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.
Opinions are mixed on Disney’s presentation for The Avengers at D23, the yearly fan expo for all things Disney. On the one hand, they showed a new trailer (twice); but on the other hand, that was all they showed, letting down some who expected Disney to pull out all the stops after waffling on Marvel’s participation at San Diego Comic Con.
The new footage, introduced by the principal cast, featured more Loki, positioning him as The Avengers’ number one bad guy, and, from the sound of it, a surprising amount of discussion concerning the Hulk (though the character was only featured in the closing shot of the new teaser). Fans went nuts for the following exchange:
Loki: “I have an army.”
Iron Man: “We have a Hulk.”
Interesting that Hulk, the least of these characters from a box office standpoint, is evoking such a strong reaction amongst fans. I think audiences are excited by Hulk’s wild card factor, one that should carry over from the comics to the screen. We know what Iron Man, Cap, and Thor are like on their own, but what are they like when working side-by-side with an unstoppable force of nature like the Hulk? Will they be able to control him? Will he be able to control himself?
The character should provide an x-factor to the typical superhero movie formula, and it will be interesting to see how Hulk figures into the team when all is said and done.
Avengers News Assembled
-- People hanging out near the Avengers’ set in Cleveland captured some FX-free footage of Thor fighting back-to-back with Captain America. It’s 100% spoiler-free, if you’re curious.
-- Facebook has free playable video games in their Marvel Arcade app, including ones based on Avengers like Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and Black Widow. (Although not Avengers-related, I have to give special kudos to whoever it was that decided to turn Marvel’s Damage Control into a video game.)
-- Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada answered questions over the weekend at D23, Disney’s massive, public expo. Precious little new information on The Avengers is addressed, but it’s worth a look.
-- ’Shattered Heroes’ is the new title for the comic book mini-series previously announced at SDCC as ‘Battle Scars.’ The cross-over is a follow-up to ‘Fear Itself,’ and shines a light on how the Avengers’ Big Three (Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man) deal with the fall-out from that Earth-shattering event.
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Episode Guide
Season 1, Episode 6: “Breakout Part 1”
In this episode: All Hell breaks loose. Someone has orchestrated a mass prison break amongst all four of the super-powered pens. While SHIELD scrambles to straighten the mess, heroes like Ant-Man, Wasp, Iron Man, and Thor discover they’re no good at individually containing such a breakout.
Marvel Universe Watch: There are a ton of B-level Marvel baddies running around in this episode, including first appearances by The Red Ghost, Crimson Dynamo, Constrictor, Living Laser, Zzzax, and Whiplash. I can’t lump the first appearance of Baron Zemo in with that group because he’s A-list all the way. I’m hoping he gets more screen time when Captain America shows up again. This episode also contains the cartoon origin of Doc Samson, who’s gamma-irradiated during the Cube breakout.
Season 1, Episode 7: “Breakout Part 2”
In this episode: Picking up where Part 1 left off, SHIELD finds their hands full against a villain of their own creation, Graviton. After continually getting their butts handed to them, the heroes are able to convince SHIELD to loose the Hulk against Graviton. By the end of the episode, the heroes (Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Wasp, and Hank Pym) decide to band together, functioning separately from SHIELD, as The Avengers.
Both Part 1 and Part 2 are one, big, long slugfest. Character development can still be found in moments like the one where Wasp refuses to back down, against Pym’s advice, even after seeing Thor suffer defeat at the hands of Graviton, or the moment in which Banner asserts some control over the mind of the Hulk, leading him into battle.
Marvel Universe Watch: You get the Avengers! Finally! What more do you want?
The Avengers, a Joss Whedon film, stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. There are 256 days until release.