FEATURE: MCU Rants And Theories
After much deliberation, I've decided to share a few theories I have concerning where the MCU is going, while taking a deep look at where it has been. Grab a bag of popcorn, a few pinches of salt and a tin foil hat, this might get crazy
I would like to preface all of this by saying that not only is a large part of this editorial based on my own semi reasonable assumptions, but it is also my first editorial, so I apologize in advance for any pacing issues. This is equal parts rant as it is speculation and investigative journalism, so it may border a little far on the side of subjectivity. Also of note, there may be spoilers for anyone who hasn't followed Agents of SHIELD or read certain comics, including Guardians of the Galaxy. So, shall we begin?
A big theme that I have felt has been at the core of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far has been the sins of the past and what they do to the future. This was a big part of Iron Man 2, and also factored into Thor in a big way. Of course, Captain America: The First Avenger was pretty much an origin story for both Steve Rogers and the Tesseract, both of which caused huge ripples during 'The Avengers'. Phase 2 seems to have taken this concept and shaped it in a slightly different manner. Iron Man 3 drove home the concept of "creating our own demons," meaning that we initiate the events, whether intentionally or inadvertently that lead to our own destruction/deconstruction/defeat. It was much more direct than what occurred in Iron Man 2, and thanks to a more well defined script, helped the theme stay at the forefront of the story without becoming hamfisted in it's delivery. Thor The Dark World was said to feature a larger plot concerning the sins of the past, but much of that was left on the cutting room floor, which ended up being somewhat detrimental to the story, drama and the characters, namely Odin and Malekith. Despite that flaw, it still showcased how not only were Bor's actions flawed, but also Odin's personal philosophy was much more morally grey than we had previously believed. This year, Captain America: The Winter Soldier features a character both dealing with his future, while being pulled back into his past. Later, we will see Guardians of the Galaxy, which will likely feature a much broader view of how the universe and it's history are shaping where the MCU as a whole is going. What is prevalent throughout all of these stories is the concept of 'False Faces", in one way or another.
This concept has been shown in one shape or form in just about every film in the MCU. Obidiah Stane in Iron Man 1, Black Widow in Iron Man 2, Loki in Thor, Red Skull (literally) in CA:TFA, Nick Fury in Avengers, Killian in Iron Man 3 and Loki (again) in Thor TDW. And don't get me wrong, it goes much deeper into the narrative than just these few characters. The entire character of Odin in Thor TDW is one of a king who's grown weary of the weight of rule, and harboring the dark secrets of the universe. Once seen as a slightly overbearing father figure at the beginning of Thor, we learn that he had stolen Loki from the frost Giants, hiding his true heritage from him, but we also see in Thor TDW that he is willing to be just as ruthless as any of the villains our heroes have faced. Iron Man 3 takes the concept and plants it into several places in the story. The Vice President, Trevor and the entire Air Force Rescue scene which pulls the rug out from us when the Mark 42 is hit by the truck, are all variations of the concept. Even Banner's character in The Avengers pulls a complete 180 on us when we find out that the one character who you should NEVER get angry is actually walking around with a temper of 200 degrees ALL THE DAMN TIME. Now, some of these may seem like a bit of a reach, but I truly feel that the majority of these things are being intentionally woven into the various narratives of the films in the MCU.
Captain America TWS is set to feature probably the best (edit: least polarizing) version of this theory. As Cap ventures deeper and deeper into the world of SHIELD, he will learn even more than he did in The Avengers that SHIELD's corruption is not skin deep. We've already seen this foreshadowed in Agents of SHIELD. We already knew things were weird when Fury busted out trading cards from Coulson's locker to motivated the team. And it got even weirder when it became obvious that he either dipped them in some form of watery ketchup, or worse, actually took them to wherever Coulson (or some other dead soldier) was being kept and splashed some blood on them. But just this past week we learned that something much more sinister was at play.
Even the doctor helping knew that whatever they were doing to Coulson was wrong. But what makes it worse is the fact that Fury is sorta the guy in SHIELD we're supposed to like. Imagine what the actual VILLAINS are up to. Just knowing that The Winter Soldier has "shaped this century" as stated in the trailer let's us know that there is a large amount of history laid out before the opening credits of The Winter Soldier even roll. And it doesn't stop there, as there is likely to be another big twist in store for the Guardians of the Galaxy. You may want to skip this part because it could contain a pretty big SPOILER for anyone who is not up to date on the history of the current roster of the GOTG.
In the movie, it has been revealed that Drax has a vendetta against Ronan the accuser because Ronan killed his family. This means that even though it is Ronan who is hunting the Guardians, Drax will likely be the aggressor when the two eventually meet. There might even be a few Bautista bombs if the gods are in a good mood. But anyone who's read the comics knows that is in fact Thanos who killed Drax's family, which, considering the potential for drama, will likely be one of several potential twist in this movie. After all, Ronan is not a villain under most circumstances, and his importance to the Kree makes him an unlikely candidate to be offed after just one movie when it is indeed Thanos who is responsible for his actions. But beyond this, we can even look to Age Of Ultron and speculate where the twist and turns will come from. We already know that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver will be at odds with the Avengers initially, so what will be the narrative that connects them/keeps them separated? In the MCU, you can never really be too sure.
Now, the poster child for this entire "False Faces" movement which is infesting Phase 2 is non other than the most hated man in the CBM community, Trevor Slattery. Not only did he give us quite possibly the worst case of blue balls since Cloud Galactus, but he also managed to live through all of it, meaning we never got the gratification of seeing this bastardization get the gruesome death it deserved. Now, it would be misleading for me not to add that I love the Slattery character and wished we could have gotten more of him in Iron Man 3, but I'm attempting to look at this entire peace from the perspective of the fans and needless to say, Trevor was the polar opposite of a fan favorite. But it seems Marvel may actually be turning Trevor into the ultimate parting gift in the form of next months One Shot 'All Hail The King'.
Now, there are a couple things to point out about this one shot and it's relevance in the MCU. For starters, it confirms what many had already figured: The Ten Rings had nothing to do with Killian's plans or his Mandarin marketing. This is revealed in the premise Drew Pearce laid out for the one shot:
"“Imagine a real terrorist organization whose beliefs were long held and religious for thousands of years, and imagine a drunk, British actor coming along and essentially telling the world that he’s the face of your organization. Aldrich essentially took a thing that was real, historically real and culturally real, and co-opted it for his own means — essentially co-opting an ancient terrorist concept. What [All Hail the King] does is show that everything in Iron Man 1 [involving the terrorist group] was canon all along any way. We kind of knew The Ten Rings were a real terrorist cell.”
So there will definitely be some form of call back to Iron Man 1 and 2 in at least a small sense. Next, we look at a very important quote concerning this films impact on the MCU. This is not stated by Pearce, but he agrees with the specific sentiment:
"We do see other previously established Marvel characters in this One-Shot."
Now, this may have you scratching your head. What character from previous films in the MCU could possibly appear in a prison that is cut off from the rest of the world? Aside from the very unlikely appearance of 'Po' from Agents of SHIELD and Samuel Sterns (who was never officially arrested as he committed no crime) there is really only one man who fits the bill:
That's right, everybody's favorite Tony Stark-Lite was arrested at the end of Iron Man 2 after being caught red handed committing several crimes. You may be wondering whether or not they could get Sam Rockwell for such a small role which would likely be a cameo in a 14 minute short film, but you must also consider that they returned the actors who played both Howard Stark and Dum Dum Dugan for very minor roles in the 'Agent Carter' one shot. And while it is more than serviceable fan service to include such an entertaining character, what if his appearance were more than fan service? After all, Hammer specializes in robotics, and I'm pretty sure there is a fairly popular robot on the way in the near future
On top of the potential Ultron connection, there is also a wealth of opportunity in Marvel's other ventures. Namely, Agents of SHIELD, which just so happens to be a show Rockwell has already expressed interest in, should a movie role never present itself:
"But they've got a lot of mojo in [those movies] already, so I don't know if they need another pirate like me in the mix there! Maybe SHIELD is the way to go"
- Sam Rockwell
And it just so happens that Mike Peterson's condition opens the perfect door for a human/robot connection
Also, as has been brought up by multiple users on CBM, including McNyanago and Almighty, the entire 'All Hail The King' one shot looks to be taking place in Seagate Prison, which many of you know by now to be the prison which once held Power Man A.K.A. Luke Cage.
Now, although it is highly unlikely that the one shot focused on Trevor would take time to introduce such an important Marvel character, Kevin Feige has already laid out that a lot of what occurs in Phase 2 will only foreshadow what is coming next. And so far, there appear to be at least a few of these 'road signs' which point us in the direction we're likely headed.
While discussing "All Hail", Pearce added:
"by the end of the short, there are definitely a lot of exciting other places that are brought up in it that could then go in the Marvel universe. You know, whether that’s an Iron Man movie or another one going into Phase Two or Three."
Which brings us to our next point:
Now, on the surface, this looks to be confirmation that Edgar Wright will likely use Scott Lang as the primary Ant Man in the first film of phase 3, but what if there is more to it? What if there is more to this specific scene, or more importantly, this specific episode that we need to be looking at? For those that do not know, this scene is taken from an episode of Earth's Mightiest Heroes based on the comic arc 'To Steal An Ant Man'. In this episode, Scott Lang steals Henry Pym's tech and costume in order to steal money he will then use to pay off a group of mobsters who have kidnapped his daughter. Now, without his tech, Pym decides to seek help in apprehending Lang and getting his tech back. And it just so happens that he turns to two characters who happen to have their own TV shows debuting after Ant Man is released in theaters
Now, I'm sure this may seem like a lot to cram into the first Ant Man movie, but considering how big of a risk this film is, I wouldn't put it past Marvel to throw in a few characters who will make the dynamic much more interesting. And keep in mind that Power Man and Iron Fist's presence in no way diminishes the usefulness of Ant Man, because if he masters his Giant Man persona he could dwarf them both in size and power.
So what do YOU think? Is this all just another epic straw grab, or is there some weight to the theory? I'm already sure I'm at least 50% wrong with some of this, but that's the same thing I would've felt about Cap appearing in Thor TDW, or Hawkeye in Thor, or Thanos appearing anywhere. The sky is the limit in the MCU, and anything is possible. So let me know how much you guys think is true and what is completely out of the realm of possibility
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