Whedon must balance the competing storylines and screen time of the actors. He does it nicely, injecting humour and a touch of drama into the action -- and all without so much as a Tesseract to his name. Some assembly required, and delivered.
But one of the most fascinating moments in the picture occurs when Captain America, referring to Thor, notes: "There's only one God, ma'am. And I'm pretty sure he doesn't dress like that." Ah, monotheism versus paganism. Can they exist side by side?
Whilst Avengers Assemble will unquestionably provide two and a half hours of geek nerdvana for Marvel fanboys, it will likely prove too 'big' and comic-y for those who prefer their comic adaptations more grounded.
It really is an astounding achievement - a film that juggles an unenviable number of elements; combining what we've seen before, slotting them together and then adding enough depth, action and humour to make this a remarkable standalone film.
Yeah, it's all that. A tent-pole cash cow for the studio, a dream come true for fans, and treat for action aficionados, 'The Avengers' comes at you as the first true "summer movie spectacular" of the 2012 season.