'The Avengers' and Superhero Fatigue

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Marvel Studios has released a new, full-length trailer for their upcoming superhero mashup The Avengers. So that's mildly exciting, eh? There are all our new-ish friends, from Iron Man to Thor to The Scarlett Pimpernel (or whatever Johansson's character is called), all hanging out together to save Earth from a giant metal space centipede or whatever that thing is. The great Joss Whedon directed this picture, so there's good reason to hope that it will be a fun, rollicking ride. That said, we hope this is the end of superheroes.

After last summer's four-hero onslaught (Thor, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, The Green Lantern) we have superhero fatigue. Thankfully there are only three superhero movies this summer, and two of the big caped crusader franchises could, potentially, be ending. Christopher Nolan's brilliant Batman trilogy concludes in July with The Dark Knight Rises, which will be fun. And, who knows, maybe this Avengers movie will end the big Marvel assault that we've endured, mostly enjoyably, since Iron Man first blasted into our faces. Granted, it doesn't seem very likely that they'll stop here, but maybe there will at least be a slight reprieve? A pause for regrouping? That would be nice. The superhero resurgence was fun and all, but we need a break.

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I know that Spider-Man is swinging back into our lives with The Amazing Spider-Man, potentially kicking off a whole new spate of web-slingin' movies, but it could also just be a one-off! Maybe other people are as tired as we are! Plus, the barrel has been pretty well-scraped story- and character-wise, hasn't it? Not just with Spidey, but with everyone. Watching Johansson there with her sad little handgun surrounded by all those magic monster men makes you realize that the talent pool in Marvel's heroes vault isn't that deep. Even Thor felt like a bit of a stretch. (I mean, it worked, that was a really fun movie, and there is going to be a sequel, but still.) Let's just quit before we start going down to the third-tier and beyond.

But enough superhero grumbling. Here comes summer movie season! It's actually pretty exciting after the serious slog through awards season stuff (and post-New Year's doldrums movies). We've a lot to look forward to. There's this, yes. And Batman, obvs. And Andrew Garfield in spandex, of course. But there's also Ridley Scott's mysterious Prometheus, which is something of an Alien prequel, it's said. There's Avengers' Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy. There's the cool-looking Snow White & The Huntsman (co-starring Thor!), and Dark Shadows, and the Total Recall remake (really based more on the short story than on the great Schwarzenegger movie). And of course there's the summer movie, nay simply the movie, we've all been waiting for, clamoring for, desperately praying to the gods in Thor heaven for: G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Both the summer season and the Oscar season begin with that one! So, happy popcorning, everyone.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.