So, there was once this little movie that was released called “The Avengers”.
Everyone and their grandmother’s aunt saw it.
It crushed opening box office weekend numbers.
It created a comic book tale that was perfectly told on the big screen.
And it was awesome.
It held a well-crafted story.
It touched on all the right character moments.
It established a world in where superheroes of all kinds (not just the ones one-step removed from our reality like Batman and Iron Man) could exist.
I mean, seriously. A few years ago people would have laughed at the thought of Thor being a superhero. Now, though, everyone sees him and accepts him the way any normal comic book fan does.
So, just like Superman and Batman, The Avengers now hold a place in the common knowledge of people all over the world. Which I find astounding, seeing as how when I was a kid, growing up, if I tried to be Iron Man my friends would not let me play with them because they didn’t know who Iron Man was or what his powers were or if I was lying about what he could do.
Look, all I’m saying is, Iron Man can beat up Batman.
But that’s beside the point of what today’s Comic Matters is about.
Today, we’re going to do a bit of Compare and Contrast. Mostly Compare. Really all Compare.
Actually, we’re going to look at some of the best moments from The Avengers movie and try to find where the inspiration for those scenes came from in comic book form.
So, where to begin:
If you so happened to like….
- The Chitauri war on New York City…
- Black Widow and Hawkeye tearing it up on their attackers…
- Easily defined personalities of the Avengers
Then you’ll love “The Ultimates: Ultimate Collection”
Now, I’ve already written about this series at full length here, but I believe that this series alone could be the single biggest influence on The Avengers movie. While they most certainly took much of their inspiration from other stories over the 40+ years The Avengers have been around, this modern retelling is just pouring out of the surface of the fi;m.
Within this modern tale of how a government sanctioned team (labeled “The Ultimates” instead of “The Avengers”), we are presented with what a real world
super team might look like. Black Widow and Hawkeye are part of the black ops squad; the Chitauri come to Earth to conquer and kill; and the characters personalities make it easy for anyone to pick up the book and get in to it.
The series also poses a lot of questions for us to think about.
How would a team like The Avengers be involved in foreign affairs?
How would the world react to Thor being on the planet?
This series, even though it was published ten years ago, was ahead of its time. It made readers think twice about their superheroes, just like the movie did.
If you so happened to like…
- Thor fighting The Hulk
Then you’ll love Hulk Vol. 1: Red Hulk
Yeah, okay, this series written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Ed Mcguinnes focuses on a Red Hulk that’s running around, but it still features some awesome Hulk smashing action.
As a new character, it’s good to establish them in a universe if they have no previous interactions. So, what better way to introduce a new Hulk than to have him punch and smash his way through the Marvel Universe’s best fighters? From Iron Man all the way over to Thor.
So, the movie was a Marvel fanboy’s dream, as it not only showed Thor and Hulk on the big screen for the first time together, BUT, it showed them having a smackdown, drag out brawl worthy of the movie’s best fights. This entire series is just like that, as it’s a big bombastic spectacle worthy of any title called Hulk. This was one of the most fun I’ve ever had reading a comic book.
If that seemed to tickle your fancy from the movie, check this book out.
If you so happened to like…
- Thor fighting Iron Man
Then you’ll love Thor, Vol. 1
This series was responsible for reintroducing Thor back into the Marvel Universe comics, so it wasn’t a standalone series, but the ongoing Thor comic book. After supposedly dying (which many comic book characters tend to do), it was apparent that he missed a lot of events when he returned.
The biggest one was a Civil War among the superheroes and the battle between Captain America and Iron Man, with Iron Man coming out on top.
As such, Iron Man was in charge of everyone and everything. And Thor was not a fan.
Author J. Michael Stracynski and artist Olivier Coipel created a poetic, almost “Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones” type-Thor, where the stories and adventures were mythical in scale. So this series, as a whole, is also a great way to introduce readers and fans to Thor if they liked him in the movie, it also features the definitive Thor vs. Iron Man throwdown.
And it, like the movie battle, is awesome.
If you so happened to like…
- The hilariously perfect team dynamic
Then you’ll love Any Brian Michael Bendis Avengers Story But You Should Start With New Avengers Vol. 1,
There’s a good reason I’ve talked about author Brian Michael Bendis more than once.
He’s the master of realistic and quick paced dialogue.
In the movie, new people were introduced to the wonderful interactions that can come from superheroes meeting each other.
And that is what has brought fans to the Avengers for years and years.
It’s a formula so simple and easy that it’s amazing that people making superhero movies and television shows didn’t go for it sooner.
The Avengers have always been about bringing together the world’s most powerful heroes and having them fight threats that no single one of them to handle. To date, author Brian Michael Bendis has written more Avengers comics than anyone else. You will definitely be able to feel his influence on the film once you read this collection.
The superhuman prison known as The Raft has just had a jailbreak, and a new team of Avengers must join together to stop the supervillains trying to escape. Featuring some immense action, as well as that hilarious dialogue that Bendis is known for, a new team of Avengers is formed that night.
They’re The Avengers.
And after this past weekend, I don’t believe that anyone won’t remember who they are.
- In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Bobby Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains, and explorer of the importance of comics. He recommends each and every comic he writes about. Contact him at email@example.com
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