Monday, 26 July 2010
Avengers Assemble? part 8
"Wait, what?" I hear you cry. "Part eight? But, you've already covered every member of the Avengers, haven't you?" Yes. Yes I did, in the previous seven chapters of this very blog. Haven't read them yet? For shame. Go back and do it now. Take your time, I'll wait here.
Tum ti tum. I might have Chinese for tea tonight. I am a bit hungry. Hey, wait, is that supposed to look like that? Maybe I should- Oh, you're back. Did you enjoy them? Good. So, yes, I have, indeed, covered every member of the Avengers and their chances of appearing in the movie.
And, as of San Diego Comic-Con last weekend, we officially have our team. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo playing Bruce Banner, Hulk himself being a big green pixel or three), Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). No real surprises there, except maybe a distinct lack of Ant-Man, despite Joss Whedon joking that Nathan Fillion would be playing him. And of course, there's still plenty of room for other characters to make cameo appearances.
But who will they be fighting? What threat could possibly be big enough to bring together Earth's Mightiest Heroes? Well, the Hulk, yes, but he won't be the big bad. While we will get a smack down between the Avengers and the green goliath, there's gonna be someone else there who the team will have to eventually work together to defeat, Hulk included. But who could it be? The Avengers have fought so many villains over the years, that to go into all of them would take another seven blogs at least. I won't do that. Instead, I'll just go through some of the more prominent candidates. Starting with...
Loki (Loki Laufeyson)
Back in the first ever issue of The Avengers, by the legendary and incomparable Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Avengers were brought together as a result of one of Loki's mad schemes to defeat his brother, Thor. Loki planned to use the Hulk to finally defeat the thunder god, framing Hulk for attacking a train and rerouting a subsequent distress call meant for the Fantastic Four to Thor. Unfortunately for Loki, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp also picked up the distress call, and the four heroes teamed up against the Hulk, until they realised who it was that was behind the whole thing. Four became five, as the Hulk joined the others in defeating Loki, and the group elected to stay together. To this day, it is a constant source of annoyance to Loki that he inadvertantly brought the Avengers together. Tom Hiddleston is already playing Loki in the Thor movie, and while nothing is confirmed, there are rumours that he'll play a prominent part in the Avengers. For my money, Loki's the most likely option for the movies main villain.
Loki may have brought the Avengers together and been the first villain the team faced, but when it comes to Avengers bad guys, Ultron is the worst. Created by one of their own, Ultron has twisted family ties to many on the team. He sees Hank Pym, his creator, as his father, and has developed a disturbing Oedipal complex regarding his "mother", the Wasp. Ultron himself created the Vision, making him his own son, and used the brain patterns of the deceased (at the time) Wonder Man to do so. As such, Vision and Wonder Man see each other as brothers, bringing Wonder Man and his biological brother (Avengers villain the Grim Reaper) into the Ultron clan. Ultron also created another Avenger, Jocasta, using the brain patters of the Wasp, and another robot, Alkhema, using the brain patterns of Mockingbird, who married Hawkeye. Lost yet? Don't worry, very little of this will make it into the Avengers movie. Ultron may be THE Avengers bad guy, but he won't be in the movie. To do so, you need to have Hank Pym. Anyone else creating him just wouldn't be right. However, expect them to find a way to use Ultron in any potential sequel.
The Masters of Evil
When heroes start banding together as the Avengers did, it's only a matter of time before the villains start to get the same idea. Captain America's enemy, Baron Zemo, formed the original Masters of Evil to fight the Avengers, recruiting the Enchantress, the Executioner, the Black Knight, Radioactive Man and the Melter to do so. The line up has changed many times over the years, with a large number of characters joining and leaving the team, but in one form or another the Masters always return to plague the Avengers. Avengers Under Siege, a storyline in which the Masters invade Avengers Mansion and come as close as anyone ever has to defeating the team, remains a classic story to this day. As for a movie appearance? It isn't entirely off the cards, but requires most of the characters be introduced in the Avengers individual movies first. Maybe in a few movies time.
The Red Skull (Johann Schmidt)
Captain America's arch nemesis has clashed with the Avengers a number of times. No real surprise, given his absolute hatred of Steve Rogers and everything he stands for. His appearance in the Avengers movie entirely depends on what they do with him in Captain America, where Hugo Weaving will be playing him. Don't be surprised if he shows up though.
Kang the Conqueror
A time travelling despot from the far future, Kang is the villain who just won't stay down. And why should he? He can fight the Avengers, and if defeated (as he inevitably must be, lets face it), he can spend years coming up with another scheme, then simply travel back to five minutes after the Avengers beat him and try again. Kang is one of the more imaginitive Avengers bad guys, especially when you consider he not only has his own future incarnation in Immortus as a seperate Avengers villain, but may even himself be a possible future incarnation, or at the very least a descendant of, Doctor Doom. The problem lies with the fact that Kang can be very difficult to write well, and the writers of any movie featuring him would have to be very careful indeed, but if they can do it and get it right, it would make for an awesome movie. Expect him to show up for a sequel somewhere down the line.
Iron Man's erstwhile enemy has fought the Avengers a number of times, and was even responsible for creating the Swordsman's trick sword. He's already been hinted at in the first Iron Man movie (the Ten Rings is a direct reference to him, and he is most likely the man running that particular operation), so is bound to show up sooner or later, and in terms of the movie versions of the characters, it might make more sense for him to appear in an Avengers movie than an Iron Man movie.
Hydra / AIM
In the Marvel universe, these two groups represent the biggest terrorist organisations going. Many supervillains have worked for them, and there isn't a hero who hasn't faced them. Hydra are pretty much the reason SHIELD, run by Sam Jackson's Nick Fury, exists at all, and AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) are originally an offshoot of Hydra themselves. It would make sense to have either one show up as a player in an Avengers movie. Either organisation would quite happily use the Hulk to their own ends. Just hope that if it happens, MODOK (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing) doesn't also appear. I love MODOK. He's awesome. But he wouldn't work on film because he looks like this:-
Magneto (Erik Magnus Lensherr)
Yep, the Master of Magnetism and main X-Men bad guy has fought the Avengers plenty of times, both on his own and alongside his Brotherhood of Mutants. He has ties to the Avengers through his children, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch (which also puts him into Ultron's family unit, given Scarlet Witch married the Vision) and his powers make him a heavyweight in the Marvel universe. The guy's fought Thor to a standstill for crying out loud! How awesome would it be to see Sir Ian McKellan, so perfect as Magneto in the X-Movies, hurling Mjolnir right back at Chris Hemsworth's face while he peels apart Robert Downey Jr's armour? Very awesome, that's how awesome! It won't happen, largely 'cos of that whole rights thing with the X-characters, and that's a damn shame!
Not only does Count Nefaria have super powers comparable to those of Wonder Man, himself a pretty heavy hitter, but he also runs the Maggia, a major crime syndicate in the Marvel universe. He's also the father of Madame Masque, Iron Man's enemy and ex-girlfriend. Having him in a movie also allows them to bring in any number of bad guys who have worked for the Maggia in the past, including the Taskmaster, a villain with photographic reflexes who can mimic any move he sees, which makes him pretty handy in a fight against someone like Captain America. Nefaria and the Maggia are among the more unlikely villains on this list to appear, but never say never.
Doctor Doom (Victor Von Doom)
Doctor Doom isn't just the Fantastic Four's arch enemy, he's the premier bad guy for the entire Marvel universe. The Avengers have faced him in both their own book, and all their individual solo books. Really, you haven't made it as a hero in Marvel comics until you've faced Doom. Sadly, like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four characters have rights issues which prevent them appearing in Avengers movies, and since he's already been in two FF films, Doom won't be in any Avengers films for a while. However, once Marvel get the FF rights back, expect Doom to be a major player in all of their film franchises.
So, that's the villains down then. Are we done yet?
To be continued...