18 January 2013 3:51 PM, PST | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Movie heroes tend to come and go in cycles, with inspiring golden boy Rocky eventually giving way to brooding menaces like Rambo, and vice versa. Machine gun-toting lugs of the ‘80s and ‘90s used to be the prime examples of this routine, before they aged out and special effects took their place. Now, audiences can’t settle for one guy taking on a dozen terrorists, they flock to see superheroes avert nuclear annihilation, or defend us from massive alien invasions. The comic book genre has taken the place of action movies as the purest source of refined, uncut, popcorn entertainment; they’ve even adapted the pattern of stylistic overturn, with wisecracking Spider-Man passing the baton to the brooding Batman, who in turn gave the box office crown to those lovable Avengers last summer.

So what’d the old guard do? They made their own Avengers, and did so two years before Marvel did. »

- Sam Woolf

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