As many of you already know Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin is a huge fan of Stan Lee's The Avengers comic. So much in fact that back in the 60's he wrote a letter to Stan Lee that was printed in the Avengers #12. Here's what The Avengers super fan thought about the Joss Whedon directed film...
I liked THE AVENGERS a lot... but maybe "loved" is too strong. I do have quibbles.
I definitely want to see it again, this time in 2D. I did not think the 3D added much, and the process made many of the scenes too dark. I am really not in love with today's 3D process. Yes, sometimes it works very well, as on HUGO, but mostly it doesn't.
Lots of lots of great stuff in THE AVENGERS, which most of the world has commented on, so I won't. The action scenes were spectacular, and overall I thought they did very well with Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Nick Fury. All great characters, all handled well, their interactions were one of the best part of the films.
However, I think they wasted the Black Widow and Hawkeye. Hawkeye is actually one of my favorite Avengers, so that saddened me. I missed the dynamic from the comics, where it's Hawkeye who is the cynical smartass (not Iron Man), always in conflict with the super straight guy Captain America. I guess, having capitalized on the undeniable talents of Robert Downey Junior to create a terrific character in Movie Iron Man, they did not feel there was room for a second wise-cracking iconoclast. Fine, but it left Hawkeye without a personality. Or much to do.
Same's true of the Black Widow. Scarlett Johanssen looked great in that outfit, but she seemed to be there only as eye candy. The shot in the middle of the battle where she pulls out a pistol was silly. I don't know who this Black Widow was, and I don't think the screenwriter did either. She wasn't the original comic Black Widow, the Russian femme fatale who seduces Hawkeye into trying to kill Iron Man. She wasn't the later comic book Black Widow, who dons a costume, comes over to the good guys, and teams with first Hawkeye and then Daredevil. She was just... there.
My own golden rule for these Marvel movies is simple -- stay with the way Stan Lee did it, and you won't go far wrong. THE AVENGERS should have done that. Hawkeye was not actually a founding member of the group, he came in later... around the same time Iron Man and Thor were leaving. Black Widow came in even later than that. So I would have followed Stan's scenario, left them out of this first movie, and replaced them with... Ant-Man and the Wasp! Who WERE founding members of the Avengers. They wanted a woman in the group, sure, but the Wasp would have done just as well as Black Widow, and Ant-Man... hey, I love Hank Pym.
All that being said... these are, ultimately, just quibbles. I did really like the film. The Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form next year in San Antonio is really going to be a fanboy bloodbath, with AVENGERS, PROMETHEUS, and THE HOBBIT all contending for the same rocket.
What do you think of Martin's thoughts, do you agree or disagree with his assessment?