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David Hines [userpic]

what I really did like about THE AVENGERS

June 3rd, 2012 (01:38 pm)
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I did not expect that I would come out of it with the two most interesting characters being Hulk and Black Widow. Black Widow got a lot of action and important stuff to do, but for me the most interesting thing was that the character worked 1) *as a spy* and 2) as a person with believable human reactions. I think there were points where Johansson played it a little too remote, but I liked her performance quite well overall, and I was amazed at how much I liked the friendship between Black Widow and Hawkeye. (It really hit the Modesty-Blaise-and-Willie-Garvin button, which series I have only lately read all the way through and OH MY GOD is it ever awesome.)

And Hulk -- ) look, the Hulk is the Marvel superhero I always identified with growing up, and still do, so I was predisposed to like Hulk. But Mark Ruffalo really nailed Banner, better than anyone since Bill Bixby. And this may seem strange, but you know something shallow that I really liked? *Mark Ruffalo looks like a grown-ass man.* He's not a pretty plastic boy; he's good looking, but he's got a very masculine face. And Whedon writes the part like a Banner's a grown-ass man, too: Banner isn't macho, he's gentle, but he doesn't glorify his emotions, either: he understands them, and accepts them, and learns to deal with them. And that's terrific. (I wonder, actually, if Whedon's sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen's ongoing battle with lupus informed the writing of the Hulk -- Banner's confession that he's *always* angry strikes me as being *very* true to chronic illness, and Tancharoen's blogging of her condition has not skimped on her anger.)

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Comments

Posted by: Mara (marag)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2012 07:07 pm (UTC)
Hulk smash!

You've pegged very much what I loved about Ruffalo's Banner. He was a grownup, he was a man, he wasn't a macho asshole, but he was absolutely positively perfect. He had actual hair on his body, which happens to be a thing I like. I'm really not attracted to men who look like boys.

And OMG, if I'd known you hadn't yet read Modesty Blaise, I'd have been frantically telling you to read them :) I actually haven't managed to get my hands on all of them, but I read a bunch as a teenager and they were a big formative influence on me. Men and women can be friends without wanting to have sex! Women can be powerful and smart and men don't have to resent them! Friendship and loyalty are important! You do what you have to survive!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: June 4th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)

Modesty and Willie, FOREVER. I basically want my writing to grow up to be Peter O'Donnell's, now. I haven't wanted my writing to grow up to be anyone's for *years.*

If I write any Avengers fic, it is going to totally be Black Widow and Hawkeye in a Modesty Blaise pastiche, with Bruce Banner playing the role of regular-joe-sidekick.

Posted by: Rachel M Brown (rachelmanija)
Posted at: June 4th, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
Modesty

Oh, please write that!

Posted by: Mara (marag)
Posted at: June 4th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
Hulk smash!

That would be *awesome*. Because she totally is Modesty and Clint as Willie amuses me. And, well, anything with Bruce makes me happy.

Posted by: Rachel M Brown (rachelmanija)
Posted at: June 3rd, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
Modesty

Modesty Blaise! I have loved that series since I first discovered it, in comic book form, as a kid. You should do a post on it.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: June 4th, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)

I should! I kind of want to do posts on ALL THE BOOKS, actually. I am heinously busy and don't know when I will get to it, though.

Posted by: Sinanju (sinanju)
Posted at: June 4th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)

Yes! Modesty Blaise for the win! I first discovered them from reading that Chris Claremont "stole Modesty Blaise's origin for Storm" in interviews. So I went forth and got my hands on some Modesty Blaise comic strip collections. Wow! Then I discovered the novels and short story collections. That is some absolutely wonderful writing, and I really enjoy the novels now far more than the original comics.

Also, yes on the Hulk being a great character (and Ruffalo's portrayal). I also liked that Tony was the only one who didn't walk on eggshells around him. When he said to Banner, "Wow, you've really got this under control. What's your secret? Yoga? A giant bag of weed?" he wasn't kidding he was serious. Banner _did_ have a handle on the Hulk.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: June 4th, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)

Yeah. Modesty Blaise pwns James Bond, and O'Donnell pwns Ian Fleming as a writer, and I say that as a *huge* Bond and Fleming fan. It's really terrific writing and plotting.

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