Why Marvel’s The Avengers Will Always Hold a Special Place in My Heart

First I would like to forewarn you that there will be spoilers in this post (not until the last paragraph, but still, they’re coming).  But if you haven’t seen The Avengers yet then you are doing yourself a disservice and I encourage to immediately disconnect from all social media and spend a solid 2+ hours reveling in Joss Whedon’s film adaptation.  The other day I had gotten into a conversation with a friend about Marvel’s The Avengers, when I realized what I dork I am when it comes to that epic masterpiece of a movie.  It turns out that I remember the exact date of the first time I saw the film (April 26th), and for me, it’s theatrical release date (May 4th – it was a struggle but I ultimately decided to sport apparel supporting Earth’s Mightiest Heroes even though it was Star Wars Day) has become intrinsic knowledge.  I attended a midnight showing despite having to wake up at 5:45am the next morning for work (even though I had already seen the movie!).  At the time that The Avengers was debuting, there were a ton of exciting things happening in my life.  Regardless of how the actual film was, I knew I would always have an emotional attachment to it, but as time has passed and certain memories have been corrupted, I am thrilled to say that The Avengers haven’t been tainted in the slightest.

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After many of the things I mentioned in my 2012 recap blog post had come to pass, I was finally ready to start going out and living my life again.  I’ll never forget sitting at my desk on what I thought was going to be just like any other day when suddenly, my Twitter DM notification went off.  I had my suspicions as to who would be sending me a private message at that time, so I was even more shocked when I looked down to find that one of my favorite Spider-Man writers, Dan Slott, had DM’ed me about going to the Marvel screening with him to see The Avengers a whole week before it debuted in theaters!  I was so excited during the week leading up to the release that I made an Avengers headband out of felt from Michaels (as seen above), among other things.  It’s events like this where it’s near impossible for me to suppress my inner nerd, so I obviously felt the need to accessorize with a plethora of pieces representing as many Avengers as I could.  I already owned an Avengers skirt, I had previously transformed my Tokidoki Iron Man frenzie into a necklace (also seen above), and I ordered squinkie Thor earrings, and a Captain America hair bow, to complete the look I wanted to create.  What can I say? I’m enthusiastic! AND THIS IS THE AVENGERS! Hence, no justification is really needed.

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During the screening, Dan and I sat next to Cliff Chiang (one of the most amazing comic book artists in the industry), and I met a bunch of other Marvelites before and after the show.  We also ran into my friend Lauren, who was currently interning at Marvel before she graduated college that semester, and best of all (well, besides the actual movie of course), was the super swag they gave to us before the screening.  We received pairs of the limited edition 3D glasses (I have Iron Man, and Captain America), a giant Thor poster, which has resided on the wall next to my bed ever since, and an awesome Avengers cup that I still use to this day!  And just before the film started Joe Quesada made a speech but to be honest, I was too excited to see the movie to pay attention to anything anyone may have said to me earlier that day.  As I’m sure you can imagine, I laughed, I cried, and for almost the entirety of the film my mouth was agape and my eyes were open wide due to complete and utter awe.  But more about my thoughts on the film later!

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For most people it would be pure torture to see such a film as The Avengers and then be forced to wait an entire week before discussing it’s genius with the rest of the world, but for me it was worth the wait.  The movie elated me because it was everything I was hoping it would be and then so much more.  The next time I saw the film was at the midnight showing with all of my closest friends from high school.  Just to interject a quick anecdote, my favorite superhero is Spider-Man, which everyone who has ever met me can easily determine.  During the midnight showing one of my friends was so excited to tell me that there was a Spider-Man cosplayer in the theater but when I turned around it quickly changed into a facepalm moment because the cosplayer in question was none other than Deadpool…  Yea.  For this showing (don’t worry, I promise I won’t go through all five times I saw it in theaters!), I wore my Tokidoki Captain America sweatshirt (which someone else in the theater thought was a Thor sweatshirt hence another facepalm moment), my Tokidoki Thor necklace, and I brought some of my favorite plushie Funko Avengers along with me.   I didn’t get home until 3am and I was so pumped from my second screening that I didn’t bother attempting to sleep that night.  My favorite part of my second viewing was at the end of the film during Marvel’s infamous after credits scene when all of my friends turned to me and asked who they had just seen on screen. It was Thanos!

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So now, for the reasons I was driven to see The Avengers in theaters five times before purchasing a copy of the blu-ray on it’s release date and deeming the film the official montage to every moment spent in my room thereafter.  I’ll start with the writing.  It’s Whedon, thus it’s perfect.  The amount of humor he was able to inject into the film, particularly with Iron Man’s lines, is enough to make you crave multiple viewings.  With the exception of Hawkeye who I would’ve liked to see more of, each Avenger had a complete and thorough storyline with ample screen time.  Prior to seeing the film I had been nervous about Black Widow’s less than impressive handguns, but Natasha proved to be a badass.  I would love to see ScarJo star in her own Black Widow film sometime in the near future!  Another minor concern before the movie, mostly for continuity’s sake, was the replacement of Edward Norton (my favorite actor of all time despite detesting The Hulk movie), with Mark Ruffalo.  But many people would agree that Bruce Banner stole the show.  Especially in his ending scene with my favorite troublemaking villain, Loki.  Tom Hiddleston simply nails the part of Loki.  He has beautiful and mischievous eyes with a pristine demeanor fit for an Asgardian.  And speaking of Asgardian’s, it would be impossible to neglect to mention Thor who has the best beard in any dimension.  The film was an action packed adventure as The Avengers battled each other before coming together to defeat the Chitauri army which Loki had unleashed upon New York City.  But the event that brought them all together was the most heartbreaking scene in superhero movie I have ever seen.  Admittedly, even after viewing The Avengers more times than I can possibly count, I still break out into hysterics every time I witness Coulson’s demise.  I can sincerely say that The Avengers is one of the only movies I’ve ever been to where the entire audience was completely invested.  It took three viewings before I could finally  hear Hulk’s line after smashing Loki into the ground in Stark Tower (“Puny god,” for all those who may have missed it).  Oftentimes, when a movie is saturated with great talent, they’re trying to compensate for a lackluster script.  This was not the case with The Avengers.  Whedon seriously raised the bar, and not only for comic book genre films.  But anyway, enough of my gushing! I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I encourage you to share them in the comments section! And then eat Shwarma after.

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Happy Birthday Stan Lee From Your Friendly Neighborhood Gwen Stacy!

Last year I wrote this Happy Birthday blog post/love letter to Stan Lee for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink and I thought I’d share it on my personal blog this year in honor of Stan the Man’s birthday<3!  Stan means a lot to me as he’s created so many of my favorite characters.  I read his biography a few years back and it made him all the more charming.
Today is comic book legend Stan Lee’s 89th Birthday! For those who don’t already know, Stan is responsible for creating the majority of today’s most popular Marvel superheroes.  Some of his brain children include SPIDER-MAN (he’s our favorite at OWWWP), Iron Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Thor, Daredevil (with Bill Everett) and Doctor Strange (with Steve Ditko).  If you have not yet read Stan Lee’s autobiography Excelsior! I highly recommend it.  One of my favorite parts of his book was the story of how Stan Lee created Iron Man.  One of Stan’s bosses at the time remarked about how easy it was to make a superhero because everybody loves a hero.  Stan obviously knew better so he made a bet with his boss that he could create a successful superhero who the antithesis of everything America believed in at the time. During the height of the Cold War, when young American’s everywhere protested and despised the current war, Stan created Iron Man as a millionaire industrialist who developed technology and supplied the military with weapons. And as we all know, Iron Man became a favorite character of everyone. Another thing Stan shines some light on in Excelsior! (which by the way means Onward and Upward to Greater Glory!) is his early life and how he kind of fell into comics. Even after taking a brief hiatus and joining the army to assist in World War II (Stan ended up filming instructional videos and writing manuals for the soldiers going off to fight) he made his way back to Marvel.
With the mere mention of Marvel nearly everybody’s first thought is drawn to Stan Lee. Stan  is truly responsible for making Marvel what it is today. When nobody believed that there was any future in comics Stan just kept working even harder and has ultimately proven them to be very wrong. Last year at New York Comic Con (2010) was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing Stan Lee up close and personal.  I attended his panel about the new and exciting characters to expect from Marvel in 2011. Even then at 87 years old, Stan was one of the most charismatic people I have ever seen.  He thrives on being in the spotlight and he jokes around constantly.  As soon as he entered onto the stage the room took on a completely different ambiance. Everyone was just sitting with expressions of shock and awe on their faces, marveling at the fact that this legend was standing a few feet away from them.  Stan has also gone on to make cameo’s in Marvel Entertainment’s movies (we told you he loves the spotlight).  But our favorite cameo appearance we’ve seen Stan do was when he was on The Big Bang Theory. Stan played himself, signed comics at Stuart’s store and when an overexcited Sheldon showed up on his doorstep, Stan told him off, dismissing him as an annoying fanboy and called the cops.  We loved this scene so much because we know that it is the complete opposite of Stan’s usual fun loving attitude.  So we hope you’ll join us in celebrating Stan Lee’s 89th Birthday today by picking up a new (or old comic) of one your favorite Marvel superheros that wouldn’t exist today with the genius himself.  Thanks Stan, Excelsior!
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