How I Became a Marvel Universe Geek

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Understanding the infatuation with comic book heroes. Maybe.

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It all started with a Groupon….

You thought I was gonna say Iron Man, but no, it started with a Groupon. I warned you that Groupons could be dangerous. Once you buy it, you think, “We’ve got time to spend it.”

And then you find yourself on the expiration date, telling your husband, “We have to go to the movies tonight. We have a Groupon.”

We have a Groupon.

Those are words that make my husband cringe. Not that he doesn’t enjoy the good deal — or even the fun thing to do with said Groupon — he does. It’s that your hand is forced. If you wait for the expiration date, you are forced to go spend it or forfeit the aforementioned good deal.

You will have fun and like it. Or else.

On this occasion, though, my friends. The Groupon gets some praise. We had to spend the Groupon. And our movie choices were limited. I’d heard lots of people exclaim surprise over how much they liked The Avengers. So we went. Just the two of us. Big bowl of popcorn in between us. Just like the good old days.

And history was changed.


Sorry for shouting, but seriously. I’m not a comic book hero fan. That was my sister Jamie.

She was all gaga over Hulk and Spider Man when we were kids. She even had a piggy bank in the shape of Spider Man’s bust. Oh yes, she did. And when it sat atop the dresser at night in the dark it looked like some creepy guy had invaded our bedroom.

So, no, I don’t have a great history with comic book heroes. Though, I have been known to craft aluminum foil into magic bracelets that fend of bullets and evil ray guns. But, that was it. I didn’t even own a pair of Underoos.

So, we saw the movie. Loved it. Two thumbs up! Must see! And all that jazz.

And our kids, boys specifically, wanted to know all about it. Not the spoilers, mind you. Death to ye if ye tell the tale. Just if it was good and was it appropriate for them all to go see it.

The answer? Well, we have to watch all the other movies first. Oh yes, yes, we do.

We spent the next week watching all five movies that lead up to The Avengers: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America. In some cases we watched said movies more than once. The Incredible Hulk was a little weak, but the other four were great fun!

Good thing it’s summer vacation, eh?

Now, before you get too worried about me, I am not heading downtown for Comic-Con this week. My post-baby body really would not fit in that get-up that Black Widow wears. Sad.

But, now I get it. I get why someone would want to dress up like a comic book hero. Sort of.

These movies are fun. Marvel Studios has created an entire universe of characters that works really well together. There are mystery and hidden connections between the movies. One movie overlaps some of its characters with another. The characters’ paths weave in and out of each other. It’s a gigantic puzzle piece to figure out.

Good and Evil battle it out. Pride dies. Sacrifices are made. And the good wins.

And that is how it should be.

These movies give you hope that ordinary, flawed people can do extraordinary things for the greater good.

If you’re wondering if these movies are right for your family, I recommend reading the reviews over at Plugged In. I thought these were very fair and accurate, though they do include spoilers. So, maybe you and your spouse wanna have a date night over a Redbox movie and then read the reviews and then let your kids watch them. The illustrate deeper meaning and symbolism as well as teachable moments with your kids.

(The reviews also give you a play-by-play of anything that might be inappropriate.)

Our family really enjoyed all five of the pre-Avengers movies. And we’re off to the theater this week before it’s too late.

Are you a Marvel Universe Geek, too?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. I may receive some little bonus if you rent a movie or make a purchase through some of those links up there.

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  1. My husband is very pleased that although I had no interest in comic book stuff previously, I’ve enjoyed the movies with him over the years and now as the boys are old enough to watch most of them with us (the Spiderman and Batman movies are NOT for little kids–IMHO).

    Sometimes we see them on our own (especially those that I don’t want my 11 yo to see–like the Batman movies), but the boys took dad to see Avengers and Captain America for a couple guys’ night out. Looking forward to seeing the Avengers.

    DH stalks the $5 bins at Walmart to get our own copy of each movie.

    Oh, and my guys have fun finding Stan Lee’s cameo appearance in his movies—and watching the scene at the end of the credits.

    DH is also blessed that I like Star Wars and Star Trek (enough to go to the Star Trek exhibit at the Science Center but NOT to dress up). 😉

  2. I love them all too! My bonus son is a huge superhero fan. We’ve seen all of the movies more than once I’m sure, and have our favorites, of course. I don’t believe we live in a large enough city for groupons to work for us, but we look for other ways to save like going to the matinee and not buying movie snacks. I’m sure we’d find a way to work it into our budget otherwise too. It’s a priority. 😉

  3. I am laughing and nodding my head all through this post. I LOVE the Marvel movies thanks to my husband who introduced me years ago. I have never been a big fan of Spiderman but the new one is a fantastic blend of humor, and action. Not to mention if you have ever watched Rescue Me, to see the main actor in an FDNY police uniform is priceless.
    I am a BIG fan of Transformers as well.

  4. Because of this post my husband and I got a date yesterday. Movies like this or not typically anything my husband and I would ever choose to see, but we’ve driven 20 hours to visit my in-laws (who are wonderful!) But on this trip we’ve had 5 kids with strep, 5 with hand, foot and mouth disease–with 6 kids 5 got both and 2 only got 1 sickness–we’ve battled 106 degree days and a microburst that brought a huge tree limb on our van and shattered a window, extending our trip by 2 days. Yesterday i read your post and decided we needed a date and looked up a movie and this was the most no-offensive looking movie playing and we took a chance on it. So glad we did. We had the whole theatre to ourselves and surprisingly enjoyed the movie. I was surprised that it was funny. Tremendous amount of violence, but the humor helped offset that. Now we might even rent Captain America. (He was my favorite!) Thank you for our date!

    1. Yeah! I’m so glad you liked it. After all that you went through, I would have felt bad if you didn’t like the movie! Hang in there!

  5. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!

    I saw the Avengers a few weeks ago and loved it! I had only seen Iron Man, but have since watched Iron Man 2 and Captain America.

    I really liked the first Transformers movie and all the X Men movie, too. I’m not into comic books but love a good superhero movie.

    1. Thor was really good. Very clean and funny. Gives a lot of backstory on Loki and Thor. I was surprised that we liked it.

  6. I have loved them all (didn’t see The Hulk but don’t think I missed much) I have gone to the theater to each of them with my children and husband – this is a fun family outing we save for. The Avengers was so great – the Hulk has my favorite line in the whole movie! It is so nice to have movies that are ok for my whole family to view and that everyone likes!

    1. The Hulk has a different actor playing Dr Banner, so it’s a little weird to watch. It wasn’t as amazing as the others.

  7. We loved Avengers too – best of the bunch by far! DH and I went one night and then he turned around and took DS the next day, came home and preordered the DVD!

  8. Love and agree with your post, Fishmama! All I can tell you is just wait until you see the new Amazing Spiderman!

    I liked it even MORE than the Avengers – and that is saying something….

    1. Do I have to watch all the other Spiderman movies first? We caught a glimpse of the third one on tv the other day and wondered which movies are necessary and if they’re even linked. I know there have been LOTS of Spiderman movies.

      1. Nope, I didn’t see any of the other ones before this new one. I checked with my resident expert, my teenage son, who agreed.

  9. I was so excited when you mentioned this on Facebook! Comics have been a part of our entire married life (we bought a comic store after being married for only 18 months).

    There’s a lot to be said for the lessons superheroes teach us: teamwork, even when you don’t want to work together; responsibility; justice; concern for all…I could go on and on.

    Glad you like the movies! We’ve had lots of fun watching them too.

  10. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. I saw “Thor” first and then went to see “The Avengers”. I saw it twice! I’m buying each of the movies now, as my budget allows. My little sister has autism, and she got so excited watching “Captain America”…I think it helps that he’s handsome!

  11. My husband was a comic book geek. me? My fascination was limited to an occasional show based on a comic book (Lou Ferrigno, David Bixby in Hulk, Lynda Carter in WW). As for the movies prior to Avengers…….I didn’t care for Thor. I enjoyed Captain America though. I’m a fan of Green Lantern(he’s not an Avenger). Iron Man was meh. So we’re waiting to the Avengers come out on DVD(and wouldn’t you know the kick backside female didn’t have a movie previously.) My surprisingly favorite movie based on comics though has to be the X Men. There hasn’t been an awful one in the bunch we’ve seen(they gave us the backstory in First Class, Wolverine and the actual XMen movie thus far.)

    1. I’m a little hesitant to go dive into another series. It may become habit forming.

  12. My husband and I were neither one comic book fans, either. However, our son started getting into superheroes when he was about 4. And then a friend gave him a bunch of old Marvel comic books. And I picked up some for him at yard sales. And he started asking me to look up Marvel characters and their backstories. And my husband and I got hooked. And that’s the story of how I became a comic book geek at 31 years old. =)

  13. Oh, me too!!! My husband and I went to see The Avengers because our friends told us how good it was. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. 🙂 The next week I ended up with a stomach bug and laid around all weekend. The weather was icky so my husband and kids joined me and we watched ALL of the other Marvel movies. I think my favorites were Ironman (both of them) and Thor. Now I can’t wait for Avengers 2 to come out!

  14. This is tooo funny! My son and I have been watching all of the movies leading up to the Avengers also. I went and saw it with a girlfriend over the weekend before my son saw it. He is going to love it!

  15. Yes! I’m a marvel-movie freak! I LOVE every movie that Marvel has made. For me it started back with Spiderman… Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Thor (most recently). I’ve seen the ones you’ve mentioned above (minus Hulk) and I REALLY want to see Avengers too! I love how the story lines are simple, fun and clean. Minimal cloth-less scenes and potty mouths makes it even more fun!

  16. I’ve been a comic geek since I was probably about 5, so it’s beyond refreshing for me to see comic books and superheroes FINALLY being accepted in mainstream culture these days. And I agree, Avengers was an insanely amazing movie. My kids loved it and we then watched all the other films too. They’re dying to see Avengers 2 and don’t understand why it’s not out yet…

  17. Never owned creepy piggy bank busts of my favorite super heroes… but yes, I am a super hero girl. Behind the cooking and decorating and polka dots, I am also the girl who loved her date with her husband where we saw Avengers in 3D. And for my birthday, I wanted to see Spiderman.
    I think you’re right about the appeal they have. Ordinary people with extraordinary opportunity to do good or evil. They triumph over challenges. It’s beautiful. It’s awesome.

  18. We just went last night to see The Avengers and it was AWESOME!! Just the hubs and I went, I went all out and got a sitter and all because well we NEVER go out and tomorrow is our 13th wedding anniversary!!! Having the hubs and 2 boys prior to having our daughter I’ve already seen all the prequel movies Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America, we own them and they are all good so The Avengers was just amazing!!!

  19. I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve liked some of these movies (though I haven’t seen all of them and now I’m super tempted).

    1. Some are better than others. I really like the Iron Man character, but there are a few risque parts in the first one. They had to do it to show his change, but still a little hmmm.

  20. How fun. : ) We recently saw The Avengers and enjoyed it so much … and I LOVE a good superhero movie so we were mostly caught up. I did have to go back to watch Captain America and loved it. I may have already preordered The Avengers on DVD for MY Christmas stocking this year. 🙂

    1. I’m pining for the 10 disk set of all six movies. But they put the price tag a little too high. It’s something like $200!

  21. I’m so relieved to read this. Because this weekend we rented Captain America. And the next night I went back and got Thor. And now I’ve watched the previews for the Avengers. And I “need” to see the other movies so that I can watch The Avengers. I’m all hooked in here (which is so weird for me!) and I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one who was so enthralled with the movies.

    We’re all looking for a hero, right? These movies remind us of our need to find someone to rescue us. Thankfully, I have found a Rescuer (and someone who can’t really be compared to Captain America, Thor, or Iron Man), but it is still a lot of fun to watch these movies.

    I did find, however, that I closed my eyes a LOT during the two movies that I watched. The fighting scenes are way too intense for me, and they’re pretty darn graphic sometimes. It’s still a pretty great story even when you close your eyes for thirty percent of the scenes. 😉

    1. I think you’re absolutely right that this resonates with our desire for God. Even those that reject Him feel that pull. We know we can’t do it on our own.