For weeks, a friend of mine had been asking if I’d attend Marvel Universe Live with him. For weeks I had been saying “no,” because I had little interest in attending a two-hour production geared for kids that mainly consists of people running around in costumes on the floor of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The mistake I made was mentioning this to my editor, who then insisted it would be a good idea for me to attend.
We first met the cinematic version of Thanos in 2012 -- his face smiling at us during a mid-credits sequence of ‘The Avengers,’ there to let us know that this guy is the mastermind behind the whole operation. OK then! Eventually we learn that Thanos is trying to collect the Infinity Stones, because if he has those, he will become a god. Fair enough. Though, now, after ten movies in the Marvel cinematic universe – ten! – Thanos has a grand total of zero Infinity Stones. So far, Thanos is terrible at being a supervillain.
As much as ‘Guardians’ is a modern Marvel money-making machine, it’s also a tribute to a genre that died in the mid-‘80s. A genre that includes those very movies that people around my age think of fondly – in other words: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is more a tribute to movies like ‘The Last Starfighter’ than it is to ‘Star Wars.’