We've got the books, we've got the tattoos, we've seen the films — we're not calling ourselves experts, but we'd like to think we sit in the 'serious fan' section at geeky get-togethers.
Which is why we surprised ourselves with our cautious approach to Infinity Wars — this was surely going to be a step too far.
Not only were we going to have sit through another endless round of battles with a HUGE cast, but with the inclusion of the excellent Black Panther AND the Guardians Of The Galaxy, the whole thing got HUGER.
This thing was just going to collapse in on itself from the weight of the cast alone...
Then there's the small matter of the last three Marvel films.
All three — Guardians, Panther and Thor Three — all set the bar so high there was just no way something so weighed down could hope to clear it.
Not a hope in Hell.
But then the first message arrived. There were a lot of exclamation marks.
Then plans were made to see it. Fears aside, it's what we do. We can't miss one, can we?
And it takes just 10 minutes for our tiny little minds to be blown.
Infinity War not only clears the bar that's now been set, it raises it to a whole new level.
Picking up from where Ragnarok left off, Infinity War is dark, complex, funny, shocking and packs so much emotional punch it's like being walloped by an tearful Hulk.
Comic book movies aren't meant to reduce an entire cinema screening to a breath-held silence, but that happens more than once.
It was the kind of silence you can hear. You could tell no one was doing anything other than staring at the big screen with hearts in mouths.
And I still don't know how directors Anthony and Joe Russo pulled this one off — how they got away with what unfolds.
The last time I left a cinema in this state of awestruck silence was T2 FFS...
It very quickly becomes apparent that all bets are off, and in making such a bold move a new level of jeopardy is introduced which heightens the tension.
Then there's the way the disparate groups are woven together.
Everyone gets time to shine before being thrown headlong into the blender, with the final groupings not being what you would expect.
For that, full credit must go to writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Their use of humour at just the right moments is also worthy of noting.
Because, a Deadpool gagfest this is not.
This is a dark, dark movie from the off, and that's just one of the things we love about it.
That and the fact we lost count of the number of times we suddenly found ourselves holding our breath.
Not to mention sitting bolt-upright, screaming NOOOOOOOOOO silently in our heads.
In fact, there's just so much going on, it's proving really hard to review because there's so much we could talk about but they would all be a spoiler of some kind.
This is actually one of the hardest reviews we can remember writing.
What we can say:
- There's not a single bad performance
- The fight scenes are positively visceral
- It's gripping
- It in no way feels like its two-and-a-half hour running time
- It has the epic scope of Lord Of The Rings
There are, of course, some negatives.
At least one character appears to just vanish, and there are times when you wish they'd just kept the camera still for two minutes.
But really, that's it.
The stand-out performance comes from a very unexpected quarter, and the story is not about what you would think, and what could have been a bloated vanity project is a gripping roller coaster of a movie that pulls no punches and changes the game.
This is no normal Marvel film, but it proves once again just how much work DC have to do to catch up.
We'll be off to see it again at the earliest opportunity.