Iron Man 3 came out internationally last week, while those of us in the States have to wait until this Friday!
Stay tuned, because The Young Folks will have a review for it coming up soon.
With the launch of Marvel’s first film after the events of the Avengers, I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at the way they construct their Cinematic Universe, and what kind of characters we all know and love from comics and television potentially COULD, or, in some cases WONT appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before, or in, Avengers 2.
Over the years, there have been a constant rotation of heroes that represent the title of the Avengers, each group presenting different character dynamics. There have been over 100 individual heroes enrolled in the Avengers since the series began in 1963, from the Mighty Avengers, akin to what we saw in last year’s film, to the New, Young and even Dark Avengers.
So the question remains now, after going through the characters we probably won’t be seeing, according to my list from last week, who’s next in line for the Avengers’ class of 2015?
Characters We Could See In Avengers 2
The Avengers & Guardians of the Galaxy
Obviously, there would be an uproar if any Avengers from the first film weren’t in the sequel, but its realistic to question to what scale their roles will play. What if Tony and the Guardians were off in space? What if Bruce Banner was in jail? What if Thor couldn’t muster enough MacGuffan Magic to make an unexplained return to Earth like last time? Fury would need a backup roster, but, despite my list from last week, there are still a huge amount of heroes at Marvel’s disposal to get the job done. Here are some of them.
Scarlett Witch & Quicksilver
Okay, I may have messed up last week. I’m not sure, we’ll see. Maybe not.
Day’s after I pretty much declared it impossible for these two to be involved with the Marvel Universe without association with the X-Men and Magneto last week, Joss Whedon said in an interview: “I’ve got these two characters, two of my favorite characters from the comic book, a brother-sister act. They’re in the movie.”
Lots of fans have been speculating for the last few days that this is a reference to Scarlett Witch and her super-fast brother Quicksilver. But then will they be the same characters we’ve known from before? Or will the continuity be changed so they don’t have to be outright referred to as mutants?
Yes, his movie is slated to come out the fall after the launch of Avengers 2, (November 6th, 2015 to be exact) but, it should also be acknowledge that, with the exception of Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, there has not been a major character to appear in Avengers that was not in a Marvel film before, even if only briefly (*cough*HawkeyeteasedinThor*cough*). Therefore, even if he wasn’t, technically, Ant Man by that particular point in time, there is still the potential of getting to know Hank Pym in Phase 2, especially since the proposal of an Ant Man movie was the only one people scoffed at when Avengers was merely a hopeful glimmer of light in it’s pre-production stages. If anything, can we at least get a mention of Pym Particles? Come on, guys. Get some patent in there or something.
Of course, with Doctor Pym, there must be his right hand lady, Janet Van Dyne. Using a suit that channels Pym particles, Janet can shrink to the size of a wasp or grow to hundreds of feet tall, much like Pym can do in his Ant Man suit, but she can also use bio-energy bursts to create a weaponed impact, much like a wasp stinger. Janet, seen as the most fashionable of any Avenger, which I suppose is some kind of power in itself, is also one of the most immature and shallow in the comic’s history. It would be interesting to see her dynamic, not only with Hank, but with the rest of the Avengers as well, and see her grow to a much more mature minded woman, making her a great addition to the female heroes that Marvel has as potential role models for young girls in the movie audiences.
(Take note of the fact that this clip of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is dated, and the show isn’t on air any longer, but you can find the entirety of it’s two season’s on Netflix)
The Sorcerer Supreme, the doctor calls upon spirits to grant him any type of power imaginable from teleportation to astral projection to even basic flight, and is known to be the most powerful humanoid in Marvel lore. All but officially casting Justin Theroux and confirming a witer/director, Doctor Strange seems to be who Marvel has planned for following up Ant Man early in Phase 3, but one might wonder if they should be excited about a character this… well, excuse the pun but, strange? Marvel’s mastermind producer, Kevin Feigie acknowledges this, and in a recent interview said this about using Doctor Strange in the Cinematic Universe:
“He’s a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he’s totally different from anything else we have, just like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ He’s totally different from anything we’ve done before, as is ‘Ant-Man,’ which keeps us excited.”
Feigie is all about taking risks when it comes to Marvel movies, and planning all the solo films before the Avengers was the definition that, and now, with something so simple and set in stone as Iron Man, Thor and Cap sequels before another Avengers, we’re being introduced to the Guardians of the Galaxy, a set of heroes that made a lot of casual Marvel fans actually have to do homework to actually summarize it to their friends and retain their “Geek Cred.”
Whether or not “Guardians” turns out to be a success will, ultimately, be the true test of Marvel’s strength, and the ability to do absolutely anything in any film that they want to.
Arguably the most intelligent character in Marvel’s gauntlet and the King of Wakanda. T’challa is the chieftain of the panther clan, and is a formidable strategist, politician and physician, and is the guardian of the village’s mines, which contain the metal known as Vibranium. There is already a connection to Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Tony’s father, Howard Stark, makes note of the Vibranium metal being used to make Steve Roger’s iconic shield in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Not only could Black Panther become relevant in context of the Avenger’s need for Vibranium in preparation for their conflict with the Skrull, but there is some much needed diversity in the movie universe’s version of Avengers as it stands now. Black Panther is by far the most relevant of African characters in the Marvel Universe, and the current Avengers all consist of white people, only one of whom us a woman, Black Widow.
Production started a few weeks ago on Captain America: The Winter Solider, and with Cap’s next outing, Marvel has the liberty of having additional heroes in the film, one of which includes a classic among Cap’s allies: The Falcon, being played by Anthony Mackie (Pain and Gain, Gangster Squad) in the film. Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon, was Marvel’s first African-American character is their comic’s history. His abilities include a flight harness with a jet powered glider attached to his suit, as well as an ability to psychically connect with his trained falcon companion, Redwing, allowing Falcon to view different vantage points in combat.
As made clear in Iron Man 3, Tony was left pretty messed up after seeing the far reaches of space through that wormhole at the end of The Avengers, and nearly sacrificing his life for the fate of New York. Now, we see Tony as a broken man with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Tony is driven mad to the point of exploring the deep reaches of space, leading into Marvel’s intergalactic team up in Guardians of the Galaxy. What if Tony didn’t come back? What if an Iron Man needed to be replaced before his return in Avengers 2?
This isn’t too far out of the realm of possibility to induct War Machine into the Avengers, especially because Robert Downey Jr was trying to get both Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle into the Avengers. Unfortunately there was only enough time and budget for one of the two, but now Don Cheadle is talking hopefully of having a role in Avengers 2.
Considering the Thanos cameo, and the fact that Joss has all but explicitly said Phase 2’s plot will be the Secret Invasion of the Skrull, we’ll likely see something involving the Kree/Skrull War, which means we’ll get to see Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers in the midst of the conflict- the origin of Ms. Marvel as a human-Kree hybrid. She’s the perfect catalyst for the the cosmic direction the Marvel films is headed.
I think she’d be an awesome addition to the Avengers, as she’s essentially Marvel’s Wonder Woman in my eyes, and a total hard-ass when it comes to getting her job done. And we all know that Black Widow needs some company on the battlefield sooner rather than later.
The Other Vampire Slayer, now back under Marvel’s roof. It’s a long shot, but Whedon does know vampires inside and out after 7 seasons of Buffy. Though there’s little to no chance that Wesley Snipes will return to the role.
After two really poor attempts at making Punisher work on the silver screen, he’s back with Marvel. There was even a fan made film last year starting Thomas Jane, who played the iconic Frank Castle in the 2004 film. Though he was very well cast, the movie suffered from very poor writing and direction, and John Travolta as the villain. Though I would love to see it happen, the likelihood of Punisher entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the Phase 2 stage is highly unlikely, as it would be be a drastically different tone than Marvel’s films now, in consideration of the fact that the Punisher does all of the dirty work of fighting crime that heroes like Captain America can’t bring themselves to do. Punisher, by default, is gritty, depressing and bloody, and that’s what Thomas Jane’s fan film delivered: “I wanted to make a fan film for a character I’ve always loved and believed in – a love letter to Frank Castle & his fans. It was an incredible experience with everyone on the project throwing in their time just for the fun of it. It’s been a blast to be a part of from start to finish — we hope the friends of Frank enjoy watching it as much as we did making it.” You can check out the fan film here.
It was floating in limbo for a while, but early last week, it was announced that The Man Without Fear is now back under the Marvel camp.
After a critically panned film starring Ben Aflec, and a spin off of Electra a few years later, Fox had been looking for an opportunity to reboot Daredevil, and things were all set in place for production, with Joe Carnehan and it was an idea that fans were even excited about, set to be a 1970’s period piece noir film. There was even a fale sizzle reel to show off how it might look with old film intercut with comic panels and footage from the Ben Aflec film.
Of course, Fox was forced to decide between keeping Daredevil and giving Marvel Silver Surfer and Galactus back. Luckily the right decision was made, since Galactus and Silver Surfer would be more useful when Marvel also achieves getting the Fantastic 4 back as well.
Though characters as dark as Blade and Punisher are in contrast to what we’ve seen from Marvel this far, Shane Blacks excellent outing with Iron Man 3 brings us closer to that potential edginess, and late in Phase 2 would be a great opportunity to introduce, at the least, the criminal justice expert, Matt Murdoc, and hopefully lead into a gritty, noire Daredevil film for Phase 3.
Luke Cage & Iron Fist
The Hero for Hire, Luke Cage was wrongly imprisoned, and his only way out was to be experimented on, accidentally giving him skin as hard as steel and enhanced muscle. He’s often allied with Iron Fist, evident through the publication of Power Man and Iron Fist, which had a major run until the 1980s. Iron First is an extra dimensional martial artist, and though the team up were often only out for money, they often felt an obligation to do what was right as well, leading them to help other heroes, like the Avengers. Often their association is with Daredevil, considering Luke Cage’s origins in Hell’s Kitchen of New York, so it’s likely these two won’t be seen until phase 3, however, it seems like fans are already pushing to have at least Luke Cage play some kind of role in phase 2 judging from these fan made posters.
This seems like it would be cool and all, but what is Bryan Cranston doing in the credits?
OH YEAH. SPOILER ALTERT.
Clarg Gregg will be back! Why? Because he didn’t actually die in The Avengers. But you saw him get stabbed, you say? Well, we all know that when Joss Whedon is involved, people can come back from the dead just as easily as our hearts are broken when he kills them off. Think about it, Buffy died twice. Twice.
If you happened to pay close enough attention to the dialogue in Avengers, or if you saw it a hundred times like I did, you’ll notice there are a couple of brief conversations, mostly involving Tony and Pepper, about how he met a girl who lives in Chicago who was a cellist. Stark even mentioned to him “I’ll fly you out to Chicago.” before entering the main deck of the Helicarrier in what I presume was their last conversation before Loki fled and Banner Hulked out.
Now that it has been confirmed that Coulson will be alive, and starring in the ABC show S.H.I.E.L.D. that ties everything together, it has led many fans to assume that he was replaced by, what is known in the Marvel Universe as a Life Model Decoy. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and Nick Fury loves to use them on a daily basis. Likely what happened is, Nick Fury wanted to take Coulson’s LMD, and make the heroes believe that he was killed to give them that “push” that Agent Hill was told about when she discovered Coulson’s Captain America cards were not on his body, but in his locker; a detail that can now be assumed as a greater part of Fury’s big scheme. So where is Coulson now? Likely in Chicago, laying low with his cellist girlfriend until it’s time to be called back to action, and hopefully we can actually see him actually kick ass like in this One Shot on the Thor Blu Ray, instead of walking around telling people what to do.
Developments on the possibility of all of these characters will become more clear with the release of Iron Man 3, as it has been confirmed that the there will be a teaser after the credits about Avengers 2, but I won’t say who is in it.
For now, watch this trailer for Thor: The Dark World!
Get excited, because It’s Hammer Time once again this November.
And it goes without saying at this point, make sure you go see Iron Man 3 in theaters this weekend to catch up on the latest Marvel goods.