Ten Years of Marvel and Missed Opportunities

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There’s a lot being written about Marvel’s cinematic universe turning ten this summer. It’s a cause for celebration, especially considering their track record, and creative accomplishments. For a number of reasons, we couldn’t see Avengers: Infinity War opening weekend (6:40 p.m. this Friday), and we’re very excited to see a cinematic experience.However, this week, and today, in particular, is weighing heavy on my mind.Ten years ago today, Marvel and Paramount Pictures unleased Iron Man on an unsuspecting public. It was also one of the short stretches when Robbie was home, between hospital stays. We were cautiously optimistic about giving him some sense of normality each time he came home. And we both wanted to see this film – badly.The doctor suggested an early showing which would have fewer people, anything to avoid to possible infection. Fortunately, we were friends with the local theater manager. For some time by then, I had been passing over excess giveaways from convention appearances, things the studios had sent that I couldn’t give away or arrived between shows and would be dated. He exchanged these for passes, so everyone was happy.There was a 10 a.m. showing which seemed perfect so we headed over with a few boxes of tribute. Robbie tried to carry one, but it wore him out a short distance from the car, an early warning. We bought our early popcorn and settled in, perhaps the only ones for so early a show.Yes, of course we loved it.It ended and we headed to Chili’s for lunch, securing a table in the back, limiting exposure. We recapped the film and talked about who else would be tapped to be an Avenger somewhere down the road.That day was one the truly normal ones in that seven month stretch. He was excited and looking ahead to the future.So, this week, I am still excited to see who lives and dies as the stakes get raised. But, it is tinged with a decade of missed experiences and bittersweet memories.

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