The Avengers Countdown: When is a Spoiler Not a Spoiler?

The Avengers Countdown: When is a Spoiler Not a Spoiler?

Jun 13, 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 He’ll also buy any comic with Hawkeye on the cover. You can read his Avengers Countdown here at every other Monday.

When Is a Spoiler Not a Spoiler?

Is it even a spoiler to know who the villain of a film is in advance, especially as it pertains to movies based on established comics?  Latino Review broke this tidbit about a Marvel baddie who they claim definitely shows up in The Avengers.  Just because I didn’t know it before they revealed it, doesn’t make it a spoiler to me, but I’m hiding it behind the link so that I’m not accused of “ruining it” for anybody.

My personal opinion is that it doesn’t ruin anything.  As The Avengers gets closer to the date of release, I’m sure the character will show up on official movie merchandise, like action figures and juice boxes, so I’m not sure how just knowing that a well-established Marvel bad guy is in the film is a spoiler.  It doesn’t reveal any plot specifics (other than he’s in there), so I don’t consider myself spoiled in any way by knowing.

I could maybe understand if this villain was just a cameo.  It would suck to have a neat little moment like that ruined, but that’s just it -- cameos are only neat little moments. Their revelation shouldn’t spoil an entire film.  Realistically, I don’t think knowing in advance that Kingpin is the villain in Daredevil or Dr. Doom is the villain in Fantastic Four really counts as a spoiler, and if this villain’s role is as big as they say it is, this will be common knowledge well before May 2012.

The Skrulls and Loki are all but confirmed for The Avengers (spoiler!), so adding a third threat does complicate things. Maybe that’s why they’ve crammed so many heroes into one movie?

Avengers News Assembled

1. Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk) and Chris Evans (Captain America) are already talking about the Avengers’ on-set atmosphere.  “Avengers is coming along well,” Ruffalo tweeted on May 24, but Chris Evans got a little more specific with MTV.  “It's not an easy task for Joss to incorporate all these characters,” said Evans, “and not only is he doing a fantastic job, but everyone is getting along so well.”  He also “geeked out” (his words, not mine) during his first scenes with Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr., with everyone in their full superhero costumes.

2. Could this be a sneak peek at the cinematic version of Hawkeye?  This was posted on the Marvel Movies facebook page, with no credit or explanation.  My gut tells me it’s an action figure mod, but, regardless, it’s a fantastic attempt to translate the archer into a more “real world” look.  It fits right in with the movie-styled Captain America in the background, keeping some recognizable elements (the pointy purple mask) and updating it with a slightly utilitarian, military feel.  I wouldn’t be disappointed at all if Jeremy Renner showed up in The Avengers wearing something like this.

3. Flickr user stevetpsu posted a picture of the storyboards for the opening credit sequence for Captain America: The First Avenger.  The storyboards feature the camera moving across the American flag which slowly becomes Cap’s shield, capturing what appears to be key moments in the creation of the “Super Soldier Serum” in the white spaces between the red stripes, as the credits roll.

4. And speaking of “Super Soldier Serum,” here’s an amusing bit of machinima, featuring the cast of the classic Avengers beat-em-up arcade game.  Remember, winners don’t use drugs.

5. Honestly, studios should take more chances when it comes to movie posters. It would've been great to see this fully painted Captain America poster hanging in the lobby of your local multi-plex, but, alas, it was a gift to the cast and crew of the film.  I think it does a better job selling the film than the current posters.


Reader Comments

Richard asks: “What About War Machine?”

Don Cheadle told MTV that War Machine won’t be part of The Avengers, but that Marvel was moving forward with a solo War Machine movie by hiring a screenwriter.  We’ll probably see him next in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3.

Chris says:  “I was under the impression The Human Torch (not sure which incarnation) would make an appearance at least, if not be one of the Avengers.”

Several readers answered back at Chris, saying that the Torch was a Defender (he was an Invader, a WWII super-team, not The Defenders) or that he was only a member of the Fantastic Four (not 100% accurate -- for Johnny Storm, that may be true, but not for the android from the 1940s who originally bore the name The Human Torch).  The oldest version of the Human Torch (the android) was revived in the late 80s/early 90s and was a member of the West Coast Avengers for a brief period of time.  Regardless of his connection to the Avengers, he’s not a part of the upcoming film.

However, director Joe Johnston and producer Kevin Feige did tell that The Invaders would be a part of Captain America: The First Avenger, though they didn’t reveal which members of that team would show up.

Thundercat35 asks: “What about Wasp, Antman, and Black Panther?  Or is Marvel saving them for Avengers Pt. 2?”

Those three aren’t confirmed for Avengers.  Wasp is more of a viable candidate for the movie than either Ant-Man or Black Panther, primarily because Marvel’s still considering stand-alone movies for those two superheroes, and not for Wasp.  It would be interesting if they introduced Ant-Man in The Avengers, then spun him off into his own film, but that doesn’t seem to be the direction they’re taking.  

As for Avengers 2, good question, and one that I’ll be going into in-depth in two weeks.  Be there!

The Avengers, a Joss Whedon film, stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. There are 330 days until release.

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