“The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron” trailer went live Wednesday night, and since then I have watched it well over 20 times. The original “Avengers” film sits as the third highest-grossing movie of all time, and for good reason.
This makes the May 2015 release date for “Age of Ultron” seem an agonizingly long while away, but in the meantime, fans can prepare for the upcoming release by exploring existing Marvel stories. There are plenty of Avengers-related movies, comics, gear and activities to help familiarize moviegoers with the characters and to make the wait for “Age of Ultron” more bearable.
1. Watch the previous Marvel films.
All of the heroes of “Age of Ultron” have already been introduced or hinted at in the previous movies. The first must-see films before seeing “The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron,” then, are the origin stories: “Iron Man,” “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger“ (“The Incredible Hulk” is optional). Of course, the first “Avengers” film is also required viewing. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is especially important in order to understand the SHIELD narrative.
2. Buy Avengers Merchandise.
No one has ever looked cooler than a woman sipping tea out of a Captain America mug. Plus, Hulk onesies are always a hit with the crowd at the theater and Iron Man light-up shirts are comfortable with or without batteries. If none of those options are appealing, there is plenty of other Avengers swag available all over the internet and at local comic book stores. For eager movie-goers, nothing kills time better than online shopping for themed merchandise.
3. Read the “Age of Ultron” comic book.
The “Age of Ultron” comic book captures the terrifying nature of the titular cybernetic villain. The Avengers, X-Men and others are put to the test as they fight Ultron and his overwhelming control over the world. In addition, “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” the animated series, is worth a watch and is available to stream on Netflix.
Reading the comic book and watching the series are good ways to get familiar with Ultron and the Avengers. Obviously some elements will change as they transition to the big screen, but it provides important background information on the characters and story.
“The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron” may not release until May, but die-hard fans know that preparation for the release starts months in advance. Familiarity with character history, back story and prior films makes the uniquely immersive Marvel movies that much more enjoyable.