What’s does this all mean? Kids can now play together as a group of heroes instead of single standing champions for justice? No, it means longevity. I see Warner Brothers’ Batman as the precedent, but Marvel has prepared for this for years. The first two Hulk movies were false starts, we can all agree on that. Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, on the other hand, nailed it. If you can’t agree on that, they have been extremely entertaining. These films have put Marvel’s headliners in the public consciences. They are more than heroes on a paper page. They live and breathe like never before. Already Thor, Cap, and Iron Man have sequels with release dates. The Avengers 2 has gotten the green light and we’ll just sit back and wait until next May to see what happens to Iron Man next.
Again, I think about those kids suiting up as Avengers and attending the midnight show. When I got ahold of something that I really loved, I could never get enough of it. With toys, I could create my own adventures. With The Avengers, kids can do that in spades as Hasbro has been producing figures for years now. Unfortunately, kids today need something fresh on TV to keep them interested and the thrill going. So sad, but it is true. Marvel and Disney already have a weekly Avengers cartoon on Disney XD. The older fan will notice some of the story similarities to the written page. Kids won’t, they’ll just eat it up. There lies the longevity.
The Avengers will bring the kiddies out in droves. It’s a fun movie that technically has six prequels. It has a weekly cartoon featuring almost the same cast of characters. All this leads to the true aftermath of The Avengers. Marvel rebuilt its comic book reading audience for a whole new generation. Those kids who turned out at midnight are the new breed of fans. Fans that will eat up the movies, watch the cartoon, and then, when they are old enough, start reading the adventures of The Avengers on the written page (probably as a digital comic, though).
For us geeks, it means something else. With Batman again as the precedent, I see Joss Whedon getting the recognition he so rightfully deserves. Sure, the fanboys knew who he was much like we knew Burton had done Beetlejuice and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure prior. For the regular person they may be only hearing the name Joss Whedon for the first time. This recognition is going to get Joss’ new projects off the ground and give a few of his older ones new fans. The Joss Whedon age has begun, but it is the next Bruce Timm that I am looking for. Timm spearheaded the launch of Batman: The Animated Series while riding the Burton Batman wave. He went on to become the uber producer of the DC animated universe which, outside of Christopher Nolan’s Batmans, has been the healthiest thing superhero-wise for DC (for movies and TV anyway). So, how long until the next Bruce Timm emerges because of The Avengers? We have seen the first piece of the The Avengers aftermath. Now, The Geek Life looks to see what other creative mind will emerge because of it.
Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.