As with every new trailer for a Marvel movie, the recently released footage from “Avengers: Age of Ultron” has left us dazzled, thrilled and also a little bit confused. That’s not to say the trailer held back on giving fans the team-up goods they’ve been waiting for ever since “Marvel’s the Avengers” finished its blockbuster theatrical run in 2012. The new footage gives us plenty of action shots, including some stellar moments for Iron Man, Hulk and Black Widow. We also get to see new recruits Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch put their powers to use, albeit briefly. This first glimpse at “Age of Ultron” even gives us a pretty comprehensive look at Ultron’s scrappy origins, as he transforms himself from literal Starktech scraps into a menacing super villain.
But, like any great trailer, the two minutes of footage has left us wanting to know so much more about Joss Whedon’s follow-up to his record-setting film. Pretty much every scene in the trailer has a bit of “what” mixed in with the “wow,” and after spending way too much time — but probably still not enough time — with the eagerly awaited trailer, we’ve narrowed down the potentially hundreds of mysteries we want solved down to these very important eight.
Why are the Avengers so bummed out?
The team left their first outing on a high note. Yeah, they did a few billion dollars worth of damage to Manhattan, but they saved the entire world from an alien invasion and became besties in the process. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner became science bros, and Steve Rogers and Black Widow became close allies during this spring’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Here they are in the trailer, though, not even able to make eye contact with each other. Cap, Natasha, Hulk and Thor still seem to be distant even in their aircraft’s confined quarters. Could this be emotional fallout from the Hulk’s dust-up with Iron Man and his Hulkbuster armor?
Who is the third woman at Earth’s mightiest party?
One thing’s for certain: the Avengers are gonna kick back and relax for at least one scene in “Age of Ultron.” This party at Stark Tower might just be the most exclusive one in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there’s an attendee we can’t place. Banner, Romanoff, Thor, Cap, Maria Hill, James Rhodes, Stark and Clint are all present — as is a third mystery woman. Fans may assume that the woman in red is Scarlet Witch, but Cobie Smulders’ features are recognizable in a blurry screengrab. Also, later footage implies that Wanda and Pietro don’t interact with the Avengers until after Ultron is fully formed, and the villain makes his ramshackle debut by crashing this party. The mystery woman also can’t be Pepper Potts, unless Gwyneth Paltrow’s sporting a darker ‘do. Odds are, given her proximity to the God of Thunder, Jane Foster has been invited to mix it up with the heroes.
Are Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in cahoots with Ultron?
The no-longer-mutant twins first appear in the trailer standing in the presence of Ultron, in the midst of a totally wrecked lair nestled in what looks like a castle. Could this be a scene of Ultron breaking the duo out of HYDRA custody, and therefore guilting them into working under him? If so, that would mirror how Wanda and Pietro debuted in the comics; Magneto manipulated the young mutants into joining his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants after he saved them from an angry mob. The pair reluctantly served him until splitting and joining up with the Avengers. It’s likely that the mysteriously-powered Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will come into conflict with the titular team before they join up with them.
Who is Andy Serkis playing?
Since he’s mostly known for his behind the scenes work as all-CG characters like Gollum and “Planet of the Apes'” Caesar, it’s likely you didn’t recognize Andy Serkis as the stern looking guy with the Abe Lincoln beard. For an actor that spends most of his time wearing a motion capture suit playing a still-unrevealed character, he sure does take up a noticeable bit of the trailer. That implies that Serkis’ character will be important to “Age of Ultron,” if not future Marvel movies. Most people are assuming Serkis is playing Ulysses Klaw, a cutthroat physicist that eventually gains the ability to manipulate soundwaves to deadly effect. Serkis’ beard bears a striking resemblance to how Klaw appeared in the “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” cartoon. But Klaw himself is not nearly as interesting as what his involvement might lead to; the guy is Black Panther’s arch-nemesis. If Klaw’s involved, could Black Panther be far behind?
What causes Black Widow and Hulk to bond?
Following a terrifying interaction on the crashing S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier in the first “Avengers” film, Black Widow came to a still-kinda-tense understanding with Bruce Banner by the end of the film. Now it looks like Natasha’s made nice with the usually rampaging Hulk as well; they have an intimate hand-on-hand moment in the trailer. But why and where and under what circumstances are they bonding? The lighting in the scene makes us wonder if this moment comes after the daytime throwdown between Hulk and Hulkbuster. After all the carnage and wrecked cars, could it actually be Natasha that gets through to the Hulk’s humanity?
What’s up with those ballerinas?
Joss Whedon loves ballet. He managed to work ballet into his musical episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and he then based an entire episode of “Angel” around it. This could just be Joss doing what Joss does, or it could be a hint that we’re going to get flashbacks to Black Widow’s pre-spy life. Depending on which retcons you believe, the Marvel Comics version of Natasha studied ballet and became an accomplished ballerina before joining the KGB. This fact was touched upon agin during Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice’s recent “Winter Soldier” series.
What could break Captain America’s shield?
So far Cap’s shield has withstood bullets, seventy years of freezing cold, Chitauri bombs and falling a couple dozen stories. This weapon takes a licking and keeps on ticking — until “Age of Ultron.” The trailer’s penultimate shot is of Steve’s seemingly invulnerable iconic symbol, violently broken into pieces. Could this have happened as a result of one of Scarlet Witch’s probability-altering hex blasts, or is Ultron really that strong? Just like the Andy Serkis mystery, this one could also tease Black Panther’s involvement in the Marvel Universe. Captain America’s shield is made of vibranium, a vibration-absorbing metal that is primarily found in the African nation of Wakanda. If Steve wants to get his shield fixed in time for 2016’s “Captain America 3,” he’ll probably have to pay the country a visit, and odds are Wakanda’s ruler — Black Panther — won’t take too kindly to another outsider wanting to steal more of the nation’s most valuable natural resource.
Where is Black Widow’s movie?
There isn’t much to say about this mystery that hasn’t already been said. Marvel, you have a character that can pull off the totally badass move of dropping out of a Quinjet while riding a motorcycle without flinching and you’re relegating her to her fourth supporting role in an ensemble film. Fix that.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more on “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
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