Why I love/hate Joss Whedon- Avengers movie (spoilers!)

First – if you haven’t seen the Avengers movie you may want to move along.

Really.

I’m totally serious.

Spoilers below.

You sure?

Okay, let’s continue…

Like most of the North American population I saw The Avengers this weekend – with a husband who’s a rabid comic book fan it was more a case of “how many times” instead of “do we want to go?”… and we loved it.

But I was irked by one particular part of scripting that once had me again wondering why Joss done what he done… basically, killing off a main character to invoke emotional response not only from the audience but also the other characters.

Whedon has a track record of this. I *love* Firefly but *HATE* the movie Serenity because of the (IMO) needless deaths of Shephard Book and Wash. Two major characters from the television series that died for no real purpose other than to tick off the audience. Neither death really changed the focus of the movie and seemed to be more along the line of “I can so I will!” instead of actual plot developments.

He’s also done this with Buffy. Tara, anyone? A minor character with a great backstory and Willow’s girlfriend, breaking down *that* barrier and she gets killed by a wayward bullet.

Pleeeeeze.

Flash forward to the Avengers and Agent Phil (we’re gonna miss you!) Coulson. Here’s a guy who lucked into the BEST part-time acting job of all time – a few lines in Iron Man, a few in Thor and suddenly he’s got a job for life…

… or until Joss finished this script.

Now, don’t get me wrong – it was a gallant death, a macho death and all that. But was it needed?

I say “No”. I think having Coulson severely injured would have served the same purpose as having him killed. We know Fury doesn’t mind jerking emotions around – when Hill calls him on Coulson’s bloody near-mint Captain America trading cards he doesn’t flinch at the truth. So why would Coulson’s near-death be any more powerful than his actual death? Wouldn’t it be *more* powerful to have the Avengers assemble (yes, I went there) at Coulson’s hospital bed as he recovers and either vow there to take on Loki’s army or afterwards, telling him the job is done and all’s well?

I think Coulson’s death was another cheap trick, again, out of Whedon’s scriptwriting school of cheap emotional twists. Kill off someone that everyone loves and yank the audience’s emotions. Again. Yawn.

Coulson deserved better.

Just sayin’…

 

Watchmen… you should be reading/watching for it!

Well, the first trailer for Watchmen is out – and running not only online but also in front of “Dark Knight”, as if you needed a bigger audience to discover/rediscover this masterpiece.

Now, I know that if I say it’s based on a graphic novel that some of you are going to shrug and go “Comic book? I don’t read comic books!” – which is a fine decision based on some of the crap out there that’s being published, to be honest. I love comics dearly but some of the stuff that’s being illustrated nowadays makes me shudder – and not in a good way.

However, I remember when the first issues of Watchmen hit the stands at the Silver Snail on Queen Street West in Toronto, many many years ago. It was incredible to watch the people stripping the racks of every copy and racing to double/triple bag extra copies. It was truly a comic phenom that hasn’t really been duplicated, though many have tried.

Why?

Well, it basically turns the comic book world you may know via Batman and Superman on it’shead. The only thing that I can think of that may come close is the real-world feel of Iron Man as of late; with the movie accentuating his humanity over the cool gadgets. But I digress into a RDJ fangirl swoon…

I later purchased a copy of the graphic novel (here on Amazon, if not on the shelves of your fine local bookstore) and just wallowed in the excellent writing, drawing, extras and just plain old everything. If you’re interested even slightly in writing this is a book you need to get and devour. Each and every panel has so much symbolism and depth to it that it boggles the mind. Even now, decades later, I can pull out my ragged old copy and see more and more that I’ve missed. Not to mention that the alternative reality presented has a new perspective in light of recent events. And no, I’m not talking about more Bush-bashing. That’s gotten very old and I don’t think people realise that it kills a story/movie/comic book when you link it to a specific time in history that will eventually be over. Sort of like reading the stuff being put out during the Cold War and not understanding the perspective the people were writing from. But again, I digress.

From the main story about retired superheroes (some with powers, some not – average joes, as it were) to the bigger story to the epic sidebar of a comic within a comic and the rampant symbolism wrapped up in a beautiful package you can’t afford to not at least look over a copy of the original before the movie comes out. Really.

Get thee hence before the movie comes out and be amazed. You’ll never look at Batman or Superman or Swee… er, Iron Man in the same way again.

🙂