Headscratchers: Marvel Cinematic Universe
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- Just what exactly is S.H.I.E.L.D.'s jurisdiction anyways? They're implied to be a worldwide peacekeeping organization, though the "Homeland" portion of its acronym seems to imply that they're an American-run operation.
- Pretty vague, it sounds. Even the Pentagon sounded confused as to what S.H.I.E.L.D. was, hence why they didn't back the film.
- In a world where the world is threatened by things from different planes of existence and the far reaches of space, the whole earth is their homeland.
- My own take is that they are an American-originated organization that had a legacy of international involvement ( thanks to WWII and the SSR ), that various other nations have bought into. By joining the S.H.I.E.L.D. Convention or whatever its called, they get involvement and some degree of executive say, in exchange for jurisdiction.
- My personal belief is that S.H.I.E.L.D. is an multinational peacekeeping taskforce/Covert Intelligence Agency created, in secret, by the United Nations, hence why they answer to the World Security Council, instead of the Department of the Defense or Pentagon. I think what we are seeing in the movie is just the American Branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. And we only see the S.H.I.E.L.D. involvement in U.S because of all the crazy superhero stuff that happens there.
- Someone really wanted their initials to spell out "SHIELD".
- Given that they answer to the World Council I'd imagine that they're a multinational coorperative. That said, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. makes that seem less likely, given they constantly seem to have jurisdiction issues with people treating S.H.I.E.L.D. as simply American.
- Even in the comics S.H.I.E.L.D. is sometimes a purely American organization, and sometimes is the super-spy branch of the United Nations. Sometimes it changes with no explanation at all.
Avengers before the threat
- What was Fury even assembling the Avengers for? And who was he assembling? When he asked Stark to join at the end of Iron Man, he told him he wasn't "the only superhero in the world". But according to the timeline Thor hadn't arrived yet, Cap was still frozen, Banner was still hiding in Brazil and either S.H.I.E.L.D. hadn't found him or never approached him then, and the only other supers would have been Badass Normals Hawkeye and Black Widow. Who could he have been referring to, and what?
- S.H.I.E.L.D. was aware of Banner, according to the in-canon comic prequels, S.H.I.E.L.D. have been watching over Banner, Natasha Romanoff was even present during the Culver University attack and in the Harlem battle according to the comics. Sevlig even confirms in the Thor movie, that S.H.I.E.L.D. went to look for him and Banner wasn't heard ever since then.
- Probably Cap, at this point it's still a case of Never Found the Body, meaning there's the potential for him to still live, and Nick Fury knew Howard Stark (the foremost surviving Super Serum scientist, and was likely Cap's closest male friend save for Bucky) very well.
- Ant-man, probably. According to the Other wiki, the Ant-man film is supposed to be set in the 60s.
- Confirmed. There was an Ant-Man operating in the 60's and the upcoming movie will focus on the second person to pick up that mantle.
- In case you forgot, S.H.I.E.L.D. had the Tesseract. They knew it came from somewhere, and there could be other people with comparable power or artifacts.
- So Thor was a potential Avengers from the start? Or any of the other Asgardians? Who knew...
- He was assembling them just in case something like what happened happened. He didn't have a specific plan so much as it was becoming increasingly obvious that there were a number of powerful beings wandering the planet. Just in official canon (mind you some of these are dead) Loki, the Abomination, the Leader, Ironman armors (which apparently have a relatively short learning curve) and that's just what we can prove. Magneto and other mutants and Spiderman and his rogues are probably floating around and when/if the copyrights are returned to marvel they'll show. The thing about the Avengers is if it's at all possible you want to get as many of these guys on speed dial as possible BEFORE needing them. It was mostly dumb luck that the Avengers in the movie (and to be fair in the comics) just sort of all fell together.
- But none of those existed yet when he met with Tony. Loki was in Asgard, the Abomination and Leader weren't created yet, and neither were those Iron Man armors.
- Fair enough. Red Skull is the only canon super villain at the time. I'm sticking to my earlier assertion that just because we haven't confirmed (again due to copyright issues) doesn't mean they aren't there. Alternatively they could have been gathering to bring in the Hulk who did exist, who at this point a force of nature wanted by the US government. Bottom line is we'll probably never know for sure.
- I think Hulk was, indeed, an Avengers candidate. Black Widow did say they never lost track of him. And she and Hawkeye were also probably candidates.
- As of the first Iron Man movie, the Hulk still existed (and depending on what was canon, almost assuredly tangled with some other superpowered villain. Red Skull did exist at some point, and the Tesseract's mere existence implied that there was... something unexplained out there. Given their lack of surprise at seeing Thor, it's likely they knew of Asgard.
- Lack of surprise? Coulson stayed fairly cool (notice he instantly gave in to Thor's demands after witnessing the Destroyer's beatdown) but S.H.I.E.L.D. clearly didn't know anything for certain about Asgard, hence their decision to build Tesseract powered weapons to try and counter them after New Mexico. The Thor stinger and Captain America's film show that most people (aside from Johann Schmidt) regarded the old Norse myths as exactly that, myths. "Legend tells us one thing, history another, but every now and then we find something that belongs to both." Red Skull believed the old Norse myths, but no one else took him or the legends that seriously even with Zola's Tesseract weapons. Going from Fury's above comment to Selvig, S.H.I.E.L.D. may have believed the Tesseract was just one of Zola's inventions. It wasn't until New Mexico that Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. started realizing "Oh Crap!, Schmidt was right, the Norse Gods do exist in some form, and they like blowing up our towns. Who knows what the hell else is out there, and how do we stop them?!"
- Let's not forget Coulson's words at the end of the first Iron Man flick, "This isn't my first rodeo." Obviously Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. itself have been aware of superheroes for some time. The audience just hasn't seen everything yet.
- In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it is revealed that 1: they have interacted with and have knowledge of several Super-powered beings (example: Blackout) and items (example: Gravitonium). 2: they have a prison FOR Super-powered beings and items of both known and unknown origin (the latter are called 0-8-4s, of which Thor's hammer was one). 3: They had a "dead" "alien" which they were using to extract several serums, one of which was one of the steps used to bring back Coulson, and was used to heal show character Skye (who is apparently a "gifted" 0-8-4 that was found and hidden before Iron Man 1 came around).
- We also have a Jessica Jones series coming out. She was a superhero in the past, although it remains to be seen how long she was a hero or if SHIELD knew of her.
- It was mentioned above that Ant-Man was operating in the past, but the recent movie also confirmed that Wasp was on missions alongside him.
- Then there's the Black Panther legacy. The Captain America: Civil War movie will have Panther and possibly his father T'Chaka. With an entire nation having superhero kings, it's likely SHIELD has been aware for decades.
- Why couldn't Thor pick up his hammer in the movie? It wasn't explained.
- In Thor, he couldn't lift Mjölnir due to Odin stripping him of his power and enchanting Mjölnir so that it could only be lifted by someone worthy. Which was amply explained in that film, so I assume you mean instead The Avengers, but Thor's never shown unable to lift Mjölnir during that movie. After his fall from the helicarrier he seems to take a moment to psych himself up before trying to pick it up, as though afraid he's somehow become unworthy again; then he picks it up with no difficulty.
- Exactly. He allowed himself to fall for Loki's trick again, and Coulson paid the price for it. He wasn't sure if he was still worthy.
- They probably did mean Thor even though it was amply explained. Sigh. He couldn't pick it up because he wasn't worthy until he was willing to sacrifice his own life for those of the innocent people that Loki was using the Destroyer to attack. He was still too arrogant to be worthy in the scene where he tried to lift it from the crater while under the S.H.I.E.L.D. tents.
- The OP was very likely meaning the Avengers and not Thor since he/she posted here. It was explained by a poster above but the scene is pretty odd since it appears as though Thor tries to summon it to his hand but fails at first.
- Thor never fails to lift Mjolnir in Avengers. It's just an artsy shot of him being upset over the events of the past few hours. There's no straining or confusion present. He stretches out his hand, then looks at his hand as though seeing it for the first time. It's a common sort of contemplative gesture in movies ("They look like good, strong hands, don't they?"). If falling for Loki's tricks was enough to make him unworthy, he'd never be able to lift the damn thing.
Seeing Tony's face in the suit
- Here's something that confuses me: If Tony's head is tight inside Iron Man's armor how can he be seen moving it freely with all those holograms as if he was wearing a big helmet during the interior shots?
- The interior is just a big ol' screen, designed to make it look like the screens aren't directly in Tony's face (which would be disorienting, claustrophobic, and hard to focus on). Because of that, in our shots we see his face looking like there's more space than there is.
SHIELD and Tesseract weapons
- Why is S.H.I.E.L.D. vilified for creating Tesseract weapons? Most of the Avengers act like its such a horrible thing despite the fact that it is a pretty good idea.
- Stark hates weapons manufacturing due to his past as a weapons manufacturer. Rogers and Banner were brought into the mission under false pretenses of recovering an unlimited clean energy source for the good of all. Thor really doesn't care about the weapons part, he's just pointing out that screwing around with the Tesseract is what caught the attention of Loki's benefactors in the first place. In addition, the entire scene makes it very clear that Loki's staff is messing with their heads somehow, as everyone is acting way out of character, to the point where Thor actually seems to be drunk. Which Infinity Gem was the blue one again? Oh, right, it was the Mind Gem.
- Partly because it's an escalation—and if S.H.I.E.L.D. gets them, it's really only a matter of time before others do—partly because it's exactly what Hydra did; and partly because they were hiding the project.
- The WSC proved they couldn't be responsible with them when they ordered New York to be nuked. Leaving them with more powerful weapons would be even worse.
- They were only irresponsible with a nuke from our perspective where we knew the Avengers would come together and more importantly they would win. In Universe trading New York for the world would have been a bargain. Without the nuke Tony would have had no way to end that conflict and sooner or later the numbers game would have caught up with the Avengers who were nearing their limits by the end. In addition Tesseract Weapons aren't the same kind of mass destruction as nukes. I'd rather irresponsible people have access to Tesseract weapons and Iron Man Armors where they for the most part have to be actively trying to kill someone to do it than nukes that can't be precision aimed. They were villainized because this is fiction and the government is always wrong. We see similar issues with the Sentinel Program in the X-Men series or CADMUS in DC comics. Apparently the various governments of the world are supposed to blindly trust that the various super heroes will never turn on them and always triumph.
- The Avengers could have still closed the portal without the aid of the nuke. Then they'd just have to mop up the last of the Chitauri. Fury was watching the fight and showing the footage to the WSC, so both could see the Avengers were doing well. Plus, we see on the Phase 2 screen that Tony brings up to Fury that one of the planned weapons is in fact a Tesseract-powered nuke. That doesn't show necessity for those weapons by the WSC, but rather a poorly veiled attempt at gaining more control through firepower.
- By doing well you mean pretty literally at the end of their ropes. Hawkeye was out of arrows, Cap was wounded, they'd focused fire on the Hulk and seemed to have been wearing him down. The WSC had no way of knowing when they launched the nuke that the gate even could be closed let alone would be as soon as it was. I'd be willing to bet the Chitauri were just getting started and those sled are probably their equivalent of motorcycles. They almost definitely have something on par with our jets. Something between the sled and the Leviathan. And the Leviathan were nigh-unstoppable! They were also coming in a bit cocky because Loki "Underestimated" (Read didn't know about the Avengers) Earthlings and they found more resistance than they expected. Which goes back to the Tesseract and perhaps if NYPD and New York National Guard had weapons on par with WW2 Hydra they would have been much more effective making the nuke less necessary from their point of view. Nick Fury is right when he says we are hopelessly, laughably out gunned in the universe.
- And the WSC went right to the nuke, in a civilian population center, and never even thought about any other options. Yeah, the Chitauri were tearing up the place, but outside the Avengers their only resistance was unarmed civilians and lightly armed police. Black Widow demonstrated Bullets kill the Chitauri just fine, and the sleds were awesome but impractical. Only the Leviathans might have been a real problem. And although the Chitauri are more technologically advanced, they aren't that great on tactics, which consisted of zerg rushing. The WSC overreacted.
- "Never even thought about any other options"? Citation needed on that one. What we see is the end result of their deliberations, and we never see their deliberations. They present it to Fury as, "The Council has made their decision," indicating that they've discussed the situation and determined the nuke to be the best option. The WSC has to work with a complete lack of any intel regarding the threat they face; there is an impenetrable force field holding open a portal through which seemingly infinite numbers of enemy soldiers are flooding through, coming from an enemy force that has achieved space travel, and nothing further is known about this. The WSC has no way of knowing how many enemy soldiers they would have to deal with in a direct battle: millions? Hundreds of millions? Billions? Yes, they can be killed with standard arms, but how many aliens can come through that portal? How many Leviathans are there? Is there anything worse than Leviathans? They are faced with an enemy through which no information about any aspect of the battle exists anywhere in the world, and the only sure way to win such a battle is to cut off the portal itself, which can't be penetrated by any force that's been applied to it thus far. Reducing the area to a crater was the best idea they had to kill the portal and end the invasion.
- "Reducing the area to a crater" is NEVER the best idea. It is, literally, the last resort. To use Fury's phrasing, they either jumped to worst case scenario to justify their 'stupid-ass decision', or somehow looked at a conventional arms response by the military and made the 'stupid-ass decision' to not use it. Yes, the army would have taken a while to get there in any considerable numbers, but it would certainly have been able to respond with less loss of life, not to mention damage to ecosystem and the collective psyche of the planet. You don't go blowing up your own cities. Lack of intel is a major reason NOT to use the nuke. You get boots on the ground and you size up your enemy.
- So is modern-day HYDRA still a racist organisation? People like Strucker and the artificial Zola sure seem to give you that feeling, but then again they are working with ethnically different people like Sunil Bakshi and I believe during the cleansing of SHIELD, many black-skinned people were among those being taken in. Or are they just tools for them?
- HYDRA might have never been a racial-supremacist organization. The founding principle of HYDRA was based around restricting people's freedom, not one people's advancement like the Nazis. Sure, it was predominantly German when it started, but Schmidt had no loyalty toward his native country, as shown when he made Berlin a planned target for Valkyrie's bombs. The First Avenger prequel comic First Vengeance even has Schmidt say he doesn't care if Erskine's wife is Jewish but is willing to use it against her if it would make Erskine work for him. Long story short, HYDRA is not so much racist and more Hates Everyone Equally.
- Even regardless of their origin, the current incarnation of HYDRA is a different entity than what it started as. HYDRA classic were merely a Nazi science division that went rogue and tried to kill everyone, while HYDRA now is a group formed up of people who believe extremely in the idea that security and control outweigh the need for freedom, and others who are brainwashed into thinking this.
- There's a scene in The First Avenger where one of the Nazi officers ostensibly in charge of HYDRA tries to boss Schmidt around (specifically mentioning something about Nazi racial beliefs) and Schmidt basically tells him to fuck off because HYDRA's goals are bigger than Nazi goals. It's safe to assume HYDRA doesn't have racial policies in place.
- How does Marvel have the rights to the Inhumans? They should have been covered by the FF rights Fox has (While the Inhumans have major connections to Cosmic Marvel, those connections are roughly the same age or younger than the Fantastic Four Movie)
- It all depends on how the original contracts and rights-sales were negotiated and worded. Since both Marvel-Disney and Fox have specialist entertainments-rights lawyers on staff, and they've concluded that Marvel-Disney has the rights then that is simply how it is. Short of seeing the actual documents, we'll just have to take their word for it.
- It might be because theIn humans have had their own book, and developed mythos separate from the Four. Either that, or Fox had the rights and failed to use them.
- Then why doesn't Marvel have back the rights to characters like the Badoon or the Shi'ar, who have not been used at all by Fox?
- Since Disney/Marvel owns Spider-Man for TV, does that mean, hypothetically, he could legally appear in a Netflix series without Sony's okay?
- Someone should really look into this.
- No longer required. Marvel and Sony have reached a deal that allows for Spider-Man to be used in MCU films.
- According to the main page here, FOX and Marvel worked out a deal for shared characters, like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. I guess the question is, who else is shared?
- None that is publicly known. As it stands if there was one it would be either an X-Men or Fantastic Four character who has a substantial enough history in the comics with ones Marvel still owns the rights too (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch where due to their extensive history with the Avengers) for that to happen, though it would seem that there aren't any such characters that either company cares enough about to look into it, assuming a line hasn't been drawn already on what belongs to who.
- So, which characters rights does Marvel not have. I know that adds up to the X-Men, Deadpool, their pals and foes, the Fantastic Four and most of their allies and foes (bar the Inhumans for some reason), the Badoon, sort of Namor and Man-thing, and Gladiator (along with possibly the rest of the Shi'ar). Any I missed?
- Silver Surfer.
Spider-Man supporting characters
- So, with the deal from Sony, can Spider-Man supporting characters and baddies, like Rhino, Mary Jane and Uncle Ben, show up in the MCU?
- Since the next Spider-Man movie will be part of the MCU, they probably can. However, since the Sinister Six film might still happen, we can't be sure about those characters.
She-Hulk film rights
- SO, if Universal is the reason why no Hulk films have come out, is She-Hulk similarly troubled. I'd say rights to the characters in general, but Talbot has clearly proved that wrong.
Immortus Film Rights
- If Kang's film rights are owned by Fox, does that mean Immortus's are as well?
- Chances are, Fox owns all the Kangs, possibly including Iron Lad. Technically, it's the same guy, just different versions of him. For instance, if Sony still had exclusive ownership over Spider-Man, I don't think Marvel could have gotten away with a Ben Reilly Scarlet Spider character.
Why "stones" and not "gems"?
- Why are the infinity gems referred to as "stones"? Did Marvel really think "infinity gems" was too corny-sounding? The objects even appear gem-like, so why the need for this unnecessary term change?
- Possibly because infinity stone rolls off the tongue better than infinity gem? Sounds better spoke, I guess.
Captain America mask
- Steve Rogers' identity as Captain America has always been public in the MCU, so why does he bother with the mask at all? The helmet is one thing, but what's the point of covering the top of his face with it? Obviously it's because it's part of the Captain America costume and audiences expect it, but what's the in-universe justification?
- Because he wants to protect his face too from damage.
- Considering half of the time he takes the helmet/mask off, I'm not sure I agree.
- He's only twice willingly taken it off during combat: once when fighting Batroc and that was just to make the fight even, and two when defending Sokovia because... actually the film doesn't say why. Must have been one of those bits cut out of the movie. Either way, after that it's either been in a situation where he wasn't fighting or because it was torn off of him.
- Fighting killer robots for an hour is exhausting and he might've simply been overheating, taking it off to cool off a little.
- So now that S.H.I.E.L.D. has folded (which the Avengers was initially a branch of and thus had someone to hold them responsible for in the eyes of the government), what is the legal jurisdiction for the Avengers? It seems that Stark Industries has picked up a lot of the slack for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s brand of peacekeeping (even though that means global security goes from a public sector to a private one which has its own problems, especially with someone as infamously reckless as Stark), but from most of the world governments' viewpoints, the Avengers are just a bunch of friends of Stark's that he funds to run around and beat up criminals. Who's arresting and detaining the criminals the Avengers defeat (especially superhuman ones like the Abomination), or debriefing them so they aren't just killing people in droves during missions and causing tons of casualties? Age Of Ultron has Mariah Hill mention that Banner is possibly going to be arrested for the incident in Africa, but that's the only thing we get. Otherwise the world governments seem to just let them run loose and make their own rules.
- The Avengers aren't going after criminals. They go after world-level threats, like Hydra and Ultron. Also, yes. This is basically the plot of the upcoming Civil War movie.
- I think it's mentioned that NATO apprehended Strucker's HYDRA men after the Avengers captured the base. So they might be one of the Avengers' overseers or affiliates.