Tag Archives: Predictions

Captain America: Civil War – Trailer 2 Breakdown

Well, sorta. This is not a total trailer breakdown, more like half a trailer breakdown.

Anyway, thanks to masterleiaofasgard, I saw the second Civil War trailer not too long ago. (She is sooo good at finding these things! 😉 ) It was… amazing! Spectacular! Superior!

Yeah, I am having fun with Spidey’s old titles of amazing, spectacular, and superior. Ultimate… I do not think the trailer rated that, thankfully.

Anyway, there were some things in this trailer which I thought were noteworthy. Below is a list of those things, which other, sharp-eyed fans have doubtless already noticed and taken the time to opine about them. Since I have not had time to surf the net for the observations of others, I snapped some shots of scenes from the trailer which I wanted to look at more closely. Unfortunately, the photos are grainy and blurry for the most part. I am sorry for that, readers, but it was the best this writer could accomplish with the limited tech knowledge stored up in this brain. I am no McGee of NCIS or Alec Hardison of Leverage, so this is the best you are going to get from this post, I am afraid.

With that disclaimer, we can get down to business. First up is this shot of Wanda bringing Vision to his knees:

Wanda vs. Vision 2

Pretty scary, huh? Wanda Maximoff is not an opponent any sane member of the Marvel Universe wants to enrage. That is a bad, bad idea under normal combat conditions. In this case, the plan is even worse.

After watching the trailer several times, I paused the video on this scene to get a better look at it. That is when I noticed that there is someone lying on the floor directly in front of Wanda’s feet. If you look at the bottom left corner of the photo, you should see him, too. Judging by what appears to be a quiver lying next to his bare left arm, I would say this person is none other than Hawkeye. It appears he has been knocked out, and my first thought was that Wanda might have done it to him. A friend of mine, however, is of the opinion that she is not responsible for his awkward nap, but is instead protecting him.

This would explain why Wanda is attacking Vision. If he popped into the room when Clint was telling Wanda it was time to go and zapped the archer, Wanda probably attacked Vision in retaliation. She considers Hawkeye a friend, in no small part due to the kindness he showed her when she was falling apart in Novi Grad. Watching him get hurt by Vision would not be fun for her. So after the initial, “What are you doing?!” moment, she would step in to protect her friend.

Another thing which adds credence to this theory is in the upper left corner of the photo. Though it is hard to see, you can just make out the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s trademark Avengers insignia. The only place where that A would be in such a visible position by the window is the Avengers’ new HQ; the old Stark facility they retrofitted and which Ant-Man so brazenly invaded.

The presence of that A indicates Wanda and Vision are fighting on their home turf. This fact is only reinforced by Wanda’s apparel; she is wearing a shirt, skirt, and boots, not her combat uniform. She is in a place where she feels relaxed and safe. This isn’t the airport or some other location; this is the Avengers’ base, her home. That means the Avengers do not divide into separate camps in a city somewhere. The break in their team occurs in their very own base!

Lastly, look at the Mind Stone on Vision’s forehead. Usually, that rock is yellow. In this shot, however, it is glowing red, along with the rest of Vision’s body as Wanda uses her powers on him. She is not just attacking him; she is attacking him through the Mind Stone.

In an interview that was released recently, Elizabeth Olsen said that the Vision’s and Wanda’s friendship is based in part on the fact that they both received their powers through the Mind Stone. While Olsen said there was no romance in the relationship, she did say they were friendly with each other. It appears they are friendly because of their shared experience with the Infinity Stone stuck to Vision’s head.

Also noteworthy about Vision’s position is the cracks in the floor beneath his feet. His knees have not hit the floor yet, but there is already a network of cracks in the concrete. I guess he was hovering and Wanda yanked him out of the air to the floor, causing those cracks. Vision is certainly heavy enough to have broken the floor that way, if he landed too hard. Since he is not in the habit of breaking stuff just for the fun of it, he did not create that damage of his own accord.

Next we have this shot of a circular area full of barred rooms:

Prison

A friend took note of these and suspects that the circular, underwater base we see rising out of (presumably) the Atlantic Ocean is the home of these cells. For cells these are. They are somewhat reminiscent of the cell where S.H.I.E.L.D. put Loki in the detention center aboard the Helicarrier – the one initially meant to contain the Hulk.

But these cells are much less roomy and comfortable than his was. This is a jail, no doubt. And considering that we see a shot of Tony – his arm in a sling and sporting a black eye – in the center of this room after this picture, it seems he is getting his first real look at what Ross ultimately wants for the Avengers. Registration leads to imprisonment and, sooner or later, death. Just ask the Jews rounded up in Nazi Germany and sent to the death camps – or the thousands of people the U.S.S.R. sent to the gulags. How did those monsters find all these people to condemn them to death?

Registration. That’s how they found them to round them up, send them to the death camps, and eventually kill them. And this is why Cap is so against registration for the Avengers.

I may be wrong, but there is some kind of placard at the bottom of the stairs that lead to each of these cells. I cannot help but wonder if these plaques are for names, marking which cells are set aside for which Avengers. Creepy, isn’t it?

I hope Tony is feeling the chill, too.

This photo here shows Cap chasing after Black Panther.

Chase

This is obviously an underground tunnel, but it is not a U.S. tunnel. And these vehicles, while they are probably of American manufacture, are not in America. Based on the blurry shot of the vehicle going down the tunnel adjacent Cap and Panther’s, a friend estimates this chase occurs in Europe. Or with cars owned by Europeans. It is hard to be sure because of the motion of this shot. But this chase is definitely going down in an underground tunnel, not a parking garage.

This photo is half a hoot and half terrifying.

Yikes!!

Tony is facing off against the Winter Soldier, and finding out that the man is as deadly as his rap sheet says he is.

This photo is interesting for several reasons, not least being Tony’s frightened expression. He is obviously unhurt at this juncture in the battle. Very obviously. The injured arm and black eye he has in other scenes during the trailer are conspicuously absent here. Wherever Tony is, he has not yet had a tumble on the tarmac with his anti-Registration teammates.

In fact, it seems he is at some diplomatic shindig. Perhaps the U.N. meeting at the building we see get blown up – apparently by Bucky Barnes?

This photo raises more questions than it answers. Since Tony is unhurt, we might assume that this scene is set prior to the civil war between the Avengers. This, in fact, might be what cements Tony’s decision to join Ross in promoting superhero registration.

This opens up a whole new set of possibilities. If Bucky didn’t attack the U.N. building – and his statement in the previous trailer that he “[doesn’t] do that anymore” implies he was framed for the attack – then this attack on Tony could also be a ploy. How HYDRA or Zemo would pull this off, I do not know. But this attack on Tony could very well be nothing more than an attack by a lookalike, a clone, or someone disguised as Bucky Barnes. This fight would certainly serve HYDRA’s purposes. Surviving an assassination attempt will doubtless firm Tony in his dislike of Barnes at the same time Cap is learning his old friend got out of the killing gig not long after Winter Soldier.

It could also mean that Bucky is fighting residual HYDRA control. HYDRA may have a codeword or some other program buried in his subconscious that reactivates his brainwashing, if only for short periods of time. Failing that devious “gotcha” plot twist, the only other explanations are that this is a fake attack, or that this is the battle where Tony earns his broken arm. That last, however, seems somewhat unlikely.

The next picture shows Cap in a rundown apartment kitchen.

Kitchen

There are newspapers plastered to the window on his left (our right), and a hole in one of the tiles over the kitchen counter. This place obviously has not been well-maintained by the owner(s) of the building, though it is clean enough to suggest the occupant of the place does not want to live in a complete rat-hole. But the person living here also does not want to be seen – hence the newspapers on the window.

Considering Cap says in this scene, “This doesn’t have to end in a fight,” I think this is Bucky Barnes’ hidey-hole. Hawkeye, while joining Team Cap and going on the run with them, probably left his farm to head straight for the base. I do not see him living in this kind of dump, and there is definitely no reason for Cap to tell him, “This doesn’t have to end in a fight…”

Wherever this place is, Cap finds Bucky here.

Unfortunately, this next picture is terrible.

Lab

Since it was frozen in mid-motion, this picture is very blurry. But from what we can see of it, Tony has just backhanded Cap across the room. Behind the two of them, you can see Bucky. It looks like he has a gun in his hands and has it raised. Or he is in the process of raising it. It is hard to tell for sure.

What we also see here is that the three are in some sort of underground complex. This is probably a HYDRA base and the location of the climatic final battle between the Registration and Anti-Registration Avengers.

The place looks like a lab – the Dr. Frankenstein type. This is most obvious because of the cylinder with the yellow glow on the right hand side of the shot. It is hard to see because of the watery blur from the camera’s motion, but by zooming in you can make out a person seated inside that cylinder. It is nearly impossible, however, to see whether this person is a man or a woman. Whoever it is, though, seems to have a stump where their right arm should be, as well as some sort of wire/tube coming from the top of the cylinder to attach to their body.

Particular features are impossible for me to gain here. But this scene got my mind whirling with possibilities. Is this a clone of Bucky Barnes? Is it the original Bucky Barnes, which would mean that the Winter Soldier we have seen since Cap 2 is a clone? Most pointedly – WHAT IS TONY DOING FIGHTING CAP WITH THIS HORROR SITTING RIGHT ACROSS FROM HIM?!?!? *Smack forehead and growls with irritation.*

We will only know when we see the film, naturally, but this scene is certainly something to look at closely.

Next picture we have here is this:

Claws!

I snapped this photo mostly to gawk at the length of Panther’s claws. Yikes!!! He could rip a man to shreds with those things! If you watch this scene a little more, you will see that when the chopper starts firing on the two, bullets literally bounce off of Panther’s suit. A vibranium outfit definitely has its perks.

Another thing to consider about this photo and the Bucky/Panther fight scene we glimpse is the location. This is not a U.S. city. The weathering is not consistent with most U.S. climes. This location is warmer than all but certain U.S. cities. My guess is this city is on the Mediterranean, while a friend has suggested it is in the Middle East. However, it could be anywhere. I am no expert on architecture, and these buildings could be in any of the places listed. Heck, I could be wrong and they might be fighting on a rooftop in the U.S.!

Wherever they are, these buildings seem to be along the same lines as Bucky’s apartment. Rundown, not well-maintained, non-descript apartment complexes which middle-class or upper class people would not get within sight of except on the freeway. The perfect place for the Winter Soldier to lie low and stay off the radar.

Until now, that is.

This next photo is of Natasha:

Black Widow

I am not sure, but I think this scene is from the airport tarmac in Germany. A friend suggests that it is a hospital. Either way, if you watch Widow closely during this clip, she seems to have tears welling in her eyes. I tried to photograph that part of the scene and failed, so if any readers can confirm that – not to mention the location of this shot – I would be most grateful.

Next is this photo of Team Cap charging at Team Iron:

Charge!

This shot I saved for the simple reason that I thought it was cool. On a recent study, though, I noticed something else: black smoke rising from somewhere behind Cap and his team. They were in a battle of some sort before facing off with Team Iron on the tarmac. Tony and his team might even have come in response to whatever conflict Cap and the others were involved in prior to this moment.

Also in this scene, we get a semi-clear look at Cap and his team. Wanda has changed into her combat gear here, and Ant-Man has also joined Team Cap by this point. I will be interested to see if he still has those shrink/grow disks in this film, or if he has upgraded to a shrink/grow gun, such as he had in Avengers Assemble’s second season. The gun would probably be more accurate and practical, but we will have to wait and see.

Here we also get to see Falcon spreading his wings and Hawkeye in his new gear. Later scenes show he has upgraded his main weapon again. Clint built all his bows in the comics, and if he does not maintain that practice in the Cinematic Universe, I would like to know where he gets his bows. Like in the scene where he is apparently out cold on the floor at the Avengers’ base, his suit has only one full arm, while the other is partly bare. His quiver is strapped to his back over his right shoulder (so how did it end up on the floor next to him at the base…?), and he has a glove on his left hand. Renner is left-handed, but in the comics Hawkeye was ambidextrous – either naturally or through training. This is an interesting costume upgrade all the same, though.

Sadly, this is not a great shot of Bucky. But it does not appear that he has any heavy artillery on him in this scene – unless it is strapped to his back and hidden by his hair at this moment. I cannot tell for sure. Cap’s gloves do not have fingers here, and this suit seems to be a melding of the one he had in Ultron and Winter Soldier. It appears a little old-school, but has some new touches to it.

These next two photos show the two factions drawing toward their clash at the airport.

Attack 1 Attack 2

Wanda, Falcon, and War Machine are hard to see, but if you look closely you will be able to make out Wanda and Rhodey. Falcon, unfortunately, manages to blend in well with the airport buildings in the second photo.

In these pictures, we see Wanda bending her knees and powering up to fire off some of her power. Rhodey’s trajectory suggests he is aiming straight for Falcon, who looks to be on a collision course with War Machine. Vision is aimed up toward Wanda. He and the Scarlet Witch are definitely going to tango here – and how!

On the ground, Cap is raising his shield to block a blast – or a fist – which Iron Man is preparing to deliver from above. Hawkeye, Ant-Man, and Bucky have all opened some distance between themselves and Cap, so their leader will have room to two-step with Tony. This puts Bucky on a direct path to tangle with T’Challa again, while Black Widow is apparently making a beeline for Hawkeye. Ant-Man is a good pace behind both Hawkeye and Bucky, who are neck and neck as they race toward their separate challengers. Who Scott Lang will be dancing with in the opening of this scene is hard to tell, but he will not be allowed to stand back and watch the others battle for long. That is for sure.

This next picture is taken simply for fun:

Really, dude?

This is the scene where Tony calls in our friendly neighborhood traitor to snatch Cap’s shield. Tony is already sporting his purple-black eye, but the real kicker is War Machine’s mask. As a friend of mine said, it looks like the War Machine armor is underwhelmed by Tony’s call to Spider-Man. What I do not understand about this clip is why Widow is standing behind Cap when Spidey hauls the shield off his arm and webs his hands together. Why did Cap let himself get surrounded?

These last shots show the camera focusing in on the Webslinger.

Spidey 1 Spidey 2 Spidey 3

I was not as enthused by the first sight we have had of the new Peter Parker as others are, but I was surprised to see that the lenses covering his eyes have focusing capabilities. This is new, and probably to help augment the emotion in Spider-Man’s voice. If Spidey has to shout “Whoa!” and show surprise, it will help if the lenses in his mask widen to show his shock, the way they do in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series.

These are not the only scenes in the trailer to catch my attention, readers. But I think this post is more than long enough. These scenes were the ones which gave me the most to think about, and now that these speculations have been passed on to you, we can all sit back and wait for the movie to come out. But let’s try not to bite our nails bloody or grind our teeth to the gums, okay?

See you later, readers!

The Mithril Guardian

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Prognostications for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Part 4

Whew – was it just me, or did that last Age of Ultron trailer, which came out during the final college football game of the year, skate on the edge of being extremely depressing?

The trailer has very little to add to the speculation we impatient fans have been tossing around for, like, years. For the most part, it is a big exercise in frustration – although it does succeed in giving some of us an adrenaline rush!

I have to admit that this Age of Ultron trailer has largely left me speechless. I am not sure what I can say about it or the movie it hypes. But I have been thinking about it, and the film, a fair bit, and I do a have a few theories to put out there. So, once again, if you are a dedicated fan who wants to know what happens in Age of Ultron only when you see it in theaters (and, later, on DVD), then read no further. If you are one of those fans crawling up the walls trying to guess what is in the pipes for our favorite heroes, here are my theories for where things might go.

Speculation #1: The Avengers in this trailer all seem to be quite willing to tear each other apart. Or, at least, Thor, Tony, and Bruce are.   So far Cap, Widow, and Hawkeye are the only Avengers we have not seen mixing it up with their teammates. However, a glimpse of the middle of Age of Ultron previewed at an event sometime last year hints that Tony and Cap are not feeling too chummy with each other during Age of Ultron.

This trailer shows us old footage of Thor lifting Tony up by the throat, but adds the little tidbit that, before this happened, Thor was chastising Tony for meddling where no man should. While I cannot say that picking Tony up by the jugular was a good way to emphasize his point, the thing is that Thor nailed this one. If I were a member of the Avengers – even if I was only their janitor – and I heard that Tony was building or rebooting an AI to take over the Avengers’ job, I would have told him, “This is a very, VERY bad idea!” (Not that he would have listened to me, of course. Since when has anyone been able to tell the great Tony Stark what he should and should not do?)

The trailer, however, has A LOT of new footage of Tony and the Hulk bashing each other to pieces in the middle of a city. Some people – including me – think that the Scarlet Witch might be the cause of this battle. The reason I feel this way is because, near the end of the new sequence where Tony is battling the Hulk in his Hulkbuster suit, Big Green turns to the screen and we see that one of his eyes is swollen and kind of red. This indicates one of two things. One, Tony hit him in the eye really, really hard. Two, Wanda hexed the Hulk to go on a rampage.

Either theory could be true. But right now, we cannot say for sure. What might be said for sure is that Widow and Hawkeye appear to be the only Avengers who are not angry at a particular teammate. This may be a presumptuous conclusion, but so far they do not seem inclined to start a fight with anyone on their team as Thor, Tony, and Bruce Banner/Hulk do.

Speculation #2: Widow is most certainly getting more screen time in this trailer, and it seems she will be getting a fair amount of limelight in the upcoming film. The new trailer shows pictures of her walking into what must be a fight, carrying some very heavy artillery (for her, at least, it is heavy artillery), as well as a sequence that shows her getting thrust onto an operating table when she was younger. It would seem that we will definitely get to travel with her down memory lane for a glimpse of her dark history, a past that may be darker than even she recalls.

We also get a look at her evolving friendship with Bruce and the Hulk in this new trailer. It appears that, while she and Bruce may have started out on the wrong foot in Calcutta, they have smoothed things over by now. Judging by the fact that she is standing so close to Bruce when Ultron crashes the Avengers’ party, it looks to me like she might have become his unofficial battle partner/handler.

That does not mean they are romantically engaged. It is a possibility, of course, but something about that idea just does not add up for me. Bruce and Widow were never anything more than friends in the comics (as far as I know). Also, Betty Ross, Bruce’s first girlfriend, is still a part of the MCU to the best of my knowledge. I do not think it would be all that healthy if Bruce started to date Widow while his old girlfriend was still out there waiting for him. But I am not in charge of Marvel Studios, so what do I know?

Regardless, Widow’s friendship with Bruce and the Hulk has apparently strengthened to the point that she can calm him down. It remains to be seen whether or not she is the one who ends the Hulk/Hulkbuster battle in the city or not, but I would say the odds are pretty good that she might be the reason the Hulk cools off.

Plus, it is cute to hear her say in the trailer, “Oh, boy.” Yeah, no kidding, Widow! Everybody duck, Big Green’s coming through!

Speculation #3: Andy Serkis gets a brief, though more detailed appearance in this trailer than he did in the previous ones. When I first saw him in the earlier trailers, I could not even name him. I saw him and I thought, “Is that Strucker? No, it can’t be – this guy doesn’t look anything like him. But he looks awfully familiar. Who is he?”

Now, for you Serkis fans out there, I am sorry if this offends you. You will just have to keep in mind that I have not seen Andy Serkis playing anyone but Gollum before, and that when he has been interviewed on television, he has appeared entirely different from the character we see in the new Age of Ultron trailer. So I apologize to everybody (including Mr. Serkis) for not recognizing him immediately. If anything, his makeup artist is to be applauded for making him so unrecognizable that he can hide in an Age of Ultron trailer and a few peons will not know him.

So, now that I know this is Andy Serkis dressed up as the vibranium-obsessed Ulysses Klaw, I can at least tell where he is in it.

Speculation #4: Another scene in the new trailer that has sent the Internet into a tizzy shows an African woman in a cave taking off her coat. The scene has me totally baffled. At first, I was not even sure that the person in the shot was a woman. My first thought was, “Is that a young Black Panther? No way, it’s a woman – wait, is it?”

My next thought was, “What does this have to do with Age of Ultron anyway?” And that thought has not left my mind. The scene is a throwaway in my opinion, and it ruins the flow of the trailer, leaving this viewer with more questions than answers. Some people think the mystery woman might be part of the Black Panther’s all-woman bodyguard corps. For now, that is the only answer to the riddle, though my question still stands: What is this scene even doing in a film that shows the Avengers battling an intelligent AI called Ultron, since it appears totally unrelated to all the previous trailers’ contents?!?!? Only viewing the film will tell….rats…

Speculation #5: Near the end of the trailer, we see a shot of Thor getting lit up by lightning. Some theorize that, since the scenery around Thor is Asgardian, this might be the part of the film where he runs back to Asgard after Wanda has shown him a vision of what is to come. Some have even suggested that, since his hammer is not visible in this scene and it appears that he is not generating the lightning but is, instead, being hit with it, Thor’s powers are being taken from him. Again.

I am not sure I buy that theory. It is a possibility, to be sure, and we are still not certain that the Avengers will not be scattered hither and yon across the Marvel Universe by the end of Age of Ultron. But I think this scene is more likely a shot of Wanda messing with Thor’s mind. How else could she scare him back to Asgard in the first place but by bedeviling him with visions of his home being torn apart? But we cannot be certain what is going on in this scene until we see the movie. Sorry, guys.

Speculation #6: There is one thing that has bothered me since I found that clip showing Tony and Cap chopping wood. It is not the scene itself but its setting: The Avengers have clearly been whipped at this point in the film and are taking a breather somewhere in Middle or Suburban America. The problem I have with this scene is the house itself: Who owns it?

I have a few theories. The first is that the Avengers have shown up on some suburbanite family’s doorstep, beaten and bloody, and asked for asylum. This idea, however, has a big flaw in it. After all, if the Avengers have just had their fannies handed to them on a platter by Ultron at this point in the movie, what couple in their right minds would let the Avengers bunk down and hide in their house, possibly bringing a hoard of human-hating robots down on theirs and their children’s heads? It is possible that they might shelter the Avengers despite the risk, but I think most parents’ immediate reactions would be, “Not on your life!”

The second idea I had is that a member of the Avengers set up the house as a refuge, in case something happened and the team had to go underground. The problem with this is that I cannot see Tony selecting a house in a small-town neighborhood as a team hideout. It is inconspicuous, quiet, and simple – the exact opposite of Marvel’s cinematic Tony Stark.

Likewise, Bruce has not had a place all his own since he became the Hulk. He was on the run until Tony invited him to Stark/Avengers’ Tower to play in the lab with him. While Bruce’s fortunes may have improved because of that, I still do not see him having a house, even as a worst-case scenario hideout for the team. Cap and Widow are both more comfortable in the city; the chances of either of them having a house as a refuge for the team that is in the middle of a small town are slim to nil.

If they have to, Cap and Widow will fade away into the lesser known areas of a city or another such place. Houses in the suburbs are not things they automatically call to mind when they decide to disappear. And Thor stays wherever anyone lets him stay here on Earth; his real home is Asgard, so there is no way he has the house. I am not even sure he thinks in terms of Plan A and Plan B to Z and beyond, like the other Avengers would.

That leaves us with the one Avenger we know next to nothing about: Hawkeye. If the house behind Tony and Cap does in fact belong to him, then that could mean four different things:

One: If Marvel’s Ultimate comic book line – which the company started to get Hollywood’s attention – is as strong an influence on the MCU as I think it may be, this might be the house Hawkeye’s family lived in. In the Ultimate comics, Hawkeye was married and had three young children; he worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. and was partnered with Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent senior to him. Just after the Ultimates – this comic line’s alternate Avengers – were formed, Hawkeye’s wife and children were brutally murdered. The deaths of his family left Hawkeye suicidal and easily angered; his attitude only got worse when Widow was revealed to be the murderer of his family. He later killed her when she was in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained after she had betrayed the Ultimates.

While it seems Widow is not going to be traveling down that road in the MCU (the audience loves her too much for the writers to do that, I think/hope) this does not mean Whedon could not have found a way to retell this incident in Age of Ultron. After all, in The Avengers, we can account for Hawkeye’s whereabouts while he was under Loki’s command only twice before he arrived on the Helicarrier, where Widow snapped Loki’s control over him: the time where he learned Selvig needed iridium and the theft of said metal from Stuttgart, Germany. Besides those two incidents and the Helicarrier, we have no idea where Hawkeye was or what he was doing for the majority of the film.

And we all remember Loki threatened to have Hawkeye kill Widow “in every way he knows [she fears]” during The Avengers. I do not think Loki would be above having Hawkeye lead him to his family’s house so that he could kill his family while Hawkeye stood by and watched. Knowing that worm, we could also surmise Loki would think it was a lot of fun to just stand back and have Hawkeye murder his family himself, as Lorelei had a man shoot his own wife on her orders in the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Also, a photo has been posted on marvel.com that shows Tony, Thor, and Cap all standing on the porch of what appears to be the same house where Cap and Tony went out to chop wood. Their expressions each border on horrified. They could be listening to anyone, but there is an outside chance they are listening to Hawkeye tell his gruesome story.

This is one theory I really hope does not pan out, readers. I am not sure Disney would let such a story into one of their movies, but Whedon could very well have written this whole scenario into Age of Ultron. I hope he did not, but the thing is that it is a possibility I have been considering for some time now, and it deserves a mention.

Two: The other theory is that this is Hawkeye’s house, but his family is still alive and using the place. I do not know how likely this theory is – Hawkeye only had a family in the Ultimate comic line; other alternate versions of the character occasionally have him married to his “mainstream” ex-wife Mockingbird, and occasionally he has a son named Francis. (Hawkeye’s full name is Clinton Francis Barton, so that’s where his son gets his name.) Some versions of the character have a daughter instead, but I will not go into those; they are too confusing and ugly.

If this theory is the true one – and I have to say I like it better than my first idea – then it would explain why there are so many people on the porch behind Cap and Tony while the two are out chopping wood.

Three: Another option with regard to the house possibly belonging to Hawkeye is that it might be his childhood home. This would tie in with the original comics pretty well; “mainstream” Hawkeye grew up in rural/suburban Iowa. His father was not the greatest, being prone to drinking and abusive to Hawkeye, his mother, and his older brother. If the house is Hawkeye’s childhood home, then that explains how he would own it and why he would bring the Avengers there. Why on earth would he go back to such a place except in the worst of circumstances? If the team just got kicked in the teeth, there would be no better place to hide them then in the very home Hawkeye tried to forget.

Four: The house may be Hawkeye’s childhood home, but he may not be the one who owns it. Remember that brother I mentioned a moment ago? I do not know if Charles Bernard “Barney” Barton was ever in the Ultimate comics, but he is a feature of Marvel’s “mainstream” comics. In the “mainstream” comics, he and Hawkeye had a falling out years ago, then seemingly reconciled just before Barney was killed.

However, Barney survived the incident and was kept on ice by the very same villain who was supposed to have killed him. Ten or twenty years ago, the writers for the “mainstream” comics brought Barney back, this time as a direct antagonist for Hawkeye, though the two have again seemingly buried the hatchet. (Yeah, sure. I still do not buy the easy solution to that feud. Marvel enjoys complicated reconciliations too much these days to let things go that quietly.)

If Whedon decided to play around with this story instead of the Ultimate comics’ story (not likely, but possible) then it could be that Barney lives in the house with his own family. Whedon might have written it so that Barney is the one with a family and Hawkeye is not; he could easily have written the story so that the two brothers do not see eye-to-eye, while leaving Barney still willing to take the Avengers in for a short period of time.

Of course, all these theories could be completely and totally wrong. In that case, I can honestly say that I think I would be largely relieved; some of these theories are things I would be happy to have not come true, readers.

Speculation #7: Two other possible explanations as to who owns the house where Cap and Tony go out to chop wood are these: the house is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. safe house Fury tells the team about, or Maria Hill purchased the place on the off-chance that the Avengers might someday need an inconspicuous hidey-hole to assemble where they could lick their wounds in peace.

Either of these theories seems more plausible than the ones I detailed above. We have no idea what Fury shows up to tell the Avengers; it could very well be that he wants to give them a list of S.H.I.E.L.D. safe places to hide, as he did in the “mainstream” comics’ Civil War story arc (which will be, apparently, the premise for 2016’s Captain America: Civil War).

Maria Hill may work for Tony now, but there is no way in heck that she would abandon her S.H.I.E.L.D. training. I think she would probably rather stop breathing than being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, at heart if not in fact. It would make perfect sense to her to buy a place where the Avengers could lay low until they were ready to enter the public eye again.

A third option in this direction is that the house belongs to Erik Selvig. This seems unlikely, but it is possible, I think. Still, we cannot know anything for sure until we see the movie later this year.

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Wow…. That was some serious speculating, readers. Some of it probably counts more as mere hype and questions rather than conjecture, but this Age of Ultron trailer did not have enough new material for me to write a lot about. I had better sign off now, before my fingers fall off with exhaustion.

Later,

The Mithril Guardian

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

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.

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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

Prognostications for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Part 1

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If you, like me, had the pleasure of watching Marvel’s The Avengers when it came out in theaters in 2012 then you are probably as eager as I am to see the upcoming sequel to the film.

Scheduled to hit American theaters May 1, 2015, Avengers: Age of Ultron will bring the entire cast of the first film back – with some new arrivals to spice up the story.

These new characters will be Avengers Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Vision. The lead villain of the film is the fella whose name comes after the Avengers’ in the title: Ultron, the adapting, self-teaching android from the comics who is determined to wipe out humanity in order to save us from ourselves. Since Ultron actually stands higher on my “I HATE this guy!” list than Loki does, I am hoping he will get pancaked in the upcoming movie. Whether or not it will be a permanent cooking heaven only knows, but I can cross my fingers that it will be.

Anyway, I was at first determined to wait and let the sequel Avengers film surprise me. But one thing led to another and here I am: sitting down studying bits of leaked information on the sequel and choking with laughter (or disgust) over some of the rumors surrounding it. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Several theories spring to my mind over the news and rumors I have heard about the film since I began keeping my finger on the pulse of news (or lack thereof) coming from Marvel about Avengers 2. I thought I would posit some of those ideas here in this post.
Now, if you are a stronger-willed fan than I am and are determined not to read anything about the movie until a few weeks from its release, you should probably stop reading right about here.

If you are one of those curious people who just has to have something to mull over until the movie hits theaters, or if you are one of those people who was fortunate enough to see the trailer Marvel previewed at the San Diego Comic Con this July, then read on, fellow True Believer! Let’s theorize and speculate, shall we?

Black Widow

Rumor 1: Black Widow and Bruce Banner will be an item in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Apparently someone, somewhere, started saying that Natasha Romanoff and Bruce Banner would be an item in the upcoming sequel.  I did not hear about this rumor until I began trying to hunt down footage of the trailer for Age of Ultron after it was released at the San Diego Comic Con on July 26.  (I did not attend the event but I heard about the trailer’s preview at Comic Con.)

As soon as I read of this rumor, I had to fight my gag reflex.  Who in the world would make Black Widow and Bruce Banner a couple?!?  Are you out of your mind, rumor monger?!?

Quite frankly, I do not see how such a match up could possibly work.  That Joss Whedon might – MIGHT – decide to put Natasha and Bruce together is certainly an option, but I do not know of any precedent for it.  The two characters have never been anything more than friends in the comics, as far as this reader/writer is aware.

Some say, however, that there is ‘proof’ for this rumor.  This ‘proof’ is a scene in the Age of Ultron trailer where Widow, scared and sad, is once again at the Hulk’s mercy.  Barely managing to stop his rampage, the Hulk apparently has one huge fist very close to a shaken Black Widow.  In an attempt to cut through his rage to help Bruce calm down so he can gain control the Hulk, Widow reaches out and gently runs her hand over the Hulk’s giant, trembling fist.

This sounds more like a sad moment between friends than the whiff of romance to me. There is a fifty-fifty chance that Natasha and Bruce will actually be an item in Age of Ultron, but I am inclined to doubt that.  First, the two characters are polar opposites. Second, Bruce already has a love of his life: Betty Ross.  Ruffalo has recently stirred up hype by saying Marvel is considering a new Hulk film; if such a film were ever to be made, one of the characters in it should be Betty Ross.  I do not see Marvel sweeping Betty aside to replace her with Natasha because she has been his love interest since his debut in the comics.

It is possible that they would do this, but it seems unlikely from where I sit.  The only way to know for sure, of course, is to watch the movie when it hits theaters next year.

Assemble!

Rumor 2: Thor chokes Captain America.

This scene requires a little more conjecture than the first one, obviously.  It also demands some background information.

The first scene introduced in the Age of Ultron trailer apparently shows the Avengers relaxing after a battle.  Hawkeye pipes up during the R&R and starts needling Thor about the worthiness enchantment on his hammer, saying something to the effect of, “Come on, you can’t be the only guy in the universe who can lift that thing! We’re all fighting the good fight – at least one of us has to be worthy to pick up that hammer!”

Thor gamely puts the hammer on a table and lets his teammates have a go at lifting Mjolnir.  I do not know if Hawkeye took a turn at hefting it – it sounds as though that was what he was aiming to try and do when he began nagging Thor about the weapon’s enchantment – but I have heard that Tony, Rhodey (yes, he will be in Age of Ultron), and Bruce each took a turn at lifting the hammer.

None of the three men manage to so much as budge the hammer.  Even with the help of an Iron Gauntlet each, Tony and Rhodey are forced to admit defeat.  Widow declines to try and lift Mjolnir, adding self-deprecatingly that she knows she is not worthy to pick it up and is likely the least worthy person in the room. That is when Steve takes a turn – and manages to move the hammer a little.

Thor blanches at the sight, but Cap leaves the hammer on the table and makes no mention of moving it to anyone.  It seems that Thor is the only Avenger who has noticed that Cap has done the supposedly impossible feat of moving Mjolnir.  To get over his shock, Thor jovially picks up the hammer, tosses it into the air, and then catches it as he states, “You see? None of you are worthy.”

But I think we can all imagine that the Mighty Thor has been given a mighty fright.  It seems the Thunderer has already forgotten the most important part of the enchantment Odin put on the hammer: dear old Dad never said that Thor was the only one who could lift Mjolnir. What he said was, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall wield the power of Thor.”

This means that, as long as someone is worthy, they can pick up Mjolnir any time they want to and swing it with all Thor’s power.  And the Avenger most worthy of wielding Mjolnir after Thor is, unsurprisingly, Steve Rogers.

Now this is my theory on the scene where Thor is seemingly trying to strangle Cap: Remembering this incident in the Tower, if Thor thought that Cap was trying to take Mjolnir from him, he would be desperate to stop him.  Mjolnir is the source of Thor’s power and his best weapon; if he loses his ability to lift his hammer now, then he is in a worse spot than when Odin dropped him in New Mexico.

Cap, of course, would never steal so much as a paperclip from someone he considered a friend.  And there is no way that Steve did not know he had managed to shift Mjolnir.  But since he considers Thor an ally and a friend, he would not take Mjolnir from him because the hammer is not his.  He simply answered Thor’s challenge and proved that, yes, he can wield Mjolnir.

That, however, is all he did and all he intended to do, beyond perhaps satisfying his own curiosity about how worthy a man he actually is.  Much like Sir Galahad of old, Cap is the best knight that was or will be; he can sit in the Siege Perilous as easily as he could lift Thor’s hammer.

Thor may not see things this way, having become so accustomed to the idea that he alone is worthy to wield Mjolnir’s power.  The sight of Captain America, a man he considers a great friend and whom he deeply respects, moving his hammer is enough to terrify him. Letting this fear weigh on his mind makes Thor vulnerable in the worst kind of way: he is no longer focusing on his enemies but on his friends, and he is starting to become jealous of the latter.

This would be something the Scarlet Witch – who is said to be able to hypnotize people in the film (Joss Whedon has stated that she can “get inside your head”) – could play on to great effect.  If she could somehow trick Thor into believing that Cap was trying to steal Mjolnir from him, then Thor would attack Cap in order to protect his power.

That is my theory about this choking scene which someone said was in the trailer.  Since I have not yet seen the trailer, I do not know if the scene was actually in the footage shown. But if it was, then this is the only logical hypothesis I have to explain why Thor would try to kill Cap – although an argument could be made that Wanda somehow convinced Thor that Cap was Loki in disguise, since Loki pulled that trick back in The Dark World in an attempt to get under Thor’s skin.  We will have to wait and see what happens.

Hulk SMASH

My Theory, #1: Scarlet Witch will convince the Hulk to attack Tony Stark in the Hulkbuster armor.

In the first Avengers film, Banner proved he has some control over the Hulk. It takes something pretty drastic to make him release Marvel’s not-so-jolly-Green Giant in an unplanned manner. Yet footage of this film is said to show him Hulking out fairly frequently; it even shows him going head to head with Tony while the billionaire is shrugging on his Hulkbuster armor.

Unfortunately, as the most easily upset member of the Avengers, Banner is the one who could be quickly pressured into causing the most harm.  Some are suggesting the Scarlet Witch would be the person most likely to provoke the Hulk by using her hypnotic abilities.  If she could make him think there was a dire enough threat occurring before him, then Banner would certainly allow the Hulk to step onto the scene to stop the catastrophe.

Of course, once he is out of the bottle, Ol’ Green is not very eager to go back inside. Wanda could throw impossible scenario after impossible scenario at the Hulk and, infuriated by the changing threats that disappeared when he tried to attack them, Hulk would start smashing everything in sight.  Banner would not be able to stop him because he could no more tell up from down or left from right than the Hulk could; they share the same eyes, after all.

If Bruce has been hanging out with Tony since the first Avengers film, as the end of Iron Man 3 suggested, odds are he was not sitting idle while he was crashing at Tony’s place. And, ever the pragmatist when it comes to “The Other Guy,” Bruce might have helped Tony design and build his Hulkbuster suit, just in case he ever lost control and the Hulk had to be stopped by force.

This would explain, to me, the fight between Tony and the Hulk which fans have been anticipating since Marvel let slip that the Hulkbuster armor would be in Age of Ultron. Sent into a rage, perhaps through Wanda’s manipulations, the Hulk barrels around a city and Tony suits up to at least slow him down and possibly make him revert back to Bruce. I for one am not willing to believe that Tony’s first instinct would be to kill the Hulk, since he and Bruce struck up a very strong friendship in the first Avengers film – a friendship that seems to have grown over the course of time since that movie.

Again, we are going to have to see Age of Ultron before we know which theory is right and which theory is wrong.

 

Wow, that was a lot of theorizing, wasn’t it?  I think for brevity’s sake it might be better if I stopped here and picked up again tomorrow.  If you want to hear more of my ideas about what might happen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, then come on back tomorrow for part two of Prognostications for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Later,

The Mithril Guardian

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