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Yes. That’s Exactly Right.

And by “that,” I mean this conception of how Nick Fury is going to work in Iron Man 2:

In Jackson, Favreau says, Marvel has a charismatic player with a black-ops grin who can hold his own in a room full of super-powered types.

“He has tremendous presence,” Favreau said. “We have a scene in the film at Randy’s Donutswhere Tony, after a rough night, needs a talking-to. And as Fury, Sam is a combination of sponsor and mentor and also this mysterious guy who is indoctrinating him into this order of superheroes.”

Not to be a huge nerd, but one of the things I think is really interesting about superheros is the idea that there are communities of practice, that you can wake up superpowered one day, but that doesn’t actually make you a superhero: rather, that’s something you learn along the way. I was actually sorry Kick-Ass didn’t do more with Hit-Girl and Big Daddy actually pushing Kick-Ass to figure out what it actually means to be a hero other than showing up, saving his ass, and showing him he’s an amateur. One thing I thought The Incredibles did quite well was to demonstrate that in the absence of a community, people with superpowers may end up intervening in ways that aren’t helpful, or that they aren’t actually in training to do: running into a burning building and ending up in a confrontation with the cops is the kind of thing that’s a natural product of confusion and a lack of professionalism that leads people into real and serious danger. In Civil War, there’s this great tension over whether Captain America is going to accept the Punisher as a member of his faction, despite the fact that he doesn’t actually adhere to the generally accepted superhero code of behavior. Superheroism is most interesting when its definition is in tension. And Samuel L. Jackson as one of its key definers promises to bring the awesome.

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