Phase 3 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have as many new titular characters as Phase 1 did. Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans are all unknown to viewers. If we are to assume they all build towards a common purpose and a common movie (probably the Avengers 3), then these characters must be introduced and connected to the Universe that we already know. Black Panther is also new, but he is already planned on being introduced in Cap 2.
This is my theories and how it could be done. Many across the Internet would say, “This is how it NEEDS to be done”. I have faith in Marvel above all my theories, but that won’t stop me from speculating.
I won’t be doing these in order, mostly because I think the better ideas come for the later movies. So just for fun, I’ll do it in reverse order. Also, mild spoilers for Agents of SHIELD. I’ll try to keep them on the mild side still.
The Inhumans have already been integrated into the MCU briefly, but I’m talking about the society itself. There are the people, such as Black Bolt, Maximus the Mad, Medusa, and Crystal, among others. How the heck do you begin to incorporate them into the rest of the MCU?
If I was in charge, I would do it through Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. For over 150 issues of the Avengers, the twins were looking for their true parents. They believed it was one group or another (from some incorrect heroes to some gypsies). In one of the well-known storylines, Wundagore, the twins traveled to Transia, where they were born, and learned that their father was a powerful man hell-bent on ruling the world. Finally, in 1982 (the characters were introduced in 1964), they found it was Magneto. While Spider-Man may be finding his way into the MCU soon, the X-men will very specifically not be for a while. So, a new origin may be necessary for the pair.
The MCU can’t say the word “mutant”. But they could say that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are Inhumans. At the end of the Avengers 3 part 1 (before the Inhumans), Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch depart to find their origins. They become the link into the Inhumans. The Inhumans then provide a good reason for Scarlet and Silver’s abilities.
Beyond that, if the MCU felt the need for a power-hungry father, Maximus the Mad matches Magneto’s personality decently well. As the villain of the Inhumans, he could very well be a good link.
Nonetheless, I see Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as the link between the MCU and the Inhumans.
If we are to assume that Carol Danvers will keep her origin story of being exposed to Kree radiation, then I think both Carol and the Kree need more. There were some who believed that Skye in Agents of SHIELD was going to become Captain Marvel due to her exposure to Kree blood. Obviously, now, that’s not exactly the case.
So how to introduce Carol? Carol is tough. She’s almost cold blooded. She also has an extensive history in the military or with SHIELD, depending on which Universe we are talking. In the Ultimate Universe, she even took over SHIELD in Nick Fury’s absence. Now, with the absence of SHIELD as a whole, there are two places where they could still establish the character in that roll before the Captain Marvel movie. The first is the most obvious: Agents of SHIELD. If we are to keep the backstory of a SHIELD agent, she could spend a couple episodes on Agents of SHIELD before going to her own movie. It could introduce the character a little bit and not have her appear as just a “military girl who happened to run into some radiation”.
The second place is probably the most efficient: Captain America: Civil War. If an actress was selected quick enough, she could be along-side Tony Stark during the Civil War. It is not only comic accurate (she was basically the right hand man to Tony during the storyline), but it would set up her personality extremely well.
Also, I think the Kree needs to be set up a little more before going into the Captain Marvel movie. I’m not necessarily talking about the species, as the Kree was set up in both Agents of SHIELD and Guardians, but more specifically how they would relate to Carol. I don’t want to pull a Green Lantern, having a space ship crash at Carol’s feet and happen to infect her. I want to see Captain Marvel.
Captain Mar-vell (yes, a little cheesy…) was one of the greatest heroes in the history of Marvel. He died in the 80’s in a graphic novel. It was one of the most notable events in the decade. To have a movie titled Captain Marvel and not at least reference the great hero would not only be doing injustice to the characters involved, but an injustice to the history of Marvel. So if Mar-Vell is to be introduced, I think they could introduce him in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Introduce the character in Guardians so he’s familiar when he ends up on Earth. Kill him if you want, but I think that’s the way to continue the Kree into Captain Marvel without a bump.
This is one of the movies that I really wonder how they will introduce back to the rest of the MCU. He’s been name dropped, but how do you successfully connect him back to the rest of the MCU? I think the answer lies in an Infinity Stone. I’ve theorized before that a gem could end up in Doctor Strange. Possibly that would be the Soul Gem. I maintain that thought.
I see Doctor Strange fighting over a powerful and magical item. Strange wins it in the end of the film and promises to keep it safe. Then Thanos busts down the front door and takes it in Avengers 3. It would be a simple way to connect the Avengers back to Doctor Strange.
I don’t see another obvious way to me. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but it’s not obvious to me.
The makers of this film have told us that it will not have too much connection to the rest of the MCU. I don’t know if that means that the characters themselves will not cross over, but I’m inclined to believe that Scott Lang will find his way into the Avengers. I’m not hopeful that the Ant-man movie will take us there, however. If it does, I see a post-credits connection, similar to Iron Man 1 and the Incredible Hulk. An established character steps on screen and mentions the Avengers. Or Cap 2 has a brief scene where Lang either registers or runs.
Truthfully, I’m not worried at all about Ant-Man connecting. I think it can do that easily at just about any time over the coming years. Or, from the sound of it, the MCU won’t be missing much if it doesn’t bring Lang to the Avengers 3, as much as I would like it to.
So what do you think? Do the movies need to connect, or did Guardians of the Galaxy set the standard of setting up a unique story in the same universe? Do I place too much emphasis on pre-establishing characters? Sound off in the comments. I’m very curious to hear what you have to say and I’ll do my best to respond to individual thoughts you have.
So many of these movies are a long way off and I will proably sprout new theories as they approach, so truly, only time will tell.