I was so excited when I saw this movie lying on a shelf at Toys-R-Us the other day. Like, wow; it’s a movie starring Black Widow and the Punisher. Chances are that it’s going to be a while before we get a live-action female comic book hero movie, and I was hoping that Avengers Confidential could help fill that void in my life in the meantime. I was wrong. Avengers Confidential ended up being a huge disappointment.
This movie, oh, this movie. Where to even begin? Captain America is not a comic book character that I actively follow, so all I really know about him comes from the cinematic universe and the cartoons. His stories are not normally my kind of thing. I’m more into something like Thor, because of the magic and mythology—yet it seems that every time a Captain America movie will come out, I’m probably going to end up loving it even more than I love Thor. And I don’t know why.
Massive spoilers ahead.
I’m new to the world of Avengers fandom, and I have only a very interested amateur’s knowledge of the comicverse; but even with all of this, I have this very instinctual understanding that “The Avengers all live together in a house provided by Tony Stark” is an Avengers fanfic plot trope as old and honored as sex pollen or accidental bonding are in Kirk/Spock fiction. And within those tropes, there are always going to be not-so-good ones, and there are always going to be super-amazing ones.
Ready, Fire, Aim is one of the latter. Full disclosure, it’s Steve/Tony (with background Pepper/Natasha), and there’s not much of a connecting thread to the story except for the gradual romantic growth between the two. But the episodic flow of the story is really organic and comfortable; in once scene Clint’s trying to teach Thor how to use the Wii, and in the next the team is helping (or being helped by) the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to subdue evil parade floats. (Oh yeah, there are a million neat little tie-ins with the Marvel ‘verse outside of the movie, which I appreciated even if I am not a comic buff.) The funny parts are funny, the sexy parts are hot like burning, and although I’m not super qualified to talk about characterization, the characters seem to be and act and talk exactly how they ought to in my head. Thor especially is amazing.
This story has two amazing sequels as well (well, one is an actual sequel and one is the story of Ready, Fire, Aim from Steve’s POV, written for a charity fic auction), but they’re easily around 50k words put together, so if you’re recently graduated like me and have a hell of a lot of time on your hands, this is the perfect fic to spend an hour or two (or however long it takes other people to read 50,000 words) with. Enjoy!