MovieBob - Intermission
The Loose Ends of The Avengers

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 23 Sep 2011 16:00
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What Is the Undiscovered Element and Why Was it Hidden?

Iron Man 2 revolves partially around Tony Stark's father Howard having hidden the formula to create a new element capable of massive energy storage (hmmm...) in the schematics of a map for his World's Fair-esque "Stark Expo." This level of subterfuge suggests that the element was being hidden from someone or something, obviously, but also raises the question of what it actually is. Stark Sr. had The Tesseract at one point; are the two connected in some way?

Who Are Dr. Selvig's Mystery Contacts?

In Thor, Jane Foster's scientist mentor Eric Selvig says he knows to be wary of S.H.I.E.L.D. because he suspects them of having "disappeared" a colleague of his. Later, he emails "a friend" who may be able to help them wrest Thor and Jane's research out of the Agency's hands. Neither man is named. Who are they?

Realistically, the missing scientist is almost certainly Dr. Bruce Banner, AKA The Incredible Hulk - though it could just as easily be (also Hulk related) Dr. Samuel Sterns. As for the email contact, really, this could be anyone. The postscript of Thor reveals that Selvig's pool of acquaintances extends beyond the scientific community as he already knows Nick Fury, so who knows what strange characters he'd think to email? Supposedly the contact is named in the screenplay as Dr. Hank Pym, AKA "Ant Man," which would make the most sense as he has a movie in development.

Where Is Samuel Sterns?

"The Consultant," a comic short film included on the Thor DVD, answers the lingering question of what became of Emil Blonsky (aka "The Abomination") following the events of The Incredible Hulk. But what about Samuel Sterns, the oddball biologist who tries to help Banner cure himself, by mass producing Gamma irradiated genetic material and is forced to help Blonksy go The Full Monster? When last we saw him, a splash of Gamma goo was causing his cranium to enlarge, which fans will recognize as the beginning of his transformation into perennial Hulk foe "The Leader" - but did he get all the way there? And, if so, is he still out there?

What Happened to Arnim Zola?

In Captain America, HYDRA's mad scientist weaponsmith becomes a "guest" of the US Army in exchange for turning over his knowledge of The Red Skull's plans and the weapons he helped create. This is a cute nod to the real life fate of German scientists and engineers directly following the war, wherein many of them escaped prosecution for aiding the Nazis by being scooped up by U.S. and Soviet agents seeking to harness their talents to aid in their respective Cold War arms buildups (and Space Programs, as it turns out). The question is, what happened to Zola next? Did he find himself similarly pardoned in exchange for lending the U.S. his expertise?

In the comics, Zola continues living into the present day; rendered immortal by transferring his consciousness into a mechanical body (the film foreshadows this with a face-distorting-lens gag.) Will the films follow suit? Are the technological descendants of Zola's WWII-era designs - which were so freakishly advanced they required a power source that hadn't been proven to exist yet - floating around in the high tech guns and gear of S.H.I.E.L.D. and others?

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