Marvel’s monumental success in their film franchise hasn’t come without its numerous missteps in pleasing their evergrowing fanbase. Masterfully crafting a universe in which all their movies can coincide, the MCU has played victim to continuity errors, lazy writing, and plain old bad directorial moves.
While taking nothing away from what Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel production family have created, classic films such as the first Iron Man and The Avengers tend to allow catastrophes like Iron Man 3 to be swept under the rug. Without giving it all the accountability, there are quite a few reasons as to why a fourth Iron Man film hasn’t been slated for production, and we’re pretty sure the last movie sits at the top of that list.
For the sake of not being too nitpicky, fans don’t demand perfection, just consistency. When valuable characters get shorthanded in order to complete some contractual obligation or hidden agenda, the audience will take notice. The following are some of the moments in the MCU that rubbed fans the wrong way.
10. Agent Coulson’s revival
Let this be a lesson to any film in a cinematic universe let alone Marvel’s. Bringing back a character that you killed off without any proper or believable explanation is a massive kick in the balls for the audience!
Despite how you may have felt about Agent Coulson’s character and his place in the MCU, he was a significant character that deserved a proper narrative that made sense. Reviving him to merely star in a spin-off television show was a negligent move on production’s part that will undoubtedly come back to bite Marvel in the ass when they need to kill off a signature character indefinitely.
9. The Mandarin
For the casual Marvel movie-goer, this seemed like a highly unnecessary plot twist, but for the diehard fan this was nothing short of a kick in the balls.
For those not as familiar with the comic book lore, The Mandarin to Iron Man is basically what The Joker is to Batman. He’s a villain that was teased to be portrayed by the talented actor Ben Kingsley before Marvel pulls the wool over our eyes to introduce the true character to be yet another generic and unforgettable villain. Marvel gets so much credit for their expert portrayals of the signature comic book heroes, but there’s no denying the fumble of this classic villain.
8. Hawkeye spending most of The Avengers under mind control
Hawkeye has never been a crowd favorite for a number of reasons, however, the reason as to why he isn’t popular within the MCU can be attributed to the poor directorial choice for his introduction.
Audiences were greeted by this B-list superhero in the first Avengers movie as a founding member, but due to Loki’s spellcasting influence, Hawkeye spent most of the movie batting for the other team. This especially angered diehard fans of the comic book character, as this destroyed the premise as to what was already a fairly overshadowed character.
7. Nick Fury’s Fake Death
There goes Marvel again, yanking our chains. This ol’ bait and switch technique was nearly as bad as the Coulson revival, and while they did provide an explanation as to why the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent faked his death, it still felt as though the producers were treating us as children.
It’s not as if Nick Fury needs to die, it just feels as if Marvel is too scared to make a move in their franchise that they know they can’t come back from. When they are ready to finally kill off a character for good, how are we suppose to believe them?
6. Captain America’s USO Tour
It’s always a huge disappointment when you see a significant character sold short or underutilized in a movie, especially when it’s one as symbolic as Captain America.
Captain America’s campy live entertainment acts may have served as storytelling device in the film, but regrettably poked fun at who many considered the future leader of the Avengers. It also raised the unanswered question as to why a genetically-enhanced soldier was subject to USO shows and not on the front lines during World War II.
5. Firing Edgar Wright as the director of Ant-Man
Let’s face it. Despite Marvel’s proven track record, we were all fairly skeptical on the success of Ant-Man; that is until it was announced award-winning director Edgar Wright would be at its helm.
In fairness, the movie did quite well under the watchful eye of Peyton Reed, but true fans of Edgar Wright still contemplate on what could have been if things were to have worked out. While it was never disclosed as to what actually happened in Marvel and Wright’s falling out, it was chalked up to creative differences (a.k.a. Wright’s refusal to stick to the studio’s tried and tested formula).
4. Tony Stark’s convenient Suit Collection
The third Iron Man film wasn’t a crowd favorite for a myriad of reasons, however this gigantic plot hole left everyone scratching their heads.
One of the most alluring aspects to Tony Stark’s character is his admirable resourcefulness, so why wouldn’t the genius/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist have a secret stash of Iron Man armors at his disposal? The real question is why he didn’t use this convenient resource during the numerous times his life was in peril during the film. Viewers have no choice but to fault this scene up to lazy writing and careless storytelling.
3. Tony’s heart operation
While on the subject of the lackluster storytelling in Iron Man 3, let’s revisit the scene toward the end of the movie where Tony finally gets the shrapnel removed from his chest that was deemed unremovable for the past two films.
To combat this ailment, Tony had to build himself an arc reactor to not only prevent the shrapnel from piercing his heart, but for powering his armor. The fact that the movie finally makes it a possibility to remove the character’s Achille’s heel on a whim is extremely dissatisfying and is a blatant insult to the what the first film set up.
2. Black Widow falls in love with the Hulk
Romantic pairings in major action franchises are very important and adds an element that is often underestimated, which is exactly why fans cannot get behind the sloppily established relationship between these two characters.
With nearly no kind of foreshadowing in the first Avengers film, audiences were forced to swallow the haphazard love connection of Bruce Banner and Black Widow. Aside from the fact that the two characters never shared a romance in the comics, it took away time from Avengers: Age of Ultron that could have been used to help develop the sorely lacking characters.
1. The Avengers only assemble when it’s convenient
We can all recall where we were the moment we were first graced with seeing the titular Marvel superhero team assemble for the first time on the big screen. This film pushed the boundaries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to new heights, thus raising our expectations for subsequent films.
While it wouldn’t be fair to say that the films that followed didn’t step it up, it is sorely addressed as to why the Avengers can’t just raise hell in every movie, or at least half of the team. Apart from the complications in the canon, the real reason almost nearly comes down to budgeting issues; a sad but realistic limitation in a cinematic universe.