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Three “Avengers” questions answered by “Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant”

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Last month, Marvel revealed plans to release a pair of short films aimed at tying up some of the loose plot threads left dangling by “Thor,” the “Iron Man” films, and the rest of the Marvel movie-verse in the lead-up to “The Avengers.”

The first of these short films, “Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant,” is included as a bonus feature on the “Thor” Blu-Ray. However, since the Blu-Ray has arrived a little early in some countries, “The Consultant” has already found its way online.

Not only does the four-minute short bridge the gap between “Iron Man 2″ and “The Incredible Hulk,” it also answers three big questions that fans have been buzzing about as we get closer to “The Avengers.” You can watch the video below for yourself, but you’ll want to pay extra-close attention to make sure these three elements come through loud and clear:

Q: What happened to Emil “The Abomination” Blonsky after “The Incredible Hulk”?

A: According to “The Consultant,” Blonsky (played by Tim Roth in the 2008 film) is “in custody in General Ross’ sector.” In the aftermath of Blonsky’s rampage, the government pinned the blame on Bruce Banner and the military secretly took “war hero” Blonsky into custody. “They want him exonerated, released , and then added to the [Avengers] roster,” explains S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in the short.

Q: Why did Tony Stark approach Gen. Ross in the post-credits scene from “The Incredible Hulk” instead of Nick Fury?

A: As we learn in “The Consultant,” Agent Coulson managed to avoid a direct order to add Blonsky to the Avengers roster by sending Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to make the request of Gen. Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt). Knowing that Stark and Ross would definitely not play nice together, this ensured that negotiations for Blonsky’s involvement would fall apart, removing the need to add him to the team.

Q: What is Tony Stark’s status with The Avengers Initiative?

A: In “Iron Man 2,” we learned that Tony Stark wasn’t being brought on as a member of Nick Fury’s “Avengers Initiative,” but would instead serve as a “consultant” for the team. Given what we see in “The Consultant” of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents’ attitude toward Stark and the scene involving Stark and Ross, we’re starting to get a much clearer picture of Iron Man will fit in the upcoming “Avengers” team-up movie. While that doesn’t mean he won’t be a full-time Avenger by the end of the film, it seems somewhat certain atthis point that he won’t begin the film as an Avenger — which could mean Captain America will indeed be the group’s leader when the team makes its big-screen debut.

What did you think of “The Consultant” short film from Marvel? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Face Melting Cameos

The 10 Most Metal Pop Culture Cameos

Glenn Danzig drops by Portlandia tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Glenn Danzig rocks harder than granite. In his 60 years, he’s mastered punk with The Misfits, slayed metal with the eponymous Danzig, and generally melted faces with the force of his voice. And thanks to Fred and Carrie, he’s now stopping by tonight’s brand new Portlandia so we can finally get to see what “Evil Elvis” is like when he hits the beach. To celebrate his appearance, we put together our favorite metal moments from pop culture, from the sublime to the absurd.

10. Cannibal Corpse meets Ace Ventura

Back in the ’90s,  Cannibal Corpse was just a small time band from Upstate New York, plying their death metal wares wherever they could find a crowd, when a call from Jim Carry transformed their lives. Turns out the actor was a fan, and wanted them for a cameo in his new movie, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The band had a European tour coming up, and were wary of being made fun of, so they turned it down. Thankfully, the rubber-faced In Living Color vet wouldn’t take no for an answer, proving that you don’t need to have a lot of fans, just the right ones.


9. AC/DC in Private Parts

Howard Stern’s autobiographical film, based on his book of the same name, followed his rise in the world of radio and pop culture. For a man surrounded by naked ladies and adoring fans, it’s hard to track the exact moment he made it. But rocking out with AC/DC in the middle of Central Park, as throngs of fans clamor to get a piece of you, seems like it comes pretty close. You can actually see Stern go from hit host to radio god in this clip, as “You Shook Me All Night Long” blasts in the background.


8. Judas Priest meets The Simpsons

When you want to blast a bunch of peace-loving hippies out on their asses, you’re going to need some death metal. At least, that’s what the folks at The Simpsons thought when they set up this cameo from the metal gods. Unfortunately, thanks to a hearty online backlash, the writers of the classic series were soon informed that Judas Priest, while many things, are not in fact “death metal.” This led to the most Simpson-esque apology ever. Rock on, Bartman. Rock on.


7. Anthrax on Married…With Children

What do you get when Married…with Children spoofs My Dinner With Andre, substituting the erudite playwrights for a band so metal they piss rust? Well, for starters, a lot of headbanging, property destruction and blown eardrums. And much like everything else in life, Al seems to have missed the fun.


6. Motorhead rocks out on The Young Ones

The Young Ones didn’t just premiere on BBC2 in 1982 — it kicked the doors down to a new way of doing comedy. A full-on assault on the staid state of sitcoms, the show brought a punk rock vibe to the tired format, and in the process helped jumpstart a comedy revolution. For instance, where an old sitcom would just cut from one scene to the next, The Young Ones choose to have Lemmy and his crew deliver a raw version of “Ace of Spades.” The general attitude seemed to be, you don’t like this? Well, then F— you!


5. Red and Kitty Meet Kiss on That ’70s Show

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions

Long before they were banished to playing arena football games, Kiss was the hottest ticket in rock. The gang from That ’70s Show got to live out every ’70s teen’s dream when they were set loose backstage at a Kiss concert, taking full advantage of groupies, ganja and hard rock.


4. Ronnie James Dio in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (NSFW, people!)

What does a young boy do when he was born to rock, and the world won’t let him? What tight compadre does he pray to for guidance and some sweet licks? If you’re a young Jables, half of “the world’s most awesome band,” you bow your head to Ronnie James Dio, aka the guy who freaking taught the world how to do the “Metal Horns.” Never before has a rock god been so literal than in this clip that turns it up to eleven.


3. Ozzy Osbourne in Trick or Treat

It’s hard to tell if Ozzy was trying his hardest here, or just didn’t give a flying f–k. What is clear is that, either way, it doesn’t really matter. Ozzy’s approach to acting seems to lean more heavily on Jack Daniels than sense memory, and yet seeing the slurry English rocker play a sex-obsessed televangelist is so ridiculous, he gets a free pass. Taking part in the cult horror Trick or Treat, Ozzy proves that he makes things better just by showing up. Because that’s exactly what he did here. Showed up. And it rocks.


2. Glenn Danzig on Portlandia

Danzig seems to be coming out of a self imposed exile these days. He just signed with a record company, and his appearance on Portlandia is reminding everyone how kick ass he truly is. Who else but “The Other Man in Black” could help Portland’s resident goths figure out what to wear to the beach? Carrie Brownstein called Danzig “amazing,” and he called Fred “a genius,” so this was a rare love fest for the progenitor of horror punk.


1. Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World

It’s surprising, sure, but for a scene that contains no music whatsoever, it’s probably the most famous metal moment in the history of film. When Alice Cooper informed Wayne and Garth that Milwaukee is actually pronounced “Milly-way-kay” back in 1992, he created one of the most famous scenes in comedy history. What’s more metal than that? Much like Wayne and Garth, we truly are not worthy.

New ‘Avengers’ movie art teases upcoming Marvel Comics collection

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In their continuing efforts to hype next year’s blockbuster team-up film “The Avengers,” Marvel has attached a piece of new promo art for the film to its latest batch of upcoming comic-book announcements.

The new image, featuring painted illustrations of the “Avengers” cast in the style of previously released promo art, is attached to an upcoming collection of Marvel’s previously released movie-universe comics. Titled Road to the Avengers, the collection will include the miniseries I Am Iron Man, Iron Man Security Measures, Iron Man 2: Public Identity, Iron Man 2: Agents Of SHIELD, and Captain America: First Vengeance.

Bleeding Cool had the first look at the Road to the Avengers art, which was released to retailers with a long list of other Marvel comics scheduled to arrive on shelve sin the coming months.

Here’s the official synopsis of the book:

Gear up for the upcoming Avengers movie with these official in-movie continuity stories starring Avengers mainstays Iron Man, Captain America and the Agents S.H.I.E.L.D.! First, it’s an expanded re-imagining of the original Iron Man, featuring bonus scenes not in the movie! Then, it’s an all-new Iron Man adventure! What happened between the events of Iron Man and Iron Man 2? How did Tony Stark put a new chapter in the history books? And how did Iron Man break and rewrite all the rules? Then, it’s Black Widow, Nick Fury and Agent Coulson in espionage action! Think you know S.H.I.E.L.D.? Check out what you DIDN’T see in the movies! And finally, it’s the official comics prequel to the blockbuster Captain America! Steve Rogers is the inspiration for millions during the dark days of World War Two — but where did he get his inspiration from? How did he meet his best friend, “Bucky” Barnes? And what set him on the path to becoming the First Avenger? Experience an all-new Cap adventure on the European battlefields.

There’s no official release date for the collection listed, but the image and synopsis come from a release calendar that covers January-April of 2012, meaning the book should be on shelves before “The Avengers” hits theaters that May.

The new “Avengers” art is the latest in along line of images arriving online from the much-anticipated film, though it’s one of the few with any official approval from the Marvel team. Over the last few weeks, photos from the Cleveland set of the film have been finding their way online on an almost daily basis — including a few images that could reveal some major plot points of the film.

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What do you think of the “Avengers” art? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Latest ‘Avengers’ set photos reveal a mysterious object in the city street

Latest ‘Avengers’ set photos reveal a mysterious object in the city street (photo)

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Another day, another potentially spoiler-filled peek at the Cleveland set of “The Avengers,” Joss Whedon’s upcoming team-up film that has Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and other Marvel heroes uniting to defeat, well… we’re not quite sure yet.

However, the latest unauthorized photos to emerge from the production might offer yet another clue about the foe Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are teaming up to thwart.

In case you didn’t guess by now, what follows from this point could be a minefield of spoilers — so tread carefully, and remember: we warned you!

Are we good to go? Okay then…

Posted over at Superherohype, the latest photos from the “Avengers” set offer a nice, clear view of the mysterious object that was previously seen in blurry images and sparked some discussion. From what we can tell, the object could be a craft of some sort, and certainly doesn’t seem to be of Earthly origin.

Nevertheless, while some sites are declaring it further proof that one of the alien races of the Marvel Universe — namely the shape-shifting Skrulls or militaristic Kree — will invade Earth and force the aforementioned heroes to unite, there’s reason to believe that might not be entirely accurate.

Looking at the object, there are clearly some similarities between it and the type of things we saw in Thor’s homeworld, Asgard. In fact, it’s the sort of thing that looks like it could’ve been right at home in Odin’s throne room. The fact that we saw Tom Hiddleston on set as Loki yesterday only seems to support the Asgardian connection for the object.

While we’re not likely to have a definite answer until “The Avengers” explodes into theaters next year, at the rate we’re seeing set photos from the film, we might not actually have to wait that long. Any guesses as to what tomorrow’s batch of set photos will bring?

What do you think the object is? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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