SPOILER WARNING: There are potential spoilers ahead for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you do not wish to learn details about one of the earliest scenes in the film, we would recommend turning away now!
Ultron may be the titular villain in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but he won’t be the only antagonist giving the team of superheroes a run for their money in the sequel. It’s been known for a while that Baron von Strucker, first seen in the end credits of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, would be the bad guy the heroes would face early in the movie, and having secured Loki’s staff after the events of The Avengers, this guy is not to be trifled with. It’s now been confirmed that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will combat the HYDRA agent and his forces at the beginning of the film, and judging from the description of the battle’s aftermath, the opening sequence of the 2015 blockbuster is going to be intense!
Director Joss Whedon described the opening scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron as a "pre-credits Bondian blowout" to Empire Magazine. According to the description, after the heroes pay a "visit" to Strucker at his European castle, they head back to Avengers Tower on Tony Stark’s Quinjet. Hawkeye is hooked up to an IV drip and clutches his stomach in pain. Bruce Banner looks clearly troubled, and we learn that he Hulked out during the mission, or as it's labeled, had a "code green." Black Widow tries to reassure him by saying that there would have many way more casualties had he not transformed, but Bruce tells her, "You know, sometimes exactly what I want to hear isn't exactly what I want to hear." Black Widow turns to Thor for help and the Asgardian eagerly recounts the destruction Hulk unleashed in during their attack. This has the opposite effect on Bruce, and Thor is left stumbling over his words. Whatever happened in this battle, it was a doozy!
The Avengers kicked things off with Loki’s attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D. base, so it’s somewhat ironic that this movie switches things up and starts with the heroes attacking a HYDRA base. What’s curious is why Bruce’s latest "code green" is more troubling than the previous ones. Obviously when The Hulk is thrown into a situation, there’s guaranteed to be destruction and property damage, but from this description, it sounds like things got out of hand even by Hulk standards. Given that Strucker has Loki’s scepter, it’s possible that Bruce’s transformation was triggered unwillingly, similar to what happened on the Helicarrier in The Avengers.
Taking into account Hawkeye’s injuries, it sounds like the mission as a whole didn’t go as expected, and since we still don’t know the precise outcome or even what the mission was in the first place, there’s very much the possibility that Baron von Strucker managed to escape, which would fit with Thomas Kretschmann’s multi-film contract. After all, superhero missions don’t always go down as planned. At least Thor got a kick out of the violent chaos that ensued. Those Asgardians love their battles!
Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released in theaters on May 1st.