After you’re done watching the cool mashup of when Superheroes come to the rescue, let’s talk Avengers and Free Comic Book Day.
The Avengers, which opened Friday, has already brought in huge amounts of money overseas.
Zach Baron has mixed feelings about the success of The Avengers:
The Avengers is already a smash. Our reward? Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, and if the obligatory post-credits sequence in Avengers is any indication, Avengers 2. Whedon did something near miraculous, making Avengers into something entertaining. But that is an awful lot of a good thing.
Christopher Orr has fewer reservations:
Now it is true that if you don’t like superhero movies, you probably will not like The Avengers, which features all the tropes that inevitably accrue to the genre: the flying and punching and force-beams and silly costumes. But if you are even modestly open to persuasion, Whedon’s effort is right up at the top of the Marvel heap, with the first Spider-and Iron Man and the first two X-Men. Given the degree of difficulty inherent in the undertaking, it’s an accomplishment only modestly short of a miracle.
Alyssa Rosenberg raves:
The Avengers may be the result of careful planning and a neatly calibrated movie-making formula that strikes some critics as rigid corporate entertainment. But this franchise, with its long-form exploration of a rich cast of characters and its embrace of a huge, complex universe, has unlocked, at long last, the wondrous, weird potential of comic books to transport us to other worlds and to render our own transformed.
Meanwhile, Brent Cox checks in on the price of print comics and points out that comic books were once the main way to get a superhero-fix:
[I]n 1945, roughly half of all Americans read comic books, including 95% of all boys, and (and!) 91% of all girls, between the ages of six and eleven. “In 1947,” Van Lente added, “one out of every three periodicals sold in the United States was a comic book. That’s 180 million comics in one year.” To experience market penetration like that, you’d pretty much have to be the Internet.
And if you glance at these lists of circulation figures for the time, you see that by 1946 you have four different comic book titles that were selling more than a million copies per month. (Whereas now, there are only three titles clearing (barely) two hundred thousand copies monthly.) So in comparing the 40s with now, we’re comparing a time when comic books were hands-down no-joke the undisputed dominant paradigm of entertainment for American children to now, a time when the characters and storylines of comics constitute a very American mythology while the vehicles that brought them there, the comic books themselves, sit off to the side.
I’ll be heading to Wilson’s Book Store today to celebrate Free Comic Book Day. Before you begin sipping the tequilla, you should go grab a comic book.