We thought that Marvel lineup with the rock-star charisma and camaraderie looked familar.
Perhaps it's just us -- entirely possible -- but when the "Avengers" roster united for the first time for public consumption, stepping to the skirt of the Comic-Con stage like a triumphant band of brothers and sister, we wondered when we'd last seen such a similar assemblage.
The conquering frontman holding the crowd in the palm of his hand? The woman with the sometimes-strawberry hair who's held him in her clutches (at least onscreen)? Surrounded by six to eight dudes -- some middle-aged -- wearing black and boots and jeans and scruff (and one killer hat) and superhero swagger?
We squint and -- that's it. The Marvel men and woman had been cast not so much as for "The Avengers" and more for another all-American favorite. The Hall H Crew was portraying an earlier version of The E Street Band.
Yes, we jest. But who knows? Maybe it was the Boss in boyhood who first looked across the river -- to where New York boys Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had birthed their own dreams not long after Bruce's birth -- and found sublime (if not subliminal) inspiration in the mighty, and mighty conflicted, Marvel heroes .
(Publicity file photo)
We mean: Springsteen may be the longtime Iron Man of marathon concerts. But we also can't help but note: Has anyone rocked the star-spangled imagery like mighty '80s Bruce (aka the post-Nautilus machine Boss) since ... Captain America? (As for the Hulk, Banner of course is the original "Bruuuuce!")
"The Boss," meet "The Joss."
Now all we expect, Joss Whedon, is -- like a latter-day touring version of the aging gracefully E Streeters -- merely the greatest three-hour show on Earth.