ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, the new Batmobile and 'Avengers 2' plot synopsis are revealed, the Howling Commandos return (on TV), and Andrew Garfield calls out Sony on the failure of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2.'

The 'Avengers 2' Plot, Direct From Marvel

Avengers 2 Plot
Marvel Studios

First things first... While we already know a few details about 'The Avengers 2' -- like it's subtitled 'Age of Ultron,' it will see Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark creating the villainous sentient robot, and Vision, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will all play parts -- Marvel Studios has released an official synopsis:

Marvel Studios presents Avengers: Age of Ultron, the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell – bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.

The 'Amazing Spider-Man' Universe Status Quo

Spider-Man 2 Failure
Sony Pictures

Four months after it opened to poor box office results, bad reviews and a general shrug of apathy from the moviegoing public, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' now has everyone involved standing around, pointing fingers and declaring, "It was his fault!" Franchise star Andrew Garfield spoke out, and according to him, it was the bigwigs at Sony who sabotaged the project by eviscerating the original screenplay and removing everything that he loved about it:

I read a lot of the reactions from people and I had to stop because I could feel I was getting away from how I actually felt about it. For me, I read the script that Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] wrote, and I genuinely loved it. There was this thread running through it. I think what happened was, through the pre-production, production, and post-production, when you have something that works as a whole, and then you start removing portions of it—because there was even more of it than was in the final cut, and everything was related. Once you start removing things and saying, “No, that doesn’t work,” then the thread is broken, and it’s hard to go with the flow of the story. Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio is the final say in those movies because they’re the tentpoles, so you have to answer to those people.

We think the film has problems that transcend its poor screenplay, but at least Garfield is being honest about all of this. It's a common movie star tactic these days, but that's because it can't help but be endearing -- when an actor trashes his own bad movie, he earns some honesty points. When he does it too much, though, you just start to question his decisions.

And while we're talking about Mr. Garfield, he was recently asked if he had any involvement in the upcoming 'Sinister Six' spinoff and his response was vague, to say the least. Our guess? Glorified cameo. C'mon, give the screen time to the bad guys! Here's his full non-statement:

I know more than I'm allowed to say right now. I can say I'm really excited about Drew Goddard, who's going to be writing and directing... [W]hether I'm involved in that or not is kind of immaterial.


And that brings us to one of the other planned spinoff films. 'Venom' is going to be the directorial debut of veteran screenwriter Alex Kurtzman, and while we know next to nothing about the film or how it will fit into the 'Amazing Spider-Man' mythos, he had this to say about the tone of the project:

The idea is that you can do things with Venom that you can’t do with Spider-Man. Venom is the representation of every line that will get crossed … He’s a much darker character.

So prepare yourself, comic book fans, the co-writer of the 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' is going to make the grim 'n' gritty Venom movie that the '90s version of you has always dreamed about!

The Latest and Greatest 'Guardians of the Galaxy' News

GOTG Box Office
Marvel Studios

'Guardians of the Galaxy' crossed the $300 million mark at the box office this weekend, making it the first film of the year to reach that vaunted figure. It will soon outgross the original 'Iron Man,' making it the biggest debut film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I know we say something like this every week, but no one saw this coming. At all. It's just plain crazy. Crazy!

The other big news from the week was the rumor that Dave Bautista's Drax (and probably by extension, the rest of the Guardians) are going to play a role in 'The Avengers 3.' The news came from a wrestling news site, which also wrote that Bautista is unlikely to make a full-time return to the ring now that his film career is officially taking off. Here's what they had to say:

Regarding Batista’s status, Marvel Studios are currently restructuring his contract that will likely see him get more money due to the success of 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' This will also lock Batista in for a number of other Marvel movies. Batista is slated for 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' as well as the 3rd 'Avengers' movie, where he will have a significant role. That movie will be a few years down the road as the 2nd 'Avengers' movie isn’t scheduled to be released until May 2015.

If Drax is going to play a major role in 'Avengers 3,' then our suspicions that the film will follow the famous 'Infinity Gauntlet' storyline feel all-but-confirmed. After all, an immortal, god-like Thanos would require both teams to come together.

And before we move on, take a look at the Japanese trailers for 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and realize that we still have a long way to go as a nation before we can get away with making movie previews this cool and weird:

1,001 Photos (Not Really) of the 'Batman vs. Superman' Batmobile

After a few weeks of people snapping photos of Henry Cavill dressed like Clark Kent, the set of 'Batman vs. Superman' really started delivering the goods. The Batmobile officially hit the streets of Detroit, giving us our first unofficial look at Batman's badass new ride.

Then someone else managed to snap photos of the "stunt" version of the vehicle, which looks like it was built to take a pounding and do the dangerous things the snazzier version cannot.

But, after tons of people started posting bootleg photos of the Batmobile on Twitter and Instagram, director Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. responded by releasing the first official photo of the vehicle and, yeah, it looks even better when it's not being shot on a camera phone.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The new design maintains the tank-like structure of the Tumbler from the 'Dark Knight' films, but it's far more stylized and sleek comic book-y design, reminiscent of the vehicle as seen in Frank Miller's Batman stories.

Meanwhile, someone managed to snag footage of the Bat-tank in motion. Do your best to squint through this blurry footage, why dontcha?

Elsewhere, it didn't take long after the official reveal for a rumor to start floating around suggesting that the Batmobile had been stolen. This was quickly nipped in the bud by the Detroit police department, but it did lead to Snyder posting this terrific photo with the caption, "Case closed."

Zack Snyder, Twitter
Zack Snyder, Twitter

Expect to see a lot of the Batmobile in the weeks and months ahead. Where Batman's ride goes, cameras will follow.

Howling Commandos, Gritty Daredevils and Gotham Detectives

There's nothing too exciting about this new cast photo from 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' season 2, which features Coulson and his crew hanging out in an alley, as secret agents are wont to do.


But there's plenty of exciting things going on in this image from the premiere episode. It seems that Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter will make an appearance (in a flashback, we imagine) and she's brought the Howling Commandos with her.


A couple of notes:

1. There's nothing more "Marvel" than teasing your second ABC spy show in the season premiere of your first ABC spy show.

2. The Howling Commandos didn't get nearly enough to do in 'Captain America: The First Avenger.' Hopefully, they'll regularly pop up on 'Agent Carter.' Heck, maybe they'll get their own show!

Moving on! Here's a new TV spot for 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.', which doesn't offer any huge insights but should whet your appetite for the new season:

From ABC, we jump over to Netflix, where 'Daredevil' showrunner Steven S. DeKnight spoke with Paste Magazine about the tone of the upcoming instant streaming series:

With this version of Daredevil, we wanted it to be grounded, gritty, as realistic as we could portray. That naturally fits in with the Daredevil character. Matt Murdock, on a regular basis, would get the shit beat out of him. That’s one thing that makes him a great character. He’s not super strong. He’s not invulnerable. In every aspect, he’s a man that’s just pushed himself to the limits, he just has senses that are better than a normal humans. He is human. The other thing that really drew me to this character is that he’s one of the most morally grey of the heroes… He’s a lawyer by day, and he’s taken this oath. But every night he breaks that oath, and goes out and does very violent things.

And from Netflix and Marvel, we move onto FOX and DC. After weeks of promos focusing on the supporting players, new 'Gotham' videos about James Gordon and Harvey Bullock have finally arrived, giving us our best look yet at the two detectives who find themselves battling the worst Gotham City has to throw at them.

Finally, it wouldn't be a week of superhero news without some kind of new promo for 'The Flash,' so here you go!

And Everything Else

If you were hoping that the upcoming Disney Infinity sequel would include a few deep cuts, your wish has been granted. The game's lineup will include the likes of Yondu and Falcon.


We may not know much at all about 'Captain America 3,' but we do know that Marvel Studios has known what it will be called and what it will be about for a long time:

If you’ve been talking to Kevin [Feige, President of Marvel Studios] the title has been in place probably for 10 years in his brain. It’s all part of the road map that he’s laid out, and it’s all part of the bigger plan.

And finally, that brings us to the most important news of the week: James McAvoy is going bald for 'X-Men: Apocalypse.' About time, guy.

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