One Month Until ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’

Wednesday is April 1, the beginning of the final month before The Avengers assemble in theatres for a second time.

No, this isn’t some kind of slightly early April Fool’s Joke – Avengers: Age of Ultron is almost here.

With the pandemonium that is going to ensue in the next 30 days heading into this film’s release, it only seems right to put together a little refresher course on how we got here and outline the new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that will be making their first appearance in this second of four Avengers films.

Enjoy the trailer below and see you on the other side.

How Did We Get Here?

Iron Man: Last time we saw Tony Stark, he was getting saved by a powered-up version of Pepper Potts at the end of Iron Man 3. In that film, Stark was dealing with anxiety issues in the wake of the events from The Avengers and doing battle with The Mandaran and his Extremis-infused henchmen. His place got blown up and crumbled into the ocean, he pressed the self-destruct button on all his Iron Man suits and got taken down a notch or two in the process. Whether that holds up heading into AOU remains to be seen.

Captain America: Cap’s last appearance came in The Winter Soldier, where he helped Nick Fury destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. after discovering it was being run by Hyrda personnel. He also went head-to-head with his former BFF Bucky Barnes, who had been brought back to life and reprogrammed as the titular Winter Soldier. At the end of that film, Captain Rogers and Sam Wilson/Falcon take off to track down the Winter Soldier.

Black Widow: Natasha Romanoff has been the one member of The Avengers that has bounced around between the different stand-alone films without receiving one of her own as of yet. She debuted in Iron Man 2 and was front and center alongside Captain America et al in The Winter Soldier, bringing her usual blend of bad-ass skills and smart-ass wit to the proceedings.

Thor: The heir to the throne of Asgard last popped up in his second stand alone film, The Dark World, where he did battle with Malekith. At the close of that movie, Thor stuck around on Earth to be with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), rather than heading back to Asgard to rule, so the assumption is that heading into AOU, he’s been living here the whole time.

Hulk, Hawkeye: We haven’t seen either since they ate shawarma with the rest of The Avengers at the close of the first movie. While audiences have had more opportunities to get to know the the other members of the team, AOU is where viewers will learn a little more about both Dr. Bruce Banner and Clint Barton – who they are, the reason they behave the way they do and how they fit into the group as a whole a little more.

The Newcomers

Ultron: An artificial intelligence created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner to help protect Earth, the James Spader-voiced big bad of this second Avengers movie instead develops a god complex and determines that the best way to save mankind is to eradicate mankind. Fun stuff, huh? In the comic books, he’s made of adamantium, the same stuff that now makes up Wolverine’s skeletal system – you know, the impossible to break metal alloy. We’re not sure if that carries over into the film, but if it does, it makes Ultron that little bit more tough to beat.

Scarlet Witch: Wanda Maximoff is the twin sister of Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver (we’ll get to him next) and has the ability to hypnotize people as well as use telekinesis. But the version that appears in AOU hasn’t learned how to properly use her powers, so she’s a bit of a wild card. As the trailers have shown, she and her brother start out alongside Ultron. We’ll let you watch the movie to see which side they end up on.

Quicksilver: The aforementioned Pietro Maximoff is crazy-fast. He and Wanda were abandoned as children and grew up fending for themselves, so they’re a tag team through and through. This version of Quicksilver will be very different than the one that turned up in X-Men: Days of Future Past, although that movie gave you some hints about who the twins’ father might be that you won’t get from this film or this post. Google it if you’re really interested.

The Vision: An android programmed by Stark and Banner to help battle Ultron, The Vision can fly, change the density of his form and project intense energy beams. In talking about the character, Paul Bettany – who plays The Vision – has said he feels a paternal relationship with several members of the team. After voicing J.A.R.V.I.S. through three Iron Man movies and the first Avengers film, this will be Bettany’s first live appearance in the MCU.

Here – meet The Maximoff Twins.

What the Future Holds

So here’s the schedule for the MCU following Avengers: Age of Ultron:

Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
Captain America: Civil War – May 2016
Doctor Strange – November 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy II – May 2017
Thor: Ragnarok – November 2017
Avengers: Infinity War, Part I – May 2018
Black Panther – July 2018
Captain Marvel – November 2018
Avengers: Infinity War, Part I – May 2019
Inhumans – July 2019

A couple connections to next month’s movie are critical to acknowledge here.

If Captain America: Civil War plays out along the same lines as the comic book, we’re going to see The Avengers splinter before they come back together in the future.

There is a character confirmed for AOU – Ulysses Klaw, played by Andy Serkis – who is a frequent combatant of Black Panther, so there is a chance we get the first appearance of Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa next month. Nothing has been confirmed; that’s just a guess.

Depending on how things shake out with Civil War, it’s entirely possible that the current incarnation of The Avengers isn’t the group we get in the first half of the team’s two-part Infinity War finale. With Ant-Man, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, The Vision, Black Panther and Captain Marvel all introduced or soon to be introduced into the MCU, we could get a “second unit” for the first film before the whole band gets back together to close things out.

Look at that lineup. Look at Marvel’s track record since the beginning of Phase One with Iron Man.

Whatever happens from here on out, it should be fun.

Tags: The Avengers

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