Friday, April 13, 2012

Assemble? Really?! (Updated with nonsense about boycott)

Am I that out of touch or is geekdom seriously just openly eating itself?

I keep running into people seeing trailers and commercials and whatnot for The Avengers and expressing some excitement that they say is based on the trailer, commercial or whatever.

I don't believe them.

Look, I know, I'm not going. Goodbye, Marvel and all of that, which isn't the point I'm trying to get at. I'm not trying to piss on everyone else's joy.

Seriously, if Marvel settled with the Jack Kirby Estate tomorrow, I'd be off to Vulcan Video to rent Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger as a bigass geeky weekend double feature.

And I have enough affection for Joss Whedon in me to make it work. I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story and Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog. I even got the hang of Firefly after the first three or four really bad episodes.

So, I've got no horse in this race. I'm just confused.

Aside from the things that were givens, being an adaptation of The Avengers, having Robert Downey, Jr. back as Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson in tight leather, what's the appeal here?

To me, if those givens weren't already there and appealing, this campaign would be in serious competition with John Carter of Mars for showing just how incompetent the current Disney marketing team is, because seriously it looks awful!

It does.

It looks like a big steaming pile of boring-ass shit.

Stop for a minute.

Stop thinking of how much you liked Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Serenity and "Avengers" comics. Don't think about how much you want this to be good or even how much you expect it to be good.

Now, with all of that moved away, what looks good about it?

UPDATE: I've been meaning to get to this and while we're basically on the subject, let's get it over with.

Apparently the idea of boycotting Marvel, or at least The Avengers, has picked up some steam, with articles such as the very nice Marvel Comics’ Troubling Origins Story: Why I’m boycotting The Avengers by James Sturm.

It's apparently big enough to gained its own backlash, such as 5 Reasons Boycotting The Avengers Is Pointless by Dan Seitz.

Now, of course, like most of the anti-boycott arguments, this still basically comes down to "I'm doing what I want, and here's how I'm justifying it to myself."

I've not seen one that rises above that.

Personally, I much prefer the times I've seen people openly and nakedly say that. The pretzel twisting "justifications" are pretty dumb and fail any kind of consideration that isn't simply a reader looking for their own justification and more power to them, I say.

As I've said, I expect I've made a lifelong decision and that my actions will not have a "point" other than providing moral comfort for myself, which will have to be enough.

Look at something like "#5) It’s Hypocritical to Focus on One Creator" is just flat-out idiotic.

"Every creator or no creator: it’s that simple", it concludes.

Well, ok. If so, then the proper moral position is "every creator" and not "no creator", right?

If various grocery chains stole product from a number of their suppliers, and someone suggested boycotting of the chains for stealing from one of their suppliers, no one would even attempt the argument that the proper moral response was actually to completely ignore the issue and buy all your groceries from the guilty chains without regard for the theft... because it's an immoral argument!

And, on top of being immoral, it's just stupid.

I mean, that assumes that all creators and their legal connections to their work is equal.

It assumes that working on a title later in its run is the same as creating the title in the first place.

And more than that, it assumes that co-creating the entire goddamn Marvel Universe is the same as creating one book!

I'm babbling, though, the ones I really want to get to are "#3) It’s Going to Hurt the Filmmakers, Not Disney" and "#1) It’s Going to Take a Boycott of Marvel Across the Board, Not Just the Avengers".

These are kind of related to me.

Yes, a real "we're going to take fucking action and get it done boycott" would require that.

A real "we're going to take fucking action and get it done boycott" would boycott Disney entirely, and it wouldn't consider the moviemakers collateral damage. The moviemakers are, of course, collaborators. They are, at this point, participating in the immoral acts of Marvel. Whedon, Downey, Johansson and all of them would be boycotted in all their work outside Disney and Marvel because they participated in it.

The sad fact is, it's obvious that Mr. Seitz knows that his is the immoral position, but is resigned to accept that without offering any reason that isn't essentially "you can't fight City Hall" and/or "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Like I said, as far as I can tell, it looks like no great loss to me personally... although that could be Disney's advertisers. Who knows.

Here's Who Needs The Avengers? Marvel/Disney Want You Lining Up at the Box-Office; Don’t. by Stephen Bissette.


Samuel Wilson said...

I haven't been boycotting the build-up movies, but moral issues aside I do have to agree with you that the trailers, commercials, etc haven't been encouraging at all.

Neil Sarver said...

Yeah, I probably should have waited and saved the boycott stuff for another post, but then I got all thinking about it...

But I'm glad to hear I'm not alone.

It's weird to me, because the trailers and promotional stuff for Thor and Captain America...

... both of which came out before my boycott, but my boycott came before I got a chance to see...

... looked frickin' great to me! They still do, and boycotting them is hard for me. You can look back and see posts about them dating a couple of years preceding them and I only rarely post about upcoming movies (although more than I wish I did).

These? I don't see it.

I see Downey being cute and whatever, but "We have a Hulk" is a weak line. It's not terrible, but it's... really weak. Is that the best funny line of the movie?

I still, like so many other geeks, have an affection for Whedon, but he's made some missteps so I don't trust him implicitly, especially with a big studio watching over him.

I'm unconvinced.

In this case, I guess good for me, huh?

Neil Sarver said...

I think I've figured out part of why the commercials for The Avengers seem so underwhelming - for whatever it's worth - to me. They play as just "All of the Superheroes including Thor vs. just Loki". I understand from reading that Loki is teamed with some not-Skrull (like Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer featured a villainous not-Galactus, although since not-Galactus was called Galactus and these not-Skrull are called Chitauri... Fuck! These movie adaptations give me a goddamn headache!), but that's unclear in the ads at all.

Oh, fuckin' well.

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