The stars of Marvel Studios' various movie franchises come together for “Marvel's The Avengers,” which kicks off the summer movie season.
A powerful energy source is stolen from the superspy organization SHIELD, led by director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). The Asgardian Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is behind the theft, in concert with a group of aliens with eyes on Earth.
The potential danger leads Fury to restart his Avengers Initiative; that plan called for extraordinary individuals to act as a last line of defense for the earth.
Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. The billionaire playboy has created his Stark Tower, an innovative building powered by his clean arc reactor technology. He's brought back into the Initiative by SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), a mainstay of previous Marvel movies, including “Thor” and both “Iron Man” films.
Eventually Fury rounds up his team, who he intends to have hunt down Loki and the power source, called the tesseract.
Captain America (Chris Evans) joins up, as does the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), who recruits Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). The team wants him for his scientific mind, though Tony Stark isn't sure they couldn't also use his other half — a green monster of rage known as the Hulk, which Banner turns into when angered.