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I’m dead. Part of the reason is because I’ve been awake for almost 48 hours, 29 of those hours spent watching the ultimate Marvel movie marathon at New York City’s Loews Lincoln Square. Watching all 11 Marvel films for the first time, in order, ending with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Okay, so I lied. I’m not a Marvel virgin. I’ve watched Guardians of the Galaxy. And now that that’s off my chest, we can continue this completely platonic friendship.

I’ve been planning since March 5 when I signed up for this suicide mission. I decided it was time I join the rest of the world and immersed myself in the Marvel universe. I planned what I would wear (for ultimate comfort!), which ended up being a t-shirt, army jacket, jeans, and sneakers, later swapping jeans for leggings and a new tee, to where I would sit, preferably an aisle seat for quick bathroom/whatever else trips. But I didn’t get there early, nor did my friend who I had asked to hold seats, so I was stuck in the middle. Shit.

And on that note, here begins my descent into Marvel movie madness.

Wednesday, 6:10 p.m. Iron Man

Iron Man was scheduled to start at 6, according to the Marvel badges we’ve been given listing all 11 movies and their scheduled times. I got my badge before I entered the theater, and it eased my mind about possible Geneva Convention violations related to the marathon. I'd imagined a worst case scenario where we’d get 5-10 minutes between each film, and then I'd have to sue Complex for workman's compensation. Turns out we get more than that, including a one-hour break. I immediately thought of sleeping, because if I ended up nodding off during Age of Ultron I would kick myself, and Complex probably wouldn't pay out for a self-inflicted wound. But for now the goal is to stay awake for the entire show and keep my sanity.

The crowd, made up of a packed balcony and mezzanine, is upbeat and cheering. Cheers for the Marvel credits. Cheers for Iron Man suiting up. Huge roar of applause and cheers for Agent Coulson, a.k.a. the Marvel S.H.I.E.L.D. guy from the show that no one watches. I had no idea he was a fan favorite.

Iron Man’s been a favorite among my friends and I can see why. It’s fun and that Robert Downey Jr. charm just sells it.

Iron Man ends, and two guys in the row in front of me are head banging to Black Sabbath’s "Iron Man" over the credits. I hope we can all keep this up.

Cheer Count: 9

 

Wednesday, 8:38 p.m. The Incredible Hulk

Despite hearing awful things about this movie, I start out hoping for the best. Ed Norton is cool, this shouldn’t be that bad, right? I see Tim Roth from Reservoir Dogs is in it as well, and I immediately think about how funny it’d be if he turned out to be the “Mr.Blue” Bruce Banner was in contact with. He wasn’t. Nice passing of the torch moment during a Lou Ferrigno cameo, with Norton. Crowd cheers the Hulk vet. Overall, I don’t get why people hated Hulk so much, and that may have just cost me all credibility, but what can you expect from someone who just spent two days in a movie theater?

Cheers Count: 10

Wednesday, 10:47 p.m. Iron Man 2

At first when I started keeping count of how many times the crowd cheered I thought it’d be funny to compare and see how miserable we all were as the marathon progressed, then I thought this would be a great drinking game. Nope. You’d be dead by now.

Someone called Mickey Rourke the “worst villain ever” before IM2 even started, and I’d agree he was weak. Definitely more into Black Widow, Nick Fury, and hell, even Coulson’s doings.

One of the two older gentleman in the row behind me, in at least his seventies, is sleeping. We share a bedtime. I leave the theater to grab some food and on my way out I see someone walking in just their socks. I hope I’m hallucinating.

Total cheer count: 18 

Thursday, 1:15 a.m. Thor

My friends compares the fight between the Asgardians and the Frost Giants as the Night’s Watch versus the White Walkers in Game of Thrones. I roll with the comparison. So I finish my pretzel bites and cheese at 1:45 a.m. I can feel the cheese congealing inside of me. The dough, heavy. Getting the pretzels were as much of a hassle as getting them as they were eating them considering the concession stand had one tiny Easy Bake Oven. I got a hotdog too, but I can’t eat anymore. 

Thor is my favorite film so far. It’s the most I’ve laughed since the marathon started. The chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman is great, plus I’m a sucker for romance. Sue me. I’m giddy. Oh, and Tom Hiddleston? Bravo!

Cheer Count: 7

Thursday, 3:10 a.m. Captain America: The First Avenger

Still feeling sleepy, I got a 64oz. Blue Raspberry ICEE to keep myself awake. It’s 3:15 a.m. This ICEE was a fucking great idea. My hands are numb from holding it so now I'm wide awake, or at least that’s what I tell my delusional self.

An equally delusional crowd has run out of things to cheer for i.e. they cheer at Steve Rogers being from Brooklyn. 4:25 a.m. I’m pretty sure that’s Margaery Tyrell gracing the screen. I splash some lukewarm bottled water on my face to make sure it’s not just some other gorgeous blonde. It is Natalie Dormer. This gives me life.

Nick Fury tells Captain America he's been asleep for 70 years, and I tell myself that that's the sleep I'll need once this is over. You can hear people snoring in the theater. Fourteen hours to go.

Cheer Count: 14 

Thursday, 5:35 a.m. The Avengers

The timing for Captain America and The Avengers couldn’t have been worse. There’s no way for me to sit without being uncomfortable. I’m irritable. Someone’s chair keeps squeaking nearby as they presumably rock back and forth. I want to Hulk-smash them. As my anger subsides, my delusion returns as I loudly cheer a random scientist on screen. I need someone to cheer for. (Spoiler: She ends up getting killed.)

I decide I should eat my cold-probably-disgusting-can-I-even-still-call-it-"hot"? hot dog in order to stay awake. Minus those two nod-offs, I’ve been awake for 24 hours.

There’s no way I’m going to appreciate Avengers until a second viewing. The action sequences were dope, though.

Cheer Count: 14

Thursday, 8:50 a.m. Iron Man 3

Wake up from a nap when some guy steps on my foot trying to get back inside the row of seats. I hate the world. I'm miserable. 13 more hours. The start of the dreaded double feature of the night: Iron Man 3 and Thor 2.  The crowd’s been joking that IM3 is the ideal movie to sleep through because it’s horrible. I was ready to sleep when Eiffel 65’s “I'm Blue” blares through the theater. Either I'm sleep deprived or this is real. I end up napping. IM3 is the worst so far.

Cheer Count: ??

Thursday, 11:20 a.m. Thor: The Dark World [n.b. You think your world's dark? Pffft.

Forgot which of my friends particularly hated Thor 2, but I’m worried it’s going to suck. I can’t take another IM3 if I want to make it through the marathon. Power on through these two I think to myself, then get rewarded with Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. Dark World could’ve went better, but it’s no IM3. Three movies to go. The home stretch.

Cheer Count: 7ish

Thursday, 1:45 p.m. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Sitting in a theater for so long has made me lose track of time. I step outside at 1:00 p.m., or maybe I just thought I did. I feel like I've been hibernating, but the truth is, winter is coming.

Winter Soldier is the second wind I needed to get through. Storyline and action on point.

Cheer Count: 21

I end up changing clothes before Guardian's easy-to-remember 4:20 scheduled time. Because I’m not some filthy animal (no disrespect to Rocket Raccoon), except I am since I forgot to bring a toothbrush. Shoutout to Trident gum.  

Thursday, 4:25 p.m. Guardians of the Galaxy

No longer keeping track of crowd cheers, because a) the crowd has already surprised me with its cheering consistency, and b) Guardians is so beloved I expect the cheering to be infinite. I’m right. Guardians is just as amazing as the first and only time I watched it in theaters. I've officially been at the theater for 24 hours once it hits 6. 

Getting pizza for dinner, person behind me in line says, "This line is a shitshow." Shit show would be the ideal adjective for this experience.

I'm faced with the same oven situation as before and wait 20 minutes for a pizza. 

Thursday, 7:20 p.m. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Ultron was slow at times, made even slower by my yearning for sleep and my bed, but it picked it up, and by the end you’ll forgive it and thank Joss Whedon for his final valiant effort. And for our valiant efforts? A medal, poster, and pin to show making the experience worth it, if not at least making for a great story. But for this room of Marvel’s die hard fans, the kind you’d find at Comic Con, hearing the words “Avengers Assemble” once again would’ve sufficed.

 

 

 

 

 

Debbie Encalada is a freelance writer who would like to thank the movie theater employees for their services and great spirits yesterday. She won't be going to the movies anytime soon. She tweets here