John Gholson is a life-long Avengers fanboy who has previously covered all manner of superhero news at AOL. After dabbling with comic book self-publishing in the '90s, John moved on to study sequential art at the Savannah College of Art & Design, and currently produces a regular web comic, ‘Appetite for Destruction,’ for Tapsauce.com. He’ll also buy any comic with Hawkeye on the cover. You can read his AvengersCountdown here at Movies.com once a month.
I’ve heard so much speculation (and done enough of my own) over who the alien baddies are in The Avengers that I’m just done. Marvel says it’s not the Skrull, the merchandise says it is the Skrull, whatever -- I can wait till the movie’s release to find out. We’re not paying to see the aliens anyway; we’re paying to see Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk team-up, right?
And, besides, Loki’s just fine as a front-man villain. He’s a classic Avengers threat and audiences already know him so you don’t have to worry about an origin story. There are rumors of another big baddie showing up, but I’m not sure how big of a role he plays (if any). If he’s significant at all, Marvel won’t be able to keep it a secret, especially if he starts showing up in the toy aisles before May.
I’m on to already wondering who they might be considering for Avengers 2 (which will happen, no doubt). The team has plenty of great threats that fans would love to see on the big screen. Could one of these guys be the next major Marvel villain?
Who Is He? A nearly unstoppable artificial intelligence who rebuilds himself upon defeat into a robotic form superior to his previous incarnation.
The origin of this character most definitely depends on the introduction of his creator Hank Pym. If Edgar Wright ever moves ahead on Ant-Man, that would be the perfect place to introduce Pym and set up his characterization as a brilliant scientist. And if that happens, we’d surely see Pym in Avengers 2. And if Pym is in Avengers 2, could Ultron be far behind?
Kang the Conqueror
Who Is He? A time-traveling despot with a relentless desire to subjugate the Earth.
If we ever see Kang in a film, expect the character’s ridiculously convoluted history to get wiped clean (he’s a descendant of Doctor Doom who travels backward in time to become a pharoah, then forward in time to become the Scarlet Centurion, then backward to become Kang, then forward in time again to become the master of Limbo known as Immortus). No matter his form, the Avengers have defeated him time and time again. Though a classic villain from the Avengers’ rouges gallery, I can’t see Kang working out on film. His motivations are too simplistic, his back-story too complicated, and his look is just too funky.
The Masters of Evil
Who Are They? Though the team has had various rosters, the classic line-up is led by Baron Zemo and has included members like Whirlwind, Klaw, Beetle, and Radioactive Man. They exist as a sort of Anti-Avengers, sowing seeds of chaos and destruction wherever they go.
Personally, this is the threat I’d most like to see in Avengers 2. For as many superhero movies as we get, we’ve yet to see a really great supervillain team (the X-Men movies have come close). I say set up Zemo in Captain America 2, work Enchantress and Executioner into Thor 2 (there are already rumors they’re going to be in there), and, suddenly, you’re already on the road to a Masters of Evil team worth seeing. Maybe even bring Mickey Rourke back as Whiplash? Admittedly, the team needs stronger motivation than simple immorality, but the possibilities for big mano y mano superhero battles are exciting with these guys thrown into the mix.
Who Is He? A power-mad alien from Titan with a romantic fixation on the female personification of Death.
This feels to me like the character most fans want to see in Avengers 2, and who can blame them? He’s an impossibly ruthless character, and he came close to destroying the entire Marvel Universe in the landmark Infinity Gauntlet mini-series. He’s another one with a significant back-story, but he’s also the most recognizable, popular villain on this list. Could the Avengers sequel follow a truncated version of the Infinity Gauntlet storyline with Thanos as the main threat? You think people are hyped for The Avengers now? Fans’ heads would explode if this happened.
Avengers News Assembled!
-- Chris Wells, an FX supervisor on The Avengers who has worked on almost every Marvel movie, told Starburst Magazine that Avengers is the best one he’s worked on. “This thing has gone so big that Marvel are dwarfing their other franchises,” he says, and singles out the film’s use of the Hulk as the best use of the character so far.
-- Adventure Time meets The Avengers in Avenger Time!
-- Venom420, a user on the Superhero Hype forums, created these incredible Olly Moss-inspired Avengers posters. You can check out the full gallery here.
-- Slate’s James Sturm makes a passionate argument that we should boycott The Avengers movie to send a message to Marvel to provide proper credit for Jack Kirby, Stan Lee’s collaborator and co-creator of many of Marvel’s most famous faces. “It takes a lot of corporate moxie to put Thor and Captain America on the big screen and have them battle for honor and justice when behind the scenes the parent company acts like a cold-blooded supervillain,” Sturm argues. Will you follow his lead?
-- If you love collectibles and you love 3-D movies and you love The Avengers, then you’ll love the specialty glasses that select theaters will be offering for sale at the ticket counter. The custom glasses will sport designs for Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America so you can look fashionably dorky while munching on your popcorn this Summer.
‘Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ Episode Guide
Season 1, Episode 15: “459”
In This Episode: Hank Pym and the Wasp pay a visit to SHIELD researcher Carol Danvers who has discovered an unidentified flying object headed straight for the Earth.
It’s a Kree-centric episode that moves away from the villain-of-the-week stuff just enough to feel fresh. There’s some really efficient superhero storytelling on display in this one, providing both an introduction to Mar-Vell and an origin for Ms. Marvel (assuming Danvers shows up again as a superhero), while still managing to pit the Avengers against an interesting threat -- a mindless Kree sentry.
The sentry is interesting in that it’s both a force of nature, more than an actual villain, and the show treats the sentry with a nod and a wink to its B-movie sci-fi roots as an unstoppable killer robot (most of the battle between the team and the sentry takes place in a drive-in, for example). Even though I’m a long-time comic reader, I’ve never quite gotten a handle on the Kree as a race -- are they good guys or bad guys? This episode helped clarify things, which might be the first time the show has actually done me a service in understanding the characters in the comic books a little better.
Wasp, on the other hand, is done a disservice by this episode, which finds her strangely shallow and annoying. It seemed like the writers were trying to create tension between Hank Pym and Wasp by throwing Carol Danvers in the mix, but it just didn’t work. It only served to make Wasp appear immature.
That said, this was a strong episode.
Marvel Universe Watch: The show gets its title from Sentry 459, who first appeared in Fantastic Four #64. As mentioned, we are introduced to Mar-Vell and Danvers, but don’t yet get to see Danvers as Ms. Marvel.
The Avengers, a Joss Whedon film, stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. There are 74 days until release.