When you plan something as big as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, some plans bound to change. With ten movies in the MCU when Guardians of the Galaxy comes out in a month, they have done a pretty good job of running a coherent story. There are just a couple things, however, that they have not exactly cleared all the way up.
Samuel Sterns was a pretty big part of the Incredible Hulk, the unfortunately forgotten movie of Phase 1. After working with Bruce Banner, even developing something of a temporary cure, replicating Banner’s blood, and helping to create the abomination, Sterns was exposed to the radioactive blood in his head. The last image we saw of Sterns was his head beginning to bulge.
In the comics, Sterns becomes The Leader, a hyper-smart villain obsessed with Gamma radiation. He is a primary villain of the Hulk. I guess it’s a battle of brain vs brawn.
After the brilliant creation of the Leader, we have yet to see him again. There are rumors of another solo hulk movie, but in the meantime, where can we expect to see him again? I could see him turning up in a small roll an Avengers movie or a large roll in Agents of SHIELD.
Iron Man 3 was supposed to be revolving around the Mandarin, the supreme villain of Iron Man. As his chief villain, the Mandarin was going to be a big deal and hopefully an epic movie. Instead, we ended up with Trevor Slattery. Say what you will about the plot twist, many fans felt betrayed.
So, almost as an apology, Marvel released “Hail to the King”. Trevor Slattery meets workers of the real Mandarin. The big problem with this is that the Mandarin is now a part of the MCU. Personally, I don’t think they will ever reincorporate the Mandarin, leaving this an eternally loose end.
But if they were to bring him in, where would they? Some fans are pushing for an Iron Man 4 with Tony and the Mandarin going at it. I don’t think this will happen, because that’s how they advertised Iron Man 3. Instead, if they ever do bring in the Mandarin, I think it’ll be in a movie such as Dr. Strange (as the Mandarin is very magic based) or in a couple episodes of Agents of SHIELD.
Okay, so it’s along the same line as The Leader, The Abomination was set up perfectly in the Incredible Hulk. I am a huge fan of Tim Roth. His portrayal of Blonsky and then the Abomination was great in my opinion. As he was about to be choked out and killed, Betty Ross stepped in to insist that he live. So he was spared.
In Marvel One-Shots and references in Agents of SHIELD, we learn that the Abomination is sitting in a cell in Alaska. Truthfully, this is an arc that could remain unresolved. Blonsky simply remains in a cell for the rest of his life. But they kept him alive for a reason. So now, there’s always the big hulk-like dude sitting in Alaska in case he happens to get out.
So where could we see him? Really the only place I could imagine him in is in a Hulk sequel. You could try to fit him into other movies, but he’s such a hulk-focused character. Without Hulk’s big green muscles to combat, he doesn’t seem quite complete.
So there we have it. These are the three big loose ends in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. They may simply choose to ignore that they ever happened, but I personally hope they wrap them up in some way or another. Will they? Only time will tell.