Agent Coulson informs Agent Sitwell that the World Security Council wishes Emil Blonsky released from prison to join the Avengers Initiative. They see him as a war hero and blame his fight in New York City with Bruce Banner on Banner himself. They order S.H.I.E.L.D. to send an agent to ask General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt) to release Blonsky into their custody. As Nick Fury doesn't want to release Blonsky, the two agents decide to send a patsy to sabotage the meeting, so that Ross will refuse to release Blonsky. At Sitwell's urging, Coulson reluctantly sends the consultant: Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). As partially depicted in the post-credits scene of The Incredible Hulk, a disgraced Ross sits drinking in a bar, when he is approached by Stark, who ends up annoying Ross so much that Ross tries to have him removed from the bar. In reply, Stark buys the bar, and schedules it for demolition. The next day at the restaurant, Sitwell arrives to Coulson eating breakfast. Coulson informs him that their plan worked, and that Blonsky will remain in prison
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At the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel announced that The Consultant would appear exclusively on the...