Lifetap Volume 1, Issue 26 – Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer Kicks Ass, Takes Names
Avengers fans are in for a major treat with a first look at the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron with the release of the first official trailer for the film. In today’s issue of Lifetap we take a look at the new trailer and ponder the impact of some of its more noteworthy includes.
Previously on Lifetap…
It’s no secret that I spend a fair chunk of time playing Marvel Heroes 2015 as a direct result of a lifelong interest in comic books. And while there have definitely been some missteps when it comes to bringing the Marvel universe to the big screen over the years, over the past decade we’ve seen a major evolution occur that has helped Marvel films become some of the most successful on the planet.
So it should come as no surprise that I was pretty psyched when an announcement for the release of the first official trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron landed in my email earlier this evening. Before I dive into some discussion on the trailer, be sure to give it a watch below:
Pretty impressive stuff, right?
I like that the trailer doesn’t attempt to dive too deeply into the background of Ultron, but instead focuses on some of the struggles the Avengers face this time around. If you’ve followed the greater whole of the Marvel film and television franchise over the past few years, you’ll know that S.H.I.E.L.D. has effectively been dissolved due to the rebirth of Hydra. You might expect that a new Avengers film would attempt to resolve pieces of that storyline, but an even more important struggle to address is how the Avengers will learn to function as a unit without S.H.I.E.L.D. serving as a unifying source.
The trailer also gives us a few brief glimpses of Stark’s hulkbuster armor which indicates that Ultron isn’t the only struggle the Avengers face; that there are still many internal struggles to resolve if the Avengers are ever going to meet their destiny as protectors of humanity.
I’m sure film buffs are already hard at work whipping up frame-by-frame analysis of the full trailer, so instead of treading those same waters I’m going to instead focus on one of my favorite new includes of the second Avengers film: Scarlet Witch.
Introducing Scarlet Witch aka Wanda Maximoff
Not to be confused with Glenda the Good Witch from Wizard of Oz, Scarlet Witch presents some very interesting opportunities within the greater Marvel film universe. While I wouldn’t necessarily say she’s been more of a supporting character on the fringes of major story points over the years, injecting her into Age of Ultron is bound to place Wanda (aka Scarlet Witch) in a much larger spotlight.
Above: Scarlet Witch's default Modern costume in Marvel Heroes 2015
The inclusion of Scarlet Witch in Age of Ultron is significant for a number of reasons, but two in particular float to the top for me.
First up is the more obvious injection of a major magic-user into the collective Avengers film franchise. Up until this point, the films have mostly remained grounded in reality when it comes to super hero stories. This low fantasy approach has served the franchise well, because movie-going audiences are more inclined to accept low versus high fantasy concepts.
Granted, the first Avengers film did push those boundaries a fair amount by focusing on cosmic energies and dimensional travel. But you’ll also note that Iron Man 3 and Captain America: Winter Soldier brought things back to a state far more grounded in reality. Both films place their respective heroes in situations very much based on common human dilemmas, albeit overblown to match the proportions of the material being presented.
Above: Scarlet Witch cosplay from Mostflogged. Something tells me this classic (and somewhat impractical) costume won't be making an appearance in Age of Ultron.
The other major takeaway from the inclusion of Scarlet Witch – at least for me – is that her inclusion helps bridge some of the disconnect gap between the X-Men and Avengers film franchises. Up until this point, both have happily bopped along completely oblivious to the existence of one another.
While perhaps a subtle connecting point, Wanda is in fact the daughter of Magneto: one of the staple characters throughout the X-Men filmography. It remains to be seen if this is directly addressed within Age of Ultron, but either way it does open up some interesting possibilities.
One major example would be the potential for an Avengers versus X-Men crossover film. There is definitely ample precedence within the comics, and such a crossover film would push the already impressive meta of the Avengers films to even greater extremes.
Finally, I would also note that Scarlet Witch has been among my favorite playable characters in Marvel Heroes from the very beginning. She’s one of those slow burner heroes where her power curve ramps up quite nicely as you push towards level 60 and unlock all of your potential power points. If you enjoy playing MMO classes based on ranged AoE and DoT damage, you really can’t go wrong with Scarlet Witch. Given her inclusion in Age of Ultron, I also won’t be surprised if Gazillion has something up its sleeves for the character in-game as the May 1st film release date draws a bit closer.