It's no secret that Joss Whedon has a habit of killing off characters that we have grown to love dearly, and [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) seems to be his next target. In an interview with EW, Whedon states "You go to the movies to see people you love suffer." and for the first Avengers film, that was S.H.I.E.L.D.'s own Agent Coulson. Oddly enough, Joss Whedon strayed from his usual path and revived the beloved character for the ABC show [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469) shortly after his apparent death. Unfortunately, it seems that not all of the heroes in the upcoming Avengers sequel will be treated mercifully this time around.
So who's head is on the chopping block?
The two obvious Avengers that are safe at the moment are Captain America and Iron Man. I'll admit that the hero whose death I was most certain about was Cap's, and that Captain America 3 would encompass the search for a new Captain America, a search that would ultimately end with Bucky Barnes.
However, recent interviews have released that Robert Downey Jr. is in talks to sign up for [Captain America 3](movie:994409), making Iron Man safe, and that the film will start off the Marvel Civil War (Yay), so it seems like Steve Rodgers will escape his eminent fate (or he could die at the end of the Civil War like he does in the comics).
Thor 3 is also planned for Phase 3 of the MCU, so it seems like the Asgardian god of thunder will also escape from Ultron's clutches. We all know that The Hulk basically can't die, so who does that leave us?
Black Widow and Hawkeye, that's who. Being the two minor members of the original Avengers team, it would be understandable why these two S.H.I.E.L.D. fighters might bite the dust. After being hypnotically evil for the majority of the first Avengers, Hawkeye was promised more screen time for the sequel. Some claim that is enough evidence for the accurate archer to be offed in Age of Ultron, but I don't buy it. If the Civil War is coming, Marvel is going to need every able-bodied hero that they can round up for one catastrophic brawl. So now what? We just-ran out of heroes.
Or did we?
For those who have not yet heard or who have not yet paid any attention to Age of Ultron news, Earth's mightiest heroes are welcoming three new additions to the team: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Vision. I severely doubt that any of them will die. They are all big-time Avengers in the comics, and they are too big of characters to be taken out in the first movie that they are in.
Now wait a minute before you click away, this wasn't written to be a waste of your time. I am not claiming that every hero is safe and all this Avenger-killing buisiness is pure hokum. I am more than certain that someone will die, and I have perfectly good reasoning for this suspicion (the suspense is killing you huh?).
In the same EW interview, Whedon mentioned "...I'd have to have a really good reason, a really good sequence for [Marvel executives] to go, 'We'll cut off a potential franchise, that's fine!'"
So how can Whedon kill off an Avenger without cutting away a potential franchise? Easy.
Along with the original Avengers and the "miracle" twins, the Avengers will also be fighting alongside Col. James Rhodes, also known as War Machine and/or Iron Patriot. That, dear readers, is who I believe will meet a swift end in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron.
Seeing as Captain America 3 will hit the silver screen not too long after Age of Ultron, something drastic has to happen in order for Tony Stark to side with the Pro-Registration forces as he does in the comics. (If you aren't familiar with Pro-Registration or Anti-Registration, read a quick summary of the Marvel Civil War)
As shown in The Avengers, when Stark hacks S.H.I.E.L.D.'s database, he is not very trusting of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the government in general, so to cause him to lead a pro-government army against Cap, something drastic is going to have to take place.
James Rhodes is Tony Stark's best friend. They have fought alongside each other to take down Whiplash in Iron Man 2 and they teamed up to take down A.I.M. in Iron Man 3. Naturally, they ended up bonding over saving the world twice.
Although Rhodey was absent during the battle of New York, he finally gets to help out with the upcoming Avengers movie, but is it just a coincidence that he gets to pitch in now? I submit that it is not. If Rhodey dies some dramatic, heroic, death at the hands of Ultron, that might be the extra kick in the pants that Tony needs to encourage other heroes to bow down to the whims of the government. He would see registering as an act to keep people safe, seeing as he couldn't keep his best friend safe.
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron debuts on May 1st, 2015.