Nick Fury, the director of espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., along with his lieutenant Maria Hill, arrive at a remote research facility. There, Dr. Erik Selvig is leading an investigation on an object of great power known as the Tesseract. Agent Phil Coulson explains to them that it has been radiating a strange energy as of late. The Tesseract suddenly opens a wormhole from which a being of unknown origin emerges. He identifies himself as Loki, the Asgardian god of deceit and trickery from Norse mythology. Arriving to subjugate the planet Earth and the humans who dwell upon it, Loki seizes the Tesseract and uses his scepter to enslave Dr. Selvig and various agents, including the expert marksman Clint Barton. Realizing the threat Loki poses, Fury activates a defense plan seventeen years in the making: the Avengers Initiative.