ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is 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, Elizabeth Olsen finally acknowledges her ‘Avengers 2’ casting and we dig deep into the Infinity Gauntlet storyline … which you should read if you want to know what’s happening in Marvel’s upcoming movies.

‘Thor: The Dark World’

Marvel Studios

Have you read all of our up-to-the-minute ‘Thor’ coverage? With the sequel dropping into theaters, we have covered:

- The latest on 'Thor 3.’

- What exactly happened in the end-credit sequences of 'Thor: The Dark World'?

- Where is Odin by the end of 'Thor: The Dark World'?

- And how many box-office records did ‘Thor: The Dark World’ break?

Now that ‘Thor’ is out, Marvel can look ahead to future projects, from ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ to ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ And we’ll move ahead, as well, covering advancement on several other comic-book properties … while keeping it in Marvel’s backyard.

‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Though she has been confirmed to have landed the part for weeks, Elizabeth Olsen finally acknowledged that she’s playing the Scarlet Witch in Joss Whedon’s ‘Age of Ultron.’ Sam Jackson kind of let that cat out of the bag a while back. But the ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ actress opened up to MTV while promoting Spike Lee’s new ‘Oldboy’ and raved about re-teaming with her ‘Godzilla’ co-star, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who's playing her onscreen, super fast twin brother, Quicksilver:

Elsewhere, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige sat down for a 90-minute podcast with Nerdist to talk all things Marvel. And when they got to Ultron, Feige gave a roundabout explanation as to why it doesn’t make sense in this particular Marvel Cinematic Universe to have Hank Pym – aka Ant-Man – create the killer robot:

We have to be true to our own continuity ... So certainly, in the case of Ultron, there are a few characters in the franchise who it would make sense to have been involved in that creation [rather] than introducing a new character out of nowhere to come and do it. And Edgar [Wright] already has certain ideas in place for the ['Ant-Man'] characters, going back to Comic-Con 2006, that we wanted to maintain.

Needless to say, give the whole podcast a listen.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

The end-credits sequence of ‘Thor: The Dark World’ set the stage for Marvel’s Phase Three, in general, and James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ specifically. With The Collector (Benecio Del Toro) stockpiling Infinity Gems, it’s only a matter of time before Thanos has his hand inside of the Infinity Gauntlet, creating chaos for the various assembled members of The Avengers.


Not familiar with that particular storyline? Now’s a good time to catch up on those books, because Marvel appears to be setting up all of the pieces to tell the expansive Infinity Gauntlet story in the Phase Two and Phase Three movies, up to and including ‘Age of Ultron’ and 'The Avengers 3.'

The Collector will continue to collect Infinity Gems or Stones (as they are being called here). Latino-Review did an excellent job of speculating where the rest of the Gems might be revealed, starting with ‘The Winter Soldier.’ And Feige, when asked if the Gems plot will continue through ‘Guardians’ and Phase Three, answered:

Well the answer to the question is both. It is both. And then, you know? Who knows? If they allow us to keep making movies, it will go a little bit further.

If they “allow” us. Hysterical. If the Marvel movies keep breaking the bank, Hollywood will allow the comic studio to do whatever it pleases.

Gunn, meanwhile, talked to CraveOnline about how Thanos factors into his upcoming feature, and the director spilled some juicy details, stating:

Thanos is a character in our movie. … He works with Ronan. In my movie Ronan works for Thanos, and Ronan is the main bad guy in our film.

Check out the full interview below:

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

20th Century Fox unleashed a full slate of hi-res images for Bryan Singer’s ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past.’ We’ve got a few new ones below:


See all the latest 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' photos HERE.

‘Batman vs. Superman’

Warner Bros. hosted an online ‘Man of Steel’ Q&A event over the weekend in celebration of the DVD release of Zack Snyder’s blockbuster. Noted DC Comics fan Kevin Smith hosted the event, and dug a few bits of trivia about Snyder’s planned ‘Man of Steel’ sequel.

You can watch the entire event below:

So, what did we learn? Snyder hinted that Lex Luthor will be in the next movie, though he stopped short of elaborating on how the supervillain might be used.

Could ‘Lost’ star Terry O’Quinn really be on Snyder’s short list to play the megalomaniac?

Smith also gushed about a picture Snyder showed him of Ben Affleck in the Batman suit. It was the design of the suit that really fanned Smith’s fanboy passions. He raved:

I saw the Batman costume. More than that I saw a picture of him (Affleck) in the costume. Now, I don't want to give anything away 'cause that is up to them and stuff, but I am going to say this, I instantly bear hugged him (Snyder). You have not seen this costume in a movie on film before, and for a comic book fan, it was mind bending. I was like 'Get out of here, only you have enough power to pull this off.'

Because everyone always like does this Matrix/X-Men black armor. ... It was fantastic. I'm already a flag waver for this movie, but the costume, it blew my mind. I think everyone is just gonna be like 'Holy ****!' It's its own thing, man. It's like we haven't been down this path at all. I was so elated. ... Even the hardest core “**** all this” person will be like 'alright, I'm ready.'"

So Smith is in the tank for Snyder’s vision. Are you? What do you need to see or hear from Snyder’s film to officially win you over? Would casting Adam Driver as Nightwing convince you that Snyder is on the right track? Because that continues to be the red-hot talking point as pre-production on Snyder’s movie steamrolls right along.

Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien got his hands on the first exclusive ‘Batman vs. Superman’ trailer ... sort of.

It’s turkey time! Gobble, gobble.