There's so much speculation about whether or not an Avenger will bite the dust in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) that I decided to add my own speculations. These are merely my ideas about who might get killed, if anyone. If you disagree, just comment below. Let's review the roster of active Avengers and see if we can figure out who is the most likely to be destroyed.
STEVE ROGERS / CAPTAIN AMERICA
Now obviously, as the active leader of [The Avengers](movie:9040), Steve Rogers is likely to face greater danger than the others. I say this because every successful strategist knows that if you take out the leader first, the rest of the group tend to panic and flee or surrender. However, we are unlikely to see this happen for a number of reasons.
1. Ultron is doubtlessly a master tactician, but even a master tactician can't always get his man. Especially when he's not even sure who is really in charge, and there is clearly a power struggle between Cap and Tony.
2. Cap is scheduled to appear in [Captain America: Civil War](movie:994409) and at least one more Avengers flick before there is any possibility of his demise. 'Nuff said.
3. If Cap were killed while the Avengers are still in this tenuous transition from a government-approved SWAT team on steroids to being the self-supporting and largely autonomous Earth's Mightiest Heroes we know them as today, it could have disastrous effects on the rest of team, which would likely fall apart in its infancy.
TONY STARK / IRON MAN
We know that Stark is going to be a major player in Civil War, so it's pretty obvious that we can't see him kick the bucket just yet. Also, RDJ is too much of a fan favorite for Marvel to simply kill him off without getting rid of him in a big blaze of glory.
BRUCE BANNER / HULK
We've seen in the first two trailers that Banner has clearly lost control of "the other guy". But did he really have a lid on the Hulk in the first place? I mean, seriously, in Avengers, we saw that Loki manipulated the Hulk into wrecking the Helicarrier and then suddenly Hulk falls from the sky and conveniently learns to control his rage? Yeah, sure, Marvel. We're all just gonna accept that because Joss the Boss says it's so. And the word "gullible" isn't in the dictionary, either. But in all fairness, just for sake of argument, we'll say that Banner really did get control of the Hulk. If that is the case, something has gone majorly wrong since the last Avengers film. Bruce wouldn't risk endangering his teammates or innocent civilians by turning into the Hulk for fun. There is obviously something major at work that is making him jumpy. The relationship that has been teased between Bruce and Natasha also brings up the possibility that a conflict between Bruce and Clint may trigger an aggressive reaction from Bruce, causing him to Hulk out. We also see Tony suiting up to stop him from wrecking the entire city during his temper tantrum, so clearly there's an important piece of this puzzle that's missing. But will Banner be killed in Age of Ultron? We saw Banner looking pretty shaken in trailers, as if the "other guy" has been causing him some intense psychological trauma. But that doesn't mean he'd get killed, right? Well, if he WERE to be killed, how would it happen? I mean, you can't just walk up and shoot the guy; if he can take a missile to the chest and survive, he's pretty much unstoppable, right? Wrong. There are several ways to get rid of the Hulk if Marvel does indeed want to go that route.
1. Ultron could kill him with some sort of gamma-related something. This is a possibility because Ultron wants to ultimately neutralize all of the Avengers. He's a robot, so chances are, he's got some sort of gadget which could stagger even the Hulk.
2. Tony could accidentally kill him in the fight with the Hulkbuster. Granted, this seems pretty far-fetched since we clearly saw Banner after the Hulkbuster battle, but in a way, if Marvel goes this route, it could be almost more tragic because we would lose an Avenger by the hand of another Avenger. It would be even more heartbreaking if his death was completely unintentional. For example, Tony could attempt to use the uni-beam or a repulsor set at maximum power, only to realize too late that he overdid it.
3. Banner may decide that enough is enough and commit suicide. "But," you're saying, "He tried that in the first Avengers movie and it didn't work!" True. But what if the Hulk were to attempt suicide? What if after his blowup in the Hulkbuster battle, he feels the team would be better off without him? Could the Hulk actually do away with both himself and Banner? And even if he could, would he?
This, again, is unlikely because Thor is scheduled to appear in Ragnarok, which is set after Age of Ultron.
NATASHA ROMANOV / BLACK WIDOW
We see an interesting dynamic in the above shot, with the Hulk and [Black Widow](movie:1070824) sharing a clearly tender moment, which is no doubt a part of the relationship they seem to be developing. However, is it possible that Banner accidentally Hulks out on Natasha and in doing so, somehow causes her death? That would certainly explain why he runs off to the woods by himself and why we see him looking so emotionally devastated later on. I mean come on, the poor guy may have just killed the one love of his life. Not the best way to show someone how much you love them.
CLINT BARTON / HAWKEYE
We know that Marvel has announced Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye to have a much more major role in Age of Ultron than he did as Loki's stooge in the first Avengers film. But is it possible that after the final battle with Ultron that the Hulk and the Hawk will come to blows and arrows over the love of Natasha? This is clearly an interesting possibility, and one that could make for a dramatic final conflict. It would all depend on who was armed first. If Hawkeye notches just enough of the right kind of arrows fast enough, the Hulk's pretty much a goner, but if the big green guy gets his hands on the archer...let's just say Loki won't be the only one to become part of the pavement.
Hawkeye clearly has demonstrated that there is more than a casual interest between himself and Black Widow, also evidenced by the arrow necklace worn by Natasha in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973).
However, if Hawkeye is killed in Age of Ultron, he could be sacrificing himself to save the team as an act of redemption for his actions during his tenure as Loki's puppet.
These are just my theories. Now I want to hear yours! Sound off in the comments!