Why Girls Like “Avengers”

I was sitting on Pinterest this evening snuggled up under my fleecy Avengers blanket when this image popped up on my feed.

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I nearly had a conniption when I saw it. I literally recoiled leaning away from my computer snarling at the image. Why? Because that is some bullshit.

Let me tell you a little bit about my favorite film and why I, as a girl, like it.

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“Avengers” or “Avengers Assemble” if you live somewhere other than America is an ensemble film that came out in 2012. The movie itself was unprecedented. It was a film about a group of super heroes who all come from different backgrounds and save the world. What was great is that we already knew the heroes incredibly well. It was a film that took more than four years to create because the universe had to be established. It is a beautifully written action oriented Shakespearean epic.

It is my FAVORITE film!

The thing that made Avengers so wonderful is that it was well written. Marvel could have thrown the characters together with a sub-par script and still made a ton of money. They did not do that. Marvel went out and got a phenomenal writer who did research into the comic books and created a film that was character driven (as character driven as any ensemble film can be), dark, funny, and meant something.

Avengers is my favorite film for the same reason that super hero movies are my favorite kinds of movies. Super Heroes is a genre of film that we, as a society, desperately need. It is a film about people putting themselves and their own issues aside and saying that they would rather fight and die than give up be ruled. Super Hero movies, especially Avengers, are about one person standing up and saying “no” when everyone else is afraid to. They are about how if one person stands up others will follow. Avengers even foreshadows itself in the scene in Germany when the elderly man refuses to kneel.

That old man is my hero. Someday I would like to be half as bad ass as he is.

Later on in the film several people (extraordinary people) stand up not only to Loki but to the entire Chitauri army simply because it is the right thing to do. Because they are not going to go quietly. THAT IS WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL ABOUT SUPER HERO MOVIES!

C.S. Lewis said “since it is likely children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard about brave knights and heroic courage.”

Isn’t that the point of comic books and comic book movies? Those movies show children that there can be cruelty in the world but there can also be great courage. That is a theme that is so important to me that I almost never stop talking about it. That is one of the many reasons that I like the movie Avengers.

The fact that there are people out there who see me watching Avengers and think that I only like it because I like Tom Hiddleston or I like one of the heroes makes me so angry that I would like to find each and every one of them and punch them. Girls like Avengers because it is a brilliant film hat was beautifully written, wonderfully directed, and perfectly acted. Girls like Avengers because girls are people who enjoy things.

Honestly I am so irritated, even an hour later, that I cannot fully function.

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What’s Your Plan Here (Thoughts While Rewatching Thor)

I am currently rewatching the movie Thor. I think that I have explained my love for that particular movie as well as all the other Avengers films often enough that there is no reason for me to explain myself. 

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Well now I want to explain myself.

1) I have been watching my way through all of the Avengers films for the last week. I started with Captain America and have made my way through Iron Man 2 so the next one is Thor.

2) Thor is my favorite of the Avengers movies so of course I am going to watch it at any point that I have an excuse to. 

I usually say that I like it the best because it was very intelligently done. It is certainly more character driven than most of the other movies. And that is true. However, I do not believe that is the real reason. The real reason is that it is an important film in my own personal narrative. You see, my best friend took me to see Thor with her on the day that she told me she was engaged. 

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(Here’s us Cosplaying as Loki and Thor, even if my costume is kind of terrible, at the 1st Salt Lake City ComicCon) 

At the time she was one of the last friends I had from  my childhood and teen years who was still single. Suddenly even she was leaving me for the strange and terrifying world of real adulthood. I was also making a move more into the real world. That summer I lived and worked full time in the town where I attended college, living in a house I rented and preparing my own meals. We had both long since left childhood behind but we were really entering adulthood. In a way the movie really represents, or at least reminds me of, that turn in my life. 

It is worthwhile to note that one of the themes of the film is growing up. That if you do the math (which I’ll grant that I didn’t) Thor, Loki, and friends would be around the age of college students (based on lilfespan and the fact that Loki was a baby during the war with the Frost Giants which happened during the 900s AD). 

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(Here’s my friend and I Cosplaying really well as Loki and Thor at the 1st Salt Lake ComicCon… wait, that’s a lie.)

Thor grows up during the movie from being a “greedy, cruel, boy” to someone who understands the real burden of being a king.

Loki grows up largely because he has to. He has a little bit of an existential crisis after his 1st trip the the Jotunheim. That’s the sort of thing every college graduate goes through. 

I think that is one of the big reasons that I like that particular movie so much. I might also consistently like men with long blonde hair and arms the size of my face but I’m going to go with the reasons I listed a moment ago. 

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BUT THIS ISN’T WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT!

I want to talk about the fact that I do not understand Loki’s plan at the beginning of the movie. His second plan in which he wants to destroy the Jotunheim and prove himself a worthy son makes sense. That plan I get but I do not know what the hell he is doing at the beginning of the movie or what his reasons are for it. I also never cared until this viewing.

Loki was obviously doing something. He had a plan. He was sneaky and got the Frost Giants into Asgard, knowing they would probably fail and Thor would get mad and into trouble, and then he convinced Thor to go to Jotunheim and was disappointed that Thor’s friends tagged along and it didn’t get to be a brother adventure. We even know that he is the one who told the guard to fetch Odin. I mean there WAS a plan and I do not think Thor getting banished was part of the plan. In the scene where Thor gets banished Loki tries to defend Thor and gets yelled at and is also practically weeping when Thor gets banished. 

SERIOUSLY! What is your plan here? What were you going to say? “Oh sorry dad. I was just pulling a prank on Thor. I didn’t think it would be this big of a deal.” WHAT WAS YOUR PLAN? I don’t think it was connected to his scheme in the second half of the film. 

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I realize that Loki is a fictional character and cannot tell me what his plan was and that I will never know but right now it kind of bugs me. In fact it bugs me to the point that I spent most of the movie writing a blog post about Thor rather than just sitting and watching it quietly like a normal individual who functions within regular society. 

Does it bother anyone else? Am I just crazy? Let me know in the comments.

Bonus! The comment in the end fight of never wanting the throne, just wanting to be Thor’s equal only adds to my theory that Loki wanted the trip to the Jotunheim to just be him and Thor. There were times growing up that my brother and I would do fun things together and we had fun but the moment one or more of his friends showed up I became the tag-a-long younger sister and I think that is what happened when Thor convinced the others to join his quest. 

I have so many thoughts about this movie and others.

I have a legitimate super power

I know that I talk a lot about super powers and super heroes. I probably talk a little too much about those things but I want you to know that I really do have a legitimate super power. The thing is that my super power is not the power that you might think it is. 

Like every person who is familiar with “Star Wars”, “X-Men”, or “Harry Potter” I have tried to summoning items when I am being lazy. Usually by reaching out my hand and squinting my eyes at whatever the item is. Every single time the people I am around make fun of me. They tell me that I’m wrong and don’t have super powers. They roll their eyes and scoff at my continued antics. Then, the people I’m with reach up to the top shelf, pick up the plate, or grab whatever it is that I am after and hand it to me. Its a legitimate super power. I make people hand me things.

When I try to summon things I never say that my super power is actually summoning things, its obviously mind control… or stubborness but I don’t think stubborness  counts as a super power so I’m going with mind control.

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I may not be Wonder Woman but I’m pretty sure that with a little training I could use this super power for awesome. 

Marvel is so Clever

(I promise there are no “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” spoilers.)

I went to see the new Captain America movie with my parents this evening. After spending about 7 hours in the car this afternoon sitting in a crowded movie theater was probably not the best choice for my back but Captain America was clearly the best choice for my soul. On my way out of the theater I stopped off at the bathroom. Women’s restrooms always have lines. I don’t know why they just do. I stood in line behind a girl who was already on her phone. I recognized her from the theater I had just been sitting in. 

“It was kind of dumb and I didn’t really get the whole thing,” she said into her phone. She then continued to bash on the film we had just seen. I did not think it was dumb. I was very confused because I thought it was a wonderful movie. I tried my very best not to roll my eyes or let the Thor Hammer (like I can spell anything from Norse mythology) I keep on my bag hit things while I listened to her (the hammer makes it harder for people to steal my purse… if you aren’t laughing you should be). I did not want to throw any judging stares her way because I do not like to berate people for not knowing every little detail about comic books. 

It is hard to know everything about comic books and where things are coming from. I cannot walk into a comic book store and pick up a Captain America comic so easily as you might think. Instead I go in and I get kind of lost. Worst of all is a lot of the time people won’t help me. I get the difficulty to just engage with the comics.

I also get it that there is A LOT to know about the comics and it is difficult to know and keep all of that strait. Walking into the theater I was explaining a bit of the comic book lore to my parents then turned to the ticket attendant, smiled, and asked “what sort of things do you think I would know if I did not know all of this useless information?” He did not answer. The point is that I do not know a lot about comics but I do know some and I had to really engage with the information to get to this stage of knowledge. 

Here’s the thing. I did not need to do any of that in order to understand and enjoy the current Avengers film universe because Marvel is so DAMN clever! The great thing about current Marvel movies is that I do not NEED to know anything about the comics before entering the theater but knowing all of that stuff makes the movie so much better. They make the movies into an entry point rather than something you have to already know something about going into the film.

I love it. I think its brilliant.

On an semi related note I think the new Captain America movie should have been titled “Black Widow: Captain America Throws his Mighty Shield.” Contrary opinions on this matter will automatically be considered wrong. 

it’s actually a very clever story that reflects well on me.

I was online the other day and came across an older article about ridiculous things masquerading as fashion. Mostly I agreed with the things they said then I got to a t-shirt that said “I only date superheroes.” The commentary was that the shirt should say “I don’t date” and I got a little bit offended. 

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1) WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT SUPERHERO THINGS THAT WAY! There is nothing wrong with liking superheroes and wearing snarky t-shirts does not make you someone who “doesn’t date.” Everything else was about actual fashion problems and then they just decided to trash on graphic t-shirts and girls who like super hero movies.

However this is not a blog post about my opinion on trashing nerd culture.

2) I was a little offended because I have a mug that says the exact same thing and it is one of my favorite things in the world. I don’t have any delusion that I am going to date a super hero or even an actor who plays a super hero. That would be crazy. I do love that mug though, it was a gift from a friend of mine and I don’t want to be embarrassed about it because the story behind the mug is actually very clever and reflects well on me. That is why I am going to tell you the story.

One night in college (or just after college, the point is that I lived in Spokane at the time.) I was out at a bar doing a trivia night with one of my guy friends and right in the middle of one of the questions a smarmy man came up to me and started trying to hit on me. I don’t know where he was going to go with that. I already had a drink, I had my cheese fries, and I had a guy there with me. Clearly I had everything that he could offer me and worst of all I could not hear the trivia question that was happening.

In all things I play to win. I play to stomp on my competitors hopes and dreams and make them cry like little girls. If I cannot hear the trivia question I can’t do that and I was getting annoyed.

I did not look at the man but raised my hand up to his face and silenced him. “I’m sorry,” I growled, “I’m holding out for a hero” (I’m a champion at blocking pick-up lines). 

For that brief moment I was my guy friend’s hero. We were not on a date or anything (trust me on this one. I know what level of feelings he had for me) but I am pretty sure that I became his hero for the way I shut the other guy down. A few days later this friend and I were out at the mall and made our way into the comic book store. We’re kind of nerds. And there, in the back of the store, was a collection of mugs and lunchboxes. He picked up the mug, looked at it, and said to me, “Katie, you need this.”

“It’s awesome but… it’s ten bucks. I really can’t afford it.” 

He put it back and we went on with our lives until we reached the car. He opened up his shopping purchases and handed me the mug. “You need this and I am giving it to you under the one condition that you bring it with you the next time we go to a bar.”

“Square deal.” 

That is how I got my mug AND that is part of why I really like it. Don’t trash on my coffee mug!

(I feel it is important to note that if that man had found a way to prove that he was a hero I might have spoken with him. That would have been awesome.)

Which Avenger would be the best date (the answer may surprise you)

I warn you that the answer will probably surprise you and it definitely will surprise me because I haven’t actually thought the whole thing through yet but bear with me and I don’t think you will be disappointed. 

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Look how excited/overwhelmed I am about figuring this out. So excited that I had to find a haystack and sit down beside it.

Like most so very many people I love super hero movies. I need super hero movies. I watch super hero movies over and over and over again until I can quote along with them and then I watch them again. Seriously. Some of you may recall that I ended up watching Avengers 3 or 4 times the day that I bought it on dvd. If not here is where I blogged about that https://hotstrongandsteamed.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/my-day-of-watching-the-avengers/

So after watching Thor 2 and hearing both sides of the Loki vs Thor debate and rewatching Iron Man 3 and hearing Tony’s comment about things never being okay because Pepper is in a “stable relationship” with him I started to wonder which of the Avengers, and their sidekicks, would be the best date. 

I think we should start by meeting the contestants.

Tony Stark/Iron Man

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The billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. Tony Stark does have his good qualities. You certainly would not be bored on a date with… actually you might be. Tony Stark might exclusively talk about himself and never compliment your outfit or ask you a single question. Then again he might fly you around in his private jet or let you drive one of his super coll sports cars. If you are into science you guys will probably have a good time inventing stuff. However, unless you are Pepper Potts you’re just going to be a one time guest star on the Tony show. 

Lt. Colonel Rhodes (I have to Google how to spell Colonel every single time)/ The War Machine

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Speaking as someone who lives in an Air Force town I just have to say “DAMN!” Man in uniform. I don’t know what it is but I know from my friends around here and all sorts of other things that a man in uniform is always super attractive. Then you start dating and there are all the military transfers and things and it becomes a little less fun but there is that immediate reaction. On a more serious note (Me? Serious? Yeah right) Lt. Colonel Rhodes is a pretty awesome character. He risks his life and career for Tony Stark dozens of times and Tony is never as grateful as he should be. I would be grateful but then again I also would not put my friend in a situation where they have to testify in congress that I am not a danger to the country. Rhodes is a good guy. He would probably be a good date.

Speaking of men in uniform…

Steve Rogers/Captain America

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I’m just going to say it. Captain America is my favorite. Chris Evans is my favorite, Captain America is my favorite, Steve Rogers is my favorite etc. I told a friend one day that I wanted to watch Captain America and she said to me “really? That’s my least favorite of the Avengers movies.”

My response was, “what’s not to like? You’ve got Chris Evans, historical fiction, super heroes, science fiction, and then more Chris Evans. There is nothing NOT to like!” We then watched Captain America.

Back on topic.

Steve Rogers/Captain America would certainly be an old fashioned gentleman on his date with you but he would probably still be heart broken about Peggy and it not being the 1940’s anymore. I get it. I’m still heartbroken that it’s not the 90’s anymore. He also would not get any of your movie references which is actually probably a good thing because seriously we, as a generation, need to talk about things that don’t involve screens. I think Steve Rogers would be a wonderful date so long as you don’t go dancing (he never danced, he’ll step on your feet) he would be opening the doors, being sure not to cross boundaries, probably compliment you a lot, and he has a photographic memory so he will remember most of the things you say. Downside he still doesn’t know anything about women.

Bucky (remember Captain America’s best friend?)

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I’m pretty sure (and I’m taking this assessment strictly from the movie) that Bucky is the 1940’s version of a player. He took a lot of girls dancing. He also made Captain America ride a roller coaster that made him throw up. That is not very nice. He would probably be one of those guys that has every minute of your date planned out. “We’re going to this then this then this.” It would be fun but don’t forget that next week he is going to hit on some other girl because that is what I got from that movie. 

Thor

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Damn. Just… Damn! Thor is more beautiful than I am (that’s not that difficult.) He’s the most beautiful person in that movie and Natalie Portman is in that movie. Look at that hair!

Thor, much like Captain America would probably be a bit of an old-fashioned gentleman (except there will be a lot of dish smashing) with the added bonus of we get to go anywhere in the universe. Can you imagine the locations your date would take place in? It would be fantastic right up until Odin ruined everything. Odin doesn’t think any one is good enough for his little boy, I’ve noticed.  

Loki

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Loki is not an Avenger. He’s a bad guy in that movie which means he’s out on a technicality but if I don’t add him to the list I am going to catch a ton crap. 

However, Loki is not going to be the best date of all the Avengers. I don’t care how much “improvement” he made in Thor 2 or if he was “under the influence of the tesseract” in Avengers. I also don’t care how great Tom Hiddleston might be. Loki is going to be a terrible date.

I immediately regret writing that because just think about the kind of mischief you and he would get into. Like Thor you still have access to all 9 realms and instead of being a pair of goody-two-shoes you’re going to get into all sorts of trouble. That actually sounds like a ton of fun. The only reasonable explanation for that sudden change of heart would be that damn glow stick of destiny. he still wouldn’t be a very good date. You know how people say confidence is the most attractive thing? Yeah, now imagine Loki on your date whining about always being Thor’s shadow.That would be less fun.

Hawkeye/Agent Barton

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I’m thinking that Hawkeye is super smart. Not to mention in incredible shape. You would have to be in order to be a master assassin and super spy as well as one of the only Avengers who does not have super powers or a super suit. I don’t know how good the date would be because of the whole Black Widow implied love in the movie. I think it would be a very fun time though. Maybe you guys could do archery and rock climbing (you’re very sporty in this version of your life). 

Director Nick Fury

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Worst date of all time. What would you do? Spy on people, look deep into his eyepatch? I don’t think he technically counts as an Avenger either. 

Agent Phil Coulson

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I’m going to call it. Except for being old I’ll bet Agent Coulson is the best date of all the Avengers. I can’t believe the cellist left him, for Portland of all places. He’s the coolest. Normal average guy who then turns out to be a bad ass. He’d take you see an orchestra concert and then let you help save the world. Then you can talk about how great Captain America is and taze Tony Stark. Sounds like the best day of my life to me.

However…

When I was in college I participated in The Dating Game, to help out a friend of mine who was putting it on. One of the questions I asked of my contestants was “if you had super powers what would they be and why?” After a range of very well though out answers I leaned into the microphone and said, “I am sorry but the correct answer was Batman.”

That is the case in this situation as well. The correct answer is always Batman but he’s not an option so here is my arbitrarily decided ranking:

1) Phil Coulson

2) Captain America

3) Thor

4) Loki

5) Rhodes

6) Hawkeye

7) Bucky

8) Tony Stark

9) Director Nick Fury

I’m Katie and I approved this ranking.

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DAMN! I forgot the Hulk! I’m a failure.

Why I just can’t board the Loki fan-ship (There are no spoilers, I promise.)

Last night I went to see Thor 2: The Dark World. Why? Because I really enjoyed the first Thor movie and I also really enjoy 88% of super hero movies in the world. A young girl, somewhere in her teens, behind me kept sighing and giggling whenever Loki was on screen.  She, like so many others, just loves that poor, misunderstood, angsty young god. He’s not really bad, he just needs a hug. I’m a pinterest user so I have heard all the arguments and the Loki love before but no matter how charming Tom Hiddleston is in real life, or how attractive he may be I cannot get on board with all of this Loki love.

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I went to see the first Thor with my friend Erin, an avid Loki supporter. The lights came up in the theater and we both pressed our hands over our hearts and said, “that man.” I meant Thor and she meant Loki and we had to be sure that the other was not going to go after the other’s imaginary boyfriend. But even with Erin explaining how wounded and attractive the character Loki was there was something about him that unsettled me. It was the same with Avengers. Something about Loki just put me on edge and I just could not hop on board with all those Loki supporters. When I rewatched Thor, in preparation for Thor 2, I figured it out.

downloadI invite you to take a journey into your memory with me back to when you last saw Thor. Thor and Loki did battle in the bi-frost with it spinning around them and ice everywhere, making a very pretty tree. Loki shouted across their battle “what happened that made you so soft? Don’t tell me it was that woman.” Then Loki says it, that thing that puts me off my popcorn. “Maybe I’ll pay her a visit myself.”

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I think most of Loki’s swooning young lady fans gloss over the full meaning of what he’s saying. I’m hoping most people understood that its a rape comment. It’s just like the scene at the end of Pretty Woman when Richard Gere’s business partner insists that if he sleeps with her he might not care about losing a million dollar deal either. That alone makes me cringe. People who make light of rape and sexual assault are people I punch.

He does the same to Black Widow in the avengers.

imagesOnce might be forgivable but not twice. Loki is not a misunderstood character who just needs some help working out his aggression. The Loki character is a violent psychopath, he’s not heroic, although he may seem that way.

I think Tom Hiddleston is great and has done wonderful things with the character but girls, I’ve seen your fan art and Loki is not a heroic character and does not deserve all this love. I think I hate him more than most villains, I really really do.

I had to say something.