“The Old Order Changeth!” Stan Lee famously set as the title for “The Avengers” #16 (a nod to Alfred Tennyson’s “Morte d’Arthur”). That issue, which hit the stands in 1965, offered the first roster shift for Marvel’s mighty superhero team. Now, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirms to BuzzFeed that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is likely to follow suite in the wake of next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
“It’s like as it was in publishing,” Feige tells the outlet, “when each of the characters would go on their own adventures and then occasionally team up for a big, 12-issue mega-event. Then they would go back into their own comics, and be changed from whatever that event was. I envision the same thing occurring after this movie, because the [Avengers] roster is altered by the finale of this film.”
In the original comics, the founding members of The Avengers included Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp and Hulk. Hulk quit during the second issue and Captain America joined in issue four, but the significant shakeup that happened in issue 16 saw Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man (Giant-Man by then) and Wasp leave the team, making room for Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to continue alongside Captain America.
“It has to be this way” Iron Man says in that very issue. “The ranks of the Avengers will always need replenishing! The old must ever give way to the new!”
Of course, that original storyline sees relatively amicable departures for everyone involved. After last week’s epic trailer, it’s probably a safe bet that that’s not going to be the case on the big screen!
Avengers: Age of Ultron, starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, James Spader, Cobie Smulders, Thomas Kretschmann, Paul Bettany and Stellan Skarsgard, hits theaters May 1, 2015.