The best superhero movie – according to the comic book writers

Marvel comics writers and editors revealed their superhero film favourites at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

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It’s pulled in millions of pounds worldwide and put superhero movies on the map – and now it looks like The Avengers film has the comic book writers on side as well.

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Speaking at an event to celebrate 75 years of Marvel Comics at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, three veteran comic writers were asked which film best captured the comic book experience. Their response was unanimous – 2012’s Avengers Assemble, starring Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk.

Monty Nero, who has written for Marvel characters, including angry green behemoth the Hulk, said: “I think [Avengers writer/director] Joss Whedon is an absolute master of writing and directing. There’s such a complex job there as a writer to have all those characters, and give them all meaningful arcs, and have it all interconnect in a way that doesn’t seem staid or turgid.

“It was a very hard job to do, and he did it beautifully.”

Alan Cowsill, a former editor at Marvel, agreed, although added a 2004 film to the mix: “I’d say the Avengers – and maybe Sam Raimi’s second Spider-Man film, which is still one of my favourites.”

“And also Bryan Singer’s X-Men 2 and Days of Future Past,” added X-Men and Fantastic Four writer Mike Carey.

The writers also spoke at the event about the changing face of comic fans, mainly due to the increasing popularity and broader appeal of superhero characters in films and on TV.

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“I’ve noticed over the last five or six years, a sea change in the sort of people who come to comic conventions,” said Cowsill. “Twenty years ago it would be the clichéd fat blokes with beards – and now it’s pretty much everyone under 21, dressed up in cosplay, just having a great time.”