Comic-Con 2013: ‘Avengers 2’ to Follow Dark, Destructive ‘Age of Ultron’ Comic Book

The massively destructive "Age of Ultron" series will be the basis for "Avengers 2"

And you thought "Man of Steel" was destructive?

Joss Whedon took the stage at the end of Marvel's panel Saturday at Comic-Con to reveal that "Avengers 2" will follow the recently completed "Age of Ultron" run in the Marvel comic-book universe.

Whedon directed the first "Avengers," the third-highest grossing movie of all-time.

Also read: Comic-Con 2013: Just 13 Days Into Filming, 'Guardians of Galaxy' Cast Crashes Comic-Con with Footage

Whedon is also shepherding development of the sequel, and the "Ultron" title means the next blockbuster team-up — slated for a summer 2015 release — will take a decidedly darker and more mind-bending turn.

"Age of Ultron" envisions a future where Ultron, a sentient artificial intelligence creation of "Ant-Man" alter-ego Hank Pym, lays Earth to ruins and drives all superheroes underground.

In their desperate efforts to find a weakness, several key Marvel superheroes are killed or MIA (though the time-travel elements leave their lives less vulnerable to a permanent end).

Marvel proceeded to blow Hall H's minds by showing, in a sizzle reel, Ultron's head — essentially revealing the look of a major, MAJOR villain before he appears in a film. Unusual for a company that guards plot and casting secrets like national-security secrets.

Though many expected Ant-Man movie news and didn't get it, the introduction of Ultron assures that Pym will become a fixture in the Marvel cinematic universe.

Marvel chief Kevin Feige stressed before his panel's two surprises — the appearance of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" cast and Whedon — that the company must continue to offer fresh ideas and titles to maintain its success. In other words, new movies and sequels must be motivated by more than a desire for cash. 

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That helps explain why he chose Anthony and Joe Russo to direct "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," even though their last feature directing job was the Owen Wilson comedy "You, Me and Dupree." Feige assured fans that footage of Cap would explain the choice, and for the most part people responded to it with one word — "epic."

Marvel had the crowd eating out of its palm the entire time, and nothing elicited a strong reaction than Tom Hiddleston's (left) appearance as Loki, the character he plays in both the "Thor" films and "The Avengers."

Before introducing some footage of the upcoming "Thor: The Dark World," Loki urged the crowd, "Claim loyalty to me and I will give you what you need."

Here's guessing Whedon has something to say about that.