Let’s talk for a moment about how The Avengers balances its “superhero” moments.
At The Avengers‘s midpoint, it suddenly becomes Watchmen. That is, it becomes a superhero narrative about the nature of a superhero narrative. It’s been many things up to this point, but now it folds in on itself and comments on itself. Suddenly, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner and Steve Rogers all discover that Nick Fury wants the Tesseract not to light the world but to build weapons of mass destruction. Fury, in his defense, says that, until Thor came along, SHIELD didn’t need weapons powered by the Tesseract. His argument is that we need super-weapons to fight against superpowers. Does this eliminate metaphor from The Avengers‘s screenplay? That is, can a screenplay about superheroes keep going if one draws attention to the fact that the superheroes are, in fact, superheroes?