With all due respect to The Dark Knight, I’m calling The Avengers the greatest comic book movie so far.
Notice how I didn’t say “Greatest Comic Book Movie OF ALL TIME”. As much as the overacting Internet hooligan in me wants to say it, and as much as I absolutely loved the perfection that is Marvel’s The Avengers, I’m not willing to believe that this is as good as it gets. I say “so far” with the hope that this is the beginning of the new age of comic book movies — an age where films based on superhero comics would not be ashamed of their source material; an age where comic book movies would embrace the absurdity and the larger-than-life events seen in superhero sequential art. I’m looking at you, Superman Returns.
The Avengers is where it starts, hopefully. This film sets the bar for all future superhero movies whether they star an individual costumed vigilante or another super team. The Avengers is not your standard superhero fare. It is, or should be, The Standard, period. I’m looking forward to the day when superhero movies stop trying too hard to satisfy what the general public wants (dark and depressing movies rooted in reality) and start showing everyone what they can really offer — flamboyant moving pictures with humanity, extraordinary circumstances, inspiring heroism, despicable villainy, amusing banter, and lots of explosions. Until then, The Avengers is the mightiest of them all.