I am very excited about Avengers: Endgame, just as much as I was excited about Avengers: Infinity War. For some reason, I wasn’t excited about Black Panther & Thor: Ragnarok, even though I was confident both would be excellent (which they were). Mind you, I have an uncanny ability to gauge movies based on trailers, movie news, rumors, casting, and intermittent gut feelings. Rarely am I wrong. Upon watching Ant-Man & the Wasp and Captain Marvel, I found my assumptions were correct. They were fun movies, but in my very humble opinion, not spectacular.
The MCU has spoiled me. After the Blade series, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man; I have seen every MCU movie and loved most of them. I’ve appreciated the effort of the studios, the producers, writers, and actors in their endeavor to take the comic book world and give it something tangible we could believe in and enjoy.
Some of the films I “braved” the “theatre experience” to see and the others I waited patiently for the video/streaming releases. There have been some hits and some misses. The misses have basically been minor. I define a miss as a movie I won’t hit the repeat button on, like Thor 2, Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel. Doesn’t make them bad, I just don’t need to see them again. I have been repeating Infinity War exhaustively, in thorough anticipation of Endgame. But to be honest, after I see it, blockbuster or not, I am not sure any comic book movie that follows will hold me in baited anticipation as they have in the past.
To be clear, my apathy has nothing to do with the potential departure of Robert Downey, Jr., or the shoehorned emergence of Brie Larson. Albeit both actors make for entertaining and extensive conversation. I’m sure by this paragraph you can see I have enough to say as it is, and should avoid this “rabbit hole.”
When you look at the product that is the MCU, it has had a fantastic run. This era has been what every kid and adult that has ever read a comic book wanted. An opportunity to get past the hard part. Making the characters come to life on screen. But it hasn’t been all good. Look at DC and their struggles — great looking movies, not always great soul or great stories. The Batman, the Dark Knight Series, Man of Steel and Wonder Woman are DC’s big screen “stand-outs” to me. DC’s animated features are fantastic. Both Marvel and DC studios’ soap opera style television series are okay. But I have consistently fatigued on them quickly. I think I got past two seasons with Gotham and 1 with Luke Cage.
Maybe instinctively I think that each product has had enough of my money, time, and on occasion, both. Perhaps there is a limit to my dedication, and I am ready to see what else is out there? Is that fatigue or prudence? Is fandom naivetee? Am I a cynic? Because at some point I only have so much money to go around for all the things I am interested in and their extensions. After buying the 3 version of a collectible, you start to think, “I could be spending my money on a trip, car parts, or cigars.”
Now mind you, some folks see me as a diehard or obsessed. If you ask someone who knows me “what I like,” they will inevitably say something like Batman, for example. But, would I consider myself a Batman fanatic?
Yes, I like Batman. I like the concept of a character that is insanely committed to fighting crime but refuses to use guns. A character who’s not the star in his own story, yet the “rogues gallery” he engages with, is. I love his contentious but tolerable relationship with Superman. I like the Batman animated series. Batman Beyond was creative. I like Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight comic series, among many other series and a few graphic novels. I love and have quite a few of the Batman related toys and a myriad of Bat-mobiles which are utter coolness.
Conversely, I lost interest in all the different titles and reboots that DC Comics has gone through with the Dark Knight. And really? Just pick a Robin for chrissakes! I am weary of the darn video games. They are beautifully made but way too complicated to play and enjoy for a working stiff like me.
Where am I going with this, you may ask?
Well, I admire people who can stick to one thing. I just can’t decide if I view them as brainwashed, diligent, or admirable. People who can focus on something so entirely that they can do it forever and do it well are fascinating. Look at people like Stan Lee, Kobe Bryant, Prince, and 1000thGhost to name a few. They have all taken their obsessions and have garnered great rewards from them. Respectively, each person has amassed a great comic company that now makes excellent movies, championship rings, awards and an insane music catalog unrivaled by anyone, and the world’s largest Funko Pop! Collection, the likes to which I have never seen.
To my chagrin, my collecting is like this blog, all over the place…