In Between Black Widow’s interrogation of Loki and The Attack on The Helicarrier, movie watchers are treated to the most important scene of the MCU.
So do you remember in Batman Vs Superman where Wonder Woman watches clips of The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman? Remember not feeling the slightest bit of excitement? Well in 2012’s The Avengers Assemble, Joss Whedon & co put together one of the most important scenes in cinema, history without anyone even realising. This scene not only sets up phase 2 of the MCU but also ties into movies that were set to release 7 years later!
Loki’s Sceptre, which happens to hold the mind stone, seems to be pulling the strings here. In the scene the heroes are starting to turn on each other, while the camera pans around the room. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are confronting Nick Fury on why SHIELD are using the tesseract to build weapons. Steve Rodgers providing physical evidence, a uniform worn by hydras soldiers during his time in World War 2.
Fury’s Secrets & Captain Marvel
Banner questions Fury on why Shield are building WMD’s. Fury’s explains that Thor’s battle with the Destroyer not only levelled a small town but made the following statements:
1. They are not alone in the universe
2. They are ridiculously out gunned.
Lets pause here for a moment, as of writing this, in 2018, we know Nick Fury is going to be in Captain Marvel. The is strongly based on an alien conflict, and from the post credit scene in Avengers Infinity War, Fury uses a pager to contact Captain Marvel. It makes me wonder what else he could be hiding as he surely must have already knew of the existence of aliens.
Back to the scene and Fury goes on to say that the world is getting filled up with more and more super powered people, similar to the mind stone powered Vision. In Captain America : Civil War Vision explains “our mere existence breeds challenge”. Fury continues by saying they wanted a nuclear deterrent, to protect earth from “higher forms of war”. This touches a nerve with Tony Stark, who sarcastically retorts that “nuclear deterrents always work”
Fury questions Stark, who was formally an arms dealer, on how he became so wealthy, suggesting “it takes one to know one”. This is where things start to spark a bit more as the conversation goes into a higher gear.
Steve Rodgers takes a dig at his war time allies’ son, Tony. Speculating that Stark would be involved with this project if he still made weapons and how self centred he is in comparison to his father – who was practically a war hero.
The Winter Soldier & Civil War
The scene pans around the room while Fury and Thor argue. Then Romanoff seeds the plot to Captain America : The Winter Soldier by saying “SHIELD monitors potential threats”. This is a precursor to Alexander Pierce’s Helicarriers that would eliminate anyone who would stand in the way of Hydra. Banner follows by questioning “Captain America is on a threat warrant?”. Just like he was in his second solo movie where Steve Rodgers’ becomes the biggest threat to Shield. The scene closes with the camera tilting upside down with Loki’s sceptre front and centre and The Avengers arguing behind them.
After a quick cut away, we are back with the team and Banner refers to The Avengers as a time bomb. This is a precursor to:
1. The battle of New York,
2. The events of Age of Ultron & Civil War
3. Avengers Infinity War
Its only a matter of time before this team causes a problem on a mass scale and time and time again they’ve done it, even when trying to make peace they cause more chaos.
And talking about time bomb, the characters are now trying to prevent Banner from turning into the Hulk by requesting he step away from the situation. His fellow Science Bro, Tony Stark comes to his defence which further frustrates Steve Rodgers. We see the hot blooded kid from Brooklyn who couldn’t step down from a fight when he says to Stark. “Big man in a suit of armour, take that off and what are you?”. This line sets up the plot to Iron Man 3, where Tony Stark spends most of his time outside the suit. The final battle even has him leaping in and out of multiple suits.
Iron Man 3 & Spider-Man : Homecoming
This question and the experiences he faces in Iron Man 3 ring in the ears of Peter Parker in Spider-Man : Homecoming. After the mishap on the boat, Stark asks for the spider-man suit back. Parker tries to reason with “I’m nothing without the suit”. Stark’s response is perfect – “if you are nothing without the suit then you don’t deserve it!”. Powerful and harsh, a valuable lesson to anyone paying attention. Your possessions don’t make you who you are, it’s your skills, your character that makes you who you are. Without this exchange of words, Parker wouldn’t have been able to escape the ruins of the building on the night of the Homecoming.
After Stark’s perfect response, Rodgers attacks him further, “the only thing you really fight for is yourself”… “you’re not the kind of guy to make the sacrifice play”. This is swiftly followed by a few blows from Iron Man himself who comes back with “you’re a laboratory experiment, everything special about you came out of a bottle”. This is both true and false. Yes his powers came from the super soldier serum but he was selected because of his character, personality and righteousness. Most importantly how he constantly strives to do what’s right, even if everyone is telling him he’s wrong. This is best demonstrated in not only winter soldier but in civil war too, both times when he was painted a public enemy.
It’s amazing how both characters are mirroring each other. Criticising one another on the skin deep values of what people assume makes them heroes. Justin Hammer and the General Ross’ both thought they could weaponize what made Iron Man and Captain America. Only to come up short handed because the character behind the power wasn’t there.
“Put on that suit and lets go a few rounds”
This line here filled me full of excitement and glee. Captain America and Iron Man were destined to fight one day. The perfect foundation to spark a Civil War. The scene changes gears as the heroes turn towards Banner, who picks up Loki’s sceptre. This further establishing my theory that it was the mind stone causing the Avengers to argue. Finally the scene draws to an end with Hawkeye’s attack on the helicarrier.
From callbacks to predictions, this scene is by far one of my favourite sequence in modern cinema. How organically they plotted and referenced future movies while keep the core of the story moving forward. This scene is one of many reasons why the MCU continues to grow and other cinematic universes fall before they raise.