Why The Avengers Exist
This is actually a interesting story in the history of comics. DC Comics was actually first on this train with Justice Society of America that was popular back in the 1940’s. The series was there to help DC Comics make some of the more unknown characters more popular. So for example Batman and Superman were honoree members, but they never played a big part in the series at all. The other heroes had one guideline, they couldn’t have their own running comic book series. Somewhat similar to Teen Titans. Of course the series somewhat died out for a while, until DC reinvented it with the Justice League in 1960. This time major members could play a role in the series and with a little magic from comic book writing, the two groups could co-exist on separate “Earths.”
What was the big deal behind it all? Well you were getting 7 separate hero stories with the purchase of one comic book. DC waited until they had a full table of superheroes to put into the stories, and everything worked accordingly. For example when Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman disappeared we ended up in Infinite Crysis, one of the highest acclaimed comic book events in recent years. When they all came back, they got JLA back together for its currently running series.
How does the Avengers fit into all of this? Comic books are like any other business. You have rivals and you follow the winning footsteps. DC had JLA and Marvel saw how well things were working out. Why can’t Marvel have something similar? After all they had just as many popular heroes, and plenty of underdogs to make popular similar to how Justice Society worked for DC. The series even spawned many spin-offs similar to that of Justice League and Justice Society.
Why It Won’t Work
As you can see, they used these attempts to garner sales. They built the heroes, the heroes needed a spark, they put them into a group and made things exciting. You see it happen in movies sometimes too where the secondary character outshines the main character, thus getting his own movie. However with The Avengers, stories are made to be that way.
More so the writers themselves used these groups to create bigger comic book events for the entire company. This is what movies cannot do. They can’t create an Infinite Crysis because they are too busy recreating origin stories. None of the companies or big wig directors want to be as risky as the comic book writers and work together to create something big. The best we get is a quick 2 minute clip at the end of credits to combine movies, other than that the movies have absolutely no connection.
Facing facts, Marvel currently doesn’t need a spark. The superhero business is thriving for them; they are doing amazingly well with movies. People love what they do, and they seem to do it best. Which means it was an early jump to the gun that could of easily been used at a later date. We are not complaining about paying to see Iron Man and only Iron Man, people still want to see what he has left. People just barely got to Thor and loved it, and we have yet to even see if the leader of the entire team is interesting enough to carry this massive movie. People are just now falling in love with the characters, and half the team is still getting on standing ground. The heroes that are not known are the obvious attempts at “hey check this out so we can make another movie.”
The fans will gain an interest in these films, but Marvel is simply doing it because people want to pay to see the Avengers and nothing else. Is this cool? Hell yeah it is, even WB can’t be bothered to make a movie in similar terms. However having all the characters in their prime alongside The Avengers could cause issues down the road. What happens when Iron Man loses his grip? Captain America loses interest? And Thor..well becomes Thor? You no longer have The Avengers to run to because you milked that right next to all of them. Fans will pay to see The Avengers no matter what time it comes out, I’m more interested to see where Marvel decides to go with it in the future.
Why It Will Work For DC Better
On the other hand, you could use an attempt like this to boost sales and interest in other characters. Like I said Marvel didn’t bother making movies for everyone, and the ones that are not getting them will most likely have a bigger interest. Marvel doesn’t need it though.They got a massive interest in Black Widow through Iron Man, but have yet to exploit it. Avengers is going to do the same thing. Anything Marvel puts out with their marketing and name will be pretty big.
However on the other side of the fence sits DC/WB with a massive variety of superheroes that have yet to see the cinema. They could easily use a Justice Society attempt with a Justice League gamble. Instead they get to play Marvel’s role of follow the leader. Create a stellar Justice League movie led by the ever growing popularity of Batman and Superman, and use that to build interest on the other characters. Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and even Martian Manhunter could find ways to stand ground. They could be the first to create the first multi-movie cross universe series. Have certain heroes lose their powers in JSA/JLA and then try to get them back in their own movies. It would allow them to skip a majority of origin stories, and jump start all their heroes. Like I said I am a huge DC Comics fan and would absolutely love to see their franchises get started. Green Lantern was fantastic, no it wasn’t perfect, but it proved WB knows what to do with their heroes.