Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer reaction

Thoughts on the first, second and third viewings of the new Marvel Studios film trailer, coming May 2015.

You’ve watched the trailer already. Of course you have. I’ve watched it three times now (but to be fair I was taking notes for this article the last two times.)

So what did we make of the Age of Ultron trailer?

avengers age of ultron poster

Well first off, it looks brilliant; of course it does, it’s a) a Marvel Studios movie, and b) a film directed by Joss “Is Boss” Whedon. Naturally, May 2015 can’t come soon enough for a lot of us.

Because while it looks as outstanding as ever, it’s also laying down some very intriguing hints about the future of the MCU. Here are a few things that got me thinking.


“I’ve got no strings”

It’s a simple enough phrase popularised by a puppet some 70-odd years ago (in a nod to new parent company Disney) but the performance of the song heard throughout the trailer – eerie as all hell – might apply not only to Ultron’s becoming sentient but also to his serving no master. The Avengers are sworn to protect Earth at all costs, but Ultron has no such bounds.

Quick note here: I’m not a big James Spader fan – the most I’ve seen of him is his run as Bobby in The Office ­– but somewhere along his career he took an extremely sinister edge that’s made him perfect for the role of a very dangerous Marvel villain. I’m really looking forward to seeing what sort of “batshit crazy” he’ll bring to the table.

Civil War

It’s annoying, but even before we’ve seen AoU in its full-length format, we’re getting tasty morsels of information about more upcoming instalments of the MCU; namely that Captain America 3 could be the start of the Marvel Civil War which saw Tony Stark and Steve Rogers on opposing sides in the comics.

To get from Age of Ultron into a Civil War we’ll need definitive proof that what The Avengers have going for them isn’t working. The team barely survived the Battle of New York, and what with HYDRA making its presence known in The Winter Soldier and the first season of Agents of SHIELD, there could be further disruption ahead.

In the trailer, Stark appears to tell Fury and Black Widow that “it’s the end of the path I started us on”. And what with us also seeing Cap’s shield laying broken in half, perhaps it literally is the end for someone.

And then there’s Bucky, another Cap in the comics, who did a post-credits pop-up in The Winter Soldier…

Two new recruits

In the mid-credits scene of The Winter Soldier (it’s a scientific fact that cinema cleaners are now 10% less productive because people stay until the end), we saw Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch being held by a higher-up at HYDRA. Assuming even that they’re not keen on being caged up like that, we still don’t know where these new characters’ loyalties lie. While we assume they won’t be quick to join The Avengers, perhaps they play a big part in Ultron’s plans.

(We can also assume that their father Magneto won’t be joining in the fun.)


What did you make of the trailer? Give me a score of 1 to PSYCHED.


A Serenity Comic Sequel!

The hugely-missed Firefly universe will continue on thanks to Dark Horse Comics.

Serenity Comic Sequel

No matter how much you may have enjoyed the previous Serenity comics which explored the origins of various characters as well as bridging the gap between the short-lived TV series Firefly and the Serenity movie, there’s a definite cry from fans who want to know what happened following the events of the film once voted by SFX readers as the best sci-fi film of all time – yes, it charted above Star Wars.

However, as posted by Comic Book Resources, Dark Horse Comics will take on the role of laying out these events in comic book form, much as they did with the very successful comics takes on Buffy and Angel, two more of Joss Whedon’s televisual treats. The series will also feature the very talented artist Georges Jeanty, who previously worked on the further adventures of the afore-mentioned Vampire Slayer.

So where does this new series pick up? Well, having revealed Alliance agencies as the creators of the Reavers, rabid scourge of the universe, the good ship Serenity flies on with wanted fugitive River Tam in the co-pilot’s seat and a heavily pregnant Zoe still struggling to come to terms with the surprise death of her husband, Wash –something which still brings the odd tear to my eye, I’m not afraid to say.

While some fans may prefer that this little bit of continuity be edged out in favour of returning Wash to the cockpit, I’d say there’s still plenty of scope for the series’ trademark humour and outsider’s eye on the effects of life on the scrounge through the eyes of characters like Simon Tam. Either way, I cannot wait to pick up the first issue of what’s sure to be a smash hit for Dark Horse. Not even the current lack of a writer announcement will stop me!

Sound off, Browncoats! Are you looking forward to more of this iconic story?

Firefly Online Social MMORPG announced at San Diego

Just like you couldn’t take the sky from the intrepid crew of the good ship Serenity, it appears that you also can’t take a piece of the gaming pie from FOX.


At San Diego Comic Con this week, the studio which brought you Joss Whedon’s immortal Firefly series and film Serenity has announced its Digital Entertainment division’s team-up with Spark Plug Games (creators of Plight of the Zombie and Witch’s Workshop…yeah, I don’t know either) to release the official Firefly Online social game on Android and iOS next summer.

According to the official website, keepflying.com, players assume the role of a ship’s captain as they make their way through the ‘Verse, doing jobs to stay afloat and seek out adventures. You can customize your very own ship and pick a crew, while ostensibly remaining hooked on the game’s promised “unique social features connecting Firefly fans”.

It seems that players will be competing with each other for the best jobs, crew members and rewards; it’s a rather lofty goal for a social game, you’d think.

But judging by the absolute runaway success that is The Simpsons Tapped Out, FOX is keen to expand its social game offering – and while the studio does own its fair share of geek culture properties, they couldn’t see past an idea which not only appeals to diehard fans of a beloved TV series and film, but to the casual gamers who will no doubt also flood that particular section of the geeky Venn diagram. The fact that it’s originally intended for your phone or tablet doesn’t exactly fill me with hope that we’ll see anything too ground-breaking though.

The teaser trailer is below:

Firefly Online will be released in Summer 2014. Are you already committed to giving up your own social life in order to get involved with this one, or will you need more convincing?

Joss Whedon has ‘a real fear’ about a Serenity sequel

I’ve done roughly 70 posts on this here website to date, and I fear that there’s not been nearly enough of my fawning, yearning love for Joss Whedon yet. Frankly I’m amazed I got this far without revealing my love for Buffy, Angel and especially Firefly/Serenity, that beautiful programme taken from us before its time due to hilariously upsetting studio mismanagement. But does Joss think he’s ready to call it a comeback?


If you spend more time picking apart a programme’s production than you do actually enjoying the stories told – which geeks like us are basically programmed to do, right? – then you will no doubt have taken the time to appreciate how much Whedon really cared about his stories; the love he had for his creations and his hand in their continuing developments – even at that period where he had three programmes on the air simultaneously he made sure that each was in capable hands. That’s not to mention the continuing story of Buffy in comic form.

So with only half a season of Firefly in the can before the Powers That Be decided to end the show, fans clamoured for the DVD; sales of which proved so gorram successful that the studio then funded a feature film. It was an unprecedented move which just about broke even at cinemas despite its low profile outside of geekdom. SFX readers voted it the greatest sci-fi move of all time – a bold call to boot A New Hope down to second place, but one I definitely agree with. So where’s the sequel, Joss? With a somewhat open ending to the original film leaving plenty of scope for, at the very least, seventeen more films (a conservative estimate based on my wishes) we’re left wondering where even the first sequel is.

Well, Joss has come out and admitted it – he’s got ‘the fear’ that lightning wouldn’t strike twice, according to an A he gave to a Q at…well, a Q&A for his new film, quoted by comingsoon.net:

“Right now I’m happy to say everybody is working doing good jobs. There’s a real fear of ‘The Monkey’s Paw,’ you know? You bring it back to life and it isn’t the same. Even if it’s GREAT and it isn’t the same. I’m dying to get on a ship with those guys again, but I’m also doing yet another goddamn huge ensemble movie [‘The Avengers 2’]. Why can’t I do a movie about just one guy? So right now I can’t even access that part of my brain. If all the planets align that would be great, but I’m not going to do what I did the first time and move heaven and earth to make it happen.”

Man’s got a point (and not just about the ensemble cast thing either; he should definitely have a crack at a lone wolf thing next time) – everyone else is doing just fine because of their previous work together on board Serenity; it’s more a question of timing, but any attempt to rush back for another chapter in the tale might seem a little forced. They’re all grateful for their time together and, by all accounts, they all absolutely loved what they did on that programme. Let’s let our heroes get on with what they’re doing, and be assured for now at least that no matter how much we want a Firefly reunion – they want it just as much as we do, if not more.