Monday, 12 July 2010

Avengers Assemble? Part 1

The Hulk is definitely going to be in the Avengers movie. Something which everyone was pretty sure of, but no one had confirmed as definite, is now official thanks to Marvel's announcement that they will be recasting the role of Bruce Banner for the film. While this means no Ed Norton, which is a shame, it does at least mean that we'll get to see Thor smash the Hulk in the face with Mjolnir. That alone means the film is going to be worth seeing.

It got me thinking though, who else is going to turn up? We know that the holy trinity of Thor, Captain America and Iron Man will be present, as well as the Hulk, but who else? Nearly one hundred Marvel superheroes (and supervillains) have joined the ranks of the Avengers over the years, and it would be a big surprise if many of them weren't at least referenced. Just look at the X-Men movies for evidence. While only a handful of the core characters starred in the movies, a great many more had supporting roles, cameo appearances or even vague references. Given Marvel's "shared universe" approach for its films, and the news that Marvel are going to start making short films about its lesser known characters to show before the main events, this kind of referencing is a given.

So, what I thought I would do, over a series of blogs, is run through every single member of the Avengers (hopefully. There have been a lot, so it's entirely possible I miss one or two. That said, I even know who Deathcry is) and rate what I think their chances are of appearing in the movie.

Thor (Thor Odinson)
Joined: Avengers issue #1

One of the founding members of the team, Thor is already confirmed to appear, played by Chris Hemsworth, after appearing in his own, self-titled film.

Iron Man (Tony Stark)
Joined: Avengers #1

Another founder member, Iron Man's appearance in the form of Robert Downey Jr is also a given after the success of his first two solo movies.

Ant-Man / Giant Man / Goliath / Yellowjacket / Dr. Pym / Wasp (Henry "Hank" Pym)
Joined: Avengers #1

The man's had more superhero identities than anyone, largely as a result of his history of mental illness. Another founder, joining the team as Ant-Man in their first adventure, Pym's place in the first Avengers film is currently unconfirmed. The word is that Edgar Wright is still prepping a solo Ant-Man film, but it won't feature Pym, instead focusing on Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man. But, since the Ant-Man movie almost certainly won't appear until after the Avengers, there's no reason Pym can't appear here first. Given his status as a founder, as well as the fact he created Ultron, one of the Avengers deadliest bad guys, it would make sense for him to be here, and if he did appear, I'd be very surprised if he didn't start the film as Ant-Man, and end it as Giant Man, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Let's call it fifty-fifty for now.

Wasp (Janet Van Dyne)
Joined: Avengers #1

With her early history, you can basically put money on Wasp only appearing if Hank Pym (in any of his identities) appears. Be a shame if she doesn't though. In the comic, she's the one who named the team the Avengers.

Hulk (Bruce Banner)
Joined: Avengers #1

See above, though as a side note, if the Hulk himself isn't voiced by Lou Ferrigno again, I might hulk out myself.

Rick Jones
Joined: Avengers #1

Sidekick to the Hulk, Captain America and Captain Marvel over the years, Rick Jones has been granted honorary membership in the Avengers. Despite his presence in the first issue of the Avengers, and his role in bringing the team together, it's not likely we'll see him, except maybe as a cameo or a throw away reference. He didn't appear in the Hulk movie, despite how closely he's tied to the origin of the Hulk in the comics, so it would be difficult to work him in at this point.

Captain America / Nomad / The Captain (Steve Rogers)
Joined: Avengers #4

Chris Evans will be playing him after appearing in the solo Captain America movie.

Hawkeye / Goliath / Ronin (Clint Barton)
Joined: Avengers #16

When people talk about the Avengers, they often mention the Big Three (Thor, Cap and Iron Man). If you were to extend that to a Big Four, then Hawkeye would definitely be the fourth. Despite his humble origin as a circus marksmen, and his early appearances as an Iron Man villain, he rose to become one of the most dedicated Avengers around, leading the team on more than one occasion. While we won't see him in his other identities of Goliath or Ronin, if Hawkeye doesn't appear in the Avengers, it will be a crime. There were rumours that he'd be in Iron Man 2, though these obviously turned out to be false. However, rumour has it that the part is already cast, with Jeremy Renner filling the Avenging Archer's purple boots.

Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff) and the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff)
Joined: Avengers #16

These two are tricky. Twin mutants, Quicksilver has super speed, while the Scarlet Witch can alter probability and wield chaos magic. Both of them have long histories as Avengers, with the Witch in particular maintaining close ties to the team for many, many years (before she went insane and killed loads of them, but that's not important right now). She also married the Vision, and it would be hard to have him in any Avengers movies without her. However, the problem lies with their father. Pietro and Wanda, you see, are the children of Magneto. While it was a long time in the comics before this secret came out, it would still make it difficult to put them in when they're so tied to the X-Men as well, and Fox still own the movie rights to the X-Franchise. That doesn't mean they won't appear and can't be referenced, but I would expect Marvel to steer clear of them, for the first movie at least.

Swordsman (Jaques DuQuesne)
Joined: Avengers #20

Originally joined the Avengers in order to infiltrate the team on behalf of Iron Man's nemesis, the Mandarin, Swordsman fought the Avengers a couple of times before eventually reforming and joining the team properly. Despite his ties to Hawkeye (the two were performers in the same carnival, with Swordsman acting as a mentor to the young Hawkeye), it's unlikely we'll see him except maybe in some veiled reference to Hawkeye's past.

Joined: Avengers #45

Yep, that Hercules. While an incredibly popular character, it's not likely we'll see him in the Avengers, at least not yet. However, with rumours that he's one of the characters Marvel are interested in putting in a short film in the near future, don't be surprised if he then shows up in a possible second Thor film before spinning off into his own movie. After that, he's almost certain to show up if Avengers itself gets a sequel.

Black Panther (T'Challa)
Joined: Avengers #52

A Black Panther solo movie has been in development hell for a while now, so it isn't too far fetched to imagine that he'll get some kind of cameo or reference in te Avengers movie in order to start drumming up interest. Like Hercules, I'd then fully expect him to turn up in a sequel.

Vision (Victor Shade)
Joined: Avengers #57

One of the most popular Avengers of all time, Vision won't be appearing in the first film, except maybe as a set up for a sequel. An android created from the remains of the original Human Torch (who fought alongside Captain America in World War II) with the brain patterns of the deceased Wonder Man, Vision was created by Ultron (making him Hank Pym's grandson, in a way) to infiltrate and destroy the Avengers, before turning on his creator and joining the team to take him down. The Ultron storyline would be perfect for a sequel, and would certainly include Vision, but it's dependant on Hank Pym's appearance in the first film. No Pym, no Ultron. No Ultron, no Vision. It's that simple.

To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment