Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Where Does It Go From Here Part II

If you would like to catch-up with last week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during this Election Week break, you can find it here

If you are still stuck under that rock and haven’t seen Marvel Studio’s full announcement about their Phase 3 plans, you can find that here

If you want to see some of my previous theories for the MCU I will probably reference, you can find that here


So because it is Midterm Election week here in the USA, most primetime tv shows are taking a break for the week, including AoS. So in lieu of a review, I figured we could go through the recently announced films by Marvel studios along with AoS and Agent Carter will fit in to the greater story Kevin Feige has in store for us.

Avengers: Age of Ultron poster

Mr. Feige seems to heavily indicate that the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron will shake up the established Avengers team in unexpected ways, and with the tidbits the recent trailers have given us, it becomes easier to speculate how. The trailer overall displays a very defeated, somber tone for the film, leading you to believe that things will not come out rosy as the end for the heroes. Tony Stark and Steve Rodgers seem to be having a bit of a dispute, most likely coming out of Tony’s role in Ultron’s creation and Steve’s mistrust in uncontrollable power. It seems some part of Tony’s drone-Iron Man project that spun out of the multiple armors created at the end of Iron Man 3 have become sentient, believing humanity to be “puppets on strings”, and continues consolidating power until it eventually becomes Ultron. True to the comics, it seems Vision will be a creation of Ultron, sort of his child, but instead of the convoluted background of the comic version, it seems Tony’s AI JARVIS will morph into The Vision. At some point in the film, Tony will come to blows with Hulk as well (Hulkbuster armor and all), so that lends to several possibilities as well. It seems most likely that the fallout from Ultron’s attack will set up some serious questions to be asked by the governments of the world, and without S.H.I.E.L.D. to help manage the world response to superhuman, there will probably be some drastic response in store. The world governments, already skeptical of the superhuman after The Battle of New York in The Avengers and HYDRA’s takeover of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they will probably setup some drastic scenarios.

It seems to me this is where Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will come into play, this time having a profound effect on its bigger cinematic brothers than the other way around as it was last time. There’s alot of rumors Skye, Raina and Skye’s father will be our first introduction to Inhumans in the MCU (and maybe Skye is Medusa?)  My theory is the HYDRA/Skye’s Father partnership will set off a harness the power of the Obelisk/Diviner and create a Terrigen Bomb like device, similar to the Inhumanity storyline from the comics. It seems likely, since HYDRA planned to turn the Obelisk/Diviner into a global genocide weapon before they knew how to properly use it, and as we saw last episode, Skye’s Father has taught them all they need to know about handling it. What if the Obelisk/Diviner derived Terrigen bomb gives powers to a bunch of latent Inhumans (carrying alien genes from experiments done long ago by the Kree, the blue alien seen last season on AoS and in Guardians of the Galaxy), accounting for an explosion of new reckless heroes, which is the final straw for the government, after all the other superhero meddling. HYDRA already had a list of “gifted” individuals they were planning to execute in The Winter Soldier,  so there’s a lot of potential for those people to be the ones to gain powers, since we know at least one of them will (being Stephen Strange, aka Doctor Strange and all). I think its easier for the films to have one genesis point for a bunch of superpowered characters Marvel plans to introduce, instead of having to explain 15 different origins. It would be similar to Heroes or the Flash show; it allows focus on the character’s pathos and ethos if all you have to say to explain their powers was “i was exposed to the bomb”.

civil war

I could definitely see all of these factors leading into the eponymous event of the first big film of Phase 3, (after Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man), Captain America: Civil War. Marvel could use all of the events of the previous movies as catalysts for the something similar to the Super Human Registration Act from the comic storyline, but it might need to be modified. The comic storyline focused on the villain Nitro blowing up a school full of innocent children, coupled with several other fresh superhuman wounds on various united states cities, caused the government to enact the law, requiring all costumed heroes to reveal their identity to the government and become licensed, controllable and accountable S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Not everyone takes kindly to this notion, while some do with the major sides standing behind Captain America on the Anti-Registration side and Iron Man on the Pro-Registration side (Spiderman plays a major swing role in the comics, but we can’t have that in the films due to rights issues, though that may change?). In the MCU version, secret identities are not much of a problem as most of the main heroes don’t need one (Hulk, Thor, Iron Man) or have been outed (Black Widow and Hawkeye from Widow’s leak of classified data, and Captain America, from his well, Smithsonian museum Exhibit). They could focus on the accountability and chain of command issues though, since there is a definite vacuum of power since S.H.I.E.L.D.’s collapse. If it seems the Avengers were not able to stop Ultron’s warpath while being privately financed by Tony and not accountable to anyone anymore, maybe the government can decide its time they stepped in to wrangle them up. It is also possible they want them to continue the witch hunt the HYDRA controlled S.H.I.E.L.D. had started in The Winter Soldier with the super-helicarriers, especially if all those people are suddenly gaining powers from the Terrigen Bomb and wreaking uncontrolled havoc. Tony sides with the government, feeling a need to repent after unleashing Ultron, and already having a close relationship with the government anyway) and Steve refuses, with his experiences with corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D. breeding mistrust and his averseness to taking freedom from anyone, sides form and hence Civil War begins.

Dr. Strange

Next on the roster we see Doctor Strange on Nov. 4th 2016, an adaptation of the long running series of the Sorcerer Supreme Stephen Strange created by Steve Ditko (wow does Marvel love alliteration). Rumors are that Benedict Cumberbatch is in the lead for the title role, which would be just peachy, he fits the role well. Kevin Feige stated the film will introduce the supernatural side of the Marvel U to the cinematic universe, a vein rich with amazing stories, so it could be really fun. Following that, we see the sequel to the cosmic surprise monster hit Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on  May 5th, 2017. There aren’t many details on what adventures the team will face in this iteration, but some credible speculation has Hulk being shot off into space (to neutralize him as a threat, and similar to the catalyst for the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk stories in the comics) at the end on Avengers: Age of Ultron and meeting up with the GotG. Next, another big sequel with Thor: Ragnarok on July 28th, 2017,  Ragnarok means “The End of All Things” in Norse Mythology, so it is heavily speculated Thor will have to sacrifice himself to save Asgard, taking him out of the equation for the foreseeable future.

Black Panther

A huge announcement comes next on the timeline, with Black Panther on Nov, 3rd 2017, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, finally getting a big screen adaptation with Chadwick Boseman taking the lead role. T’Challa, super-powered warrior king of the advanced African nation of Wakanda has already been heavily hinted in the MCU, with Captain America’s shield being formed of their trademark resource Vibranium, and the country being referenced on several maps in the films. Avengers: Age of Ultron has filmed in South Africa (lending to the rumor that it will stand-in for Wakanda on Ultron’s quest for Vibranium) and Kevin Feige confirmed Black Panther will have a major role in Captain America: Civil War. The next bombshell came with the long awaited confirmation of a Captain Marvel film created by Roy Thomas and Gene

Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel

Colan on July 6th, 2018. Feige confirmed this was indeed Carol Danvers in the role (previously occupied by the Kree prince Mar-Vell, but recently changing to Danvers), and confirming that her Earthly origins and cosmic adventures will both factor in heavily. She is set to be one of the strongest characters to enter the MCU yet, on par with Hulk and Thor, so her presence will definitely be felt when the Avengers need to team up against the bigger threats to come. The last brand new film comes with another long rumored confirmation, Inhumans on November, 2nd 2018. It seems it will be an ensemble film, much like GotG and feature a very Game of Thrones like atmosphere of royal politics (I will also guess it will be the big screen debut of Skye, Raina, and Skye’s Dad as part of the Inhuman royal family, that is if AoS lasts that long…).

Avengers: Infinity War

The biggest shocker comes from the announcement that the capstone on Phase 3 will come in two parts, Avengers: Infinity War will be in two parts, Part I on May 4th 2018 and Part II on May 3rd, 2019. It seems there is just too much movie to fit into one cut, and rather than throw things away, it seems there will be some sort of epic cliffhanger between the two films. This confirms that Thanos will finally make his debut as a proper villain for the Avengers, rather than a shadowy manipulator, with a size-real showing the currently known Infinity Stones (The Tesseract [Space Stone] from Captain America: The First Avenger, the gem in Loki’s scepter [Mind Stone] from The Avengers, the Aether [Reality Stone] from Thor: The Dark World, and the Orb [Power Stone] from Guardians of the Galaxy, with the Time and Soul Stones still unknown) all in the possession of Thanos in the completed Infinity Gauntlet. This is hands down going to be the most colossal threat the Avengers have faced so far, but I think the events of the previous films will have a large influence on how it shakes out.

With Thor likely out of commission and Hulk in space, the teams will be unprepared for the threat of Thanos. Yes, I said teams, remember the two sides formed from Civil War? I reckon the Pro and Anti-Registration sides will still be around, one likely on either coast (emulating the East and West Coast Avengers teams from the comics) and unwilling to work together, especially since Captain America’s team would essentially be fugitives. Thanos will wipe the floor with both teams in Avengers: Infinity War Part I, leading Steve to sacrifice himself (similar to his surrender and assignation ending the comics storyline), in order for them to regroup and lead into Part II. Then, in Part II all hell breaks loose, with every major character arriving for their moment in the spotlight, with Hulk, Thor, GotG, and everyone else joining the Fray. Oh, what about Captain America you say? Well, this is the moment for Bucky Barnes a.k.a The Winter Soldier to finally take up his best friend’s mantle, and live up to the Captain America name. After Thanos’ defeat, we will probably see the retirement of the classic Avengers team, with the new characters stepping in to a new roster, continuing the legacy of rotating lineups from the comics.

Overall, Marvel’s announcements are incredibly exciting and seem to indicate their plan will create scenarios never before seen on the big screen. Who knows how well my predictions will go (I think they have a pretty decent chance of being true, seeing as they seem based in solid evidence), but it should be interesting. It stinks that it will take the better part of a decade to see it through, but I certainly can’t wait to see it through.