Stray observation, as I gear up to see the new “Captain America” movie: it’s interesting how so many of the heroes in Marvel’s cinematic universe are professional soldiers.
There’s Captain America himself, of course, still going strong after kicking Nazi butt in the Forties. His new ally in the latest film, The Falcon, is also a military man, as is Iron Man’s pal Rhodey, aka… whatever the brass ends up requiring him to call himself after focus groups get a look at his armor’s next paint job.
Hawkeye and Black Widow are highly trained intelligence operatives with a murky shared past in the movie universe; Hawkeye seems intended to have a U.S. military background. I don’t know if the new movie gets into their boss Nick Fury’s background before he became head of the S.H.I.E.L.D. spy agency, but he’s a former U.S. Army colonel in his original, significantly different comic-book incarnation (he was actually a World War II vet like Captain America, kept young through weird science, but I doubt the Samuel Jackson version of the character is meant to have such a bizarre origin.)
Tony Stark is a top U.S. defense contractor. The Hulk’s human incarnation, Bruce Banner, did research for the military, although the details are a bit murky after two Hulk solo films that didn’t precisely agree on his origin story. He was working on an atomic-bomb project when first introduced in the comics.
And then you’ve got Thor, who is a commander in the military forces of his homeworld, Asgard (not to mention being one of their weapons of mass destruction.) Basically, all of the Avengers-related characters are professionals who know what they’re doing, except Tony Stark, and even he has a significant relationship with the military. Based on some scenes in “Iron Man 3,” Rhodey’s being trying to teach him basic firearms tactics, with middling success. That’s a bit different than the general impression of the superhero as someone who’s trying to make it up as he or she goes along, after either growing up with supernatural powers, or stumbling into them.