Joss Whedon, when he was asked about what fans should expect from The Avengers 2 Age of Ultron, replied:
Death, Death and Death
Of course, his comments were meant half jokingly, but there has naturally been a lot of speculation that Avengers 2 could mean the end of one of the Marvel super crew. But who will it be?
Captain America: The Fallen Son?
Occasionally, Marvel like to tease fans with props from their upcoming movies, and Comic Con 2014 saw the display of Captain America's shield. There is nothing ominous about that, were it not for one key factor - the near indestructible shield was broken, cracked into pieces.
Naturally, some fans believed this to be a hint that Captain America would be the fallen hero in Age of Ultron.
There is another explanation. Captain America, in the comics, has had a replacement shield - and the second is given to him by Black Pather, who makes the protective weapon from the precious mineral Vibranium. Could Marvel have been teasing Black Panther, rather than hinting at Captain America's demise?
It is widely assumed that at some point during The Avengers 2, Bruce Banner will lose control of The Hulk inside him. We know that a battle with Iron Man is coming, as we have all seen the pictures of the Hulkbuster armor.
Could Hulk go so wild that he ends up dead? Bruce Banner has been traveling a dark road for some time, revealing in The Avengers that at one point he even tried to kill himself, shooting himself in the mouth, only for the "other guy" to spit out the bullet.
There are no confirmed Hulk movies in the Marvel pipeline - could Avengers 2 be the end of the road for Bruce Banner?
Some have speculated that because she doesn't have any real powers, Black Widow is the Avenger most likely to fall to Ultron and his minions - and that, like Agent Coulson's "death" in the first Avengers movie - losing Natasha Romanoff would provide a major motivation for the rest of the Avengers to stick together and overcome Ultron.
However, it does not quite add up. The only major female hero in the MCU so far, losing Black Widow would be a step backwards for Marvel. And some fans are still hoping for a stand alone Black Widow movie, explaining what really did happen in Budapest.
Death Means Death?
Another option is that when Joss Whedon spoke about Death, Death and Death, fans who believed that one of the Avengers would fall were misreading him entirely.
We all know Thanos is coming, most likely in [The Avengers 3](movie:738027), and it is believed he is after the Infinity Gauntlet, which would give him the power to destroy the entire universe.
But why does Thanos want to kill everyone so much? What's his problem? The answer, strangely, is love.
Thanos is a tragic figure. As a boy Thanos was a pacifist, but then he became obsessed with Nihilism and death, falling in love with its physical embodiment, Mistress Death. When he grew older and started a family, Mistress Death visited him again, provoking him to murder his family in the hope of pleasing her.
Could this be the Death that Joss Whedon was referring to? And that rather than losing one of the Avengers, we are meeting a new characters, one whose appeal to Thanos may lead to the end of the entire universe?
What do you think? Who will die in Avengers 2 Age of Ultron? Or will we simply be introduced to Death, mistress of Thanos?
Write in with all your own [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) thoughts and speculations below!