The Things We Forget About The Avengers

tonystark_3We’re in something of a rare Avengers lull right now. With Civil War having come and gone, much of the focus looking ahead is at Marvel side projects. Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 will be here before we know it, Thor: Ragnarok (rumored to be more or less a Hulk/Thor buddy movie) will follow, and we’ll even be seeing the Black Panther solo project before we’re back to ensemble action in the first Infinity War movie.

That’s quite a bit of action between now and a return to the Avengers, and it makes this a good time to look back on how far we’ve come since the respective heroes were first introduced. Specifically, we want to consider some of the very important character features that we’ve more or less forgotten over the years.

Thor Is A God

This probably seems like the most obvious statement one could make about an Avengers character, akin to “Tony Stark is an engineer” or “Captain America is a soldier.” But in reality, do you really think of him this way anymore? Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Thor so thoroughly delighted audiences that the writers and directors have begun to focus more on bringing out his charms than on establishing Thor as a character. This news section on U.S. “show biz” all but solidified Thor as the comic relief character within the Avengers when it helped to popularize a video of Thor’s off-time while the rest were off filming Civil War. It’s a hilarious skit where Hemsworth gets into character to goof around about his time off. But it feeds into the l
arger idea that we now look at Thor as more of a lovable, carefree hunk with a hammer, and not a legitimate god (or demigod) who could probably smoke the rest of the Avengers with a flick of the wrist if he wanted to.

Iron Man Is Obscenely Wealthy

Let’s briefly put Tony Stark’s wealth in perspective. This site, primarily dedicated to online lottery players, posted an article and infographic not too long ago comparing some of fiction’s most filthy rich characters over the years. Within that comparison, Tony Stark ranked in the top-five, with an estimated worth approaching $10 billion. Okay, so you don’t exactly forget that Tony Stark is rich. But as we’ve gotten more toward S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, it’s never quite as clear who’s financing what, and it’s easy to forget that Stark—worth more than Bruce Wayne, Tywin Lannister, or even Mr. Monopoly, by the aforementioned article’s estimation—could finance an entire army of automated weapons. That’s probably worth keeping in mind as we move ahead.

Steve Rogers Is A Symbol Of Courage

Remember that scene in Captain America: The First Avenger, when a still-skinny Steve Rogers jumped on a grenade believing he was protecting his fellow soldiers? It was intended to be a sort of defining moment. It was justification for Rogers getting a super soldier serum, and it was the foundation for his establishment as the moral core of the Avengers later on. The thing is, ever since that first movie, Rogers has been presented as more of an angst-y, stubborn nuisance than a shining white knight. That’s not to say it isn’t a good thing to give him some flaws but, frankly, the way his character has been developed has made him almost hard to enjoy alongside the likes of Stark, Thor, and the rest. It’s easy to forget that he actually stands for something besides being a foil to Robert Downey, Jr.’s commanding screen presence.

These are just a few defining things that have been somewhat lost along the way. It’ll be interesting to see if any of them resonate once more when we get around to Infinity War.

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