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.
By now we know that Thor’s evil brother Loki is a central character in The Avengers. Actor Tom Hiddleston has been comfortable discussing his role in the film without divulging spoilers, ever since the teaser at the end of Captain America was made public. For those that have been following the film’s production, it’s been believed that the Skrull, Marvel’s alien race of shape-shifters, would be a secondary threat to the superhero team. There’s even been footage leaked of the principal cast fighting stuntmen in mo-cap suits, to be filled in later with a CG alien design.
Now rumors are circulating that it isn’t the Skrull they’ll be facing off against. Then who is it? IGN speculates that the Avengers will battle the Chitauri, shape-shifters from Marvel’s “Ultimate” Universe (a sort of alternate reality to the Marvel U, where the recent black Spider-Man made headlines) with a tenuous connection to the Skrull. This is a little bit of a semantics game, as either way, the team will be fighting alien shape-shifters, Skrull or not.
If they use the Chitauri, it may be due to their more modern sci-fi look, instead of the classic 1960’s green-skinned, bug-eyed monster look of the Skrull. Personally, I have no real interest in the Chitauri as villains, and would much rather just see the classic Marvel Universe Skrull, but if someone at Marvel thinks the Chitauri fit in with their cinematic world better than the Skrull, I’m interested in knowing why.
Marvel fans, who would you prefer -- the Chitauri or the Skrull?
Avengers News Assembled
-- Superhero Hype was able to snag a spy pic of what exists of the Avengers’ Quinjet. While the door exists for the actors to step out, the rest of the signature jet will be filled in digitally.
-- “The Consultant,” the Agent Coulson short film, leaked in advance of the Thor blu-ray, as well as a special feature with director Joss Whedon promoting The Avengers. IFC has a good piece on unanswered questions that “The Consultant” covers, namely, whatever happened to Emil Blonsky (The Abomination) after the events in The Incredible Hulk.
-- Geek Tyrant shared a trio of promotional images from Avengers, including the one pictured at the top of this article. The other two are licensing images -- one of Avengers villain Loki and one for a prequel tie-in comic called Road to the Avengers.
-- Captain America screenwriter Stephen Malkus would love for Peter Dinklage to play A.I.M. leader MODOK in the eventual sequel. He told Hero Complex, “I love MODOK and I think you could make a terrifying movie with MODOK but nobody seems to be on my side at the momentum.” This doesn’t mean much (yet?), but it’s fun to hear a screenwriter are geeking out like a fanboy over Cap’s rogues gallery.
-- Avengers Dance Break!!!
Season 1, Episode 8: “Some Assembly Required”
In this episode: The Avengers are finally a real team, after seven episodes of foreplay! Hulk is the wild card Avenger -- a powerhouse, but not quite a team player. He proves to be the threat here, as is feeble mind is easily manipulated by the Enchantress, a sorceress from Asgard.
For Marvel fans, this is really just an excuse to see Thor and Hulk butt heads. There’s very little in the way of characterization or larger serial plot development here. The team is still trying to gel, and they learn that they may have to do so without the Hulk. He leaves the Avengers at the end of this episode to find solitude in the Arctic Circle.
Marvel Universe Watch: Tony Stark mentions Reed Richards and the Negative Zone in passing, but neither one are actually seen. This episode does mark the first appearance of the Avengers Mansion.
Season 1, Episode 9: “Living Legend”
In this episode: The Avengers give chase to the Arctic, in search of Hulk, but come across the frozen body of Captain America instead. He’s thawed out, but before he can even get his bearings, he’s confronted by Baron Zemo while the team tangles with protoplasmic blobs created by Armin Zola.
It’s a weaker installment of the show for a number of reasons. The milky blobs that the Avengers fight are definitely the lamest villains of the show so far, serving only to keep the Avengers busy while Cap fights Zemo. During Cap’s fight, he’s struck by Zemo’s sword and Black Panther comes out of nowhere to make the save (We see him sneak into Avengers Mansion early in the episode, but for what reason? To help Cap later? How would he know that?).
This being Captain America’s first episode with the team, the character should have come across stronger, winning his own fight, or actually interacting in a significant way with the rest of his new friends. At this point, the show’s formula (short set-up, then an extended fight scene) needs a little shaking up.
Marvel Universe Watch: It’s all about Baron Zemo. How can someone in a pink and purple fur-lined costume be so cool? This is also the first episode where someone (Iron Man) exclaims, “AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!”
The Avengers, a Joss Whedon film, stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. There are 242 days until release.