YMMV: Marvel Cinematic Universe


  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Thanos, of all people, as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. After three movies he has collected exactly zero Infinity Stones, and in fact even has one fewer Stone than he started with (as Loki's staff had the Mind Stone).
    • Another is he's The Chessmaster playing the Long Game. He may not have the Infinity Stones, but he knows where most of them are (as well as figuring out the locations to both of the Infinity Gauntlets). In the stinger of Age of Ultron, Thanos appears tired of relying on others to bring him the Stones, and resolves to retrieve them personallly.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail:
    • No superhero crossover film had ever been done beforenote , and most of Marvel's biggest supers were in the hands of other studios. All they had were mostly B-listers. Even the Nick Fury stinger at the end of Iron Man was inserted mostly then as a Mythology Gag. Great idea in hindsight, though, right? In fact, because of the MCU (especially The Avengers), said B-listers were elevated to near-Spider-Man status.
    • This has also affected every film since the Avengers. A third Iron Man and sequels to both Thor and Captain America? And yet critical response was mainly positive. Then they really took a gamble with Guardians of the Galaxy, with characters obscure even to Marvel fans, and again it turned out everyone loved it. Then, many people predicted that Ant-Man would be a dud, mostly because Edgar Wright left. This prediction didn't come true either.
    • Some of the casting decisions for the films felt a little...out there, on paper, anyway. Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Paul Rudd and Benedict Cumberbatch have all received gallons of hate sight unseen, mostly due to not matching fans' head-canon, not matching the character's look from the comics perfectly or being perceived as a bad actor. Samuel L. Jackson and Idris Elba got some flack for being black actors playing characters that were traditionally white while Chris Evans, in addition to "not looking like Captain America" and being "a bad actor", was also carrying baggage from Fox's Fantastic Four movies where he played the Human Torch (badly, in the eyes of many fans), while Ruffalo mainly was slammed for being The Other Darrin to Norton. In literally every case, once audiences actually saw the performances and how each actor looked in the role, there was much eating of crow, to the point where even the whisper of Downey leaving the Tony Stark role or anyone but Jackson playing Nick Fury evinces screams of nerdrage. Yet still, at every announcement of a new cast member that feels a bit "out of the box" (the aforementioned Cumberbatch, plus Chadwick Boseman, Tom Holland, et al), a vocal minority has screamed that the casting choice sucks, and the movie (and MCU) is doomed.
    • The same has applied, to some extent, to the directors Marvel Studios has hired. Jon Favreau was probably best known for directing Elf before Iron Man, and the movie and cinematic universe that resulted from Iron Man speaks for itself. Similarly, Joe and Anthony Russo's most famous film was the critical bomb You Me And Dupree, and while they were known for directing episodes of Arrested Development and Community, both well-liked comedic shows, people were unsure how that would translate into directing a serious action/superhero movie. Lo and behold, Captain America: The Winter Soldier turned out to be one of the best received movies the MCU had to offer. James Gunn had a fairly inconsistent filmography in terms of critical reception, yet pulled off Guardians of the Galaxy to great success. Peyton Reed had a mediocre-to-bad filmography before taking on Ant-Man, and he had to deal with the people who wanted Edgar Wright to direct like originally planned. Ant-Man nonetheless turned out very well in Reed's hands.
  • Arc Fatigue: Thanos's story in Phase 1 and Phase 2 basically amounts to him trying to get flunkies to bring him Infinity Stones, which not only fail, but cause him to lose several of the Infinity Stones he already had, along with those he nearly gained. He also does not get a lot of characterization with his few appearances in these parts, coming across as a Generic Doomsday Villain. This is set to be rectified in Phase 3, in which he takes a hands-on approach to the situation and his motivations are explained.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After complaints about the female/minority superheroes not getting their own films Stan Lee revealed at a fan expo that Black Panther was getting his movie right after Ant Man and Dr. Strange, as well as that apparently every superhero will get a film eventually. Captain Marvel starring Carol Danvers was also later announced.
    • After fans objected to heroic comics characters like Alexander Pierce and Sitwell being made HYDRA agents, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed that some of the people working for HYDRA really were loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and were actually brainwashed.
    • Fans of The Mandarin were naturally pretty upset when Iron Man 3 revealed that he didn't actually exist. This was fixed by a One Shot which showed there is a real Mandarin, who is just as angry as the fans at how his name was used. Another part was the writing team realizing the initial reveal caused a plot hole regarding the Ten Rings group in the first Iron Man film.
    • After years of legal right shenanigans, Marvel and Sony finally reaching an agreement to introduce Spider-Man into the MCU, with Sony co-producing films he appears in. Combined with reports that Fox and Marvel might be working together to make an X-Men television show (since Fox want to make one, but their contract only gives them film rights, and so they would need Marvel to work with them to make it), which could easily be brought into the MCU as well, a united Marvel Cinematic Universe is closer to becoming a reality than ever.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Loki. Originally an Ensemble Darkhorse and considered one of, if not the, best villain the MCU has to offer, over time he's moved into this trope. While his fans welcome the increase in focus on him, others have grown to consider Loki a Draco in Leather Pants, highly overrated by his fangirls, or a Spotlight-Stealing Squad who appears at the expense of characters who needed the screentime and development more (a frequent complaint about Thor: The Dark World).
    • Agent Coulson, to a lesser extent. He was an Ensemble Darkhorse like Loki in Avengers, and his fans campaigned to save him and get him his own show. Fans who didn't like him, however, now see him as an overhyped boring every man who gets given promotion in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. above canon comic book agents and other, more interesting Canon Foreigners.
    • Tony Stark is the most prominent figure in the MCU for obvious reasons, and his portrayal in the films is widely credited with turning Iron Man into a beloved character and rescuing him from the Scrappy Heap the comics had dug him into. However, over time he's become disliked by a significant portion of the fandom, especially comics fans, for being a Spotlight-Stealing Squad and who has a tendency to Kick the Dog due to his abrasive personality.
  • Broken Base:
    • A minor one but some feel that there's too much comedy in the films but a big part of the appeal for the MCU amongst fans is that it's Lighter and Softer than many comics nowadays, so those who like the comedy get pretty defensive. This also adds fuel to the rivalry with the DC Cinematic Universe and its rumored "no jokes" policy.
    • Some feminist and social justice advocating fans complain about how many heroes are a White Male Lead. This has been partly sated after the announcement of Black Panther and Captain Marvels, but as both their films aren't until 2018 these fans feel diversifying the leads should be done sooner.
      • Another big part of this is the ongoing lack of a Black Widow movie, and Kevin Feige's maddeningly vague statements about why that is. Then two separate Age of Ultron toys replaced her with Captain America in her iconic motorcycle drop from the film, which even Mark Ruffalo called them out on.
    • Some feel that S.H.I.E.L.D. has too big of a role and steals the spotlight from the heroes, while others like the concept and are happy that S.H.I.E.L.D. is getting some focus. This issue, became moot after The Winter Soldier, during which S.H.I.E.L.D. was dissolved. This is also likely the cause for the split of opinion on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Pro-S.H.I.E.L.D. fans enjoy the show for showcasing the inner workings and day-to-day life of the agency, Anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. fans think it's pointless fat on the franchise. Then there's the fans who like S.H.I.E.L.D., but dislike the show for its various elements.
    • Should Civil War be adapted into the Cinematic Universe? Fan opinion on the matter is split between people who felt the event was just badly executed due to having multiple writers with conflicting viewpoints and would love to see it salvaged on the big screen (pointing out that Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 did do a good version of the plot), and others who think Civil War was always a bad idea and hope Marvel Studios avoid it. Complicating this is how an MCU adaptation would have to be drastically different from the original, which had the US government starting up a Superhuman Registration Act. Most obviously, there's the lack of any secret identities among the MCU's heroes, and any secrets they did have are public knowledge anyway after Winter Soldier. With the film now on its way, fans are hoping it works out.
    • The news that Iron Man will be in the third Captain America film, together with Chris Evans saying he wants to move on to other work, has a lot of people understandably worried about the MCU's biggest Spotlight-Stealing Squad getting all the attention in what may be Cap's final appearance.
    • Spider-Man, in spite of being the most highly-requested character to join the MCU, raised a bunch of debate points for fans in regards to his implementation:
      • Several people were divided on the quality of The Amazing Spider-Man Series and on whether or not it should be implemented into the MCU's continuity. Once the deal had been made and it was announced that Spider-Man would be getting a complete Continuity Reboot in the setting, there was a split on if Andrew Garfield should stay as Spider-Man or if they should recast him, which is somewhat muddied by the fact that a big part of the hate he got boils down to him being a Replacement Scrappy rather than actual issue with his acting/ability. Once it was announced that they were looking for a new actor, there seemed to be an Alas, Poor Scrappy sentiment regarding Garfield, one claiming that he would have been a better Peter Parker if he had been written differently as a character.
      • Then there's the fact that some want Marvel to get the rights back in full as opposed to a rights-sharing agreement, as they think it gives Sony the power to mess things up somehow. Sony also gets some flak in that if they had agreed to work out the equally-beneficial deal that they came up with to share Spidey with Marvel from the beginning, they could have avoided the many troubles that plagued the Continuity Reboot The Amazing Spider-Man Series and the proposed spinoffs for said series.
      • Also, the fact that the Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies were pushed back six months (along with Thor Ragnarok and Inhumans) to accommodate him. Some were annoyed that the addition of another Spider-Man reboot delayed the releases of three superhero properties that have never been seen on film before, while others are fine with the delay, being excited to see a new Spider-Man movie that takes place in a setting that has access to content from the greater Marvel Universe. It should be noted that the date change is to the benefit of Black Panther, since it no longer has to compete with the upcoming Justice League film.
      • As with other characters in the franchise, there is also a split as to whether or not Marvel should go for a White Male Lead. This has led to numerous splits- some fans wanting Peter Parker to stay white, those who want Peter Parker to undergo a Race Lift, those who would prefer Miles Morales as Spider-Man (for a whole host of different reasons) or those that would somehow like to see both on screen. It was eventually confirmed that Peter Parker would be Spider-Man, and that they were going to completely avoid a Race Lift. It was later revealed that the deal with Sony actually included that while Peter would be white, the MCU Spider-Man did not have to be, raising hopes that Sony was planning to introduce Morales (or other characters who have taken the mantle, such as Miguel O'Hara), themselves.
      • The idea that they're going with a Younger and Hipper Peter Parker who is still in high school has also divided fans. Some claim that they won't be able take the idea of a young Peter seriously and that the high school angle was already covered in both Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man, while others state that this would be truer to his origins to have him as a much younger hero than most of the characters in the setting, granting more opportunities to make Peter more distinct as a character.
      • The casting of Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, which some are decrying as an absurd case of Adaptational Attractiveness on par with Gerard Butler's Phantom of the Opera. Others point out that despite looking very good for her age, she is in fact in her 50s, which makes her more realistic as the aunt of a high schooler than May being an old woman.
    • The absence of a Hulk sequel in Phase Two and Phase Three has also been a source of controversy, particularly due to the latter omission. One side is upset that another solo movie with the not-so jolly green giant won't happen until after the fourth Avengers movie, especially after several statements from Feige and company that there was interest in making another movie after Age Of Ultron. Conversely, others are happy that Marvel's Phase Three lineup is focusing on lesser-known characters like Black Panther and Doctor Strange. There's been a similar outcry by fans of Hawkeye and Black Widow concerning if they should get a film or not. It was later revealed that this wasn't entirely Marvel Studios's fault, as they have rights issues with Universal regarding solo films.
    • Numerous casting choices were subject to a lot of Internet Backdraft for a variety of reasons. Robert Downey, Jr.'s well-publicized history with drug abuse, making him a liability on-set and box-office poison once his films were released, were still fresh in everyone's mind when he was cast as Tony Stark. It was assumed his drug-fueled antics on and off screen would continue. Chris Hemsworth wasn't big enough (Thor is 6'6", while Hemsworth is a measly 6'4") and Chris Evans was too silly, plus he was already the Human Torch (in a franchise outside the MCU). Scarlett Johanssen wasn't Russian and didn't do an accent, so clearly she was just hired for Fanservice, while Mark Ruffalo committed the cardinal sin of not being Edward Norton. Meanwhile, Samuel L. Jackson and Idris Elba were black actors playing traditionally white characters (and many argued that a Norse deity simply couldn't be black) and Jeremy Renner was hired in place of fan favorite Josh Holloway to play Hawkeye. Chris Pratt and Paul Rudd were primarily known for comedic stuff, while Dave Bautista was a wrestler, and previous instances of wresters becoming actors haven't turned out well. It kept going with each film despite all of these choices working out once we saw them in the roles. It remains to be seen whether the magic will happen again for Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland or Chadwick Boseman.
    • James Gunn's statement about Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 not being a prequel to Infinity War or denying a possible team-up between the Guardians and the Avengers did not bode well with several fans who felt that he wants to distance the Guardians from the MCU, (regardless of Thanos' appearance and the presence of the Infinity Stone in the movie) and that only Feige and company have the final say on how these movies will connect to Infinity War. Others supported Gunn that the Guardians should be standalone in order to explore the cosmic side of the MCU since the Avengers are more Earth-based and that there are several films before Infinity War, such as Dr. Strange and Captain Marvel, which could connect to the Infinity Stone subplot asides from the Guardians. Later, Gunn clarified his earlier statements in Facebook that he and Feige are still discussing about the possible crossover of the two teams in the future films but there are still fans who are bitter to whatever he says.
    • Generally speaking, James Gunn's attitude and various statements post-Guardians have been very divisive in reception among fans. Some feel that he is entitled to his creative vision due to the success of the film, or that the MCU has a problem with excessive Executive Meddling hampering the quality of some of its films, and others feel as though he's become arrogant and obstructive toward the grand plan for the setting.
    • There's also debate on whether or not Marvel should acquire properties running in currently-existing film franchises.note  That leaves the X-Men and the Fantastic Four out of the MCU, with both characters at the hands of Twentieth Century Fox. More people believe that the Fantastic Four characters work better at Marvel, but some are willing to give Fox's reboot a shot regardless - or because they don't like the MCU. The X-Men universe is a bigger point of contention - there are those that think that Mutants generally stand better on their own, and there are those that think that Marvel needs to have a unified continuity in order to unlock the full potential of the setting. The success of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past have also been cited as evidence that Fox can use the property well, but detractors attribute the quality of those movies to Matthew Vaughn and Bryan Singer rather than the company itself.
  • Complete Monster: Red Skull, Ronan, The Clairvoyant, and Daniel Whitehall.
  • Creator Worship:
    • Kevin Feige gets a lot of this from fans, some of whom have even argued that he's doing a better job with these characters than the comic writers themselves are.
    • Joss Whedon as well for the first two Avengers movies and his involvement with the franchise as a whole, but that's par the course for Whedon. However his work on Age of Ultron caught a lot of flak for a number of controversial plot and characterization elements, especially on Tumblr, to the point that he's developed an extremely vocal Hatedom as well.
    • The Russo brothers, for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and their involvement in Phase 3.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Loki, a villain of three films, is adored by a certain section of the fan base. This has been acknowledged by Tom Hiddleston, who appeared in character at a convention and immediately had the entire room cheering for him. "It appears that I have an army."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The MCU is a big place and so there are a lot of secondary characters to choose from.
    • Agent Coulson from Iron Man, Thor, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers has quite a few fans. Remember the guy who kept trying to get Tony to get Iron Man to join SHIELD, was mostly ignored, and there's a Running Gag of him saying SHIELD's full name and being told it was too long? That's him. This gag's all he gets as well as being in a few crowd scenes. By now, he's one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe just due to being his lovable Woobieish self, the face of SHIELD to everybody who doesn't like organizations like SHIELD. Watch "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer". You'll see why. Powers That Be have definitely taken note and the actor has really gotten into the role, so he wound up in Thor and had a much bigger role in The Avengers. There are two short films with him (the other being The Consultant) and now he has appeared in first a non-canon side story in the comics, and then an appearance that definitely counts. Also, he's a major character in Ultimate Spider-Man, being the SHIELD agent who is under cover as the principal at Peter's high school, keeping an eye on them. His design is the exact likeness of his actor, Clark Gregg, and he also has the same voice - Gregg has so much fun with the role and is somewhat protective of it by now. There's just one Agent Coulson! He's also got a cameo in Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Coulson's gone from a bit part to a phenomenon. For a middle-aged human in a world of superheroes, he really impressed. And now, in likely the ultimate performance for an ensemble darkhorse, is the lead character of his own spin-off TV show.
    • Agent Peggy Carter as played by Hayley Atwell got major acclaim from Captain America: The First Avenger, unlike the comics where her role is very minor. This film gave her a larger supporting role and a new actress determined to do her most in portraying her, showing her to be just as Badass as Cap and his emotional partner. Despite the end of First Avenger preventing her and Cap from continuing their relationship, due to her explosion in popularity after that film, Carter returned in her own short film, cameos in The Winter Soldier, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and even got her own TV show, making her the first leading lady of the MCU.
    • The Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger, considering they're only in a handful of scenes and one montage. Since then they've returned for cameos in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Agent Carter short film, and the Agent Carter TV series.
    • Loki from Thor has been hugely popular since the movie was released despite the fact that he is the villain and only has roughly twenty minutes of screen time. His popularity seems to rival that of Thor, the hero and older brother's popularity, especially the female fanbase, no doubt because of his actor. And he does a repeat performance in The Avengers, in many places beating characters who are popular enough to carry their own movies (and sequels): Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and Thor (again). Advertising for the Thor sequel quickly became almost entirely "Here's more Loki". And several months after filming ended, they went back and shot some additional scenes just of him.
    • Another Thor example would be Darcy Lewis. Considering she only has about a dozen lines, she's surprisingly popular with the fandom. She often gets paired with Hawkeye, Bruce Banner or Loki, three characters with whom she is never on screen. This popularity is probably down to a mix of snark, god-tazering, and Kat Dennings' own superpower.
    • Idris Elba's performance as Heimdall in Thor gets this. A classic case of Ability Over Appearance, all but the most rabid of detractors enjoyed his performance and the hints that he's even more powerful than he lets on.
    • Antoine Triplett gets a lot of love for being a really Nice Guy and for having good chemistry with Simmons. Many fans were ecstatic when he joined the team near the end of Season One and essentially replaced Ward, as well as a ton of outrage when he died in the mid-season finale of Season 2.
    • Before she had even appeared yet (or even being cast yet), Mockingbird had gained a lot of hype after she was revealed to be joining Agents of SHIELD. CBR's SDCC announcement poll has her announcement as the highest rated announcement of the second day, even beating Sam Raimi's Evil Dead TV series announcement, The Walking Dead season 5 trailer reveal, and Guardians of the Galaxy sequel announcements. She also dominated a later poll concerning new characters people are hyped for in the second season, with 46% of the votes going to her. When she does appear, this does not change. Going from Tumblr, in less than twenty minutes of the episode finishing people were posting their love for her character, even ones who never heard about her or what was such a big deal about her. The popularity only increased until she was Promoted To Opening Credits.
    • Skye's father (Mr. Hyde of the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Thanks to him being a complex, Creepy Awesome character and Kyle McLachlan's magnificent performance, every time he appeared on screen, you can bet the review and comments will be gushing about him and place him as the best thing in the episode.
    • Raina has got a lot of attention from fans to her Affably Evil, Anti-Villain and Monster Fan Girl status, with many praising Ruth Negga's awesome performance. It's the point that in the 5th episode was renamed to 'Girl in the Flower Dress' from 'Scorch' because even the creators like her. Plans to kill her off early were also put aside, letting her return for Season 2 and become an Inhuman.
    • Dummy, from Iron Man. Sure, it's an artificially living thing that exists only for quick gags but it has its fans.
    • Howard the Duck due to his hilarious cameo at the end at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel predicted this would happen and took full advantage of by digitally re-releasing his original comic series the same week as the movie's launch. He's also getting a new series in 2015 which likely wouldn't have happened without the film.
    • Similarly, Claire Temple received a lot of praise for her Good Is Not Soft Beware the Nice Ones moments while still being sympathetic and supportive of Matt is a refreshing break from the stereotypical female love interest on superhero television as well as a strong performance from Rosario Dawson. Many bemoan how wasted she is in the first season of Daredevil when it was clear that Dawson is only an Advertised Extra.
    • Maya Hansen from Iron Man 3 and the U.S. Marshall played by Kate Mara in Iron Man 2 are surprisingly popular on Tumblr, especially with the latter appearing for only a minute of screentime.
    • The waitress played by Ashley Johnson in The Avengers. She's even become a Fan-Preferred Couple with Steve.
    • Madame B. from Avengers: Age of Ultron for being Creepy Awesome and played by Julie Delpy.
    • Betty Ross from The Incredible Hulk, while generally the least remembered and dueling Jane for the position of least liked heroine, has gained a new following for being one of the kindest characters in the franchise, the performance by Liv Tyler, and (the main reason) her relationship with Bruce being seen as better than Bruce's with Natasha in Age of Ultron. There are many fans wishing her to be brought back into the mainstream films even if it meant a recast.
    • In the overall franchise, Pepper Potts is the best received non-badass supporting character for her supportive, entertaining relationship with Tony and importance in the storyline without being killed off, as well as a strong performance from Gwyneth Paltrow. Half of the Heartwarming and Tearjerker page of Iron Man 3 is made up by Tony / Pepper and the pairing is universally agreed to be the best part of an otherwise controversial movie. She is so liked by fans that even slash fans tend to spare her from Die for Our Ship despite Tony's Launcher of A Thousand Ship status.
    • While he had his fans back when The First Avenger came out, Bucky Barnes didn't leave a lot of impact on the majority of the fandom. But then The Winter Soldier happened, and while he still didn't get a whole lot in terms of screentime even as the titular Winter Soldier, with his cool design, being a badass, some old-fashioned Woobifying, more exploration of his friendship with Cap and an overall fantastic performance from Sebastian Stan, Bucky quickly became one of the most popular characters in the MCU, giving even Loki a run for his money.
  • Epileptic Trees: Some popular fan theories include:
    • Tony's Arc Reactor being a reverse-engineered Tesseract. Possibly confirmed as of Captain America, due to Howard Stark, one of the original inventors of the Arc Reactor, being shown recovering the Tesseract at the end of the film.
    • Loki letting himself be defeated at the end of The Avengers so he could be taken to Asgard and steal the Infinity Gauntlet for Thanos. Could possibly happen given how Thor: The Dark World ends with Loki seemingly usurping the throne from Odin. Jossed by Age of Ultron where Thanos is shown to already have an Infinity Gauntlet ready for the Stones. Also, the one in Asgard is for the right hand, the one Thanos has is for his left.
    • Coulson returning in Avengers 2 resurrected as the Vision. Coulson was brought back from the dead via Project T.A.H.I.T.I. following Avengers but before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but the Vision has since been confirmed to be JARVIS.
    • With Clint's absence during the bulk of Phase 2, a popular theory from non-Clintasha shippers is that he spent the time with Mockingbird, either having solo adventures or just relaxing and recovering. A slightly less-serious one is that he had to take time off following the Loki mind control thing and the subsequent breakdown he likely had, just as Selvig did (complete with naked Hawkeye). The truth ended up being he simply went home to his farm and stayed with his secret wife and kids.
    • A popular, half-joking theory is that Stan Lee's recurring cameos are actually the MCU version of Uatu the Watcher, taking a human form/avatar to observe the events of the films. That actually would explain a lot...
    • Clark Gregg himself endorses the theory that Coulson is actually his character FBI Special Agent Michael Casper from The West Wing, having taken a new identity upon being recruited by SHIELD.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Loki, Grant Ward, Raina (not so much after her Karmic Transformation), Alrich Killian, Lorelei, Nebula and Dottie Underwood. Note that only Nebula and Killian are intended to be (downplayed) fanservice in the context of the movie, while Lorelei is outright Fan Disservice.
  • Fandom Berserk Button:
    • Any talks about how the Spider-Man Trilogy, The Amazing Spider-Man Series, Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four (2015), and X-Men are Exiled from Continuity may result in this at varying degrees. On the other hand, it's also unwise to pretend any other Marvel movies before MCU exists is part of MCU. For example, talking about how Chris Evans can play as two superheroes (the Human Torch and Captain America) in the same Marvel Universe will result in hardcore fans' response: "They are not in the same universe!"
    • Mentioning the Fantastic Four reboot in particular seems to be one of the fastest way to piss off MCU fans due to the numerous changes to the source material, the attitude that some of the creative team behind the movie is expressing toward the source material, and the movie's status as an Ash Can Copy for a franchise that Fox hasn't handled well in the past.
    • Treating the franchise like it's childish or inferior to 'real' entertainment simply because it's a superhero franchise that embraces the fantastical elements and is generally tailored for a universal audience, especially if they include bringing up DC's superhero film offerings as examples of said 'real' entertainment.
    • If you talk to a fan of the MCU, don't speak kindly of Hollywood producer Avi Arad, who seems to have run into the exact opposite of Creator Worship. He was responsible for effectively allowing studios to hold the rights of franchises in perpetuity as long as Ash Can Copies are made over a period of time (a questionable business decision in and of itself), which is the key reason why several major franchises have been Exiled from Continuity. He also took potshots at Kevin Feige by claiming that he, and not Feige, was responsible for the success of the MCUnote . He has also been blamed for many of the problems in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and keeping the character away from Marvel Studios. Naturally, MCU fans do not think very highly of him, and many were relieved when it was announced that he would be only tangentially involved with the 2017 Spider-Man movie.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • A few fans seemed to favor The Waitress - Ashley Johnson's character (the blonde woman who appears several times during the Chitauri invasion) as a potential love interest for Captain America.
    • Some fans feel that Captain America had a lot more chemistry with Black Widow in Winter Soldier than he did with Sharon Carter (who shares one scene with him), and that it ultimately went to waste.
    • Hawkeye and Widow are pretty popular, but are as of yet not in a relationship as far as we can tell. Widow denies any feelings for him, and while the two are friends, they don't have any obvious romantic intentions. Age of Ultron thoroughly sank that ship, with Hawkeye revealed to be Happily Married with kids, and Widow falling for Bruce Banner.
    • Generally speaking, because there are so many movies and such a large fandom, which ones are the FPC often varies depending on whether the viewer has seen the solo films, the The Avengers movies, or both. For example: if people only watch the first Captain America solo movies, the FPC would be Steve / Bucky; Steve / Natasha (and Steve / Sam, Steve / Bucky etc., you get the idea) if they only watched the second, and all of the above if they watch both movies. But if they only watch The Avengers (which is an entire different genre and obviously can't fit in all of the supporting characters, not to mention the change of dynamic in a different writer), the FPC would be Steve / Tony and Steve / The Waitress. The television shows are obviously a bit of a straighter example of this since they didn't have any crossover with the movies or each other yet, and even that is about to change with the Netflix series. The only real exception among the multiple franchise characters is Thor, who people prefer to pair him up with Loki and Sif due to Jane is rather... unpopular.
  • He's Just Hiding:
    • Coulson was this after his death in The Avengers. Turns out he was hiding, and it was in Tahiti. It's a magical place.
    • Janet Van Dyne, after it was confirmed she was going to be a hero in the 60s who'd passed away, has been getting this. Fans are hoping that, instead of turning Hope Van Dyne into an expy of her like they appear to be, that instead they'll reveal that the real Jan is instead trapped in the Microverse or something along those lines, like she was in the comics. Though in the movie, Hope will still inherit the Wasp mantle from her mother and after Scott got out of the subatomic level in the climax, Hank believed that there's a chance that Jan might be alive.
    • Agent Antione Triplett from Agents of SHIELD. He was popular enough that killing him has greatly shook a lot of fans, particularly since he was one of the MCU's few black heroes..
    • Ben Urich from Daredevil, thanks to being a character with a ton of crossover potential between the franchise's various properties, and his getting a Race Lift to black, which would be rendered a bit pointless with his being killed after just one season. It's helped by Word of God saying that literally the only reason he was killed was that they were under the impression that his Exiled from Continuity status would return after that one season.
    • Quicksilver since his actor stated that he has signed on for a multi-picture deal with Marvel and many fans wanted to see more of his interaction with his twin sister.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The fan theory of "Hawkeye was absent for most of Phase 2 because he was having adventures with Mockingbird" is this thanks to Mockingbird joining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2. While the two aren't in a relationship, it is at least canon they knew each other, and she was definitely doing something before Coulson had her spy on HYDRA for him.
    • After the big deal that was made over the MCU not being able to use the word "mutant," Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed that Skye is Daisy Johnson, who was portrayed as a mutant for a while before the reveal that her powers had a different source.
    • The final moments of Ant Man feature a vague reference to Spider-Man that was intended to just be a throwaway meta-joke, but by the time the film was released Marvel had reached an agreement with Sony to share the character and he was set to make his debut in the following film, leading many fans to assume it was a deliberate piece of foreshadowing.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Hype Backlash: After years of being built up as the pinnacle of live-action superhero films, this set in. Some viewers claim the films aren't as faithful to the comics as claimed, are too similar in plot and tone, and controversial cases of Executive Meddling have taken some of the luster off the studio.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • There's been a theory springing up that Marvel are sabotaging the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises in order to weaken Fox's success with their films; the evidence of this is based on their reduced presence in the comicsnote , Wolverine and Deadpool dying note , Fantastic Four's comic being cancellednote , lack of merchandise produced for X-Men: Days of Future Pastnote , the lack of animated shows about eithernote , and a memo apparently sent out asking for artists to not send them Fantastic Four artworknote . The theory itself makes little sense when you think about it, but it hasn't stopped people buying into it, including Rob Liefeld (Liefeld's creations are tied with Fox's licenses, so of course he'd be on their side over this).
    • Despite her popularity, Black Widow has yet to be given a film of her own, and Kevin Feige has been very vague on the subject just saying that one is "in development". This has caused her fans to become very irritable about the subject with the result that discussions of it almost always end in arguments. Marvel got additional flak for not including a movie about her in Phase 3. Further fuel was added to the fire by the schedule for Phase 3 immediately being shifted around to make room for Spider-Man once they got the rights to the character back, despite Feige pleading that this is exactly what was keeping a Black Widow film from happening.
  • Iron Woobie: Every single one of the Avengers, to different extents. They all suffer a great deal, but have instead strove to move past their problems and fight for what's right regardless. The Guardians of the Galaxy, Team Coulson, and many of the other groups are this as well to different degrees.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Many fans feels that the post- Phase One films are getting a bit formulaic.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: After The Avengers became the 3rd highest grossing film of all time, 2014 being a huge year for comic book movies and the rise of proposed movie Shared Universes including but not limited to Universal Horror, Ghostbusters and Transformers, this was bound to happen.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Loki may be a homicidal, Axe Crazy megalomaniac, but it's very hard not to feel some sympathy for him, especially in Thor.
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gives us Grant Ward; anti-social, brooding, emotionally closed off, and secretly part of HYDRA, but also the product of years of abuse at the hands of his family and his only real father figure being The Clairvoyant himself, Garrett. It's no wonder he ends up as he is.
    • Wilson Fisk, who was very quickly heralded as perhaps the most three-dimensional and interesting villain of the entire franchise, with equal amounts of attention being given to his quite relatable romantic foibles as his evil schemes.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Everyone. See the main page for reasons and details. A few more specific example will be:
    • Type 1: Tony Stark, Mockingbird and Loki. The first two "specialty" are Ho Yay and the latter is Foe Yay.
    • Type 2: Darcy Lewis (whose specialty is Crack Ship), Adorkable Jemma Simmons, Black Widow (due to the sheer amount of Ship Tease with both male and female characters), Captain America (a lot of Ho Yay - especially after Winter Soldier, being the Token Good Teammate in the Avengers, a healthy Ship Tease with Widow and the whole case with Peggy, two of the more popular heroines) and Wanda Maximoff (for being such a massive Woobie even comparing to the rest of the Avengers that people just want something goes right in her life for once).
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Loki thinks circles around everyone. At the end of Dark World, he convinces Thor that he died a heroic death and then takes over Asgard by impersonating his father.
    • The Red Skull wants to overthrow HITLER and create his own empire, and WOULD HAVE had Cap not stopped him.
    • The Skull was upstaged by his own henchman, Dr. Zola, who secretly rebuilt HYDRA within S.H.I.E.L.D., now Dangerously Genre Savvy and just seconds away from conquest of the world.
    • Thanos, considering he's the one behind all the other villains. One could argue that Loki was his Unwitting Pawn.
    • Nick Fury is a heroic example; he constantly lies and manipulates everyone around him, and he's good enough at it that even when they don't like working with him, they still end up helping him in the way he wants them to.
    • Wilson Fisk continues in the character's tradition quite nicely. It's not every villain who can completely undercut the heroes' attempt to drag him into the public eye by willingly stepping out of the shadows and positioning themselves as the best hope their city has.
  • Magnum Opus: The Daredevil series on Netflix is the most acclaimed entry in the entire franchise, with a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. The other big contenders are Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Memetic Loser: Amusingly, Thanos gets this treatment. As of the end of Phase 2, he's yet to obtain any of the Infinity Gems.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Fans think the story in Norse Mythology about Loki shape-shifting into a horse and ending up pregnant is hilarious, and has become an endless source of fanart jokes.
    • Nick Fury = Demoman. Both are badass black men with eyepatches.
    • TONY STARK BUILT THIS IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!
    • Ivan Vanko's "Vhere ees my burd? I vant my burd." from Iron Man 2.
    • COULSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!!
    • Loki's brain is a bag of cats.
      "Have care of how you speak! Loki is beyond reason but he is of Asgard! And he is my brother!"
      "He killed eighty people in two days."
      "... He's adopted."
    • It's normal for fans (especially fans of Loki) to refer to each other as mewling quims, whether jokingly or as an insult.
    • "I am burdened with glorious ________ (insert substitute for "purpose" here)."
    • "Enormous, Green Rage Monster" is the default description for the Hulk now.
    • "Fondue".
      Howard: Fondue is just cheese and bread, my friend.
    • "This ________ (substitute "drink" here). I like it. ANOTHER!!!"
    • Darcy being the fandom bicycle.
    • Looking around on the WMG pages for movies after Iron Man 3, you may notice many tropers theorizing that they'll have the same kind of reveal.
    • "I understood that reference".
    • Images of someone whispering "Hail Hydra" to another person.
    • Tony and Bruce are now known as the Science Bros.
    • Back when Spider-Man was Exiled from Continuity, it became popular Fanon to depict Spidey as existing in the MCU as a Memetic Loser Woobie who's constantly being blocked from joining the Avengers by Nick Fury. Now that he's finally being made a part of it, the joke has mutated to him finally being let in and proceeding to completely steal the thunder from Ant Man, who was just getting recognized.
    • "Captain Dorito", about how Cap's shoulder-to-waist ratio matches a Dorito. Has since become an Ascended Meme after Robert Downey Jr calls Chris Evans "Dorito" several times at Comic-Con 2014.
    • "HELP ME TONY", in reference to Cap supposedly getting hit severely with The Worf Effect outside his own movies.
    • Cap and Tony having a trivial disagreement, followed by the title art for Civil War.
    • In addition, fans who are expecting movie adaptation for Planet Hulk also tend to create caption images where Bruce said something blatantly petty and disagreeable to Steve and Tony, prompting the two to banish Bruce for it, such as this.
    • "It's all connected" for MCU as a whole.
    • The three Chrisses (Hemsworth, Evans and Pratt), and though he's not in the MCU, Chris Pine is often included as an honorary fourth Chris.
  • Memetic Sex God:
    • Both Tony Stark and Loki get this a lot from the fandom. For their part, Tony is a renowned bachelor who is this In-Universe too, while Loki is a shapeshifting Pretty Boy who is a literal God, and is known in the mythology he originates from to go after Anything That Moves.
    • Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird has gotten this from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fandom too, at least going by Tumblr. "Bobb-sexual" is a common post.
  • Misblamed: A lot of people were mad at Marvel Studios for not announcing a Hulk movie for either Phase 2 or Phase 3. However, this is because the character's film rights are a bit tangled up with Universal; while Marvel Studios owns the character and can freely use him, Universal still owns the distribution rights for any solo film that the character appears in. Therefore, Marvel Studios and Universal are at an impasse with the Hulk unless a cross-studio deal is reached in time for Phase 4.
  • Older Than They Think: This is often the first example people think of for Clarke's Third Law, even though Marvel has used it before (Doctor Doom's appearance in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, the Mandarin's Rings, or Earth X).
  • Only The Creator Does It Right: Disney's films made under Marvel Studios almost always receive better reception from fans and critics alike over Marvel movies made by other studios after the beginning of the MCU. The sole exceptions seem to be the critically-acclaimed X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past (particularly the latter), both of which were made by Fox - though even these are cause for a Broken Base among viewers, and their quality is frequently credited to Matthew Vaughn and Bryan Singer rather than Fox itself (the latter of which, incidentally, is another case of Only The Creator Does It Right altogether).
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: A quite creative one, Philharmonic for Coulson and the Cellist.
  • Possession Sue: Both Widow and Darcy get this a bit; Darcy is shipped with everyone because she works well as a stand-in for the shipper, while Widow, as the only girl on the team, tends to have her uniqueness stripped away and used as a placeholder for some female fans to get together with the other Avengers... but mostly with Hawkeye.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • His role in the MCU, combined with Matt Fraction's epic-length Invincible Iron Man run, rescued Iron Man from the horrendous Dork Age he had been in since Civil War. On a larger scale it lifted him from the B-list to being one of Marvel's flagship characters like Spider-Man or Captain America.
    • The same thing has happened for Maria Hill; originally hated in the comics for her jerkass behavior towards the heroes and actions during Civil War, the MCU version has redeemed the character by making her a likable and badass S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that treats the heroes with respect. In the comics, Matt Fraction's Iron Man run also did work to redeem her in some fans eyes as well.
    • The Hulk did this twice. After Ang Lee's Hulk underperformed and was criticized as boring and pretentious, Marvel's The Incredible Hulk sought to make him badass and popular again. It only somewhat softened public opinion of the Hulk, but then The Avengers completely redeemed him by recasting him with the acclaimed Mark Ruffalo and giving him new relationships with the other heroes, most notably Tony Stark.
    • Similarly to the Hulk, the Daredevil series instantly got the character in a lot of fans' good graces again after the mediocre Ben Affleck film. Also, the fans used to know Karen Page purely as the girl who sold Matt out so she could get some drugs and then got killed. The version on the show is far more compelling.
    • Black Widow was a controversial character after Iron Man 2, as some liked her for being badass and others thought she wasn't important and showed little personality. That started to shift with The Avengers, which gave her a tragic and motivating backstory and made her central to stopping Loki and ending the final battle. The Winter Soldier further continued that by making her the Deuteragonist and further displaying her skill, to the point that it's now not unheard of for fans and the media to demand a Black Widow movie.
    • While not a true scrappy, Scarlet Witch had a Never Live It Down moment to some fans due to her mental breakdown in House of M causing the mutant population to decrease significantly. Her portrayal in Age of Ultron gave her a well rounded personality, an excellent relationship with her brother, and being the first hero in the MCU to have powers like telekinesis and mind manipulation is definitely allowing her to regain her former popularity. It helps that this is one of the few portrayals that focus on her Avengers career rather than just being the daughter of Magneto.
    • Captain America, but not necessarily the character himself; his treatment during the team-up for the first Avengers outing was given a pretty handy dose of flak by many - including Chris Evans himself. Considering that a majority of the best action sequences got handed off to everyone else, resulting in him looking rather plain or just not quite as useful make it understandable. Then Winter Soldier happened. Suddenly, Captain America is sharing center stage in promo materials with the franchise golden boy, Iron Man; and in the Avengers 2 itself, he gets to show off quite a lot more than he ever did in the first film.
    • Hawkeye took a lot of flack in the first Avengers film for being severely Overshadowed by Awesome and having little apparent point on the team. Age of Ultron responded by giving him much more focus as The Heart of the team, along with a healthy dose of Self-Deprecation for his apparent uselessness compared to the others, while contrasting it with scenes showcasing his usefulness to the team without being heavy handed about it.
    • Hank Pym is reputedly known as Ultron's creator and the guy who hit his wife one time due to a mental breakdown in the comics but thanks to Age Lift and being played by Michael Douglas in the movies, Hank has no connection to Ultron's creation and is seen as a Crazy Awesome Retired Badass who clearly loves and misses his wife. His infamous incident from the comics is not even mentioned.
    • Ant-Man is regarded by comic fans as a lame superhero with boring superpowers and they much prefer Giant-Man instead. However, the movie proves that Ant-Man can kick your ass regardless how small he is and even defeated the Falcon.
  • The Scrappy: While they were liked or at least tolerated in Thor, Thor: The Dark World turned Jane Foster, Darcy Lewis (and her new assistant/boyfriend) and Eric Selvig into this for a lot of fans. The former mostly for a general dislike for the focus the film puts on her romance with Thor (which many feel was poorly developed and lacked chemistry, particularly since the first film portrayed it as more of a mutual crush than a full-blown relationship), while the latter two for being given too much focus as comic relief, while the Asgardian characters were pushed to the back-burner. Imagine the fan reaction to the humans in the Transformers movies, then replace the Transformers with Asgardians, and you get an idea of why fans hate them. This got ridiculous since the Asgardians are human-like and didn't need CGI.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • All the corners of the slash shipping tend to argue quite a bit. Tony/Bruce, Tony/Steve, Tony/Loki, Tony/Coulson, Tony/Rhodey, Steve/Bucky, Steve/Sam, Steve/Clint, Clint/Coulson, Clint/Loki, Thor/Loki, etc. Any two of these that aren't compatible with one-another tend to argue a LOT. Then there's the inclusion of their respective lady friends...
    • Since even before she was cast and brought in, Mockingbird has been in one with Natasha over Clint. As Clint's most prominent relationship in the comics, Clintasha shippers who've read up on the comics knew Bobbi would come in between Clintasha, and so have made a frequent point to argue over her, while Bobbi/Clint shippers from the comics have responded in kind. With Bucky being present, it leads to a three-way shipping war between Hawkingbird, Clintasha, and Bucktasha. Then Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. came and gave Mockingbird a lot of ship teasing with Lance Hunter, including making him the ex-husband she has unresolved issues with, instead of Clint. Now, Huntingbird has gained support, and detraction, because of this. Further complicated when Age of Ultron revealed that Clint is actually Happily Married to a civilian woman, and Natasha is his kids' honorary aunt.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Bruce and Natasha's romance comes rather out of nowhere in Age of Ultron, considering their borderline hostility in the first Avengers movie. There's not even a passing mention of Betty Ross.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • Some people object to the race changing of Heimdall and Nick Fury but the former caused more outcry, considering Fury's look in the Ultimate comics was specifically based off Samuel L. Jackson. This mostly stopped when the films came out and the two became Memetic Badasses. This is also happening towards Henry Pym, as he will be older (in his 70s - played by Michael Douglas) and won't be the main Ant-Man.
    • The announcement that Janet Van Dyne will have died sometime before the story hasn't gone over well with some fans. Though it turns out that she might be still alive after Scott got out of the subatomic level at the climax of the movie which made Hank believed that there's a chance.
    • Generally averted by many cases of Adaptation Personality Change that many characters, specifically minor S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, go through in the MCU. Pierce, Sitwell, Koenig, Hunter, Mack, and many others are largely minor Nick Fury supporting characters, so for the most part the general audience has no idea they're even a case of this.
    • One big aversion for a major character was Wilson Fisk. In the series, he's reimagined as a Psychopathic Manchild who is socially awkward, a bit of a romantic and Visionary Villain. Fisk ended up being widely praised as the most complex and well-written (and well-acted) villain in the entire MCU, coming across as both oddly sympathetic and terrifying.
    • Similar to Ant-Man, fans weren't pleased with the Age Lift given to Leland Owlsley. They immediately demanded a Decomposite Character and Legacy Character case given to his son Lee, who was only mentioned.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • The magnum opus of the series is considered to be either Iron Man (the first to be released) or The Avengers (which tied all of them together). What is generally agreed upon is that no movie in the 'verse could compare to either of them until Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy came out.
    • Daredevil has already set an extremely high bar for the future Netflix series and future superhero shows in general.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • After the disappointing performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Marvel has to work in order to renew faith in the film franchise with the solo Spider-Man movie, along with whatever movie the character appears in beforehand.
    • Thor: The Dark World generally got mediocre reception and earned far less money than the film that it followed (which itself was rather divisive with audiences), so Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy served as this for a lot of fans who may've became cynical about the franchise's continued success. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also contributed to this, as the first half of the first season was similarly divisive, while what followed on the show has solidified a fanbase for itself.
    • Daredevil did this for the titular character among those whose only experience with him prior was the mediocre movie.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: With the sole exception of his suit in the first film, Captain America's various costumes have drawn criticism from some areas of the internet, either for being too camp and colourful, or for the cowl looking odd (The Avengers), abandoning the traditional stars and stripes (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), or for just looking ugly (Age of Ultron). Obviously, many disagree, but its a popular sentiment.
    • Hawkeye's suit in The Avengers drew criticism for being his original Ultimate Marvel uniform (which is largely considered 'pragmatic but boring'), and got criticism for not being like his classic Marvel outfit. The creators listened and in the second film he's gotten an awesome new outfit that's a mishmash of his various costumes from the comics, complete with Badass Longcoat.
    • Deathlok and Mockingbird also got criticism for their suits in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The problem with Deathlok was mainly that his cybernetics are internalized rather than on the outside like his mainstream counterpart, with the result that his armor looks cheap rather than intimidating. Mockingbird got complaints just for not initially looking like her comic self, though this was corrected by her second appearance (her hair is shown to be blonde like in the comics and her outfit is a more muted version of her normal costume with the same kind of extra armour and padding that Black Widow and Captain America had for their costumes).
    • Daredevil's costume got some weary comments though in his case it's justified; the black ninja-esque outfit is the one he starts out with before upgrading to his actual costume. Though now there are fans who complain about his red suit and wish he'd go back to his homemade black one.
  • The Woobie:
    • Captain America, Star Lord, Agent Coulson (and his whole team), Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Daredevil, hell, at this point it's probably easier to list those who aren't some kind of Woobie.
    • Special mention should go to Captain America and Wanda Maximoff as they lost almost everyone they cared about and is clearly still coping with the trauma comes along with it, as well as being generally worse off than the other heroes, if Captain America: Civil War is any indication.