You may have heard a little something about a movie called The Avengers. You can’t escape the promotion. Hype is high. It’s the first time this many iconic super heroes from other blockbusters are in the same big movie. Here’s what you need to know if you’re never seen opened an Avengers comic book or seen the previous Marvel films: The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America or Thor.
Spoiler Warning: this guide gives away the endings of those previously named movies.
1. SHIELD is an international agency charged with protecting Earth led by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson.) The Avengers Project is a gathering of super powered heroes to fight the global threats no single hero can handle alone – that big threat is here.
2. Captain America: The First Avenger Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers, a skinny, weak Brooklyn kid with a big heart who wanted to serve his country in World War II. Steve volunteered to be part of a top-secret experiment to create Super Soldiers. Steve was chosen because “a weak man knows the value of strength” and he became Captain America. Cap stopped a rogue Nazi scientist known as the Red Skull. The super serum transformed the man into an insane monster. Cap saved America from the Skull’s flying superweapon by crashing it into the arctic. Cap was frozen. SHIELD scientists discovered and revived Steve who was shocked to learn decades of his life are gone. He’s alone in a modern world he doesn’t understand.
3. Iron Man Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is an arrogant genius inventor/playboy. Tony was kidnapped in Afghanistan and learned that his company’s weapons were being sold on the black market against the terrorists that U.S. forces were fighting. While in captivity Tony builds a suit of armor to escape his captors and protect the world as Iron Man.
4. Thor What the Vikings hailed as Norse Gods were mighty beings from a mystical realm called Asgard. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) was the God of Thunder and son of Odin, King of Asgard. Thor’s arrogance ignited an ancient war with the Frost Giants (a rival race that almost destroyed Earth eons ago) and Odin stripped Thor of his powers and sent him to Midgard or Earth. Thor learned lessons of humility, love and what it meant to be a true hero.
5. Hulk Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is a scientist exposed to an experimental treatment that turns him into a monstrous, childlike Hulk. Anger triggers the change so Bruce has tried to live a secluded existence while trying to discover a cure. Bruce will be recruited back to use his brains and Hulk like strength to fight the alien army – the big question – how do you control a rampaging Hulk?
6. Black Widow Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is a Russian super spy recruited to SHIELD by Nick Fury. She has no super powers but is highly skilled in combat and weapons. Natasha was working undercover as Tony’s assistant in Iron Man 2. In the comic books, Natasha has dated Hawkeye.
7. Hawkeye Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is a tough, resourceful SHIELD agent and an expert archer. You saw Barton briefly in Thor. In the comic books, Clint is a former criminal turned good guy with a sarcastic sense of humor.
7. SHIELD Agents Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is the no-nonsense government operative who appeared in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America. Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) is Nick Fury’s second in command.
8. The Big Bad Guy = Loki Thor’s half-brother is the treacherous Loki (Tom Hiddleston.) The God of Mischief is a master of manipulation and sorcery who orchestrated Thor’s banishment. Thor defeated Loki but the spiteful brother refused to let Thor save his life so we last saw him falling out of Asgard into deep space. Loki is back and has declared war on Earth and he’s allied with an army of aliens – this leads to the formation of the Avengers.
If you’re in the Seattle area like myself and want to catch up SIFF Cinema presents Avengers Assemble! You can see all the previous Marvel movies each night! The Incredible Hulk Monday, Iron Man I & II Tuesday, Thor in 3D Wednesday and Captain America: The First Avenger in 3D Thursday. Each night members of the cast (and local heroes) of Citizen Heroes will be introducing the films.
You don’t have to be an Avengers expert to enjoy the movie – just come, have fun and feel like a kid again! Hope you have a great time!
By Editor – thanks to Marvel for the images, the characters and for making this movie happen!
Updated: How do these characters tie together? Captain America. The Red Skull was obsessed with myths and the supernatural. He recovered a lost Asgardian artifact called the Tesseract (in the comic books it’s called the Cosmic Cube) that fueled his super army’s weaponry. The artifact is in SHIELD custody. Another fact: Tony Stark’s father Howard was a part of the team that helped turn Steve Rogers into Captain America.