We asked the Avengers to put together this list of Marvel comic storylines that should make it to the MCU.
Ever since Iron Man, the movie that started it all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has drawn characters, events, and sometimes entire storylines from Marvel’s vast catalog of comic books. We’ve seen adaptations of the Infinity Saga, the creation of Ultron, the fall of Asgard, Ms. Marvel’s Inhuman origins, and more. Check out the Marvel Movies Guide to see what the MCU has covered so far.
Secret Invasion, a series that sees shape-shifting Skrulls infiltrating positions of power, is intriguing on its own, but it’s also a sign that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is slowly catching up with modern Marvel Comics. This, in turn, begs the question.. where next for the MCU?
Of course, you can look into Marvel’s huge collection of back issues and discover several dozen universe-shattering crossovers. But more than a few of these comic book-scale events rely on people with encyclopedic knowledge of past events. Others are so vast that it would be largely impossible to bring them to the MCU.
But there are a handful of tales that not only could survive the transition to the MCU, but absolutely beg to be brought to fruition. So here are five Marvel tales that absolutely deserve to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Wouldn’t it be great to have Asgard as a neighbor? No, not just Asgardians – I’m talking about the literal realm of Asgard. This was the situation faced by the people of Broxton, Oklahoma when Thor recreated the fallen Asgard in their city – or, at least, floating just inches above it. Norman Osborn – with surprising public support – led an assault on Asgard that resulted in its near destruction.
The MCU’s New Asgard isn’t actually in the United States, but rather in Norway. But a sufficiently venomous world leader might argue that having real gods living next door puts them in danger. Gorr’s attack on New Asgard could potentially add fuel to the fire.
Throw in a bulk order of brightly colored baseball caps and you’ve got a recipe for a miniseries where New Asgard and the “mortal” world come to blows, a problem that can’t be solved by hitting something with a hammer.
2. Civil War
“Wait a minute”, you might be thinking, “Didn’t we do this one?” You’d be half right, but the Civil War that hit the big screen was small potatoes compared to the horror that sparked the comic book conflict. A group of superheroes, the New Warriors, were filming their superhero antics for a TV show and decided to fight a supervillain known as Nitro, right in the middle of the town of Stamford.
Nitro retaliated, using his powers to generate a colossal explosion and six hundred civilians, many of them children, were killed. So began the call for superheroes to be registered and trained, to ensure that Stamford never happens again.
While it’s hard to get Disney to approve 600 deaths that weren’t subsequently reversed, the MCU could be in for a revival, especially with more and more heroes getting their own Disney+ shows. The MCU has the chance to deliver a deep and thought-provoking civil war that can’t be dismissed because one man has been framed.
What’s worse than Galactus? Great Galactus! This was the premise behind Hunger and its follow-up, Cataclysm. It took the Gah-Lak-Tus swarm featured in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics line (infinitely more menacing than the Fantastic Four sequel cloud) and combined them with the “regular” planet-eating Galactus to create a living nightmare. He was only sent with a supreme – and horrifying – act of sacrifice.
With the Avengers relatively fragmented, post-Endgame/Multiverse of Madness, a Hunger movie, aside from introducing Galactus to the MCU, would have a great “gang reuniting” vibe, minus Tony Stark and Steve Rogers anyway. Add in the odd team of villains (given that Galactus would literally end the world), and Disney might have another hit on their hands.
4. Devil’s Reign
What do you do when the bad guys are in charge? There are a million jokes we could crack here, but in Devil’s Reign, no one laughs. The comic sees Wilson Fisk – The Kingpin – who has already been mayor of New York for quite some time, putting all the pieces in place to outlaw vigilantism.
Unlike some of those other stories, Devil’s Reign wouldn’t initially need so many changes, especially if Luke Cage – who became New York’s new mayor – was brought over from the Marvel Television universe. Thunderbolts served as Fisk’s enforcers, and with a Thunderbolt series actively in development, that’s no problem.
But seeing the best in the MCU suddenly find they couldn’t operate and that no matter what was happening behind the scenes, Fisk had the law on his side? That’s where the appeal of this show — or movie — would come from. It’s also a chance to deliver a slightly more satisfying conclusion than what the comic achieved.
5. Secret Wars / Battleworld
We’re cheating a bit with this one because we know it’s coming, we just don’t know how they’re going to. It’s long been rumored that Secret Wars could be the next big MCU arc, and it’s just been confirmed at SDCC 2022 (opens in a new tab) that we are indeed getting Avengers: Secret Wars, but what is it, and why should we be excited?
Not to be confused with the Secret Wars of the 80s, the Secret Wars of 2015 saw the multiverse shatter? Why? Mainly because Marvel had two universes in motion – the Main Universe and the Ultimate Universe.
The collision between the universes would have ended everything if it wasn’t for.. Doctor Doom. Yes, one of Marvel’s greatest villains created a patchwork version of multiple realities known as Battleworld. He called himself God Doom, but his motives were, surprisingly, less evil than you might otherwise think.
A few survivors of the old universe managed to restore the “old” universe, with a minor change or two, and all was well with the world. However, for the MCU, Secret Wars presents a huge opportunity. Much like DC Comics’ Crisis on Infinite Earths, the event could conclude with all of the main Fox and Marvel characters, at least those who sign on the dotted line, squeezed into a single universe.
Contract issues could prevent Marvel from bringing the Sony Spiderverse into the mix, but it would be a relatively easy way to welcome the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether Patrick Stewart is available is another story, but I’m sure a creative writer could find a way around that.