Hey all, I haven't posted here since 2008, when we rightly considered the difficulty that Iron Man 2 would have
in balancing S.H.I.E.L.D.'s role in a story where Tony would find himself part of a bigger universe. (It's funny, I also proposed a joint Iron Man/Hulk movie
back then, which people shot down, but now doesn't seem so crazy
.) Now it is 2012, just after The Avengers has come out, the MCU has gotten even bigger, and I want to join in on the speculation!
"It is a signal to all the realms that the Earth is ready for a higher form of war
~Thor, The Avengers
"By not trying to. By being smaller
. More personal, more painful
By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and
not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a
theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself."
~Joss Whedon, interview with DigitalSpy
, March 2012, about how to make Avengers 2 "bigger."
(Technically, both of these quotes are by Joss Whedon.) Thor's blunt statement (and Cap's disturbed reaction) about the direction Earth was heading gave me chills during that awesome 6-way argument scene in TA. Thoughts of RDJ and co. facing the Infinity Gauntlet, the Kree-Skrull War, Secret Wars, etc. entered my imagination. Then The Other uttered the words "court death" and Thanos appeared in the mid-credits scene, and I was equally stoked.
But then I remembered Joss Whedon's interview from back in March. "Being smaller" and "more personal" does not seem to mesh with "a higher form of war" or flow in the general direction the MCU is heading with Thanos and Guardians of the Galaxy somewhere down the road. If Joss writes/directs TA2 as we all hope he will, it probably won't follow one of the "bigger" storylines (perhaps TA3 will do so). This leads me to a couple of questions, similar to some that have already been discussed in this thread.
1) If we assume TA2 goes "smaller" and "more personal," organically taking the logical next step from TA, how can you do so and while still advancing the overarching narrative that ultimately leads to a bigger epic involving someone like Thanos?
I've seen a few members mention The Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi as a model to follow, but it seems much harder to accomplish for TA2/TA3 given that it's not centered around one character like Luke Skywalker. I trust that Joss will figure it out, I just want to know what you guys think about going "smaller" with an actual team, not centering on one main character. (The X-Men Trilogy comparison helps, except to think about the third one hurts my heart.) I'm not a big comic book reader, so maybe some of you can educate me about some lesser-known Avengers stories that accomplish this well.
2) What do you think will be sprinkled into IM3, Thor 2, and Cap 2 as they lead to TA2, and do you think they will hint at/lead to a) a "smaller" and "more personal" storyline, or b) "a higher form of war"?
Phase I led us to "a bigger universe" and ultimately a bigger story in TA by sprinkling SHIELD, the Cosmic Cube, and references/appearances/cameos of other heroes into the first five movies. With the apparent disparity between Thor's and Joss's words in mind, it is interesting to speculate how Phase II will play out as they lead us on the path to TA2.