We don't know if you were made to be ruled, but we do know that "Marvel's The Avengers" was made to rule you.
Joss Whedon's superhero epic set the box office on fire this year with its record-setting run, giving fans the smart, funny and, dare we say it, touching big-budget blockbuster they've waited years and years to see. Ahead of the movie's theatrical release, MTV News kept a watchful eye on all of Earth's mightiest developments. With the year nearly over, here's our look back on the highlights of all things "Avengers" in 2012.
Our 2012 "Avengers" coverage started off as competitively as possible in January, when Iron Man and the gang found themselves at odds with the Caped Crusader. Earth's mightiest movie ranked second behind "Dark Knight Rises" as our most anticipated comic book movie of 2012. Shortly after, "Avengers" (barely) lost to "Rises" during the 2012 MTV Movie Brawl. All signs pointed toward a Batman-dominated year...
...until Marvel premiered a brand-new "Avengers" trailer at the Super Bowl. The Giants bested the Patriots, but it was comic book fans who won with an extraordinarily Hulk-heavy spot, and a shot that finally showed these mighty superheroes assembled on the battlefield together.
As if one "Avengers" trailer in a month wasn't enough, Marvel upped the ante with the release of a second trailer just weeks after the Super Bowl, one that broke iTunes records. This one showed Tony Stark infamously bringing the party (and by party, we mean giant alien-worm thing) to the rest of his teammates. Questions emerged over who or what this alien creature really was, a hot topic of speculation for the weeks to come.
In March, with just weeks to go before the film's theatrical release, Marvel continued to heat up their marketing campaign by releasing an "Avengers" Lego poster that remains one of our highest-viewed stories of the year. On top of that, they announced details for the "Avengers" soundtrack, which included the song "Live to Rise," the first new Soundgarden track in 15 years.
One month ahead of release, the first official "Avengers" clip hit the web, featuring Black Widow on the receiving end of an interrogation, before turning the situation completely on its head. Shortly after, we at posted our own exclusive "Avengers" clip, featuring the now infamous confrontation between Tony Stark and Loki, and the unforgettable line: "We have a Hulk."
On April 12, "The Avengers" had its world premiere in Los Angeles, and the reactions were enormously positive. "Robot Chicken" creator Seth Green described it as "double plus awesome," and the majority of critics agreed, with one later review saying "it's a splashy superhero mash-up that should please breathless fanboys."
The numbers matched the glowing reviews when "Avengers" released on May 4, earning an estimated $200 million for the biggest domestic opening weekend of all time. The success didn't stop there: "Avengers" stayed on top of the box office, blowing "Battleship" out of the water, crossing the $1 billion threshold, and ultimately settling as the third highest-grossing film in history.
Everyone in the universe seeing "The Avengers" could only mean one thing: shawarma sell-outs. Tony Stark's favorite meat snack was in high-demand after the "Avengers" bonus scene. That's not the only way "Avengers" impacted culture: Tom Hiddleston joined forces with MTV for "Loki'd," a parody video that took on a life of its own and demonstrated just how much of a cultural impact Marvel's superhero film had really made.
Once people finally saw enough of "The Avengers," all attention turned towards Marvel's future. The company announced big, ambitious plans at Comic-Con, with a film slate including sequels to "Iron Man," "Captain America" and "Thor," as well as the all-new property "Guardians of the Galaxy," a space epic featuring a talking raccoon. These films will all lead up to 2015's "Avengers" sequel, once again written and directed by Joss Whedon. That's not all: Whedon's new deal with Marvel also sees him bringing "S.H.I.E.L.D." to television, with the somehow-alive Agent Coulson in the lead role. That's right: weekly Coulson. Do a happy dance!
So, how did "Avengers" stack up against "Dark Knight Rises" in the end? It fared better critically and it fared better commercially, though Earth's mightiest heroes were no match for Batman and friends when MTV Movies named "Rises" its number one film of 2012. ("Avengers" clocked in at number five.) But there's enough room in our hearts for all of these superheroes — and come 2015, we wouldn't be the least bit surprised if we crowned the "Avengers" follow-up as our movie of the year.