Marvel’s Avengers. You’ve probably heard of it. Maybe just a little bit, am I right? In fact, you’re probably more familiar than you ever wanted to be with terms like the “MCU” or the Tesseract or even comic book characters you never knew existed like Ant-Man or the Black Panther. Unless, of course, you’re a Fanboy (or Girl) and Phase I, Phase II, Phase III and so forth mean more to you than the average person. If that’s the case- hey, it’s OK, I get it- the Avengers movies are cool, no doubt.
In fact, in terms of worldwide box office it’s probably the biggest movie franchise of all time. Now don’t get your Jedi robes in a bunch, Star Wars Fanboys. I know that The Force Awakens is the number one movie of all time and Rogue One isn’t far behind, not to mention the awful Phantom Menace. But if you include all of the “prequel” and ongoing movies that began, support, and expand upon the Avengers ones, nothing else comes even close. You know which movies I mean- the Iron Man series, the Captain America series, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and yes, even those weird and unwatchable Hulk movies. They are all part of the MCU and they all serve the Avengers storyline in one way or another. Oh yeah, there are a few network, cable, and streaming shows out there, too.
So, with all of those awesome movies out there and so much success it goes without saying that the MCU is the best developed, most consistently perfect, always mistake-free franchise around, right? Well…maybe. But greatness doesn’t come without cost, especially when it’s always expanding. The Avengers franchise and the MCU in general are not without their fair share of plot holes, massive continuity errors and downright mistakes. Here are 15 of the biggest.
15. Loki’s Mistake
So I’ll make no bones about it- Loki is my favorite super villain in the entire MCU. He’s got the “Black Sheep of the family back story,” so we know he’s got motivation. He’s got the jealousy of his big (literally) brother thing down to a T, and he’s got the smug, smarmy, simply evil act going on in spades. He also seems like a fairly smart bad guy. So why is he so dumb sometimes? In particular, I’m talking about the very first time we see him in the Avengers raiding S.H.I.E.L.D’s headquarters. Now, we all know it makes sense for the bad guys to have a stooge on the inside. In this case, Loki’s got Hawkeye all sewn up tight for that role. He’s also got another guy who can help him totally brainwashed- that would be Dr. Selvig. When he invades the base we see him take out various agents with ease.
But why doesn’t he have Nick Fury under his insidious mind control? Wouldn’t that make his job a whole hell of a lot easier? But no, Fury seems to be the only guy who can resist Loki’s “charms.” Why, I ask you, why? Nick Fury doesn’t seem to have any special powers that would make him immune to mind control. If you think about it the whole thing is kind of dumb.
14. Where Did Loki Go?
The first time we see Loki, in the very first Thor movie, we know he’s going to be a bad dude. It’s just that obvious. But apparently Loki is such a badass that he can fall into the limitless expanse of the universe and just pop back out when and where he wants. If you remember, at the end of that movie, Thor destroys the Rainbow Bridge to stop Loki and Loki (like Gandalf) falls out of time, space and memory. Then, all of a sudden, there he is in the opening scenes of the Avengers, ready to wreak havoc upon an unsuspecting world. How did he go from drifting around in the dregs of the universe (and how did he survive that anyway?) to showing up fully equipped with a staff and Infinity Stone, ready to rumble. It. Just. Doesn’t. Make. Any. Sense.
13. Tony Stark- Genius
We all know Tony Stark is a total genius. If we didn’t know, Tony himself would be sure to tell us, wouldn’t he? On the surface he sure seems to be. After all, this is the guy who MacGyvered an Iron Man suit out of gum, paper clips, aluminum foil and a car battery. While working in a cave. As a prisoner. So it stands to reason that Tony is just a bit brighter than your average superhero. He’s also smart and talented enough to hack into S.H.I.E.L.D’s database and learn everything there is to know about the organization. Everything, that is, except that freakin’ HYDRA has infiltrated them! If you’re smart enough to break into a secret government agency’s network, and smart enough to build both invincible Iron Man suits and an invincible AI being (Ultron) then you should probably be smart enough to see that your buddies have been completely infiltrated from the inside. But nope, Tony misses that one big time.
12. Hulk + Helicarrier= Whoops!
Everybody knows that the Hulk can be bad news. Even his friends try to avoid ticking him off. And with good reason. If the Hulk were in Led Zeppelin or the Stones instead of being a superhero, stories of those bands destroying hotel rooms would instead be stories about them destroying hotels. The guy is seriously bad news if (when!) he gets amped up. So tell me why anybody ever thought putting that ticking time-bomb of barely restrained rage we know as David Banner 30,000 feet up in the air on the Helicarrier would be a good idea. I know that S.H.I.E.L.D. is just people too and people make mistakes but you would think Nick Fury or at least Agent Coulson would have scratched their heads at this decision and said “You know what? We’ll be safer leaving Hulk on the ground.” I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin.’
11. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
If you’re one of those types who likes to exhaustively study your favorite movie front to back, back to front, and inside out, I’m willing to bet you still missed this very odd plot hole. Way back in the very first Avengers movie, Tony Stark made a passing reference to the LMDs or Life Model Decoys. Since none of us knew what they were at the time the premise seemed intriguing- was Tony talking about “replacement” Iron Men? Or an army of clones? Secret weapons of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Or even, more interestingly, some sort of secret AI project by Stark Industries or the government? Now this probably would not have been a very big deal…except, Avengers: Age of Ultron is about…well, it’s about a villain who sure seems to be some sort of Life Model Decoy, doesn’t he? Wouldn’t that have been the ideal time to explain them? But no, we had to wait until the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show years later to find out that S.H.I.E.L.D. had indeed been working on the LMDs long before they actually became reality. The best part of this plot hole? Patton Oswalt guest starring as not one, not two, not three identical brothers but four of them- all working on the project. Pure gold.
10. Hey Look- It’s Bruce Banner!
OK, I know I’m probably crazy and think about these thing too much but here’s another odd little plot hole that has always bothered me. You know in the Avengers when they have that tiny, little climactic battle in New York City? It’s just a small part of the storyline after all. And you know when Bruce Banner shows up in the rubble as everything is going to sh*t around Cap, Black Widow and the gang? I believe he says something like “Well, this horrible.” Umm, how exactly did he get there? There’s basically an interstellar war going on, the military has the whole island of Manhattan locked down, jets carrying nuclear weapons have been scrambled, the NYPD has evacuated everybody and here’s this mild-mannered scientist who has just traipsed unscathed and undetected through all of it. I mean I could understand it if it was the Hulk rampaging along toward his fellow super beings. But it’s not. It’s just David Banner, strolling along on as if he’s bird watching or something.
9. Aren’t They All Deaf By Now?
So if you’re a superhero you probably spend a lot of time in the proximity of very loud noises. You know, the kind of noise a city block makes when it collapses. Or when it’s ripped from the ground and launched into the sky. Maybe, like black Widow and Captain America, you spend most of your days firing off automatic weapons. Or, like Iron Man, War Machine, and the Falcon, the roar and whistle of the wind racing by you at 100mph is your daily companion. Or, to complete the image, you’re Hulk and you just like to smash. Whatever the case may be, isn’t it weird that, not only are none of the Avengers totally, utterly, and completely deaf, but they also don’t need earpieces to communicate. I can’t walk out of the house without my Bluetooth in but these guys can talk to each other in a normal tone in the middle of a war zone and everyone hears everything. They must have the best network coverage ever. Or, maybe just maybe the writers missed a beat on this one.
8. Dr. Selvig’s Magical Powers
Everyone remembers Dr. Selvig, right? We first saw him in the first Thor movie, where he played the wise and practical older mentor to Jane. Then, when next we see him, he’s been totally mind-controlled by Loki (well, Loki and the Mind Stone he’s got in his scepter). Selvig is actually a pretty bad guy during this mind-controlled phase. And it doesn’t seem like Loki had much of a problem doing it to him either. So that begs the question, how can Selvig install a failsafe in the portal Loki uses to bring the Chitauri army to Earth? And even more importantly, as a mind-controlled stooge of Loki why would he even bother. It’s one of those questions that probably has no answer. You know why? Because the writers forgot what they were doing, that’s why. It’s also interesting, in a ridiculous sort of way, that Selvig’s failsafe is designed to stop the Chitauri. Why would Loki, and by proxy, Selvig, want that to ever happen? It’s too much for me- my brain hurts…
7. Thor Is A Time-Traveler Too?
We all know that Marvel took the concept of Thor from actual Norse mythology- where else would he have come from? The ancient Vikings (the real ones) worshipped the whole pantheon of Asgardian gods, starting with Odin at the top and going all the way down (literally) to the Yggdrasil, the tree that holds up the world. They surely knew who Thor was. But in the first Thor movie, Odin tells young Thor and Loki about the time he and the other warriors of Asgard defeated the Frost Giants who were attacking Earth’s Vikings. He has to tell his sons this story because they were too young to participate- they weren’t there. If that’s the case, riddle me this; how did the Vikings in Thor know about him? Dr. Selvig makes it clear he knows all of the old stories about Thor. But there weren’t any stories! At least, not according to the way the movie set things up. I don’t know if this is a massive plot hole or a setup for stranger things someday…
6. Black Widow Is Old School
Needless to say we all love Black Widow. Sure, she’s hot and that’s a big part of it. Who doesn’t like the sight of her walking around in those tight, form-fitting leathers? But she’s also a total badass. She can totally go all “Krav Maga” on any number of baddies and look really, really good doing it. I mean, we’ve seen it dozens of times now. She also looks good running around shooting everything in sight with her true old school Glock pistols. And there’s your problem right there. Black Widow is supposed to be this incredible world-class secret agent/assassin and the only weapons she ever uses are her fists, legs, and those silly Glocks. Think about it- every time you see her she’s taking out some guy who then drops his super-duper laser bazooka (or whatever) to the ground as he succumbs to her. But does she ever pick up that super-duper laser bazooka (I just might have to trademark that phrase)? Nope. She’ll stick to her pea shooters, thank you very much. Weird, very weird.
5. Just How Many Infinity Gauntlets Do We Need?
The Infinity Gauntlet is a really big deal in the MCU. Remember, it’s the thing that super, Arch-villain Thanos wants more than anything else (well, except for total dominion over all things). In fact, the Infinity Gauntlet is such a big deal that apparently there are two of them. That’s right, there’s a left-handed and a right-handed one. Because, you know, everyone needs a matching pair of magical items- one’s just not enough. The right-handed one resides in Odin’s vault. The left-handed one resides on Thanos’ wrist. Never mind that this really makes no sense; it’s like Frodo having to get rid of two Rings of Power or Darth Vader having to off to Obi-Wan Kenobi. It just doesn’t make any sense. Even though the “official” canonical word from Marvel is that there are indeed two gauntlets, I don’t buy it. I think they mixed up their storylines and then scrambled to fix them.
4. Did Cap Win The Lottery?
So let me get this straight. Captain America- OK, actually just Steve Rogers in this context- seems to have a wad of money on him all the time. Did you ever notice the roll he’s thumbing through when he pays off his bet to Nick Fury? I know it was only a $10 bet but Rogers looks like he’s got $1,000 in that roll. He’s also got a kick-ass motorcycle and a pretty darn nice tailored leather jacket. So what gives? How does a guy who’s literally been on ice for over half a century get a bankroll like that? My assumption is that the government gave him a bunch of back pay since he was MIA all those years, not officially dead. Or his Social Security payouts were a lot bigger than anyone else’s ever are! But that’s just an assumption. Who’s ever heard of someone getting back pay 60 years later? Maybe he really did win the lottery. Maybe it’s a bribe by one agency or another to work for them. Maybe that’s all the money he earned doing those dumb USO shows back in World War II and he never got a chance to spend it because, you know, he became a superhero and all that. We’ll probably never know and it’s always gonna bother me.
3. Star Lord’s Walkman
I love ‘80s technology. Love it! That was the decade when cool stuff like actual home gaming systems like the Atari first appeared on the scene. It was the decade when the first home computers made their presence felt, even if everything was on DOS and floppy disks. Don’t worry; I don’t really know what those are either. It was even the decade that saw the precursor to the iPod, Skull Candy headphones and everything that came after them. I’m talking about the Sony Walkman. One of the coolest things in Guardians of the Galaxy is Star-Lord’s Walkman (and the awesome mix he has on there). But therein lies the problem. Star-Lord (aka Peter Quill) has never returned to Earth- more than 20 years after he left. How the hell is his Walkman still functioning? Apart from the fact that I don’t think there are very many interstellar 7-Elevens out there, cassette tape is notorious for going bad pretty quickly. There’s just no way a mix tape would last that long, especially one that’s played as often as his. The stuff would be dust by now.
2. Iron Man’s Car Battery
Speaking of low tech… Look, I’ve got nothing against a good, solid Interstate car battery- I’ve got one myself in my old GMC Jimmy and she runs like clockwork. But powering an Iron Man suit in one? That’s just ridiculous, in my book. I understand that, way back when Tony had limited materials to hand (you know, when he was captured by terrorists), he had to use what he had to use. That first suit (sorry, it wasn’t an Iron Man one quite yet) was pretty primitive- a car battery fit it perfectly. So why is Tony using a car battery again in Iron Man 3 to charge his suit? By this time in the MCU we’ve seen how powerful his ARC-Reactor is so why the low tech throwback? Maybe I’m missing something here. Or maybe the writers were missing something. It’s a pretty odd, albeit minor, plot device that could use some ‘splaining.
1. Loki’s Scepter
Go online in the message boards and read Avengers rants like this one and this is the craziest plot hole that everyone yells about all of the time. To wit: Loki’s scepter is a big deal. A really big deal since it has a massive amount of power associated with it and has been known to do naughty things like, say, create Ultron. But it never should have gotten to that point. Thor should have taken the scepter with him when he took the Tesseract (and Loki himself!) back to Asgard at the end of the Avengers. But he didn’t, for some reason known only to the writers. Instead, the scepter just lies around somewhere until the next movie. We don’t even know for sure who has it- S.H.I.E.L.D? Hydra? The guy in the Shawarma shop? Nobody knows and that, my friends, is a mystery that never should have occurred.