I’ll be talking about the comics and the past movies here, so if you’re interested in reading the comics, or watching past Marvel movies, steer clear. There will be no spoilers about future movies though…I’m not a mind reader.
Captain America (Chris Evans) dies at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Bucky Barnes was briefly shown in the first Captain America movie, and they’ve all-out titled the sequel with “The Winter Soldier”. The Winter Soldier in the sequel is seemingly an enemy, meaning it’ll be the mind-wiped, soviet Bucky, not an heroic one, but I can see that changing.
Goodies defeat baddies. With this in mind, they’ll have to find a way of defeating the Winter Soldier, who, for all intents and purposes is not a superhero or supervillain. He, like Black Widow and Hawkeye is a non-metahuman, meaning that when confronted by Captain America in a big budget movie, he’ll be totally annihilated. By destroying The Winter Soldier, they’ll be destroying Bucky Barnes; something that they simply couldn’t do.
This means they can either turn him into a good guy somehow in the movie, or irritatingly arrest or banish him like they do time and again with Loki in the Thor movies; a trick that’s already getting on every Marvel fans mood. Many will also feel irritated or blue-balled if Captain America and The Winter Soldier don’t clash significantly, meaning The Winter Soldier has to win. How can this be done whilst maintaining an air of Good vs Evil?
My prediction, The Winter Soldier summons something big and scary, either an army, an other-worldly bad guy or some kind of trap. Captain America falls into the trap towards the end of the movie and dies graciously. Seeing Cap’s final moments, The Winter Soldier snaps out of his amnesia, becomes Bucky Barnes, but can’t stop the tragedy before it’s already too late. Bucky is then inspired to live on as Captain America to carry on his patriotic message, unbeknownst to the public.
Reason’s it might not happen: In the comics, Bucky does carry on Captain America’s legacy, resulting in some of the first footage of Cap wielding a gun. I don’t know if or how Marvel would handle this in a movie. He’ll undoubtedly be armed as a bag-guy, but as a rule in marvel movie, the good guys generally don’t carry lethal weapons. Even Nick Fury has managed to come across as a diplomatic house-pet so far.
Guardians of the Galaxy initiates the Infinity Gauntlet story arc
Guardians of the Galaxy, as a comic, or a movie, offers nothing. The comics were relatively unsuccessful, being scrapped on a couple of occasions and movie-goers already have their doubts about its big screen debut. Some big names have gotten behind it though, indicating that it’s going to do well, or has a solid future.
My suspicion is that this means it’s going to lead into a pivotal Marvel story arc, and the most obvious one on the shelf right now would have to be Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet.
The gauntlet itself has been “screen tested” in the original Thor movie, not to mention Thanos’ surprise appearance at the end of the first Avengers movie. It would make sense to bring him back into it, and the best way to do it without creating a huge audible “clunk” is to introduce him via a throwaway title like Guardians of the Galaxy.
A war breaks out between Marvel and the other IP owners
Around a decade ago, Marvel, believe it or not, was in trouble. In a last-ditch effort, they sold on the rights of a bunch of their franchises to other companies; Spider-Man was bought by Sony, X-Men, Fantastic Four and DareDevil were bought by 20th Century Fox. Their movies arguably saved Marvel, and made it what it is today by sparking a new wave of comic book fans and making comics a more socially acceptable medium again.
Now that Marvel is doing well again, it has its own movies sprouting in all directions and the IP owners are causing problems. We’ve already seen War Machine and Iron Patriot morph into one person, due to Norman Osborne being owned by Sony, under the Spider-Man umbrella, likewise, we’re seeing a very limited Avengers roster and many crossover opportunities being overlooked.
In Avengers 2 Age of Ultron, we’re expecting to see Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver appear. They are undoubtedly from the X-Men franchise; Magneto is even their father. This can only be a show of force from Marvel, to Fox that they’re going to start picking away at the X-men franchise, taking any characters that Fox haven’t latched onto, until there’s no unexplorable content for them to make movie out of, and then, Marvel can win back the rights to the X-Men, due to an inactivity clause. Expect to see characters appear on both sides of the war, almost pointlessly as each side lays claim to comic book heroes, until there’s none left. Days of Future Past is also gunning for Quicksilver, along with Bishop, Kitty Pryde, Raven, Colossus, Havok, Warpath, Sunspot…the list goes on! With Quicksilver also firmly on Marvels side, you can expect to see the likes of Omega Red and Domino appearing in the X-Men, and Galactus in Fantastic Four (we’ll not get into whether or not he appeared in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
No Iron Man 4 Movie
Iron Man was never taken as seriously as he is now. The movies have brought the old coffee-pot back to life, but in the comics, they’ve kind of exhausted his few, big stories, and will have to start looking at some original material. They can’t keep going with the whole “somebody makes/steals their own kind of Iron Man, and Iron Man has to stop it” plots as, again, the crowds are growing tired of it. The only thing I can see bringing in an Iron Man 4 movie, is if Tony Stark…I…I mean…Robert Downey Junior stipulates that he’ll only don ol’ shell-head in the Avengers series if he gets another feature-movie. The inclusion of AIM in the most recent movie was interesting though, and I’d like to see if a MODOK story emanates from it.
Thor confronts Ragnarok
Another movie franchise that’s coming out, along with Guardians of the Galaxy is Ant Man, meaning the inclusion of inventor and all-round plot-factory Hank Pym. Pym was also the creator of Ultron, who’s featuring in the upcoming Avengers sequel. With Pym and Stark on the scene, Marvel have 2 parts of the dastardly team of Richards, Pym and Stark, creators of Ragnarok. In avengers, we see Bruce Banner and Tony Stark getting along like a house on fire, so presumably, Banner will take Richards place in the trifecta, This would make way for one of Thor’s biggest rivals, Ragnarok, who was created by the 3, using Thor’s DNA. Thor has a lot of directions he can still go in his own franchise, but if there’s to be an Avengers 3, all of the pieces are in place for it to be Avengers: Ragnarok.
Something to do with Titans
Sorry, that’s as far as I’ve got on this one. Everyone’s expecting the Titan, Thanos to make an appearance, but one Titan has been screaming us in the face all this time, Hulk: The Last Titan. There’s a scene in the Avengers that torment me every time I see it. As things begin to heat up on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, when Tony and Captain America are fighting and everyone’s saying nasty things and hurting each other’s feelings, Bruce Banner grabs Loki’s staff (aka the Loki Pokey Stick). The staff is believed to hold the Mind Gem from the Infinity Gauntlet and when Banner grabs it, it pops up strange readings on the computers and invokes a look of surprise and bewilderment on Thor’s face. This seemed to be a very pointless piece of drama in the Avengers movie, and wasn’t needed…but it was there. It seemed to have been put there to indicate the Hulk is a Titan, but why? Other than a glimpse of Thanos, there’s been no real angle towards the Titans, and with Ultron coming into the second movie, it all seems to have been pointless. Nevertheless, the weird, awkward, ill-fitting scene and Thanos are there, so “something with Titans” is in our future.