With less than a month to go before “The Avengers” debuts, Marvel is busy getting the word out about their comic book adaptation, as nothing but box office dominance can be acceptable to the comic book studio now owned by the Mouse House. With “Iron Man 3” and “Thor 2” already set to arrive in 2013, Marvel just announced that “Captain America 2” will unsurprisingly take one of their 2014 release dates they have preemptively scheduled last year. Should “The Avengers” tank, those plans would be put into serious jeopardy, so after releasing a Scarlett Johansson-centric preview clip earlier this week, Marvel has unveiled looks at Captain America (Chris Evans) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
The word “cheap” is often cynically thrown around on message boards and comment pages when it comes to writer/director Joss Whedon‘s look for “The Avengers.” Sure, the shack Ruffalo enters in the movie’s trailer does look exactly like something built on a soundstage rather than a legitimate building in whatever South American country it is supposed to be in, and yes, every room on the S.H.I.E.L.D. base or helicarrier looks a little dull and gray. Still, avid fans of the Marvel comic book may be willing to overlook a few things and forgive others, but what is tough for anyone to swallow is Captain America’s new costume. Shown in one of Marvel’s new stills (see a more close-up version of the costume’s intertwining layers here), Cap’s latest look may be closer to the way Jack Kirby drew him in the comics, but is far too close to the cartoon-ish outfit Matt Salinger wore in the 1990 “Captain America” to be acceptable. Did Whedon forget about the USO montage sequence from “Captain America: The First Avenger” where director Joe Johnston cinematically asked the audience: “Aren’t you glad Cap isn’t wearing his traditional comic book outfit?”
Well, we were, but now he is, and it makes it hard to defend “The Avengers” from those that are already finding it cool to bash on it.
Looking considerably better is the Hulk, as a new still shows that Whedon’s SFX crew has indeed tried to make the motion-captured character look like Ruffalo. Besides Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), the Hulk has been given the shortest shrift in the promotional materials, and has been altogether neglected in the previously released “Avengers” photos. We get it, the effects crew were given the lionshare of the budget, while the costume department were given a ride to a Halloween costume outlet. So it goes.
Speaking of Cap’s outfit, more of it can be seen in a new, one-minute TV spot, which focuses largely on Cap’s leadership abilities as he tries to lead the Avengers against Loki (Tom Hiddleston). In quick doses, and from far enough away, Cap’s costume doesn’t look half bad. [MTV/Comic Book Movie]