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Marvel Event Reflection: The Five Films That Will Shape The Marvel Cinematic Universe


I have seen the future and it is Marvelous.

Just in case you were living under a rock the past 24 hours (and by rock I mean you don’t have Wi-Fi or any access to the Internet), Marvel dropped some pretty major news. On the surface, this was just a a press conference to reveal their film slate up until 2019. The announcements were mostly just titles of films and even those were just movies we already knew were coming, just with a new tag after it.

But, make no mistake. This was huge. A lot of these moves are going to change the Marvel Cinematic Universe big time. However, the following films will play the biggest role in shaping the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

Thor: Ragnarok

So this is the first one that Marvel telegraphed years ago. Ragnarok is the Norse analog to the Apocalypse. It’s a pretty insane story on its own. The good gods have to fight the bad gods and they all end up dead. To fill up the roster, they would need to introduce some key players like the Fenris Wolf, Baldr, and Marvel would also have to bring Odin back somehow even though Anthony Hopkins said he was finished with these movies.


Marvel also said this movie is going to be a big opportunity to introduce new characters which means a lot of doors are open. We have to assume they will put The Enchantress and The Executioner in. They are top tier Thor villains. There has also always been a big push to put Surtur in the mix. In the mythology, he is main driver behind The Apocalypse and he was going to be Thor’s big problem in the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series before it was cancelled. Most fans are excited about the possibility of Beta Ray Bill making an appearance. Although he has absolutely nothing to do with Ragnarok, he is a beloved ally of Thor and a character that seemed to be teased in the opening scene of Guardians of the Galaxy. Finally, there is the possibility that this title is also referring to the nickname for a clone of Thor that Tony Stark and his buddies make in Thor’s absence. That would be a stretch, but who knows. As long as this movie has a minimal amount of Kat Dennings, it will be the best Thor movie to date.


This is probably the most surprising move. Everyone agreed that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver would end up having to change their origin story in some way. In the comics, they are the villainous mutant children of Magneto who end up switching teams and joining the Avengers. Since Fox owns the rights to the idea of mutants, Marvel has to come up with a new explanation for how the twins got their powers and the Terrigen Mist seems like as good an idea as any. Beyond just Maximoff children, there are plenty of other good reasons to be excited about this movie.


First of all, we’ve got possible Vin Diesel. I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t Vin already Groot?” Yes he is. He provides Groot’s voice and his voice alone. Fortunately, the Inhumans are led by their king Black Bolt, whose extreme vocal powers forbid him from uttering a single word. Therefore Vin can potentially voice Groot and play Bolt without any overlap. He has also alluded to the fact that he has long term plans with Marvel and Groot was only a small part of the plan. Vin Diesel playing Black Bolt fits perfectly into this strategy now that we know Inhumans is on the table.

Inhumans is an opportunity to do something different. Remember how, a year or two ago, you thought Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t make any sense? A talking tree and a raccoon help Andy Dwyer save the galaxy? How crazy! Well this is far crazier. They are a race of superhumans that live on the moon. They feature members like Medusa, (whose superpower is that she has super hair), Karnak (who is the ultimate nitpicker), and Lockjaw (the teleporting bulldog). More interestingly, they function as old school, Game of Thrones-style royalty. People are constantly trying to usurp and overthrow the monarchy. It’s a lot of fun. Really, it’s everything the Thor movies should have been if they hadn’t turned into shot for shot remakes of Disney’s Hercules.

Captain Marvel

So this is a project that most Marvel enthusiasts agree is way overdue. Captain Marvel is a name shared by a bunch of different superheroes. Originally, young Billy Batson used the powers of the Greek gods and an ancient wizard to transform into the Superman-esque Captain Marvel. That hero was created by Fawcett comics and bought by DC but not before Marvel created the Kree Captain Mar-Vell, who is sent to earth to observe the planet but eventually joins the fight to protect it up until his death from terminal cancer. Before he bit it, Mar accidentally shared his DNA with pilot Carol Danvers who got all of his powers and eventually graduated from the kind of insulting Ms. Marvel to the full scale Captain Marvel.


We know this film is going to focus specifically on Carol, which is a really good thing. Mar is one of the most agreed upon “good guys” in the Marvel Universe but he would probably make for a pretty boring solo movie (although I have no doubt he will play a big role in Carol’s transformation). Carol is a great Avenger. She has a really fun power set and personality-wise could go in a lot of different ways. She’s also military, which is something we haven’t got much of outside of Captain America.

She is also a cosmic hero and someone else is going to have to have some space adventures, considering we also learned that the third and fourth Avengers films are going to be called The Infinity Gauntlet. We also saw a picture of Josh Brolin Thanos wearing the original Power Glove that contains all six infinity stones. The MCU can currently account for three infinity stones. We do know that there will be a sequel to the hugely popular Guardians of the Galaxy coming in 2017 but they can probably only handle covering one more stone. That means, besides GotG2, the films are going to have to create two new stones and Thanos is going to have to get all of them. A cosmic Captain Marvel movie would be a pretty good way to keep that moving.

Black Panther

This is a big one. The signs all pointed to T’Challa from the start. During a scene in Iron Man 2, Nick Fury had a map that highlighted all of the locations where superhero-ing took place and that map included the fictional African nation of Wakanda. In the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, CGI master Andy Serkis appeared as a character who the internet decided cannot be anyone but vibranium enthusiast Ulysses Klaw. Also Stan Lee just straight up said the Black Panther movie was on its way. You can’t get much clearer than that. Even with that knowledge, Marvel had a surprise in store.


Marvel officially cast Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa a.k.a. the Black Panther. Fans had speculated that Chadwick would make an excellent choice, citing his roles in 42 as Jackie Robinson and Get on Up as James Brown. He clearly has the acting chops. He also has an excellent suit. Marvel went ahead and revealed some of the concept art for what the suit would look like. There are a lot of excellent details. The mask is perfect. It is incredibly sleek. The lattice pattern on the body of the suit gives it a very natural feel. He looks more like his comic counterpart than anyone else in the MCU thus far, which is always a good thing.

Also he WON’T be making his debut in his solo film. Which leads to the biggest announcement at the conference.

Captain America: Civil War

I don’t even know what to say. This is bananas.

Civil War was a comic event from about ten years ago. It’s probably the most well-known modern comic storyline (especially because of how it ends). To sum the story up in a sentence: Captain America and Iron Man disagree about a superhero registration act that leads them to make their own teams and fight each other. It is pure brother against brother, Avenger against Avenger action. The comic story does a good job of making it clear that neither one is the “good guy.” They are both doing what they think is right.

capt-america-civil-warWe had some hints that things were going in this direction. Robert Downey Jr. signing on to the third Cap film led many people to believe that this film will pit the two Avengers against one another. The Russos said in plenty of interviews that the third Captain America movie was going to blow everyone’s minds. They were right. Taking the fan favorite Iron Man and turning him into the villain in this movie is a pretty gutsy move.

Overall #Marvel Event Reflection

It’s clear that Marvel has some great films in the works, but there are still some unconfirmed rumors worth noting. There is no word yet on whether or not the rumors that Sony will be renting out Spiderman are true or false. Spidey is a big part of the comic story, so it makes perfect sense. Black Panther is also apparently going to play a big role, so maybe he will be taking Spiderman’s place. We will also have an Ant-Man by that point, so if they just want to fight over an insect superhero, he is probably the best substitute since Marvel does not seem to be working on acquiring The Tick. Notice I did not even mention Dr. Strange. That was mostly because Cumberbatch was not officially announced as the Sorcerer Supreme, even though the Hollywood outlets seem to agree that he will take that role.

I cannot stress how excited I am about all of these films. Marvel is clearly expanding into a bunch of interesting directions. We’re touching the magical, the cosmic, the wild, and whatever the Inhumans are. Marvel is destroying the foundation they built with Thor and Cap and Iron Man and building something more complex and interesting. This is gonna be a crazy five years.



Matthew Nando Kelly is a contributing writer for Pop-Break. Aside from Marvel hype, he also writes about films, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He loves U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. He can also occasionally be found writing lists on Topless Robot and his twitter handle is @NationofNando

Matthew Kelly
Matthew Kelly
Matthew Nando Kelly is the cool and tough Managing Editor of Pop Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he makes pop culture brackets with fellow writer DJ Chapman.

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