Iron Man: getting rusty?

Fangirl unleashed: do we really need more solo Avengers outings?

movies avengers final character banner Fangirl unleashed: do we really need more solo Avengers outings?OK, so like pretty much everyone else in the world, I loved The Avengers. I mean, LOVED. I went to see it three times in a week and could happily go again: I’m already waiting in anticipation for the DVD. It was everything I want from a blockbuster, and everything I hoped for from Joss Whedon: smart, funny, action-packed, with great ensemble chemistry and each character given ample time to shine. It was also, clearly, everything Marvel and Disney ever wanted:  a record breaking smash cementing Marvel’s place at the top of the superhero movie tree, and paving the way for what they hope will be a lucrative stream of solo flicks before the inevitable Avengers 2.

 Fangirl unleashed: do we really need more solo Avengers outings?

Roll on the sequel!

Why shouldn’t they think that? Despite the two stumbling, misjudged Hulk movies, the Avengers solo outings have all enjoyed respectable (or very respectable) success: so plans are already afoot for Captain America 2, Thor 2 and Iron Man 3; Mark Ruffalo has been signed up play the Hulk in six movies in hope that his spot on casting can fix what was so clearly broke in that series, and there’s talk of a Black Widow/Hawkeye outing, or a Nick Fury solo flick. But, at the risk of incurring fanboy/girl fury, my big question is: leaving aside the obvious attractions of milking this particular cash cow, should they bother with more solo efforts?  How about we just skip the foreplay and go back to the main event: Avengers 2?

hulk1 Fangirl unleashed: do we really need more solo Avengers outings?

Not even Mark Ruffalo can convince me we need another Hulk movie

My arguments for this are varied, so hear me out. One, while I enjoyed (to varying degrees) all of the solo outings, I’m really not sure we need any more. Iron Man, Thor and Captain America were all pretty much origin movies, and enjoyable ones too: but even the solid gold charisma of Robert Downey Jr couldn’t stop Iron Man 2 suffering heavily from the law of diminishing returns, and I don’t feel there’s any compelling direction in which I want to see Thor, Cap or even Iron Man head off to again – and can’t we just agree that the Hulk isn’t interesting enough to base a whole movie around? There’s also a strong risk that, after the sparkle of the Avengers ensemble, where you see all these great characters (and actors) bounce off one another, that putting them out on their own again will make them seem a little… well, flat. Even the established relationships worked better against the Avengers backdrop: I’ve never cared a hoot about Pepper and Tony’s relationship, yet in a couple of scenes Whedon made it seem real, warm and likeable, something neither of the solo outings achieved – I’m worried that Iron Man 3 will seem like a step backwards.

thor1 Fangirl unleashed: do we really need more solo Avengers outings?

Do we need more Thor?


Plus there’s the unpalatable fact that Robert Downey Jr – without whom the Avengers would have been a whole universe less fun – isn’t getting any younger.  He’s already slightly long in the tooth for a superhero – how old will he be when Avengers 2 (and, most likely, 3) roll around? OK, he isn’t required to have the gym-solid physique of Thor or Captain America, since his power is based on the suit, but leaving it too long to make a sequel risks an Iron Man who has started to go a little rusty. Nick Fury is already sailing close to retirement age: how long can he convincingly be handy with a rocket launcher?

iron man Fangirl unleashed: do we really need more solo Avengers outings?

Iron Man: getting rusty?

OK, but, I’ll admit it: my main argument is that, while I enjoyed the solo Marvel movies, I can pretty much take or leave the sequels – but I loved the Avengers so much I want a sequel as soon as possible, and anything that delays that even a tiny bit, I’m resentful of. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who feels like that?

I’ll be back again in a fortnight but in the meantime feel free to pop over to my blog at Body of a Geek Goddess. Remember you can also buy my new novel Dark Dates on Amazon. (UK here, or US here.)

S#!T Talking Central

  • Steve Lemlek

    I think we’ve finally found ourselves at odds!

    I actually like the solo adventures more than The Avengers (especially Iron Man 2).

    The main fault I find with all the movies is that they’re each bound by the generic tropes of an origins story (cue Dane’s nausea as I bring this damn argument out of the depths). Every single Marvel film except Iron Man 2 has been really weighed down by introducing the characters, which I find exhausting.

    I can’t wait to see what type of world hopping adventures Thor kicks up in his sequel, or the dark realm of international espionage that Cap will hopefully investigate.

    I’d love to see The Avengers 2 ASAP just like you, but I’m still pretty damn excited for the others

  • Dane Ingham

    There isn’t a need to make 200 million dollar movies every time, but there are still some amazing stories that can be told about Thor and especially Captain America. Just drawing from Ed Brubaker’s run would create excellent movie plots, regardless of the fact that its based on a superhero. I am weary of another Hulk movie too, but there’s just way too much great material throughout the decades to not give the time, effort, cash, and talent they would get in film.

  • Tracey

    Well, I think my personal biases form a part of this: I do love a good origin story, and I prefer superhero ensemble to solo stories generally because I like that group dynamic. But none of the solo movies I have seen so far rocked my world, whereas I *really* loved the Avengers, so I’d rather that’s where efforts were focused. But, of course, I recognise that’s just my opinion: I just wanted to see what other people thought and throw it open for discussion!

  • Dane Ingham

    I am somewhere in between you and Stephen, Tracey. I enjoy origin flicks but am escited about these characters having their footing and really taking off in sequels. Iron Man 2 was pretty poor in terms of what it could have been(cue Stephen’s rage), but Iron Man really isnt known for the best stories in comics, like some of the other Avengers. Seriously, Captain America could be a spy, war, or superhero movie. There’s ways to avoid the superhero fatigue if done right

    • Steve Lemlek


      But I couldn’t agree with you more about Cap. If they veer away from the whole “I’m a sap in a star-spangled outfit” motif they had going in The Avengers, and instead followed Brubacker’s lead (with a sleeker stealthier suit hopefully).

      Seriously, if Marvel Studios pulled a Zach Snyder, and just copied panel for panel Brubacker’s ‘Winter Soldier’ arc into film form… it could very well be the best CBM to date. I know that’s just a ton of confusing fanboy musing, but I think Cap’s stories could provide for a more action packed version of Magneto’s own spy-like escapades in First Class.

      OF course, Evans seems a little too mopey for all of that… but I’m just saying.. it could happen

  • Tracey

    Steve, I sort of think you have hit on the key problem, though: while the comics are free to create and explore lots of sides to a character, the films will always be bound to a stricter canon, with mainstream audiences less ready to accept more than one ‘version’. Chris Evans is excellent at that ‘Apple pie’ soldier with a core of steel; I suspect that’s the only version of Cap we’ll ever see. And of that’s the case – why not just make it in an Avengers movie? (That said, it ay be interesting to see if the much talked about The Wolverine successfully manages to do something different with that character; that could be a template for solo outings.)

  • Dane Ingham

    I have faith that Kevin Feige understands that the whole “superhero” thing may get stale, and that they will take some chances in the solo films, from Thor exploring the more sci-fi elements and crazy worlds, like they are planning, to Stark dealing with his own armor wars/biomechanical terrorism-type scenario in IM3, which is also sounding like it may be a bit darker. I agree with you both that its hard to imagine Evans pulling off the grittier Cap stories, but I also doubted him in the role in the first place and have been surprised with how well he has done. Joss Whedon has already said he’d go “smaller” and more personal in an Avengers sequel. I think we are in store for some interesting stories. As for The Wolverine, I have lost the faith that Jackman can ever really do that character justice the way he thinks he can. It’s the same BS from him every time about how badass Wolverine’s gonna be.

  • Steve Lemlek

    On the subject of superheroes….

    I think, so far, Marvel’s been really good about making the characters in these movies ‘incidental’ superheroes. They’re not out at night, defending the world from evil doers (like Batman or Spider-Man). Instead, they just have these ridiculous abilities, and they happen to be in the right place at the right time to save a crowd of innnocents. It’s not necessarily they’re mission in life, but it just coincides with what they happen to be doing.

  • Tracey

    Interesting point, Steve, that hadn’t occurred to me.

  • bassman5k

    I want to Hulk Smash your ovaries

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