How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

The Avengers – A Non-Review Review

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Chances are, if you enjoy movies or comics or anything at all, you’re going to see The Avengers this weekend or sooner.

Studios always love to debut their flicks around my birthday week. Gladiator. Iron Man 2. Lizzie McGuire. Well, fear not. I was lucky enough to see this new blockbuster film and have a few things to tell you about it. No spoilers. Promise.

I walked the off-off-off-red carpet (it was perhaps maybe a salmon color?) of the worldwide premiere a weeknight almost three weeks ago. I gawked at movie stars and the masses waving hands and cameras. They gave me a pair of tricked-out Avengers 3D glasses and then I sat down.

As I watched the movie, something occurred to me: I was looking through the lens of these superheroes as would-be DADS.

Becoming a dad has made me more courageous and more inhibited, fearing that I might make a dumb decision, and leave my family to pick up the pieces. I looked at these spectacular characters and wondered what they would be like as dads, and I saw parts of myself.

Tony Stark is Ironman in The Avengers

Ironman: Tony Stark

I’ve always considered myself very similar to this billionaire, jet-setting, witty, cavalier playboy with too high an IQ, too many toys and not enough worthy opponents. AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, right.

But I admire his game-playing. If I only I could be as much of a braggart and get away with it. I would play that game for five seconds before my wife would wipe that smirk off my face with a dirty diaper.

Bottom Line: He’s that parent at the mall that jedi-mind-tricks his kids into doing whatever he says.

Thor: Thorton F*cking Thorston III

As much of a delinquent as I imagine myself to be, I have this strange formal sense about things. It’s a mix of lordliness and traditionalism that makes my head spin when I decide to say potty words and do inane things to get attention.

There’s royalty in his godliness and if he has a flaw, it derives from his total certainty about himself. Thor lets himself be tricked through his own arrogance. I would love to have a little bit more of that self-assurance. With or without a big hammer.

Bottom Line: He’s the kingly father I wished I could be…

Captain America: Steve Rogers

I’m honorable, straight-laced Charlie who does the right thing. It’s something I have wrestled with in my training as an actor. I had be okay with being not okay. It was a very strange feeling.

Captain Whiteboy and I have more in common than I care to admit but I appreciate his unwavering sense of right and wrong. The time period he came from just had a stronger backbone. Now, I can barely say what I mean. “I’m sorry, but I feel you might’ve backed over my foot with or nearabouts your car. Sir?”

Bottom Line: The guy reeks of morality and ethical judgment. Might be good for a dad, yeah?

The Hulk in The Avengers

The Hulk – Bruce Banner

This guy is obviously just a new parent, right?





Hawkeye – Clinton Francis Bacon

Hawkeye has a civilian name that I would never mess with. Part of his name is one of the most famous scientists in history, the other part is either a funk singer or a president. Either way, you know he got messed with in school. I’m an archery fan and although his form wasn’t perfect, Jeremy Renner rocked this character out. That hollow-eyed assassin-turned-antihero works well on him.

The guy is cold and calculated but not afraid to mess things up. Like me. There I go again…

Bottom Line: I see him saying to his kids stuff like, “Let me tell you how it really is, kids.”

Nick Fury in the Avengers

Nick Fury – DAMN RIGHT!

An orchestrator, a manipulator, a leader and a teacher. He’s basically a father.

He’s willing to go the extra mile to see to it his group makes things happen. He does not accept “no.” He is the guy who gets his kids into the best preschool because he has incriminating photos of the school headmaster. That’s just how he rolls. Making it happen.

I am fast becoming this man. I take no prisoners.

Bottom Line: It’s takes a lot of cunning skill to be a DAD, and he’s got it. Lots of guns don’t hurt either.

Black Widow – Natasha Romanoff

Uhhhhh, there is no metaphor here.

She’s obviously in the movie for a reason. She’s a spider. Who kills things. And has a past.

We’ll leave that where God flung it.

If I were her I might sit at home all day.

Bottom Line: She’s really deadly. Um. Yeah.

Let me just say that Joss Whedon, of Firefly and Buffy fame, was the perfect choice to direct this film. With so many characters and story elements, you needed him. I worried that the number of heroes and villains present wouldn’t allow enough time to develop plot/character and you’d be fighting off the distraction of stars one-upping each other. The fact is each could or does have their own movie franchise.

But not so. Like he’s said of Firefly, all the characters in the story shouldn’t be on screen together, but they are. They’re forced to coexist. The coexistence of these heroes is meant to benefit mankind or at least the lessen the destruction of it (of which there is much awesome and glorious destruction).

Side Note: Wait until after the credits.

I realized I LOVE these movies, these heroic stories because our resolve isn’t tested to this level on a daily basis. Most of you reading this aren’t in routine mortal danger (and those who are, you get free ice cream forever). I haven’t been in a fight in a long while (ending a streak I carried for a bit there) and I wonder if I were, how cowardly I would be now.

I guess these movies, in the end, just remind me that there’s a remote possibility that I am not a coward after all. I see myself in comic book heroes. That I could be great in my own special way. As a Dad. Wiping snot with my bare hands.

Is that a super power? Sheesh.


Which Avenger do you take after most?

Superhero Diaper Pails
Can you guess whose poop goes in each diaper pail?

Where everyone pretends to be a hero in their photos.


17 Responses to “The Avengers – A Non-Review Review”

  1. Tina Reher says:

    ok first of all – yay for the Joss Whedon and Firefly love πŸ˜€

    Who do I take after the most… Well I wish I was as badass as Natasha (or looked as good in a suit like that you know what I mean? )

    I sure do have my Hulk moments. Not too proud to admit that. Would it be a total wuss out to say Thor because he’s Scandinavian too? Yeah it would wouldn’t it? I think then’ll I’ll have to say Capt. America, because let’s face it I’m WAY too much of a good girl to really and truly be Tony Stark though I wish I was. sidenote, my kid, the one with a permanent pacemaker has figured that that’s what Ironman has got going on too only his lights up. Hmmm now that I think about it, maybe in fact I’m most of all like Phil – his first name is Agent – Coulson.

    And now I really can’t wait for it to be Saturday – and date night I might add – where I finally go see it again with The Boyfriend.

    • charlie says:


      I wish I looked as godo as natasha in that suit, dammit.

      Have fun! It’s a blast. And VERY funny.

      • Tina Reher says:

        Oh well a girl can dream.. Next life I’m aiming for a body like that!

        I’m still not sure if I love the film because of the film itself of because it was made by Joss Whedon – I’m hoping a second viewing will help me clear it up. I’m also looking forward actually being able to talk about said film with The Boyfriend without spoiling him.

  2. Danielle says:

    Being a new parent of twin 1 year old teething girls I’ve been on a bit of a Hulk streak, even though I am not proud of it. I see bits of the others in my though too, ha. If someone threatened my kids I could even see a Black Widow streak well maybe lol. Can’t wait to watch this Friday night πŸ™‚ Date night for the SO’s bday! Kids get to stay with superhero grandma πŸ˜‰

  3. Mitsi says:

    So would you say its an appropriate moviefor a 9 yr old?

    • charlie says:

      Eh. I’m not yet a good judge of that. There is a major violence and destruction. Over to you… πŸ™

    • Tina Reher says:

      I think it really depends on the level of maturity of said 9yr old. There’s quite a bit distruction slightly more than in say Ironman simply because everything is bigger in this one it seems.

  4. Cobacrtr says:

    It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only parent who loves these movies. Before becoming a parent it was much easier to detach myself from stuff on the screen and watch “Reservoir Dogs” non-stop. I still appreciate the movie and others like it, but I really don’t enjoy them anymore. I guess having kids has made me more sensitive to all the awful stuff in the world and so I don’t want to spend my precious little “veg out” time watching something where the bad guys win. Superheros, even with their flaws, remind us that there is good in the world and it can triumph. Gives me hope in a goofy, happy-ending way.
    Plus, give me my “Firefly” reruns over all the reality crap any day of the week. If I want to watch people be jackasses, I can go to Costco on a Saturday at noon!

  5. jetts31 says:

    I know he obviously isn’t in the movie, but I always thought of myself as a Sub Mariner sort of dad without the wings on my ankles. Calm one minute, crazy the next, kingly, powerful, super protective of my home.
    Did I also mention I am a uber-dork too?

  6. Pam says:

    I cannot wait to see this movie my sons BD is May 13 and he loves his super heroes so that is what we have been doing for his BD the last few years! This family loves the comic book movies!

  7. frugal baby says:

    Love how they are remaking these great comics books into something extraordinary on the big screens.

  8. JB says:

    I did a similar post like this on my blog. I won’t leave the link, I like you guys too much to shamelessly promote myself [fighting back urges…]. Anyways, I have my tic, and am excited to go, and my wife has been sucked into the Marvel Movie Universe so she’s going with me. My Nerdliness is contagious. I will disagree on your take on Tony Stark, however. He’s carrying to many chips on his shoulder to be able to effectively and consistently manipulate anyone. <- My two cents.

  9. Whit says:

    Dude, I totally could have taken a picture of you with the puking kid.

  10. Megan B says:

    I am not sure I can be any of them, but my husband is my very own Captain America. He served in the Marines and did two tours in Iraq. He also makes one amazing dad!

  11. Courtney S says:

    My husband wouldn’t let me go-it was released the day after my due date with our son. When he finally agreed-I went into labor. Of course. So. Angry.

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