In the film The Avengers, Nick Fury takes orders from a shadowy group called 'The Council'. They appear to be made up of people from different countries, at least based on their accents and a bit of dialogue. They mention that SHIELD is an international covert organization, so presumably the Council is also international. There was an American white male, a European white female, a SE Asian male (who never speaks), and maybe a middle-eastern male (I'm uncertain where this fellow's accent was from) on The Council.

On screen, I didn't see any indicators of what locations they were each in. There wasn't any dialogue that pointed to who they were or where they were from. Do we know who or what these Council members are representatives of?

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    They represent the prospect of a sequel. – dlanod May 13 '12 at 7:13
  • Anyone own the Fury's Big Week comics? Apparently, these people show up there, the wikia implies they're named the 'World Security Council' there. – user1027 Sep 16 '13 at 18:38

I read elsewhere in one of the many post-movie-release interviews that SHIELD was supposed to be a covert operation run by the United Nations (though originally in the comics it was run by the United States). So The Council in the film would then be made up of oversight members from the United Nations. Incidentally, this mysterious / ambiguous association as to whom SHIELD works for is the reason the U.S. Department Of Defense refused to lend military equipment - planes, tanks, etc - for the filming of the final battle in NYC. The D.O.D. did not like the fact that SHIELD was not directly attributable to U.S. oversight, so they told the movie producers they would not participate in the making of the film.

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    That tidbit about the U.S. DoD is very interesting - where'd you find it? – hairboat May 14 '12 at 14:28
  • As I recall in the comics, it was implied that originally it was a US organization, but later was changed to a UN organization. It's been a while since I've read any of them however. I also remember seeing an article last week that gave the same reason for the US DOD not participating in the movie, but I can't recall which site I read that on. – BBlake May 14 '12 at 16:11
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    @AbbyT.Miller wired.com/dangerroom/2012/05/avengers-military – CamelBlues May 14 '12 at 21:37
  • @CamelBlues cool beans. thanks! – hairboat May 14 '12 at 21:38
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    " The Defense Department's Hollywood liaison (that's a real position) said the government was concerned about the vague authority of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Samuel L. Jackson-led international peacekeeping / spy-ish organization (please don't write us letters!) that brings together the Avengers to do Avenger-y things." – AJotr May 15 '12 at 4:09

IMDB calls them the World Security Council in the credits, and Marvel Wikia gives them an overarching social and economic coordinating purpose.

Mutants and eztra-special forces type heroes would be a significant problem for global stability. Omega class mutants particularly have the power to disrupt entire economies, kill billions of people, and otherwise control or subjugate entire nations and continents (imagine Magneto's power, with Xavier/Cerebro and and Nightcrawler as a rapid action assassination and infiltration force). Careful coordination of progress and distress would be required to keep these various personalities under control (i.e. you can't have all the superheroes get together and decide to be one team, or else you end up with world stopping power and no effective counter - so keep them fighting amongst themselves). Essentially the WSC exists as a check against super-hero's powers as much as a funnel for them, and as a means to begin to exert control over some amount of para-military force that could be called on to fight the inevitable Magneto-style revolution (ergo reliance of SHIELD on non homo sapiens superior persons) and divide those with the great excess of power. They are there to provide 'world' security, which will call for some degree of maintenance of the (species) status quo.

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    As of now, Magneto, Xavier, Nightcrawler, Omega-Class Mutants and homo-sapien-superiors in general do not exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth 199999). This may change with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. – phantom42 Sep 18 '13 at 19:28
  • I find it completely improbable that Marvel will not cross them over, given both the fact that they all actually exist in the same universe and interact on a regular basis, and the recent overwhelming success of the crossover books. The X-franchise needs time to mature more of their heroes, but I can't see that they would just con out superiors entirely. Regardless, does not change the logic of the answer, despite dramatically limiting the number of parties about which the Council would be concerned. – Carlos Joseph Sep 19 '13 at 18:01
  • Contractually, Marvel can not. Fox owns all cinematic rights to all of the X-Men and related titles as well as Fantastic Four. Sony own Spider-Man and Marvel has everything else. Marvel is supposedly skirting the "mutant" issue with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver by ignoring their historical mutant origins. – phantom42 Sep 19 '13 at 18:10
  • FWIW, I think your logic is fairly sound - just that the examples you cite are faulty since they don't exist in that world. I'm not the one who downvoted you though, so I can't comment on exactly why you got downvoted. – phantom42 Sep 19 '13 at 18:12
  • That was the main concern that I didn't voice, the franchising problem. Spiderman would be a problem, but hopefully the value of the IP from the two corporate 'worlds' within the universe will eventually be valuable enough to spawn a mutual universe, even if it unfortunately has to come out only as a war... – Carlos Joseph Sep 19 '13 at 18:16

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