10 Things You Didn’t Know About Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’
Finally we're just a couple of days away from the release of Marvel's most ambitious and action-packed movie yet, 'The Avengers.' Joss Whedon, beloved cult film/television director and writer, has weaved together a movie with producer/president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige that can easily be called a milestone in the world of comic book adapted movies. Movie-goers already know who Thor, the Hulk and Iron Man are, but do they really know all about them in the comic book world? We present to you the top ten things about our favorite Marvel superhero group that you may not know.
In the Marvel movies, we only associate Hawkeye with S.H.I.E.L.D. and nothing else. But his origin story is a lot more interesting than what the movies lead you to believe. Hawkeye, better known as Clint Barton, ran away with his brother and joined the circus at a young age. There he honed his archery skills but didn't last too long after he refused to take part of a robbery. He then went off on his own, calling himself Hawkeye and showing off his archery technique for a good buck. But once he saw Iron Man in action, that was it; Hawkeye was determined to become a superhero just like him... but started as a villain first before doing so.
If you're one of the most beautiful and deadly spies out there, you have to be getting at least a little bit of action in between your dangerous missions. Black Widow, real name Natasha Romanoff, has experienced many relationships throughout her time on duty which includes Iron Man, Daredevil, Hawkeye and even Hercules himself for a brief period of time.
We may know Nick Fury as just purely the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., a man who gets to stand around and basically boss around some of Earth's mightiest heroes, but the man can defend his troops if the circumstances ask for it. He was originally in the American army, World War II to be exact if we want to go back that far, and is basically one of the most well-trained soldiers in the world. And yes, at one point he did fight alongside Captain America and his sidekick James "Bucky" Barnes. However, if you want to go into the alternate Ultimate X-Men story line, the Samuel L. Jackson-looking Nick Fury fought in the war alongside Wolverine. Talk about bad ass.
Agent Phil Coulson, member of S.H.I.E.L.D., is one of a couple of characters in recent years that have been introduced in a movie/television show only to end up as a recurring character in the comics. The only other character in the last twenty years that has made this big of an impression on the comic community is Harley Quinn, originally introduced in 'Batman: The Animated Series.' Since his appearance in the 2008 film 'Iron Man,' Agent Coulson has appeared in the 'Iron Man 2' webcomic titled 'Phil Coulson: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.' along with a new comic titled 'Battle Scars.' Expect to see more of him in the Marvel universe as time goes along.
There's been many incarnations of the Hulk in cinema, but one of the things that's never changed about the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-like character is the color of his skin when he turns into the big, green, practically unstoppable monster. But why green? We all know that Dr. Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk after accidentally being exposed to the blast of a gamma bomb that he helped create. Stan "The Man" Lee has given many reasons as to why they decided to keep the Hulk green, but the real reason has to do with the Hulk's first appearance in comics. Colorist Stan Goldberg couldn't get the shades of grey right, and in a couple of panels the Hulk appeared green. After Stan Lee and Jack Kirby saw this, he ultimately decided to keep the Hulk green, just to make it easier on Goldberg.
At one point during 'Thor,' Loki, the god of mischief who turns into our main villain in 'The Avengers,' ends up taking over the throne for Odin when he falls into a deep sleep, the Odinsleep, that he has to take in order to recharge his powers. Thor has to practically throw Loki out of their dimension in order to take the throne away from the devious man, but in the comics Thor didn't even have to lift his pinky. After assuming the throne for a small portion of time, Loki ended up relinquishing the crown after Surtur, the fire demon, attacked the kingdom. Some leader he turned out to be.
Everybody who's watched the 'Iron Man' movies knows about J.A.R.V.I.S., the artificial intelligence program that helps out Tony Stark in the workplace and when he's battling evil-doers. But did you know that in the comics he was an actual person? His name is Edwin Jarvis, the servant to Tony Stark. Think of him as being similar to Bruce Wayne/Batman's butler Alfred. He's been there with Tony through all of his triumphs and failures, always there to lend a helping hand. At the same time, it's no surprise that Marvel decided to make Jarvis an A.I. program. You don't want people confusing him with Alfred.
Easily the most recognizable piece of equipment that Thor always has on his person is Mjolnir, the monstrous hammer he always wields in order to hone his power to a specific area. Think of it as something along the lines of a lightning rod. Nobody but Thor can hold it in the movies, which is proven in 'Thor' when several regular folk tried their best to pick it up. But in the comics there are several superheroes that are able to wield the hammer which includes Loki, Captain America and even Rogue from the X-Men, Wonder Woman and Superman from DC Comics. Given the fact that Captain America the most pure and righteous of The Avengers, it makes sense.
Speaking of Captain America, did you know that his steel/vibranium-covered shield was a present given to him in the comics by President Franklin Roosevelt? He visited the Captain at one point in between his many battles during World War II and gave it to him to use as protection. That and his WWII military team, known as The Invaders, in a sense could be considered as the first formation of The Avengers years before they actually put together the group.
Out of all of the main and supporting characters in 'The Avengers,' the only one that isn't really well known by movie-goers is S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill. The character has had a tough life who at an early age wouldn't listen to authority, basically getting in trouble a lot until she got recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. She climbed up the ranks quickly and is one of the main faces of the company. Since she has no superpowers of her own, it's been suggested by some that it could be one of the main reasons why she doesn't tend to side with most of the superheroes she encounters in the comics. Regardless, she's a strong leader who plays by the book at all costs.