Growing up, I was a DC comics fan. Never got into Marvel Comics. I tried, but the characters did not interest me like Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Justice League, etc.
With DC’s Justice League of America a huge hit with readers, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby launched The Avengers in September 1963. The comic featured Thor, Hulk, Ant Man, Wasp, and Ironman. The caption under the heading was “Earth’s Mightiest Super-Heroes.” Well, DC readers disagreed, but there was nothing wrong with Stan Lee’s ambition and hope for his motley crew.
The first comic pitted these superheroes against Loki, The God of Evil. Of course Loki and Thor, the God of Thunder, had a history of contest between them. Mjölnir, Thor’s crusher or hammer, may have been enough against Loki in Asgard, but on Earth Thor needed his friends.
In the late 70s I watched episodes of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk on the CBS Network. I really liked Spider-Man. The Hulk had a certain appeal on the psychological side where one can be mild-mannered but underneath a raging superhero just waiting in abeyance for an opportunity to fight injustice.
However, I never got into Marvel comics. It would be the movies that would finally hook this DC-reared kid. Blade, X-Men series, Spider-Man series, Daredevil, Hulk, Fantastic Four series, and Iron Man.
Will this Disney’s $220 million and Joss Whedon’s production of The Avengers be as exciting as many comic readers hope? It once again pits Loki against Thor and his fellow heroes.
Captain America, who first appeared in the 4th issue of The Avengers, joins Thor, Ironman, The Hulk, Nick Fury, Hawkeye and Black Widow. The Loki character will be worth watching and analyzing since his divine motivation is to have the respect of the earthlings by becoming their ultimate ruler and god.
For Loki this is his chance for redemption since his attempt to rule Asgard was thwarted by Thor, his brother. Returning from his exile in the unknown regions, he now seeks to take Earth away from Thor.
Alan Silvestri does the music. Experts are expecting a super-sized opening weekend in May. New box-office records? Will it be Disney’s Valhalla?
Mythology of ancient gods and goddesses owe their current fascination to the comics who brought them from the snow-covered mountains of the mists of time to the current minions of eager readers and watchers. It is important for a culture to have its mythology.
There are those who attempt to read their religious tenets into comics and films. Perhaps, it is the archetypes and motifs common to religion which they read and see. However, those archetypes and motifs can be traced back to the beginning of earth time. For humans will always have a connection to the cosmos which beckons us to contemplate our place in the cosmic scheme of reality.
I often wonder what civilization a thousand years from now will think about us with our created heroes and heroines. Who knows if a massive solar flare or other unknown object will grace the earth one day in the near future and wipe out our current digital technology? Perhaps it will be our Dark Ages where reality and myth coalesce into one.
As one from the future examines the remains of our past, what will they find? What strange conclusions will they draw of our civilization, lost in the ancient river of a thousand years?
A digital footprint may be all that survives our current civilization. The future dweller may seek to unravel the mysteries of those strange beings who inhabited the past. Unlocking our digital reality may reveal a society which reached for the stars, but like so many ancients before them never quite achieved the touching of index fingers to the cosmos.
G. D. Williams © 2012
The Avengers Trailer
War has come. We are hopelessly outnumbered…
Iron Man Three