I have a lot of thoughts about the movie, so I'm going to enumerate them to try and keep myself on task.
1. Disney has got to be happy!
Disney originally bought Marvel for $4 billion dollars (a sum that sounds cheap in these days of tech companies snapping up smaller companies for patents.) Avengers looks to be on track to beat all box office records (some estimates have it possibly opening with $200 million domestically.) When you add the money Disney will get from liscensing and DVD/Blu-Ray sales, the Avengers may well help them recoup a large portion of their initial investments just by itself.
2. Joss Whedon has got to be happy too!
If Serenity cast a pall on Joss Whedon's movie career, then the Avengers has given it new life. I've always liked Josh Whedon's dialogue style, which Scott Simmons (another friend of mine in attendance Friday night) boiled down to "...where all the characters are one and a half times cleverer than real people..." In other words, it's a style where you get the idea everyone had time to think of the best quip or retort possible before saying their next line. It's not the best reflection of real life, where time and emotions often interfere with communication skills, and because of that, some people that style of dialogue is a bit too precious or artificial. Still, considering the type of movie this was, I think it fit perfectly. Like Scott, I think Captain America got all the best lines.
3. I wonder if Mark Millar is happy?
When Mark Millar introduced his Samuel L. Jackson looking Nick Fury in the Ultimates, I was originally put off by the character. One, because I hate it when comic characters are phototraced from pictures of real people (I find it jerks you out of the medium.) Two, the change of race for the character seemed unnecessary. However, for the purposes of appealing to a larger demographics, that racial switch out really panned out for Disney didn't it?
4. The smaller line up of the Avengers works better for movies doesn't it?
I've always felt that in the comics that the way the Avengers can consist of 5 (and even 4!) heroes makes it a team that has never really stacked up, powerwise, against the Justice League (unless you count the Aquaman led team back in the 80's)
5. What was Loki's plan on the Helicarrier?
I had to go to the restroom, and I think I missed something. What was all that about exactly?
6. This movie may have saved the Hulk franchise.
I saw over at Bleeding Cool that Mark Ruffalo has signed a 6 picture Hulk deal with Marvel and based on audience reaction to the Hulk scenes, it looks like the time is right to relaunch that franchise. I feel the key with the Hulk is is to remember that he is not just a raging brute, but that he can also be a bit childish at times. This gives writers innocence and indulgence aspects of the character to explore. (Like this scene from the classic Len Wein/Herb Trimpe era)
It's not something that is played up in current Hulk comics, but I believe it is vital to fully exploiting the wish fulfillment aspect of the character. It would also be a much needed source of humor for any resulting movies.
7. Aliens are the new Ninjas
I guess it's just a by product of action movies that they have scores of creatures for the heroes to fight. Sometimes we get clever variations on the them like the Nazi zombies in SuckerPunch. Still, I do grow weary of the meaningless hordes.
8. Is this a history making/game changing movie?
In discussing the ensemble cast of this movie, I was struck by the notion that this was the first time that characters from successful movie franchises had ever been gathered together all in one movie. As I thought on it more, I realized that's not necessarily true, as back in the heyday of the Universal Monster Movies, we saw this classic picture:
9. The Spider-man trailer looked better than the Batman trailer.
10. The Loki at the Opera scene!
I haven't seen a lot of people comment on this scene, but with its use of Local Music and eschewing of dialogue during this part, it felt like a tip of the hat to the classic opera scene from the Godfather 3. Tom Hiddleston stole the movie as Loki, and this moment highlighted just how well he was able to portray the character even without talking.
Anyway, if you haven't seen this movie, do yourself a favor and go!