As anyone who has dedicated themselves to one of Joss Whedon's shows (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly) knows, that he has no compunctions about killing his characters, even if (and especially if,) they happen to be the fan favorites. Not every character was even able to escape The Avengers, with Agent Coulson's death being one of the more memorable scenes. With that made clear, it's not hard to figure out where he plans to go with The Avengers 2.
Joss Whedon was at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, showing his recently filmed adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. When taking audience questions, he was asked about the task of making the sequel. He responded with, "I can’t do any bigger, so I’m trying to do better."
A follow up question was what his philosophy would be in approaching the sequel. Joss said, "Death, Death and more Death!"
That's a more perplexing quote then even Whedon may have realized. With Whedon's history, it woud be logical to assume he's talking about what will happen to the titular squad of superheroes. On the other hand, I doubt Marvel Studios wants to cut off any of their lucrative franchises, so what can he mean? Will a lot of non-main characters , like love interests Pepper Potts and Jane Foster, meet their untimely demise? Will massive parts of the earth get destroyed? Or, does Whedon really have the clout to kill one of the main men? That's a question we have of time to mull over, as The Avengers 2 is slated for a 2015 release.