Marvel Phase 3 Theory pt. 1: Phase 2 Summary and Conclusion
—by Nathan on April 1, 2014—
2013-2015 is presenting Marvel's "Phase 2" era of movies, films that have included Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, and will include Captain America: The Winter Soldier (four days, guys!), Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers: Age of Ultron to wrap it up. That gives us about two years before Phase 3 arrives, but it's never too early to start theorizing. People have done it already and so will I, throwing in my two cents from what I already know and what I hope will happen. This first blog will summarize and wrap up Phase 2 movies, suggesting how what's happened and what will happen will affect the Marvel Universe. The next blog (or blogs...it's Spring Break; I gotta do something!) will focus on other things, like possible Phase 3 movies. And I don't care if I'm right or wrong; it's just fun to throw ideas around. So grab your shields, hammers, arrows, jetboots, and radioactive fists and let's get going.
IRON MAN 3: Phase 2 opened up with IM3, which I will not complain about. Though not my favorite Marvel film at first, it's grown on me. And a recent Thor One-Shot may have helped me with that. I haven't seen it, but I hear that Trevor Slattery gets busted out of jail by the Ten Rings, who are kinda upset that he masqueraded as the Mandarin. Why? Because he fooled them? Or because there's a real Mandarin who doesn't want to be messed with? Did Aldrich Killain create this persona off of a figure he heard of, a myth that happened to be real? Well, if there is a real Mandarin (I've heard there might be), he may very well threaten the MU in an interesting way: Terrorism. Winter Soldier seems to be FULL of bad guys with guns, so why not some more? Hydra, AIM...an all-out terrorist war? Also, the Extremist tech has had some bearing on the SHIELD show, so maybe it'll play out there. Finally, the voice of Jarvis (Paul Bettany) is also the voice of the Vision, an android who was created by the villain of Avengers 2: Ultron. Since we have Jarvis already, then perhaps Ultron will corrupt him. Infiltrate Avengers Tower, corrupt Jarvis, bring it crashing to the ground. So now the Avengers may need to deal with Ultron AND criminal organizations at their heels. Or Ultron could bring Hydra and Aim together. "Age of Ultron," right? That means he's gotta take SOMETHING over. Why not lay siege to New York with his newfound army?
THOR: THE DARK WORLD: Meanwhile, in Asgard, Loki sits on throne. All-father Odin is presumably dead. Everyone is oblvious to the Trickster God's villainy...and it could spell the end of them all. Thor 3 could introduce Ragnarok, the Doom of the Gods, an event where Loki acts as the ultimate catalyst, an event that destroys the Norse pantheon and Asgard. TDW gave us a glimpse of other worlds, and its those worlds which participate in Ragnarok. This movie would come AFTER Age of Ultron, so if Age of Ultron ends with Earth having faced a crisis at the hands of terrorists and a super-robot, then Thor 3 would be the perfect time for Loki to strike his brother down with the Doom of the Gods (Loki doesn't live through this either, so don't ask why he starts it...it's probably just unalterable fate). Boom, Thor's gone. Big trouble for the Avengers. Secondly, TDW introduced the "Aether," which is definitely one of the Infinity Gems, as is the Tesseract AND Loki's stone. The latter two, by the way, are all in Asgard, along with the Infinity Gauntlet. Avengers made it seem like Loki had failed Thanos, but maybe it was all a ploy. A ploy for Thanos to get Loki into Asgard, so the new king could allow Thanos or his minions in to steal the Gauntlet and the gems. With the chaos of Ragnarok happening, it would be easy for Thanos to sneak in and steal it. Again, big trouble for the Avengers.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER: This one's coming out at the end of the week, which means I'll probably have to adapt it some. People have commented that TWS is going to be "huge" for the MU, and a certain falling Helicarrier may spell how: The end of SHIELD. SHIELD's becoming stricter, harsher; Nick Fury gets blown up and hospitalized; and the Helicarrier crashes into a building which looks like their fancy new headquarters. Uh-oh. But who could conceive of such a dastardly plot? Who brainwashed the Winter Soldier? Simple. The Red Skull. But, uh, didn't het get sucked into the-No. Not "into" the Tesseract. "Through." It's a portal, like the Bifrost. Loki fell beyond and-look-found Thanos. Skull fell through and-look-found Thanos. With the Mad Titan's help, he comes back and infiltrates SHIELD. As who? Alexander Pierce. Who? Exactly. Some head honcho dude portrayed by Robert Red(skull)ford (see what I did there?). Back on earth, Skull's been secretly accumulating power for this final attack that will destroy SHIELD. This of course, would have a HUGE bearing on Cap 3, Age of Ultron, and the SHIELD show. Maybe Cap 3 will have the good Captain assassinated; maybe Ultron will appear as a SHIELD construct because they no longer have the power they once had. Ultron is the first stage of building SHIELD back up, but it somehow goes wrong. How? I don't know. Maybe interference from Hyrda (Red Skull) or AIM (Mandarin). However they do it, TWS is promising to be really big for the MU (other people say Black Widow's participation is big, too..maybe she betrays them for some reason? Betrays them to the Skull?).
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Coming out in August, GotG will take audiences to the stars in Marvel's second team film that's sure to be plain weird (anything with a talking racoon and a living tree is sure to be strange. The official synopsis has the group of misfits being hunted by Ronan the Accuser after their leader, Starlord, steals a special orb Ronan wants. So the orb's another Infinity gem (that's four out of six, for those of you who got tired of counting), and Ronan wants it...for Thanos? Makes sense, since Ronan IS Thanos' son. Gamora of the Guardians is Thanos' adopted daughter, Drax wants to kill Thanos, and the Collector wants to keep things from Thanos. So maybe the Guardians need to keep this gem from Thanos' hands, and Thanos has sent Ronan and some others after them. The Collector has the Aether, and he needs this gem as well (people also have spotted what may be Adam Warlock's cocoon in TDW after-credits scene, a character who also has a gem). It's a race to keep the gems from Thanos, who, if he fails in this film, turns his eyes to Asgard...
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON: Set aside the Thanos stuff for a while and let's back to Earth. Avengers: Age of Ultron is coming in 2015, with a new story and new characters. Ultron has been invented, possibly by SHIELD and maybe with some Ant-Man assistance, and goes haywire. SHIELD's newest weapon becomes its newest threat, and the Avengers are called in to help. With new recruits Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, the Avengers are tasked to stopping this robotic baddie and his hoards of villains, whom the superior robot has taken over from the likes of Red Skull and Mandarin. New York and elsewhere are taken by storm; the Avengers will struggle valiantly the whole way through, but will be powerless at the end. CLIFF-HANGER! DUM-DUM-DUM! And maybe there's a simple reason why: The Hulk's gone. Concept art shows a tussle between the Hulk and Iron Man in his Hulkbuster armor. If this isn't Jarvis having taken over this specific suit, then it's Stark vs Banner because the Hulk's gone out of control (as part of an Ultron plot?). In the end, Hulk is blasted off into space like the comics, and Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch fill his shoes (yeah, right!). Short of the Hulk's muscle, the Avengers fall to Ultron. It makes sense: The second installments of trilogies always leave on dark cliffhangers. Why can't this? Defeated, the Avengers watch as the world gets worse with the coming of Ragnarok and perhaps the deaths of two key members, Cap and Thor.
That's it for the first blog. Theories for finishing Phase 2. Next up, a blog on Phase 3 and how these pieces may fit together for the future of Marvel movies. But first, allow me to present a quick synopsis of what's going on, cause there's a lot that I've predicted. As you can see, Marvel may be working on two different stories that switch every movie. I'll make it easy and call one "Age of Ultron" and the other "The Infinity Gauntlet."
IRON MAN 3: Age of Ultron. Introduces AIM, which could lead to terrorist alliance, and poses a vessel for Ultron in Jarvis.
THOR: THE DARK WORLD: The Infinity Gauntlet. Sets up Ragnarok and a way for Thanos to get the Gauntlet and other important pieces.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER: Age of Ultron. Brings downfall of SHIELD at hands of Skull, leading to creation of Ultron.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Infinity Gauntlet. Race to keep Thanos in check for a short time.
AGE OF ULTRON: Age of Ultron. Rise of Ultron and terrorist groups against Avengers. Hulk gets booted, so Avengers fall.