For once, we got to a movie right after it opened! Four rockets for us, and four for The Avengers! The whole family went to the theater on Saturday afternoon (to the 2D version), and we all came out grinning. (Despite having to sit in the very front row, on the side.) The movie is absolutely great fun, with lots of good repartee, and you can enjoy it without knowing the Marvel Comics back story. If you liked Ironman, you’ll like The Avengers.
I was never really a Marvel Comics reader. I grew up with Superman and Batman, but by the time the Marvel universe hit its stride, I had stopped following the comics. (Sorry about that. [Says me to my inner geek.]) In fact, my first exposure to Ironman was the movie, and ditto with the Marvel version of Thor, and with Captain America. So I can’t tell you how well the movie fulfilled the promise of the printed word. But I can tell you that it’s a pile of fun, even if you don’t know the characters in depth. Joss Whedon did a bang-up job, as Jon Favreau did with the first Ironman film.
Oh—and sit through the credits. There are two Easter eggs, one midway through the credits, and one at the very end.