Jason, the great cartoonist of I KILLED ADOLF HITLER, ATHOS IN AMERICA, and so on, is the person who didn’t like THE AVENGERS:

…I watched The Avengers and will report that I was bored out of my skull. I found it in English and in 2D, but after only 5 minutes I realized I had done a mistake in buying a ticket. Maybe it’s because I’m an… adult, a 46 years old man? I just felt no connection at all to the story and the characters. Granted, there are some very funny scenes, showing there is room for humour in a superhero film, but the story was just some slapped together old sci fi tropes about oh, some portal to another world, an invasion from outer space and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Who’s in danger? A lot of people, apparently. Millions! Yawn… The Spider-Man films got repetitive with poor Mary Jane being rescued all the time, but at least there you cared a bit for a minute or so what would happen. No, I’m afraid the train is gone. The smoke puffs are getting smaller. The sound of the engine is getting weaker. Etc.

Oh, Jason, you’ll be back when GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens.


  1. Thank God I’m 38 so I have a few more years to enjoy things. My wife, who is no comic book or superhero fan, enjoyed the movie. She prefers Nicholas Sparks and Jane Austen adaptations along with romantic comedies but she was able to sit back and enjoy it. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with not liking the movie but did he have to be so snotty and condescending about it? Or at least did he really need to post such a snotty and condescending review on the internet?

  2. The “I’m an adult” line is completely banal. It’s a pretentious justification to dismiss something rather than express an actual opinion supported by reason. He offers one real line of analysis: “I just felt no connection at all to the story and the characters.” Pointing out that a super-hero film is composed of assembled sci-fi tropes is kind of missing the point; we ALL know that. It’s not the chords; it’s how you play them. For his part, I think that Jason is a good storyteller, but I find his art to frequently be willfully simplistic, as if he’s trying to cling to some pre-conceived confined notion of what his visuals should be without ever breaking out of that very narrow box. Granted, you could call that someone’s style, but his layouts are often very repetitive to the point where the eye wanders even if the intent behind the image is true. I just find it funny that he’d complain about tropes and Mary Jane being in perpetual danger when he uses basically the same artistic bag of tricks and near-flat perspective in everything he does.

  3. I have known people who go to parties and talk about how everyone enjoying themselves suck while they are having a miserable time. You don’t need to tell everyone else that they suck, just leave. That’s the vibe I get from Jason’s review.

  4. Jason makes some superbly funny comics. I like that guy.

    Plus, since he liked the parts that I liked of the movie (the funny bits) we are still Spirit Bros.

    <3 you, Jason!

  5. I haven’t yet seen The Avengers, but I agree with Jason in principle. As enthusiastic and popcorn-giddy as the film no doubt is (and there’s nothing at all wrong with that), I can’t separate it from its primary function as cinematic fast food. After a decade-plus of this superhero cycle (if you go back to X-Men, at least), I think all their primary flavors have been exhausted. The train has left the station, as he says.

    I’ll get around to seeing it eventually on DVD or Netflix, when I’m in the mood for fast food. But when did “Your Favorite Superhero(es): The Movie” become the aphrodisiac of comics and fandom? It’s like getting excited for another variety of shake or McSandwich, when there’s infinite culinary variety all around us.

    Then again, I’m just about Jason’s age, and fully embrace my developing curmudgeonhood.

  6. The movie had lots of good bits of business but the overall storyline was pretty poor and (Jason is right to a degree) often tiresome.

    I don’t think it that I’ve lost my sense of wonder (or any of that crap) — I simply didn’t care so much about all the stuff w/ the Cosmic Cube, Fury talking to the Illuminati or watching the heroes argue about “if they should be a team” — all this played for me more as exposition than drama (never a good thing).

    One of the best scenes for me was the little bit w/ Harry Dean Stanton talking to Bruce Banner in the damaged building, which featured no CG or costumes, and otherwise had little to do w/ the rest of the movie. What you had here was some really good/clever dialogue: “Are you an alien, like from outer space? No…well son, then you got a condition”

    What the movie did deliver was a spectacular final 40 minutes of CG mayhem which presented one thing never seen before: a whole lot of Superheroes fighting side by side in a live action movie.

    Problem was that we just saw Loki fight Thor last year so watching him battle all these guys (backed by an army of faceless, nameless whoevers) wasn’t so much. I AM ALSO BORED BY SEEING NY BLOWN UP YET AGAIN.

    Wouldn’t it have been a lot better if Loki had convinced The Hulk to join him in attacking The Avengers during the earlier acts??

    The Avengers wasn’t a terrible movie – but the best superhero movie so far this year is CHRONICLE.


  7. Lot of irony in saying the Avengers was nothing but boring sci-fi tropes and generic villains when you write a time travel story with Nazis as if they were still a relevant villain in 2012.

    Nice to see self-awareness in the comics world is still at an all time low.

  8. It’s what you do with the tropes, Johnny. If you can’t tell the difference in storytelling between a Jason graphic novel and a superhero movie, I pity you.

    BTW, in a part of the post I didn’t quote, Jason admits he will go see the next Batman movie. So there is hope for his immortal soul after all.

  9. “The “I’m an adult” line is completely banal.”

    Yeah, everyone’s entitled to their opinion but the worst sort of sophistication is faux sophistication.


  10. “the best superhero movie so far this year is CHRONICLE.”

    Except it’s a super-villain movie, which is really what’s so great about it.


  11. William Saletan on THE AVENGERS:

    Just saw The Avengers. Short review: $200 million that would have been better spent on negative political ads.

    He writes a lot about ethical problems in society, though, so his outlook on most things might be negative.


  12. @johnny memeonic: good point.

    look, the only opinion that matters when seeing a movie (since you’re gonna be the one carrying the memory of it in your head for the rest of your days) is your own. it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of it. if you enjoyed the movie, great. if not, better luck next time. that said, what does one expect when seeing a movie based on a super hero team comic book? shakespeare? it is what it is. nothing more and nothing less. if the movie makers captured the essence of the comic, then they did their job, and if by a certain age you’re jaded by certain plot devices in sci-fi, fantasy, etc., that are tried and true (especially in comics), then maybe it’s time to get out of consuming that type of material.

  13. I’ve been more entertained by Jason’s work than I was entertained by The Avengers movie.

    The Avengers wasn’t a BAD movie, per se, but it wasn’t anything that we hadn’t seen before. It’s fluff. Fun fluff, but still just fluff. And there’s nothing wrong with a popcorn-action-turn-off-my-brain-for-2-hours-and-watch-things-break movie, but let’s not pretend that The Avengers was some high point in cinema history.

    Kudos to Jason for actually saying that out loud.

  14. I would ask Jason a) WHY did he go see this movie? and b) If superheroes aren’t saving the world, what should they do? Visit children in hospitals for 2 hours? Sure, that would be a change of pace, but this guy acts like there aren’t certain things to expect from superhero films, especially a mainstream one?

    I was not bored at all. I know the heroes are going to save the day, but how they get to that was what was interesting.

  15. OMG! An adult male who draws comics for a living has an opinion on something pop culture that disagrees with my opinion! That means he’s a jerk and should never be allowed to type! Because I’m also an adult, I’m incapable of having an opinion at odds with another adult!

    These comments are hysterical. Jason is one of the greatest comic storytellers to ever put pen to paper and he didn’t enjoy a movie I did. I can still enjoy his work and his opinions while having my own opinions that may or may not agree with his.

    To echo others…why didn’t we know Jason has a blog???

  16. “That means he’s a jerk and should never be allowed to type!”

    Why do some people get so hysterical when people have the temerity to not simply slobber and agree with whatever is spewed out by a comic creator?


  17. I don’t think that anyone thinks that the Avengers will replace Citizen Kane, my point was just that I didn’t get the tone of his post. Okay you didn’t like the movie, that’s cool? His enjoyment has nothing to do with my enjoyment but I posted a comment on a site that posted what he posted on his site. I hope that my initial post wasn’t misconstrued as “He shouldn’t have an opinion”, I just commented on what I perceived to be the tone of what he wrote.

  18. “Why do some people get so hysterical when people have the temerity to not simply slobber and agree with whatever is spewed out by a comic creator?”

    Why do some people get so hysterical when a comic creator has the temerity to not simply slobber and agree with the superhero fan hivemind opinion about a summer movie?

    Who cares either way?

  19. @MBunge

    I don’t care if you agree with a comic creator or not. I don’t agree with him, for what it’s worth. What I think is hilarious is you and others on this thread want to insult him for having a different opinion.

  20. If you can’t tell the difference in storytelling between a Jason graphic novel and a superhero movie, I pity you.

    @The Beat Herself:

    There is nothing inherently worse (or better) about whatever “storytelling” might (or might not) be in a “superhero movie” as opposed a “Jason graphic novel”, although we might agree (or not) about any particular movie.

    I appreciate your support and high regard for Jason’s stuff.

  21. I hate how people keep calling The Avengers a “comic book” movie.
    It’s not.
    It’s not an adaptation of a comic book story!

    Ghost World was a comic book movie. So was American Splendor. So was Persepolis.

    The Avengers (and every other superhero movie I can think of besides Kick Ass) was an action movie featuring characters first created in comics with heavily influenced original scripts.

  22. “Lot of irony in saying the Avengers was nothing but boring sci-fi tropes and generic villains when you write a time travel story with Nazis as if they were still a relevant villain in 2012.”

    Wow … if that’s what you got out of that graphic novel, you missed the point.

    Try “The Left Bank Gang” … that one blew my mind and required a couple of re-reads.

    Yes, I’ll echo what some have said here … why do you attack his work when his view of a movie disagrees with yours? What does one have to do with the other?

  23. I guess I’d consider myself a naysayer, too. I had a solidly good time with it, but I enjoyed most of the lead-up movies (Iron Man, Thor, Cap, Hulk) better, with the exception of Iron Man 2. Iron Man 2 kinda blew.

    I think Avengers had pacing issues, taking at least 20-30 minutes to really get me interested, then falling into far too many doldrums. Like Jason, I thought the villains were a forgettable threat, and I was also weirded out that Loki spent most of the movie imprisoned by the heroes. Yeah, he was manipulating them, but dramatically, it was just kind of yawn-y. Other stuff: all the heroes seemed diminished from their solo outings, Cap’s new look was bad, some of the gags were cheap and dopey, the CGI overload at the end undercut a lot of the drama for me, and there was a weirdly high technobabble quotient. Lastly: Loki, A GOD, making an escape in the back of a jeep, was just goddamn goofy.

    I liked a lot of stuff in it, too, but this discussion isn’t really about that…

  24. My takeaway after reading the review is that he made up his mind about the film after the first 5 minutes. Why go see it at all? Sounds more like he made up his mind before even stepping foot in the theater. The movie is obviously just not for him.

  25. OKay I am closing this thread. I feel bad because Jason did not write a long thought out piece on why he didn’t like the Avengers. To be honest we had just chatted about it when he was in town, and I was amused by his review. It is NOT A THREAT TO ALL OF LIFE AND HUMANITY AS WE KNOW IT.


    I expected more heat for my new Alexander Skarsgard fixation!