What Iron Man 2 Tells Us About the Line-Up for The Avengers

Notice From SHIELD Helicarrier:  There are spoilers below. They are minor and have nothing to do with the actual plot of Iron Man 2, but if you want to be completely unspoiled, just come back and read this after your screening.

There’s one thing you can always count on nerds for: being obsessive.  Lucky for you Film School Rejects is just chock full of nerds and between the lot of us, it’s impossible to count how many times we’ve seen Iron Man 2 on two hands, despite the fact the movie was only officially released in America mere hours ago.

After a first, unfettered viewing of the film, we all went back in hunting for secrets and bits of nerd glory.  If one of us caught “10 Rings Gang Member” in the credits, we told the next person heading out to see it to pay close attention to the film (turns out he’s the guy who delivers an envelope to Ivan Vanko, aka Whiplash).  One particular area of note to us was the SHIELD maps at the end of the film, which were displaying a lot of information – too much for any one person to glean on a single viewing, but like I said, we are nerds and we are legion.  So, dozens of hours of Iron Man 2 later, we think we’ve pieced together much of the map in our minds and are ready to blow you away with what we’ve uncovered.

There are two angles of the map – one angle shows North and South America predominantly, while the other shows Europe and Africa.  Spread across these varying continents are circular targets, marking out specific areas.  By our count there are seven locations marked, though it’s possible we may have missed one.  So what?  Well, I’m going to skip the foreplay and get to the list part of this article.  Each of these locations corresponds, we figure, to a location in the Marvel Universe that has either already had a significant Marvel event (a movie) or an area that soon will.  So, here are the locations and our best guesses, from West to East.

Location 1: USA, Southwestern Seaboard

Hero: Iron Man

The first one is an easy one – Iron Man.  Both films take place in and around Los Angeles, plus this is his movie and he’s the one currently being grilled.  The map is probably meant to represent confirmed or suspected areas of superhuman involvement.

Location 2: USA, Southwest Region (New Mexico)

Hero: Thor

This could have been a hard one if you don’t stick around for the credits.  The circle itself looked closer to Texas, though with the knowledge gained post-credits, we can safely assume that this location is New Mexico, indicating the area where Thor’s hammer Mjolnir fell to Earth.

Location 3: USA, North Eastern Seaboard

Hero: Hulk

The circles are pretty big and cover a wide area, but once you get to this area of the world in Super Hero terms, you’re talking about New York City, which just so happens to be where the Hulk battled the Abomination.

Location 4: North Atlantic Ocean

Hero: Captain America

As any comic fan would guess, when you’ve got a location in the frozen North Atlantic highlighted, it’s talking about our frosty friend Steve Rogers who, after World War II, found himself frozen in a block of ice to be thawed out later.

Location 5: South Atlantic Ocean, off Coast of Chile

Hero: Namor

This is a strange one, since it’s floating pretty much in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, pretty far from anything.  This could translate into one of two things, one somewhat more plausible.  First, it could be a crash landing site or an entry site of something, similar to Thor’s hammer.  Maybe something crashed in the Ocean.  The second explanation is perhaps more plausible, but a bit iffy none-the-less.  It could be a possible location of Atlantis, the underwater kingdom ruled by the asshole Namor, the Sub-Mariner.  On one hand, this makes sense because Namor is a pretty big name and has ties to the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.  The reason why it might not make sense is that there is no reason to believe Atlantis is located in that area and I always got the sense it was closer to New York, considering Namor was always trying to bone Sue Storm who lived there.

Location 6: Central Europe

Villain: Red Skull

Being a relatively small continent, the target circle takes up almost all of Europe, but is pretty well centered on it, definitely excluding Spain, England, and Russia.  Put your finger on the center of Europe and what do you find?  Germany.  Couple that with the Red Skull being announced as the villain in the Captain America movie, and we likely figure this circle is for him.

Location 7: South Western Africa

Hero: Black Panther

As far as I know, the Black Panther is really the only hero to actually live and operate in Africa, aside from Storm of the X-Men who spent some time there and in current continuities married T’Challa (the Black Panther), though she still resides mostly in Virginia, as part of the X-Men.  So this one is plainly Black Panther, who has ties to the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Captain America, as the material his shield is created from (vibranium) is found in a crashed meteor in the borders of Wakanda.

So there you have it.  We Rejects spend just enough time watching Iron Man 2 and way too much time breaking down what we see.  There are a few other Easter Eggs in the film that you can find for yourself – some are slippery and others are blatantly obvious – but we wanted to break these down for a few reasons: it’s interesting as hell to see a unified Marvel Universe, we’re psyched for The Avengers, and there’s no way you can catch all this by yourself in a single viewing.  Hell, it took three of us seeing the movie twice each to catch all this.

What are the ramifications of this? Maybe nothing, it could just be something cool.  On the other hand, it could give us clues to the Avengers movie and possible foresight into future films — Namor and Black Panther.  So feel free to chew that over.  If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to see Iron Man 2 again.

What do you think of this?  What secrets did you find in Iron Man 2?

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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