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The Unanswered Questions of Age of Ultron, Part 2

Bob Chipman | 23 Jan 2015 12:00
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MovieBob Intermission Age of Ultron Part 2 - 9x4

With only a few more months until Avengers: Age of Ultron his theaters, there's still a lot we don't know.

Avengers: Age of Ultron has now had a teaser and two full trailers, both of which are full of easter eggs for fans but in terms of story have offered only the broadest details: Tony Stark (maybe?) builds some robots to help The Avengers. One of these robots is named Ultron, and he goes bad. Also, two twins with poor fashion sense are around and have magic(?) powers - maybe they're bad guys, maybe not. At some point, Iron Man has to put on a bigger suit of armor to fight The Hulk, which is sad because they're friends. That's pretty-much what we know.

Last week, we explored the first set of unanswered questions. This week, we finish off with the big ones:

Let's not mince words: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first official foray into television, had a rough start. The first season was roundly viewed as a mixed bag and its ratings - though solid - hardly reflected its blockbuster pedigree. If the story had been different (i.e. if Agents was as big a cultural-phenomenon on TV as The Avengers are in movies, it'd be a foregone conclusion that at some point Coulson and company would be showing up for a big action beat, likely punctuated by a tension-relieving gag about Coulson's lack of dead-ness (which it now feels like at least one of The Avengers ought to know by now) and maybe some fight-scene time for Ming-Na Wen's Agent May.

But even in a second season of improved ratings (and even more-improved reviews) Agents is still very much the awkward middle-child of the MCU - sandwiched between the beloved movies and the heavily-anticipated Netflix series - so the safe money is probably on Coulson's crew not turning up for this one. BUT! Much like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the release of Age of Ultron will happen while Agents is still airing new episodes en-route to its Season 2 finale. And since the two franchises are happening in the same shared Universe at the same time, that means that big things happening in one (like, say, a homicidal robot trying to conquer the world) should logically reverberate in the other. Will the Agents see their main Season 2 storyline briefly interrupted by Ultron's fallout?

Or is there another possibility? Agents' Season 2 meta-plot is the discovery that The Inhumans (a sub-race of humans whose ancestors were experimented on by the alien Kree race and whose DNA carries the potential for superhuman abilities if exposed to certain rare elements) are active in the Cinematic Universe. It's widely believed that this Inhumans plot-thread will come up in Age of Ultron in connection to Scarlett Witch, Quicksilver and Baron Von Strucker. Is it possible that those characters might get an introduction on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D to flesh out their existence before they hit the big screen?

"You HAVE to watch this episode if you want to know what's going on in the biggest movie of the summer!" is the kind of promotion any TV series would kill for, and this will be right around the point where Agents will need to be proving that it deserves a third season.

Iron Man fighting Hulk is the "money shot" of both trailers so far, largely because it's the general-public's first look at that "HulkBuster" Armor someone at Disney has to be hoping is THE hot toy come December. But it also begs a question from audiences: What are they fighting about?

The Avengers left off with Tony Stark and Bruce Banner as best buddies (a thread that continued into Iron Man 3) and Banner revealing that he'd learned to control his transformations into The Incredible Hulk by remaining just close enough to enraged to recognize it ("That's my secret: I'm always angry.") So why would Hulk be so far out of control that this scene is necessary now? An easy guess is that it could be the result of Scarlett Witch's mind-manipulation powers, but he could also just have lost control of his anger.

Oh, and something for Hulk fans to keep in mind: Since he's a CGI character, if Hulk in certain scenes was supposed to be, say, a different color? That would be really easy to hide for a trailer.

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