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“Age of Ultron”: The Marvel era continues

In case you missed it, the first trailer to the highly anticipated blockbuster “Avengers: Age of Ultron” made its unexpected internet debut last Wednesday. I believe that the best way for me to effectively describe the trailer and the emotions I felt after viewing it (many times) would be to quote the immortal D.J. Tanner, who once said “Oh Mylanta!” after embarrassing herself in front of a boy she liked.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that we’re talking about a trailer here, so I really can’t speak on how great the movie actually is yet. But despite that, we now have a convincing two minutes of evidence that “Age of Ultron” just might be the best film of Summer 2015.

The trailer doesn’t introduce any new revelations about the plot, but it’s made clear that this entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe won’t be as tongue-in-cheek as its predecessors. Kicked off by Ultron’s bone-chilling monologue, which James Spader does a magnificently terrifying job of bringing to life, the images that follow paint a very dark picture for the future of the Avengers.

Iron Man fights Hulk, Thor attacks Iron Man, Hawkeye and Black Widow are under attack and various Ultron drones are dispatched to destroy our heroes. However, the sight that stands out the most has to be Captain America’s shield (which is made of vibranium, a virtually indestructible Marvel metal) laying in halves among the rubble.

While it’s known that adopting a darker tone doesn’t always assure that a superhero film will be great (i.e. “Man of Steel”), the rise of dramatic depth and pathos could bring out stellar performances from all of the leading stars, especially Robert Downey, Jr. and Spader. Along with the major opportunities for character development, the action sequences looked top notch, culminating with the epic battle between Hulk and Tony Stark in his special “Hulkbuster” armor.

The trailer also raises questions about the status of the current Avengers roster at the end of their fight against Ultron. Will Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson) join the team full-time? What about Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther, who are each receiving their own stand-alone movies in the coming years?

In order to accommodate these potential additions, it’s possible that some of the original Avengers would have to leave, either by their own will or (in true Joss Whedon fashion) by death. Who exactly would that be? We’ll have to wait and find out ourselves.

There’s still some time before “Age of Ultron” hits theaters, but the publicity factory that is Marvel Studios will keep us on our toes until May. To add to the hype train, an exclusive clip from the movie was released on Tuesday during the latest episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Let’s hope that the finished product will be as great as it looks, and not another mediocre film that benefited from an awesome trailer (I’m looking at you, “Gangster Squad”).

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