Avengers 101


In 2012, Marvel did something incredibly ambitious. 7 characters from 4 different movies came together in one massive, nerdgasmic, superhero blockbuster – The Avengers! Since then, all Marvel produced films exist in a single, interconnected world collectively called the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or the MCU.

And now the sequel to the worldwide phenomenon is at hand! Avengers: Age of Ultron arrives in a week! So if you haven’t yet hopped on the MCU bandwagon or you just need a refresher course, read up on the many essential characters and events in the MCU with this AVENGERS PRIMER!

Returning Characters


Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)

Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, and a grade-A prick, Tony Stark uses a modern suit of armor filled to the brim with all sorts of weapons and gadgetry to fight those who would seek the world’s destruction as IRON MAN!

We last see him defeating an army of super powered mercenaries by sacrificing all his suits and subsequently removing the arc reactor in his chest used to power them. Does this mean he’s given up on being Iron Man? I guess we’ll find out.

 Thor (Chris Hemsworth)

Thor, son of Odin, the King of Asgard, was once an ignorant, conceited, battle hungry warrior who equated conquest with greatness. But Thor soon learns of kindness, humility and love during his time on Midgard (aka Earth). (It was sort of like having history’s most EPIC social immersion.) With Mjolnir, he fights to defend both Midgard and Asgard as the God of Thunder, THOR!

He was last seen choosing to live on Earth with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) after defeating the Dark Elves. I’m guessing when Avengers 2 begins, we’ll be seeing a more domesticated Thor.

10386298_869543373103670_386009418249776683_nSteve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans)

From small, lanky, and obviously anorexic, Steve Rogers became the first and only successful super soldier – tall, buff, agile, freakishly large pecs, and the heart and nobility to use all of that for the greater good. A hero from the past, his body is revived in the 21st century. But in whatever era he may be, with his trusty Vibranium shield, CAPTAIN AMERICA still fights for truth, justice, and liberty!

With the help of Sam Wilson aka The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Cap has toppled a Hydra-compromised SHIELD. Now SHIELD is no more and Cap is currently on the hunt for his old partner/best friend, Bucky Barnes, who’s been brainwashed by Hydra to become the assassin, Winter Soldier.

11025749_866873620037312_1115638256822329186_nBruce Banner aka The Hulk (Edward Norton, but eventually replaced by Mark Ruffalo)

Bruce Banner is the smartest and dumbest scientist ever. He’s the leading expert in Gamma radiation and yet he manages to expose himself to lethal amounts of it. You’d think safety would be the first thing you learn in gamma school. But lucky for him, the radiation doesn’t kill him; instead transforms him into a wild, hulking, green monster when he gets angry. But his secret? He’s always angry! HULK SMASH!

Bruce Banner was last seen being Tony’s soundboard. A friendship is brewing between these two big brained heroes, and I’m excited to see how far their friendship has gone since the first movie.

Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)

The Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, or SHIELD, is the government’s forefront espionage and counter-terrorism agency, and its leader, Director Nick Fury. He’s also the one who initiated the Avengers Program - which aims to bring together a group of extraordinary individuals to deal with problems no single hero can.

After the events of Winter Soldier, he’s seemingly killed by rogue SHIELD agents. He’s currently taking down the remaining Hydra cells while the world thinks he’s still dead.


Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)

Black Widow is a femme fetale super spy loyal to Nick Fury. Her shady past is often alluded to, as well as owing her second lease at life to her Director. With her electric Taser gloves, her mastery of different ways to kill a guy, and talent for deception, she’s a literal SECRET weapon, the BLACK WIDOW.

Widow worked with Cap to defeat the Hydra posing as SHIELD. She’s currently laying low from politicians who seek to place blame for the SHIELD mishap.

11042938_868904363167571_1562079604369003546_n Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner)

Clint Barton Is a SHIELD agent who can shoot arrows.

Yyyyyyeah, Clint really got the short straw among the team, didn’t he?

No but he can shoot them REAAAAALLY well. He practically never misses! And with his quiver of assorted trick arrows, HAWKEYE is still a formidable member of the team.

In the first movie, it was implied that Clint and Natasha have a long shared past. Here’s hoping they explore it in the next movie or even just put some spotlight on Clint, ‘coz I love his comic book counterpart!


Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders)

Nick Fury’s right hand woman – she’s tough, smart, and strategic. She’s saved Fury and Roger’s butts a few times in Cap 2.

Col. James Rhodes aka War Machine aka Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle)


Rhodey, who appeared in the first trailers, is Tony Stark’s best friend who also eventually dons a suit of armor. He was known as War Machine, and then Iron Patriot (to make him politically correct). I wonder what he’s going to be called in Avengers 2…Iron Machine, or War Patriot, or something else entirely, like Black Iron Man. (COZ HIS ARMOR IS BLACK.)

Loki (Tom Hiddleston)

The God of Mischief, brother of Thor, and main antagonist of the first Avengers film. He tried, and failed, to invade New York with the help of an alien race called Chitauri. Loki now sits on Asgard’s throne, impersonating Odin. Not sure if he’ll play any part in the sequel, but you never know.

New Characters

Be warned - even though this is mostly comic book history, it may still go to some spoiler-y territory.

Ultron (James Spader)

19102_875738635817477_4519601625792994773_nSimply put, Ultron is a robotic megalomaniac whose sole purpose in life is the destruction of the Avengers and the rest of the human race. (Suuuuuuuper cliché, I know)

In the comics, Ultron is the creation of Hank Pym (another one of Marvel’s brainiacs). He eventually becomes sentient and rebels against his creator. His motivations through the years have been murky, at best. But the one thing that remains consistent is his desire to oppress humanity.

Few have caused more headaches to the Avengers than the incessant Ultron. Aside from the fact that he’s a program, potentially allowing him to migrate to any other form of technology, and I guess making him practically immortal too, he’s also ceaselessly upgrading himself. Imagine buying an iPhone and never needing to replace it ‘coz it’ll always be the newest version of itself. 

They’re changing a few things from the comics though. Instead of Hank Pym, it’s apparently Tony Stark that’s to blame for the Ultron problem. And from the looks of it, Ultron is likely to have some superiority or savior complex that’ll add more color to his already peachy personality.

Sinister, unfeeling, vicious, and practically immortal, how the hell do you get rid of THAT?

Pietro Maximoff aka Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson)

10406727_958209790912889_6867566774637785171_nKick-Ass...err, I mean, Pietro first appeared with his sister at the mid-credits tag of Captain America: Winter Soldier. They were being kept in a secret Hydra lab/prison and their captor ominously saying “The age of miracles has begun”. By miracles, he was probably referring to the siblings’ extraordinary abilities; Pietro’s being super speed.

In the comics, Quicksilver is a mutant, born with the ability of moving and thinking in super human speeds. He’s the son of mutant extremist, Magneto, and was part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. He started out a villain but eventually turned a new leaf and became an occasional member of both the X-Men and the Avengers.

For those who saw Quicksilver on the latest X-Men movie, you should know that Avengers Quicksilver is NOT the same. They’re the based from the same comic book character, but since Avengers and X-Men don’t exist in the same cinematic universe, they will surely have different takes on Pietro. The “miracle” vs. “mutant” dispute being the most talked about dissimilarity.

Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)

10351808_874790322578975_4571127047653377808_nPietro’s twin sister, Wanda, is the Scarlet Witch. She’s almost always with her brother so their allegiances more or less change together.

Scarlet Witch’s power is the reality-warping Chaos Magic. With a name like that, it’s no surprise that it’s an ability you can’t quite put your finger on. In her rich comic history, her “hexes” have been known to levitate and propel objects, control people’s minds, manipulate the probability of an event to happen, RESURRECT THE FREAKING DEAD, and at times, even completely alter reality. Which one of these abilities she’ll have in the movie is anyone’s guess but even just having a fraction of that could be catastrophic!

Even though she’s one of the most powerful mutants out there, Wanda has had some history of mental instability. This makes her the Avengers’ biggest asset and one of their most dangerous threats, all at the same time!

Vision (Paul Bettany)

11136740_888471381210869_6352431902786659093_nVision is sort of the anti-Ultron. He’s a self-aware automaton that fights to protect than dominate. Ironically, Vision was originally created BY Ultron and with the explicit purpose of aiding the later defeat the Avengers. But Vision would eventually overcome Ultron’s programming and fight alongside the Avengers against the many threats they face. He’d also be romantically linked to Scarlet Witch for many years. But they probably won’t be exploring that pairing yet.

Vision’s most notable ability in the comics is density manipulation. With this ability, he can fly, phase through objects, be nearly indestructible, and gain super strength. He can also emit destructive energy blasts from his eyes or the crystal on his forehead.

In the movies, Vision will be played by Paul Bettany, the same actor who voices Tony Stark’s household and armor AI, J.A.R.V.I.S…I wonder what that could mean…



Brace yourselves…AVENGERS 2 IS COMING!!!!! I’m shaking in anticipation! My heart is pounding so hard, it’s about to burst! I hope my primer helped you get ready and psyched for the movie nerds have been waiting for in the past 2 years! Age of Ultron is in cinemas on April 22! GAAAAHHH! I can’t wait! (Insert image of head exploding here)

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