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'The Avengers' image: Captain America and Hulk's possible new looks?

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Catch_lNext year’s superhero super-sequel The Avengers has been filming for a little over six weeks now, but except for a tongue-in-cheek photo from the first day on the set, the film has pretty much moved into the media-blackout stage of production. So it’s not surprising that the fans are currently buzzing over an image, reportedly snapped at the Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas, of all the Avengers together: Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). While it looks like a poster for the film, according to a source close to the production, the image is not a poster, but a licensing guide — an image designed to give licensees a sense of how to design their Avengers products. So take the image (which you can view full-sized at Superhero Hype) with a grain of salt: Some of the characters’ looks may not perfectly match up to the film. Still, at this early stage, it’s worth examining the image as a very early indication of what Avengers may look like — especially in regards to some key costume tweaks.

The thing that instantly jumps out at you about the image is Captain America: In sharp contrast to the gritty, pouch-heavy aviator outfit Cap is modeling in next month’s Captain America: The First Avenger, the image shows Cap modeling a considerably brighter stars-and-stripes outfit. Actually, the more you look at the image, the more it seems like Cap might have his iconic, fashionably controversial ear-wings. Most people had always anticipated that Cap’s outfit would be modernized for Avengers; this could be a good indication that Avengers will be going for a brighter, even retro-geeky look, First Class-style. There don’t appear to be any tweaks to Thor, Black Widow, or Iron Man’s costumes — which is only really disappointing if you were hopelessly geeky enough to think they might trot out Iron Man’s white-and-red outfit from the Armor Wars period. About the only thing you can say about Hawkeye is that they he seems to have sprouted a dash of purple — whereas, if memory serves, he was dressed all in black for his hey-look-it’s-Hawkeye cameo in Thor. Also, even airbrushed and grainy, Jeremy Renner looks awesome.

Which brings us to the last person on the poster, and the big question about this image: Could this be our first peek at the Ruffalo-Hulk? Recall that Mark Ruffalo — taking over from Edward Norton and Erica Bana — will actually be playing the Hulk via performance capture. And there is something Ruffalovian to this Hulk’s shaggy hair (in contrast to Hulk‘s Ivan Drago flat-top or The Incredible Hulk‘s glamour-boy mini-bangs.) Other than that, there’s not much to say except that this Hulk only looks about a foot or so taller than the average Hawkeye — wonder if they purposefully shrank the character down so he can fit in the same room as multiple superheroes.

Avengers fans, do you like the implication that Cap’s new outfit could be a bit brighter and more in keeping with his traditional look? Are you sad to see that they may not trot out the Gray Hulk?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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