After a year of some underwhelming superhero flicks at the cineplexes we wonder if Joss Whedon will get it right . . .
Any fan of comic books can tell you that their favorite characters frequently get something of an image makeover when those characters move from page to screen. Sometimes these changes even occur from film-to-film – just look at the varied portrayals of the Joker.
With that in mind, we can only hope that our favorite defenders of the Earth will be portrayed in a manner that is true to both the comics and the prior films in the upcoming The Avengers, released May 4, 2012.
Fortunately, the films leading up to the new Avengers should give Marvel fans faith that this film will do our boys (and girl) justice!
The leader of the Avengers, Captain America, is portrayed very true-to-comic-book-form in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Just as he is in the comics, Chris Evans portrays Steve Rogers as a very honorable, patriotic, and enthusiastic volunteer for an experimental government program that turns him into the super soldier known as Captain America. Even after the change, Steve Rogers maintains his idealism, big heart, and underdog outlook.
The difference between Captain America and someone like Iron Man or Thor is that the Captain knows what it’s like to be the little guy.
It’s been mentioned by Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston that Evans will portray Steve Rogers in a slightly different manner in The Avengers, but for legitimate reasons: Steve Rogers will be dealing with the fact that he is now a man out of time. He suddenly wakes up to find himself nearly seventy years in the future and it would be more surprising if that did not have an affect on the character.
By now, everyone has seen the banter between Captain America and Iron Man in The Avengers trailer and right there, it becomes obvious how Tony Stark will continue to be characterized.
At this point, it’s arguable that Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man has overshadowed any prior portrayal in the comic books. Fortunately, Downey’s portrayal of Iron Man is faithful to the snarky genius Iron Man of the comics. While his back-story has changed from the era of The Cold War to that of modern day, the spirit of Stark’s character remains the same.
Tony Stark is not used to listening to anyone but himself, so it will certainly be interesting to see his repartee with the other Avengers, particularly Captain America, the leader of the group.
Of course, having issues with authority is par for the course when it comes to Thor, portrayed by Chris Hemsworth. As seen in 2011’s Thor, the character frequently runs into trouble when he lets his rather large ego think for him.
In Thor, Thor is quite literally brought down to Earth when Odin, his father, expels him from Asgard without his hammer of power until he can learn some humility and responsibility. Ultimately, Thor is about Thor growing up in order to take on his role as the leader of Asgard, so it seems natural that his character will be slightly different in The Avengers. However, it appears certain that the hubris and bravado will still be a part of his character.
One of the biggest mysteries of The Avengers is the portrayal of Bruce Banner, AKA the Hulk, by Mark Ruffalo.
As the Hulk has had several incarnations on film over the years, it’s unclear what this particular characterization will reveal, but it seems safe to assume that we will be introduced to a mild-mannered Bruce Banner, still struggling to find the balance with his other half, the Hulk.
Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, appeared in Iron Man 2 as an undercover spy for S.H.I.E.L.D., but the film did not reveal much about her. Romanoff, as portrayed by Scarlett Johansson, certainly gets the job done and kicks butt as she does it, but we don’t know much beyond that.
In the comics, Natasha loses her parents at a young age and is rescued, raised, and trained in combat and espionage by Ivan Petrovitch or alternately by the U.S.S.R.’s “Black Widow Ops” program.
It’s unclear what Romanoff’s background is in the films, so hopefully we will learn more about her in The Avengers.
Similarly, Clint Barton, portrayed by Jeremy Renner and also known as Hawkeye, appeared briefly in Thor, but it is not yet clear what his characterization will be in The Avengers.
In the comics, Barton’s parents are killed when he is still a boy and he grows up in a carnival, where he is trained to be an expert marksman. When he breaks out on his own, he is initially something of a villain before joining up with the Avengers.
As he is already working for S.H.I.E.L.D. in Thor, The Avengers may bypass that part of Barton’s history. Hawkeye also has a romantic history with Black Widow, AKA Natasha Romanoff, so it will be interesting to see if that enters the picture in The Avengers.
Ultimately, bringing rich, well-rounded characters to life on the big or small screen has always been one of director Joss Whedon’s strongest talents, so it should be safe to assume that he will do these much-beloved characters justice. Whatever the outcome, we can’t wait to see it on the big screen come May 4th!
Anika Guldstrand writes for BuySuperheroCostumes.com, which has the costumes for an Avengers midnight movie premiere, like a Captain America costume. Anika is very excited for The Avengers, even if it’s because she’s a major Whedon-fanatic.