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What Avengers: Age Of Ultron Tells Us About Marvel's Phase Three

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So Avengers: Age of Ultron finally came to the big screen last Thursday (on this side of the pond), so you've had the entire weekend to go see the highly anticipated sequel once/twice/lost count how many times (delete where applicable). But no matter how many times the mind bending action or James Spader's deliciously evil voice has washed over, there's no doubt some details of Marvel Studio's plan for the MCU moving forward dropped into their latest blockbuster may have passed you by. But Fear not, for I have way too much time on my hands, and will guide you through what Avengers:Age of Ultron means for Marvel's epic Phase Three. I know I don't need to tell you this, but beware of SPOILERS!!!

The Infinity War Is Coming



This is the big one. Space despot Thanos' quest for the all powerful, reality defining Infinity Stones has been something hinted it as early as Thor, and will come to a head with 2018's Avengers: Infinity War Part One. Of the six Thanos needs to play Twister with the universe, we've seen four. The Tesseract is the space stone, granting the power to manipulate and warp space, as we saw during the Chitauri invasion of New York City in The Avengers. The Aether, as seen in Thor: The Dark World, is generally believed to be the reality stone, which has the power to bend reality to its masters will. The power stone was seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, and basically grants its users all the power and energy that has or will exist. Loki's scepter is revealed to house the mind stone, which allows the access and control of living beings minds (it doesn't pay to think if Thanos is hellbent on getting his hands on all the Infinity Stones, why he would give the only one he has to Loki?). The last two, the soul (the ability to control all souls, living and dead) and time (control over the past, present, and future) have yet to be seen, but no doubt we'll see them before the Infinity War crashes on Earth's shores.

Brought together in the natty gauntlet Thanos shows off in the Age of Ultron mid-credits scene, they grant him the powers of a god, each one backing up the other to boost their individual powers to the Nth degree. As you would expect from a story built up since 2011, the Infinity War will be Marvel Studio's biggest event so far, so prepare for things to get crazy, as the new Avengers introduced at the end of Age of Ultron team up with old guard, and maybe even the Guardians of the Galaxy (fingers crossed) to take on Thanos.

Avenger Vs. Avenger



Taking it's cues from one of the most popular, and influential, storyline in recent years, next year's Captain America: Civil War is shaping up to be Avengers 2.5 with Cap, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Black Panther, and Spider-Man all making an appearance. But they are all needed, as Civil War will be asking them to choose sides as the governments of the world pass an act to  regulate all superhuman activity on the back of the global destruction Ultron wrought. While he may have realised he messed up with trying to put 'an armour around the world', expect Tony to fall on the side of the world governments, while the thought of one group trying to control another will more than likely rub Cap up the wrong way (he has seen this all before after all). This clash of ideologies between the two was hinted at in Age of Ultron, with the pair even coming to blows, but expect it to reach epic proportions as Avenger turns on Avenger.

Civil War had some major repercussions for the Marvel Universe in the comics, Captain America and Iron Man especially, so expect Captain America: Civil War to sow the seeds for a new status quo that will really come into it's own once the dust has settled after the Infinity War.

Ragnarok



While Steve Rogers and Tony Stark will be having strong words with each other, Thor has his own problems to deal with in Asgard with 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, starting with Loki been on the throne following the events of Thor: The Dark World. God knows what the trickster has being up to in his absence. Thor's visions also hint that Thanos is an immediate threat, not surprising since the Asgard treasure room is currently home to the Tesseract. But there is something more pressing at hand, a threat Odin knows all too well. Eagle eyed viewers may have spotted a pair of demonic eyes flash before your eyes during Thor's vision. These definitely didn't belong to Thanos, and, really, their owner can be only one person: Surtur.

An ages old enemy of Odin, Surtur has menaced Asgard countless times, always retreating back to his native fire world, Muspelheim, to lick his wounds, and plan his next stab at bringing about the end times, and slay gods and men alike. With Loki at the head of Asgard, what better time for the gigantic fire demon to strike?

The Birth Of Klaw



Many people may have been left scratching their heads at Andy Serkis' cameo as an unnamed arms dealer (extremely odd that they never mention his name), but the mention of Wakanda and Vibranium is a big clue to his importance to one of the most looked forward to Phase Three installments, Black Panther. Serkis was in fact Ulysses Klaue, and his violent parting of ways with his own arm paves the way for him to transform into Klaw, with an arm mounted sonic weapon leading to Klaue becoming a being entirely composed of solidified sound. The Wakandan brand he has on his neck confirms he has had a run in with the royal court of Wakanda, of which Black Panther is a part of, before, so expect Klaw to turn up in Black Panther in 2018.

Scarlet Witch Hearts The Vision



I am actually very skeptical of this one, mainly down to the human/'non-human' romance already being done with The Hulk and the Black Widow, but the hints were there, so lets run with it. In the comics, The Vision and The Scarlet Witch developed a romantic relationship when the android began to develop a fully fledged human personality. The relationship lead to the birth of two children, Thomas and William, but ended when a dismantled Vision was rebuilt as an emotionless robot. The seeds of the relationship are present in Age of Ultron, mainly loaded looks between the pair, so it could be an avenue for Marvel Studios to explore. At the very least, due to The Vision possessing the mind stone, it would provide a very good emotional beat for when Thanos comes to reclaim it.

The Hulk In Space!!!


So, the last shot of the Hulk in Age of Ultron is of him trapped on a Quinjet as it climbs higher and higher into the Earth's atmosphere. Comics fans will recognise this as the beginnings of the epic Planet Hulk event, where the Hulk is shot into space to save the Earth from his rage, landing on an alien planet and overthrowing it's evil ruler. But Mark Ruffalo has revealed the distribution rights for a solo Hulk movie don't lie with Marvel Studios, meaning, for the time being, the Hulk is an ensemble player only. So, space, ensemble, only means Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (out in 2017) is getting greener, doesn't it? With James Gunn saying that the main theme of the sequel is fathers, I don't think the Hulk would play a major role in the story, but it could lead to our favorite bunch of a-holes, trying to pawn their Hulk problem on someone else, to venturing to Earth, putting them in place to take part in the Infinity War.

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The Movie Bit: What Avengers: Age Of Ultron Tells Us About Marvel's Phase Three
What Avengers: Age Of Ultron Tells Us About Marvel's Phase Three
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