The Magazine


Remembering the Original Avengers

Jun 29, 1998, Vol. 3, No. 41 • By BRIAN MURRAY
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The X-Files, however, is also portentous and dark, owing more to Oliver Stone than Oliver Hardy. Mulder and Scully -- a humorless pair -- are forever mucking about in swamps and sewers, tracking a vast, endless conspiracy that appears to involve nearly everyone: space aliens, Pentagon generals, cigarette smokers, and the guy next door.

The Avengers -- created only two decades after the defeat of Nazism -- belongs to a world that still believes in its bones that the forces of evil lunacy can be bested by the combined forces of courage, civility, and good cheer. And that, more than ever, is the real secret of its charm.

Brian Murray teaches in the department of writing and media at Loyola College, Baltimore.