What ‘Iron Man 2? Reveals About Future Marvel Movies

Now that people have had plenty of time to argue about how much they liked Iron Man 2 (I loved it), I want to talk about what was really important about the movie – the clues it dropped about the upcoming Avengers related films. Let’s start from the end and work our way back, shall we?
Oh, by the way, I’m dropping some comics knowledge here so be warned if you’re not too familiar with Marvel world or basic Norse mythology and don’t want any spoilers.
Mjolnir By A Crater
If you were wise enough to stay through the credits (or searched the internet), you’d have seen the bonus scene that links to Thor. The film, to be released May 6, 2011, has received an official synopsis:

The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.

So we know that Thor will be repping his Donald Blake dual identity and involved in a smackdown with whoever Loki (I assume) sends to terra firma. But that still doesn’t answer the question of how the Hammer of the Gods got to that crater and if that’s the only thing S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Coulson found in there. My guess is that when Thor was cast from Asgard he and Mjolnir got separated somehow, trapping him as the human, powerless Blake. When the big bads show up and run a muck, he’ll step up to fight them despite being very mortal. That is until Coulson shows up with his missing property…
Tony Stark: Adviser
Based on his conversation with Nick Fury at the end of the film, Tony’s not a going to be an active member of the team but will serve in an advisory capacity (can we say “cameos”?). While many purists will cry foul, I actually like the idea of Iron Man taking a more minor role in the Avengers flick. Mainly because, as a team movie, we need to be able to be invested in the new characters and how they gel and Robert Downey Jr. is so very good that he might steal too much of the show. I’m sure the adviser status won’t stop Stark from donning the armor for a big Act III battle to lend a hand.
Cap’s Half-a-Shield
Not only was Cap’s shield seen in Tony’s lab in Iron Man, an incomplete version was among his father’s belongings in this sequel. Jon Favreau has already stated that Howard will be in Captain America: The First Avenger and it makes complete sense. As a founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D., it stands to reason Howard would be involved in the Super Soldier program. He most assuredly developed the tech for Cap’s shield (and probably armor), but what does a partial circular shield in storage mean? My theory is that Steve Rogers will start with the badge-shaped shield like in the comics. This leaves two options for the disc version – either it replaces the original near the end of the film when whatever it’s made of doesn’t hold up in battle or it’s an upgrade that went unfinished when Cap disappeared.
Black Widow, Avenger of SHIELD
I think it’s safe to say that Ms. Romanov will be popping up in The Avengers in 2012. In addition to being part of the team, she seems to be key in picking members as well. I’m not sure what it means in the grand scheme of things but it’d be interesting if she warns against putting Hank Pym on the team but he is anyway. Her suspicion of him could play very nicely in future events…
Did I miss any clues? Think I’m on to something with any of my theories? Do you have any theories of your own?

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