The Avengers were created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and while some issues are good, the stories were mostly derivative. The tales were obvious and did not hold up very well. Toward the end of the 35 issue run, writer Stan Lee started running out of ideas. Pretty soon the comic became a snore fest until Roy Thomas shot the title with a lightning bolt. His first issue was Avengers #35 in 1966. Thomas shared co-writing credit with Lee for a number of issues. The new writer is the most celebrated writer on the Avengers franchise as a whole. He brought so many new ideas to the franchise and launched the plots that comic book fans treasure forever. Plot threads like the Vision’s romance with the Scarlet Witch are still being explored today.
What the hell does this have to do with Iron Man 3? Everything!
Iron Man is directed by Jon Favreau who constructed the groundwork for an entire film franchise. The character of Tony Stark was established so beautifully in the first Iron Man film, that the entire Marvel Cinematic universe is taking advantage of the ideas. As great as the first film was, the second movie lost some of the character work featured so prominently in the first film. At the end of the sequel, all of the character work still remained intact, even if it was not utilized correctly which is why Iron Man 3 felt like such a burst of energy when the new director Shane Black took over.
Black and Thomas both took the groundwork for the turning point of an established Marvel franchise and breathed life into the property. The talent of the new Iron Man director is incredibly different from the previous one, and instead of tying the hands of Black Marvel let him go freaking wild. This is but one idea from one of the smartest movie studios in the business today. This third installment of the trilogy pushed the boundaries of what the audience can call an Iron Man film. The stark and affecting violence is a great case for this, as the movie never shies away from bombastic action scenes. However, it brought back the most important part of what the franchise was missing, the character work. When Thomas took over Avengers he let the characters have plots ,issues, and real problems.
Another writer besides Thomas laid the groundwork of Stan Lee in the 1970s and expanded on it. His name is Gerry Conway and he changed titles like Spider-Man, Thor, and Daredevil, alongside Thomas in the early 1970’s. Soon different directors are going to start taking over directing and writing duties for the new Marvel films. These new visionaries are going to have to respect the source material, yet pave their own way. This is why Black’s Iron Man film is so incredibly important in terms of the franchise. Directors like the Russo brothers on the new Captain America, or James Gunn on Guardian’s Of The Galaxy are going to be part of this second generation of Marvel movie directors.
Bring on the next generation!