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Comic-Con: Marvel Screens Avengers: Age Of Ultron Footage

Dark times ahead for our heroes

Age-Of-Ultron-footage-screened

When Marvel comes to Comic-Con these days, it comes big. While the panel was decidedly more low-key than some of their previous appearances – even with the groovy, high-energy, flower-throwing entrance by Robert Downey Jr. and the gang – the definite highlight besides the Avengers themselves was the first glimpse of footage from Age Of Ultron.

While Joss Whedon himself couldn’t be there in person (he’s recovering from knee surgery), Kevin Feige brought an exciting clip package that kicked off with the team kicking back in the Avengers tower after a party. You may have seen a picture of this scene, which finds the heroes in a loose, happy, mood, all (bar Black Widow) making an attempt to lift Thor’s hammer – surely more Excalibur than excelsior – and one by one failing. And that’s even with Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark using an Iron Man gauntlet and roping in Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes, complete with War Machine glove. Chris Evans’ Captain America makes it wobble, much to Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) surprise, but that’s all he does. “Clearly none of you are worthy,” cracks the Asgardian.

Then the party is rudely interrupted by the clanking, whirring, rasping voice of Ultron (James Spader) who looks fantastic – like a metallic hunchback with parts missing. “You are all not worthy,” he declares. “You’re killers. You want to protect the world, but you don’t want it to change. There’s only one path to peace. Your extinction." He sends an army of drones through the walls against our heroes. Cut to black!

But there’s more! A stark (no pun intended), moody montage of scenes of humans struggling and running from explosions, and our heroes fighting to save people. Bruce Banner looking pained, then in a wood, post-Hulking out. Scarlet Witch on a train in South Korea. Thor smashing a tank with his hammer. “This is the end of the path I started us on,” says Tony. Scarlet Witch walking through a bus. Quicksilver running, as he is wont to do. A huge, sweeping image of freighter ships beached. A shot of Stark’s Hulkbuster suit going up against the Big Green Guy. Black Widow dropping from a Quinjet on a bike. Thor with Stark in a choke grip. Widow and Hulk touching palms in a quieter moment. And – yes – Andy Serkis looking much like himself, confirming his presence as more than a mocap adviser.

All through, a creepy version of 'I've Got No Strings' from Pinocchio. “There are no strings on me,” says Ultron. And the capper: a vision of our heroes lying dead, Cap’s shield broken.

It sent the crowd wild, and despite huge demand, was not screened again. Yet it was still an effective way to make us all wish April 24, 2015 was tomorrow.