“We’re not thinking about it.”
That was the comment made earlier this year by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, when asked about the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and other previously unavailable characters being added to the MCU. Granted, he made a valid point that there’s still lots of paperwork to be done and the MCU’s film schedule is pretty busy right now. But still… is he freaking kidding us?!
Disney’s re-acquisition of these characters is something fans – and business executives too – have been dreaming of for years. It’s the golden opportunity everybody’s been waiting for. The minute Spider-Man got a hall pass from Sony allowing him to enter the MCU, he showed up in Civil War to wow the audiences. How could Marvel Studios not even consider making that sort of on-screen impact again? Well, Feige may claim that they’re not thinking about it, but we sure have…
1. Introduce Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards
The Movie to do it in? An Ant-Man sequel
How? A tag scene at the end of an Ant-Man movie. Scott Lang, excited from his latest journey to the quantum realm, bursts in on Henry Pym in his study. Pym, as usual, pays him little attention because he’s entertaining a guest: an old friend and colleague who has recently returned from a doomed space expedition. A voice calls out, complaining “Quantum Realm? Oh for… Henry, when we discovered it, I thought we agreed that it should be called the Microverse!” Pym’s guest is revealed to be none other than Reed Richards, who takes an interest in Scott Lang and suggests that he should stop by the Baxter Building sometime and meet his “fantastic” team…
Why? The trick to introducing the Fantastic Four is to not reveal them directly. It only takes one, and the introduction of Reed Richards in an Ant-Man film would make perfect sense given the working association of Reed and Pym in the comics. It helps that Scott Lang spent a while as an unofficial member of the Fantastic Four in the comics years ago as well. Given the Quantum Realm/Microverse link too, it would be natural and would lead to a proper Fantastic Four film.
Introduce Old Man Logan
The Movie to do it in? Any film starring the Hulk
How? Any Hulk appearance is pretty much a guarantee of him going on a rampage. The Hulk, involved in a fight, is sent smashing through a bar. The patrons all scatter except for one man, concealed by shadows, who just wanted to finish his drink in peace. The man eyes up the Hulk warily, making a fist. SNIKT! His claws suddenly extend, and in the blink of an eye he’s on the Hulk and taking swipes at him. It’s then that we see the man properly… not Wolverine, but instead Old Man Logan – played by Hugh Jackman.
Why? Of all the introductions of characters in comic books, fans responded to Wolverine’s like almost no other. This would be a perfect reference to his first appearance back in the Incredible Hulk comic series, where the ol’ canucklehead took on both the green goliath and Wendigo. The Hulk and Wolverine became the best of frenemies after that, and if ever there’s a right way to introduce Wolvie, it’s by a homage to that. Plus, while Jackman has stated his retirement from playing Wolverine, he’s also gone on record that he would return if it meant crossing over with the Avengers. While the role of Wolverine is already being re-cast, there’s no reason why Old Man Logan can’t exist too and Jackman wouldn’t be treading on anybody’s toes.
The movie to do it in? A Black Panther sequel
How? T’Challa may be the new king of Wakanda, but perhaps it’s time to meet the woman who will be his queen? In the sequel, T’Challa and Nakia’s relationship has grown even closer. While T’Challa is more open-minded about Wakanda’s interactions with the world, Nakia reminds him that their ideological differences weren’t the only reason they broke up – there was another woman. While T’Challa protests that they were just old friends, Nakia reminds him that his old childhood friend was practically a goddess and could well have become T’Challa’s wife… a mutant by the name of Ororo.
Why? While it would only be the name-dropping of Ororo Munroe – better known to X-Men fans as Storm – it would help to fill in some of T’Challa’s personal history as well as explain the relationship dynamic he has with Nakia. T’Challa and Storm have a shared history in comic books stemming from childhood friendship to their eventual marriage and divorce, so where better to have her first appear? That being said, it’s hard to root against the T’Challa/Nakia relationship right now. But just knowing that Storm is in the MCU and may be destined for an appearance in Wakanda at some point could be the kind of trouble even Black Panther isn’t ready for.
Introduce Galactus and the Silver Surfer
The movie to do it in? Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3
How? In a tag scene, our heroes fly through space in the Milano, having won another glorious battle… until something appears on the monitor. Rocket Raccoon looks at the screen, confused, and asks what the hell it is that they’re seeing. Star-Lord looks out of the cockpit window and spots the Silver Surfer riding past them, making the comment that the guy is in a real hurry. We cut to the planet where the Watchers were gathered in the previous film, and the Watchers look up as a familiar shadow spreads across their world. The shadow of Galactus…
Why? If you’re a fan of Marvel comic books then you’ll know that Thanos really isn’t the heavy-hitting cosmic entity of choice to be the ultimate threat. The mad Titan is almost nothing compared to the devourer of worlds that is Galactus. Granted, Galactus isn’t technically a villain but he’s still more imposing than a purple guy sitting on a chair. Where Galactus goes, the Silver Surfer is usually nearby and their cosmic nature makes a Guardians of the Galaxy film the ideal spot for them to first appear. With a callback to the Watchers, it would be the proper sense of oncoming doom the MCU needs. Speaking of which…
Introduce Doctor Doom
The movie to do it in? A Doctor Strange sequel
How? A tag scene in a Doctor Strange film. Strange, on one of his mystical quests of Tibet, finds a destroyed village and summons the spirits of the monks who lived there to tell him what happened. They relate an incredible and tragic story, one of a man who was exiled from his homeland and who sought revenge on the Devil Mephisto itself. Like Strange, this man was both a doctor, scientist and mystic, and crafted himself a suit of armour whilst also studying the mystic arts. This man now seeks the Eye of Agamotto and other magical relics to further his quest. Before the ghosts of the monks disappear, Doctor Strange asks for the name of the man. Their response is one word: Doom…
Why? Doctor Doom hasn’t fared well in the films over at Fox, and his shown abilities have been a grab-bag of powers. Likewise, one of the biggest complaints of MCU films has been that their villains are disappointingly underwhelming. It’s time to get back to basics and make him the powerhouse he should be. By going back to the character’s comic book roots, Doctor Doom in the MCU could set everything straight. He’s more than just some guy in a metal suit of armour, his powers are also mystical in nature and it’s inevitable that he would overlap with Doctor Strange. By revealing some of his complex backstory right off the bat, it would show that there’s more to him than meets the eye.
Introduce Magneto (and all other mutants)
The movie to do it in? Avengers: Infinity War (if the sequel is to be Avengers vs. X-Men)
How? It’s unclear what the fate of Scarlet Witch will be in Infinity War, but there’s a fair chance that she may perish at the hands of Thanos. While some are expecting Thanos to change reality allowing for a reboot of the MCU, don’t sell Wanda short. Her own reality-altering abilities could be triggered at any time, even as her final act before dying, and she’s mentally unstable enough to want her deceased brother Quicksilver back… along with the Vision, should he also be killed. But as she alters the fabric of existence, she gets her wish and more and her father Magneto is summoned back into existence…
Why? Scarlet Witch’s powers are often overlooked but, in comic books, The House of M showed that she can change the Marvel landscape instantly. There’s no reason that she couldn’t do the same in the MCU. It’s uncertain how the events of Infinity War will play out, but if the casualty list is high then the Scarlet Witch might consider rewriting history itself including resurrecting her brother. The foundations of that could occur in Infinity War, even if the arrival of all mutants – including the X-Men – would play out in the next film. But just having Magneto arrive would have fans burning up the chat rooms with speculation about the X-Men’s arrival.
Introduce The Super-Skrull
The movie to do it in? Captain Marvel (if the Infinity War sequel is Secret Invasion)
How? The details regarding the Captain Marvel film are still vague, but there’s talk that it’s going to explore the Kree/Skrull War. If so, we’re hoping to see a scene where the history of the Skrulls is explained (with the arrival of Galactus – who consumes one of their worlds, Tarnax IV – being described as a reason for their forced expansion in to Kree space), along with its greatest warrior Kl’rt – who volunteers to become the most powerful Skrull of all. While a full origin story of Kl’rt becoming the infamous Super-Skrull doesn’t need to be told, it would be good to see him undergoing the process that would enhance his shape-shifting abilities. His newly acquired abilities which mimic the powers of the human survivors of a recent space expedition: The Fantastic Four.
Why? If the Kree/Skrull war from the comic books is covered in this film, and given the Kree’s expanded role in Agents of SHIELD this season (as well as hints of the Skrulls in it, and Agent Coulson’s appearance in the Captain Marvel film), it makes sense to get the Skrulls on the board in a big way. While the Skrull’s Queen Veranke will likely play her part, it would be good to see the MCU introduce their biggest heavy-hitter the Super-Skrull while hinting at the existence of the Fantastic Four and Galactus. Plus, Kl’rt’s volunteering to become the Skrull’s best fighting chance mirrors that of Steve Rogers becoming Captain America… symmetry which may be intriguing, if some rumours about Infinity War are true.
The movie to do it in? Any MCU movie
How? Any action scene could cut to a news broadcast of the Avengers’ latest battle on a TV screen. The camera slowly pans around, revealing a run-down home full of toys and half-assembled IKEA furniture. We see Deadpool passed out on his couch, snoring, and wearing a pair of Mickey Mouse ears. Blind Al enters the room and nudges him awake, telling him that it’s time he started acting like a proper hero and join those good folks like the ones on TV. Deadpool groggily looks at what’s happening, waves his hand dismissively, and says, “Screw those guys. I can’t even go near a SHIELD Helicarrier without getting sued by them.”
Why? Jumping right into the deep end by making Deadpool a major player in a main film would be a huge mistake. Besides, it would be almost out of character for him to care about the MCU, and all that’s needed is a brief moment to let us know his status. In a nod to the trouble the first Deadpool film nearly got in to with its unofficial Helicarrier appearance, as well as the Mickey Mouse ears pointing out his new Disney film status, it would ooze snarkiness. It isn’t that he can’t hook up with the MCU at a later point, but his first appearance should be completely apathetic to the cause.