I could have gushed for hours on the excellence that was The Avengers film. I’ve had several long winded conversations where I praised Joss Whedon for his directing (and writing, along with Zack Penn), and I originally found few flaws with what I believe is one of the best comic book movies of all time.
Of course, I saw The Avengers shortly before I dove into reading comic books, and I have to tell you that I actually found Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to be better material for this ensemble of superheroes than the feature film adaptation. Never in a million years would I have thought that those words could be uttered, and now here we are.
Maybe the problem all this time is that I have taken the film adaptations of these heroes at face value; I had never considered the possibility that the original versions of these superheroes could somehow be superior to what was fed to me on screen. I kept reading “Robert Downey Jr. IS Iron Man“, or “Chris Evans nails Captain America“, but those words really meant nothing until I sat down and read this mini-series .
So, what ARE the differences between film Avengers and the real deal? Depth, mostly. While Whedon may be the king of the ensemble cast, the writing in this comic gave me a lot of insight into these characters without overdoing it. I really appreciated the regal nature of Thor, or the unwavering patriotism of Captain America. There are a couple panels involving Cap which emotionally hit a home run for me, and he has since become my favorite of the crew.
That being said, Ant-Man and Wasp really fit into the canon better than Black Widow and Hawkeye. I understand the fact that heroes with “the power of bugs” may not appear as sexy as an assassin in tights and a Legolas clone, but in hindsight I think we could have handled it. Also, from reading their origin story, there is a bit of romantic plot between the two characters that could have translated well for film. It’s going to be interesting to see if Whedon incorporates some of the old guard into the next film, and if not, what superheroes he adds to the mix.
Perhaps its unfair of me to compare this mini-series directly to the movie, but I have to be honest with you, I simply enjoyed everything about this comic. I found the art, by Scott Kolins, to be a mix between modern and some of the more classic comics that I have read. I thought Joe Casey’s writing was simply superb, to the point where if this ever became a full fledged novel I would pick it up in a heartbeat. I loved the fact that there was such trouble even keeping the team assembled, let alone getting the support of the government. There was a bit of a “civilian” feel to the heroes, which I found more relatable than if a secret government agency just suddenly wanted to blindly support their cause.
I will not go into the details of the plot beyond the teams integrity, because I strongly feel that anyone who reads this review should go straight out and buy this series. Personally, I love comics that establish personal relationships and go into the subtle nuances which they often require, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes nails the landing. After I’m finished with my reading list, I am going to go back and collect/read any Avengers material I can find.
Yes, this review reads like a fanboy gushing over one of his favorite works, but being as this is my first foray into even reading about the Avengers, I think I’m allowed to not only be pleasantly surprised by what I found, but to be completely sold on the franchise. I want more, but I want it in my hands more than on the big screen. I want to know if Captain America gets his revenge, or if Ant Man & The Wasp can sustain a working and romantic relationship. I want to know how well Iron Man can keep this crew together financially, or if they can keep the reigns on The Hulk long enough for him to be a stable member of the team. I want Thor to throw around his hammer and be constantly amazed by primitive human politics.
Maybe that’s really what I’ve been trying to get at. I want to read the details about how the Avengers crawled, before I truly appreciate the might they have when they…Assemble.