It’s not until May 1, when U.S. fans get to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in theaters, but in some parts of Asia, the movie has already debuted. So, I had the privilege of watching the movie in India prior to the US. For those who have watched the movie and are still awestruck by it, I would like to share my Top #10 WTF Moments with Easter eggs in the movie + Bonus content. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, it is advised to not read further as the post is filled with #SPOILERS.
— Gentle reminder; Spoilers ahead 😛 —
So I watched The Avengers: Age of Ultron in 3D and yes it was mind-blowing. I would go on the record and say it is one of the “most-polished” Marvel’s movie I have ever seen. Being a comic buff, it amazed me how much attention to detail, comics/MCU(Marvel Cinematic Universe) references and originality was there in the movie. I was really skeptical about Ultron’s and Vision’s origin and how would they fit it in the storyline but yes Joss Whedon has done absolute justice with the movie and the characters. Let’s begin with..
The Avengers: Age of Ultron Top #10 WTF Moments:
#10 Black Widow’s Vision of Dark Past
Well, when Scarlet Witch uses her powers to mess up with all the Avenger’s mind, she transports their brain to somewhere else, which by the way is a reference to the comic arc Original Sin. Interestingly we don’t see what sight Hulk sees, and we see Thor and Captain America struggling with their Future and Past respectively, but Natasha’s vision is the interesting one as it takes you on a mysterious flashback origin story for Black Widow and tries to unveil the curtain of enigma surrounding her.
We learn about her transformation into a cold-blooded Soviet assassin and spy and how her past used to haunt her before she joined the good guys at S.H.I.E.L.D. This scene is a reference to Black Widow’s comic book origin where we saw her introduction as a ballerina who is subjected to weird experiments and mental conditioning (including ceremonial sterilisation which she told Bruce Banner about) at the Red Room Academy.
Easter egg: If you have seen the Agent Carter miniseries, you know it already. In the comics, the Red Room is a Russian facility where young girls are trained in the deadly arts so that they become lethal, brainwashed Black Widow agents (hence the name). It was apparently established by the Russian secret organisation Leviathan and has been operating since at least the 40s, when Agent Carter encountered one of their graduates..yep you guess it right, Dottie.
#9 Bruce Banner & Natasha Romanoff – Mysterious bonding
While we are discussing about Natasha, let’s include Dr. Bruce Banner too. In the movie we see both the characters (Hulk & Black Widow) shares a strange bond as they both feel that “We have no place in the world“. Black Widow has decided to move on from her brief crush on our Captain in “Winter Soldier” to an obvious large green monster in “Age of Ultron”. 😉
We Hulk and Black Widow have an awkward dance of attraction as Bruce is afraid his (Hulk) rage will be too much for her to handle and he may harm her without knowing as we all know how much rage Hulk poses after his transformation. Natasha aka Black Widow finds the secret to calm down the Hulk by being his lullaby(read easter egg below for explanation). You can check the scene below 😀
Easter Egg: We all know that the Hulk has a weakness for a pretty woman, and that when he calms down he turns back into Banner. Normally it’s Betty Ross(a romantic interest of the Hulk and is the daughter of General Thunderbolt Ross) calming him down, but since she’s absent from MCU at the moment, Natasha is up for the job.
8# Maximoff Twins are Magneto’s children! Wait, what?!
Yep! Maximoff Twins, also known as Terror twins in the movie i.e Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, also known as Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch are actually the children of another super famous Marvel character – Magneto, whom you would have seen in the X-Men movies played by Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender as his younger self.
Easter Egg: If you have seen X-Men Days of Future Past, When Quicksilver hears Magneto say that he can control metal, he says that his mother used to know somebody who could do that. We also see the Maximoff family name on the mailbox outside Quicksilver’s home. Ain’t that awesome?
But will we ever see Magneto in Avengers/MCU? Well sadly nope! No chance of him showing up, as Marvel doesn’t own the film rights to the character. See the bonus section below for Visual Guide To Marvel Character Movie Rights.
#7 Wakanda -Home to Black Panther
Ultron goes to Wakanda in search of the rare metal called Vibranium (strongest metal on earth, which Howard Stark uses to make Captain’s iconic shield). Ultron aims to replace himself with an android body composed of both human like skin but Vibranium alike strength. In Wakanda, Ultron meets Ulysses Klaw, a character who, in the comics, steals Vibranium and kills Black Panther’s father – later becoming the sonic-powered villain, Klaw. Ultron gets himself coated in Vibranium and spends much of the movie seeking out more raw materials in order to continually upgrade.
Easter Egg: The African nation of Wakanda is mentioned – home to The Black Panther, who’s another Avenger, and will be getting his own movie in 2018. His arch enemy, Ulysses Klaw, appears in Age of Ultron. Klaw is forced to give Ultron the Vibranium he possesses before being compensated with billions of dollars by Ultron. But he accidently enrages Ultron by pointing out his similarity to Stark, losing his arm as a consequence which brings us to level with comics as a villain who wears a sonic emitter on his right wrist as a prosthetic device. He will be playing an important part in the upcoming Black Panther movie.
#6 To Infinity *stones*…and beyond
Haha! Sorry for the Toy story reference 😛
We learn that the gem from the Loki’s sceptre in one of the Infinity Stones at the beginning of the film, which ends up being embedded in The Vision’s head. Infinity stones are Six gems that give their owner the power to rule the universe. Some of the others have already been seen in the previous Marvel movies (The Tesseract in Captain America, The Ether in Thor: The Dark World, and The Orb in Guardians of the Galaxy).
Easter Egg: Mid credit scene!
As Joss Whedon promised about absence of no post credit scene as the idea of making the audience wait for full 4 minutes seemed pointless to him, I didn’t have my hopes high at the end but just after few seconds of fading out of screen at the end of movie, An alien figure is spotted! No points for guessing but it’s Thanos – who in the comics steals all the Infinity Stones which remain distantly scattered across the MCU as of now and creates the Infinity Gauntlet – which he’s seen putting on(albeit empty for now) at the end of this scene and says, “Fine, I’ll do it myself” which is a polite reference to The Avengers: Infinity War – Part One (2018)
If I have to guess, you keep an eye on Marvel’s cosmic films – Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Inhumans, Captain Marvel and (of course) both parts of Avengers: Infinity War to find out how that’s going to work out for him.
#5 J.A.R.V.I.S. + Android = The Vision!
When Ultron is created(originated?), he develops a God-like complex and decides that to save the planet Humans need to extinct. He attacks J.A.R.V.I.S. and takes control of Tony Stark’s Bots which Tony created as a preventive measure after S.H.I.E.L.D was shut down. Ultron transfer himself into body of a damaged drone and tries to confront the Avengers at their post Hydra battle celebration as they take on Baron Von Strucker and encounter the twins for the first time. Ultron is dismantled physically by Avengers but being an AI it escape through Internet and take control of whole grid.
Later we see Ultron taking a
ride flight to Wakanda in search of Vibranium (see #7). He proceeds to create a more powerful body for himself, using Cradle, a biogenetic machine. Under the control of the Scepter with the infinity stone, he then proceed to transfer himself into that body made out of Vibranium and skin like tissue only to be interrupted by the Team Avengers. Stark discovers that J.A.R.V.I.S. is alive as he being quite a sophisticated AI itself, escaped into the internet where he prevented Ultron from hacking into Nuclear Missile launch codes. Due to that he decides to transfer the A.I. into the android body and he meets his old friend in a new form.
Easter Egg: In original comics, The robot villain Ultron created the Vision – a type of android he dubs a synthezoid – to use against Ultron’s own creator, Dr. Hank Pym, with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, whom we will be seeing in Ant-Man(2015). MCU is going to get really interesting now. Here is the official trailer for Ant-Man for your veiwing pleasure:
#4 S.H.I.E.L.D is back!
One of the other big narrative arcs picked up by Agents Of SHIELD in the aftermath of The Winter Soldier was the continued existence of the fictional spy organisation itself. The show was given the unenviable task of continuing on in the face of SHIELD being shut down in light of the HYDRA infiltration, with former leader Nick Fury (having faked his death) pulling the strings from the shadows.
Fury popped up towards the end of Age Of Ultron, surprising nobody after he confirmed he was still alive at the end of The Winter Solider. What was surprising is when he showed up again at the absolute end, helping to rescue the civilians of Slovakia stranded in mid-air battle with a surprise helicarrier! God knows where he got the thing, but a helicarrier isn’t a one-man job. Along with the sci-fi flying vehicle he had a huge team of people piloting it, manning the weapons and so on.
Easter egg: So SHIELD is, presumably, back in action – and must be a decent size. Since none of the Agents Of SHIELD folk show up here, I am sure it is now operating outside the American government, which is almost certainly gonna come up in Captain America: Civil War.
#3 New Avengers Assemble!!
Essentially, most of the Avengers retires with this movie marking it as end of phase 2 in MCU as they’ve got no immediate threat to clear out. Hawkeye moves on to spend some *person time*(more info below), Stark also moves on because he wants to focus on the bigger picture and spend more time with Pepper Potts, Thor because his vision made him want to go back to Asgard(building story for next part of Thor), and Hulk decides to disappear because he thinks he can’t be around people he loves in case he hurts them. So, Captain America and Black Widow decides to stay back as full-time superheroes with a new team to train at new Avengers base in Upstate New York
A team which includes Scarlet Witch, The Vision, The Falcon from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Iron Man’s BFF Rhodey, better known as War Machine. It’s a fun way of switching up the lineup after two films of same old, same old; a smart way of dealing with actor’s contracts being completed; and has big repercussions for the MCU.
Easter Egg: There’s even a direct nod to the comics when Captain unveiled the new Avengers in the 1960s including the Twins (with Quicksilver dead now). Presumably the Phase 3 debutants will boost numbers, in the new Avengers team, as well as Bucky when he returns in Civil wars movie.
#2 Uncanny Similarity b/w Ultron and his creator, Stark
Yep, ofcourse Age of Ultron changed the fact that Dr Pym was creator of Ultron as Tony Stark did the honour along with Dr. Bruce Banner to create Ultron.But this impacted the movie in a different way for which director Joss Whedon went to great pains to emphasise. The strange relationship between Tony Stark and Ultron is one of the very interesting aspects of the movie.
Ultron’s megalomaniac egoism, supreme desire and obsessive anchor on a “logical” goal were basically all twisted and magnified versions of Stark’s own
qualities vices. There were some moments in which Ultron began using Stark-like language and making Stark-like comments which were eerily effective IMHO. James Spader has done a brilliant job for voiceover of Ultron.
The link between the two does make sense as it was clear that, while creating the Ultron programme, Stark had vent a great deal of his own personality into the AI. But perhaps even more tantalizing than the question of Ultron’s genesis, that is the question of his death? In the comics books, Ultron is able to come back several times (sometimes with an altered personality).While it’s unlikely that the character will be reincarnated any time soon within the Marvel cinematic universe, it’s not entirely impossible – he is, after all, a programme, rather than a flesh and blood entity.
It’s like Tony Stark is doomed to always be his own worst enemy but also too smart to get out of his own way. Tragic really!
Easter Egg: “Ultron = Hank Pym’s mind + Tony Stark’s technology in an android” as per the original Marvel comic books. It seems like too big of overlook from Marvel’s side to change the origin story like this despite the fact Ant-Man is being introduced into the MCU just a few short months after the Avengers sequel. It just doesn’t make any sense, right? My bet is that they will somehow stitch the missing link with the story.
I searched about the same and found out this very intriguing theory about how Tony stark just helped in reviving the Ultron. From Marvel’s official synopsis of Avengers: Age of Ultron: “When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program…” we can see how that can be true. Have a nice read. 😉
#1 Hawkeye’s secret civilian life!
No kidding! This was the biggest WTF moment in The Avengers – Age of Ultron! The movie surprisingly unveiled the story of the man behind the bow and arrow. After the battle in Wakanda, when the team was in despair after being badly hit by Scarlet Witch’s nightmare spell, Avengers have no where to go since Ultron is taking over the internet and can track them anywhere easily.
Hence, Hawkeye offers his home as their safety nest. SURPRISE SURPRISE!!! Hawkeye has a family, a wife who’s pregnant, a daughter and a son. While it’s been very subtle, the movie kind of showcase Hawkeye’s desire to have a peaceful and quiet civilian life with his family in a countryside home, away from all the troubles of being an Avenger. It essentially points towards the fact that we may not see Hawkeye again (maybe? Civil Wars, but not sure).
p.s: Since movie hasn’t been released worldwide yet, I absolutely couldn’t find any image of Hawkeye with his family. 🙁
#0 Bonus Content:
Stan Lee’s Cameo
The least surprising Easter Egg on any Marvel list, Stan Lee’s cameo in Age Of Ultron is his own favourite. With the Avengers celebrating taking down the HYDRA base outside Sokovia, they throw a party at Avengers Tower, inviting friends and co-workers (including a troop of war veterans who are presumably Captain’s peers).
Among the vets is the unmistakable figure of Lee, who takes on Thor’s challenge that his 1000-year-brewed Asgardian whisky is “not for mortals”. No cookie for guess that it doesn’t end well, with the Marvel supremo being lifted out of the party slurring “Ex-shel-shior!”
How come the Vision can lift Mjolnir?
It’s not because he’s a robot – it’s because he’s worthy to. The actual criteria for being ‘worthy’ are nebulous(remember the elevator joke) 😛 , but in this case it would appear to be Vision’s ultra-pure objectives that give him the ability.
As shown in the pre-release teaser footage, the Avengers talk about the issue of worthiness in relation to Thor’s hammer, with each taking turns to try and move it. Captain America does manage to budge the hammer slightly, nodding to his worthiness in the comics.
Easter Egg? Everyone else fails, but Natasha declines, saying it’s not a question she needs answering. That’s not accidental: in a What If arc in the comics she is deemed worthy and becomes the Goddess of Thunder!
References to other movies/comic arc in MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
- Thor witnesses a glimpse of apocalypse in Asgard, soon to be seen in full in his third movie due out in 2017. In Thor’s sequence, Idris Elba’s Heimdall turns up warning of the fall of Asgard and mass death, though Loki doesn’t actually turn up as widely expected. Thor’s vision takes him to a doomed Asgard, where he encounters Heimdall (minus helmet), who warns of some extinction level event. Clearly this is a nod to the events of Thor: Ragnarok, which will see Asgard ripped apart by civil war (presumably by Loki disguised as Odin).
- There were some pre-release theories that the Ragnarok title in Thor Ragnarok(2017) might allude to the Thor clone built by Tony Stark, and there are other references that playfully nod to that possibility.First there’s the mention of Mjolnir being coded to Thor’s fingerprints (meaning only a clone would be able to wield it, naturally), and there’s also the presence of Dr Cho’s cradle, which could supplant the Stark technology that he uses to clone Thor in that comic arc.
When JARVIS evolves out of his traditional restraints(Vision’s origin!), Tony Stark is left without a personal assistant, so in the run up to the climactic face-off with Ultron he uploads a new personality. The new PA system is code-named FRIDAY, an A.I. created by Tony Stark with a female personality as a backup for if J.A.R.V.I.S. should need replacing.
- During the Hulk-Ironman battle there are two call-backs to the first Avengers film. The first sees Stark unceremoniously pummeling Hulk’s head into the ground with a one massive hydraulic fist, calling back to the “puny God” moment with Loki.The second comes at the resolution of the fight when Iron Man delivers a knock-out punch to the distracted Hulk that is almost a shot-for-shot mirror of how the Hulk punches Thor in the first movie.
- When Stark convinces Banner that they need to continue the Vision project that Ultron initiated, bonding the body with JARVIS’ consciousness (but randomly creating something else entirely, somehow), Captain America arrives just in time to try to thwart their efforts.With Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver at his side, Captain faces off against Stark for the first time in physical terms with their rivalry which is a possible node to the upcoming Captain America: Civil War (2016). Stark’s extreme approach and Cap’s caution will again play out in the next Captain America film, and these are clearly the ideological seeds on which that will be based.
Phew! That’s it for this post guys. This is probably the largest post I have ever written and I aim to solve all the misunderstandings and expectations you guys may have with Marvel cinematic universe. Here is the timeline attached for MCU Phase 3 for you to mark you calendars with: