I have to admit, I was worried when I saw the first trailer for Joss Whedon’s The Avengers; nothing about it made me eager to see the movie. Joss is brilliant with television and even with mini-series and comic books (see Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Fray, and his Astonishing X-Men run), but his brilliance sometimes doesn’t translate to the big screen. For example, I think Firefly was one of the best shows of the last decade, but Serenity didn’t lived up to the show. The long-form television format gives Joss the space for patient, textured character development, which is the source of the humor and emotional complexity that make his writing so great. So while his X-Men comic book run demonstrated that Joss could successfully wrangle a large cast of superheroes into a compelling, satisfying narrative, I wasn’t confident that he would be as successful within the limits of a two-hour film. Happily, the second trailer for The Avengers suggests that I may be wrong.
Like my best friend Ashley said, this trailer feels like Joss, in a way that the first one doesn’t. Playing to Joss’ knack for character development, each superhero gets a line that expresses something about his or her character. The preview even makes me interested in Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, who didn’t add anything to Iron Man 2. This is a testament to Joss’ talent for crafting memorable female characters (Buffy, Inara and Zoë on Firefly, Melaka Fray). Add in Joss’ trademark humor in the form of Iron Man’s quips, plus some exhilarating action sequences (I love the rousing final shot that circles around all the superheroes poised for battle), and we have a trailer that finally gets me excited about The Avengers.