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'Marvel's The Avengers': How Many Galaga References Are In 'The Avengers'? (And 24 Other Questions)

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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?

A: Yes.

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?

A: Two.

Q: How many Galaga references are there in The Avengers?

A: One.

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?

A: No. If it helps: I loved the first Iron Man; I tolerated The Incredible Hulk; I did not care for Iron Man 2; I thought Thor was fine; and I found Captain America: The First Avenger disappointing.

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?

A: No.

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.

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