The Avengers, John Carter, and “A little old fashioned…”

“Everything that’s happening, the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old fashioned.”

–Agent Phil Coulson

So, yeah, The Avengers? If you saw it and didn’t love it, we might not be able to be friends anymore. And if you haven’t seen it and don’t catch it this weekend, I might have to question your character. Seriously. (We’re going to see it again, and will probably go for the 3D this time, just because.)

It really was just that awesome, hitting every imaginable note almost perfectly, but more interestingly, it did so without an ounce of the “dark and gritty” that’s become a prerequisite for all things comics nowadays. Joss Whedon reached deep down and tapped into what made the comics of the 60s and 70s so much fun, inspiring a generation of creators who were subsequently side-tracked by a misunderstanding of Alan Moore’s Watchmen.

It’s the kind of movie DC’s stable of characters (other than Batman) are best-suited for and will likely never get, and in some ways, it reminded me of the unfairly maligned John Carter (of Mars).

A fun little tidbit that was hidden in the coverage of The Avengers‘ unprecedented—and well deserved, IMO—domination of the box office this weekend: John Carter had an inexplicable spike, pulling in almost $1.5m on only 349 screens, six weeks after fading into notoriety as one of the biggest flops ever, pushing its worldwide gross up to $271m.

The DVD/Blu-Ray comes out next month, and much like one of my other favorite underrated movie characters is finally returning to the screen after a “box office failure” (Riddick), I’m still holding out hope that Disney will see fit to give Andrew Stanton and John Carter another shot sometime down the road, and this time support it with a real marketing strategy.

Alternatively, perhaps someone should be inspired by Game of Thrones‘ success and tap the original novels for an HBO-style adaptation that goes all in on the Burroughs/Frazetta angle.

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