From Tony Stark's first test flight to Hulk's battering of Loki in Avengers Assemble, Marvel movies have always brought the funny. And the latest instalment, Thor: The Dark World, is no exception, achieving a brilliant balance of humour and pathos as the God of Thunder returns to Earth for a third time.
But far from being incidental, jokes are a big part of the studio's plan moving forward according to producer Kevin Fiege.
"The more that audience is laughing and opening themselves up to having fun, you can then attack other emotions as well," he told Yahoo Movies UK. "There are dark moments in this movie, and there are tragic moments in this movie… but to get that balance you need both things, and I love that people are coming out of 'The Dark World' commenting on how fun it is."
Star Chris Hemsworth explained that the light-hearted moments serve to counteract some of the more sinister scenes in the film, revealing that to make audiences laugh and cry was the plan from the get-go.
"It's something we talked about at the start of the film," he said. "We had to have humour because there were darker themes that we were exploring that we hadn't in previous Marvel films… it allows you to buy into the fantastical world in front of you if you're able to have a laugh and have a good time."
But while some of the other cast might not have had the chance to flex their funny bone before, Kat Dennings is no stranger to the one-liner in this franchise: "I expected it with Darcy, but I really relished it," she told us. "Especially in this one because I get to react to so much cool stuff."
Co-star Natalie Portman agrees: "Kat's character, and Kat herself, adds so much humour to the movie, and it is just really funny - they really ramped it up this time. There are more serious themes in this and darker visuals and a lot more action so it kind of balances it out."
Watch our full interview with the cast of Thor: The Dark World above, in which Tom Hiddleston gives his perspective on the film's comedy, and villain of the piece, and Christopher Eccleston applauds it - despite his character being denied a sense of humour entirely.
Thor: The Dark World arrives in UK cinemas on October 30. Watch the full trailer below.