Just what exactly is S.H.I.E.L.D.'s jurisdiction anyways? They're implied to be a worldwide peacekeeping organization, though the "Homeland" portion of its acronym seems to imply that they're an American-run operation.
My own take is that they are an American-originated organization that had a legacy of international involvement ( thanks to WWII and the SSR ), that various other nations have bought into. By joining the SHIELD Convention or whatever its called, they get involvement and some degree of executive say, in exchange for jurisdiction.
My personal belief is that SHIELD is an multinational peacekeeping taskforce/Covert Intelligence Agency created, in secret, by the United Nations, hence why they answer to the World Security Council, instead of the Department of the Defense or Pentagon. I think what we are seeing in the movie is just the American Branch of SHIELD. And we only see the SHIELD involvement in U.S because of all the crazy superhero stuff that happens there.
Someone really wanted their initials to spell out "SHIELD".
Given that they answer to the World Council I'd imagine that they're a multinational coorperative. That said, Agents of Shield makes that seem less likely, given they constantly seem to have jurisdiction issues with people treating SHIELD as simply American.
What was Fury even assembling the Avengers for? And who was he assembling? When he asked Stark to join at the end of Iron Man, he told him he wasn't "the only superhero in the world". But according to the timeline Thor hadn't arrived yet, Cap was still frozen, Banner was still hiding in Brazil and either SHIELD hadn't found him or never approached him then, and the only other supers would have been Badass Normals Hawkeye and Black Widow. Who could he have been referring to, and what?
Shield was aware of Banner, according to the in-canon comic prequels, S.H.I.E.L.D. have been watching over Banner, Natasha Romanoff was even present during the Culver University attack and in the Harlem battle according to the comics. Sevlig even confirms in the Thor movie, that S.H.I.E.L.D. went to look for him and Banner wasnt heard ever since then.
Probably Cap, at this point it's still a case of Never Found the Body, meaning there's the potential for him to still live, and Nick Fury knew Howard Stark (the foremost surviving Super Serum scientist, and was likely Cap's closest male friend save for Bucky) very well.
Ant-man, probably. According to the Other wiki, the Ant-man film is supposed to be set in the 60s.
In case you forgot, SHIELD had the Tesseract. They knew it came from somewhere, and there could be other people with comparable power or artifacts.
So Thor was a potential Avengers from the start? Or any of the other Asgardians? Who knew...
He was assembling them just in case something like what happened happened. He didn't have a specific plan so much as it was becoming increasingly obvious that there were a number of powerful beings wandering the planet. Just in official canon (mind you some of these are dead) Loki, the Abomination, the Leader, Ironman armors (which apparently have a relatively short learning curve) and that's just what we can prove. Magneto and other mutants and Spiderman and his rogues are probably floating around and when/if the copyrights are returned to marvel they'll show. The thing about the Avengers is if it's at all possible you want to get as many of these guys on speed dial as possible BEFORE needing them. It was mostly dumb luck that the Avengers in the movie (and to be fair in the comics) just sort of all fell together.
But none of those existed yet when he met with Tony. Loki was in Asgard, the Abomination and Leader weren't created yet, and neither were those Iron Man armors.
Fair enough. Red Skull is the only canon super villian at the time. I'm sticking to my earlier assertion that just because we haven't confirmed (again due to copyright issues) doesn't mean they aren't there. Alternatively they could have been gathering to bring in the Hulk who did exist, who at this point a force of nature wanted by the US government. Bottom line is we'll probably never know for sure.
I think Hulk was, indeed, an Avengers candidate. Black Widow did say they never lost track of him. And she and Hawkeye were also probably candidates.
As of the first Iron Man movie, the Hulk still existed (and depending on what was canon, almost assuredly tangled with some other superpowered villain. Red Skull did exist at some point, and the Tesseract's mere existence implied that there was... something unexplained out there. Given their lack of surprise at seeing Thor, it's likely they knew of Asgard.
Lack of surprise? Coulson stayed fairly cool (notice he instantly gave in to Thor's demands after witnessing the Destroyer's beatdown) but SHIELD clearly didn't know anything for certain about Asgard, hence their decision to build Tesseract powered weapons to try and counter them after New Mexico. The Thor stinger and Captain America's film show that most people (aside from Johann Schmidt) regarded the old Norse myths as exactly that, myths. "Legend tells us one thing, history another, but every now and then we find something that belongs to both." Red Skull believed the old Norse myths, but no one else took him or the legends that seriously even with Zola's Tesseract weapons. Going from Fury's above comment to Selvig, SHIELD may have believed the Tesseract was just one of Zola's inventions. It wasn't until New Mexico that Fury and SHIELD started realizing "Oh Crap, Schmidt was right, the Norse Gods do exist in some form, and they like blowing up our towns. Who knows what the hell else is out there, and how do we stop them?!"
Why couldn't Thor pick up his hammer in the movie? It wasn't explained.
In Thor he couldn't lift Mjolnir due to Odin stripping him of his power and enchanting Mjolnir so that it could only be lifted by someone worthy. Which was amply explained in that film, so I assume you mean instead The Avengers, but Thor's never shown unable to lift Mjolnir during that movie. After his fall from the helicarrier he seems to take a moment to psych himself up before trying to pick it up, as though afraid he's somehow become unworthy again; then he picks it up with no difficulty.
Exactly. He allowed himself to fall for Loki's trick again, and Coulson paid the price for it. He wasn't sure if he was still worthy.
They probably did mean Thor even though it was amply explained. Sigh. He couldn't pick it up because he wasn't worthy until he was willing to sacrifice his own life for those of the innocent people that Loki was using the Destroyer to attack. He was still too arrogant to be worthy in the scene where he tried to lift it from the crater while under the S.H.I.E.L.D. tents.
The OP wa very likely menaing the Avengrs and not Thor since he/she posted here. It was explained bya poster above but the scene is pretty odd since it appears as though Thor tries to summon it to his hand but fails at first.
Here's something that confuses me: If Tony's head is tight inside Iron Man's armor how can he be seen moving it freely with all those holograms as if he was wearing a big helmet during the interior shots?
The interior is just a big ol' screen, designed to make it look like the screens aren't directly in Tony's face (which would be disorienting, claustrophobic, and hard to focus on). Because of that, in our shots we see his face looking like there's more space than there is.
Why is SHIELD vilified for creating Tesseract weapons? Most of the Avengers act like its such a horrible thing despite the fact that it is a pretty good idea.
Partly because it's an escalation—and if SHIELD gets them, it's really only a matter of time before others do—partly because it's exactly what Hydra did; and partly because they were hiding the project.
The WSC proved they couldn't be responsible with them when they ordered New York to be nuked. Leaving them with more powerful weapons would be even worse.
They were only irresponsible with a nuke from our perspective where we knew the Avengers would come together and more importantly they would win. In Universe trading New York for the world would have been a bargain. Without the nuke Tony would have had no way to end that conflict and sooner or later the numbers game would have caught up with the Avengers who were nearing their limits by the end. In addition Tesseract Weapons aren't the same kind of mass destruction as nukes. I'd rather irresponsible people have access to Tesseract weapons and Iron Man Armors where they for the most part have to be actively trying to kill someone to do it than nukes that can't be precision aimed. They were villainized because this is fiction and the government is always wrong. We see similar issues with the Sentinel Program in the X-Men series or CADMUS in DC comics. Apparently the various governments of the world are supposed to blindly trust that the various super heroes will never turn on them and always triumph.
The Avengers could have still closed the portal without the aid of the nuke. Then they'd just have to mop up the last of the Chitauri. Fury was watching the fight and showing the footage to the WSC, so both could see the Avengers were doing well. Plus, we see on the Phase 2 screen that Tony brings up to Fury that one of the planned weapons is in fact a Tesseract-powered nuke. That doesn't show necessity for those weapons by the WSC, but rather a poorly veiled attempt at gaining more control through firepower.