In ever more news for movies that won’t be in theaters for nearly a year, Marvel has released concept art for each cast/team member of next summer’s The Avengers. In true comic book fashion, each image joins together to form one unified image. While striking and very well done, the images don’t offer much in the way of information for the upcoming Joss Whedon helmed movie.
For those whose nostalgia is dangerously close to crippling, hoping all this “Avengers” talk was just a wolf in sheep’s clothing for a new adaptation of the 1960s British spy series, it’s understandable if the first image of Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow keeps your nethers all aflutter. For everyone else, there really isn’t anything to get, other than an artist’s rendition of Ms. Johansson’s serious face.
Second, we have Iron Man, which contains moments and characters from both Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and that’s exactly all. I didn’t realize RDJ and GOOP make-out sessions were as iconic as Spidey and MJ’s.
Next up we have Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk. Just them, because I guess they thought it would be gauche to show anything from Ed Norton’s movie?
I haven’t seen Captain America: The First Avenger yet, but I really hope there’s a scene where Chris Evans pulls a Babe Ruth and calls out his home run at some point. Maybe at the USO shows? No, it doesn’t make it better than the comic Cap pulls this, too. At least he has context.
Thor continues to have
daddy issues an Oedipal Complex, but this one also features Loki, who is also going to be in The Avengers, undoubtedly sharing a role to his comic counterpart as the original Avengers villain. And Chris Hemsworth’s scowl continues being 5/7 the entire Thor performance.
Now we come to some new stuff, with probably the clearest image yet of Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton/Hawkeye. It’s appropriate enough, especially with the Ultimates vibe they have going on, but I kind of wish he had a mask, or goggles, or something. With just his face, it’s really not Hawkeye, but just a dude who likes archery over more efficient weaponry. He could at least be smirking.
Finally, we get to the S.H.I.E.L.D. portion of the team/cast. It’s interesting that even in comic form, Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury phones it in. I do like that Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson continues to be inexplicably awesome and pertinent. But my favorite, and my favorite thing about this whole set, is Cobie Smulders (yeah, she does) as Maria Hill. The character won’t be all that important, I’m sure, but I’ll always hold a candle for Robin Scherbatsky, especially when she wields a handgun. She’s just so good at it, and like Ted, I don’t really even like guns.
Overall, the images themselves are all pretty good, and together do have an appropriate “epicness.” So, I’m probably being a bit too hard, but with so much time left until the release date, all this teasing is starting to wear thin. These are movies after all, it’s not like their presidential campaigns. The S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier is pretty radass, though. More of that, please.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and can be disassembled verbally on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He hopes Cobie Smulders’ appearance in a Marvel movie doesn’t preclude her from ever being Wonder Woman on screen, even if only for a future “How I Met Your Mother” Halloween episode. Just sayin’.