Heroes & Villains: A Lot About ‘Avengers’ and A Little About Squirrels

For this installment of Heroes & Villains, I was presented with another week that was a bit light on the comic book front. The cold sweat that the dreaded lack of content brings on set in sometime around Sunday when I went over the review PDFs that had been forwarded to me. Nothing was quite catching my attention. 

Sure, there are great issues of books I’ve already covered hitting the stands today, but I’m eternally chasing the high of bringing you the hottest and freshest comics you may not have considered on a weekly basis. Now would probably be a good time to mention that I’m all about promoting any and all comic-related creative endeavors you may see fit to send my way. Hit me up in the comments, smash that “like” button, or whatever it is people do these days. 

What to do? What to do? I was torn between writing about ARGUABLY THE BIGGEST COMIC BOOK MOVIE EVER or the squirrel orgy that’s currently taking place on my balcony. 

Springtime, when a young squirrel’s fancy turns to pleasures of the explicitly carnal variety… I had just returned home from my day job when I gazed out my balcony and, instead of seeing the well-manicured courtyard of my palatial estate, I was presented with the sight of two squirrels engaged in an act that can only politely be described as “deeply pornographic.”  

Now that I’ve freaked out the squares and properly jeopardized my future as a columnist here, let’s talk about Avengers: Endgame. 

We are mere hours away from a movie that will be described as the first film with a talking raccoon in a lead role to reach a billion dollars (domestic) in a record amount of time. Or, the culmination of the last ten years worth of Marvel movies in a cinematic epic the likes of which we haven’t seen before. Take your pick.

Within the last two weeks, I’ve fine-tuned all of my media feeds to block out keywords and phrases like “Avengers,” “Endgame,” “Iron Man,” “Captain America,” and “Thanos.” I’ve stayed clear of Reddit (a good rule to follow in general) and generally stayed away from comic book…well, everything.

Now that I’ve illustrated how assiduously I’ve avoided spoilers for this movie, I can safely say that I’m not excited for this movie. I’m ready for it. 

From the very first post-credits scene in Iron Man when Nick Fury showed up and said the word “Avengers” on screen, this has all been building towards something. These movies have perfectly encapsulated the joy that we as comic book fans have known for decades and shared it with the public at large. It’s a strange feeling, having an interest that was long on the fringes of what was considered “cool” become the coolest thing out there. it feels great and I’m glad it’s happening in my lifetime.

There’s probably a longer piece somewhere in here about what the popularity of comic book movies says about society as a whole these days. The giant monster and alien invasion movies of the 1950s spoke to the nation’s collective anxiety about the Atomic Age and fear of invaders from foreign lands. What are the superhero movies of the last decade saying about us now? Our collective desire for protectors with unassailable morals, who are for everyone and representative of our best ambitions? Or, maybe we just love seeing a bunch of cool explosions. For now, I’ll leave that for the Ph.D.’s to puzzle out.

There’s the briefest snippet in the last Endgame trailer of Captain America tugging the straps of his shield tight against his arm as he (presumably) prepares to go up against Thanos for what is probably the last time. That’s how I feel going into this movie. It’s going to be an experience…and I’m ready for it.

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