There's a lot of change going on in the Marvel cinematic universe. It started with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and continued into the Agents of SHIELD television series.

Now that Avengers: Age of Ultron is out, though, those changes are even more front and center, and they'll impact the Marvel universe forever, especially going into future films, such as Captain America: Civil War.

Please note that the following contains Avengers: Age of Ultron spoilers. If you haven't yet seen the movie and don't want to know what happens, stop reading now.

SHIELD is gone.

Regardless of what's going on with the Agents of SHIELD television series, in Age of Ultron, SHIELD is gone. On the TV series, the two factions of SHIELD are so busy fighting each other, that they miss the fact that the bad guys are doing things with Loki's sceptre. In Age of Ultron, Nick Fury and Maria Hill all but admit that there is no more SHIELD and when it comes time to save the day, it's those two who create what Captain America says "What SHIELD should be."

The greatest threat to mankind isn't aliens.

Forget aliens like Loki attacking Earth. In Age of Ultron, the big baddie is a creature of the Avengers' own making: particularly of Bruce Banner and Tony Stark. These two should have known to leave well enough alone, but they thought it would be fun to create the ultimate protector of Earth and thought the key lay in Loki's staff and their skills working with artificial intelligence. The result was Ultron, who decided that protecting Earth meant destroying it first.

This won't go over well with those in charge. It's likely that because of Ultron, the world's leaders and governments won't trust anything that isn't 100 percent human and humans daring to think otherwise, could see punishment.

Humans now fear those with powers.

We're already seeing these ideas on Agents of SHIELD, with the Inhumans being feared and two factions of what's left of SHIELD arguing over whether powered people and aliens are friends or foes, regardless of whether they pose a threat to Earth or not.

Age of Ultron also showed destruction caused by the Avengers themselves: they tore up cities in their attempts at saving humans. When Hulk falls under the influence of the Scarlet Witch, he goes on a rampage and people get hurt. Because of this, humans are less likely to trust the Avengers to protect them.

There is a civil war coming.

With the title of the next Marvel film being Captain America: Civil War, we know that a war is on its way. In the comics, that war began when government agencies and international leaders decided that superheroes needed to register themselves so that they only acted when instructed to do so. In that story, Captain America opposes the new laws, which pits him against his fellow Avenger Iron Man.

After Age of Ultron, along with the destruction left by something they were responsible for in the first place (Ultron), it's likely that normal humans will want something like this Superhero Registration Act.

We have new Avengers, but are they even necessary?

At the end of Age of Ultron, Iron Man, Thor and Hawkeye leave the Avengers, while Bruce Banner remains missing. The only two original team members left are Black Widow and Captain America, who stay behind to train the new team members: Scarlet Witch, Falcon and Vision. This is the new team protecting Earth, although after the Civil War, who knows if they'll survive? There were a lot of goodbyes at the end of Age of Ultron, almost as if the universe knows that the Avengers' time has come and gone.

[Photo Credit: Marvel]

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