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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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May 07 2012

(SPOILER) The origin of "The Avengers" first post script scene. Marvel's Kevin Feige and Joss reveal the origin of the first post script scene. And io9 asks Feige why a certain phrase wasn't said in the movie.

This is the scene that was there from the start. The new scene added for the US at the last minute is a totally different scene.
Wait, so the guy who apparently did the motion capture for Thanos is actually another (very low profile) Whedon alum?

He was a stunt double on Firefly, Angel and Dollhouse and a Doll-extra (Yankee)on two Dollhouse episodes.

How weirdly small is this world? :)

his IMDB link: Damion Poitier
Yes, there's Thanos and then there's Shawarma, which was the scene filmed only a few weeks ago.
I edited the post to remove the confusion over which scene this is about.

I'm not so familiar with the broader Marvel universe so this totally explains the *GASP* when that character was revealed.
I too edited the post to add in another Feige item :P.
I'm so confused...when one goes to the Avengers entry on IMDB and clicks on Alexis Denisof's credit - which says he plays "The Other" - it goes to a page on Thanos. Except this article says that Thanos is Damion Poitier.

Could someone clear this up for me? Is Alexis the alien that Loki talks to in the movie or is he Thanos? Is Thanos "The Other"?

Thanks, and sorry for the dumb question - not up on my Avengers universe, clearly.
I think Alexis is the alien talks to Loki.
Alexis is the only talking alien.
That's what I thought. Thanks so much, folks!
Is the Marvel Universe quite well known in the US then? Both times I saw it in the UK everyone was like 'who?'

Myself included. I didn't even know who Thor was.
I'm fairly certain I was the only person in my theatre on first night who gasped when Thanos turned around. Not out of surprise, so much of excitement, and of sort of nerd boasting to anyone near me that "Yeah, I totally know who that is".
I'm not so familiar with the broader Marvel universe so this totally explains the *GASP* when that character was revealed.


I'm glad that Whedon is such a genuine Marvel Comics geek that he had no problem remembering at all the exact title and number of the Marvel Comics issues he referred Thanos in.

I didn't even catch who the alien's profile was the first time I saw Avengers (I'm in the 3x crowd), I thought it was Super-Skrull (another Marvel Villain) based on his jawline--- but the second time someone in the audience mentioned it, to confirm- and the third time I caught the 'to court death' dialogue that preceded it that really nailed who it was to me, prior to it being mentioned on the internet.

Not giving anything away, but Thanos in the earlier comics was in love with the embodiment of death, and tried to conquer a universe to appease her... so the line just echoed again that it was Thanos, not anyone else. (Plus, Whedon and Feige came out and said who it was explicitly)

(SPOILER COMIC ALERT)

For those curious, the issues that Joss talks about IS amazing, but it's mainly amazing because its the 'final chapter' of a storyline from Marvel's (and Jim Starlin's writing/drawing reign specifically) of Warlock comics- where he essentially fights an organized religion that has enslaved a universe, but can only defeat him by killing a future version of himself, where everything by that point is taken away from him in life- his family, friends, etc. - Powerful stuff, but without reading the solo miniseries before it by Starlin, it might not have the impact.

(Sorry about the longwindedness, but I also grew up with those amazing comics, and felt a need to share a bit with a good number unfamiliar with those old comics Joss was referring to... The comics and the solo series is reprinted in hardback in one compilation- Marvel Masterworks, Warlock Volume 2, if someone has $54 handy in their wallet....) ;)

[ edited by harvey chin on 2012-05-07 22:20 ]
It never really fits when it's said in the comics. But that doesn't stop them doing it...
Alexis played Annihilus I thought
making it the Negative Zone where he and Thanos were
which would make sense as its the place between worlds.
He looked like an adapted Annihilus, but I could be wrong.
It is what I assumed watching the movie.
insistondoubt, I saw it opening night in London. The theatre was packed and half the audience erupted when Thanos was revealed. Other half bemused (me included!). It just depends.
The guy sitting to my left at the Thursday midnight show said his name and then I came home and googled him. There were a fair number of gasps in the audience though.

From the reactions on Sunday, I think everyone already knew who it was going in.
In response to the io9 article about the absence of the phrase "Avengers Assemble" in the movie, I quite liked that in the UK version we sort of got it, even though it was unintentional. You got the opening sequence of the disaster at S.H.E.I.L.D., Nick Fury realized what needed to be done, and just like that 'Avengers Assemble' flashed onto the screen.

I still think 'Avengers Assemble' is nowhere near as a good a title for a film as 'The Avengers', but in the context of the title screen it was pretty neat.
My boyfriend, the comicbook nerd, came out of his seat when that scene played. There was quite the reaction in the theater in general. Gasping, hissing, a few "holy shit"s and one very loud, "no effing way!"
harvey chin Your "longwindedness" is appreciated! I don't know much about the comics, and it's good to have recommendations for a particularly great arc. (Not that I'm ready to shell out the $54 right now...)
"Avengers Assemble in New York" is one of the headlines on the news feeds at the end of the movie. I think it's a good way to sneak it in there, without having to make somebody say it and sound ridiculous. I'm sure it could be done, but I think making it a news headline, where it works well as is, is better than trying to force it into a scene somehow.

Also: Umm, yay Thanos. (see, I'm on topic)
Damion Poitier is my new favorite Doug Jones-y guy. Dude just has awesome eyes, and was good in Hunter/Prey (fun little scifi movie).

I'm also amazed that the villain reveal shows that Feige has incredible faith in Whedon to shape the future narrative of a franchise of multibillion dollar movies. We've come a long way.
harvey chin Your "longwindedness" is appreciated! I don't know much about the comics, and it's good to have recommendations for a particularly great arc. (Not that I'm ready to shell out the $54 right now...)


You're very welcome--- On the plus side, with a little searching on ebay/comic shops you can find the 'good' run (there's been imo 'not so good' runs of Warlock by Jim Starlin, too)as that story has been reprinted in solo issues, perhaps in discount back issue comic bins...

And...Amazon.com has links to buy the hardback for $38 (less than the $54 retail)--- but I found this link with a lot of sample page scans from many of the issues of that run (there's a couple of spoilers):

http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/strange_tales_178181warlock_91.shtml

It's a bit out of context by the scans of sample pages, but the single-volume if you can access it is wonderful.

(*The sad part is that Marvel decided to bring him back from the dead after he died in a really moving way--- to less remarkable stories years later, but then again, nobody really dies in a Marvel comic....unfortunately.) ;p

Anyhow, hope you enjoy the samples and can get the 'good' Starlin issues mentioned in the link in the cheap reprints, if the hardback is too pricey...

[ edited by harvey chin on 2012-05-08 03:51 ]
Since Joss was the one that chose the villain to be revealed and is likely the set up for Avengers 2 and the fact that he is so excited about that character, I think the chances of Joss doing Avengers 2 are quite high.
Well didn't Joss want any sequel to be a lot smaller scale and more personal? I mean I guess he could do that with a character in love with an embodiment of Death but that seems like it'd be fairly difficult since bringing in the cosmos would be pretty big scale. Granted they more or less played with that with Asgard.

I know that one of the execs (maybe Feige?) is pretty into the idea of doing a Guardians of the Galaxy movie but I'm not that familiar with the cosmic side of Marvel aside from the occasional Shi'ar X-Men story.
The cosmic side has been very good over the last few years. There was a magnificent arc called Annihilation which focussed on the space heroes (for want of a better word).
The Annuals in question are also being collected in "Essential Warlock vol.1", out this August. This is in black and white, but it's well over 500 pages for less than half the price of that HC, so good value.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are awesome, simple as that. They spun out of "Annihilation: Conquest" (the follow-up event to the "Annihilation" Simon mentioned, but you can just pick up their own series in trade paperback for madcap cosmic adventures. They also just appeared on the "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" cartoon this weekend. Undoubtedly on YouTube.

[ edited by Niels on 2012-05-08 12:26 ]
Niels, that's a great tip- Totally forgot about the b&w collection reprints--- definitely the way to go, easier than hunting for the old issues.

I would probably add that if one does pick up the "Essential Warlock vol.1" (assuming it covers Marvel Masterworks Vol 1 &2 of Warlock) --- that you can just skip ahead halfway to start at the Jim Starlin run, and go from there.

The origins and early stuff are ok.... but feel more than a little dated now. The Starlin stuff I'd argue has aged a lot better.
For another highlight of Thanos's career, by the way, I cannot recommend "The Infinity Gauntlet" highly enough, also written by Jim Starlin. That was my first Marvel event--pretty heady stuff when you're eleven.
For some reason, I read Feige's comment as a joke, by saying that this lesser-known group had to be made into a movie first. If he was serious, that would be a tough nut to crack.

I suppose having one villain (plus flunkies?) *has* to be smaller scale and more personal than Loki + galactic army. Only question is how much more.
Well didn't Joss want any sequel to be a lot smaller scale and more personal?


I don't want to give anything away, but in the comics Thanos has been known to do things that kill a large number of people very quickly in his obsession with death.

I could see some of the heroes supporting cast dying and then the Avengers trying to figure out who is responsible and stop it from happening some more as being more personal and smaller in scale. Although I wonder what this would do to Joss reputation of killing characters. However, in this case he could point to the comics and say he is just following the source material.

Basically there are ways in involving the cosmic characters and not turning it into a huge battlefield through a city.

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