It may not be the healthiest of habits, but comic book fans can't help themselves from asking: What's next? With <i>Iron Man 3</i> out this week, and news of the <i>Avengers</i> sequel trickling in — like <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/17694-scarlet-witch-quicksilver-downey-nearly-confirmed-for-avengers-2.html>reports that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are both in the current draft</a>, and that Robert Downey Jr. is likely to return as Iron Man — it's easy to daydream about what we might be watching a couple of years from now. <p>So now that we have at least a preliminary idea of <i>who</i> might be in <i>The Avengers</i> sequel, the next question is, what might it be about? Given that <i>Iron Man 3</i> is heavily influenced by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov's "Extremis" story, this fall's <i>Thor: The Dark World</i> features Malekith the Accursed from Walt Simonson's famed run on the character, and next year's <i>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</i> looks to take clear cues from Ed Brubaker's work, the pattern suggests that Joss Whedon's second go-around with Earth's Mightiest Heroes may also take direct inspiration from famous comic book storylines. <p>So here are 10 potential suggestions for the basis of the 2015 film, taken straight from the <i>Avengers</i> canon. (Albert Ching contributed to an updated version of this article.) <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i>
Yes, the 1992 crossover may not be the most well-remembered story in the Avengers' illustrious history, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a great inspiration point for a future movie. <p>After all, we've already seen an alien invasion in the first movie, so why not ramp things up with the Avengers getting in the middle of an interstellar war that they're completely unprepared for? Just imagine what Joss Whedon could do in a mash-up of <em>Avengers</em> and <em>Serenity</em>...
Rarely mentioned in lists of "classic Avengers stories," this seven-part <em>West Coast Avengers</em> story not only stars two of the movie lineup of the team (Hawkeye and Iron Man), but also takes the idea of time-travel to almost <em>Doctor Who</em>-esque heights with a storyline that jumps between eras of history, with each era splitting off into a new storyline until there are not just one but <em>seven</em> plots happening at once... all of which are connected and tie-in with each others' resolutions. <p>Possibly the best <em>Avengers</em> time travel story ever, and a chance to bring a little <em>Back to The Future</em>-esque mind-bendingness to the primary Marvel Studios franchise.
While we're talking about mixing and matching genres, what about doing something with this somewhat supernatural threat? With all the physical power on the Avengers' side, it only makes sense to bring in an enemy that can mess with their minds, and what better than a mystical object that gives its user mind control powers? <p>If you don't think that the possibility of the Avengers versus a mind-controlled S.H.I.E.L.D. would make compelling viewing, then we're not sure what kind of movies you <em>do</em> want to see.
We may already be going down this route, considering the presence of Thanos in the <i>Avengers</i> mid-credits scene and next year's <i>Guardians of the Galaxy</i> film, but if you're going for scale and spectacle, it's hard to think of an Avengers-centric storyline (well, really, Warlock-centric, but he doesn't have his own movie series yet) that offers as much to marvel at as the first of the <em>Infinity</em> trilogy, what with the mass disappearances, natural disasters and heroes in space fighting against a character who is, to all intents and purposes, the most powerful being in existence.
Forget, for a second, about any controversy over the fate of the Scarlet Witch and "No More Mutants," and consider the potential of a movie based on what <em>House of M</em> was <em>really</em> about: the Avengers (and, in the comic, the X-Men) trapped in an alternate reality where their dreams have come true with all the unintended consequences that brings with it. <p>Potentially something that you'd save for a third or fourth installment when "alternate realities" would have more impact because audiences are more familiar with the "regular" reality, but it's a great way of showing, not telling, about your characters' inner-most desires, thoughts and insecurities. Plus, who wouldn't want to see the actors get the chance to break out-of-character for once? With the reports of Scarlet Witch's inclusion in the <i>Avengers</i> sequel script, this may not be completely improbable down the line.
Time travel, philosophy and action sequences would abound in a movie version of what could be Jim Shooter's finest hour on Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but there's another reason for what would make a movie Korvac Saga so appealing to Marvel Studios: It'd give them a chance to incorporate the Guardians of The Galaxy, following their 2014 live-action film written and directed by James Gunn. <p>Though some have wondered where the Guardians — who by their nature spend most of their time in the far reaches of space — fit into the bigger Marvel Cinematic Universe picture, a super-team team-up could really tie things together.
As the after-credits sequence of <em>Avengers</em> demonstrated so easily, Earth's Mightiest Heroes are just like us: After they're done with work, they want to kick back and relax... So why not create a movie based upon the storyline that took away the place where they liked to do that, and struck when they least expected it? <p>A movie take on "Under Siege" (not to be confused with the one starring Steven Seagal) would also offer moviegoers a chance to see something that's not really been seen on the big screen just yet: A team-up between bad guys; in this story, the Masters of Evil. And considering how much they liked seeing the <em>good guys</em> work together, chances are watching the villains partner up might have its appeal.
Let's face it: Who doesn't love the old "Divided We Fall" trick, especially when it brings the simmering tension between lead characters to a boil in a particularly explosive manner? If a movie that has its roots in <em>The Ultimates</em> did so well, then why not stick with Mark Millar projects and go for a <em>Civil War</em> for our celluloid heroes? <p>We may not have all the comics' main players in place in the movie universe just yet, but considering the widespread damage the few Avengers managed while saving the world this time around, movie New York might be pretty happy just to see the six (or however more may be added) Avengers throw down as is.
If there's one thing that really, really <em>has</em> to happen in a future <em>Avengers</em> movie, it's the creation of Ultron. <p>Probably one of the Avengers' most popular villains — definitely one of the most familiar — the idea of an indestructible robot who also happens to be pretty damn smart and, by the way, entirely psychotic is pretty irresistible, and suggests the potential for all manner of fun special effects and dramatic sequences... especially if the movie goes down the route of the Kurt Busiek/George Perez story and has an entire army of Ultrons up its sleeve when you least expect it. <p>Given that there's currently a major Ultron story — <i>Age of Ultron</i> — unfolding at Marvel, and that it's written by Marvel Studios creative committee member Brian Michael Bendis, it's certainly not out of the question that Ultron might end up on the big-screen sooner or later.
And talking about classic Avengers villains and Kurt Busiek: Let's just agree that Busiek's epic 2001-2002 storyline in which the time-traveling villain finally stopped messing around and just came back in time and <em>actually took over the world</em> is one that offers all manner of dramatic potential if translated into a movie. <p>Think about the scenes of our heroes defeated, our planet conquered and a giant hologram Cap calling the purple-faced time-traveler, "You miserable jacked-up little tin Hitler!" This might, in all seriousness, make a spectacular second movie, a chance to see our heroes fail after saving the day in the first installment while also introducing one of the big comic book Avengers villains to audiences in such a way that they'd be unlikely to forget him from that point on.