TV and Movies·Posted on Jul 19, 202220 Things The MCU Needs To Address Before The Next "Avengers" FilmMarvel Studios still has to put some major pieces into place before the next assembly of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.by Ken W. HanleyBuzzFeed ContributorLinkFacebookPinterestTwitterMail If you're anything like this writer, you might be a little perplexed about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Thor: Love and Thunder. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Marvel Studios While the ambition has been certainly appreciated, there's been a lack of focus and too many lingering questions regarding the fallout from Endgame and the first wave of Phase Four projects. With this in mind, I've put together 20 of the most pressing and essential things in the MCU that need to be addressed prior to our next Avengers event film (though be warned, reader, as there will be SPOILERS)... 1. Madame Hydra Needs to Make Her Move Chuck Zlotnick / Disney+/Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection From her appearances in Black Widow and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (better known to comic fans as “Madame Hydra”) appears to be reaching out to the more volatile ”heroes” of the MCU to pull off high-paying dirty work. What game is she playing at? Reaching out to US Agent and the new Black Widow, it might appear that she could be assembling an Anti-Avengers-esque team (possibly the Thunderbolts?), but her ambitions could be more global in the wake of the Blip. Either way, we’ll need to see her next moves toward whatever her master plan may be before the next Avengers outing. 2. Moon Knight Needs to Find His Place in the MCU Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection Moon Knight was a welcome addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s streaming slate, but the series itself had almost no connection to the greater MCU, whether it be through cameos, references, or shared settings. With that said, everything in the MCU serves a purpose for one reason or another, and if there’s a potentially supernatural threat to humanity about to arise, Marvel needs to bring Moon Knight into the fold properly among the new wave of Avengers. 3. The Earth Needs to Address the Aftermath of Eternals Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection To this writer, this may be the most baffling cliffhanger currently with the MCU: Eternals set up some massive events on Earth for the MCU, including a giant stone hand sticking out of the Indian Ocean, an interstellar celestial appearing in the sky and pulling people off the surface of the planet, and Thanos’s brother appearing out of a random portal among the exiled Eternals. Though there’s an inherent trust that these situations will play out accordingly in the coming films, it’s still super weird that there’s been zero acknowledgment of these events in recent Marvel projects and would seemingly need to be reconciled before the Avengers could move on to more pressing matters. 4. The MCU Needs to Sort Out the Defenders Sarah Shatz / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection In late 2021, the MCU experienced a major shake-up when the core canon brought in Matt Murdock/Daredevil into Spider-Man: No Way Home and Wilson Fisk/Kingpin into Hawkeye. With the two rumored to return for Marvel’s Echo series with the possible addition of Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones, it would seem that the Defenders will have a bigger presence among the Avengers in the future, though it’s unclear if Finn Jones, Mike Colter, and Jon Bernthal will return, especially with the latter two actively working on multiple television projects at the moment. 5. Doctor Strange Needs to Return to His Universe Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection The mid-credits scene in Multiverse of Madness saw Doctor Strange and new companion Clea tending to some unfinished business in alternate dimensions, but considering that Iron Man and the first Captain America won’t be headlining the Avengers this go-round, the Old Guard will need to show up in force, which means the ex-Sorcerer Supreme will need to return to his original plane of existence to suit up with Thor, Hawkeye, and the Hulk when they're needed most. 6. Marvel's Newest Heroes Need to Become Proper Avengers Disney+ / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection In Phase Four, the fleeting meetings of the Infinity War-era Avengers and the new waves of heroes have been pretty novel, but not necessarily substantial in any real way. However, if Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are going to return, we are going to need to see Shang-Chi, the Eternals, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight break away from their more enclosed adventures to cement themselves as main event players in the MCU. 7. The X-Men Need to Come Together in the MCU 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection Consider this spoiler territory for those who haven’t seen the season finale of Ms. Marvel: the Mutants have arrived in Earth-616 in the MCU, as confirmed with a classic X-Men musical sting that was utilized previously with the appearance of Patrick Stewart in Multiverse of Madness. It’s clear that the importance of their arrival is seismic in the MCU, and with scores of potential heroes on the horizon, it’s seemingly inevitable that the X-Men will fight alongside the Avengers against whatever next post-Thanos threat comes to the universe. 8. The MCU Needs to Show Where S.W.O.R.D. Stands After WandaVision Disney+ / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection Since the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. following Captain America: The Winter Soldier, there have been a number of agencies introduced in the MCU to represent the government’s interest in superhero affairs, such as S.W.O.R.D. and the Department of Damage Control. With the latter thoroughly embarrassed at the end of Ms. Marvel, there’s been little regarding the former following the events of WandaVision, which begs the question: What’s happened with S.W.O.R.D. since their shake-up, especially with their version of Vision has gone rogue in parts unknown? Are they doomed to go the way of S.H.I.E.L.D., or might they have a bigger part in policing the Avengers following the Blip? 9. Spider-Man Needs to Decide If He’s Still an Avenger Sony Pictures Releasing / Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection At the end of No Way Home, it appeared as if Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was given a clean break from the MCU so Sony could go about whatever plans they may have for their Spider-Verse…at least, until No Way Home made $1.9 billion and renewed audiences’ faith in theatrical exhibition in a big way. Before the next round of Avengers’ adventures, Marvel Studios and Sony will have to decide if Peter Parker is going to remain a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man on the fringes of the MCU or lend his web-slinging talents to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, albeit perhaps more anonymously. 10. The Venom Symbiote Needs to Be Addressed Sony Pictures Releasing / Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection Speaking of No Way Home, the Tom Hardy-starring stinger in the mid-credits scene effectively added the alien symbiote from Venom into the MCU. That's not to assume Venom or any symbiote-driven side character is going to play a part in any immediate conflicts, but given the popularity of the character and the success of Let There Be Carnage, it would seem that the Earth-616 host(s) for the symbiote could be an interesting X-factor to work with (or against) the Avengers. 11. Phase Four's the Mysterious Cosmic Objects Need to Be Exposed Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection One of the more intriguing aspects of Phase Four is that, in lieu of Infinity Stones, there has been an uptick of critical items of mysterious origins affecting our heroes, from the Darkhold, to the Ten Rings, to Dane Whitman's sword, to Ms. Marvel's gauntlet, to name a few. While these items all imbue power to those who can hold them, they also all have strange and sometimes cosmic ulterior motives, with the rings being described as a “beacon” and the gauntlets causing Ms. Marvel to spontaneously swap places with Captain Marvel. Are these items connected? What brought them to Earth? And will they lead something particularly petrifying upon Earth-616? 12. Gamora Needs to Reunite With the Guardians of the Galaxy Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection While the "original" Gamora is dead in the MCU, courtesy of Thanos who sacrificed her for the Soul Stone, her past version abandoned the Guardians following the events of Avengers: Endgame. While there's little doubt that Gamora will return to the Guardians, likely as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, her journey of self-discovery in a universe without Thanos will likely prove critical for both the Guardians and Avengers alike, especially if the next threat to Earth-616 emerges from the fringes of the galaxy. 13. Nick Fury Needs to Return to Earth Jay Maidment / Columbia Pictures / Columbia Pictures / Marvel Studios/ Courtesy Everett Collection With Nick Fury's off-planet adventures seemingly continuing as part of Marvel's Secret Wars series, it's unclear when, or if, Nick Fury will be coming back to Earth in the MCU. However, Nick Fury has been an icon to bring the Avengers together time and time again, and should the events of Secret Wars be as game-changing as rumored, it'll only be fitting that Fury accompany the Avengers on their first post-Endgame adventure against an enemy with which he'll be intimately familiar. 14. The MCU Needs to Reveal What's the Deal With the Power Broker Eli Ade / Disney+ / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection Sharon Carter (aka Agent 13) may have found a new lease on life in a post-Blip world as the villainous Power Broker, whose activities have been relatively quiet since the events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. While she's certainly continuing to pull strings, her position in a seemingly expanding criminal underground in Phase Four that includes Madame Hydra, Kingpin and the Ten Rings could greatly complicate things for the Avengers, especially those with a more personal connection to Steve Rogers. 15. Loki Needs to Return to Earth-616 (If He Can) Disney+ / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection Loki's path to redemption was thrown a curveball when his variant, Sylvie, killed He Who Remains, thus altering the Multiverse and potentially unleashing anarchy on countless timelines. While this could potentially aid Loki in his post-mortem return on Earth-616, the ending of Loki's first season put Marvel's favorite trickster into a rough spot once more, which begs the question: If he can, how will Loki return to the MCU's primary timeline, and will he run into his brother before the next assembly of the Avengers? 16. Captain America’s Time Travel Needs to Be Addressed Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection Is it just me, or is it strange that the MCU has yet to address Steve Rogers and his mission to return the Infinity Stones throughout time, with the presumption that he remained in the past to be with his one true love, Peggy Carter? However...there's been no addressing how these decisions may have affected the timeline, whether it be in small ways or anything potentially catastrophic down the line. While seeing Evans back as Rogers is improbable at best, the effects of his decisions could have substantial ramifications in the MCU currently unknown to audiences at this time. 17. The MCU Needs to Decide If the Inhumans Are Canon Birdie Thompson / AdMedia / ZUMA Wire / Alamy Live News This writer was particularly thrown off by the appearance of Black Bolt in Multiverse of Madness, as of all the MCU television properties to be referenced on such a scale, no one could have really guessed Inhumans would be chief among them. That said, Inhumans was previously cited by Kevin Feige as an important property in the MCU, and thus, the critically panned and commercially ignored series seems to exist in some form within the overall connected universe. While we're unsure if this iteration of the Inhumans will appear on Earth-616, it seems that there needs to be a decision regarding the importance, function, and canon of the Inhumans in the MCU, especially with the X-Men's appearance on the horizon. 18. The Avengers Need a Leader Chuck Zlotnick / Disney+ / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection As previously mentioned, both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are gone within the MCU, which effectively sets forth a power void within the Avengers. While some may assume Sam Wilson may take a leadership position within the Avengers as the new Captain America, there are plenty of potential leaders both new and old, from Doctor Strange to Captain Marvel to even possibly whoever will be donning the Black Panther mantle. But with many newcomers abound to potentially join the Avengers even after Phase Four, including Blade, Deadpool, and many others, it's imperative that a clear leader stands out among Earth's Mightiest Heroes before the fifth Avengers flick. 19. Wakanda Needs to Re-Establish Its Global Presence Marvel / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection Wakanda came out of the shadows in Black Panther, but its global presence became clear after T'Challa announced the nation's new outreach program. Now, we have yet to return to Wakanda since Endgame, though the fictional nation is scheduled to be the next stop on Marvel's theatrical narrative, which beckons the question: What does Wakanda look like following the Blip? Will it be the technologically advanced mega power we had previously seen? Did the five years between the Snap and the Blip wreak havoc upon Wakanda, during which time it lacked its king? 20. The MCU Needs to Tease Its Next "Thanos" Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection Loki. Ultron. Thanos. All stellar villains, and all of which made for amazing foils for the Avengers in their respective adventures. Nevertheless, Thanos was a shadow looming over the MCU for years following his momentary tease at the end of Marvel's The Avengers. As of this writing, it's still very unsure who might fill that villainous void, whether it be the celestial Arishem, Kang, Doctor Doom, Magneto, Galactus, or any of the myriad gods and spiritual beings introduced in Phase Four. While it's fun to see our heroes fighting on a smaller level after Endgame, there's only so much stalling that's left before Marvel absolutely, positively needs to introduce a threat that's equal, or greater, than the Mad Titan. What are some questions you need answered before Avengers 5? Let me know in the comment section below!