Known as ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’, the Avengers are an ensemble cast of Super Heroes. Featuring a roster of characters, the Avengers defend the world in spectacular battles and clash with wily villains.
Central to the ‘The Avengers’ room in ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ are the costumes of the members of the team: charismatic genius–billionaire–playboy philanthropist Tony Stark (Iron Man); failed army recruit turned government Super Soldier Steve Rogers (Captain America); brilliant scientist Dr Bruce Banner and his dual personality, the Hulk; heir to the Asgardian throne, Thor; former Russian spy Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow); marksman Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton; telekinetic Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch); and the enhanced synthetic being, Vision.
Also on display are the costumes of Nick Fury, Director of the counter-intelligence organisation S.H.I.E.L.D., which recruits the Avengers; his Deputy Director, Maria Hill; and rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Crossbones; Thor’s duplicitous brother, Loki; and Captain America’s best friend, Bucky Barnes, known as the Winter Soldier. This room also highlights important battles faced by the Avengers through keyframe artwork, costumes and props.
Intent on conquering Earth, Loki, wayward brother of the Avenger Thor, makes a deal with the powerful intergalactic warlord Thanos. Commanding Thanos’s alien army, Loki unknowingly brings the fractious Avengers together to face the extraterrestrial Chitauri in a fight known as the Battle of New York. The combined might of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye defeats Loki’s alien allies, but not without widespread destruction to parts of the city.
James ‘Bucky’ Barnes
James ‘Bucky’ Barnes, a childhood friend of Steve Rogers before he became Captain America, was also a member of the US Army’s elite unit the Howling Commandos, led by Rogers in World War Two. Thought dead by his allies after a daring raid, Barnes was instead captured by the villainous organisation Hydra. Intent on creating their own super-powered combatant to counter the formidable Captain America, Hydra turned Bucky into the Winter Soldier, a cyber-enhanced assassin programmed to obey through a series code words found in a tattered red notebook from the Soviet Union. Once discovered, Barnes is captured and held in a containment chamber where he struggles with his dual personality.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury and Deputy Director Maria Hill
Behind the superhuman might of the Avengers are the dedicated agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division). The US-based global intelligence agency was created as the last line of defence against the worst Earthly and extraterrestrial threats. Founded by Tony Stark’s father Howard, alongside Colonel Chester Phillips and Agent Peggy Carter in the wake of battles against Hydra during World War Two, the group was active until recently under the leadership of Director Nick Fury and Deputy Director Maria Hill.
Although Hydra was suppressed during the war, it remained active and slowly infiltrated the senior ranks of S.H.I.E.LD. When Hydra realises Captain America is close to discovering the conspiracy within S.H.I.E.LD., turncoat agent Brock Rumlow attempts to assassinate Rogers. After he is revealed as a traitor, a scarred Rumlow returns as the masked Crossbones and faces off against Rogers and his allies again.
DELVE DEEPER INTO THE EXHIBITION AND THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE
Go behind the scenes of ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ to experience more than 500 unique objects from your favourite films, never-before-seen iconic objects which offer a glimpse into the work of production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists alongside the original comic books which introduced the characters and influenced the films.
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Purchase tickets for ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe‘ online or at ticket desk 10.00am-4.00pm daily, and until 8.00pm Wednesday. ‘Marvel’ film screenings and ‘Marvel’ Up Late are separate ticketed events.
Amanda Slack Smith is exhibition curator ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ and Associate Curator, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA
Feature image: Installation view of ‘The Avengers’ room, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 featuring the Winter Soldier containment chamber / Metal, steel, electronics, plastic, resin / From Captain America: Civil War 2016 / © 2017 MARVEL / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA