Marvel’s Phase Two

Avengers: Age of Ultron is now out in Europe, it’ll be released in America on my birthday, May 1st. My twitter feed has been filled with #It’sAllConnected tweets regarding Agents of Shield. Now I haven’t talked about that show on this blog since the beginning of the season, I never even blogged about Agent Carter.

It would seem I have some catching up to do.

ABC still haven’t announced whether Agents of Shield or Agent Carter are going to be renewed for another season. There are also rumors that there could be a spin-off from Agents of Shield, more Marvel TV shows to geek out on, sounds good to me. There might be spoilers under the cut.

October Wishlist
Last October I tried to blog every day in the month, it didn’t exactly work out but one of the posts I made was about where I thought season 2 of AoS would lead. Perhaps more accurately where I hoped it would lead. I said:
– Simmons would return as her own character
– Fitz would gradually get better
– Coulson and his symbols would tie into the Guardian of the Galaxy area
– Skye’s dad is a big deal and maybe even an alien
– Find out more about Agent May’s mission that got her the nickname the Cavalry
– Some mention about Coulson not being dead and the Avengers knowing that
– Ward getting what he deserves, maybe a present for Talbot

Well there has been no mention about Coulson being thought dead but not actually dead. This is getting a little ridiculous now, especially given all the people that know, including Maria Hill who works closely with The Avengers. Nick Fury named Coulson Director, and in the first episode of the season Coulson said he’d been flying all over the place talking to people. One comment, just one would fix this.

However, Joss Whedon has said in interviews that he regrets bringing Coulson back to life. He said that for Age of Ultron he considers Coulson to still be dead, as his death had such meaning in the first film, that for him to return for the second would just wreck it.

That leaves a problem, a gap between reality and what is, and what the creative minds wish it to be. Coulson is alive, that can’t be changed and so it should just be acknowledged, not ignored and made unrealistic and weird.

Skye’s dad was a big deal but he wasn’t the alien, and we haven’t seen the powers that Mr Hyde has, no transformation just strength. Ward hasn’t got what he deserves, though he was given to Talbot as a gift, Ward just escaped on route.

However, everything else came true. Simmons returned, Fitz doesn’t have such trouble communicating any longer, we had a whole episode with flashbacks to the mission that gave May her nickname.

Skye’s dad wasn’t an alien but her mother on the other hand is an alien, an Inhuman, a descendant of those humans the Kree experimented on. The alien Kree city, the Kree that came to Earth because the Diviner was used, the Kree is the link to the Guardians of the Galaxy area. The big bad on GotG was Ronan the Accuser – a Kree.

Agent Carter and the future of AoS
It is considered unlikely that Agent Carter will be renewed. I think that’s a shame but it didn’t do well enough in the ratings to justify the budget. Agent Carter was set after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger but obviously long before everything else, it’s just after the war, it’s still the SSR and not Shield etc.

However, it did start to set up some integrated plotlines. At the end Doctor Arnim Zola made a cameo with the big bad of Agent Carter, Johann Fennhoff (Doctor Faustus) they were placed in the same cell. Faustus is a hypnotist and I believe the implication was that he helped Zola brainwash, and create, the Winter Soldier.

Peggy Carter had some guest scenes in flashbacks, in two episodes of Agents of Shield, which didn’t connect with the Agent Carter series at all more is the pity. However, that also helped ground the history and provide real depth to the world.

Anyway, Agent Carter, as good as it was, is likely history. However, while Agents of Shield has yet to be renewed I find it extremely unlikely that it won’t get a season 3. It’s important to Marvel with it all connecting, and the ratings have picked up this season. The very fact that they are talking spin-off means it has to be pretty safe.

So what will happen in the future? Well, I’m guessing there might be some fallout from the events of Age of Ultron. They did the main tie-in with the prequel episode, including Coulson’s line of “Time to bring in The Avengers” so I’m not expecting much. However, with the worldwide destruction it would be odd if it wasn’t even mentioned.

Theta Protocol will get explained, I’m wondering if this is the potential plot line that leads into the new spin-off. I’m guessing Theta Protocol is some kind of team, perhaps exactly what ‘Real Shield’ was afraid of, a team of powered people.

There aren’t many more episodes left and season three is going to have to mostly stand on it’s own, as season two did. It’ll be coming to the end of Season 3, about the same point as now, when Captain America: Civil War is released.

Given what an extravaganza that is shaping up to be with the huge cast, I imagine that might well have an impact on Agents of Shield. Until then, I think the Inhumans will continue to play a big role, learning more about the galaxy to tie into Guardians of the Galaxy area with the Nova Corps etc. and of course the Inhumans movie which isn’t for another four years. I wonder if Agents of Shield will still be around then, I hope it will be as that would be one hell of a payoff even if I don’t like Skye.

The movies
Phase Two was comprised of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardian’s of the Galaxy. It has been said that Ant Man, which isn’t released until July so after Avengers: Age of Ultron, is part of Phase 2, rather than the beginning of Phase 3. Given that Marvel might feel some understandable hesitation, downplaying the film so there’s no weight behind it seems like a smart move.

However, the four main films of Phase 2 are set, the ones that came between the Avengers movies.

Now Iron Man 3 dealt with the aftermath of The Avengers, Tony Stark was having trouble dealing with what happened. I’m not a fan of Iron Man 3, I felt that it was all flash and no substance but I can tell what it was supposed to say, even if I felt that it didn’t say it terribly well. Stark also lost his arc reactor, he no longer depends on it to live, so his suits are powered just like War Machine/Iron Patriot and aren’t a part of him in the same way as they once were.

Thor: The Dark World ended with Thor choosing to live on Earth, whether it was just a visit or something more permanent wasn’t established. However, he refused the crown of Asgard but he didn’t refuse it to Odin. That is the really big repercussion of this film, what happened to Odin? The real world reason is that they didn’t know if Anthony Hopkins would be able to do another, he’s 78 years old. However, in the film Loki is impersonating him via illusion, one that fooled Thor. The fate of Odin and what happens to Loki is the big question.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier showed Steve Rogers struggling to find his place in the modern world. He discovered that Shield was corrupt, that Hydra an organisation he gave his life, or at least sixty years of it, to defeat had grown inside Shield from the very beginning. The result was that Shield was torn down, the Shield of Phase 1 no longer exists.

Agents of Shield tells us that Coulson is Director, as named by Fury. However, as far as The Avengers know Coulson is dead. Romanoff, Steve and Maria Hill know that Nick Fury isn’t dead and presumably shared with the rest of the team. In the trailer for the film Tony Stark says that Steve is the boss, he just pays for everything and designs everything, makes everyone look cool etc.

In Agents of Shield there is the competing ‘Real Shield’ and so it’s entirely possibly that Stark and Steve set up their own Shield of sorts, after Shield was torn down. They aren’t working with Coulson after all. The end scene of The Winter Soldier showed Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, the ‘age of miracles’ which directly set up Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The Winter Soldier did the direct lead to Age of Ultron because Guardian’s of the Galaxy stands completely alone at this point. The only real take-away from it is the fact that the Nova Corps now has an infinity stone locked in their vault.

The third Avenger’s movie is going to be split into two parts and it’s calling Avengers: Infinity War, so all these infinity stones are going to come together, likely with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. The Tesseract is on Asgard, the Aether was given to the Collector but given that he wanted the purple one in GotG I would say that was no longer safe. The purple one is with the Nova Corps and it’s theorized that there’s a stone in Loki’s scepter. That means four stones known, two unaccounted for.

Phase Three
The announced films for Phase 3 are Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardian’s of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man (partnership) and Thor: Ragnarok. There’s also Black Panther, Captain Marvel and The Inhumans. However, Black Panther and Captain Marvel are between the two parts of The Avengers: Infinity War.

Depending on how it’s split, whether there’s no time gap between them or not, will depend on how those two films fall in the timescale. The Inhumans is after the second part, so again that could feasibly be the start of Phase 4, should there be such a thing.

Phase 3 is missing a standalone Iron Man film but Iron Man has a large role in Captain America: Civil War. In fact like I said above, it’s turning into such an extravaganza with all the cast announcements, it doesn’t feel like it should be billed as a Captain America film, more like The Avengers halved or something.

Anyway Civil War in the comics is about the Superhero registration and the issue that brings up with all the secret identities. However, currently there aren’t really any superheroes with secret identities. There’s the new Netflix Daredevil series and Spider-Man has joined the cast of Civil War, though he’s not been seen in the MCU prior which reduces the impact.

The Agents of Shield story line about changing the index, to differentiate between man made superheroes and those of unexplained powers e.g. Captain America vs an Inhuman like Skye. Then there’s the AoS paranoia from Real Shield about powered people, so perhaps Marvel are trying to make us feel like there’s a lot of these heroes around, we’ve just never seen them.

I’m not a fan of this, I hope that isn’t what they are trying. Instead I hope that Civil War is changed up a bit. We have Shield vs Shield in Agents of Shield, if Stark has created his own kind of Shield, then that’s a lot of competition. Plus after how badly Shield was compromised, what Hydra nearly managed to do, the government of various nations (as Shield is not a US agency) would want to make sure no-one had that kind of power again. Less about identities, more about control, could make sense.

Doctor Strange is a new film, I’m hoping it will connect Earth more strongly to Guardian’s of the Galaxy area but I don’t really know. What I know most about Doctor Strange is that I don’t enjoy playing him in Marvel Heroes.

Guardian’s of the Galaxy 2, again plot line is kinda unknown. All I really hope is that Groot makes a reappearance, his stick in a pot at the end, and the dancing credits scene, gives me hope that he lives.

I’m guessing that in one of these two films, possibly in both, an infinity stone will make an appearance. There are two left and I doubt we’ll see one in Civil War, so it has to be in one of these, if not both of them.

Then there’s Thor: Ragnarok, which is like the end of the world. I’m hoping that it involves the Loki impersonating Odin plot, after all Loki wanted the throne of Asgard and now he has it, but only by deception. Will his ego let him rule like that or would he want people to know that the king is Loki? Will Thor discover this deception, the missing Odin throwing Asgard into chaos? Naturally, this could just be a minor plot point, and the main point could be an infinity stone, the power of which could nearly destroy Asgard. I just like it when plot points get properly resolved, especially if they appear to be a big deal like Loki on the throne seems.

All I can say about The Inhumans is what I said above. As much as I hate Skye, I really hope that given how big a deal Inhumans are in Agents of Shield, that there’s an epic payoff in the movie or the show with that.

Phase 3 has far more films in it than the previous two phases. Phase 1 had four plus Avengers, five if you count the Hulk movie which I really don’t, for a total of five or six. Phase 2 was exactly the same, it had four plus Avengers, five if you count Ant Man which could be Phase 3, not sure, again giving five or six.

Phase 3 has four movies before the Avengers, five if you count Spider Man, then there’s the three other films surrounding Avengers Part Two. That gives a total of five or six, up to and including the first Avengers, then there’s another four including the second Avengers part, for a final total of ten films.

They are spread over a long period of time, the next four years in fact, and a lot can happen over ten films and four years. I can hardly wait to see what is really in store.