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5 Burning Questions From ‘THE AVENGERS’

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May 6, 2012

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5 Burning Questions From ‘THE AVENGERS’

‘THE AVENGERS’ opening weekend has come and gone, and in its wake are previous box office records that it shattered on its way to claiming the number one spot as the best domestic opening weekend in box office history.  According to /Film:

The Walt Disney Studios announced today that Marvel’s The Avengers posted an estimated $200.3 million in its domestic debut May 4-6, shattering previous records and positioning the film as the highest-grossing domestic debut of all time. The film’s cumulative global box office gross is an estimated $641.8 million over 12 days in release.

What makes this news even better is the fact that the film, itself, was great.  It wasn’t just a giant, summer blockbuster movie hitting it big at the box office.  It was a great film, years in the making that culminated in a funny, smart, and action-packed film.  The writing was great, and each actor brought their A-game to their parts.  Marvel did it right (you hear that DC and everyone involved with ‘GREEN LANTERN’?!).

As much as I enjoyed the film, I was left with five burning questions from “THE AVENGERS” when I left the theater.  Now granted, I’ve only seen the film once (so far), so maybe upon further viewings some of these questions will be answered or at least mitigated.

5 BURNING QUESTIONS FROM “THE AVENGERS”

1) WASN’T LOKI ALREADY ON EARTH?

In the post-credits scene of ‘THOR,’ we saw Dr. Erik Selvig meeting Nick Fury under, what we can assume was, the underground facility of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Fury showed Selvig the Tesseract and told him about its unlimited power.  In the wall reflection next to Selvig we suddenly saw a brusied and battered Loki step into view.  We soon learned that Loki was controlling Selvig’s mind, which led me to believe he would use Selvig to gain access to the cube in AVENGERS.  However, the opening of AVENGERS showed Loki meeting with the other and receiving the spear before returning to Earth.  My question is, how did he travel across space from Earth without the Tesseract or the Bifrost?  It seemed a little confusing to me since I assumed he was already on earth to begin with.  I figured that was the point of showing him in the ‘THOR’ post-credits scene.

2) WHAT DID TONY STARK HAVE TO DO WITH CAPTAIN AMERICA’S SHIELD?

In both ‘IRON MAN and ‘IRON MAN 2’ we got glimpses of Captain America’s shield in Tony Stark’s work room, more so in the sequel.  It looked as though Tony Stark was designing a new upgraded version of the shield for Cap, but we never saw any of his prototypes in AVENGERS.  It looked as though Steve Rogers was using the same old shield he used in ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.’  But based on the appearance of the shield in the two IRON MAN movies, I was hoping for a cool new design; maybe lock-on targeting for shield throwing or a retrieval device that calls the shield back if its fallen or thrown somewhere.  Marvel had a perfect chance to tie those appearances in with this movie, especially considering that Stark’s father, Howard Stark, was in charge of designing Rogers’ original shield.

3) HOW DID THOR GET BACK TO EARTH?

It seems there are a lot of questions regarding how the two Asgardians, Thor and Loki, got to Earth.  When Thor was stranded on Asgard at the end of ‘THOR,’ I, like most people, wondered why Marvel chose to do this.  A lot of people said that if Marvel spent any time in AVENGERS bringing Thor back to Earth, it would be a waste of precious movie time.  Well, fans got their wish, and Thor magically appeared on the wing of the aircraft carrying Loki.

When Loki and Thor had their little exchange shortly thereafter, Loki asked Thor how much dark matter the All-Father (Odin) had to conjure up to send him back to Earth…and that was it.  I assumed that Marvel’s decision to leave Thor on Asgard was because there was going to be a scene in ‘AVENGERS’ devoted to bringing him back.  After all, we saw Jane Foster and her team gathering data and star maps at the end of ‘THOR’ in an attempt to find him.  It would have been nice to see S.H.I.E.L.D. use her research to find another way of opening the portal between Earth and Asgard.  Having Thor just appear because of “dark matter” felt like a cop out.  How come when Thor asked Heimdel if Earth was lost at the end of ‘THOR’ the Asgardian gate keeper didn’t reply, “Fuck no.  We got dark matter, baby!”

4) HOW DID THE HULK FINALLY CONTROL HIMSELF?

What made this character great was Mark Ruffalo’s interpretation of Bruce Banner.  He finally brought a depth to the character we didn’t get from Eric  Bana and Edward Norton, the two previous actors who portrayed Banner.  Ruffalo was the star of the film, I felt, and Marvel would be nuts not to give the Hulk another solo film with Ruffalo leading the way.  Having said that, I was torn at the end when Banner returned and became the Hulk to fight alongside the rest of the Avengers.  On the one hand, I was amped to finally see the Hulk portrayed as a true hero.  Yes, we got that in ‘THE INCREDIBLE HULK,’ but I didn’t feel as satisfied then as I did this time around.  Maybe because in this one we finally saw the Hulk protecting people from a true enemy, whereas in the last film I felt it was more of a cage fight between Hulk and the Abomination.  But the one thing I was curious about in this recent film was how the Hulk was finally able to control himself at the end?  What stopped him from smashing fellow Avengers like Captain America or Black Widow?  I’m not going to harp on this because I loved having the Hulk portrayed as a hero, finally, but it was still something I left the theater wondering.

5) WHAT WAS WITH THE HANNIBAL LECTER MASK?

This is a minor thing, but one I couldn’t help wonder about.  At the end, when Loki and Thor go back to Asgard, why is Loki wearing a Hannibal-Lecter-type mask?  While Loki is the god of mischief, we’ve seen no evidence in these films that he can cast any spells or curses, so was it just to shut him the fuck up?  Most likely.  It was a cool mask, but I wasn’t sure if it served any purpose other than to look cool.

Now that the opening weekend for ‘THE AVENGERS’ has come and gone, it’ll be interesting to see if it can hold onto the opening weekend record with the release of ‘THE DARK KNIGHT RISES’ just a few months away.

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(32) Readers Comments

  1. Big Guy Movie Reviews
    May 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    1 Loki left Earth to get his Army. That is why he comes back. The scene at the end of Thor says that Loki manipulates the Professor from Thor to use the Tesseract to open a wormhole to where the Chitauri are so he can get his army. 2 Loki's first conservation with Thor gives an idea that Odin has access to other means to travel between worlds other than the Bi-frost. 3 Banner trained himself to control his anger between the last Hulk film and this one. That is how he learned to control his anger. 4 maybe much of Loki's power comes from his mouth. He knows how to manipulate people by speaking to them.

    • Rui Zhang
      September 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      regarding the 4th point, I remember in Thor, Thor's friend did joke something along the line of "what, the cat got your tongue? silver tongue" while they were crossing the Bo-frost, so it's very possible that Loki's power comes from his mouth.

    • RobertX
      October 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Loki is one of the greatest sorcerers of Asgard probably second only to Odin. Oh yes, he has magic.

  2. Adam
    May 7, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I was wondering how The Hulk gained control. He apparently didn't have any control when he went ape sh*t on Black Widow...

    • Jamie
      May 9, 2012 at 9:19 am

      I'm with you on that. That seems to be the issue for most people. I kept wondering "did I miss something?" but I guess Marvel was just hoping we'd overlook it. Nice try, Marvel!

      • Stu
        May 12, 2012 at 3:32 am

        Banner lost control on the Helicarrier. He was hurt and in danger. During the battle, however, Banner was in control of the transformation. Though, he's never really in control of Hulk, he can sort of "aim" him. "I can't control it... But maybe I could guide it, aim it in the right direction." From the 2008's The Incredible Hulk

      • Christianeeeee
        June 12, 2012 at 8:28 am

        I think between The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers he learned to controll it but the reason he went crazy on Widow is because she lied to him and my guess is, that was running through Hulks mind. I forgot what exactly Hulk said but he said something along the lines of "you lied to me". I think Marvel intended for us to view it that way. I did atleast. This is also just my opinion :)

      • TheDutchin
        January 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        Also, he comes to the realization that he can "aim" him a little better after the old maintenance man tells him that he aimed himself into the empty warehouse. This showed him that the hulk is capable of "good" and that makes him understand the hulk better. The better understanding lets him control him better.

  3. The first Avenger
    May 7, 2012 at 8:03 am

    At end of "The Incredible Hulk" banner learns to control it. He looked like he has doing yoga lol.

  4. Dylan
    May 7, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Almos all the issues would have been solved if they would have had Joss brought in from the beginning to be the MC of the marvel movies. He could have had a hand in the little details that led into the Avengers. I think the cap shield was just supposed to be a little easter egg in the first one but got such a huge response they decided to shove it in our face in the second one. This was clearly a Favreau issue and I'm sure if Joss had any say (like he should have) he would not have had the shield so in your face in Iron Man 2 I think what we see with the Hulk is Banner constantly on the verge of hulking out ("I'm always angry") But his trick is suppressing the Hulk even when he is angry. When he goes all bananas on Black Widow/Thor its due to Hulk taking over him falling and maybe getting hurt. At the end he was the one that caused the Transfer so maybe he was the one who got to control it,

  5. Michael
    May 7, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I have read a ton of comic books so here is my answers: 1. Yes he could have been, but in Thor Loki said that there were gateways from world to world. 2. His Dad made Captain America’s shield, so Tony was looking to see how it was made to use the same metal in his own armor. 3. Odin used dark magic to get him back to earth. 4. Banner said something along the lines of “he is always angry” meaning if he forces himself into becoming the Hulk then he will have control, but IF he is forced to become the Hulk then he doesn’t have control. 5. In Thor, Thor said that Loki has a “silver tongue.”

  6. Lincredible Hulk
    May 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    The two things that bothered me the most. The agent with vintage captain america cards shouldn't have been the reason they all clicked. It should've been the death of Widow or Hawkeye....or something way more dramatic. Secondly, Hulk losing control in the ship and being able control himself at the end was just puzzling. It's like they were going to develop Hulks character again but they didn't.

    • Me
      March 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Don't say bad things about Coulson. COULSON LIVES!

  7. Jonny Hallsworth
    June 18, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Loki had never set foot on earth before this film. There is a scene in Thor where Thor is being held by Coulson. Loki appears to tell Thor a rather nasty lie and then disappears again, however he isn't physically there. He just has the power to appear in peoples minds to control them just like we see multiple times where he makes many decoys of himself to trick people into attacking, falling through his body and off a cliff/the rainbow bridge. The extra bit at the end of Thor, he isn't actually in the room with Nick Fury and co. or they would have been like "who the hell are you?". The point of the scene is to show that he is controlling people on earth and has a plan. That is my take on it anyway..

    • Mel
      April 5, 2013 at 12:27 am

      If he wasn't really on earth, why would he try to get the mjolnir? He used illusions while fighting, but like you said, enemies would just go through him, nothing indicates that the illusions could actually touch things.

  8. zach
    July 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Adam he cant control himself he can but not to easy to control himself so he need more angry so he can fight the bad guys there's your question

  9. Christina
    August 5, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Regarding question five, I figure that since Loki's the god of lies, a trickster known for his silver tongue, they wanted to prevent any chance of him being able to get all sly and sneaky and trick someone into either letting him go or putting him in a situation that he could easily escape. And as for the Hulk, the difference I think between the battle Hulk and the Hulk that wanted to absolutely crush Black Widow is that in the big battle, Bruce had made himself turn and he was finally acknowledging and acting on the fact that they really needed the Hulk's help; opposed to on the ship, he was aggravated by getting hurt and he already had recent hard feelings toward Black Widow's forcing him to join the Avengers, so it was an accidental transfer. Plus, in The Incredible Hulk, he was already learning to control himself.

  10. B_H
    August 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    1. He wasn't actually on Earth. He never set foot on earth until the Avengers. Why do you think no one saw him in Thor? 2. Stark and his father created several shields to replace the Vibranium shield. It could be possilble that Stark will give Rogers his energy shield later. 3. As stated in Thor, there are different ways in and out of Asgard. In the comics, Loki uses the Norn stones to travel through dimensions and Malaketh used his own dark energy to teleport. In the Avengers, Loki asked how much dark energy Odin used to send Thor to Earth. 4. Same way the 2008 Hulk and 2003 Hulks did it, they fell from the sky ;). The real answer is that the Hulk aims his anger and attacks it. Thats why Banner said he's always angry. 5. Loki has used his spells once before. The Cosmic staff enhanced his powers, but Loki can use incantations. At the end of Thor he was controlling Selvig. Who's to say that he wouldn't do the same to the Avengers.

  11. Whitney
    September 3, 2012 at 12:08 am

    1.) I'm assuming that the Loki that was at the end of Thor was just an image like the scene in Thor when he was detained by S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.) In Iron Man 2, Tony is was using the shield to prop up the machine that he built to synthesize the new element for the chest piece. He just found it in all of Howard's old things. 3.) Loki says to Thor that Odin must have had to conjure a lot of dark energy to get Thor to Earth since the bifrost was gone. 4.) NO CLUE!! Lol 5.) Loki is a manipulative little shit...the less he says, the better.

  12. Motley Blue
    September 18, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I am late to the game here, but here's my two cents: 1. First of all, Loki WAS on Earth in the "Thor" film. Remember the scene where Loki failed in his attempts to pick up Mjolnir (Thor's hammer)? How could he have done that if he wasn't there physically? On the original question, I am guessing Loki left Earth after his business with Selvig to consult The Other. I am sure he used the Tesseract to get him back to Earth again, simply because it would get him in the same vicinity as the Tesseract. 2. I think the set designer for "Iron Man" just put Captain America's shield in the background for fun. It was brought back in "Iron Man 2" for some additional fan service. That's it. 3. Colin answered this question by quoting the line from the movie: "dark matter." I don't think we need further elaboration. If you can buy that there are Norse Gods living in another dimension, I think you should buy the "dark matter" explanation. 4. As others mentioned, Banner got control of himself at the end of "The Incredible Hulk." The reason Banner turns on Scarlet Widow and Thor during his FIRST transformation in "The Avengers" was because Loki was screwing with his mind (and the minds of the other Avengers ... hence the intensity of the "group argument" scene). Even when Loki walks past Banner on his way to his "cell," Banner rubbing/shaking his head (which Stark does after his war-of-words with Cap). So, Loki's mind control PLUS Banner falling and hurting himself unexpectantly (during the Hellicarrier attack) equals an out-of-control Hulk. During the SECOND Hulk transformation, Banner was calm and under control. Hence, he was able to work alongside the Avengers (save the "playful" punch for Thor) during the battle sequence against the Chitari. 5. As others have said, Loki has a "silver tongue" and as a sorcerer, can probably cast his share of spells.

    • Mike
      January 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      Another reason why Loki probably was on Migard/Earth in "Thor" (in addition to trying to lift Mjolnir). He speaks with Thor wearing a suit with a nice necktie (if my memory serves me correctly). Why not wear Asgardian attire, unlesss he was trying to blend to those other than Thor?

  13. Lee Roberts
    September 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    The mask at the end for Loki was to bind his tongue. Since he is the lord of lies. We see Thor come back to earth after they catch Loki. And I suppose we're suppose to assume that The Hulk/Banner practiced controlling himself between the events of Norton's Hulk movie and Avengers. Maybe the Stark shield will show up in Avenger's 2. Or that was a prototype Tony's dad worked on that we see.

  14. Ben
    November 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I'm even later than the other guy, but here's my two-cents: I was under the (mis)impression that Loki wasn't on Earth at the end of Thor. I just figured it was an astral projection of some sort that he was using to manipulate Selvig into building a portal, so that he could use it himself to get to Earth. I think he was broadcasting from wherever The Other was at that time, because The Other made it sound like he and/or Thanos had rescued Loki from wherever he ended up after fleeing Asgard. It seemed like the earliest stage of their plan, because if Loki had been on Earth at the end of Thor, he could have just as easily taken the tesseract for himself. About the Hulk gaining control: during the DVD commentary, Joss Whedon explains that the reason he wanted Ruffalo to play Bruce Banner was that Ruffalo didn't come off as a guy who couldn't hurt a fly--he came off as a guy could *definitely* hurt a fly, but simply chose *not* to. (This was made very apparent when he tested Natasha in Calcutta.) When Banner Hulked out on the Helicarrier, he did so *in*voluntarily, which is why he was the "mindless beast". When he Hulked out against the Chitauri, he did so *voluntarily*, and thus remained, for the most part, in control.

  15. the first avenger
    November 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Good point Ben, Thanos saved Loki that's why he was indebted to him.

  16. Ryan
    March 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I'm really late here ha... I didn't read all the responses but wondering how Thor made it to earth brought me here... As far as Hulk goes, I was under the impression he was always in control of himself except when in the presence of the staff... Loki's staff was making everyone a not angry and in the Hulks case it made him lose control which had been Loki's intention.

  17. Joe
    March 21, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    1) Loki was never actually shown to be on Earth until the Avengers movie, I am assuming Thanos allowed him to report somehow. 2)Captain America's shield was shown to be designed by Tony's father so it could be possible that he somehow had some of his father's prototypes and was just using them as scrap material. 3) Odin has been shown to have power of teleportation in the comic books. I am assuming they don't show the scene for monetary reasons, they would have to pay a lot to CGI one scene for Asgard and all the extra Asair. Plus a five second teleportation scene would have been rather boring to put into a movie that is almost purely action. 4) Hulk has always known who his enemies were he has just not been able to separate small grievances from large ones so he never attacks small only large. 5) Loki is a silver tongued devil and has been known to persuade people to do things they wouldn't normal with his words.

  18. Cj bost
    March 31, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Iron man had captian America's shield because if you watched captain American the first advenger it shows that when he was looking for a shield to carry iron mans dad gave him it and then when captin America said in the advengers where's my suit and shield Phil said that they had some work done to it because it was out of style

  19. Sif
    April 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    You're new here aren't you? You want some answers? read the comic books and brush up on Norse mythology

  20. Somerandomguy
    April 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    1) I guess loki can send a copy of himself as a ghost to earth whenever he chooses too, just like in thor where hes talking to thor. 2) Since his dad had something to with caps first shield then maybe he made a copy or had a design and tony just happend to have it. 3)That line that loki says suggest that odin got magic and send thor to earth for emeregency purposes and his only way back was with the cube, thats why thor didnt simply take loki back to asgard interigate him there and come back for the cube. . because its not that easy. 4)When loki is captured he walks by bruce, looks at him and bruce looks confused and scratched his eyes, the same way that tony did when he was argueing with cap, so maybe loki influenced the hulks blind fury and the hulk wanted revenge after and thats why he teamed up with the avengers after bruce willingly let him free. 5)Yeah i guess its so that he wont talk and try to trick them or something...

  21. Ian
    September 13, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Loki is wearing the mask at the end of The Avengers as a ode to Norse Mythology of Thor, Loki and the Mjolnir (Thor's Hammer). Legend has it that Loki bet dwarf brother Eitri and Brokkr that they could not make a more powerful weapon than Odin's spear Gungnir. Loki bets his own Head. The brothers win the bet though Loki disguises himself as a fly and keeps trying to bite Brokkr as he operates the bellows for the forge to try and sabotage them. He eventually gets Brokkr to stop the bellows and the Mjolnir is made with a defect: a short handle which makes it only able to be held with one hand. Eitri and Brokkr go to claim Loki's head, but Loki finds a technicality to get out of it by saying that his neck has to be cut to remove his head and the neck is not part of his head. As a punishment for the deception Brokkr SEWS LOKI'S MOUTH SHUT! There you have it...this is why Loki's mouth is muzzled at the end of The Avengers. Pretty cool.

  22. Danielle
    November 3, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    If you read the comic you'd know that... The first time in the film the Banner became the Hulk it was not out of choice. Loki was manipulating everyone in the room with that staff (remember, Iron Man and Captain America almost came to blows) and Banner left the room also agitated. A possessed Hawkeye and his team then attacked the Hellicarrier and that was enough to have Banner lose control. The second time Banner WANTED to become the Hulk and in that state he recognized who his friends and enemies were.

  23. mike
    August 24, 2014 at 11:38 am

    How the frick did Ruffalo bring depth to the character?

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