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There is no mention of Avengers coming together. No mention of anyone calling them together. They don't gel really well, I suppose.

How come Dr. Banner, Tony Stark and Thor (most importantly, Thor) are back in business uprooting Hydra bases one by one.

By far, that's the least critical and least dangerous threat since the beginning of the MCU.

PS : If you are at it, Can you tell me how Loki's sceptre ended up with Baron Strucker (or Hydra) ?

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    Guys just gathered for a shwarma party, no need to discuss that... – Barafu Albino Oct 22 '15 at 17:31
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This is explained in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 19, "The Dirty Half-Dozen". Phil Coulson (Who the Avengers think is dead) is now the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and are trying to fight Hydra from underground, since S.H.I.E.L.D officially doesn't exist anymore after the events of The Winter Soldier.

Coulson and his team attack one Hydra base and discover that the scepter is located in Strucker's base. He then proceeds to call Maria Hill and tells her to "call in the Avengers", setting up the events of Age of Ultron.

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    I believe Ward steals the scepter from the Fridge in the episode Providence, explaining how Strucker gets it – DCShannon Oct 21 '15 at 23:56
  • @DCShannon In season one? I don't remember that happening, and I doubt Agents of SHIELD has knowledge of Avengers: Age of Ultron that far in advance. – Dr R Dizzle Oct 22 '15 at 7:44
  • Also, @scrblnrd3, The Avengers have been operating for a while by the time Coulson let's Maria Hill know where Baron von Struckers base is - see the quote in my answer, which talks about "since SHIELD collapsed" in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Coulson helped point The Avengers in the right direction, he isn't the reason for their reformation. – Dr R Dizzle Oct 22 '15 at 7:46
  • @DrRDizzle I'm not sure if it was on screen or not, but they retrieved a bunch of artifacts from the Fridge, which was where SHIELD was storing its dangerous artifacts, including Asgardian ones.The show doesn't need knowledge of Age of Ultron for this to make sense. Age of Ultron just needs knowledge of the show. – DCShannon Oct 22 '15 at 20:27
  • In that case, it would be all the more bizzare for MCU (or Maria Hill/Shield who it seems have the power to call in the Avengers) to not call in the Avengers when the President was kidnapped (Iron Man 3) or when Malekith and Thor were playing Rat-A-Tat through Galaxies (Thor 2) or when the whole of SHIELD was collapsing (CA TWS). – HindK Oct 30 '15 at 10:19
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After the world found out that Hydra were active and SHIELD was disbanded in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers reformed in order to find and shut down any Hydra cells that were still operating.

Thor specifically joined them in order to find Loki's Scepter, which fell into Hydra hands at some point between Avengers Assemble and the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Thanks to the fact that Hydra had fully infiltrated SHIELD at that point, it would not have been hard for Baron von Strucker to get his hands on the Scepter even if SHIELD found it first.

From the film itself (important lines bolded for clarity);

Tony Stark: It feels good, yeah? I mean, you’ve been after this thing since SHIELD collapsed. Not that I haven’t enjoyed our little raiding parties, but…
Thor: No, but this… this brings it to a close.
Steve Rogers: As soon as we find out what else this has been used for. I don’t just mean weapons. Since when is Strucker capable of human enhancement?
Tony Stark: Banner and I’ll give it the once before it goes back to Asgard. Is that cool with you?
[Thor nods his head]
Tony Stark: I mean, just a few days until the farewell party. You’re staying right?
Thor: Yes, yes, of course. A victory should be honored with revels.
Tony Stark: Yeah. Who doesn’t love revels. Captain?
Steve Rogers: Hopefully this puts an end to the Chitauri and Hydra, so. Yes, revels.

From this dialogue we can see that this mission (retrieving the scepter) has finished what The Avengers reformed to do, which was find the scepter (something Thor has been after since SHIELD fell) and shut down Hydra cells (something Tony refers to as "raiding parties").

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    This doesn't quite jive with the end of the Winter Soldier, though. Fury specifically states that he's going to Europe to track down the rest of Hydra, and Captain America specifically refuses to join him. Obviously there is some missing story here - what brought Cap back into the fold? – Mark Oct 21 '15 at 19:28
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    I believe Fury going to Europe was the reason for his appearance in the Agents of SHIELD season one finale, not a lead in to Avengers: Age of Ultron. Presumably, at some stage after SHIELD fell Steve Rogers decided that it was more important to stop Hydra than it was to locate Bucky - we see in Avengers: Age of Ultron that Sam Wilson is still investigating while Steve is on Avenger duty though. – Dr R Dizzle Oct 22 '15 at 7:50
  • @Mark jibe is the word you are looking for – Kevin Oct 22 '15 at 13:18
  • @Kevin The OED indicates that both are appropriate, although it seems that "jive" has been added recently due to the mistake of saying "jive" instead of "jibe" being so common it's changed the language. – Todd Wilcox Oct 22 '15 at 18:30
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After Captain America: The Winter Soldier, S.H.I.E.L.D was in disarray and the world needed an elite force to deal with the remaining Hydra forces.

It was mentioned in the movie that Tony Stark is bankrolling the team and set up shop in Stark Tower, now the headquarters of the Avengers. At the end of Iron-man 3 it was shown that Banner and Tony were still in contact with each other. We see Tony on a couch, supposedly telling his woes to Dr. Bruce Banner who was nodding off.

Thor was shown to returned to Earth at the end of Thor: The Dark World. He came back at the end and kissed Natalie Portman's character.

It is also mentioned that the beginning scene wasn't their first mission together. The team has already been on numerous missions together against Hydra.

As explained in the official Avengers: Age of Ultron prelude comic “This Scepter’d Isle”, Hydra agents inside of S.H.I.E.L.D. stole the Scepter and brought it to Baron von Strucker’s Sokovia base where he used it to experiment on people in an attempt to create enhanced soldiers. Again, this is a storyline tying into season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Scepter somehow unlocks abilities in Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, but no one else Hydra experiemented on.

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