Marvel movie takeaways from a non-comic book nerd
Growing up, I was a Dungeons & Dragons-playing, Emo music-listening, video game-obsessed fan boy.
If you wanted a visual of a classic nerd, you’d see a teen who looked suspiciously like me.
Having said that, there was one aspect of geekdom which evaded me entirely.
I was never into comic books. In fact, I seldom paid attention to the full-colored adventures of D.C. superheroes or Marvel superheroes.
Nope, not when my bedroom bookshelf was crammed with hardcover copies of weird cult movies that I never had the chance to see. Either that, or they were great pieces of literature written by such intellectuals as Carlin, Cosby or Seinfeld.
Yes, the younger version placed a greater importance on Seinfeld than Spider-Man.
This was never an issue until Marvel Studios began releasing comic-to-screen movies all the time!
My cover as the Weekender go-to nerd would soon be shattered and I knew it. With Thursday’s release of “Avengers: Endgame” at a cineplex near you, my secret shame -- an ignorance on all things Stan Lee -- would be exposed for the world to see.
Don’t get me wrong. I do have a working knowledge of the Hulk and Iron Man and Captain America. Wasn’t born in a cave, people!
But ask me my favorite “Guardian of the Galaxy” and my default answer will always be: “If I had to choose an absolute favorite, it would be that dude who always wears a codpiece.”
Now, was there actually a “Guardian of the Galaxy” character who wore a codpiece? I don’t know. Superheroes do love their codpieces, so chances are there was.
However, I will now use my ignorance for good. After spending the past few weeks watching a marathon of Marvel movies, I’m sufficiently superhero savvy to offer my critique.
Here’s a list of the Marvel-inspired movies that I’ve seen, plus my takeaway.
“IRON MAN” (2008)
MY TAKEAWAY: Robert Downey Jr. plays the part of playboy industrialist Tony Stark who invents an exoskeleton suit of armor. The guy who plays Lucious from “Empire” is a buddy of Stark’s and Gwyneth Paltrow plays someone named Pepper Potts. No, I’m not kidding.
“THE AVENGERS” (2012)
MY TAKEAWAY: I have a soft spot for really terrible Aaron Spelling TV shows from the 1980s. The original “Avengers” movie reminds me of a supersized version of “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island” and “Charlie’s Angels” crossover extravaganza. Was it good? Didn’t have to be. It was simply cool seeing a bunch of superheroes in the same place at the same time.
MY TAKEAWAY: Did some checking and discovered that Paul Rudd is the second alumni from “Clueless” to star in a movie adaptation of a comic book. Who was the first? Alicia Silverstone, who played Batgirl in that god-awful George Clooney “Batman and Robin” movie.
“GUARDIAN OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2” (2017)
MY TAKEAWAY: I know the voice of Rocket Raccoon is supplied by Bradley Cooper. But the person being used as a stand-in for actors playing off the heavily-CGI’ed rodent bounty hunter is Sean Gunn, who played Kirk on “The Gilmore Girls.” It is disturbing hearing Bradley Cooper’s voice coming from a character portrayed by TV’s Kirk.
“CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER” (2014)
MY TAKEAWAY: Chris Evans is fine as Captain America, blah, blah, blah! But what the hell happened to Scarlett Johansson’s hair? I can’t take Black Widow -- or the movie -- seriously because I’m distracted by ScarJo’s ’do!
“AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR” (2018)
MY TAKEAWAY: Josh Brolin, who played the intergalactic despot Thanos, is Barbra Streisand’s stepson. I find that as weird as discovering that actor Dave Bautista would have to sit in a sauna every night as a way to remove the makeup he needed while playing Drax the Destroyer.
Will I be in the audience for “Avengers: Endgame?” Yes. Will my takeaway be be different than that of a comic book nerd’s? Yeah, but there is value in everybody’s opinion.
After all, you don’t need to be a Marvel fan to find entertainment from a Marvel Studio movie.