(Guest post by Greg Forster)
The earliest reviews of Joss Whedon’s Avengers are not debating whether or not it’s a good movie. They’re debating whether or not it’s the best superhero movie ever made.
This debate is the opposite of Aliens Versus Predator. Whoever wins, we win!
The real debate, in my mind, is whether or not Joss Whedon is the greatest storyteller of our time. There are other contenders to the throne, of course. We’ve written about a few folks who could vie for that title here on Jay P. Greene’s Blog from time to time.
Why pick only one winner? Here’s a much more interesting way to look at things:
Who Is Our Homer?
Candidate: Chris Nolan
Job Qualifications: High-stakes conflicts between titanic characters who evoke or represent transcendent forces; the essential passivity of man under the power of cosmic forces greater than himself. (Wars between champions loom large.)
Who Is Our Aeschylus?
Candidate: Joss Whedon
Job Qualifications: Illuminates the nobility of the human struggle against the essentially tragic nature of the human situation; the hunger for justice that we can never ignore without sacrificing part of our humanity, but can also never satisfy without sacrificing part of our humanity. (Vengeance and justice loom large.)
Who Is Our Sophocles?
Candidate: J.J. Abrams
Job Qualifications: The dynamic interdependence between our choices and our character; we can only act based on who we already are, but can only be who we are through how we act. (Daddy issues loom large.)
Who Is Our Euripides?
Candidate: (I hate to say it since I’m a Watchmen hater, but…) Alan Moore
Job Qualifications: Ecstatic confrontation with chaos and meaninglessness; deconstruction of cherished myths. (Mass atrocities loom large.)
Discuss among yourselves!