Tag Archives: Idris Elba

Prognostications for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Part 3

Wow, the rumors just keep coming, readers! They are flying so hard and fast I can barely keep up with ‘em.

Nevertheless, I thought I would venture some of my own theories on Marvel’s upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. As you may have noticed, like Marvel’s master archer, I have very little problem offering my opinion on something. I see no reason to stop now.

If you are a sensible Marvel fan and you do not want to hear any speculation about Age of Ultron, stop reading here. If you are finding this extended wait for The Avengers’ sequel as trying as I am, then read on!

  1. Loki and Heimdall will make an appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Idris Elba let this little fun fact slip out in an interview at some point not too long ago, sending the rumor mill into Warp Factor 5. Whedon promised to give him at least a slight scolding for the “slip,” if slip it was. Most speculators say that Wanda Maximoff will show Thor a future Asgard that gives us a glimpse of Heimdall and Loki. A clip from the middle of Age of Ultron supports the theory that whatever she shows him, Wanda genuinely scares Thor.

While I do not doubt Heimdall may show up in Thor’s vision, I am somewhat skeptical that Loki will. After all, as much trouble as Thor has had with his kid brother, we know of one Avenger who is still angry with the Prince of Lies since the events of The Avengers. In my second “Prognostications” post, I theorized that Hawkeye may be immune to Wanda’s manipulations, and I still think that is a possibility. It is certainly something I would have wanted to explore, if I had had a hand in writing Age of Ultron.

All the same, what if Wanda does beguile Hawkeye with a vision, not of his future but of his past? What if Loki’s cameo appearance is a memory Wanda forces Hawkeye to relive at some point in the movie? She could, of course, just as easily use Loki only to torment Thor, but we cannot forget who the Trickster harmed most on his last trip to Midgard. Naturally, we will not know anything for sure until May 1, 2015.

  1. Someone is going to die.

The amount of gossip going around the Internet about the possible death of an Avenger is so thick, readers, you could use it to butter toast. We have some mighty murderous Marvel fans out there, by all appearances. I cannot understand why so many people seem to be begging for an Avenger’s death. I would prefer it if they all survived, as you are well aware by now. Fiction is showcasing enough death and despair, thank you very much. How about some optimism and positivity, people?

Anyway, several theories have been advanced to explain Whedon’s nerve-wracking “Death, death, and death” statement. People are raffling off the Avengers they think should die – with most putting Hawkeye at the top of the list, never mind the fact that Renner has said he survives Age of Ultron. (As you may have surmised, Hawkeye is one of my favorite Marvel characters, so I am getting a little annoyed with everyone who is nominating him for death. BACK OFF ALREADY, YOU BLOODTHIRSY PIRAHNAS!!!)

Others suggest that Ultron will wipe out an entire fictional Eastern European country (which he apparently did in the comics of years’ past), thus fulfilling the “death” quota these fans seem to be hoping for. Still others theorize that Whedon’s hint “Death will play a part” in Age of Ultron refers to “Mistress Death” – the female form of Death itself. Thanos has been trying to court her for years and, so far as I know, he has still come up empty on that front.

These are all possible answers to Whedon’s “death” hints. My own theory on what Whedon meant when he said that “Death will play a part” in Age of Ultron is that Ultron is afraid to die.

Think about it a moment. Ultron is artificial; he is a machine. He has no humanity – whatever humanity Tony tried to give him, it did not translate properly. He is unnatural in the same way Doctor Frankenstein’s monster is inhuman. Frankenstein’s monster knew he was not human; he did not come into the world as a human being, with his own soul, his own personality. He was a desperate man’s cooked-up lab experiment. (Boy, is Tony’s statement that Cap is a “laboratory experiment” going to come back to bite him hard.) What will happen to Ultron if he is destroyed?

He will cease to exist. Period. That is a terrifying thought, is it not? And for something unnatural like Ultron, it would probably scare him straight out of his circuits if he thought about it too much. The Avengers – they are not afraid to die. Not even Black Widow or the Maximoff twins are afraid of death. Do they want to die? Heck no. But if the price of preserving another’s life – or the life of the whole human race – is their death, then they will sacrifice their lives to protect others.

Ultron is not going to do that. His own survival will be his number one goal in the film. He is not going to sacrifice himself to preserve anyone else’s life – if he were willing to do that, then he would not have turned on the Avengers in the first place. He is too egocentric and self-centered to think of anyone but himself. In contrast, the Avengers are selfless. Even Tony will allow himself to be killed if it means saving lives. He was willing to fight to the death against the Chitauri in the first film. Why wouldn’t he still be ready to die in defense of others in Age of Ultron?

And yes, I know he might just get that chance. We will see what happens.

  1. Vision will join the team.

This is practically a given. The only thing to guess at is how Vision will join the team. If I had to make a suggestion, I would surmise that it will be the Avengers’ willingness to fight an apparently hopeless battle, their readiness to sacrifice themselves for each other or for others, which will be the factor that convinces him to abandon Ultron.

I could be wrong, of course. If Vision is based on JARVIS, and JARVIS is based on the personality of Tony’s father’s butler – Edwin Jarvis – then maybe Tony will be able to talk him into turning on Ultron. We will have to wait and see.

  1. Black Widow’s dark past will be showcased in the film.

This has been known almost since day one. My only thought on this is that Wanda may be the one forcing Natasha to relive her dark history. I would not be surprised if, at some point early in the film (or in the middle of it), the Black Widow and the Scarlet Witch went toe-to-toe. The two are fighting women. Pitting them against each other – that is a catfight screaming to be written. I doubt it would be a fair fight but, oh, readers, it would be a fight!

The rest of what I have to say relates to jumbled scenes from the trailer(s) which caught my attention:

Scene #1: Pietro is at one point seen racing through a train car in slow motion. If you pause the video while watching it on a big screen, you will notice that Cap is sitting in the train car, and that Pietro is pushing someone – or something – out the door of the car. Either that, or he is throwing whoever or whatever it is out a hole someone has punched in the side of the train.

It is impossible to tell what part of the film this scene comes from. It could be early on, when the twins are initially enemies of the Avengers. Or it could be after they have decided to join the team. I suspect the latter because, from my perspective, it appears that Quicksilver has just zoomed through the train car to save Cap’s life. I think what he is throwing off the train is an Ultroid (a droid under Ultron’s control). I could be wrong, of course, but this is what I think is going on in this scene.

Scene #2: The ballet lesson seen near the end of the trailers looks to be a flashback. It might not be, but if it is, I suspect it is related to Natasha. In the “mainstream” Marvel Comics, it was revealed that Natasha received extensive memory alterations from the Red Room operators during her time in service to the U.S.S.R. One of the false memories they gave her was that she had been trained to be a ballerina. This was a lie; she was only ever taught the arts of assassination and espionage – though she is graceful and poised enough that she could be a ballerina, if she so desired. So this scene could be a memory she recalls – or is forced to recall – at some point in the film.

Scene #3: At one point in the trailers for Age of Ultron, we see a scene depicting cargo ships beached on what appears to be a sea floor. It looks like the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, or the Caspian Sea to me, but it could easily be the floor of any one of the earth’s oceans.

What does this scene mean? Anything is possible, but check out the following video and transcript before you read my theory.

 

Stark: Thor didn’t say where he was going for answers?

Rogers: Sometimes my teammates don’t tell me things. I was kind of hoping Thor would be the exception.

Stark: Yeah, give him time. We don’t know what the Maximoff kid showed him.
(This would be a reference to Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, who is able to reveal the future, look into the past, and reveal alternate realities.)

Rogers: I don’t know what she showed you. I just know it made you do something stupid. (Shakes his head.) “Earth’s mightiest heroes …” They pulled us apart like cotton candy.

Stark: Seems like you walked away all right.

Rogers: (Straightening.) That a problem?

Stark: I don’t trust a guy without a dark side. Call me old-fashioned.

Rogers: Well, let’s just say you haven’t seen it yet.

Stark: Banner and I were doing research …

Rogers: That would affect the team.

Stark: That would end the team. Isn’t that why we fight, so we can end the fight, so we get to go home?

Rogers: (pulls a log apart barehanded before speaking) Every time someone tries to win a war before it starts, innocent people die. Every time. – Courtesy of several moviepilot.com articles.

 

What if the scene with the grounded cargo ships is part of whatever vision Wanda uses to antagonize Tony? Perhaps she shows him a world where he loses his company, or a world destroyed by the Avengers? This last theory would explain why Tony built the Hulkbuster armor, and why he and Banner were doing research that would “end the team.” The Avengers are so powerful that plenty of people are afraid they will go nuts and destroy the world. Wouldn’t Tony come up with plans to stop and destroy his fellow Avengers if they ever “lost it”?

This is certainly a story angle Whedon could – and may be inclined to – play around with. It would also tie in to the future Captain America: Civil War film planned for 2016. But once again, this is all pure conjecture. We will know nothing until May 2015.

Scene #4: The 1940’s clip showing Cap and Peggy Carter walking into a ballroom is thought by many to be a flashback. It may be, but it might also be a scenario Wanda tries to use against Cap. After all, he “still owes his girl a dance,” does he not?

Elizabeth Olsen has reported that Wanda can see into the future, the past, and alternate universes/realities. What if this scene of Cap and Peggy in a ballroom is a vision of an alternate future, where Cap did not end up on ice for seventy years but still saved the world and got to marry Peggy in the bargain? This theory would explain, to me, why Cap was able to “walk away all right” from whatever it is Wanda shows him.

We know Wanda can do many things, but if in the Cinematic Marvel Universe she can alter time, that has not been stated. Since she cannot send Cap back to do things differently, he would doubtless recognize that the vision she showed him of Peggy and himself dancing was nothing more than smoke and mirrors. He would accept that the vision might have been but he would know it was not real and could never be real. He would simply recognize it and go on. If this is what happens, then Wanda does not show Cap his “dark side,” she merely tries to paralyze him with regret.

Not gonna work, honey.  Not gonna work at all.

Scene #5: Now, about Cap’s “dark side.” I will admit that this whole scene has irritated me – Cap does NOT have a dark side! He is perfect, just like Galahad and Aragorn before him.

But Cap does have a temper. As someone I know explained to me, Banner has stated that he is “always angry.” Who says Cap is not skating on the edge of being “always angry”? Every battle the Avengers fight, they are fighting against someone or something that is pure evil. Would not a totally good person be furious at the atrocities committed by someone or something totally evil? We have seen Cap lose his temper with the Red Skull, Arnim Zola (in computer form), Loki, and, to a lesser extent, with Black Widow, Nick Fury, and the Winter Soldier.

But Tony has never seen Cap in a rage. What if the “dark side” Tony has not “seen yet” is a truly enraged Captain America?

I don’t know about you, readers, but I would be more afraid of an irate Captain America than I would be of an angry Hulk, no matter how incensed Big Green became!

Scene #6: Initially it was reported that, when Ultron makes his first, primitive entrance in robot form during the Avengers’ party, everyone in the room was “weaponless.” Well, anyone with a cork eye knew Thor had his hammer on him; otherwise the team could not attempt to lift it, as depicted in the trailer previewed at the San Diego Comic Con.

However, the newer trailer showed a brief scene where Maria Hill is cocking a gun she has brought with her to the party. It is gratifying to know that she is not so brainless as to attend an Avengers’ shindig without a weapon. Since she came to the party prepared, I suspect that Hawkeye and Natasha also have weapons stashed on their persons. What they will be armed with I cannot say, but anyone who makes enemies on a regular basis should never go anywhere unarmed.

I would guess Hawkeye also has a gun on him, as well as at least one knife. If you read my post “Hawk’s Strike,” then you know that Hawkeye can use practically anything he can get his hands on as a weapon. Watching him fight a bunch of Ultroids without his bow and arrows should be fun. And I would be willing to bet that he will not miss one Ultroid in this fight, or any of the following ones, as he managed not to shoot Maria Hill in The Avengers. (See “Hawk’s Strike” for more on that.)

Natasha’s hand-to-hand combat tactics may not be very effective against Stark-built Ultroids. If she has not got a gun on her, she will probably have at least a knife within easy reach. She had one in New York; I do not see why she would not be wearing one to the party. Like her old SHIELD partner, she would also be able to use nearby objects as weapons. Perhaps she would do it with less speed, but you get the idea.

Cap may also have brought a weapon to the party. If he did not, though, I do not see him having much of a problem battling the Ultroids. He ripped a log apart without trouble in the above clip – who says he cannot decapitate an Ultroid barehanded?

For Rhodey and Tony, things are going to be a little squeakier. Rhodey has not got his armor within reach, and he cannot summon it. Tony can summon his armor, but Ultron could easily block or override his signal, leaving him unarmored in the face of the onrushing Ultroids. Since Rhodey’s a zoomie (zoomie is the generic nickname given to a member of the U.S Air Force) he may have thought to take a gun with him to the party. But he just as easily could have left it home, thinking nothing bad would happen at Avengers’ Tower.

Claudia Kim’s character – whoever she is – looks as though she is going to be a weak spot for the team. Unless Kim’s unnamed character has some hidden talents no one is yet aware of, the Avengers are going to have to protect her throughout this first battle.

And while Banner could certainly Hulk-out and clean Ultron’s clock, something tells me he does not want to wreck Avengers’ Tower.  This might be the one battle in the entire movie which he sits out – as the Hulk, at least.  He could always use a fork to fight with, if push came to shove.

Maybe.  We will have to wait and see.

Well, there you have it, readers. These are some of my new theories for Age of Ultron. Whether they are right or wrong we cannot yet know, but it has been fun to share them with you. If you have your own ideas on what may happen in the film, feel free to mention them to me in a comment below. This is one conversation I could carry on until the cows come home!

Until next time!

The Mithril Guardian

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Prognostications for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Part 2

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Day two of speculating on what will happen in Avengers: Age of Ultron is here, my readers! If you read my post the other day, then you know some of my thoughts about what may happen in the upcoming Avengers sequel.  But you do not know about all of my ideas.

As I stated before, if you do not want to hear anything about the film until it hits theaters, then stop reading right here.

For those of you who, like me, cannot keep a lid on your curiosity, read on!

Hawkeye
My Theory, # 2:  Hawkeye will be the Avenger who recruits the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver into the team’s ranks.

This is an instinctive idea I have had since I learned that the twins would not only not begin the film as Avengers, they apparently HATE the team’s collective guts.

Why the twins hate the Avengers no one but Marvel, the cast, and Joss Whedon know as yet.  Some suggest Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are both being directed by Baron von Strucker through the power of Loki’s scepter, the same way that Hawkeye was controlled by Loki in the first Avengers movie.  I am skeptical of this idea; I am not sure Strucker would be able to influence the twins via the scepter’s power.  That he used the energy stored in the scepter to “mutate” the twins and give them their new abilities I do not doubt.

But giving them superpowers is a far cry from controlling them in the same way that Loki was able to convince people to do his bidding.  Loki knew what he was doing up to a certain point but Strucker is playing with fire; he has had no one to teach him how to use the scepter.  Presumably, Thanos or the Other gave Loki instructions on how to use his “magic wand” the way he did in the first film.  Strucker does not have any such guidance; he is essentially whistling in the dark.

If Strucker is controlling the siblings, I think it more likely that he is doing so the old fashioned way.  He has somehow convinced Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch that the Avengers are greedy warmongers (or something like that) who do not care about the collateral damage they leave in their wake.  Considering the trailer for Age of Ultron starts in a post-battle party setting, I would say the Avengers probably have become a little complacent with the way life has been going for them recently.  Such a party would certainly not make the twins think very highly of the Avengers, since Pietro and Wanda both grew up on their own, relying on no one but each other and trusting very few of the people they met – Baron Strucker being the possible exception to the rule.

Part of the reason I think Hawkeye may be the Avenger who changes the twins’ perspective of the team is that the rest of the Avengers are going to have their hands full. With the Hulk going on a rampage that Tony (and, it seems, Black Widow) are trying to stop and Thor fighting Cap over who is more worthy to pick up Mjolnir, about the only Avenger who does not appear to have a crisis blowing up in his face during the course of the film is Hawkeye.

More to the point, if Wanda is responsible for the berserk behavior of the Hulk and Thor, she may also be manipulating the other Avengers.  Playing off their fears and making them see things which are not actually happening, she could easily reduce the team to squabbling, convince them to fight the people they are trying to protect, or bring them all to an absolute stand still.

It is this very ability of Wanda’s that might give Hawkeye a fighting edge against her. After all, Loki took control of Barton in the first movie via the power of his “glow stick of destiny.”  And Wanda has received her powers from the same source.  For all we know, exposure to the scepter’s power may have given Hawkeye a resistance to mind manipulation, if not outright immunity to Wanda’s hypnotic ability since that seems to be fueled by the same energy Loki used to control him.  If she cannot influence Clint and make him see what she wants him to see, then she cannot control him.  And that means that he can at the least talk to her, if not get in close and fight her.

This theory also ties in with the original comics.  Initially, Hawkeye and the twins joined the Avengers at roughly the same time.  Hawkeye was only a few years older than the twins and had designs on dating Wanda, but those wishes never panned out for him.  (I am hoping Whedon will not include this history in Age of Ultron, considering Renner is almost twenty years Olsen’s senior.  That would make a romance story between the two characters on this silver screen a bit awkward in my opinion.)

Despite never winning the Scarlet Witch’s heart, Hawkeye and Wanda remained on friendly terms for a very long time over their years as teammates.  He even helped Cap train her in hand-to-hand fighting techniques.  (Hawkeye is one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the Marvel Universe; even Marvel master martial arts expert Iron Fist thinks he is one of the best martial arts fighters around.)  If anyone can get through to Wanda that she and her brother are being played for fools by Strucker, I would be willing to bet it would be Hawkeye.

As for him talking Quicksilver into the Avengers, if Hawkeye’s silver tongue can persuade Wanda to change sides, then he has no need to speak to Pietro.  The number one influence on Pietro’s life is his sister; wherever she decides to go, he will follow her, and vice versa.  Sway one twin and you sway them both; if Hawkeye wins over Wanda then Pietro will follow her lead.

The only evidence I have to support this gut feeling/theory is a photo from the Age of Ultron set.  It shows Wanda crouching down, both her arms thrown out before her and crossed, her fingers half pulled in toward her palms.  She is obviously using her powers to do something and is concentrating on doing it.

Standing barely two feet in front of her, bow drawn, is Hawkeye.  But he is not aiming at Wanda and is standing out of her line of fire.  His bow is held in such a way as he reaches for his quiver that you can see he is lining up for a shot over Wanda’s shoulder. The two are clearly working together to protect and help each other in the middle of some big battle, probably the final battle of the movie.

If that does not flatly imply a friendship springing up between Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch in Age of Ultron, then I do not know what does.

250px-Age-of-ultron-01

Rumor 3: Death, death, and… death.

Long ago, Joss Whedon stated that “death would play a part” in the Age of Ultron storyline.  I think Thor, Cap, Iron Man, and the Hulk are not likely to be killed off.  Thor and Cap still have a future solo movie each in the pipes and there is talk of an Iron Man 4 and a Hulk movie at some point in the near future.  Black Widow is the only leading lady Marvel has introduced in the Avengers’ franchise so far, and I doubt that she will be going anywhere anytime soon.

I also doubt that Whedon would introduce the twins just so that he could kill them off.  I have heard some say that Wanda is going to get the axe in the film, but I do not think Whedon would kill her now.  He has barely introduced her – wiping her off the slate at the same time he adds her to it makes no sense at all.  Quicksilver would likely also be allowed to keep his head for the same reason.

This leaves the two characters that have yet to truly get their time in the spotlight in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as potential “deaders”:  Hawkeye and Rhodey.

Honestly, I am not sure there is anything that would prevent Hawkeye from being killed off in this film.  Although Whedon has stated that he had fun writing for Hawkeye this time around, I am sure he would have fun whether the archer lived or died.  Sorry, Hawkeye fans, but we might all have to say good-bye to the World’s Greatest Marksman in Age of Ultron.  Fingers crossed that he will make it through, but we have practically no assurances of whether he will live or die.

Rhodey might be a potential “deader” for Age of Ultron, but I doubt it.  If Marvel wants to continue its Iron Man franchise, Rhodey will have to stick around for a while yet.  That might be wishful thinking on my part – either of these characters could be slated for death, or any Avenger could be killed – what fan knows what Joss Whedon’s got planned?

However, the Avenger I think could be easily killed off and then brought back – I am not sure Marvel would let Whedon kill an Avenger if they could not be resurrected again for future films – would be Vision.  As a synthezoid/android, ol’ Viz could be killed defeating Ultron, then repaired and “brought back to life” by Tony and Bruce (or just Tony, we do not know what the team’s roster will look like after this film).

On top of this, we have been told that all the actors are “locked up” for Avengers 3.  While that is not necessarily assurance that none of them will die (they could show up for five minutes in a cameo, after all), it is the only comfort we fans can really draw on at the moment.

As with everything else I have contemplated here, though, we will have to wait and see.

Iron Man

Rumor 4: Tony’s terrifying vision at the end of the trailer.

Now to that vision Tony has at the end of the trailer Marvel previewed at Comic Con.  In the trailer, Tony apparently wakes up – unarmored, wearing his regular clothes – on a rocky outcrop somewhere out in space.  He gets up, takes a few steps forward, then falls to his knees next to Cap’s shield, which is broken in two.  He starts to get choked up as the camera pans out to reveal Steve and the other Avengers dead in a place some believe to be Thanos’ lair.

I do not for a minute buy that the whole team (with the exception of Tony) dies and gets brought back in the course of Age of Ultron.  It is a possibility, but an unlikely one.  I think/hope.

However, that this vision could be the nightmare which spurs Tony to build Ultron, or a hallucination fabricated by Wanda at some point in the film – that I think very likely indeed.  There is also a third possibility.  In some early interviews, as I understand things, Elizabeth Olsen was said to have stated that Wanda can catch glimpses of the past, parallel universes, and the future.

What Tony sees might be a vision Wanda somehow transmits to him: a possible future in which his team and friends lie dead at his feet.  Or it could be a vision Wanda experiences herself at some point in the film and shows to Tony.

A snag in this theory, though, is that the list of dead Avengers is vague.  I know Thor and Cap are said to be among the dead, but if the twins are not present with them and the others then the vision could be a hallucination Wanda generates for Tony.  Certainly, during Age of Ultron, his greatest fear would be that he will inadvertently cause his friends’ deaths in having built Ultron.  That the very thing he designed to help his team so that they could get some R&R then goes and kills them – this would be a fear Tony could end up dealing with in the film.  And if Wanda can invent hallucinations using her enemies’ greatest fears, then this vision of defeat would be an image with which she could beguile and antagonize Tony.

But we will have to wait and see.

 

I hope you enjoyed this bout of conjecture, my readers.  I know that the hype around Age of Ultron is going to keep on rising, but I just had to get my two cents in on this one. Fingers crossed that Age of Ultron leaves us all saying, “Avengers Assemble! When does number three come out?!?”

I will close with one final question for you, my readers. Does anyone know where I can find footage of the Age of Ultron trailer that was previewed at Comic Con this July?  I would sure like to see it!!!

Later,

The Mithril Guardian

The Scarlet Witch