Avengers: Age of Ultron and the 10 Gems That Can Make it Shine
With the summer blockbusters now beginning to erupt on the screen we can take a quick look ahead into Marvel’s cinematic universe. Avengers: Age of Ultron will premier summer of 2015 and Joss Whedon began filming in locations around the world including South Korea, England and South Africa. As usual Marvel has been pretty tight-lipped about specific plot points. The Internet is a blaze with rumors and leaked camera phone pics from the sets. We know that the Avengers team is expanding by at least 2 with the introductions of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Vision will be in the film in some capacity and the rest at this point is purely speculation. Like the Infinity Gauntlet, composed of the Infinity Gems with unique abilities I have constructed a list of potential additions of all types I’d like to see in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Included in this list are my thoughts of what would make for a perfect AoU. It is in order from most likely to “maybe if we could buy the rights back”. The first five on the list have some logic if not evidence to support my claim for their inclusion. The second five are pure speculation and more of a dream list. The list has characters to introduce and classic Avengers commodities not included in the earlier film. I welcome comments that include what you’d like to see. A year from now we can re-visit this article and either laugh hysterically at my absurd suggestions or cower before my amazing abilities of pre-cognition. Enjoy the list.
10. New Locations
Avengers Tower/Avengers Mansion/Baxter Building/Daily Bugle/Sanctum Sanctorum
Marvel’s Avengers ended with Stark Tower being nearly destroyed. Only the “A” in Stark was left emblazoned on the building. This was certainly a not so subtle hint at the potential of Avengers Tower being the base of operations and not a S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier or the Triskelon. WIth the recent destruction of all things S.H.I.E.L.D in Captain America: The Winter Soldier we may have been set up to see new locations in AoU. Avengers Tower is almost certainly going serve as the home base of the Avengers, however I’d love to see the classic Avengers Mansion that has been destroyed and rebuilt many times.
Other Marvel locations within New York City I would love to see even if it is in background shots or overhead pans are; Baxter Building (home of the Fantastic Four), Daily Bugle (Newspaper of the Marvel universe) and Sanctum Sanctorum (mansion of Dr. Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme). We know that New York City is the epicenter of the Marvel Universe and it seems reasonable to see some other marquee structures of the Marvel Universe. With so many overhead shots and pans through the city a quick view of one of these buildings would feel natural. With Fox and Sony owning the rights to the Baxter Building and Daily Bugle respectively, Stephen Strange’s mansion looks like the most likely choice. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Stephen Strange was mentioned and teasing viewers with a fly by of 177A Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, New York, New York would keep the internet in a frenzy for Dr. Strange.
9. Avengers vs. Hulk
Key Stories: Incredible Hulk #300, 1984
Ultimates Vol. 1, 2002-2003
World War Hulk, 2007-2008
Yes please. Any issue that has Hulk fighting another hero is a must read for me. Whenever Hulk fights the Avengers, it brings out the best in all of them. We have seen the leaked photos of Iron Man’s Hulkbuster Armor and we can only hope it will be necessary for Stark to wear it at some point in AoU. The prototype Hulkbuster armor appeared in Iron Man 3. The aftermath of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner discussing Stark’s foresight into having armor designed specifically to fight Hulk would be a way to flesh out their relationship. In Marvel’s Avengers we saw Thor vs. Iron Man vs. Cap and Thor vs. Hulk. How great would it be to see the teamwork of the big three all against Hulk? Hulk cannot be controlled. That’s why Bruce Banner is so high-strung. If we keep with the theme of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury preparing for the worst possible scenarios, Hulk rampaging through the city seems like a logical potential threat. I am not calling for Hulk to play the villain, but the most terrifying aspect of Banner/Hulk is what happens when he loses complete control? Who can stop him? Perhaps “The Mighty Avengers”.
8. Less Iron Man
1st Appearance: Tales of Suspense #39, 1963
Created by: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck & Jack Kirby
Likely the most unpopular pick on my list. If AoU features Iron Man heavily we will begin to see a less dynamic storyline and the series will begin to go stale. The general population loves Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and so do I. He has helped build an incredibly strong foundation for Marvel Studios. I call to your attention the first 3 X-Men films. Great films for bringing some of our favorite mutants to life however by the third release the series fell flat. Marvel through Fox had to relaunch the franchise to breath new life into the franchise. Marvel has revised the print version of Tony Stark to “feel” more like Downey’s version. Fans of the comics may feel he is over saturating our genre. It is time to let other Avengers take the lead in Marvel’s cinematic world. Whedon confirmed Hawkeye and Hulk will have larger roles in AoU. With the recent success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier,we may have a new poster boy for Marvel Studios.
Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet.
1st Appearance: Iron Man #55, 1973
Created by: Jim Starlin & Mike Friedrich
We got a teaser of the Titan Thanos in the mid credits scene of Marvel’s Avengers and we have had several scenes alluding to the Infinity Gems. Marvel Studios has done a wonderful job tying their films together and with each new release it brings us closer to the classic Marvel storyline The Infinity Gauntlet from 1991. Thanos is one of a handful of Marvel villains that needs the entirety of the Marvel Universe to defeat. Thanos is the wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet (one of Marvel’s premier weapons) and could offer a great link between Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers as he is one of the cosmic villains in Marvel. It is safe to assume Thanos is in the roadmap of the Marvel cinematic universe. He is not the star of Phase 2 but certainly will make his way into Phase 3 or 4.
6. Hank Pym
1st Appearance: Tales to Astonish # 27, 1962
Creators: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
I refuse to believe that Hank Pym is not in AoU. How can the creator of Ultron not be included? With an Ant-Man film on the horizon this is the perfect platform to introduce him to mainstream moviegoers. Rumors and teases of the Ant-Man film continue to spread and Hank Pym is seemingly going to be more of a footnote in Marvel’s history and not one of the trailblazers as he is within the published comics. There has been little support of Hank Pym being in the Avengers or its sequel even though he was one of the founding members along with Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Wasp. Rumors of AoU hint at Tony Stark creating Ultron instead of Pym. I find it odd that Hank Pym is good enough for a solo movie but not for a cameo with the team he helped create.
5. Masters of Evil
1st Appearance: Avengers #6, 1964
Created by: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
The Masters of Evil seem like a logical transition into a true villain group to battle the Avengers. X-Men had The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants as a foil and The Avengers could use The Masters of Evil (MoE). Founded by Baron Zemo to enact revenge on Captain America, the MoE have had many villains in their ranks including, Black Knight, Radioactive Man, Wrecking Crew, Egghead, Moonstone, Griffin, Wonder Man, Whirlwind, Enchantress, Klaw and countless others. Enchantress will likely be considered one of the choices for the next villain introduced in a future Thor movie as we have not had a female villain from Marvel Studios. Griffin was just mentioned on a recent episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It is possible that the mid credit scene from Captain America: Winter Soldier eludes to Baron Von Strucker building the MoE with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as members. A simple re-imagining of their origins using the MoE instead of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants since Fox own the rights to the Brotherhood. Should the MoE appear in AoU it could offer an even stronger link between the future film releases of Marvel Studios.
4. Life Model Decoys
1st Appearance: Strange Tales#135, 1965
Created by: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Why have these staples of classic Nick Fury been all but ignored? Nick Fury had these androids serve as body doubles in many occasions and they could be a great addition to the Nick Fury mythos Marvel Studios has spent years building. We had one reference of the LMD’s in Marvel’s Avengers and that was it. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. squashed the rumor that the Agent Colson killed at the end of Marvel’s Avengers was not a LMD. Marvel Studios could use the humor of Tony Stark realizing he’s arguing with a robot to their advantage. It could give us a great moment like when Hulk punched Thor or the banter between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner.
3. Black Panther
Black Panther. Panel from Black Panther: Man Without Fear #513.
1st Appearance: Fantastic Four #52, 1966
Created by: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
King of Wakanda and Avenger T’Challa, the Black Panther needs to make his début in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Marvel announcing Luke Cage as a star of one of their new Netflix projects it seems like Black Panther is the logical choice to add some diversity to the Avengers. Black Panther became a strong ally of Captain America early on in his history. His role as King of the African nation of Wakanda can widen the scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There have been mentions of Vibranium in Captain America: The First Avenger and in Marvel’s Avengers. Vibranium is only found in Wakanda. Black Panther is a member of Marvel’s Illuminati and a valuable ally to Reed Richards,Captain America, the X-Men and others. Black Panther and the X-Men’s Storm are married and if Marvel can wrestle away the rights from Fox we could see the King and Queen of Wakanda together.
2. Ms. Marvel
Carol Danvers as Ms. Marvel.
1st Appearance: Marvel Super Heroes # 13, 1968
Created by: Roy Thomas & Gene Colan
If the Avengers need diversity, the entirety of Marvel Universe needs it as well. Marvel lacks the iconic female hero like DC’s Wonder Woman. Marvel has tried to raise the fan base of Storm, Elektra, Spider-Woman, She-Hulk, Black Widow and other prominent heroines. None has had the success that Carol Danvers, Ms. Marvel has. She has sustained a monthly book for years and has been given a boost to her credibility and power by serving as a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers. With the new moniker of Captain Marvel and her ties to Marvel’s cosmic world, she can link viewers to Guardians of the Galaxy. Carol Danvers could be another asset to transition from S.H.I.E.L.D. to The Avengers as Black Widow and Hawkeye did. With all due respect to She-Hulk, Carol Danvers is popular with readers and has been given near alpha status in the Marvel Universe, bringing her to the forefront with heroes such as Iron Man and Captain America. AoU can serve as a great introduction to Marvel Comics most prominent female super hero.
1st Appearance: X-Men #1, 1963
Created by: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
The most far-fetched option on this list is to see Magneto show up at the end of the film or in a post credit scene. As the father of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch it is possible he may bridge the gap between the Marvel cinematic universes of The Avengers and X-Men. In 2012 Marvel released the crossover event of AvX (Avengers vs. X-Men) and for the first time many of these heroes interacted with each other. Was that mini-series Marvel’s attempt at testing the waters of a potential super team up? Could it be foreshadowing to The Infinity Gauntlet, see Thanos above? The sales of AvX were not fantastic but they held strong for the duration. Introducing Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver has to have a more significant effect than just keeping up with the history of the Avengers. We are skipping over Ant Man and Wasp for the mutant twins so there could be a greater reason for their inclusion. With Fox owning the rights to Magneto, it is unlikely Marvel Studios can work out an agreement to fulfill this wish but we can hope. Admittedly I want to see Magneto tear Iron Man’s armor off or stop Cap’s shield mid-flight.
Marvel Studios has struck movie gold with the Avengers franchise. Committing to the “phase” releases has been quite lucrative and successful. Avengers: Age of Ultron promises to impact the Marvel cinematic universe as its predecessor did. Little is known of the plot or any new characters introduced but adding some of the current comic books most popular heroes could help it surpass the critical and fan acclaim Marvel’s Avengers received. AoU has already confirmed Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Vision as new members. What else is in store for the flagship team of Marvel? Stay tuned “True Believer’s”.
What do you think? Leave a comment.