With Joss Whedon‘s Marvel movie mashup, The Avengers, the superhero movie finally lives up to its paper and ink counter part. In comic books, crossover events are common. Superheroes appear alongside other superheros all the time but, with a minor exception here and there, that tried and true comic book staple never made it to the big screen. In a fantasy-based world, the superhero team up film has long been the pinnacle of “what if?”

The Avengers not only makes that fanboy fantasy a reality, the high-octane superhero extravaganza delivers on almost every level with well-rounded characters, plenty of humor and  jaw-dropping action. A few things do get left out in the wake of all that excitement but odds are you won’t really care. The Avengers is as fun as movies come and fans who’ve been waiting for a superhero team up on the big screen will leave the theater satisfied.

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No one could accuse Marvel of being shy about showing off the goods. As the May 4 release of The Avengers approaches, the studio’s been dropping clips on a regular basis, and we’ve got two more for you right here. The first one sees Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) exchanging very angry words with Loki (Tom Hiddleston), while the second sees Loki’s beloved brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) engaged in a no-holds-barred fight against each other. Watch them after the jump.

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Although she’s long been a fan favorite on How I Met Your Mother, Cobie Smulders isn’t too well known outside of her involvement on the hit CBS comedy. That’s all about to change next month, however, when Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers hits. In her highest-profile movie gig yet, Smulders plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, who works with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). For obvious reasons, most of the footage we’ve seen so far has focused on the titular superhero team, but a newly released clip offers some insight into the working relationship between Hill and Fury. Watch it after the jump.

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Cobie Smulders looks great in The Avengers, want to see more? What food product is teaming with the massive Marvel team up? Where in real life have the shows Breaking Bad and Comic Book Men crossed paths? Care to see an unused credit treatment for The Amazing Spider-Man? Why is it stupid for the title of The Avengers to change to Avengers Assemble? How is Christopher Meloni dressed on the set of Man of Steel? Read about all of this and much more in today’s Superhero Bits.

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Where and when can you see The Avengers battle the X-Men? Is the Smallville story going to continue now that the TV show is over? Want to read a detailed description of the new trailer for The Avengers? How can you get a $5 gift certificate to your local comic book shop? Will Hans Zimmer be scoring Man of Steel? And what spoiler about her character did Avengers star Cobie Smulders reveal? Read about all of this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

It’s been a big day for image debuts as we saw a whole bunch of photos from Tarsem’s still-untitled Snow White film. Not to be outdone, Marvel has released three more images from The Avengers. Two show new looks at characters with which we’re pretty familiar. One, however, gives us a look at Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill. Read More »

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Over the past few days at Comic Con, Marvel has been unveiling character posters featuring concept art of the full team in The Avengers. These images have provided our first looks at the new suit for Captain America and the costume worn by Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. Now the final image has been released, showing what we can expect Mark Ruffalo‘s Hulk to look like. That, plus looks at Nick Fury and a few SHIELD agents and the full ‘Avengers assembled’ banner (above) in larger form are all after the break. Read More »

Update (from Peter Sciretta): The Hollywood Reporter has word that Smulders is in “final negotiations” to take on the role, a deal which has options for a number of future Marvel movie appearances. The Avengers is scheduled to start shooting in late April 2011.

It’s looking more and more likely that Nick Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D. assistant in Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers is going to be played by Cobie Smulders. Smulders, who currently starts on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, was one of several actresses who reportedly had to read along side Samuel L. Jackson for the role as Maria Hill. And while most of us thought Morena Baccarin, who previously worked with Whedon on Firefly, might have a leg up, Deadline is reporting Smulders emerged as the front runner. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Update: I’ve heard from reliable sources that Mary Elizabeth Winstead is not testing for The Avengers.

Nick Fury himself, Samuel L. Jackson, recently told Jimmy Fallon that he would be doing tests with “like five” different actresses who are up for a yet-to-be-cast role in Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers. That role is for Fury’s assistant and The Hollywood Reporter says four of the actresses who will be testing are Morena Baccarin (who has previously worked with Whedon on Firefly and Serenity and is now seen on V), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield) and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother).

Read what little else we know about the role and do some speculating after the break. Read More »