Fanboys (and fangirls!), the wait is almost over.
In just a few days, the highly anticipated multi-hero action flick, The Avengers, arrives in theaters. (Oh, and if you missed it, E! Online livestreamed the movie's big premiere from Hollywood.)
But for all you folks who aren't familiar with the many colorful characters in this little comic book-come-to-life piece of cinema, well, we've gone ahead and put together a little cheat sheet for ya.
As for the rest of you already in the know, please don't leave. Sure, you may not need to read any further, but there's still some pretty pictures to ogle after the jump...
Steve Rogers/Captain America: Chris Evans plays the 98-pound asthmatic who became a superhero after taking an experimental serum way back in the 1940s. While battling the baddie Red Skull, Cap and his shield wound up frozen in the Arctic, only to be discovered and revived 70 years later.
Tony Stark/Iron Man: Robert Downey Jr. again takes on the role of the billionaire industrialist who initially created an indestructible suit to escape from terrorists wanting him to design a weapon of mass destruction. Once free, he refined his creation to help protect the world from evil by utilizing many of the technological devices his corporation, Stark Industries, had developed.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow: While we were originally led to believe that she was simply one of Tony Stark's assistants, it turned out that Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is actually a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with some pretty sweet assassin skills.
Bruce Banner/The Hulk: Mark Ruffalo flexes his muscles as a scientist who, thanks to being exposed to gamma radiation, morphs into a giant green monster whenever he gets angry. Sure enough, along with those occasional transformations comes enormous strength.
Clint Barton/Hawkeye: Portrayed by Jeremy Renner, this S.H.I.E.L.D. agent would most certainly give Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games a run for her money in the bow-and-arrow department.
Thor Chris Hemsworth plays The God of Thunder who, while banished from Asgard by his father after some god-on-giant violence goes awry, put his exile on Earth to good use by protecting it from his sinister brother Loki. Thor eventually saves the third rock from the sun...but it certainly won't be the last time.
Loki: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Having had his plans to destroy Earth thwarted by his brother, Thor, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is back for an encore in hopes of wiping the Earth off the face of the universe once and for all. It's a good thing his sibling has some backup!
Nick Fury: In a nutshell, if it wasn't for the efforts of Samuel L. Jackson's director of the international peacekeeping organization, S.H.I.E.L.D., to bring all our heroes together, there'd be no Avengers. 'Nuff said.
(Originally published April 9, 2012, at 7:30 a.m. PT)