'The Avengers' Countdown: Is Marvel Already Planning for 'Avengers 2'?

'The Avengers' Countdown: Is Marvel Already Planning for 'Avengers 2'?

Jun 27, 2011

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 Avengers Countdown here at Movies.com every other Monday.

Is Marvel Already Planning for Avengers 2?

The New AvengersHow is it that a sequel to Marvel’s smash hit Thor has barely been whispered about in the weeks since its release, while Warner Brothers is already beating the drum about a sequel to Green Lantern, a critical and box office misfire now in its second week? It’s not like Thor wasn’t a massive success (grossing $430 million world wide to date), so what’s the hold up? There’s been more talk from Marvel about a Luke Cage movie in the past month than a Thor 2.

It’s obvious they’re planning ahead, but to what end? Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios’ president of production, has made it known that he’s interested in cultivating new properties post-Avengers, with hopes to bring Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, and Luke Cage to the multiplex. Looking at those characters, I think the plan may be bigger than he lets on.

Consider that all three of those superheroes are currently linked to the monthly Avengers’ comics (Strange and Cage are part of the team in New Avengers; Hank Pym, the most well-known Ant-Man alter ego, appears in Avengers Academy). Could Feige already be prepping a new team of Avengers for the likely sequel? Marvel will probably lose Robert Downey Jr. after Iron Man 3, leaving some pretty big boots to fill for The Avengers 2, so it makes sense that Marvel would already be looking for ways to keep Avengers alive without its biggest star.

Perhaps this is why they’re being so tentative about Thor 2 -- hoping to keep Chris Hemsworth around for Avengers sequels instead of burning him out with multiple Thor films. This is pure speculation on my part, but looking ahead to films based on other characters involved with The Avengers is perfectly logical if they want to keep this franchise alive. When you consider that all three of these characters have never really been first-tier best-sellers, the plan seems even more obvious.

What do you think? Is Marvel hand-picking Dr. Strange, Luke Cage, and Ant-Man for an eventual Avengers 2?

Avengers News Assembled

Avengers Art

The biggest piece of Avengers news to hit the web in the past couple of weeks was the first image of the team, from a piece of licensing art spotted at the International Licensing Expo. Keep in mind this isn’t an actual movie poster, but the kind of illustration that will be used on future action figure packaging and Slurpee cups. What can we tell from the image? Most noticeably, that Captain America has a different costume for The Avengers than he does for his solo film, that Hawkeye won’t be sporting a mask, and that the Hulk doesn’t wear pants!

Wang Kang, of Shanghai, China, built his very own Mark 1 Iron Man costume. No word on whether it’s weaponized or not. I’d guess not.

Dunkin Donuts and Baskin-Robbins have partnered with Marvel on Captain America: The First Avenger. Dunkin is offering a special star-shaped Captain America doughnut, as well something called the First Avenger Tri-Cup -- a red, white, and blue three-flavored slush. Baskin Robbins has Super Soldier Swirl ice cream, Hydra Force and Super Soldier sundaes, and ice cream cakes in the shape of Cap’s famous shield. I’m suspecting this is how they changed Steve Rogers from skinny to beefy for the film.

Marvel is moving forward with an all-new Avengers comic, based on the recent retro-continuity “1959” team featured in the pages of New Avengers. The unusual team consists of Nick Fury, Namora, and Dominic Fortune, as well as unlikely heroes Sabretooth and Kraven the Hunter. The new title will make its debut this October.

Facebook group Marvel Movies shared this piece of Hulk concept art from The Avengers. Artist Andy Park combines elements of Jack Kirby (namely Hulk’s face) with more grotesque, monstrous features than the last cinematic incarnation. Based on the aforementioned licensing art, however, it looks like they’re going with something more traditional.

The Avengers, a Joss Whedon film, stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. There are 312 days until release.

Categories: Countdown Column
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