10 MCU storylines that went nowhere – from Tony's PTSD to Sharon Carter
Despite the Marvel Cinematic Universe claiming its spot at the top of the box office, even the world’s highest-grossing franchise isn’t without its faults.
With so many plot threats littered throughout the MCU, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has been playing the long game with any number of storylines to come up with an amazing network that ties the world of superheroes and villains together.
While the likes of Loki posing as Odin paid off in Thor: Ragnarok and Gamora’s complex relationship with Thanos gave Avengers: Infinity War arguably its best scene, not every storyline plays out quite so well. In their own Quantum Realm of abandonment alongside Howard the Duck, here are 10 MCU storylines that went nowhere. (As opposed to Knowhere.)
1. Tony Stark’s PTSD
A troubled Tony was wracked with post-traumatic stress disorder after the events of 2012’s The Avengers. Being sucked through an alien wormhole will tend to do that to most people, but Stark’s psychiatric ailment was quickly forgotten about in MCU continuity.
Iron Man 3 saw Tony struggling with his PTSD and neatly set up a possible dive into the comic book Demon in a Bottle arc and his alcoholism. Seemingly trying to erase the Iron Man threequel from existence, the billionaire playboy was back to normal by the time Avengers: Age of Ultron rolled around. Stark’s PTSD hasn’t been mentioned since, so what was the magic cure?
Recent release Ant-Man and the Wasp proved to be more than just a stopgap to fill the MCU slate before Avengers 4. It may not top many fans’ lists, but Peyton Reed did a great job of opening up the Quantum Realm and a whole host of opportunities for Phase 4.
An early IMDb leak from Ant-Man and the Wasp included the spoiler that Michael Cerveris would be playing Elihas Starr – albeit briefly.
Comic book aficionados will know that Starr is the real name of Ant-Man nemesis Egghead, but instead of setting him up for a possible Ant-Man 3, Reed killed the character with little more than a cameo. Even if this could be retconned further down the line, Starr looks pretty dead from here.
3. Thor and Jane Foster
Once the golden couple of the MCU, Thor and Jane Foster finally seemed to be on track in Thor: The Dark World. Unfortunately, Natalie Portman’s famously frosty relationship with the studio meant that Jane has been MIA since Alan Taylor’s sequel.
With Foster being a big part of Thor continuity and even picking up the mighty Mjolnir to become female Thor, her absence creates a Hulk-sized hole in the MCU. Portman may return for Avengers 4, but in the meantime, audiences are left with a single line from Thor: Ragnarok that revealed Foster had “dumped” the God of Thunder.
4. The Collector’s quest for Infinity Stones
Although there were plenty of characters out there who wanted to get their sticky paws on those six Infinity Stones before Thanos did, the MCU is happy to forget that little point. From Red Skull to Thor, gathering those gorgeous gems seemed to be the quest of every Tom, Dick, and Taneleer Tivan.
Benicio del Toro was perfectly cast as the Collector – a character attempting to live up to his name when introduced in Thor: The Dark World‘s post-credits scene. He once had lofty aspirations to hold the Infinity Stones in his own gauntlet – until the MCU got sidetracked with Thanos bulldozing his way across the galaxy.
The Collector was left as a dangling plot thread, but just imagine an alternate Infinity War where Del Toro’s character tries to wipe out half the galaxy with a click of his fingers.
5. The Leader
Thor: The Dark World may get the bum rap of being the black sheep of the MCU, but let’s not forget Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk, which is definitely part of the canon. After Edward Norton’s tenure as the Emerald Giant, Feige attempted to push the reset button on Hulk with Mark Ruffalo’s casting.
While Hulk is back to being a fan-favourite of the franchise, characters like Tim Roth’s Abomination, Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross and Tim Blake Nelson’s Samuel Sterns are nowhere to be found.
In particular, the aftermath of The Incredible Hulk implied that Sterns could become comic book villain the Leader. A sequel never materialised and the Leader was one of the many Hulk characters quietly swept under the rug.
6. Meet the mutants
Everyone knows that the complicated rights issues between Fox and Disney mean that the word “mutant” (which belongs to the X-Men) is something of a taboo for the MCU.
When Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s mid-credits scene introduced Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, the terrible twins were Feige’s answer to the X-Men. Even though Scarlet Witch is/was a big part of the Avengers roster, everyone seems happy to ignore her comic-book heritage and relation to a certain Magneto.
The eventual introduction of the X-Men to the MCU should alleviate some of the confusion, but it doesn’t prevent the mutant misdirection being one of the franchise’s biggest stumbling blocks. Oh, and all of that’s before covering Elizabeth Olsen’s ever-changing accent as Maximoff.
7. Sharon Carter
Poor Hayley Atwell. The brilliant Agent Carter actor was once a mainstay of the MCU and even underwent some Benjamin-Button ageing to milk every appearance the studio could out of her time as Peggy Carter.
As the franchise headed to present day, there wasn’t room for a 100-year-old love interest and Carter tragically passed away from natural causes.
The studio tried to keep it in the family when it introduced Sharon Carter as the next possible Mrs Steve Rogers. Cap may have gone rogue and spent his post-Civil War years on clandestine missions with Black Widow and Falcon, but Sharon Carter became just another one of those Infinity War question marks. Let’s be honest, Peggy was always the better Carter anyway.
8. The Nova Corps
Considering that the Power Stone is the colourful piece of jewellery that wiped out half the galaxy, its seems a shame that audiences will never get to see how Thanos got his giant mitts on it. The purple rock was last left in the possession of the Nova Corps, who were conspicuously absent from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and the MCU in general.
With Xandar decimated prior to Infinity War‘s opening scene, does this mean the Nova Corps has been wiped out too? Considering a Hollywood A-lister like Glenn Close was cast to play Nova Prime in Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s not like she’s a character anyone expected to be consigned to the sidelines.
Frank Grillo may have been great in The Purge movies, but is anyone really bothered if Crossbones returns to the MCU? First appearing as the nefarious Brock Rumlow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the character was spectacularly scarred and poised to take on his Crossbones persona.
Returning for Captain America: Civil War, Grillo was nothing more than a masked grunt who looked like he’d fallen out of an episode of Breaking the Magician’s Code. In fact, since the events of Civil War, HYDRA has pretty much vanished from the MCU’s big screen outings.
10. The Mandarin
While the MCU has started to really nail its villains thanks to the likes of Hela, Killmonger, and Thanos, that Marvel villain problem occasionally rears its head now and then.
Heading back to Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, the inclusion of Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin is still a sore point for many. Giving audiences the middle finger with the reveal that Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery was an actor instead of the head of the Ten Rings was a move that spectacularly backfired.
Some of the bad Mandarin taste was taken away thanks to 2014 one-shot, All Hail the King, but fans are yet to see how this one pans out. See you back here for Iron Man 4…
Avengers: Infinity War is available to buy on Blu-ray, DVD or digital download. Avengers 4will be released in the UK on April 26, 2019, and in the US on May 3, 2019.
Source: Read Full Article