This week, at long last, a movie that you have been anticipating for years will be released into theaters. But enough about Kate Hudson's A Little Bit of Heaven. (I fooled you. Zing.) Instead, we're here to answer every single question that you could possibly have about Marvel's The Avengers. So, let's do that.
Q: Is The Avengers the best movie of all time? Because I have heard that.
A: No. But, hyperbole aside, it's very good.
Q: What Avenger do we meet first?
A: Of the "big four," Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). However, the film opens with an attack on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s headquarters by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) -- a fancy looking god from the Kingdom of Asgard that we first met in the movie Thor. So, technically, Hawkeye (
Alan Alda Jeremy Renner) is the first Avenger that we meet, but -- for a good portion of the movie -- he's not an Avenger.
Q: Is Loki the main villain in The Avengers?
Q: Along with Sir August de Wynter?
A: Stop it.
Q: Are there any similarities between this version of The Avengers and the terrible version starring Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes that came out in 1998?
A: Quite a few, actually: Both are movies. Both feature paid actors who are pretending to be people that they aren't. Both have a director. Both were released in an even numbered year.
Q: How many comments will there be under this post from people defending 1998's The Avengers?
Q: How many Galaga references are there in The Avengers?
Q: Does Samuel L. Jackson do anything in The Avengers to enhance his reputation as a badass?
A: In the first ten minutes of the film, Jackson's Nick Fury is shot, then he jumps out of a crashing helicopter. He survives and we don't hear about either incident for the rest of the movie. But the answer is no: because this is a movie and these things didn't really happen to Samuel L. Jackson.
Q: In what order do we meet the individual "big four" Avengers?
A: We first meet the aforementioned Tony Stark. Then Bruce Banner (
Eric Bana Edward Norton Mark Ruffalo) is confronted by Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). After, we are reintroduced to Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and, finally, Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
Q: Is Ant-Man in The Avengers?
A: No. But an ant is mentioned twice, if that helps.
Q: Why is Cobie Smulders in The Avengers?
A: For two reasons: (A) to play Maria Hill, Nick Fury's right-hand woman, who is in this movie more than you think she will be, and (B) to further ensure her and fiancé Taran Killam's world domination.
Q: Why does Loki want to cause trouble?
A: Because Loki is the Pete Campbell of superhero villains. You kind of want to like him, but, deep down, he's just so insecure that he can't help but being a dick.
Q: Does Loki have a plan?
A: Loki wants to rule Earth, for reasons I don't quite understand. I mean, seriously, if someone asked me right now, "Hey, Mike, want to run Earth? I can make that happen," I would politely decline; who needs that hassle? I'd rather just watch movies and write posts that annoy Huffington Post commenter "stagebandman."
Q: Wait, how does Loki think that he has any chance against The Avengers? I mean, Thor is an Avenger. Thor, by himself, defeated Loki in a movie that I saw last summer.
A: Loki strikes a deal with a group of non-Skrulls aliens called Chitauri that help him.
Q: Are they the people who make the wine that I like?
A: No, you're thinking of Chianti. Also, Loki gains access to the Tesseract, an energy-creating device, which we first saw in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Q: Did you enjoy The Avengers?
A: A lot, actually.
Q: Were you just as positive about the other Marvel movies that led up to The Avengers?
Q: What's the best thing about The Avengers?
A: Robert Downey Jr. is the best thing in The Avengers. Though, I feel we're getting to the point that if the question were, "What's the best thing about living on Earth?" the answer would still be "Robert Downey Jr." Look, I'm reading a lot of accolades about Ruffalo's Hulk -- and he is great -- but I'd go as far to say that this movie doesn't work without Robert Downey Jr. In other words: His sarcasm beats any viewer to the punch about how ridiculous a scene might be. In different other words: Just because we expect Downey to be great, that shouldn't devalue how good he is in these movies.
Q: What's the second best thing about The Avengers?
A: It's a tie between Ruffalo's Hulk and Agent Coulson's (Clark Gregg) man-crush on Steve Rogers.
Q: Which character worked much better in The Avengers then he or she did in his own individual movie?
A: Captain America. Many jokes are made at his expense in reference to his trying to fit in with modern society.
Q: So, like a fish out of water?
A: How does that makes sense? That would mean Captain America couldn't breathe. If there's a rule that we must use a fish metaphor, it's more like a chemically strengthened fish from 1943 that wakes up in the present and -- because of this -- is confused, but can still swim very well.
Q: In The Avengers, is there any setup to the next Marvel movie, Iron Man 3?
Q: Is there a Lord of the Rings reference in The Avengers?
A: Surprisingly, yes.
Q: Why did you like The Avengers so much?
A: I see a lot of movies. Seeing that many movies, it's not always easy to not think of them from a technical standpoint, as opposed to just "enjoying the ride" (as the kids don't say these days). The Avengers is one of the first movies that I've seen in a long time that just made me happy. It's not perfect (i.e. code for I'm either too lazy to sit here and list its minor faults, or I don't remember them all), but, boy, it sure is a crowd pleaser. The Avengers is an ejaculation of happiness.
Q: If you're going to be blurbed in this weekend's commercials for The Avengers, what quote do you hope to God isn't used?
A: "I ejaculated during The Avengers!" -- Mike Ryan, The Huffington Post
Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. He has written for Wired Magazine, VanityFair.com and GQ.com. He likes Star Wars a lot. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.
PHOTOS: "Marvel's The Avengers" Closes Tribeca