Despite having numerous blockbusters hitting theaters each year, Marvel Studios' projects go through long development processes that often go unrecognized by many.
From deleted scenes to cut characters, there is always new information to be uncovered from MCU films, no matter how old they become. At the time, Avengers: Age of Ultron was Marvel's most ambitious film. Tasked with reintroducing the Original Six, premiering new "miracles" in the Maximoff twins, and expanding the universe by debuting locations of Vibranium pirates and fictional countries, the follow-up to the team-up event had more on its plate than Professor Hulk at a breakfast diner.
Not everything Marvel planned ended up on the screen in Earth's Mightiest Heroes' second adventure, but some concept art was spot-on for what fans would see. Despite the near impeccable accuracy, there are always aspects that can be over-analyzed.
While most films go through major conceptual shifts during their development process, there are rare instances when concept art reflects a mirror image of what eventually makes its way to the silver screen. Coming from Marvel Studios' head of Visual Development Charlie Wen's Twitter, the artist surfaced numerous designs he created for the final battle of 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Wen highlighted the evolution from rough sketch to final colorful concept with the following drawings of the Avengers taking on the Ultron Sentries in the Sokovian church.
If we are willing to lay down our individual “ #rights ”, we can battle together to #overcome unbelievable adversity.— Charlie Wen (@imcharliewen) April 11, 2020
Rough thumbnail #sketch to plan out key battle scenes in the old church where the #Avengers are being #overwhelmed by Ultron’s minions - #avengersageofultron . pic.twitter.com/JfstXaH2t5
Final Ultron Battle concept design for planning out the temple ruins battle scene in #avengersageofultron .— Charlie Wen (@imcharliewen) May 25, 2020
Hope you you all had a great weekend🌟#marvel #marvelstudios #mcu #hulk #blackwidow #thor #ironman #captainamerica #hawkeye #vision #scarletwitch #quicksilver #ultron pic.twitter.com/yBgFBPufxv
#surrounded 😱!!— Charlie Wen (@imcharliewen) April 17, 2020
At times, life can seem to come at you from all sides. Stay in it. You’re not alone.
Concept keyframe for the Avengers’ final battle with #ultron
*#marvel #marvelstudios #fightscene #keyframes #picoftheday #imcharliewen #conceptart #avengersageofultron pic.twitter.com/YIZeAefZkL
Aside from the group sketches, Wen also shared some individual and close-up concept art pieces of fan-favorite Avengers taking on Ultron Sentries.
#solidarity - We are crucial parts of the whole #captainamerica is a testament to movie magic. He’s pretty much a pink— Charlie Wen (@imcharliewen) May 14, 2020
elephant in a room, Imagine if Superman’s name were SuperUSA;)
Film has the power to bridge the gaps#brigde #film #captainamerica #superman #marvel #avengers pic.twitter.com/qfqdSaGTvF
WHAT THIS MEANS
Aside from Thor's silver sleeves being substituted for an Asgardian muscle tee, this concept art is a near mirror image of what fans would eventually see in Age of Ultron. All of the OGs, plus the addition of the Maximoff twins and a friendly A.I. in Vision, are shown protecting the center of the church from the Ultron Sentries.
One intriguing takeaway from these images comes from the group shot in full color. Vision hovers in all his glory, holding off numerous bots in Ultron's disposable army with a forehead blast. While this is a power fans would come to recognize as a staple of Vision's arsenal, the blue shade raises a few questions.
As seen with his heartbreaking (and still unresolved) death in Avengers: Infinity War, Vision's forehead possesses the Mind Stone, a yellow Infinity Gem that was responsible for not only giving the android life, but bestowing Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver with their other-wordly powers. This image depicts Vision's blast as a shade of blue, not too dissimilar from Iron Man's gauntlet blasts. Was Vision possessing the mind stone a late addition, or was this just a secret kept from concept artists?
Through more dissecting and analysis, fans will remember the Mind Stone originally being encased in Loki's scepter from 2012's The Avengers. In that staff, the stone appeared to be a larger blue rock. Perhaps Vision was always intended to eventually possess the Mind Stone, but early designs had it kept as the blue rock fans knew from Loki's staff.
Further throwing that speculation for a loop, the bird's eye view shot of the battle shows Vision's blast as a shade of purple, which matches 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy's Power Stone. It is highly unlikely there were even plans to incorporate the Power Stone into Vision's character, but crazier things have happened.