Sunday, July 21, 2013

Comic-Con 2013: Marvel's Time To Shine - THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Hits Theaters May 1, 2015

We all heard the thunder of DC Comics and Warner Bros. with their announcements of WORLD'S FINEST (as I'm calling it, i.e. Superman vs. Batman), FLASH and JUSTICE LEAGUE and now the thunder is seemingly echoing back in Hall H with Marvel taking the stage. What a time to be a movie AND a comic book fan! (Especially in 2015)

So not to be outdone, Marvel announced their title for THE AVENGERS 2 yesterday and it's THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (official logo is top left).

Videos of the Marvel panel and Loki's entrance and speech are below!

Below you will see a few things, not the least of which is the importance of ANT-MAN to the franchise now and also the fact that a lot of this story will have to be changed. Obviously we can't have Spider-man and Wolverine in a Disney movie yet and the world being vastly destroyed can we? Suspension of disbelief is important to maintain and it's hard to constantly relate and revisit a devastated world.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say specifically about AGE OF ULTRON from the comic books:

New York is in ruins. Ultron has returned and has taken over everything and everyone. His Ultron Sentinels are guarding the streets looking for any fugitives. Locating where Spider-Man is being held hostage by the Owl and Hammerhead, Hawkeye attempts to rescue him. Upon Hawkeye's location of Spider-Man, Ultron locates their position and launches a full assault in an effort to kill the two heroes. Hawkeye destroys the Ultron sentinels as the two make their way to an underground area beneath Central Park, where a group of survivors including Iron Man, Emma Frost, She-Hulk, Luke Cage, Invisible Woman and Wolverine have taken refuge. Defending his one-man mission, Hawkeye responds that at least he did not give up on the world. Iron Man responds that they have not as he shows Hawkeye a saddened Captain America sitting by his broken shield and states he was thinking.

Sneaking around on the streets of a decimated San Francisco, a partially disfigured Black Widow rendezvouses with Moon Knight in one of Nick Fury's old bases. Back in New York, Spider-Man recalls how he simply woke up and found the world under attack. As the heroes ponder why Ultron would take over the world just to make deals with low-level criminals like Owl and Hammerhead, Captain America informs the other heroes that he now has a plan.

He states that if superheroes can be offered to Ultron as Spider-Man was, they could offer up one of their own, sending someone in who can damage the inside of Ultron's fortress. Luke Cage and She-Hulk step in to take the trade. Luke agrees to deliver She-Hulk to Ultron's forces. Meanwhile in Chicago, Black Panther, Red Hulk, and Taskmaster watch a group of Ultron Sentinels. Red Hulk decapitates one, giving the head to his allies. Back in New York, a group of Ultron Sentinels meet with Luke Cage and She-Hulk and guide them through the fortress to make the deal. Luke Cage is shocked when he discovers that they are to negotiate with the Vision instead of Ultron.

The Vision reveals to Luke Cage and She-Hulk that Ultron is using him as a conduit and is punishing humankind from the future. After learning this, She-Hulk forces Cage out of Ultron's lair and is killed by Ultron's sentinels while protecting him. Cage survives a nuclear explosion from Ultron's Sentinels while the superhero resistance flees from Manhattan. In the San Francisco base they had discovered, Black Widow and Moon Knight discover Fury's fail-safe plans for different apocalyptic scenarios, including one involving Ultron taking over the Earth. In Chicago, Red Hulk catches up to Taskmaster who has in his possession the head of one of the Ultron Sentinels. Red Hulk declares that he can no longer trust Taskmaster and kills him. Eight days later, the heroes who had survived capture in New York arrive in the Savage Land where they meet Ka-Zar who leads them to a refuge area. The heroes arrive as Luke Cage dies from radiation poisoning after telling them what he has learned. Red Hulk, Moon Knight, and Black Widow arrive and reveal a plan made by Nick Fury to defeat Ultron.

As Ultron's forces lay waste to Austin, Texas, the heroes in the Savage Land find a hidden bunker. They meet Nick Fury, who relates his plan to use Doctor Doom's Time Platform to go into the future with a strike force to defeat Ultron before he attacks the present. Tony Stark points out that Ultron will know they are coming and will be ready for them. Wolverine suggests using the platform to go back in time to kill Henry Pym before he creates Ultron but most of the others disagree with this idea. Valkryie suggests going back to tell Pym to not build Ultron, but Wolverine points out that will just dare Pym to do it anyway. Iron Man, Captain America, Nick Fury, Red Hulk, Storm, Quake and Quicksilver use the platform to go into the future. After they leave, Wolverine announces his intention to carry out his plan to travel into the past and kill Henry Pym so that Ultron's creation never comes to pass.

While the heroes travel to the future, Wolverine arrives in the past, only to be surprised to learn that Invisible Woman has followed him. Despite her reluctance to go along with his plan, she accompanies him when stealing a S.H.I.E.L.D. hovercar from a younger Nick Fury to travel to New York. As the heroes in the future are overwhelmed by an army of Ultron Sentinels, Wolverine and Invisible Woman find Henry Pym analyzing Dragon Man. Despite Invisible Woman's attempts to find another way and Wolverine's acknowledgement of the good Pym has done, they finally accept that Wolverine must kill Pym. This leads to a fight between Wolverine and Henry Pym which ends with Pym's death.

Wolverine and the Invisible Woman return to the present only to find the Savage Land covered by wreckage of crashed ships. Sue recognizes them as Kree and theorizes that in this new timeline, the Kree-Skrull War came to Earth. They see men in armor calling themselves the Starkguard checking the area out. The two then go to New York City, with multiple S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarriers around. Their flying car is shot down as they find themselves attacked by the Defenders (consisting of a one-eyed Captain America, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Wolverine, the Thing, a one-eyed Cyclops, the Wasp in Captain Marvel's costume, and Star-Lord). The Thing is surprised to see Susan "back" but the rest of the group believe the two are Skrulls. A fight breaks out with the two Wolverines going at it hard, with the time-traveling Wolverine putting down his double and saying they did what they had to do to make a better world. The Defenders realize they are not Skrulls and reluctantly realize they have to talk to "him." At that moment, a half-cyborg Tony Stark flies in with a platoon of armored robots demanding to know what is going on.

Iron Man runs a psychic scan on Wolverine and the Invisible Woman, stunned to see the alternate reality alongside Professor X and Emma Frost. They tell Iron Man these memories are real but Stark believes Morgan le Fay planted them as spies. Iron Man meets the original timeline Wolverine and explains that his injuries are due to a war between Latveria and Asgard in which Thor vanished and Morgana conquered half the world. Wolverine is shown the footage of Henry Pym's death while Iron Man recounts that the Avengers broke up afterward and magic overcame technology and "you broke the world." At the Helicarrier, the Defenders' Wolverine decides to talk to his other self and the others help him push past Emma Frost with the Thing wanting to help the Invisible Woman. Iron Man chastises Wolverine on simply killing Hank Pym saying he could have gotten Pym to use a virus to stop Ultron instead. The Invisible Woman breaks free causing Iron Man to believe this is all a Morgan le Fey trick. At that moment, Morgan le Fey attacks with a swarm of magically-powered Doombots. The Defenders fight them with Iron Man controlling hundreds of drones and accusing le Fey of responsibility for the time travelers. She claims innocence and then points out to Iron Man that a pair of Helicarriers are crashing into the heart of New York City.

The explosion kills most of the heroes present as Wolverine pulls himself from the wreckage. A dying Tony Stark tells him he cannot simply go back and try to change this again, that time is a living organism that will break if ripped too much. In the past, the previous Wolverine is about to kill Henry Pym when the newer Wolverine (clad in his classic costume) comes to stop him. After using an incident from their past to convince his double of who he is, the newer Wolverine warns that killing Henry Pym will just make things worse. Henry Pym claims he will not build Ultron, but Wolverine says he has to in order to allow history to continue. Pym says he can build a better A.I., but with a shut-off switch if he needs it. The Invisible Woman arrives to tell him he has to forget all this too with Pym confused as to how that happens. The Invisible Woman and the two Wolverines return to the Savage Land. The two Wolverines enter a cave. The newer Wolverine tells his double that he does not want to live with the memories of the world he saw. The past Wolverine kills his double and returns to a stunned Invisible Woman. Back at his laboratory, Henry Pym is putting together the first version of Ultron who calls him "Daddy."

Months before Ultron's attack, Henry Pym is working in his lab when he has given a package from a hidden Invisible Woman. He watches a video of his younger self which supplies a pack of equations on how to stop Ultron. The Avengers attack the headquarters of the Intelligencia to rescue Spider-Woman, the event that led to Ultron's revival. When Ultron is revived, Pym contacts Iron Man to supply the equations he was given and upload them into Ultron. Ultron is jarred to realize he is being defeated despite holding off the Avengers. The code is fully uploaded to shut him down and the virus destroys him. Wolverine and the Invisible Woman return to the present happy to see New York City back to normal. Before they can celebrate, a massive shockwave echoes through time and space as reality seeming to shatter before being pulled back together. At Avengers Tower, Henry Pym, Iron Man, and the Beast theorize that Wolverine's time travel journeys caused too much stress to the space-time continuum and has created various tears across the fabric of the multiverse. In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Miles Morales is out as Spider-Man when a flash of light echoes to reveal Galactus. Henry Pym talks to himself on what went wrong and suddenly realizes what he has to do. High above Earth, Angela appears vowing revenge on whoever has pulled her from her world.

Henry Pym reviews the data that Wolverine has brought back and is starting to slip into insanity. Fresh off the disaster he just saw, Pym has sat in his lab for four days straight. Not one but two apocalyptic timelines were shown in Wolverine's data and neither would have happened if he had acted differently. He is considering suicide. A sudden thought occurs: the other timeline was worse because it lacked Henry Pym. Not just Hank Pym the scientist workaholic, but Henry Pym, the ant-commanding, size-changing, second-guessing, science-adventurer. Henry Pym has had a positive effect on the world, and can again. Henry Pym is going to save lives by doing what Henry Pym does best...heroics and science with a strong theatrical flair.

Whew! Lots of back story courtesy of Wikipedia - thank you!

So where do we go from here? Looks like Joss Whedon must be hard at work adapting this storyline to the new Marvel cinematic universe. Would love to see Doctor Strange fit in sometime soon too! A friend of mine said he'd love to see The Avengers on their last legs with the world on the brink of destruction and have Doctor Strange suddenly appear, wave his hand and BOOM everything is fine. Roll credits. Everyone thinking, "Who is this guy??" :-)

I'm really pleased with how Joss Whedon, Kevin Feige, Marvel and Disney are helming the direction of these characters. I have complete faith in them. No missteps since IRON MAN (skipping HULK in 2008, which I really didn't mind).

More when we get it!

Here's the entire Marvel panel from Comic-Con 2013:

AND... Loki's now infamous speech to Hall H:

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