as ever to share my thoughts on Warner Brother's planned Justice League film. With Marvel now proving that a team up film and shared universe is a formula for success, there's no doubt that WB will take a few pointers from their strategy. But the real questions is how will they pull it off without being too similar to The Avengers? I've put together my own thoughts on how WB and DC should approach their own cinematic universe below.

Step 1-Establish The Big Two:
In order to have a successful Justice League movie Warner Bros. first has to make sure the team's two prominent leaders are well established, Superman and Batman. For starts Warner Bros. has been going through some trouble with their Superman franchise, originally trying to continue Christopher Reeve's series with Brandon Routh (Which I personally didn't hate, but also wouldn't say was the best way to bring Superman back to the big screen). Now while I think Superman Returns could've just had a sequel and everything would've worked out, Man of Steel seems to be the movie Superman deserves. Henry Cavill was actually my choice to play Superman in the film, and I really liked Zack Snyder's work on 300 and Watchmen (Sucker Punch not so much), so I think he has the comic adaption down. As for the recent Comic Con trailer, let me just say I'm amazed, and it seems to be everything I've wanted from a Superman movie. If Man of Steel proves to be as good as I think it'll be then we would have ourselves a great root for the Justice League movie, and an excellent actor to lead them.
As for Batman, things would be just fine with the huge success of Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale's brilliant Batman trilogy, but unfortunately neither Bale or Nolan will be returning after The Dark Knight Rises. This would leave Warner Bros. with no Batman background for a Justice League film. Now my prediction of what Nolan is/should be doing for Warner Bros. is the following. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character in The Dark Knight Rises is supposedly a police rookie named John Blake. Now many people believe John Blake to actually be Dick Grayson, a.k.a Robin or more around Levitt's age Nightwing. Now while that would be pretty awesome, Nolan has stated numerous times that he will not be including Robin into his films because it really doesn't fit the realistic tone of his series (Which I would definitely agree with).
Now my prediction is John Blake, while not wearing a costume or anything, will serve as a sidekick of sorts for Batman and teaming up with him to stop Bane. Basically helping him out as much as a powerless police officer can, and growing a close relationship to him. Now many rumors have pointed to the conclusion that this may be the end of Bale's Batman period, now whether that mean he dies or just vacates the mantle is yet to be revealed. Now what I believe is that like Dick Grayson recently took up the mantle of Batman after Bruce Wayne's death, John Blake could possibly do the same. You could think of it as a sort of gift from Nolan to Warner Bros., setting them up with a new Batman for the JL film, who is also much closer to Cavill's age. There is also always the option of a Batman reboot, taking a more Arkham Asylum type of approach to the story, with David Fincher (The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) or Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Mist) directing, and Michael Fassbender (Prometheus), James Cavaziel (Person of Interest), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), or Sam Witwer (Being Human) starring in the lead role.
While this isn't a post about the Batman reboot, it's currently a big issue considering the fact that Christopher Nolan's trilogy comes to a conclusion this weekend. As a very big Nolan fan myself, it's going to be very hard to get used to a new Batman, especially after the previous films were done so perfectly, and were so well told and casted. While there's a lot for Batman fans to worry about such as how could the reboot surpass, or even meet the same level as the Nolan series, and how could they completely start from scratch just a few years after the popular trilogy.
Well I think it's better to think about the positives this reboot could bring, such as seeing some characters that never managed to make into Nolan's films. There are many interesting Batman rogues that haven't been touched on film yet, such as Killer Croc, Deadshot, Black Mask, Hush, and Hugo Strange. There's also the Riddler, who many fans were hoping to see in The Dark Knight Rises, and villains who really didn't get a fair shot on screen such as Mr. Freeze. If done well, and casted well the film could be a success, and separate itself from the Nolan films, just like Nolan himself did when making Batman Begins.
Now the real question is, how would the average movie goer react to a reboot. Well it's a real question of whether movie goers really like Batman, or just Christopher Nolan's Batman, and the answer to that is Nolan has made many people like Batman, and it shows in sale's (Arkham Asylum has no connection to Nolan's trilogy, and it's still a best seller) so if it's Batman and looks good, the fans of Nolan's trilogy should at least be willing to give it a look. As for recasting roles that have already been made iconic in Nolan's trilogy, there's really no reason to go back and use villains we've already seen such as Two-Face, Scarecrow, Carmine Falcone, or now even Bane. Fresh new villains would definitely help the film's success, but there's still recasting and bringing back characters made iconic by the actors playing them in Nolan's trilogy, such as Commissioner Gordon, Lucius Fox, Alfred Pennysworth, and even the Joker.
Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Heath Ledger were all so perfect in those respective roles, the recasting almost seems like an impossible feat. But my suggestion is get iconic actors to replace iconic actors, such as Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) as Gordon, Denzel Washington as Lucius Fox, and John Hurt or Ian McKellen as Alfred. As for Joker, that's a much harder decision, but you just can't have a Batman series without the Joker. We could even finally see a quality version of Robin and Nightwing on the big screen, possibly even Red Hood in the future. Though it would be a hell of a lot easier if my John Blake theory proved true, and Warner Bros. doesn't have to go through this hassle, but they probably will.
If John Blake is the next Batman, I'd like to see him wear a slightly variated version of Bale's Batman suit

Step 2-Fix What's Already Broken:
There's no arguing about it, Green Lantern was not good, and definitely didn't do the character justice. It would be ridiculous for WB to simply bring in the Hal Jordan of last summer's failure straight into a JL movie. Now I know many people would not approve of the right now undecided Green Lantern 2, and now with the hero's reputation, not too many people would waste they're time seeing it. But there's definitely one way to please the fans for GL 2, and that's by introducing John Stewart as the new Green Lantern. While I'm a fan of Hal Jordan and I think Ryan Reynolds did okay in the role, much more people are John Stewart fans out there, and Stewart is even the one more associated with the Justice League in the first place. With a new director (Might I suggest Source Code and Moon director Duncan Jones) to take Martin Campbell's place, a much better story, better costumes and effects, and much more screen time for Sinestro, Kilowog, Tomar-Re, and space it's self, the film could be a completely fresh start without having to trudge through an entire reboot (See what G.I. Joe Retaliation is trying to attempt). Yes, Ryan Reynolds would return as Green Lantern at first, but with a similar storyline to the comics where Hal Jordan gets possessed by Parallax and John Stewart must take his place to take him down, the film could make the passage from one Lantern to another just as smooth as on the comics. With someone like Kick-Ass's Omari Hardwick in the lead role, you can't go wrong.

Step 3-Solo Movies, But Only For Those Who Need It:
A Flash movie is a must, if anything he deserved a movie before Green Lantern. I think the Flash has one of the coolest story lines of any DC superhero, and a very interesting ensemble of supporting characters (The Flashes, Kid Flash, Max Mercury, Jesse Quick, Impulse, etc.) who are all member's of the 'Speed Force'. The speedster definitely deserves his own film, now whether the Flash should be Wally West or Barry Allen is a debate of it's own. If anything Wally West would still be included only as Kid Flash, which is much more like the comics, and with someone like Dave Franco (21 Jump Street) in the role he could be just as likable and comedic as in the comics. I could definitely see a Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), or even Michel Gondry (Green Hornet) directed Flash movie starring either Zachary Levi, John Krasinski, or much preferably Scott Speedman or Chris Pine. I'm one of those people that isn't really a fan of having a cocky version of The Flash like Bradley Cooper would play, but rather just having the Flash be a funny charismatic guy. I'd want to see Flash square off against Zoom (Possibly played by Ben Foster), be able to time travel, even his rougues gallery (Captain Cold, Heatwave, Trickster, Captain Boomerang, and Mirror Master) with the right actors in the roles, and all the other adventures that make Flash much more than a guy who can run really fast.
Then there's of course Wonder Woman, whose movie has been in development hell forever. Joss Whedon was interested at a time, but the chance of that is long gone. The right way to do a Wonder Woman movie that isn't corny, is to focus much more on the warrior side of Wonder Woman. Most of the movie should take place with the Amazons, and the villain should definitely be Ares. it should be based off of the Wonder Woman animated film from 2009, and include many of the other gods including Zeus and Hades. As long as a good leading actress with the right look is cast, the movie should be a stable set up for the already well known character (See Lynda Carter's TV show). Maybe Thor's Jamie Alexander would be a good choice, or Olivia Wilde, or Taylor Cole. With the Flash and Wonder Woman set up, the main members of Justice League will have been established with solid backgrounds, similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Step 4-What To Do With The Other Guys
I think the line up of the Justice League in the film should really just be Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter, although it would be really cool to see Green Arrow. But unfortunately, Marvel sort of beat Warner Bros. to it with the whole skilled archer thing (See Hawkeye) and Green Arrow, if not done right, would sort of come off as a Hawkeye rip-off. Now to really differentiate them, Green Arrow would really need the back story of how he went from a selfish billionaire to Robin Hood type of figure. Now WB has recently announced their new TV series Arrow, which will star Stephen Ambell and will go through the very back story I just talked about.
Now if the show doesn't work out, I think Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy) would make for a perfect Oliver Queen/Green Arrow in a film, but the show would be a much easier and better suited way to introduce the character. So rather than Warner Bros. having to take the risk of yet again making a film of a pretty unknown character, they can use the TV series version of the character as a set up to launch Green Arrow into a Justice League movie. Plus the series has nothing to do with Justin Hartley's version of the character on Smallville (Which came across much more as a Hawkeye knockoff), which would help avoid continuity issues, and a future place in the cinematic universe could be the very reason Warner Bros. is purposely making a new version of the character.
While Green Arrow is a possibility for a Justice League member, both Aquaman and Martian Manhunter aren't just optional, they are musts. Now the real question is whether they deserve their own movie or not. An Aquaman movie has been pretty controversial for a while now, considering the fact that the character comes off a bit corny to some people, and it's a risky film to make. Not only is there the problem of having the character taken seriously, but there's also the expensive budget of making a while underwater Atlantis come to life, and for those Entourage fans out there, I don't think there's a chance of having James Cameron tackle this project.
There's also the similarities to Thor, such as one of the characters signature looks (Long blond hair and a beard), and the story of Orin's evil turned brother Ocean Master (Sound familiar?). While Ocean Master could still be in the film, it would really have to be Black Manta as the villain (Although his back story is a bit, questionable?). With the right actor as Black Manta, the much less campy version of Aqualad currently included on Young Justice (Who just so happens to be Black Manta's son), and Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood, Battleship) as Orin, the movie could be very successful and interesting. But if you really think about it, these people managed to mess up a cool character like Green Lantern, so would you really trust them with Aquaman? Suddenly James Cameron seems like the only option for who can prevent this from being a catastrophe, unless you get Peter Jackson on the line.
As for Martian Manhunter, to me if done right he could be sort of like the Hulk was to The Avengers. What I mean is he's really the one that stands out, and isn't really as well trusted as a lot of the other heroes. While he has an interesting story behind him, I don't really think it would work well enough as a solo film, especially as far as box office and audience numbers go. He would also sort of be the Captain America type of the bunch, feeling out of place coming to a new planet and adjusting, just as Cap did after being frozen for seventy years. With the JL movie sort of being from his perspective (While not actually pushing to far), he could be the underdog of the team that not to many movie goers know, and will hopefully come out of the theater with him being a memorable addition to the otherwise well known superhero team. With someone likable like Dennis Haysbert (The Unit), or Lance Reddick (Fringe) in the role, it could eventually lead into his own film if the JL film helps to expand his fan base.

Step 5-The Director And The Villain
Marvel certainly made one hell of a good choice when they decided on letting Firefly and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon helm their big on screen team up. Now obviously when you hear the question of who could be DC's answer to Joss Whedon, the answer is apparent; Christopher Nolan. Nolan is by far one of the most talented directors in Hollywood now, and a Justice League movie in his hands would give Whedon and The Avengers a run for their money. But unfortunately (And yet very understandable), Nolan has already expressed he's done with Batman, and if he's no letting his Batman anywhere near the Justice League, why would he even direct it? He has numerous times that not only is The Dark Knight Rises officially his last Batman movie, but that he has no plans to direct a Justice League film in the future. He wants to move on from this, which makes sense, he can't stay around adapting DC characters for the rest of his career, and he also isn't the only talented director out there fit for the job. So maybe Nolan won't direct, but now that he's producing Man of Steel, maybe he at least wants to have a part in putting this together, whether it's big or small, Nolan's help would definitely help keep the DC universe organized (Very similar to Kevin Fiege with the MCU), and keep disasters like Green Lantern from ever happening again.
Now then there's always the thought of the second best director involved with DC film right now, and that would be Zack Snyder. Based on the recent trailers and footage for Man of Steel, we can definitely tell Snyder knows what he's doing. So if he does do wonders for the Man of Steel on the big screen, then he'd be WB next best thing to Nolan, especially with Man of Steel not being the only amazing comic book adaption he has on his resume (Watchmen and 300 for example). Now as great as Zack Snyder would be for a Justice League film, and considering he's already made a superhero team film with Watchmen, I really rather him focus on the Man of Steel franchise right now. Just like Chris Nolan kept himself moderately involved with Man of Steel, to focus on wrapping up his Dark Knight franchise, I think Snyder really needs to put in his full energy for an epic Superman trilogy, one that has been a long time waiting. 
This isn't to say Snyder shouldn't be involved at all with the Justice League, but maybe just as a producer similar to one Nolan is doing for Man of Steel. Snyder is already paving the way for an amazing series, choosing astonishing actors for all the roles, and a great Superman foe to start off with, I can't help but draw similarities to what Nolan did with Batman. It would be amazing to see Snyder make Superman just as iconic as Nolan made Batman, and see him choose great villains for the second and third movies (Might I recommend a Braniac and Lex Luthor team up for the second film, and Doomsday for the third), I mean in the end Superman is the real American icon, so it only makes sense that he be iconic.
That being said, Snyder and Nolan are the only two talented directors DC/WB has right now, but that doesn't mean there aren't other people out there who could really match up with them on top. One director I've always thought really belonged at DC was J.J. Abrams, who in the past has expressed interest in making DC films (Superman: Flyby), and has really proven himself with his films the last couple of years. I mean the guy made Lost, Fringe, Super 8, and did I mention he managed to bring Star Trek back to the big screen? If he can bring Star Trek back to the big screen, with it being a full on reboot and all, then he can pull off a JL movie with ease. But for some reason the another great director always comes to mind as well, and that would be Brad Bird, who is well known for making Pixar's The Incredibles, a superhero movie only held back by the fact that it's animated, the highly under-rated (But one of my favorites) Iron Giant, and not to mention he's excellent work this past year on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, a major critical and financial hit. Now it just so happens that Brad Bird and J.J. Abrams seem to be the best of pals, and they collaborated on Ghost Protocol. Now I think a team up between the two of them is really the kind of talent that a JL movie needs behind it, and I think the that's an accurate substitute for Nolan and Snyder's absence. The two really know how to adapt from source material, work well with ensemble casts, and most importantly just make damn good movie.
Now as far as the villain goes, that's the real tough part about a Justice League movie. Aliens, aliens, aliens, practically all the JL villains are just that, and aliens are the very villains we just saw in The Avengers with the Chitauri. On top of that the aliens the Justice League fights have always been far less interesting and threatening than The Avengers ones like the Skrulls and the Kree, and some are even down right ridiculous (Starro for example, he's literally a giant star fish). So what I say to DC is don't use aliens, for one thing they are become over used and people are sick of them anyway, and on top of that DC should use what they have that Marvel doesn't to their advantage. What is that you ask? It's pretty clear the DC heroes have a much wider variety of villains to choose from, and on top of that most of them are classic.
Batman has one of the most versatile rogues galleries of any superhero, and almost all his villains are well known, Superman also has a cool ensemble to face off against, and even The Flash has some pretty cool foes (I did say SOME though). Perhaps a team up of each heroes greatest foes, similar to the Legion of Doom, or the Injustice League, from the comics would be a suitable match for the Justice League. A team that consists of Zod, Joker, Zoom, Ares, Sinestro, and Black Manta would be quite awesome to see on screen, and quite a lot more interesting then seeing the fight a giant star fish in my opinion.
Now the biggest problem is that the Justice League's biggest foe has always been Darksied. He's the guy who fans want to see, and he'd be great on the big screen, not to mention it's a lot easier to have one mega villain rather than six foes. But the problem is that The Avengers has mentioned Thanos, and Darksied and Thanos are near identical. Now I know they have very different motivations and back stories, but in the end Thanos was admitted to be originally a direct copy of Darksied, but over the years he's become more interesting a differentiated from him. Now the problem is Marvel really beat DC to the punch, and now Darksied on screen would really just come across as DC's Thanos rip off. So honestly I'm really not sure if there's a way we can even see Darksied as a Justice League villain at all (As much as I really want him to be), which wouldn't be very true to the comics, but would really help make the Justice League a very separate entity from The Avengers.
So what do you think of my ideas for a Justice League film and DC Cinematic Universe? Do you have ideas of your own?

Review: The Avengers Finally Assemble On Screen, But Does Joss Whedon Give Fan's Their Dream Team-Up?

The long wait is over; Earth's mightiest heroes have finally assembled together on the big screen. The moment we’ve been waiting for since Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury first meet Tony Stark in the Iron Man after credits scene. Whether you’re a Marvel fan or not, you can't ignore how big of an event and how monumental The Avengers really is. After a series of amazing origin film including Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel Studios hasn't missed a step while envisioning their ultimate goal; the team up of a lifetime. It's almost hard to believe Marvel Studios has really managed to bring this to the big screen, and more importantly just how perfect it was.

As great as it is seeing the ensemble of amazing characters meet up for the first time, it is also incredible seeing all these excellent actor sharing the screen. Robert Downey Jr., as usual, practically steals the show as Tony Stark. If there is anyone who fit their comic book counterpart perfectly, it’s Downey, and of course he offers the same charisma, humor, and sarcasm he has given throughout all the Iron Man series. Stark’s lines in the movie are some of the best, and it also great seeing how he has grown as a character since Iron Man and how he interacts with other character including Bruce Banner, and of course his rivalry with Steve Rogers. For such a key character to this film, both Downey and Whedon did an excellent job at doing him justice in the film, while still keeping this from being a too Iron Man focused film.
One of the biggest surprises of the film was Black Widow’s importance to the story, considering the fact that both in the marketing and in the actual comics she really doesn’t do much. But Whedon makes sure to give her a lot more to say here, and he gives her character a lot more to do this time around in comparison to in Iron Man 2. While I’ve never been a big fan of Scarlett Johansson being chosen to play Black Widow (Considering the fact she isn’t even Russian like the character is supposed to be), her role in The Avengers pretty much changes my mind, she even actually speaks Russian in the film. Johansson does a great job establishing the chemistry between Black Widow and Hawkeye, as well as her relationship with Stark and Banner.
Believe it or not the actual characters in the film that feels less focused on are Captain America and Thor, both of whom got great solo movies last year, and have been heavily marketed as well. Chris Evans does a pretty good job as Steve Rogers, while we do get to see a lot of Rogers confusion of being in a new time period, we really don’t get the full feel of the man out of time aspect that Rogers is going through because of everything else that is going on. Honestly I though Evans did a better job in The First Avenger, but I think that it helped that he was written more in depth there. What Evans does succeed at very well is pulling off the second half of the Stark/Rogers rivalry. While there was no question the RDJ would do great at it, I was a bit worried that Downey would out do Evans in those scenes, but he managed to pull it off well. Evans also does a great job at showing the natural leadership of Rogers, especially during the battle in the second half of the film.
Similar to Evans, Chris Hemsworth was also not as good as Thor as he was in his solo movie, mainly because he wasn’t as important here. I don’t really blame it on Hemsworth as opposed to how Thor was written in the film, but I’ll talk about that later. While Hemsworth doesn’t get as much chemistry with his teammates in comparison to other characters, we do get to see the famous head butting between Thor and the Hulk throughout the film, although it isn’t nearly as complex as the Stark and Rogers rivalry. Hemsworth really shines in some great scenes opposite Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, both of whom have great chemistry and their brother relationship really feels real, such as how Thor still sympathizes over his brother and still sees good in him.
And now I’ll get to the most important performance in the film, the villain, Tom Hiddlestion’s Loki. While we got to see a sort of preview of just how evil Loki could be in Thor, for the most part of the film he really came off as more of an angered son who was betrayed and was looking for revenge, and he was actually a character who you could sympathize for. While this aspect of the character was good to introduce in an origin, in order for him to be a much more menacing antagonist to the Avengers, both Whedon and Hiddleston have really evolved him into a truly evil rival. It seems hard to go from A to B so quickly, but the film does a good job at showing how Loki has grown and what has really driven him to become what he is now. Hiddleston gives a fantastic performance, which could’ve already been predicted from his work in Thor, but here he really has the chance to go all out with Loki. He is by far one of the better superhero villains that we have seen on screen recently, not nearly on the level of Heath Ledger’s Joker of course, but he really makes for a great threatening and vicious mastermind behind the Avengers problems.
One of the most controversial aspects of The Avengers was the last minute recasting of Bruce Banner/Hulk. I personally was a fan of Edward Norton’s portrayal of Bruce in The Incredible Hulk, and I was excited to him meet paths with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. So I must admit I was pretty disappointed to hear the negotiations between him and Marvel fell through. But as soon as I heard Mark Ruffalo was taking his place, I couldn’t have been happier. Ruffalo does a better job then Norton probably would have, he really has great chemistry with the cast, and is able to pull of the shy yet frustrated Bruce Banner. Unlike with Norton he also makes it very believable that when Bruce becomes the Hulk, there is still a little bit of Bruce in there. It helps that the special effects this time around for the Hulk actually carry out a lot of Ruffalo’s features and facial expressions onto Hulk’s face. While it is still Lou Ferrigno voicing Hulk and not Ruffalo, he does get a few lines in there and the size/personality of the Hulk this time around is much more accurate to his comic book counterpart, a version of the character that works much better in the team up with Avengers. Looking back I honestly can’t see Norton’s Hulk working as well as Ruffalo’s, so even if it wasn’t really planned, it ended up working in Marvel’s favor.
The special effects in the movie were really a marvel to watch (No pun intended). Like I said earlier the effect for Hulk this time around weren’t as over the top as The Incredible Hulk, although The Incredible Hulk’s version did look much more muscular and menacing, I think the changes ended up making him much closer to the comic book version (No exactly very tall and ripped, but a more monster like body to him). There are some scenes where the Hulk’s effect do look a little bit shaky, such as when he is in a smaller environment like the Hellacarrier. But by the time we get to the final battle the Hulk couldn’t have been better, providing some of the best action sequences of the film, and even comedic ones.
The aliens in the movie known as the Chitauri have a pretty cool design to them, but while some CGI bits of them were a little bit dodgy, overall the provided a cool and interesting physical opponent for The Avengers. I was a bit disappointed that the Chitauri were sort of generic in the film, not offering as much interest or threat as some other aliens that the Avengers come face to face with in the comics, such as the Skrulls (They can shape shift into anyone and can actually speak). But I can see why Whedon and Marvel didn’t want to go with any aliens that were to big, because due to already having Loki already as the primary villain and time constraints, aliens like the Skrulls couldn’t have been done right in such little time, but they still would’ve been cooler.
A key element to a big blockbuster like this is a score that matches the epic scale of the film, and Alan Silvestri’s score couldn’t have been a better fit. It is able to catch a classic action/adventure vibe to it that will surely be iconic years from now, and while I was nervous that he’s score would be too similar to his Captain America score, it really stand it’s grown as it’s own while still have some hints of Cap’s score in there for some scenes that just involve Rogers. The score slightly reminded me of Henry Jackman’s score for X-Men: First Class which is definitely a good thing because it is the perfect music for a superhero team up film.
Many people will probably say that the hero that didn’t really get their fair share in the film was Hawkeye, considering the fact that he wasn’t even on the team till the end of the film. But honestly I thought the fact that they made him an antagonist for half the film actually helped him get much more screen time than he would’ve if he was just hanging out with the team. So even though he missed out on a lot of the important moments that evolved the team in the first half of the film, his presence there wouldn’t have been of much use anyway. In my opinion the hero that actually didn’t play as a big a role as I was hoping for was Thor. I loved Thor in his solo movie last year, but for some reason here I didn’t feel like he was as involved with the team as he should’ve been. Must of Thor’s standout scenes and dialogue were really between him and Loki, and not him and the team. While I still liked Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal as Thor in the film, and I think he got some great action scenes, I just didn’t feel like he was as big of a part of the team as he should’ve been. Bruce, Tony, Steve, and Natasha all had great dialogue between each other and their relationships with each other were well established, as opposed to Thor who was just sort of there. Maybe it was done on purpose because Thor doesn’t have as much in common with them because he’s a god, but that’s just a guess.
The costumes this time around honestly were a bit disappointing, and they actually felt like a downgrade from their costumes in there solo movies. Captain America’s suit had to be my least favorite, I personally loved Cap’s suit in the First Avenger and I thought it had the right balance between the comic book costumes, as well as actual soldier equipment and a more rough and realistic look. I makes sense that he gets a new suit considering the fact that it’s been seventy years since he last wore it, but I was expecting just slight modifications to the old suit. Unfortunately there was practically nothing left of the old suit, and everything from the helmet to the actual costume looked kind of ridiculous on Chris Evans. I really hope the bring back some of the more realistic and rough design they had the first time around in a sequel.
On the other hand, Iron Man’s suit as usual is fantastic, with many upgrades from his suit in Iron Man 2. We actually get to see two new suits in the film; the Mark VI and Mark VII, but the real main suit in the film is the Mark VII. It definitely offers a much wider variety of weaponry for Stark to us against the Chitauri, including laser beam gauntlets and four missile launchers, which really provide for some great action moments as well as making Iron Man’s physically more equipped to take such powerful enemies. While it is a bit disappointing that we don’t get to see the Hulkbuster armor that was rumored to be in the movie, Whedon makes up for that by making the Mark VII very different from it’s predecessors. Just the way Stark actually puts on the suit is a pretty visually impressive moment in the film, that manages to out do any of the previous ones from the Iron Man franchise.
Hawkeye and Black Widow’s costumes are both pretty basic, considering in the film they are really just agents of SHIELD. Black Widow’s costumes is pretty much identical to her costume in the comics and Iron Man 2, but this time around she has the bullet gauntlets that she uses in the comics. Hawkeye on the other hand doesn’t use his original comic book costume, which is definitely a good thing since the original suit is pretty ridiculous (It’s basically a purple Wolverine suit). It takes influence from Hawkeye’s costume in the ultimate comics, where Hawkeye pretty much just wears sunglasses rather than a mask. Although it did look similar to the Ultimate suit, it actually seemed more simple than that, and in the end his suit was a bit disappointing. His suit looked too much like a basic SHIELD uniform rather than an actual superhero costume, which seemed to have been what they were going for but at the same time kind of misses the point of Hawkeye being considered a superhero in the first place. It did look pretty cool though, for an agent’s uniform, and is was cool to see an upgraded mechanical version of Hawkeye’s arrow dispenser, it was just a little underwhelming.
Thor also had two costumes this time around, one that is more reminiscent of his Ultimate comics’ suit, and the other pretty much the same one he wore in his solo movie. While it was cool to see a version of the Ultimate suit, I was glad that the reverted back to the original suit once we got to the more action packed half of the film. While the first costume was a cool nod to the Ultimate comics, it almost made Thor not even look like a god, as opposed to his original suit that has a lot of more Norse and Viking type armor to it. Thor still doesn’t wear his helmet here, which is a bit disappointing since he wore it for the beginning of Thor, but I wasn’t really expecting him to wear it. Loki’s costume is actually a huge improvement over his previous costume in Thor, unlike Thor he wears his iconic helmet throughout the film. The new costume helps display him as much more godlike and as a leader in comparison to his old suit, and it makes him looks for menacing and royal, which is an actual change Loki’s character has gone through since Thor.
With so many amazing characters fighting side by side, well performed quotable scenes, none stop action, and an after credits scene that will leave some comic book fans speechless, it's safe to say Joss Whedon and Marvel have done it. In the end, Marvel was successfully able to pull off one of the biggest cinematic events ever through The Avengers, meshing all these popular heroes and storylines all into one epic film. This is just the beginning for Marvel's cinematic universe as we now wait for what's to come from the heroes own sequels including Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, and of course all the other beloved Marvel characters that have now have had the door to the MCU opened for them including the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, and many more. The possibilities for the MCU are endless, your move DC.

I give The Avengers 4.5 Out of 5 stars:

And if you haven't seen it yet here's the trailer for The Avengers:
What did you think of The Avengers? Did it live up to your expectations?