Avengers: Age of Ultron will expand the original six member team next year to include Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and The Vision. Count ‘em up, that’s nine Avengers for 2015, not including allies like Nick Fury or James Rhodes. One notable Avenger from the comics that isn’t set to appear is Black Panther. Although Marvel executives have expressed enthusiasm for introducing the character into the MCU at some point, there haven’t been any official announcements for Black Panther’s debut (although Stan Lee says t’s a done deal). However, just because something hasn’t been announced to the public doesn’t mean it’s not being prepped for.
As Moviepilot points out, one of the shooting locations for Avengers: Age of Ultron was in South Africa, leading some to speculate that might represent the fictional nation Wakanda. Although it’s one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world, Wakanda is primarily known for its supply of one of the world’s rarest natural resources: vibranium. This is the same material that Captain America’s shield is made of; the only reason Howard Stark didn’t make more of those shields is because that was all the vibranium the U.S. had. It truly is one of a kind, which makes it all the more sad that it’s going to get wrecked next year. This year at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel displayed Cap’s shattered shield at their Avengers: Age of Ultron area for all of geekdom to gaze at. It was truly a horrific sight!
In the comics, Ultron is constructed from adamantium, the same metal that covers Wolverine’s skeleton. While it’s unclear whether Fox owns the exclusive live-action rights to adamantium, vibranium has been touted as the world’s strongest metal in the MCU, so Ultron will probably be constructed from this. So how do you destroy something that’s supposedly indestructible? Use an object made from the same material!
In the preview for Age of Ultron at Comic-Con, there was a scene of Tony Stark standing in a wasteland with his teammates lying defeated. Next to Cap is his broken shield. It’s likely that during the preceding fight, Ultron will punch Cap’s shield dead center, destroying it. If having James Spader voicing that megalomaniacal robot didn’t scare you, then breaking the Star-Spangled Avenger’s shield will surely instill fear.
Captain America’s shield has broken many times in the comics, and is usually repaired through cosmic or cosmic means. Cap’s a capable fighter on his own, but that shield is practically an extension of his arm. It can do much more damage than standard punches and kicks, so he’ll need to get it repaired. Where will he find enough vibranium to fix the damage? Wakanda, of course! Yes, it’s likely that the Avengers will travel to the fictional African nation after their defeat to get it fixed. Of course, they’ll need to ask for help from the country’s ruler T’Challa, better known as the Black Panther. That’s not to say that T’Challa will later suit up and help Earth’s Mightiest Heroes defeat Ultron, but including him in the film gives audiences a tease that this man will be important down the line. Think Hawkeye’s cameo in Thor, but much more substantial.
If the movie decides to follow the comics more closely, then it might make Wakanda’s ruler T’Chaka, T’Challa’s father. This would set up the Black Panther solo movie, where T’Chaka’s father is killed and T’Challa steps up as Wakanda’s leader and becomes Black Panther, while also seeking revenge against his father’s killer. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, he’s the inexperienced prince. But in Black Panther, he becomes the rightful king! What do you think? Possible?