The State of the Universe: The Current State of, and Speculation on What’s To Come In, The Marvel Cinematic Universe **Updated**


I’ve been thinking a lot about the Marvel Cinematic Universe lately. There has been nine feature films to date as well as five short films and sixteen episodes (out of twenty-two) of the television series _Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D._. That’s a lot of storytelling right there so as much for my own benefit as for yours I’m going to run down the current state of the universe as it stands right now, immediately post _Captain America: The Winter Soldier_ and after episode 16 of _Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D._, as I see it and offer some speculation as to where things are going.

This is obviously going to contain spoilers for, well, _everything_ in the MCU so far so my recommendation is to get caught up before you read this. Either that or no complaining. I’m also making predictions about what I think is going to happen moving forward so if I’m right, and I all but know that I am about one thing in particular, then consider this your spoiler warning.

Also go get yourself a cup of coffee or something because this is going to take a while.

Ok? Ok. Let’s do this.

### A Brief Timeline

Here’s a rough outline of the chronological order (note, not the order of release) of how all the visits to the MCU so far.

1. Captain America: The First Avenger
2. Agent Carter (Short)
3. Iron Man
4. The Incredible Hulk
5. The Consultant (Short)
6. Iron Man 2
7. A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Thor’s Hammer (Short)
8. Thor
9. The Avengers
10. Item 47 (Short)
11. Iron Man 3
12. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episodes 1-7
13. All Hail The King (Short)
14. Thor: The Dark World
15. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episodes 8-16
16. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

This list is fairly generalized because it has to be. For example, the first and last scenes of _The First Avenger_ take place after _Thor_ and before _The Avengers_, so it’s hard to pin down every movie, short film, and episode exactly, but generally it should be correct.

Things we know for sure that are coming include:

* Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes 17-22 (Spring 2014)
* Guardians of the Galaxy (August 2014)
* Daredevil Series (2015)
* The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 2015)
* Ant Man (July 2015)
* Captain America 3 (May 2016)
* Unannounced Film (July 2016)
* Unannounced Film (May 2017)
* Jessica Jones Series (?)
* Luke Cage Series (?)
* Iron Fist Series (?)
* Defenders Mini Series (?)

There is also an Agent Carter TV series in development but nothing beyond that they want to do it and Hayley Atwell is interested has been announced thus far.

Executive Producer Kevin Feige has also teased that they have an outline for movies all the way through 2028, including ramping up from the current two movies per year to as many as four, how much of that is set and how much is in flux is anyone’s guess.

### A Brief History of Nearly Everything

About a year after the events of _The Avengers_ Tony Stark defeated Aldrich Killian and his think tank/research group A.I.M. who had created a new breed of super soldier using Extremis, which granted the recipients super strength and heat based powers but were unstable and prone to, uh, spontaneous combustion if they couldn’t regulate their dosage.

Tony then takes Extremis and uses it to repair the damage done to him in _Iron Man_, thus removing his reliance on an arc reactor in his chest, seemingly gives up the mantle of Iron Man.

Tony Stark Has His Arc Reactor Removed
Tony Stark Has His Arc Reactor Removed

The Extremis research was picked up by Project Centipede and has been refined through experimentation on people with and without abilities as seen in _Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D._

**Update**: Agent Coulson, everyone’s favourite S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, was revealed to be alive at the beginning of that series despite having taken a spear through the heart att he climax of _The Avengers_. How that was accomplished was recent revealed when team member Skye was mortally wounded. Coulson took the team back to where he was healed and found out that the thing that revived him days after he died, not mere seconds as he originally thought, was a serum based samples (at least) taken by an unidentified blue alien.

As _Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D._ has been hinting at and _Captain America: The Winter Soldier_ makes clear, there was something not quite right at the heart of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Team Coulson figured out at the end of episode 16 (“_The End of the Beginning_”) that The Clairvoyant, the faceless bad guy behind project centipede and who knows what else, is most likely someone at S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. They figured this out after tracking down someone they thought was The Clairvoyant who turned out to be completely paralyzed and able to talk only by computer who Agent Ward then killed

In _The Winter Soldier_ we find out that one of the German scientists recruited to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. post WWII is Arnim Zola, second in command to Red Skull in the events of _The First Avenger_ and he secretly reformed Hydra _within_ S.H.I.E.L.D. and has worked against the good guys from the inside, even after his death by way of transferring his entire consciousness into a 70s era supercomputer. Zola had also found, revived, augmented, and brainwashed Bucky Barnes (Captain America’s best friend, thought to have fallen to his death in World War II) into The Winter Soldier, a super soldier assassin kept in cryogenic sleep until he’s needed for a mission and revived only for the duration thereof.

Sebastian Stan as Winter Soldier
Sebastian Stan as Winter Soldier

The Zola supercomputer was destroyed after Captain America and Black Widow found it, but it had also been augmented with some modern technology and potentially copied.

In the climax of _The Winter Soldier_ Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, and Agent Hill work together to stop Hydra and in the process dismantle S.H.I.E.L.D. itself as well due to the agency being compromised for so long without anyone noticing until it was too late. The Winter Soldier and Captain America have one last confrontation where Captain America tries to reach his friend through all the conditioning and it is implied he succeeds, but to what degree we are not yet sure. Nick Fury departs at the end of the movie to start hunting down Hydra cells in Europe and abroad.

In the middle of all this Thor defeated the Dark Elves and reclaimed “The Aether”, the weapon that the Dark Elves attempted to use to destroy the universe in _Thor: The Dark World_, which along with The Tesseract (which was the power source for Hydras weapons in _The First Avenger_ and the portal through which the Chitauri invaded in _The Avengers_) is revealed to be one of six Infinity Stones (which we’ll talk more about in a moment). At the end of _The Dark World_ Thor relocates to Earth to be with Jane Foster.

The Ten Rings
The Ten Rings

In _All Hail The King_ we find out that The Mandarin, the villain created by Killian in _Iron Man Three_ to distract the good guys from his real plan, was actually drawn from a historical leader of The Ten Rings (his terrorist organization, first mentioned in Iron Man) and is not only real but wants revenge on Trevor Slattery (who played him for Killian) and, presumably, everyone else.

And finally, the mid credits scene of _The Winter Soldier_ makes it clear that Hydra is still very much alive and they have in their possession Loki’s sceptre from The Avengers (which you’ll remember was given to him by a mysterious purple skinned being) and they have created two new super soldiers, twins, one with super speed and one with telekinetic abilities.

So to sum up:

* S.H.I.E.L.D. has been dismantled and Nick Fury is off the grid hunting down other Hydra cells.
* Hydra is still around and (at least one cell) possesses Loki’s sceptre.
* The Ten Rings, and The Mandarin, are both real _and_ pissed off from their names being used by others.
* Tony Stark has, for the time being, given up being Iron Man.
* Thor now lives on Earth with his beloved.
* The Winter Soldier is alive and starting to wonder who he really is.
* Two of the Infinity Stones have been found.
* **Update**: Agent Coulson was revived thanks to a serum derived from the corpse of a blue alien.

So what’s next. I have a few ideas.

### What’s Next for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Agents of SHIELD

Midway through episode 16 of _Agents_ Agent Sitwell is called away from the meeting he is in to deal with “a situation on a boat.” That boat is The Lumerian Star, the ship that Captain America assaults (and rescues Sitwell from) at the very beginning of _The Winter Soldier_. This telegraphs the timeline of episode 16 as being immediately before the events of _The Winter Soldier_, my question now is what about the remaining five episodes?

My best guess as of now is that The Zola Supercomputer is The Clairvoyant. In The series they have figured out that The Clairvoyant seems to be a step ahead at all times and is probably someone at S.H.I.E.L.D. and in _The Winter Soldier_ it’s revealed that Zola created an algorythym which can analyze a person’s past in order to predict their future. Thus, it’s pretty much a perfect fit that Zola would be the big bad of the season.

Since the end of the last episode showed Victoria Hand ordering Team Coulson’s plane back to HQ and everyone on board killed it would stand to reason that she is, perhaps, involved in Hydra. Or maybe not. In the comics Hand became second in command of H.A.M.M.E.R., the agency that replaced S.H.I.E.L.D. when Norman Osborne took over during the _Dark Avengers_ story. After that mess was resolved, Captain America takes charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. and recruits her to be his second in command because its revealed that she’s not actually evil but doing what she thinks is right to better the world. Now, if it’s revealed that she’s a member of Hydra she’ll have to go, for sure, however if it’s revealed that she’s just been following orders this whole time I’d bet she’ll stay around.

One character who has been absent during much of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.s run is Nick Fury, who also sealed all the records of Coulson’s revival which was conducted _outside_ S.H.I.E.L.D. Since the Zola Computer has access to everything S.H.I.E.L.D. knows this makes more sense as to why The Clairvoyant doesn’t seem to know anything about Coulson.

The real question is will the remaining five episodes _all_ be set before the events of _The Winter Soldier_ or not? Because they’d basically _have_ to spoil the movie if not. What I’d like to see is some people outed as Hydra agents (again, most likely Hand) and at least in the last episode some idea of how S.H.I.E.L.D. will be rebuilt, perhaps with a cameo from Chris Evans as Captain America interviewing Hand, Agent Blake, and even Coulson to see if they still make the cut. This would also nicely give at least one of The Avengers the heads up that Coulson is alive.

Also, since Zola was stored on a 70s era supercomputer with millions of meters of tapes, he could conceivably have been transferred to the web and be a sort of Skynet type bad guy, or build himself a robot body like he did in the comics, and continue being one of the big bads of the show. Actor Toby Jones isn’t above appearing on TV as far as I know, so this could be pretty awesome.

I’m also wondering if the series gets a second season (still unconfirmed as of this writing) if that will focus on the rebuilding of S.H.I.E.L.D., which could make for some good TV.

**Update** As to the blue alien? Not sure but since the serum worked extremely quickly on Skye it’s implied that she is perhaps of alien origin? It’s already been revealed that her origin is mysterious so if she’s alien or part alien that would make sense. It would also be nice to actually have a super powered member of the team. What kind of alien though? I’ll talk about that in a moment.

Oh, and two things about Agent Ward killing the guy they initially thought was The Clairvoyant? First off, what a waste of Brad Douriff. You can only imagine he signed up for a bigger part and then was killed immediately and without actually getting to even move (his character was paralysed and spoke via computer). Second, when Ward shot him they didn’t show him losing his cool or anything, he just did it. He later says it was because he lost his cool when Skye was threatened but they didn’t show that at all. My only hope here is that Ward is leaving the show to be replaced by Bill Paxton’s Agent Garrett and his protegĂ© Agent Tripplet as some are starting to believe.

### What’s Next for Thor?

He’s currently living happily ever after, I doubt we’ll see him again before _The Avengers: Age of Ultron_.

### What’s Next for Iron Man?

Tony Stark has given up being Iron Man but we know that he’s the one who will have a hand in creating Ultron, the big bad in next years _Avengers: Age of Ultron_. There’s precious little about how this will come to be but the teaser they showed at last years comic con showed an Iron Man helmet transforming into Ultron’s head so perhaps some aspect of J.A.R.V.I.S. in one of the destroyed suits from _Iron Man Three_ will be corrupted into Ultron, or more likely Tony will bite off more than he can chew in trying to create a robotic Iron Man to replace himself as Iron Man.

We also know that Paul Bettany will be doing motion capture and voice for a version of Vision, an android originally created by Ultron, so _Avengers: Age of Ultron_ is going to be robot-tastic.

Also, since The Ten Rings are real and so is The Mandarin, if they decide to do another Iron Man movie you can pretty much rest assured that this will be the bad guy he faces.

### What’s Next for Hulk?

No idea, he’s been kind of AWOL since the end credits scene of Iron Man Three. Bruce Banner and Tony Stark became fast friends during _The Avengers_ so maybe Bruce will also be involved in the creation of Ultron. Or at least around for it.

### What’s Next for Hawkeye?

No idea! Reportedly his absence from the events in phase two, particularly those of _The Winter Soldier_, will be explained in _Avengers: Age of Ultron_. I kind of felt like maybe Hawkeye was absent to make room for Falcon (that and Jeremy Renner is a busy guy these days) but I’m sure they’ll come up with something in-universe which makes sense.

### What’s Next for Captain America?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Header

_The Winter Soldier_ ends with Captain America and Falcon getting ready to set off in search of The Winter Soldier in hopes of helping him rediscover who he is so presumably _Avengers: Age of Ultron_ will interrupt that search and _Captain America 3_, announced for 2016, will continue and conclude it. How or if he is involved in S.H.I.E.L.D. past this point is anyone’s guess. He might take over as in the comics, or maybe he’ll just help rebuild and recommend Tony Stark be put in charge (as in the comics).

In the comics Bucky is rehabilitated and fights alongside the good guys, and even becomes the new Captain America at one point, so the possibilities here are all pretty good.

### What’s Next for Black Widow?

This is an intriguing question. In _The Winter Soldier_ all of S.H.I.E.L.D.s files are released to the internet, including those on her chequered past, so the all the bad she did prior to joining S.H.I.E.L.D. which has been very heavily alluded to in the movies so far means there’s a lot to explore with the character.

Marvel has a second release date in 2016 scheduled already (more on that in a second) but at this point a movie set earlier explaining her background could be good, or better yet since her records are all out there for all to see now her dark past coming back to haunt her in her own movie could be amazing.

Note to Marvel, sequels not prequels. The latter are so easy to mess up and since you know where they are going they often have little in the way of threat to the characters.

### What’s Next for Falcon?

He’ll definitely be in _Captain America 3_ but I fully expect to see him in _Age of Ultron_ as well. At this point he’s become Captain America’s best friend, his absence will be a little harder to explain when Cap is around than, say, Hawkeye when Black Widow is around.

### What’s Next for Iron Patriot/War Machine?

It appears that he’ll be there for the events of _Age of Ultron_, since he’s the one wearing the suit now and Tony Stark isn’t it makes sense that he might have one of the first battles with Ultron and be on the front lines, even maybe serve as another part of the impetus for Tony to put the suit back on when he misses the action.

### What’s Next for The Bad Guys?

_All Hail The King_ makes it clear that The Ten Rings are still around and are pissed. The threat that their agent delivers to Trevor: “you will suffer a hole in your body for every ring of our faith” also frames them as a religious cult centered around The Mandarin, who is presumably still alive. I don’t know if they are going to resurrect him or if he’ll still be alive somehow but there’s a lot of possibilities there.

The ridiculously monocled Hydra leader from the mid credits scene in _The Winter Soldier_ is Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, a powerful figure within Hydra in the comics. I was really worried that they’d try to make him a little less over the top however it looks like they are just taking that and running with it which is _awesome_.

The twins he has in boxes are Quicksilver (super speed) and Scarlett Witch (telekinetic). They are slightly complicated in that we are going to see a version of him in _X-Men: Days of Future Past_ next month as they are mutants, however Marvel retains rights to the characters as Avengers _as long as it’s not mentioned that they are mutants_. This is what I believe that Marvel is introducing when von Strucker says “it is the age of miracles”, Miracles as a replacement term for mutants.

It seems to me they must be planning to follow the Ultimate version of the characters though, in that they start out as villains and then reluctantly join The Avengers. It’ll be awesome if they are assholes like their Ultimate versions are though.

> [Hawkeye]: Where were you during the fighting?
> [Quicksilver]: I was there, I was just moving so fast you couldn’t see me. I saved your life twice by the way. You’re welcome.

It’ll be interesting to see what they do with Scarlet Witch’s power set too, as she’s everything from telekinetic to reality altering super mystic in the comics.

**Update** Also, Agent Brock Rumlow, member of Captain America’s team in _The Winter Soldier_ revealed to be an agent of Hydra, survived (barely) the end of that movie but will be horrifically scarred (at best). In the comics he is known as Crossbones and is a recurring enemy of Captain America and a high ranking Hydra agent so you can expect to see him back in Captain America 3 if not before. Maybe trying to stop Captain America from contacting and helping The Winter Soldier reclaim his identity as Bucky.

### Next Up: Guardians of the Galaxy

I am really looking forward to the _Guardians of the Galaxy_ because it represents a bit of a departure from the normal MCU. Marvel has taken a lot of gambles with these films but this one may be the biggest yet. We know that the central macguffin is an orb of some kind and chances are that is another of the previously mentioned Infinity Stones. This means that while the story may not have that much impact on the MCU as we know it it will have bearing on the story lines they are setting up for the third Avengers film, which appears to be the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. More on that in a moment, but before we talk about that remember that Business Week article I [mentioned before]( that I said had _Guardians_ spoilers if you know a lot about the Marvel Universe ([here]( Wellllll…

Thanos in The Avengers
Thanos, as seen in _The Avengers_

The article describes the big bad as a character “any Marvel fan should recognize in an instant” sitting on a “rocket powered throne.” That pretty much confirms that we’ll be seeing an appearance from Thanos, first glimpsed in the mid credits scene of _The Avengers_, who in the comics gains control of the Infinity Gauntlet and nearly destroys the universe. I don’t think he’ll be the big bad of that movie, leave that to The Accuser and The Collector, but it will be a pretty big tease for The Avengers and perhaps the Orb everyone is chasing will end up in his hands.

Thanos on his Throne
Thanos on his Throne

What? I told you there would be spoilers. Don’t look at me like that.

**Update** Also, remember the blue alien from _Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D._? That’s most likely a tie in to Guardians. There are plenty of blue aliens in the Marvel universe including Nebula (Thanon’s granddaughter, played by Karen Gillan in _Guardians_) race (Luphomoid), Yondu’s (played by Michael Rooker) race (Zatoan), but most likely that alien is a Kree, one of the major races in the Marvel universe and who come in a variety of colours. It’s that last bit that makes the Kree theory work best for me because there is type of Kree that looks basically exactly like humans so it would make sense that they could blend in here. There is some speculation that the alien might actually be a Lumerian, an offshoot of Atlanteans (of whom Namor is the king) but Marvel doesn’t own the rights to Namor (and by extension Namorita) so I don’t think that is going to be the case.

### Wait, Infinity What?

Ok really quickly. In the Marvel universe there exists six Infinity Gems. Each one gives whoever wields it power over some aspect of the universe. They are as follows:

Infinity Gems
Infinity Gems

* **The Space Gem** (Purple) — Gives the bearer the ability to exist in all places or move anything to anywhere. At full potential it grants omnipresence.
* **The Mind Gem** (Blue) — Allows the bearer to access the minds of anyone they choose.
* **The Soul Gem** (Green) — Grants the ability to control or steal or alter the souls of anyone, alive or dead and contains an idyllic pocket dimension.
* **The Reality Gem** (Yellow) — The bearer gains the ability to bend and reshape reality at will, and travel between alternate realities.
* **The Time Gem** (Orange) — The bearer gains control over past, present and future and can age or de-age anything or anyone, trap people or places in time loops, etc. At full potential it grants omniscience.
* **The Power Gem** (Red) — Contains or has access to any and all power that has ever existed which can be absorbed or projected. At full potential it grants omnipotence.

The Infinity Gauntlet
The Infinity Gauntlet

The mid credits scene of _Thor: The Dark World_ makes it clear that The Tesseract (from _The First Avenger_ and _The Avengers_) and The Aether (from _The Dark World_) are both Infinity Stones. In the comics they are gems small enough to fit into holders on a gauntlet (The Infinity Gauntlet) with 5 gems on the first part of each finger and thumb and one on the back of the hand. In the movies the two we know for sure are Infinity Stones are both large, the Tesseract barely fits into the hand of a grown man and the Aether, when condensed to it’s smallest seen form, is slightly larger. Then again we have already seen a gauntlet in Odin’s treasure room in _Thor_ which seemed to be The Infinity Gauntlet, so maybe the stones will magically reshape themselves to fit it once someone claims all six.

Have we seen only two though? No, I don’t think so. My (and many a fan) had speculated that Loki’s Sceptre in The Avengers, which he used to bend people to his will, is the Mind Stone, the work that Hydra appears to be doing in the mid credits scene of _The Winter Soldier_ seems to support that if they are using it to unlock people’s potential. It’s not confirmed of course and I doubt it will be until _Age of Ultron_ at the earliest, but it seems like the only logical conclusion given the evidence. It _could_ be the Soul Gem, but it’s blue which doesn’t match up with the colour. The Tesseract doesn’t match up to it’s comic book colour either however Light blue from purple is not as big a departure as blue is from green. Not really. Plus the Soul Gem is meant to steal or change someone’s soul which to me means either corrupting or purifying rather than changing their physical/mental state.

As above I fully expect the macguffin in _Guardians of the Galaxy_ to be another of the stones, and I’d be willing to bet at this point that it’s the Time Stone as it appears that Star Lord is a man abducted from earth in the 80s/90s and looking for a way back not only to his home planet but to his home _time_. This is all speculation on my part but consider how immature he is in the trailer and the fact that what appears to be his most prized possession is a late 80s tape playing walkman.

The logical place for this to go is to see the last two Infinity Stones over the course of Phase Three and to do The Infinity Gauntlet story in _Avengers 3_ (which will likely be called _Avengers: Infinity_ or _Avengers: Infinity War_ or something similar) and have all our heroes, not only those from Earth but the Guardians of the Galaxy also, face off against Thanos as he finally gains control over all six stones.

This is actually why I think the next announced film in the series (for late 2016) will likely be Dr. Strange, not only have they been trying to do that character for a while but it makes sense that he wold be involved with, possibly end up protector of, the Soul Stone or the Reality Stone, being that he’s the sorcerer supreme and mystical guardian of Earth.

**Update**: One thing I forgot to mention, at the end of _The First Avenger_ Captain America sees the villain, Red Skull, “die” holding the Tesseract. Now you should know that it’s a comic book movie so people can be brought back any manner of ways, but in this case the Tesseract clearly transported him across the universe, made all the more clear by the same effect being used to transport Thor and Loki back to Asgard at the end of _The Avengers_ using the Tesseract. So rest assured, Red Skull will be back. The problem is that Hugo Weaving apparently doesn’t want to come back to the role so it may have to be re-cast. I hope not though, he was awesome, ridiculous fake accent and all.

### UPDATE: What About Those Unannounced Films?

Like I just said, the first of which (July 2016) is most likely _Dr. Strange_. There is a spring date in 2017 announced, probably _Thor 3_ or _Guardians of the Galaxy 2_ and then later that year another new character, hopefully Ms. Marvel. Why Ms. Marvel? Because this year finally proved to Hollywood that female led films make a boat load of cash, and Ms. Marvel is a long standing Avenger with a lot of interesting story lines.

Remember that San Diego ComicCon is just a couple of months away, you can rest assured a lot of this will be talked about then.

### Wait, What About The Netflix Deal?

DareDevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist
DareDevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist

Oh yeah, Marvel has committed to doing 5 TV series with Netflix focussing on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, who will each get their own 13 episode series to be followed up by a mini series in which they team up to take down the big bad who has been lurking in the shadows of each of their series.

Not a lot is known yet but the whole 60 episodes will be shooting in New York, rather than using another city as _The Avengers_ and _Incredible Hulk_ did.

Things we can probably expect though:

* Daredevil is being run by Drew Goddard so I expect it to be pretty awesome.
* Luke Cage and Iron Fist to become friends (they headlined a comic series together for years)
* Luke Cage and Jessica Jones to become involved (they are married in the comics)


And last but not least, the previously mentioned big bad to be Kingpin. The rights to that character reverted back to Marvel when they took control of Daredevil and since these four characters are all street level heroes fighting crime in a single city it makes nothing but sense that the big behind-the-scenes bad guy to be the biggest crime lord in Marvel comics.

These series will take place in the MCU, but given the state of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the timing of their release I’m not really sure how much interaction with that universe we’ll see. Still, it’ll be awesome if Coulson or another agent we like (Blake?) shows up at some point to assist/recruit/whatever.

### Conclusions

So to sum up really quickly:

* I think we’ve seen three Infinity Stones and by the end of this coming summer we’ll have seen four. Space and Power, and most likely Mind and Time.
* Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have to deal with the fallout from _The Winter Soldier_ at some point, and I fully expect the Zola Computer to be revealed as The Clairvoyant. Hopefully Ward is replaced because there’s really no reason to keep him around if they can replace him with two other better characters/actors.
* Black Widow needs an outlet for her story and at this point rather than a prequel I’d like to see another sequel in which her past comes back to haunt her. I feel like there is way more room for development that way, plus prequels always feel so damned forced.
* Thanos will make an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, not as the main antagonist but as the mastermind behind everything (similar to the events of _The Avengers_)
* Captain America 3 will follow up with The Winter Soldier regaining his humanity, if not his identity.
* Hawkeye had better have been somewhere awesome to avoid all the excitement of the last two years.
* Miracles seems to be the replacement term for Mutants in the MCU, which could open up a bunch of characters to Marvel potentially. Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver are not the only mutant Avengers (I wouldn’t hold my breath for Wolverine to show up though).
* Kingpin will be the big bad of the five Netflix series.
* **Update:** The blue alien seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is most likely a Kree, which we will likely see more of in _Guardians of the Galaxy_.
* **Update:** Brock Rumlow, aka Crossbones, will return in Captain America 3.
* **Update:** Red Skull isn’t dead.

Again this is as much to organize my thoughts as it is anything else and it’s all speculation based on what I have seen in the movies/show so far and what I know from reading all the entertainment news Some of it is wild guesses on my part, some of it is educated guesses, but it really is all guesses.

What do you guys think? Have any ideas where the MCU is headed or how you think things will be handled? I’d love to discuss it so share in the comments.

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