What else can we say than, it's about time? With appearances or at least references in three Marvel Studios films so far, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury has been conspicuously absent of his traditional ride: the behemoth Helicarrier, the mobile S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. That's about to change, as revealed in a pair of leaked designs from Joss Whedon's forthcoming The Avengers movie.Spidermedia.ru reports that the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier was planned to appear in "Iron Man 2," although it only appeared in a fairly straightforward aircraft-carrier-in-the-sky design in the movie's tie-in videogame. The leaked "Avengers" images credit designer George Hull, whose work includes "Iron Man 2," "Avatar," "Speed Racer," Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and the "Matrix" sequels. Indeed, this S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier design, which is something of a hybrid between an aircraft carrier, a submarine and a helicopter, would be in the tradition of those films and their larger-than-life vehicles.

The Russian site also claims that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige hopes to build a replica of the Helicarrier on the roof of the San Diego Convention Center for Comic-Con International 2011, which would almost certainly scare off all the riffraff.