Marvel Films recently cut a deal with Sony to get some of the rights back for their flagship character and allow Spider-Man to appear in their movies alongside the Avengers. There’s been plenty of speculation all over the dang place as to what this means aside from the idea that the most obvious place to insert Spidey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.
Now, Ryan has added his own speculation on what this means going forward for the MCU. I don’t follow a lot of spoiler stuff online outside of Gabbing Geek, but I have some thoughts of my own.
OK, some things I think might happen:
1. Thanos will personally steal the Tesseract/Cosmic Cube/Space Gem from Asgard.
We know that Loki and Heimdall are supposedly appearing in Age of Ultron. Unless Ultron personally storms Asgard, I am thinking the only reason for them to appear at all would be to see Thanos do something besides stand up, as well as establishing just how serious a threat he is. The guy just waltzes into Asgard and takes something like it ain’t no thang. This will set up a few movies down the road, especially Infinity War.
2. The Avengers break up.
Tony’s plans probably convince Thor to go back to Asgard. He is seen threatening Stark at one point in various trailers. The Hulk leaving for whatever reason fits in well with the original storyline where the Hulk quit in the second issue. Hulk’s never really been a good Avenger. He’s been on the current team Jonathan Hickman’s been writing since the first movie came out, but between that and the Lee/Kirby era, Hulk was with the Avengers only for extreme emergencies and was more likely to be opposing the team than anything else. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if the previewed fight between Hulk and Iron Man is actually with the Hulk as the good guy fighting an Ultron-controlled suit of armor.
As for the others, Cap doesn’t have the connection to either Iron Man or the team that he has in the comics, and he may be a little wary of this sort of thing happening between S.H.I.E.L.D. being Hydra and now this that he wants some alone time. Widow and Hawkeye can go either way. This could leave Iron Man alone, and Tony would need to do some serious thinking on his next move, a possible set-up to Civil War. A control-freak Stark could be what sets Ultron loose in the first place, and that facet of his personality may not change much for Civil War.
Movie Tony has probably grown the most of the various Avengers. His first two movies have him as a hero, but a rather self-centered one. All of the bad guys seem more interested in taking him out or personally profiting from his stuff. It’s not until Avengers when he does something truly for the greater good. Now he could just be someone who wants to keep everything orderly, which could lead to Ultron, which could lead to Superhero Registration, with himself at the top because who does Movie Tony trust more than himself as someone who knows best?
3. New Avengers line-up?
Did anyone else not notice that the new movie will feature three new characters to this universe? Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and the Vision could all stay while the original team mostly leaves (again, just like in the old stories). Add in a War Machine and a Falcon, or some other characters that may not get a movie of their own, and you can still have a good Avengers line-up.
4. Spider-Man in Civil War?
Let’s face it: we were promised Spidey would appear in another movie before getting another of his own. Civil War seems like the best bet, unless they want to randomly toss him into Dr. Strange since both were co-created by Steve Ditko. However, even given Jimmy’s extensive tracking of Spidey’s role in the original comics storyline, the title of the movie is still Captain America: Civil War, not Cap & Spidey’s Excellent Adventure. Cap’s second movie was based on the Winter Soldier storyline. That particular storyline featured the Red Skull co-inhabiting a former Soviet general’s body, the cosmic cube, a whole lot of AIM stuff, and corporate buy-outs by the Skull-general. None of that appeared in the movie. I likewise expect the bare basics will make it into Civil War, namely that Cap and Iron Man will have a disagreement over the Superhero Registration Act. Maybe Tony does become the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. I think we’ll see some more Hydra baddies. Crossbones may be back. If they really want to surprise us, bring back the Skull. Now, Hugo Weaving apparently wants no part in reprising the role. The make-up bothered him, much as it did Alan Cumming when he played Nightcrawler. But given the nature of the Skull’s death, and how much of the face is covered, bringing back the Skull with a new actor probably won’t be too bad a thing. Now, if only there was a guy who was good with wearing a lot of prognostics…
As for Spidey’s role in Civil War, I would expect it to be about the same size as the Falcon’s in Winter Soldier: vital, but Cap’s the real hero here.
5. Steve Rogers dies?
This will probably have more to do with whether or not Chris Evans wants to continue the role. Switching to a Bucky-Cap or even a Falcon-Cap is very possible, but Evans himself has hinted about not being overly comfortable with the fame he’s gotten as a result of these movies. If he’s signed for one more Avengers, then he can probably be expected to survive. I’m not 100% certain that he will die, personally, but would not be surprised if it did happen.
Now, even if he does die, I am certain we won’t see a resurrection like the Slaugherhouse-Five
ish way his comic book counterpart was returned from the dead. These movies always have to balance what the source material says and what happens on the big screen. There’s a reason Armin Zola was just a face on a bunch of TV screens in Winter Soldier and not the headless guy with a face projected on his chest as he appears in the comics.
Let’s say Steve does die, though. I can see a guilt-ridden Tony Stark looking for ways to bring him back. If the bullet only leaves Cap comatose instead of killing him, Tony’s technology might be enough to keep him alive, and perhaps he needs to consult a specialist, another doctor, a former surgeon, one Dr. Stephen Strange.
6. Getting the Gang back together.
There must be a reason Infinity War will be two movies, besides the obvious one to sell more tickets. Done right, and not in a Hunger Games kind of way, there could be good build-up to do the whole thing with a giant cast that could include the Guardians of the Galaxy and a host of others. Whether or not the Infinity Gauntlet can resurrect the dead may depend on a number of factors related to why Zola wasn’t a headless mad geneticist making blobs of floating goo fighters in Winter Soldier. The movies have to be a tad more realistic to pull things off. There’s a reason Fox waited as long as they did to really introduce Sentinels to the X-Men movies and why the Shi’ar are unlikely to appear there either, or get a straightforward adaptation of the “Inferno” storyline, and that’s because aliens and demons don’t belong in the X-Men movie universe. Let’s wait and see whether or not the Infinity Stones, as the Collector called them at the end of Thor 2, do what they did in the comics. They might not.
As for a final casualty, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tony Stark dies somehow by the end of all this. Robert Downey Jr. is the oldest of the Avengers cast after Samuel L. Jackson, and he’s the most expensive by far. Even Downey has acknowledged that, at some point, he’s going to be too old to be a convincing superhero. He’s having fun and getting a huge paycheck, but at some point something has to give. There’s a reason Marvel has mostly cast lesser-known actors in the main roles for many of their movies and left the big names for one-shot villains. The same holds true for Hugh Jackman. At some point, they’ll have to be replaced. Killing Tony off, maybe replacing him with a younger version of himself for future movies with a less expensive actor, would be one thing that could happen.
But even if none of the Avengers dies, then getting the group back together, with as many hangers-on as possible, seems like the sort of big thing Marvel would want to do for their fans. I think that’s a given, even if it is a last hurrah for the Hulk-Thor-Cap-Iron Man team with the original cast.