After a brief hiatus, ScreenCrush is back with the Comic Strip, a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie 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, Marvel revealed the first exciting looks at 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron' and new looks at 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' and 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2,' while DC and Warner Bros. TV are ready to unleash a 'Flash'y new slate of shows.

What You Missed During Marvel's ABC TV Special

Tuesday night, the 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' took a brief break from their regular air time so that Marvel Studios could debut 'Assembling a Universe,' an hourlong special that offered an inside look at how the Cinematic Universe that we know and love came to be, as well as a preview of the forthcoming Phase 2 and Phase 3 films.

Most exciting was without a doubt our first look at concept art for 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron.' Meet "the twins"! (No, sickos, not those kinds of twins.) Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and her twin brother Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson):

*Click the images to see them in hi-res.

From a fan standpoint, I've been geeking out over the inclusion of Scarlet Witch, whose powers are derived from her magical hexes, and Quicksilver, the super-speedster, since director Joss Whedon revealed that they'd be involved in 'Age of Ultron,' mainly because they check off another element that Marvel has yet to cover -- mutants!

We don't wanna spoil the surprises to come in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier,' so DON'T READ THIS PART if you want it to stay a mystery ... These "twins" are introduced in the first post-credits stinger to 'Cap 2,' in which they and their abilities are described as welcoming "the age of miracles." Because of the legal issues surrounding their characters (they're ultimately part of the X-Men universe, owned by Fox, being the children of Magneto), mutants cannot be referenced in the Disney/Marvel films, so some speculated that this would be a nice segway into 'The Inhumans' storyline, which 'Iron Man 3' scribe Drew Pearce already wrote a treatment for a possible movie. Though, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently denounced those rumors.


Another major reveal during 'Assembling a Universe' was concept art for a scene that's currently being shot in Johannesburg, South Africa. Amateur videos leaked online showing extras running away from something in terror as trucks were being thrown aside, and now we know that this will be a battle between Hulk and Hulkbuster, Tony Stark's only armor capable of withstanding the green giant's immense strength.

Mark Ruffalo said that he already filmed some of the motion capture for Hulk: "We did it on motion capture, so we did a lot of that on a stage. So they’re doing all the [background] plates for that now in South Africa, and then I start work in mid-April."

Elsewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the ABC special revealed new test footage images for 'Ant-Man' and concept art for 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' the latter of which also debuted some behind-the-scenes shots of Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser and Glenn Close as Nova Prime. Check 'em all out below:


'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

As for Sony's Marvel division, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' is ready to preview more footage for fans before its May 2 release. During the commercial breaks for ABC's Marvel special last night, a new TV spot aired that teased some "sinister" activity:

This morning then saw the unveiling of the final 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' trailer, in case you still haven't seen enough footage from it already.

In addition, Sony Pictures held a special event in New York City that screened about 30 minutes of footage from the film and hosted a Q&A with director Marc Webb. While the visual effects were pretty spectacular to behold (especially in 3D), we also learned a lot about what's coming in the sequel. Click HERE for our full rundown.

The Biggest Marvel vs. DC Battle (So Far)

DC and Warner Bros.' highly anticipated 'Man of Steel' follow-up, the still untitled 'Batman vs. Superman' movie, recently moved its release date from 2015 to 2016, but the real drama comes out of the fact that it is scheduled to open the same day as an upcoming Marvel movie on May 6, 2016. So, which movie will 'BvS' be facing? ...

'Captain America 3'! Said Feige, "We’re certainly keeping the date there and we’ll announce what that movie is, I assume, in the next few months," though it was quickly revealed to be that of the third installment of the Chris Evans-led films. Despite all the hype surrounding 'BvS' -- Henry Cavill's Superman, Ben Affleck's Batman, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons' Alfred and Amy Adams' Lois Lane in one big DC blowout? -- some critics are already calling 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Marvel's best movie to date, and the same directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, are coming back to work on No. 3.

While fans might see this as a convenient turnout from a moviegoer's standpoint (double feature, anyone?), someone will ultimately have to budge ... right?

DC on TV: 'Flash,' 'Gotham' and More

DC will soon be expanding its television properties following the success of 'Arrow' with its 'Flash' spinoff on The CW, as well as the Batman prequel series, 'Gotham,' which will track the early years of Commissioner Gordon as a fledgling police detective working the mean streets of Gotham City.

In case you missed them, a new batch of photos of DC's fastest man alive hit the airwaves, one being an official look at Grant Gustin's costume and the others taken from the set of the pilot.

The CW

The CW said that Barry Allen wouldn't be waking from his coma (the coma he was zapped into during his 'Arrow' run) until around the pilot episode of 'The Flash,' though some the characters will pop up in 'Arrow' before then. Flash sidekick Vibe, as portrayed by Carlos Valdes, and Caitlin Snow, an upcoming villain played by Danielle Panabaker, will make appearances on the upcoming episode "The Man Under the Hood" to then continue on in the potential 'Flash' series. More on that HERE.

As for 'Gotham,' paparazzi photos from the set leaked online that show our first looks at Ben McKenzie in costume as Jim Gordon and Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot (aka Penguin). You can see those photos HERE.

Elsewhere, FX launched a Facebook page and website for 'Gotham,' revealing this lengthy and detailed plot synopsis:

Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world's greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon's story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world's most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker?

GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), GOTHAM follows one cop's rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.

Growing up in Gotham City's surrounding suburbs, JAMES GORDON (Ben McKenzie, “Southland,” “The O.C.”) romanticized the city as a glamorous and exciting metropolis where his late father once served as a successful district attorney. Now, two weeks into his new job as a Gotham City detective and engaged to his beloved fiancée, BARBARA KEAN (Erin Richards, “Open Grave,” “Breaking In”), Gordon is living his dream – even as he hopes to restore the city back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid.

Brave, honest and ready to prove himself, the newly-minted detective is partnered with the brash, but shrewd police legend HARVEY BULLOCK (Donal Logue, “Sons of Anarchy,” “Terriers,” “Vikings,” “Copper”), as the two stumble upon the city's highest-profile case ever: the murder of local billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne. At the scene of the crime, Gordon meets the sole survivor: the Waynes' hauntingly intense 12-year-old son, BRUCE (David Mazouz, “Touch”), toward whom the young detective feels an inexplicable kinship. Moved by the boy's profound loss, Gordon vows to catch the killer.

As he navigates the often-underhanded politics of Gotham's criminal justice system, Gordon will confront imposing gang boss FISH MOONEY (Jada Pinkett Smith, “The Matrix” films, “HawthoRNe,” “Collateral”), and many of the characters who will become some of fiction's most renowned, enduring villains, including a teenaged SELINA KYLE/the future CATWOMAN (acting newcomer Camren Bicondova) and OSWALD COBBLEPOT/THE PENGUIN (Robin Lord Taylor, “The Walking Dead,” “Another Earth”).

Although the crime drama will follow Gordon's turbulent and singular rise through the Gotham City police department, led by Police Captain SARAH ESSEN (Zabryna Guevara, “Burn Notice”), it also will focus on the unlikely friendship Gordon forms with the young heir to the Wayne fortune, who is being raised by his unflappable butler, ALFRED (Sean Pertwee, “Camelot,” “Elementary”). It is a friendship that will last them all of their lives, playing a crucial role in helping the young boy eventually become the crusader he's destined to be.

While we're excited for both 'The Flash' and 'Gotham,' there's still the matter of 'Constantine' to consider. NBC is getting ready to launch a new series based on the 'Hellblazer' comics ... but don't worry, so far it doesn't look like that Keanu Reeves movie. Matt Ryan will portray the chain-smoking occult detective from Liverpool, and the network released the first official look of him in costume:


So if all of that doesn't hold you over for a bit, I don't know what will.

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