10 Perfect Setups The MCU Totally Ignored

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Summary

  • Marvel Studios has ignored important storylines in the MCU, missing opportunities to expand on narratives and set up bigger events.
  • Several dropped storylines, such as the formation of the Sinister Six and the future of HYDRA, have been left unexplored and may never be revisited.
  • The post-Endgame Avengers team has been completely ignored, leaving the status of the franchise’s premiere superhero team unclear in the Multiverse Saga.

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Over the last 15 years, Marvel Studios has set up some hugely important storylines for the Marvel Cinematic Universe that have unfortunately been completely ignored. In creating the MCU, Marvel Studios has adapted many storylines from Marvel Comics into live-action, brought dozens of superheroes to life, and formed the most interconnected and expansive shared superhero universe ever. However, in trying to connect so many stories and characters across over 40 projects in film, television, and animation, Marvel Studios has often let some potentially important plots across the entire MCU timeline get forgotten, or neglected to expand on narratives that could have been interesting to explore.

Marvel Studios has adapted some of Marvel Comics’ biggest and most-popular storylines in the MCU, including Thanos’ conquest for the six Infinity Stones, the Avengers’ Civil War, Ultron’s war on humanity, and Kang the Conqueror’s battle against various superheroes. While these expansive storylines have all been resolved – though Kang’s war is still unfolding – many teased plots in the MCU have been completely ignored, despite being set up perfectly in previous live-action projects. These dropped storylines could have set up bigger events in the MCU’s future, and while some of these could yet be revisited, many will simply be confined to history.

Related: Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie Ranked Worst To Best

10 Mac Gargan, A.K.A. Scorpion, Wanted Revenge On Spider-Man

No Way Home & Sony’s Morbius Ruined MCU’s Sinister Six Plans

Mac Gargan's Scorpion in Spider-Man Homecoming

Michael Mando debuted as Mac Gargan in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, planning to strike a deal with Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes to purchase alien-enhanced weaponry. Gargan was stopped in his tracks by Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, but reappeared during Spider-Man: Homecoming’s mid-credits scene, proposing an alliance with the incarcerated Toomes. In Marvel Comics, Gargan becomes the Spider-Man villain Scorpion, so this alliance teased the eventual formation of the MCU’s Sinister Six, yet Gargan hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Sony’s Morbius ruined these plans officially by thrusting Toomes into Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, and Spider-Man: No Way Home loosely adapted the Sinister Six for the MCU, suggesting Gargan may never reappear.

9 Sonny Burch Worked For A Mysterious Employer In Ant-Man & The Wasp

Burch’s Employer Wanted Hank Pym’s High-Tech Laboratory

Walton Goggins' Sonny Burch in Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp acted as a palate cleanser following the dramatic events of Avengers: Infinity War, and caught up with Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, who hadn’t been involved in the previous crossover event. During the film, Walton Goggins’ Sonny Burch made several attempts to acquire Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne’s high-tech lab, which contained the Quantum Tunnel. However, Burch repeatedly suggested that he wanted to claim the lab for his enigmatic employer, though this figure was never named. Many theories suggest Burch’s employer could have been HYDRA, AIM, Justin Hammer, Wilson Fisk, or even Norman Osborn, but this has never been revealed.

8 HYDRA Stole Darren Cross’ Pym Particles In Ant-Man

HYDRA Was Last Mentioned In The Falcon & The Winter Soldier

Mitchell Carson in Ant-Man

Another mystery from the MCU’s Ant-Man franchise arose during the original 2015 film, which saw Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross recreate Hank Pym’s formula for the coveted Pym Particles. This allowed him to become the villainous Yellowjacket, but the Pym Particles were also desired by some of the MCU’s more nefarious forces, including HYDRA. Martin Donovan’s Mitchell Carson represented HYDRA in Ant-Man, and while Cross was kept busy, Carson made off with a briefcase full of his Yellowjacket formula. This set up a terrifying future for HYDRA in the MCU, but this moment has never been revisited, and HYDRA is all but defunct as of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

7 The Post-Endgame Avengers Team Has Been Completely Ignored

The Avengers Last Came Together In 2019’s Avengers: Endgame

The Avengers have been the cornerstone of the MCU since they first formed in 2012’s eponymous crossover event. Most superheroes who emerge in the MCU have dreams of becoming an Avenger, yet the status of the franchise’s premiere superhero team has become unclear in the Multiverse Saga. The Avengers last came together in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, and no other Avengers project is expected until 2026’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, proving that Marvel Studios has simply been ignoring their biggest property. Several new heroes have been introduced in Phases 4 and 5 who could become Avengers, but there has been no word of them forming as yet.

6 Mordo Waged War On Sorcerers In Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange Was The Original Mordo’s Only MCU Appearance

Chiwetel Ejiofor's Mordo in Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange detailed the origin story of Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular Master of the Mystic Arts, expanding on the world of the MCU by debuting several new magical characters. Doctor Strange even did a great job of setting up the future of the MCU’s mystical storylines, particularly with Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo appearing in Doctor Strange’s post-credits scene to announce his war on the Earth’s sorcerers. Ejiofor portrayed a variant of Mordo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but the original version hasn’t been seen since 2016 – though he was originally planned to appear as one of the Scarlet Witch’s victims in the MCU’s Phase 4.

5 Janet Van Dyne Returned From The Quantum Realm With Abilities

Janet’s Powers Were Nowhere To Be Seen In Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania

Yet another lost plot from the Ant-Man franchise came during 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, which introduced Michelle Pfeiffer to the MCU as Hank Pym’s long-lost wife, Janet Van Dyne. After the size-changing team managed to rescue Janet from the Quantum Realm, it soon became clear that her 30 years trapped down there had changed her on a biological level. Janet used her newfound abilities to cure Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost of her phasing infliction, yet when Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania released in 2023, these powers were nowhere to be seen, and didn’t even get mentioned once. It’s unclear whether Janet Van Dyne’s MCU abilities will reappear.

4 Eternals’ Celestial Tiamut Should Have Been Global News

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law Referenced Tiamut Very Briefly

Celestial Tiamut turned to stone in Eternals

Phase 4’s Eternals created many discrepancies and forgotten plots in the MCU, yet its biggest was by far the emergence of the Celestial Tiamut from inside the Earth. The Eternals dedicated their MCU debut to thwarting Tiamut’s emergence in hopes of saving humanity, and after succeeding, a giant stone statue of the Celestial was left rising from the ocean. This should have been global and world-changing news, but has only received one brief mention since as a tiny news story in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. There are theories that 2024’s Captain America: Brave New World will revisit the Celestial Tiamut, but this was a massive misstep from Marvel Studios.

3 Justin Hammer Promised He Would Return In Iron Man 2

Sam Rockwell Portrayed Hammer In The “All Hail The King” One-Shot

Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2

Marvel Comics’ Justin Hammer is one of the most memorable villains to Tony Stark’s Iron Man, introduced as a business rival with a huge amount of control over other, more-powerful, foes. Although Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer only posed a small threat, he quickly became a fan-favorite, leading to calls for him to return to the MCU. Hammer promised he’d be back to exact his revenge in Iron Man 2, but aside from an appearance as a prisoner in Marvel Studios’ All Hail the King One-Shot, Hammer hasn’t been seen since 2010. There is speculation Justin Hammer could return for Armor Wars, but this is yet to be confirmed.

2 Marvel Studios Hasn’t Explored The Five-Year-Long Blip

The Blip Would Be The Perfect Setting For Darker MCU Storylines

Marvel Studios did the unprecedented in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, as the Avengers lost to the Mad Titan Thanos, and the universe was thrust into five years of uncertainty. Only a small portion of Avengers: Endgame’s five-year time-jump has been explored, leaving a huge gap in the MCU’s timeline that is prime ground for some of the franchise’s darker characters to be introduced. Phase 4’s Hawkeye gave viewers a small glimpse into the operations of Jeremy Renner’s Ronin during the Blip, but there are so many more opportunities for Marvel Studios to delve deeper into the traumatized and gritty world of the Blip.

1 Thanos Destroyed The Infinity Stones In The MCU’s Main Timeline

The Ancient One Warned This Could Lead To Catastrophe

Thanos at the start of Avengers Endgame

Before the MCU jumped forward five years in Avengers: Endgame, Josh Brolin’s villainous Thanos revealed that he had used the six Infinity Stones a second time to reduce the gems themselves to atoms. This provided the catalyst for the Avengers’ Time Heist, as the team sought to collect the Infinity Stones from throughout the MCU’s history, but this surely also opened the door for much darker stories to be told. During Endgame, the Ancient One warned that removing the Infinity Stones would expose that timeline to “dark forces,” yet this hasn’t been seen in the main timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so Marvel Studios isn’t following its own rules.

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