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The Avengers: Age of Ultron left many heroes broken and scarred, including Joss Whedon. After battling Ultron, "the twins," an army of robots, and dealing with conflicts within the team, Earth's Mightiest weren't so mighty by the end of the film. Most of the original members decided to go their separate ways, either to lead their own lives, live out their days in solitude, or defend the world by other means, while new heroes came in to replace them.
A lot went down in Age of Ultron, and if you weren't already versed in Marvel Cinematic Universe lingo, then it could've been difficult to follow. To properly digest everything that we saw in the massive superhero mash-up, and prepare for the events to come in Captain America: Civil War, which will feature most of the Avengers, here's what happened to each of the Marvel heroes and where they're likely to go post-Age of Ultron.
This article contains major spoilers from Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Iron ManWhere He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: Iron Man has had enough of avenging. Having been blamed for unleashing Ultron onto the world because of his own hubris, which is accurate, Tony Stark says goodbye to Captain America, Thor, and Black Widow as he drives off in his million-dollar sports car, away from the new Avengers academy in upstate New York.
How Avengers 2 Changed Him: "This is the end of the path that I started us on." Stark believes the Avengers Initiative all started with him. Thanks to his egotistical tech tampering, his creation almost destroyed all of humanity and his actions ended the first age of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Even then, his ego is so big that the blame, the responsibility, and the attention all comes back to the billionaire playboy philanthropist.
Where He May Go After This: Stark may be retired, but we all know he’s not completely retired. He still has Avengers Tower (formerly Stark Tower) which runs on clean, sustainable energy, and he’ll never stop tinkering with new technology. We know he’s eventually coming back for a showdown with Captain America, but in the meantime, he’ll likely be resting up…or, rather, Stark’s version of resting.
Captain AmericaWhere He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: With the original team disbanded, someone needs to whip the new recruits into shape. The last we see of Steve Rogers, he's stationed at the new Avengers headquarters. It’s his job to help train the replacements for Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye, including War Machine, Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon.
How Avengers 2 Changed Him: As Captain America mentions to Stark, "The Avengers were supposed to be different from S.H.I.E.L.D." in that Stark wasn’t supposed to keep all kinds of potentially life-threatening secrets from the team. Though he was suspicious of Iron Man in the beginning, by the end, Stark’s continued secrecy and ego further proved he’s untrustworthy. He was even disappointed that Hawkeye would keep something like a secret family from the entire team.
Where He May Go After This: We know from the official synopsis from Civil War that Cap is leading his new team of Avengers on world-saving missions. It’s unclear what these missions are exactly, but perhaps it’ll have something to do with the growing mistrust of the superhero team. We saw how aggressive the Sokovians became when Stark’s Avengers-marked Iron Legion bots flew in to assist the people.
ThorWhere He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: Thor has been living on Earth since the events of The Dark World, but now he’s ready to go back to Asgard. Since discovering that the gem in Loki’s scepter, which now lies atop Vision’s forehead, is the Infinity Stone known as the Mind Gem, he has made it his mission to look for the remaining ones.
How Avengers 2 Changed Him: After Scarlet Witch got inside his mind and showed him a strange vision of white-eyed Heimdall and his foreboding warning, Thor went to a mystical pool that allows him to see the vision once more with fresh eyes. It’s in there that he realizes the Infinity Stones are resurfacing and just how dangerous they are.
Where He May Go After This: Unlike the other Avengers, Thor’s fate directly after Age of Ultron is already set in stone. When Marvel announced Thor: Ragnarok, the studio also let slip that the third installment for the Mjolnir-wielding Asgardian picks up directly after he leaves Earth. You know what that means, it’s time for the beginning of the end of the Nine Realms.
HulkWhere He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: After Ultron is defeated and his army is disbanded, Hulk is flying in a S.H.I.E.L.D. quinjet that is both on autopilot and stealth mode. Black Widow asks that he turn off the setting so that she can track him and come pick him up, but Hulk switches off the communicator and allows the ship to fly him to near the coast of Fiji.
How Avengers 2 Changed Him: Bruce Banner attempted to further a romantic relationship with Black Widow, but he always kept a safe distance due to his fear of harming her. Even after Agent Romanoff offered to run away with him into hiding, he couldn’t bear the fact of letting his inner demons bleed into her, especially not after he was sent into a rage on innocent civilians thanks to Scarlet Witch’s wiccan mojo.
Where He May Go After This: Hulk is once again on his own. Since Mark Ruffalo isn’t listed on the official cast roster for Civil War, he probably won’t return for this superhero face-off and will remain in hiding. However, Ruffalo teased that Marvel has big plans for the giant green rage monster, but where might he appear next? Perhaps his earlier question has a larger meaning: "Where in this world am I not a threat?"
Black WidowWhere She Is At The End Of Avengers 2: With her love interest off in Fiji with few options of tracking him, Black Widow chooses to stay behind at Avengers headquarters to train the new recruits with Captain America.
How Avengers 2 Changed Her: Scarlet Witch’s psychic attack affected Romanoff more so than many of the other Avengers. After reliving how she was sterilized as part of her assassin academy graduation, she began to come to terms with who she is and attempted to find some semblance of happiness with Bruce Banner.
Where She May Go After This: It seems like she’ll continue to hang with Captain America training the new Avengers team. She stuck with him all through the Winter Soldier fiasco, though she may continue her search to find some life for herself outside of Avenging.
HawkeyeWhere He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron seemed to point to the end of Hawkeye, but he made a promise to his wife to save the world and return home. He fulfilled that vow, and he’s ready to hang up his bow and arrows to lead a normal life with family off of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s radar.
How Avengers 2 Changed Him: Hawkeye went through a lot in Age of Ultron, including revealing his secret family to his teammates, though the biggest change came after a talk with his wife. He realized that he’s been giving her and their kids the short end of the stick and needs to make his battle against Ultron his swan song.
Where He May Go After This: Hawkeye seems pretty set to stick with his family and lead an uneventful life in the woods and off the grid. It doesn’t seem like he’ll go avenging with Cap and Black Widow anytime soon. Although, he will be back in action for Civil War.
VisionWhere He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: After helping the Avengers destroy Ultron, he becomes a member of the new team, led by Captain America and Black Widow. He maintains guardianship of the Mind Gem, one of the six Infinity Stones, and Thor believes he’s worthy enough to continue in that role.
How Avengers 2 Changed Him: J.A.R.V.I.S. underwent the biggest transformation in the film, having received a physical form. He has no moral code other than the one he picks up from those around him, though he maintains he’s on the side of life, and he now works alongside the Avengers to protect this life.
Where He May Go After This: Vision will train with Captain America and Black Widow in the ways of the Avengers, and he’ll continue to fight alongside them as they conduct missions to save the world. Saving Scarlet Witch from the crumbling wreckage also teases a budding relationship with the telekinetic, mind-manipulating sorceress.
War MachineWhere He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: After fighting alongside the Avengers against Ultron, specifically defending the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier against an army of robots, Rhodey has been inducted into the new Avengers fold.
How Avengers 2 Changed Him: War Machine always knew what his longtime buddy Stark was capable of, but he was as shocked as any to realize how far he let his ego take him. However, he let bygones be bygones by the end of the film, implying that he would fight by his side no matter what.
Where He May Go After This: War Machine will replace Iron Man as a member of the Avengers and conduct missions under the direction of Captain America and Black Widow.
Scarlet WitchWhere She Is At The End Of Avengers 2: Scarlet Witch’s psychic abilities allowed her to sense the death of her brother Quicksilver. With no family left, and a newfound job as an Avenger, she closes out the film joining the other new team members under the direction of Captain America and Black Widow.
How Avengers 2 Changed Her: Scarlet Witch began the film consumed by her hatred for Stark; it was his technology that was used to kill her parents. Though she initially sided with Ultron, she discovered his plans to wipe out all life and start anew, which caused her to switch teams. Furthermore, the finale battle against Ultron’s army forced her to be courageous and assume the role of Avenger in protecting the innocent citizens of Sokovia.
Where She May Go After This: Scarlet Witch will fight alongside the new Avengers, as Captain America and Black Widow lead them on missions. Given the brief but powerful interaction between her and Vision, perhaps they’ll fulfill their comic book destinies and fall in love.
FalconWhere He Is At The End Of Avengers 2: Falcon joins Vision, War Machine, and Scarlet Witch as a new member of the Avengers. He replaces Hawkeye, who has gone off to be with his family.
How Avengers 2 Changed Him: Falcon continued his off-the-books search for Cap’s old friend, Bucky Barnes. However, the global impact of Ultron’s wrath proved that certain situations are more important than specific, personal tasks.
Where He May Go After This: Falcon will continue on to act as a member of the Avengers under the leadership of Captain America and Black Widow and show up in Captain America: Civil War.