Avengers: Infinity War―Where Do We Go From Here?

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This movie broke me. I’m not the kind of girl who cries at the movies. Heck, I haven’t cried at the movies since Les Miserables and then this movie comes along and gets me bawling by the time the end credits are rolling. This movie is not for the faint of heart and no matter how much you prepare yourself, you will not be ready for what’s to come. All I can say is that if it wasn’t for the fact that I know there will be sequels planned for this movie and for some of the characters, I would be inconsolable.

That’s not to say that this movie is bad. If anything, it really did its job. I wouldn’t be crying if it didn’t make me care about the characters. This has been the work of ten years of buildup, with movies that made us actually care about star-spangled spandex men and men in robot suits. If anything else, this movie shows that all the work that Marvel has put into their movies has paid off.

When people call this an event movie, they aren’t kidding. It’s a major crossover with a great villain. I am ranking Thanos up there with Kilgrave, Loki, Kingpin, and Killmonger as far as effective and compelling Marvel villains. He’s brutal, he’s got some aspects of his life that make him sympathetic, but make no mistake, he is not one to mess with.

Every character gets a moment to shine here, even the heroes who would be labeled as supporting characters or second string/B-team. I honestly wish there were more moments with the “second string” characters, but that would make the movie longer than it already is. The story is tragic in the best way possible (see my crying face), the effects are a spectacle, and the action is visceral. I felt like I was pulled out of my body for a while and then thrust back in, Doctor Strange style.

Overall, I want to give this movie and 8/10. It’s not absolutely perfect, but it is worth seeing, especially if you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Congratulations, Russo Brothers. You blew us all away.

Now if you want to know why I don’t give this movie a 10, read below. Spoilers ahead.

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Captain America: Civil War—Avengers, Disassembled

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Warning: Spoilers and feels ensue.

I was not ready to see this movie. All the fun and games from the first Avengers film have gone completely out the window.  Like Buffy Season 6, I knew this movie was going to hurt. And it did. A lot. But it hurt in a good way. The same way that a good tragedy hurts. Because in the end, that’s what Captain America: Civil War is—a tragedy.

I don’t want to go too much into the plot. What I will tell you is that the trailers and TV spots for Civil War are really clever in their misdirection. Don’t go into the movie thinking that you know what’s gonna happen. You will be shocked in the most genuine manner possible.

There are two major conflicts in this movie. The first conflict is this: The Avengers are divided on where they stand on what is called the Sokovia Accords, which registers the Avengers as a UN task force in order to hold the heroes accountable for the collateral damage they cause worldwide. Yes, in spite of the fact that the Avengers went out of their way to cause as little collateral damage as possible, a lot of people still died along the way and most people are blaming the Avengers for it, especially when Scarlet Witch accidentally kills dozens of Wakandans while doing a job with Captain America and company in Lagos, Nigeria.

Now one would expect, given the previous movies up to this point, that Captain America would be all for signing the Accords while Iron Man would be distrusting of the government. However, the events of  Iron Man 3 and The Winter Soldier have led to Tony being in favor of the Accords as a way to try and get some kind of accountability for everyone and Steve wanting the right to choose the battles he fights as opposed to using his abilities to further some politician’s agenda.

Both sides have a point. On the one hand, the heroes do need to be held accountable for their actions. On the other hand, the heroes shouldn’t be used as pawns for government organizations. Both Tony and Steve have very questionable actions throughout the movie as well. Tony reminds me of Angel from Buffy and Angel, trying to atone for his actions by doing what he thinks is best for everyone else whether they agree with him or not, but unlike Angel, Tony is doing so out of genuine grief and PTSD issues and not just from a curse. He’s also willing to admit when he is wrong. Of course, that doesn’t help any by the time Act 3 comes around. But we’ll get to that later. On the other hand, you can argue that Captain America is way too forgiving of Bucky, who killed hundreds of people under the influence of HYDRA’s brainwashing. (Reminds me of Buffy’s treatment of Spike during Season 7.) However, Bucky wants to atone for the things he did as The Winter Soldier and is making an effort to remember the things he did. Unfortunately, he gets implicated in a couple of terrorist attacks, forcing Captain to assemble a team to help him keep Bucky safe. On the other hand, Iron Man assembles his own team to get Captain America and his crew to side with the Accords.

This leads to the huge battle in a Germany airport that’s shown in basically every trailer. The teams are divided thusly:

Anti-Accords (Team Captain America):
Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)
Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)
Sam Wilson/The Falcon (Anthony Mackie)
Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)
Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)
Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)
Pro-Accords (Team Iron Man):
Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.)
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
The Vision (Paul Bettany)
James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle)
T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)
Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland)

The most surprising characters in the movie are actually Black Panther and Spider-Man. Spider-Man is the picture definition of “adorkable” in this movie. With the latest reboot coming around soon, Peter Parker is back to being a teenage kid with an insanely hot aunt (played by the seriously-does-not-look 51-year-old Marisa Tomei) who received his spider powers about six months before the events of the movie started. In contrast, T’Challa is a diplomat and the new king of Wakanda. He’s also a very powerful, experienced fighter in contrast to Peter.

A lot of Peter’s life (from what is seen in the movie) feels the most authentic compared to the previous film incarnations because he’s in way over his head. He provides a lot of humor to this very serious movie. It makes sense that he’s the most chatty of the heroes because he’s just getting into the hero scene. Spider-Man is used to exchanging witty banter with his enemies, but the other Avengers (even his fellow teammates) found his chatter a bit excessive. He also makes the other Avengers feel very old when he drops pop culture references. However, in the end, Spider-Man is just an extended cameo compared to the other new kid on the block.

Black Panther joins up with Iron Man with vengeance towards The Winter Soldier on his mind. What surprised me the most about Panther, however, is that while he is awesome at kicking ass, he’s also very wise. Towards the end of the movie, he confronts the true villain of the movie, Zemo, and realizes that everything has been stirred into motion by the cycle of revenge. He doesn’t kill Zemo and refuses to let Zemo kill himself. That is the closest thing to the Catholic version of justice that I’ve seen in this movie.

It’s during the third act that you realize that things are never gonna be the same. Without giving it away, Tony and Steve come to an impasse in terms of Bucky and the fight scene is as awesome as it is heartbreaking. The Captain America and Iron Man we knew are completely gone. What’s worse is that Hawkeye and Ant-Man have become fugitives and can’t return to their families. I feel especially bad for Scarlet Witch because she reminds me a lot of Willow, a powerful witch trying to figure out how to use her powers for the greater good. (Not to mention I totally ship her and Vision, but that is something I will save for Tumblr.)

Now while this movie is awesome, I have a couple of minor complaints. The first of which is that the villain isn’t really that involved in the movie. I barely even remember Zemo’s name and face. I understand his motivations, but in all honesty, he acts more like Eris, the sower of discord, in the sense that his only purpose in the movie is to sow the seeds that will cause the Avengers to turn against each other. The reason I compare this movie to Buffy Season 6 is that, in both cases, the villain was someone the heroes could’ve easily defeated if it wasn’t for the fact that the heroes have become their own worst enemy. I really want Zemo to get some kind of punishment for tearing the Avengers apart.

The other minor complaint I have is the “romance” between Sharon Carter and Steve Rogers. I’m not gonna jump on the Tumblr Bandwagon and be all “Steve is gay for Bucky/Tony,” but Steve barely had any development with Sharon. They flirted in The Winter Soldier and bonded at Peggy’s funeral, but that’s all the scenes they had together. For crying out loud, Steve had more chemistry with Black Widow than Sharon!

Aside from that, though, this movie is definitely worth seeing. If you are as invested in these characters as I am, be ready to cry. You also have to be familiar with the previous movies in order to really understand this one. This movie is gonna hurt, but there’s still hope that things will get better down the line.

The Dubsmash War of the Summer

In case you missed it…

I’m a fan of Marvel, especially Agent Carter.

I’m also a fan of Clark Gregg. During Comic-Con Weekend, I found videos of what everyone is calling the “Dubsmash Wars.”

 

This video is a compilation of everything that’s happened so far between #TeamCarter (Hayley Atwell and James D’Arcy) and #TeamAOS (Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennet).

There’s also some special guests towards the end.

I really hope this never stops. It’s some lighthearted fun that I really needed for this summer!

A Night at the Movies: Avengers- Age of Ultron

 

So yesterday, I finally went to the movies to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. Whenever I go see a movie, I’m usually able to still think and talk like an actual person. Some movies, however, have the power to leave me breathless. Serenity was one of those movies. Avengers: Age of Ultron is another one. It’s no surprise, though, given that they’re both directed by Joss Whedon.

I’ve been a fan of all things Whedon since my college days, but it’s not until recently that I learned about the kinds of cinematography he likes to use and the themes he carries with him. So for this post, I’m going to look into the movie as a fan of Whedon and showing where he made his mark and what I think of it.

SPOILERS ABOUND. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

First of all, Whedon is very fond of the one-take. He did this in the opening shot of the Angel Season 5 episode “Conviction” as well as the opening shot of Serenity. So it’s no surprise that the opening shot of Avengers: Age of Ultron is a breathtaking single shot, ending with the money shot shown in the trailers:

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I need this as a poster for my room.

 

Although this movie stands well on its own, you have to have seen some movies to get what’s going on here 100%. Aside from the first Avengers movie, the action prologue continues on the storyline of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The team of Avengers located the HYDRA base that was teased in Winter Soldier in the hopes of infiltrating it and getting Loki’s scepter.

When HYDRA’s men start attacking the town nearby, Tony sends out his Iron Legion, created from Iron Man 3. However, the robots aren’t received with open arms. It’s shown that the town does not like Tony Stark. This becomes important later.

We also see, in the action prologue, that the team developed a way to get the Hulk under control. In a scene reminiscent of Dollhouse, Black Widow uses a trigger phrase to calm the Hulk down and change back into Bruce Banner.

Inside the HYDRA base, Tony Stark downloads any information he can get. Then he discovers a secret passage where Loki’s Scepter was kept hidden. Scarlet Witch plants a seed of fear in his mind, giving him a vision of his friends dead and the Chitauri invading again. Driven by this fear, Tony takes the scepter and returns with the other Avengers to Avengers tower.

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You’d think that Tony would learn something after learning about “Phase 2” in the last movie, but Tony has major PTSD issues. So when he and the rest of the Avengers team return to Avengers Tower, he and Bruce examine the scepter and discover an artificial intelligence in the stone. Tony decides to use the artificial intelligence to create Ultron, a global defense artificial intelligence. Cue Science Bros montage!

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After the Science Bros montage, it’s time for a party. There are cameos from James Rhodes, Sam Wilson, and Maria Hill. Pepper Potts and Jane Foster, however, are way too busy with their own lives to appear in this movie. Thankfully, their boyfriends are not above bragging about them. Stan Lee makes his cameo as a WWII veteran chatting things up with Captain America. He asks Thor to give him some Asgard-level liquor and ends up getting dragged out of the party in a drunken stupor, slurring his catchphrase “Excelsior!”

Eventually, the Avengers have their own little after party where they play around with Thor’s hammer, as seen in one of the trailers. It was a hilarious scene, but I barely had a moment to breathe before Ultron made his entrance and crashed the after-party. It’s sad that Ultron was evil right from the start. The usage of Pinocchio’s “I’ve Got No Strings” from the trailers plays out here as Ultron’s units awaken, culminating in the building in Sokovia lighting up with a snippet from the original version in the best usage of soundtrack dissonance.

Once Ultron uploads himself onto the internet and into his robot drones, he meets Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver inside of a church.

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Throughout the movie, Ultron makes a lot of biblical references and has a major God complex. This is something that Joss has done before, such as creating The Anointed One in the early seasons of Buffy. But in actuality, Ultron reminds me a lot of Angelus, with his desire to break the Avengers on a personal level, childish demeanor, and desire to ultimately destroy the world.

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I will also use this scene to indulge in a bit of Slayerette fangirl squee. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch remind me a lot of Spike and Drusilla. Like Spike, Quicksilver is blonde with a hot accent who doesn’t exactly think of the long-term consequences. Like Drusilla, Scarlet Witch can hypnotize people and prey on their worst fears. The two of them have way too much chemistry to be just siblings, but that’s just the actors, I guess. However, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch’s motivations in this movie are revenge-based instead of wanting to cause chaos. They have a grudge against Tony Stark because his weapons killed their parents. Never mind that it was probably someone who stole Stark’s weapons. The name on the weapon was Stark’s, so he became the target of their vengeance.

The three of them go to the base in Africa where vibranium is developed by an arms dealer named Ulysses Klaue. The Avengers show up at the base, but Scarlet Witch gets into most of their heads.

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Of course, Hawkeye saves the day with a “No sell! So last season!” move, electrocuting Scarlet Witch with one of his arrows. However, that comes after a lot of hallucinations. Thor hallucinates Heimdall falling into a state of decadence and also gets glimpses of four gems. Captain America hallucinates that he’s in a USO party, where Peggy Carter is waiting to dance with him. Coming off of Agent Carter, I start bursting into tears. But by far, the worst hallucination was Natasha’s. Instead of showing her worst fears, Natasha relives the worst moments of her life: being trained as an assassin and “graduating”from her training by being sterilized.

Eventually, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver escape from the factory and Scarlet Witch implants her fear spell into The Hulk. Hulk is then seen rampaging in the city, prompting Iron Man to use his Hulkbuster suit. The battle is long with a lot of collateral damage and the Avengers are forced into hiding.

Clint flies the team over to his house on a farm, where it’s revealed that he has a wife and two kids, with one more on the way. My Clintasha ship sunk fast with this scene. It’s also in this quiet scene where Natasha and Bruce share backstories. Bruce tells her that he can never have kids because the Hulk renders him sterile and Natasha reveals that she was forcibly sterilized.

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The whole Bruce/Natasha ship along with Natasha’s backstory is the reason tumblr and twitter got all up in arms over Whedon. I was honestly surprised to see Natasha flirting with Bruce at the party, but the fact that Natasha was sterilized is not anti-feminist. It’s called backstory. She was trained to be an assassin. I saw in Agent Carter an earlier version of the training that Natasha went through. It makes sense that Natasha would be sterilized as part of a “graduation” ceremony because they want their assassins to put the mission first. Women like Natasha would be sleeping with many men as part of gaining information and babies, sad to say, get in the way of that.

Meanwhile, everyone else mulls over what to do. Hawkeye has a lot of quiet moments with his wife. Thor goes off to England to consult with Erik Selvig. Stark finds out that Nick Fury is still alive. Fury proceeds to motivate the team into stopping Ultron. Bruce looks at a picture of a butterfly that one of Hawkeye’s kids drew and realizes that Ultron wants a human body  and they know someone with the technology to create that.

Cut to Seoul, where Ultron puts scientist friend Helen Cho under the influence of the Mind Gem and asks her to create a body that he can upload himself into. In the process, Wanda uses her mind reading powers and sees that Ultron wants to destroy the world, not just the Avengers. Wanda snaps Dr. Cho out of the mind gem’s control, but it happens too little too late.

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The fight gets taken to Seoul as the Avengers fight to get the “cradle” as they call it to safety. But once the cradle gets taken back to Avenger’s Tower, the first thing Tony wants to do is upload JARVIS into it. He gets into a fight with Captain America over it. Ultimately, Thor comes in and literally charges the body inside the cradle to life. JARVIS comes out of the cradle with the Mind Stone at the center of its forehead. He isn’t JARVIS anymore, either. Thor explains that he went to London to consult Erik Selvig about the hallucination he saw. After a fanservicey trailer scene, Thor receives a vision of the Infinity Stones, foreshadowing the oncoming Infinity War. The Avengers debate as to whether or not Vision should help them out, but that question gets resolved as Vision gives Thor his hammer.

Everyone in the audience gasped at the cutaway shot that shows Vision easily holding Thor’s hammer. I had no clue that the little Hammer Pick Up scene at Thor’s party would actually be referenced again later. It was enough for me to believe that Vision was on the side of good.

The Avengers go back to Sokovia where Ultron plans on raising the capital city to the sky, using it as a meteor to destroy the world. The race is on to get all civilians to safety. Many Avengers are quick to put civilian safety as their number one priority (take that Man of Steel), including Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Fury arrives in a Helicarrier in one of the best Big Damn Heroes moments since, well, Firefly. In the midst of this fight, Hawkeye helps Wanda as she gets into a mental breakdown, overwhelmed at the fight.

“You step out the door, you’re an Avenger,” he said.

Cue Wanda stepping out just in time to save the day.

There’s this epic shot of the Avengers fighting off all the robots as they protect the flying city from falling that left me breathless and overwhelmed, but it was gorgeous cinematography.

There’s also a wonderful scene where Bruce saves Natasha from Ultron’s lair. She kisses him and then pushes him over the edge to bring the Hulk out. Fans are also up in arms about Natasha being a damsel in distress, but  I’ll let it slide because Natasha was still active even while she was captured. The two of them move on to help out with the Battle of Seoul.

Throughout the movie, lines that are called “death flags” are scattered throughout, making everyone think that Hawkeye was going to die. However, as everyone continues to rescue civilians, it’s actually Quicksilver that dies instead. (So yes, Quicksilver is also like Spike in the sense that he died helping to save the world. No, I’m still not over it!)

The city starts falling, but Thor and Iron Man work together to shatter the city and Vision confronts Ultron’s last body. It’s here that we see Joss Whedon using Vision as another Ubermensch. Ultron represents a dark version of the Ubermensch, but Vision is the more straightforward version.

In the midst of the aftermath, the Hulk goes into a stealth jet and disappears, even with Natasha wanting to communicate with him. The movie comes to an end in upstate New York with a new base and a new Avengers team.

First of all, the credits were amazing. I want that statue that appears at the end. It’s something worthy of Michaelangelo. And the mid-credits scene? Yep, I am definitely hyped about Infinity War now.

So now for my overall analysis.

I feel like this movie was amazing. It’s just a heck of a roller coaster ride. I feel like some of the characters were a bit underrused and there’s a reason I felt breathless at the end of it. The movie gives you very little room to breathe because everything happens at a breakneck pace.

I’ll admit that Bruce and Natasha’s romance wasn’t well-paced in this movie, but I feel like Joss did his best given the number of plots he had to juggle in this movie. It actually made a lot of sense once I thought about it because they have a lot in common aside from not being able to have children. I’m also okay with her being captured because, as said before, she wasn’t particularly in distress. It could’ve happened with any other character.

Joss puts all the female characters in the movie in active roles. Helen Cho is more than just Asian eye candy. She plays an essential role in the creation of vision and she doesn’t die. Iron Man and Thor compare their girlfriends instead of their own accomplishments. You see Maria Hill playing an active role in keeping things running smoothly. But the breakout female character in this movie is actually Scarlet Witch, who starts out evil but earns her redemption within the movie just because she doesn’t want to destroy the world.

I know that Joss isn’t perfect. But I still respect and love him as a person, which means that I’ll be that fan who will defend Joss Whedon when it comes to his wonderful line of female characters.

Whether you’re a Whedonite or a Marvel fan, I highly recommend that you see Avengers: Age of Ultron. Just make sure you remember to breathe after it’s done.

Still images are copyright to Marvel Entertainment and Joss Whedon and are used for editorial purposes only.

Avengers vs Batman/Superman AKA Why Angst Is Overrated

I’ll be the first to admit that I am just a casual fan of superheroes at best. I didn’t grow up reading comic books. I watched anime and read manga (Japanese graphic novels) growing up. However, as I also stated before, I’m always appreciative of stories with good writing and compelling characters. And I’m growing to love the fact that superheroes are becoming a thing.

But there’s something else that I need to bring up: Stories, especially superhero stories, don’t have to be overly dark and angsty in order to be compelling. What exactly is “angst” you ask? Angst is, according to dictionary.com “a feeling of dread, anxiety, or anguish.” Lots of tv shows and movies use a lot of angst to drive the conflict, creating more drama than your average daytime soap opera and relying on what some people call “pretty people problems,” more commonly referred to as “first world problems.” But while some shows can use angst and actually use it to develop the characters in a smart way (watch Buffy Season 6 and cry your heart out as an example), other shows, and oftentimes, superhero movies tend to be too dark and rely on angst way too much.

The early 2000s saw a lot of movies with characters that were up to their knees in angst such as The Punisher. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were able to balance out the angst with some humor, heartwarming moments, and character development, but The Dark Knight Rises was way too rushed. This brand of brooding would later be passed on to  the current run of Superman films.

Now, I grew up watching Smallville. The show was your usual WB/CW teen drama with soap opera levels of writing and teenage-levels of whining and angst, but in spite of that, I liked that the show didn’t come at the expense of making Clark a brooding Byronic hero. There were still some levels of humor that balanced out the less-than-stellar moments such as everything related to Clark and Lana. The current run of Superman films are a stark contrast to this. They build up Superman to be a man with a god-complex (and yes, even I got sick of the pretentious Jesus Christ comparisons in Man of Steel) and the trailer for Superman vs Batman: Dawn of Justice looks to be something Frank Miller would feel very proud of. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.

Contrast this with the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. While the early days of the Marvel movies had a shaky start with some of the movies doing well (like Iron Man and Thor) while others didn’t (such as the Hulk movies) , the company finally hit the ground running with Captain America and eventually Avengers. They even succeeded in making a movie of one of their more obscure groups of heroes, The Guardians of the Galaxy successful. For the purposes of this blog, I’ll be looking more into Captain AmericaAvengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now that’s not to say that Marvel has never made overly angsty movies in the recent years. The Spider-Man remakes starring Arthur Garfield are a bit too angsty for my taste and rely way too much on building up questions that never get answered and introducing way too many characters at once. You know, like the writers of Lost and Once Upon a Time. I’m just creating this post to express what I think makes a good story overall.

Spoilers ensue. You have been warned.

You can make a lot of comparisons between Captain America and Superman. Both heroes are seen as American icons and always want to do the right thing, sticking to their ideals and rarely, if ever, resorted to killing to get things done. However, there’s a huge difference between them as portrayed in their films. Captain America is shown to be artistic, sensitive, and self-sacrificing. He wants to stand up to bullies of all sorts, whether it be Nazis or HYDRA. In spite of the fact that he’s a man out of time, he’s socially functional and is great at making and keeping friends. His friendship with Black Widow is hilarious because she keeps trying to set him up on dates and you can totally imagine her being his best man in his wedding. (Whoever he marries, of course, is up in the air.)

You don’t see the Superman from Man of Steel being the guy who makes friends easily. All the characters talk about how important he is and how much responsibility he has on his shoulders. The whole Savior complex has been done a million times and with a lot more subtlety than in this movie. And yes, I do have issues over the fact that Superman killed Zod. Mostly because Superman never kills and what Zak Snyder said to try and justify this murder doesn’t really make that much sense. You know it’s bad when even a casual fan of superheroes calls you out on a glaring inconsistency.

The Superman vs Batman trailer honestly disappointed me. I understand that there was a Superman vs Batman storyline in the comics, but it made it seem like the two heroes are going to go in an all-out war with each other. Contrast that with the Thor’s Hammer trailer from Avengers: Age of Ultron.

When was the last time you ever saw superheroes having fun? Or hanging out with their fellow heroes like a bunch of college kids? I honestly can’t recall that, even from the days of the DC Animated Universe. I mean, it’s one thing to see the Teen Titans having downtime because they’re teenagers, but I felt genuine excitement and laughter as I watched it. It was hilarious to see Tony’s three attempts all failing, including getting War Machine’s help. I loved the look on Thor’s face when Steve Rodgers was able to make Mjolnir budge ever so slightly. It made so much sense that Natasha wouldn’t play along because the guys were clearly having a sizing-up contest and she didn’t want any part of it because she’s mature like that. Plus, Maria Hill is with them, so it’s not like she was the only girl not playing. And then Ultron comes in and totally ruins the moment. The other trailers for Avengers show that there are gonna be major obstacles ahead for the heroes, but what makes Avengers as a whole work is that they’re not just heroes, but also people.

Now take a look at Guardians of the Galaxy.

These heroes aren’t even as well-known as the Avengers or the Justice League. But when I watched it last summer, I had a lot of fun. The moments that come to mind are always the moments that make me laugh, which makes the dramatic climax all the more startling because it still fit the tone of the movie, but came with a shocking death in the end. Thankfully, Groot came back. The funny thing is that these heroes didn’t come with that expectation of doing the right thing hanging over them. They reminded me a lot of the crew of Serenity from Firefly. They aren’t heroes because they wanted to be or because greatness was thrust upon them. Instead they became heroes by chance. So while they’re not as straight laced as Captain America or the Justice League, you know that you’re going to have a fun ride with them.

Maybe it’s just my personal preference, but I always love stories that make me laugh just as much as they make me cry and/or scared out of my mind. The best movies and stories are able to balance out angst with humor and heartwarming moments. Characters are ideally seen as people first and not archetypes or cliches. And while I can allow characters to have moments of tragedy and sadness, it’s always great whenever the characters finally take action and do something to solve their problem.

It’s also why, so far, I like the latest Daredevil. As I said yesterday, I don’t think I ever recall seeing a villain on a human level the way they wrote Fisk in “In the Blood.” Usually, villains already come with a love interest or act more forceful in the pursuit of a love interest. Fisk, on the other hand, is actually nervous and courteous, genuinely in love with Vanessa. Contrast this with Daredevil’s overly angsty predecessor, as reviewed by the one and only Nostalgia Critic:

My latest Daredevil recap will be posted later today, so stay tuned!