The Avengers and 4 Other Kick-Ass Marvel Movies You Haven’t Been Able To Appreciate Because You’re Still Mourning Your Cousin Mark’s Death
Let’s face it: with the possible exception of Star Wars (which also happens to be in the House of Mouse these days), nothing in pop culture right now is hotter or more lucrative than Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Whether it’s Deadpool profanely wisecracking his way into box-office history and changing superhero movies forever, or Guardians Of The Galaxy’s crowd-pleasing space hijinks, Marvel is straight-up crushing it in the superhero department and leaving the so-called “Distinguished Competition” in the dust.
As someone who grew up devouring Marvel comic books and saw every superhero movie, no matter how lame (even Blankman and The Meteor Man), you should be loving everything that Marvel is doing right now. It’s a comic book fan’s dream come true.
Unfortunately for you and your family, just when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was really kicking it into high gear around 2010’s Iron Man 2, your cousin Mark, who was more like a brother to you growing up, died in a drowning accident Memorial Day weekend in what might have been a suicide.
This left you with a profound sense of loss, a series of painful questions that can never truly be answered about Mark’s state of mind at the time of his death, and a complete inability to properly appreciate the Marvel Cinematic Universe in its prime. With that in mind, here are The Avengers and four other Marvel properties that have left you cold because you’re no longer to experience pleasure.
5. The Avengers
If the twelve-year-old you found out that pretty much all of Marvel’s most bad-ass heroes were joining forces for a mega-budgeted blockbuster movie, you literally would have squealed with delight. But when Joss Whedon’s smartly managed to deliver the blockbuster goods, while satisfying comic book fans and laying the foundation for blockbusters to come, the highest praise you could muster for it was that it was “okay” and “not an embarrassment.”
The Avengers only “okay?” That’s the depression and grief talking, not the enthusiastic comic book fan who’d race to the comic book shop after school every day and pester the proprietor about all the new releases. I know how much you love badass heroines in sexy garb, so the fact that you don’t even mention Black Widow’s kick-ass, scene-stealing role in the film when discussing it with your dwindling circle of friends (nobody wants to hang out with a stone-cold bummer) suggests you’ve still got a lot of healing and processing left to do around your cousin’s death before you can be in a place to finally accept Marvel’scurrent awesomeness.
4. Iron Man 3
You loved Lethal Weapon growing up and whenever someone asks you to recommend a sleeper, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is your go-to pick. So you should have been overjoyed when Shane Black, the hot-shit screenwriter of Lethal Weapon and writer-director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang reunited with his Kiss Kiss Bang Bang leading man Robert Downey Jr. for the epic third installment in the Iron Man saga.
But it took you three months to even see Iron Man 3, and when you finally did you told your co-workers that it was “okay” but that maybe you were feeling a little “super-hero-ed out” and that it wasn’t really your “cup of tea” anymore.
Superhero-ed out? Not your cup of tea anymore? Somebody better tell the ten-year-old you that you’ve turned into a giant wuss so he can travel through time and beat the holy living shit out of you by betraying your inner comic book lover with your wishy-washy, half-assed responses to some of the best and most audacious comic book movies ever.
We figure you’d at least have a strong opinion on the film’s controversial handling of classic villain The Mandarin, which some found clever and subversive but others hated. But you didn’t even have an opinion on it! Why would you? Apparently you’re not so into comic books anymore.
The comic book super fan who could spend hours arguing passionately about the latest issue of The Incredible Hulk has been replaced by a dude who spends a lot of time staring glumly into the distance, sometimes while clearly mouthing the word “Mark” softly, silently and sadly to yourself. We get it, dude. You two were close. But now you’re just being a drama queen.
3. Guardians Of The Galaxy
To the rest of the world, Guardians Of The Galaxy might have been a semi-obscure b-team but not to you. You loved the oddball outer space super-hero team-up comic book when nobody else even knew about it. Hell, you were gushing about what a bad-ass, crazy character Rocket Raccoon was decades before he became every boy’s furry rebel hero.
And you’ve always loved James Gunn, going back to The Specials. You even read his book. So logic would seem to dictate that because you love Guardians Of The Galaxy and you love James Gunn, then you’d love James Gunn’s widely beloved adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy, and, to be fair, you did manage to see it opening week.
But then during the stuff involving Star-Lord’s mom, you actually started crying softly and went to the lobby, never to return, explaining that your grief around Mark was still “too fresh” and that you’d go back and watch the rest of it later. Giant shocker: you never got around to watching the rest of it. Pull yourself together! He’s been dead for approaching a decade now! You have an opportunity to redeem yourself as a comic book fan by seeing the Guardians Of the Galaxy sequel in theaters but why would you want to do that when there’s so much brooding left to do?
Back in the good days, you could not stop talking about what an abomination X-Men Origins: Wolverine was. After spending literally decades waiting for a Wolverine solo movie, you couldn’t believe that the filmmakers screwed things up so badly. You went off at length on how ridiculous it was that Will.I.Am was even in the movie, but most of your criticism was directed towards the way the spin-off badly mishandled Deadpool, transforming the “Merc with a Mouth” into a silent, personality-free assassin.
Turns out everybody agreed with your assessment! While Ryan Reynolds remained in the role in 2016’s Deadpool, everything else about the character, and the film, was different. The fact that a Marvel movie would get an R rating would have you rocked you to the core when you were fourteen but this time you didn’t even get around to seeing it until it’d been out for months. By that point even your mother had seen it. Are you less of a comic book fan than your mother? Is that really who you are in 2017?
If Deadpool exploded into the real world, he’d tell you to stop being such a pussy and honor your cousin’s legacy by enjoying movies like Deadpool, instead of refusing to experience anything enjoyable out of a misplaced sense of loyalty to your cousin. Mark’s dead, and he’d be pretty disappointed that you’ve barely begun the process of getting over his death years later.
1. Thor: Ragnorak
In a world where you haven’t spent the last seven years grappling with intense feelings of grief, guilt and depression over your cousin’s death, you would be jizzing yourself over how awesome the upcoming Thor sequel looks. True, Thor was never your favorite Avenger, and the Norse mythology stuff always left you a little cold but if you were capable of experiencing any kind of pleasure, you would be beyond psyched that Taika Waititi, of all people, has been given control over a blockbuster superhero epic.
You haven’t really been able to laugh since Mark’s death but you laughed long and hard at Waititi’s cult classic What We Do In Shadows and even managed to express excitement over its upcoming werewolf-themed follow-up/spin-off We’re Wolves. That alone should get you fucking pumped over this outrageous, mega-bucks sequel, as should the prominent role The Incredible Hulk plays in the film.
You always liked The Incredible Hulk and in the depths of your depression, you’d joke sometimes about how you really related to his rage and his mood swings. Then you’d just get kind of sad and stop talking. So the idea of a Thor/Incredible Hulk buddy comedy (in the vein of your beloved Midnight Run no less!) directed by one of your favorite up and coming independent filmmakers should make your heart sing with joy and promise. Instead you just keep looking at pictures of yourself with Mark and wondering if there was anything you could have done to prevent his death. All these years later!
Thankfully, we’ve got some good news for you! Thor: Ragnorak does not open until November 3rd, which gives you a couple of months to commit yourself to therapy and healing so that on opening night you can be there, front row with a big box of popcorn and a large cherry soda, without anything on your mind to distract you from the fun. We mean it. Because while we understand that grief is a complicated and time intensive process, this is getting a little ridiculous.
You owe it to yourself, you owe it to Mark, and you particularly owe it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to rouse yourself from this endless depression so you can start being the endlessly enthusiastic Marvel fanboy you once were, and can, and should, be again.
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