With Avengers: Age of Ultron coming in just a few short weeks, the internet is buzzing with all-new levels of hype and speculation. From analyzing every nuance of the trailers, to how Age of Ultron will tie-in to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s obvious that many people cannot wait for the upcoming Marvel Studios movie. Myself included. Which has got me thinking lately.
Will Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD tie into the upcoming Avenger’s movie? After seeing how Agents of SHIELD connected with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it seems obvious the new SHIELD agents will overlap with the coming of Ultron. But I don’t know that it will, at least not the way we think (and hope) it will. Agents of SHIELD could potentially be building up for something even better, something that connects with the 2016 Captain America: Civil War movie.
If you’ve been keeping up with recent episodes of Agents of Shield, you know that something is up. No, not the introduction of the Inhumans. Two main characters, Mack and Bobbi, have something to hide. Over the season, it’s been revealed the two characters have ulterior motives for working with Coulson and his team. Not only are they siphoning information about SHIELD operations, they also have detailed information relating to Coulson’s secret secret, namely the “toolbox” given to him by Nick Fury. Knowledge of the toolbox should give a clear indication that whoever Mack and Bobbi is working for is much closer to SHIELD than we suspected before the winter break.
Could it be SWORD, the SHIELD-like agency that monitors and prevents cosmic threats to the planet Earth? Or could it be another SHIELD agent? Could it be both?
Let’s say it is another SHIELD agent. Mack and Bobbi both implied there is an endgame in the works, and even though their long-term plans will force their friends away, there is hope for reconciliation. This is an important point, because the two believe they’re working in subterfuge for a greater good. If they were HYDRA, they wouldn’t care at all about what happens to their friends. If we’re ignoring SWORD for the moment, that points to a coup within SHIELD. But who could have such intimate knowledge of Coulson’s toolbox? One woman: Maria Hill.
These days, Maria is working for Tony Stark, a leader in world security after the events of Avengers, and this is where Avengers: Age of Ultron, will likely tie-in to Agents of SHIELD. Ultron, somehow created by or as a result of Tony Stark’s mechanical genius, was originally created to protect. Seeing it fail, will likely cause Stark to rethink the way he’s been doing things, which should ultimately lead to him being on one side of a coin in Civil War next year. I’m not sure what shape Civil War will take, but I’m fairly certain it won’t be the same story the comic books told us. Like anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the movies take on a life of their own while retaining a semblance of the comic books they imitate. I’ll take a moment to remind you that Maria Hill and Tony Stark worked together in the comic book version of Civil War.
What’s important to take away from this is that Maria Hill now works for Tony, and she is in the best position to retake SHIELD. She may be loyal to Nick Fury, but she works for Stark, a man teetering on the edge of something drastic. The tie-in for Age of Ultron could very well usher in the rumblings for Civil War. Even if Maria isn’t the manipulator behind Mack and Bobbi, that leaves SWORD who could be looking to fill the void left by SHIELD after Winter Soldier. SWORD could fill the same role as Maria Hill, connecting some new government agency (pro-registration) against Coulson’s SHIELD (anti-registration).
I don’t expect Agent of SHIELD to tie-in with Ultron directly. There may be small references, like the way Thor: The Dark World was handled, but Agents of SHIELD is looking for long-term stories to drive it, and Civil War is the most direct long-term story. Hell, Civil War, if it starts with the Agents of SHIELD/Age of Ultron tie-in, will give Agents of SHIELD another whole season to adapt and build with, not to mention working the Inhumans in deeper.
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