The Avengers comes out on Blu-ray Tuesday. I for one am looking forward to watching it repeatedly and -- nerd alert! -- analyzing every aspect of it. It's been a few months since I last saw the film, and there are still five lingering questions I have from the move that I hope I'll find answers to after watching both the Blu-ray and the special features. See if you agree.
WASN'T LOKI ALREADY ON EARTH?
In the post-credits scene of Thor, we saw Dr. Erik Selvig meeting Nick Fury under, what we can assume was, the underground facility of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury showed Selvig the Tesseract and told him about its unlimited power. In the wall reflection next to Selvig we suddenly saw a brusied and battered Loki step into view. We soon learned that Loki was controlling Selvig's mind, which led me to believe he would use Selvig to gain access to the cube in The Avengers. However, the opening of The Avengers showed Loki meeting with the Other and receiving the spear before returning to Earth. My question is, how did he travel across space from Earth without the Tesseract or the Bifrost? It seemed a little confusing to me since I assumed he was already on Earth to begin with. I figured that was the point of showing him in the Thor post-credits scene.
WHAT DID TONY STARK HAVE TO DO WITH CAPTAIN AMERICA'S SHIELD?
In both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 we got glimpses of Captain America's shield in Tony Stark's work room, more so in the sequel. It looked as though Stark was designing a new updated version of the shield for Cap, but we never saw any of his prototypes in The Avengers. It looked as though Steve Rogers was using the same old shield he used in Captain America: The First Avenger. But based on the appearance of the shield in the two Iron Man movies, I was hoping for a cool new design; maybe lock-on targeting for shield throwing accuracy or a retrieval device that calls the shield back if its fallen or thrown somewhere. Marvel had the perfect chance to tie those appearances in with this movie, especially considering that Stark's father, Howard Stark, was in charge of designing Rogers' original shield.
HOW DID THOR GET BACK TO EARTH?
It seems there are a lot of questions regarding how the two Asgardians, Thor and Loki, got to Earth. When Thor was stranded on Asgard at the end of Thor, I, like most people, wondered why Marvel chose to do this. A lot of people said that if Marvel spent any time in The Avengers bringing Thor back to Earth, it would be a waste of precious movie time. Well, fans got their wish, and Thor magically appeared on the wing of the aircraft carrying Loki in The Avengers.
When Loki and Thor had their little exchange shortly thereafter, Loki asked Thor how much dark matter the All-Father (Odin) had to conjure up to send him back to Earth...and that was it. I assumed that Marvel's decision to leave Thor on Asgard was because there was going to be a scene in The Avengers devoted to bringing him back. After all, we saw Jane Foster and her team gathering data and star maps at the end of Thor in an attempt to find him. It would have been nice to see S.H.I.E.L.D. use her research to find another way of opening the portal between Earth and Asgard. Having Thor reappear because of dark matter felt like a cop out. How come when Thor asked Heimdel if Earth was lost at the end of Thor the Asgardian gate keeper didn't just come out and say, "Hell no. We got dark matter, baby!"
HOW DID THE HULK FINALLY CONTROL HIMSELF?
What made this character great was Mark Ruffalo's interpretation of Bruce Banner. He finally brought a depth to the character we didn't get from Eric Bana and Edward Norton, the two previous actors who portrayed Dr. Banner. Ruffalo was the star of the film, I felt, and Marvel would be nuts not to give the Hulk another solo movie with Ruffalo leading the way. Having said that, I was torn at the end when Banner returned and became the Hulk to fight alongside the rest of the Avengers. On the one hand, I was amped to finally see the Hulk portrayed as a true hero. Yes, we got that in The Incredible Hulk, but I didn't feel as satisfied then as I did this time around. Maybe because in this one we finally saw the Hulk protecting people from a true enemy, whereas in the last film I felt it was more of a cage fight between Hulk and the Abomination. But the one thing I was curious about in The Avengers was how was the Hulk able to control himself at the end? What stopped him from smashing fellow Avengers like Captain America or Black Widow? I'm not going to harp on this because I loved having the Hulk portrayed as a hero finally, but it was still something I left the theater wondering.
WHAT WAS WITH THE HANNIBAL LECTER MASK?
This is a minor thing, but one I couldn't help but wonder about. At the end of the film, when Loki and Thor go back to Asgard, why is Loki wearing a Hannibal-Lecter-type mask? While Loki is the god of mischief, we've seen no evidence in these films that he can cast any spells or curses like he does in the comics, so was it just to shut him up? Most likely. It was a cool mask, but I felt it was used more for aesthetic purposes than anything else.
Hopefully, come Tuesday, I'll get my answers to these questions.