What’s Next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe After Captain America: The Winter Soldier? (Spoilers!)

Well, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is here and its a torrent of action. You should absolutely see it. I have been a fan of Marvel Comics ever since middle school. Back then, it was all about the Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons, and the Avengers were “the other guys” that kids didn’t really know about.

Today, however, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU as you might have seen around the web) may very well be the modern day equivalent of Greek mythology. Now that Captain America 2 is here, the question on your mind is, of course, “What’s Next?!” I think I have a few ideas, so let’s take a look at everything we know so far.

Needless to say, this post comes with a HUGE SPOILER WARNING for everything currently released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having said that, let’s dive in…

Where the Movies Have Left Us

Here’s a quick list of the current state of affairs in the MCU:

  1. Iron Man 3/All Hail the King
    1. Tony Stark is probably rebuilding his house somewhere.
    2. The Real Mandarin, along with his terrorist group The Ten Rings, is still still out there.
  2. Thor: The Dark World
    1. Thor is with Jane Foster, living it up.
    2. Loki is on the throne of Asgard, masquerading as Odin. We have no idea where Odin is, although I think it’s safe to say that nobody kills Anthony Hopkins off-screen.
    3. The Infinity Stones are beginning to emerge. The Tesseract is locked up in Asgard, and the Aether is currently with the Collector.
  3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    1. SHIELD has been destroyed.
    2. Hydra appears to be operational in some form, and deep underground.
    3. Nick Fury is believed to be dead, but he’s not. He wears sunglasses instead of an eye-patch now.
    4. Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson are on the hunt for Hydra and answers about Bucky.

What’s Next?

Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1, 2014)

I have been excited about Guardians of the Galaxy for a really long time. While we don’t have a ton of information, here are a few things to expect to get yourself excited:

  1. A Brand New Team: The Guardians of the Galaxy are an incredibly fun team of intergalactic heroes. Initially, they will probably be a lot like the pre-Coulson’s death Avengers: much more focused on their own problems, and less concerned about working as a team.
  2. Star Lord, the Legendary Outlaw: Chris Pratt as your central role. Between Guardians and the Lego Movie, Pratt is hot business.
  3. Rocket Raccoon & Groot: Seriously, they are probably my favourite superhero pair in all of comic books right now. They are so unique, fun, and interesting.
  4. Gamora & Drax: These two green meanies are both going to be awesome as well. Not a whole lot to say, just be pumped for them.
  5. Thanos & the Infinity Stones: The trailers and promotional materials have made it clear that Guardians is going to focus on yet another Infinity Stone in some form or another. Those in the know will recognize the Infinity Stones as something that Thanos (aka that purple guy at the end of Avengers) uses to have limitless power.
  6. To The Stars!: This movie is going to expand the MCU into the cosmos, which is awesome. Expect to see the Nova Corps, as well as all sorts of good stuff teased.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015)

Meanwhile, back on Earth, we have a serious problem on our hand. Here’s some stuff to wet your whistle:

  1. Ultron: An extremely intelligent android who is hell-bent on destroying the world. He’s smart and crazy. Expect lots of robots getting smashed.
  2. A Post-SHIELD World: I expect that we’ll see the fallout of a world without SHIELD’s watchful eye. The world seemed to rely on SHIELD’s protection, and I expect we’ll see it fall to the Avengers to step up when Ultron rears his nasty metal head. We may even see the Avengers raised as the new source of protection.
  3. Hydra & Baron Strucker: The mid-credits scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier introduced us to a monacle-wearing man named Baron Strucker. I assume he is the head of Hydra now, and he is confirmed to make an appearance in Avengers Age of Ultron. He also apparently has Loki’s sceptre, so he may be using that to brainwash people.
  4. The Age of Miracles: Strucker also introduced us to two successful experiments: Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. I’m not entirely sure how they’ll fit into everything else yet. In the comic books, these two are actually mutants, but since Fox owns the rights to all things X-Men (except Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch, who were also Avengers in the comics), Marvel is going to need to find a new way to introduce them. One possibility is that we may see mutants simply referred to as “miracles” in the MCU. In the Ultimate Universe, it was revealed that mutants were actually created by government experimentation. Its not outside the realm of possibility to have Hydra inadvertently create a new race of humans called “miracles,” and have them serve as the mutants of the MCU.
  5. More Hulk & Hawkeye: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Black Widow have all been pretty heavily featured in Phase 2 so far. It has been revealed that Age of Ultron is going to take some time to get to know Hulk and Hawkeye a little better, since they’ve feeling a little left out. I’m particularly excited to get to know Hawkeye, since he hasn’t much much more than a dude with a bow thus far.
  6. Hulkbuster: It was recently revealed that the Hulkbuster armour will be in Age of Ultron. This is a special suit of armour that Tony Stark creates so that he can go toe-to-toe with the Hulk. So yeah, Iron Man and the Hulk are going to duke it out in this movie.

Ant Man (July 17, 2015)

Not a lot has been revealed about this one yet, except that Paul Rudd is going to be Ant Man & Michael Douglas is going to play Dr. Henry Pym. If this seems a bit weird to you, that’s because it should, as Pym is the original Ant Man. We don’t have a lot to go on, but I think we can be confident.

2016 & Beyond…

I am expecting that Marvel will announced more details on Phase 3 this year at San Diego Comic Con. At the very least, we’ll probably hear about an early Avengers 2 trailer, as well as Ant Man details. Other possible movie announcements include Captain America 3, Thor 3, Doctor Strange, Guardians 2, Black Widow, Inhumans, and more.

It was recently released that Marvel has movie ideas planned through 2028. That is 14 years away folks, which means that if they continue at two movies per year, we have 28 movies to look forward to.

In other words, Marvel is here to stay.

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