Inside ‘The Avengers’: 10 Things You Might Have Missed

Movies & TV

7. Not sure why everyone gets so bummed out when (again: major spoiler alert) Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. is killed by Loki? Neither were we. After all, Coulson is just a pleasant dude who delivers classified information and enjoys vintage trading cards. However, actor Clark Gregg has been portraying Agent Coulson over the course of five years, first in 2008’s “Iron Man” and then in “Iron Man 2″ and “Thor.” He even voices Agent Coulson in the “Ultimate Spider-Man” TV series. So, pour one out for the character that no one really goes to the movie to see, but is an integral piece of support nonetheless.

8. After a few credits run at the end of the film, a secret scene in space goes down between “The Other” and a mysterious new villain with a purple face who calls humankind “unruly” and flashes a sinister grin before the scene cuts out. The Marvel film tradition of previewing upcoming adaptations in teaser scenes is a storied one — “Iron Man” included a glimpse of Nick Fury, “Iron Man 2″ teased “Thor,” etc. — but usually, the clues are more revealing. Who is this purple people hater, and why should we care enough to fear his wrath? According to many a fan site and movie blog, the new villain is Thanos, an all-powerful alien who has a thing for mass destruction. It’s still unclear whether he’ll be featured in the sequel to “The Avengers” or to that of “Thor,” but get ready for more Thanos lighting up the Marvel movie universe either way.

9. The song that plays over the end credits is “Live To Rise,” from Seattle grunge survivors Soundgarden. The lead single from the “Avengers” soundtrack is actually Soundgarden’s first new song to be released in a whopping 15 years, and previews their long-awaited first album of fresh material since 1996’s “Down on the Upside,” due out this fall. It’s a fitting choice for the soundtrack: Soundgarden broke up in 1997 and its members subsequently pursued other projects (frontman Chris Cornell became the singer for Audioslave), but, like a legion of superheroes, the group reformed in 2010 to save the world from boring guitar riffs and humdrum vocals.