18- “Avengers” #52PickUp

Originally, the #52PickUp was only going to feature movies that meant something to me as a filmmaker, or solidified my particular tastes when it came to the medium. When I compiled my list late last year, I found that a lot of the films mentioned were more recent ones; and I had wanted more of my childhood/early teens represented.

So I took a lot of the recent ones like Inception out. But there is one recent one that I’d like to discuss due to its impact and resonance on some of my favorite types of events: Crossovers.

…And of course due to the imminent release of Captain America: Civil War (or as I like to call it, Avengers 2.5).

But here is the first Big Daddy of crossover events:


Avengers was the culmination of FOUR YEARS of Marvel films. They began small with the scope of just trying to make well-made, entertaining movies, and took that to heart with the creation of Iron Man in May of 2008. The kick-off was a massive success reeling in $585 million worldwide. It took the once rocky career of Robert Downey Jr. and shot it into super stardom.

But what got me even more excited was the post-credits scene where Nick Fury visits Tony Stark at his house and drops those two little words that set everything in motion: “Avengers Initiative.”

Best not to take them lightly.

Then came the next film in the series the same year: Incredible Hulk. While the lowest grossing Marvel film both domestically and worldwide, Hulk was a fun movie that took the notion of Banner on the run and… ran with it. And then at the end of that movie, Tony Stark drops by to have a chat with General Ross. At that point my mind was blown.

As the films progressed, they began introducing the rest of the cast in each of their own movies (sorry Hawkeye and Black Widow). So when it came time for the band to get together, the characters had some sort of introduction in this new cinematic world.

Taking all of these different characters and putting them into the same world, is something I had dreamed of since I was kid. Crossovers are my jam!

Here they gather to take on Loki and his alien army of Chitauri soldiers and stop the takeover of the entire Planet Earth. And of course (SPOILERS) they do. So let’s get into the rest of it, shall we?

Where/ when did I first see it?

May 3rd, 2012 (Advanced Screening). No other #52PickUp will be that precise, that I can assure you.

How does it hold up?

It was absolutely bizarre to watch this again. Marvel has systematically trained their cinematic audience to grow and evolve with the films, so it came as a surprise when I reflected on my initial feelings during each scene.

When Bruce Banner and Tony Stark talked in science-talk, I was floored then. “Two scientists talking out an issue! And they’re heroes?!” The thought of seeing all of these characters together in one movie was what I loved the most about it.

But looking back on it now, after seeing this effect being replicated half a dozen times… Well, it takes away from the initial impact The Avengers had at that time. We’ve seen Captain America and Iron Man butt heads (and will see it in the biggest way soon).

That’s why this film is still the biggest money-maker in the franchise as it was that first time the team assembled. The second Avengers, Age of Ultron didn’t have that luster.

“Puny God.”

What did I like about it and why?

The massive crossover of course! They also did a great job of making the experience funny by using each character’s personality and past experiences to deliver solid jokes (and some not so solid jokes), but at any rate these jokes were amusing.


Another great part of the screenplay (written by director Joss Whedon), was his ability to make the scene transitions feel just like going from panel to panel on the comics. Every scene handed off to the next like a professional relay team.

And finally, one of the better parts of the film is the action. It set the tone for the rest of the films in cliché final battles against faceless armies and or on top of a massive helicarrier, but it still was an entertaining ride.

Lessons Learned?

  1. Joss Whedon should have been doing these for years.
  2. Captain America is the best gymnast superhero this side of Balance Beam Man.
  3. The infinity stone storyline started here and it’s still going on! What a long trilogy arc!


Where can you see it?

Check out The Avengers on CanIStream.It?

-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


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