By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn June 11, 2008 at 2:29AM
You've probably heard that Robert Downey Jr. pops up in The Incredible Hulk for a little Tony Stark action. The appearance is almost too self-aware, haphazardly tied onto the very end almost as if the studio were patting itself on the back for another box office success. However, the idea of an ulterior motive behind this fleeting cross-over -- namely, an Avengers film that unites many of the characters currently in circulation -- has an alluring ring to it. I would've preferred George Miller's endlessly-delayed Justice League film, if only because Miller's a genius and the results were guaranteed to be interesting, but any attempt to emulate the large scale structure of superhero comics (in this case, acknowledging that multiple heroes exist within the same universe, the standard operation procedure for Marvel and DC) promises to be an interesting (historical?) experiment. How the hell can Warner Bros. compete? Oh, that's right: Superman vs. Batman. Exciting times.