A synergistic marketing campaign for The Avengers is just getting underway, but fans have already been promised sick goods, such as a pristine collectible statuette of Iron Man's Mark VII armor, toyline versions of iconic S.H.I.E.L.D. transports like the Quinjet - and a snazzy 3D poster that features the eponymous team in battle form.
Today's bit of Avengers promotion comes in the form of five new images, officially unveiled by Marvel. A chunk of these previously popped up online in scanned form, as they are included in a forthcoming subscribers edition of Empire Magazine - the same one that features Kevin Feige's provocative comments concerning just who The Avengers' secret baddies are - but, fortunately, we now have high-definition, non-bootlegged versions to share.
The latest batch of Avengers photos feature almost the entire main crew of the film (save for Chris Hemsworth as Thor). However, with the exception of Black Widow/Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. head Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) everyone else is minus their trademark crime-fighting outfits.
Still, any new pics are welcome while we wait for more footage from The Avengers to be unveiled - and who knows, maybe there are several fans out there who've just been dying for a closeup of the scorch marks around Fury's eyepatch - or a better look at Jeremy Renner's veiny forearms - so here they are, for your viewing pleasure:
On a somewhat different note: no one denies that Avengers has the potential to be a game-changer, in terms of both the idea that comic book movies can take place in a shared universe AND how it will affect Marvel's upcoming slate of films. Rampant discussions about how much impending sequels such as Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 will be standalone features - and to what degree they will share narrative continuity with Avengers - are already taking place around the Interwebs, several months before writer/director Joss Whedon's superhero ensemble flick even reaches theaters.
Similarly, there's already a good deal of speculation going on about which Marvel comic characters will be making the jump to the big screen after 2013. Recent reports indicated that Captain America 2 may arrive in 2014, but popular second and third tier Marvel creations (Ant-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, etc.) are also heavily rumored to finally be realized in live-action form that year. Expect both the critical AND financial reception for Marvel's Avengers "experiment" to have an impact on which of those character vehicles gets the green light next.
The Avengers is slated to hit 2D and 3D theaters in the U.S. on May 4th, 2012.