We Assemble!

On Friday, one of the most anticipated movies of the year opened. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of comic books, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t walk down the street without seeing gigantic billboards featuring the handsome (and beautiful) faces of some pretty beloved superheroes from the Marvel universe.

That’s right. Avengers finally dropped, and girls and boys of all ages were smashing their fists together in delighted Hulk-rage at the marriage of so many characters and beloved director Joss Whedon. My Avengers dates, aka my roommate and his boyfriend, were also super excited. So much so that one of them yelled “Tomorrow, we assemble!” at me from a block away on Thursday night. Clearly, this is why we’re friends.

(Don’t worry! I’m not going to spoil anything from the movie! When I wrote this, I still had 24 hours to go before I could see it!)

I got to thinking about the aspects of adaptation that people have protested in the past, which naturally brought up all my own previously felt rage over poor adaptations. Were characters portrayed accurately? Were settings and landscapes constructed with a nod towards realism and the original story? Were the costumes exactly what I had always imagined them to be? Did that actor look enough like the vision I had in my head as I read a book?

A lot of the time, the answer to all of the above questions is no. Really, up until the Harry Potter franchise, I hadn’t seen a lot of good adaptations. And I don’t necessarily think that the Harry Potter films are great adaptations, but they are really fun, well made portrayals of stories I love by people who are doing their best to condense thousands of pages of story into a few hours of film. I try not to be bitter about the bits of story that were left out.

I’m a firm believer that no movie will ever be as good as the book. Is anyone really surprised by this? It’s part of why I am both excited and horrified that they are making Ender’s Game into a movie this year. While I really want to see a live-action portrayal of one of my favorite stories, I just don’t think that there is anyway that Hollywood can pull off a film that is better than my imagination.

But I’m trying to keep an open mind. And I’m hoping that I walked out of Avengers on Friday with only more conviction that Hollywood can step up to the proverbial plate and deliver on my over-the-top expectations.

Everything I’m hearing about Avengers is great. And really, has Joss Whedon ever delivered something I didn’t fall in love with almost immediately? I don’t think so.

For that matter, Marvel has almost always served up characters and worlds that I immediately fall in love with and want to read over and over again, so my hopes are pretty high. I fell in love with the X-Men on Saturday mornings as a little girl. I was a big fan of the cartoon. I was a big fan of the movies that came out a few years ago.

That’s right. I liked them all. Don’t judge me.

I have been a big fan of all the Avenger titles I’ve seen in theaters and out of them over the last decade. There are great moments in all of them. Granted, I was not a huge reader of the comics that revolve around those particular characters so maybe it’s just easier for me.

Is it weird that I think my only fear for this movie is that I might like it too much? What if I get completely addicted and want to see it, in the theater, multiple times?

(This will probably happen.)

What happens if I end up spending way more money than I can realistically afford going to the theater over and over again?

(This will also probably happen.)

What happens when I start buying t-shirts, figurines and all other manner of memorabilia that I don’t have shelf-space for in my apartment?

(This will almost definitely happen.)

I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for how awesome it will be. I have almost no fear that it won’t live up to my expectation.

After all, it was released on May 4th. And in case you were under a rock that day, you know it’s a geek holiday. So to you, fine readers, I say a belated May The Fourth Be With You, and hope you got in some seriously geeky goodness this weekend.

Image via me…getting a hug from LegoHulk at ToyFair 2012.

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