New Avengers Photos Focus on the Calm Before the Storm

In a series of new photos released today, Disney's The Avengers promotional team have eschewed the alien-invasion action that's been the hallmark of all their recent releases and instead focused on the people, technology and scenery that make S.H.I.E.L.D. function.

With only one image each representing Captain America and Thor--and nothing of Iron Man or The Hulk in their superheroic forms--the gallery below seems like the kind of thing that could have come out months ago, giving fans a sense for what the movie will look like, more than what will happen.

The only potentially spoiler-intensive image of the lot appears to be Bruce Banner examining some kind of strange machine that seems likely to be related to Loki's alien army. The weapon isn't immediately recognizable to a DC kid like me, but maybe somebody in the comments can suggest an answer?[gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="title"]