I want to talk a little bit about Same Team Conflict today, and it concerns two key milestones in comic book cinema to be released in the coming months.

What is Same Team Conflict? I’m glad you asked.

Consider the presidential primaries; a group of men and women with allegedly similar opinions and ideas on government size, scope and role who come together and…wait for it…trash everyone else’s ideas while ignoring just how similar they are. All so they can come out and top and say “My one or two minor differences make me superior. Our numerous affinities be damned. I win.”

It’s not to ween out the bad candidates so the strongest can advance. It’s a pissing contest. End of story. Don’t let the Hannitys and Olbermanns of the world tell you any different.

And it’s this way in every arena. It’s human nature. There’s always going to be an us versus them, even when we all start to look like ‘us.’

Success as a group just isn’t enough.

Which brings us to this week and the release of what could end up being the most successful comic book movie release in film history.

Marvel Entertainment’s “The Avengers,” the superhero team comprised of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and the Incredible Hulk – opening May 5 – looks like it will be a slam dunk on every level. The reviews have been nothing short of glowing. Nerd Four-Star General Joss Whedon is on the front lines as writer/director. It’s got an all-star cast and brings numerous successful Marvel franchises together in an explosion-filled, alien-riddled family reunion.

There’ll be an equally explosive trailer before the movie concerning a different sort of superhero flick released in July. This one:

You’d think such a combination would yield nothing but the greatest symphonic slow clap in history. You’d be wrong. There’s always been a manufactured tension between Marvel and DC fans, but this Same Team Conflict between “Avengers” fanboys and “Dark Knight Rises” fanboys – or “Nolanites” in honor of director Christopher Nolan – is at a whole new level.

I’ll spare you examples, but they’re on just about every major geek forum I’ve been trolling recently. Even some of the grumblings around Iguana Comics here in Medford have been that way.

____________ will be better because ______________.

It reminds me of when we were kids and would have those “Superman-is-better-no-Hulk-is-better”-type fights, when we couldn’t see the forest for the trees and realize, personal opinions aside, both are just out-and-out awesome and we shouldn’t be this venomous about standing our ground.

Can’t we just agree that films about a fighting team of Marvel superheroes and the final chapter in a truly epic DC trilogy being released in the same summer is a good thing? We can actually attend these mind melters without feeling pigeonholed into some lonely, pathetic subset that doesn’t shower and plays Dungeons and Dragons during their lunch breaks!

Fighting about which one is “better” – Same Team Conflict – puts you there nowadays, anyway. Just – *pounds fist against table* – stop it.

So with that, here’s the popcorn fantasy/sci-fi awesomeness that will undoubtedly be “The Avengers” and the dark, timely epic that will undoubtedly be “The Dark Knight Rises.”

I’ll be at both. Just look for guy standing next to the woman shaking her head the hardest.

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    Ryan Pfeil

    This is a blog for southern Oregonians to check in on all things geek. Sci-fi, history, comics, movies, video/photo and anything else that would have gotten you shut in a locker in high school. Have fun. Read Full
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