Sometime in the past few weeks, a member of my family changed allegiances.
We used to share a common passion. Now, one of us has crossed over to the other side.
Now, one of us likes the Justice League more than the Avengers.
We used to sit together for hours and watch “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” the new animated series.
We saw all the live-action Avengers movies — some of them twice. We were looking forward to this weekend, when the new “Avengers” movie opened.
I don’t know what he sees in the Justice League. C’mon, a coalition of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and — excuse me? — the Martian Manhunter? That’s way too many superheroes in one room. And, really, an invisible plane? A magic green ring? And all those capes. Tsk, tsk.
I much prefer the Avengers: Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor — all gathered together to fight otherwise invincible villains. Like Harry Potter, they realize they need their friends.
I come late to my appreciation of superheroes. Growing up, my comic-book reading didn’t extend past “Archie” and “Richie Rich.”
Iron Man is my favorite Avenger, mostly because I have a mom-crush on Robert Downey Jr. But c’mon, he’s a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. In a sophisticated mechanical suit of armor. How cool is that?
Then there’s Captain America, a man frozen in the 1940s, struggling to adapt to a world that has moved relentlessly on without him. (Boy, does that sound familiar.)
Thor, the Norse god of thunder, stripped of all that used to give him strength. (Although he gets to keep his great hair.)
The Hulk, the green-eyed monster writ large.
There are also Ant-Man and Wasp, star-crossed lovers, with Ant-Man torn between his dual identities of scientist and superhero. Brain vs. brawn.
All of them flawed, like the Greek heroes, in their hubris, in their anger, in their melancholy.
Compare that to Superman’s greatest weakness: kryptonite. A fictional substance. C’mon, where’s the drama in that?
Plus, I love how all the Avengers movies have extra scenes at the end of the credits. I’ve been a fan of bonus scenes ever since “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” I drive my kids crazy at the movies because I insist we sit through the closing credits, just in case there’s an extra scene at the very end.
I’ve heard there are two bonus scenes in “The Avengers.” But don’t tell me about them! I haven’t seen the movie yet. Because, well, my date has abandoned me.
One night last week, I overheard my betrayer in the kitchen, in the midst of a heated discussion over who would win in a fight between Superman and Captain America.
He went with Superman.
“What does Captain American have except a shield? That won’t do anything to Superman.”
“And the only other weapon he has is a pistol, and bullets bounce off Superman’s chest.”
“And Superman can fly.”
“And he has laser eyes.”
He doesn’t realize that Thor could take them both.