We've asked the Avengers to assemble this list of Marvel comic storylines that should make their way to the MCU.
From Iron Man, the movie that started it all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has drawn characters, events and sometimes whole storylines from Marvel’s vast back-catalogue of comics. We’ve seen adaptations of the Infinity Saga, the creation of Ultron, the fall of Asgard, the Inhuman-free origins of Ms. Marvel and much, much more. Check out guide to the Marvel movies in order to see what the MCU has covered so far.
Secret Invasion, a series which sees shape-shifting Skrulls infiltrating positions of power, is intriguing in its own right, but it’s also a sign that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is slowly catching up with modern-day Marvel Comics. That, in turn, raises the question.. where next for the MCU?
Sure, you can pore over Marvel’s massive collection of back-issues and discover several dozen universe-shattering crossovers. But more than a few of those comics-wide events rely on people having an encyclopedic knowledge of prior events. Others are so vast in scale that bringing them to the MCU would be largely impractical.
But there are a handful of tales that not only could survive the transition to the MCU, but which are absolutely begging to be brought to life. Here then, are five Marvel tales that absolutely deserve to become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
If you're looking for more great Marvel content, we've got you covered here at Space. Check out our rundown of the best Marvel movies, or have a look at our guide to the best Lego Marvel sets.
Wouldn’t it be great to have Asgard as a neighbor? No, not just Asgardians – I’m talking about the literal realm of Asgard. That was the situation facing the population of Broxton, Oklahoma, when Thor recreated the fallen Asgard in their town – or, at least, floating a few inches above it. Norman Osborn – with a surprising amount of public support – led an assault on Asgard which resulted in its near destruction.
The MCU’s New Asgard isn’t actually in the United States, and is located instead in Norway. But a sufficiently venomous world leader could argue that having actual 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 mini-series where New Asgard and the “mortal” world come to blows, a problem that can’t be solved by smacking something with a hammer.
2. Civil War
“Hang on a minute,” you might be thinking, “Haven’t we done this one?” You’d be half right but the Civil War that made it to the big screen was small potatoes compared to the horror that triggered the comics’ conflict. A group of superheroes, the New Warriors, were filming their superhero antics for a TV show and decided to battle a supervillain known as Nitro, smack bang in the middle of the town of Stamford.
Nitro fought back, using his powers to generate a colossal explosion and six hundred civilians, many of whom were children, were killed. Thus began the call for superheroes to be registered and trained, to ensure that Stamford never happened again.
While it’d be tough to get Disney to sign off on 600 deaths that weren’t later reversed, the MCU could be due a wake-up call, particularly with more and more heroes getting their own Disney+ shows. The MCU has the chance to deliver a probing, thought- provoking Civil War that can’t be hand-waved away because one man was framed.
3. Hunger/ Cataclysm
What’s worse than Galactus? Super Galactus! That was the premise behind Hunger and its follow-up, Cataclysm. It took the Gah-Lak-Tus swarm featured in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics range (infinitely more menacing than the Fantastic Four sequel’s cloud) and combined them with the “regular” planet-devouring Galactus to create a living nightmare. He was dispatched only 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 big “getting the gang back together” vibe, minus Tony Stark and Steve Rogers anyway. Throw in the odd supervillain team-up (given that Galactus would literally end the world), and Disney could have another smash 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 make here, but in Devil’s Reign, no-one’s laughing. The comic sees Wilson Fisk - The Kingpin - who’s already been mayor of New York for a while, putting all the pieces in place to outlaw vigilantism.
Unlike some of these other stories, Devil’s Reign wouldn’t, initially, need quite as much tweaking, especially if Luke Cage – who became the new mayor of New York – was brought across from the Marvel Television Universe. The Thunderbolts served as Fisk’s enforcers and, with a Thunderbolts series actively in development, that’s a non-issue.
But seeing the MCU’s finest suddenly find they couldn’t operate and that, no matter what he had going on behind the scenes, Fisk had the law on his side? That’s where this show – or movie’s – appeal would come from. It’s also a chance to deliver a slightly more satisfying conclusion than the comic got.
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 do it. It was long rumored that Secret Wars could be the next big MCU arc, and it was just confirmed at SDCC 2022 (opens in 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 earlier 80s Secret Wars, 2015’s Secret Wars saw the multiverse smashed together? Why? Mainly because Marvel had two universes on the go – the main universe and the Ultimate universe.
The collision between the universes would have ended everything if not for.. Doctor Doom. Yes, one of Marvel’s biggest villains created a patchwork version of multiple realities, known as Battleworld. He did get to call 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 massive, massive opportunity. Not unlike DC Comics’ Crisis on Infinite Earths, the event could conclude with all Fox and Marvel’s major characters, at least the ones who’d sign on the dotted line, squeezed into one universe.
Contract issues might prevent Marvel from folding the Sony Spiderverse into the mix, but it’d be a relatively easy way to welcome the X-Men to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether Patrick Stewart would be available is another story, but I’m sure a creative writer could find a way around that.