Multilayered characters and an organic storyline.
Watching the rushes of the latest Avengers: Infinity Wars, I am compelled to ask the tough question. Is it going to live up to the hype? It’s been building up over countless years through the efforts of hundreds, even thousands, of individuals. It has inspired many, many people and has turned old stories into latest legends.
These are the new symbols, the new heroes, the new ideals, the new beliefs, and the new movement. The reception and commentary around Black Panther is nothing short of awakening. A not-embarrassed-non-apologetic rendition of some of the oldest cultures was refreshing. At least within the domain of cinema, the world believes that anything is possible through sheer will and fortitude.
This still doesn’t answer the question; will it live up to the hype?
The expectation is that it would. It sure would. The reason it would is that the elements and characters have grown to such an extent that there are now multiple permutations of interactions among themselves. It is extremely hard for things to not make sense in Infinity Wars unless the Guardians just stumble into conversations with Tony and Thor and are not seen for the rest of the movie. There is not much to lose as the audience is waiting to simply experience grandeur as has been delivered before.
So why didn’t Justice League work?
It didn’t because there was a lack of purpose and meaning to anything they did. Everyone wants to save the world, yes. But it can’t be the sole connector and motivator for a team of such epic proportions. Justice League was like a bunch of kids coming together to play Avengers. There were no layers or depth in any of the characters. They even diminished Diana to a restricted two-dimensional shell, and that’s just bad.
Back to the question in the title of this piece, are you an Avenger or are you the Justice League?
Has your potential been proven over a period of time, creating a wide following and promise where people have become used to superior quality each time you make a move? Has the past successes and achievements become a matter of fact and history, laurels on which you can no longer rest. Have you consistently built yourself into a savior and hero who always does the right thing at the right time? You might be the unsung Hawkeye who keep on trying and doing his or her duty amongst stalwarts, knowing that they are still making a difference. You might be the Black Widow who takes up responsibly despite being aware of physical and mental restrictions. You might be Steve Rogers who knows only to work and perform with a pure soul and noble heart. You might be Tony, who stands up to save campaigns and has the vision to know where things went wrong.
Know your potential and talent, don’t assume it!
The idea is that the promise of your potential is not under your own control, but you are ready for the challenge, come what may. You know that people would again get used to your success and expect even greater things, with little regard to how such expectations would affect or change you. You still dust yourself off and keep raising standards as you keep working and performing. The hero they need but may not deserve.
Ironically, at this point, it’s important to look at the other side. Do you have so much promise that it simply overwhelms everyone involved? Age-old legends, heroes across generations, but still you don’t know if you are perfect. With Batman and Superman, characters that are so overarching that you don’t need to build them anymore. Do you feel entitled to success? Feel that you deserve it simply because of your pedigree? Does your own potential cut you off from your audience to an extent that your work seems like a disconnected indulgence of hope and ambition without any clear vision or purpose?
These are a lot of words, but you know where your work lies. Have you proven yourself in the world like Nikola Tesla or are you an Edison? Are you a Google or are you Apple? Are you Elon Musk, or are you Travis Kalanick? There are many examples of such gulfs in quality and promise in the world. You must know where you stand to get ahead. Know yourself, know your potential, and then go out and realize it. The world will come to you.