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All right, we’ll admit it. We want the old MCU Peter Parker back.
OK, we’re kidding of course, but Spider-Man: Homecoming star Tom Holland did did confirm this week that Peter Parker secretly appeared in an iconic scene of Iron Man 2.
While we’re happy to have Holland in the role, the new connection does speak to a level of continuity that has waned slightly in the recent films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Almost ten years into the unprecedented cinematic experiment of the MCU, there are other things we miss about, for lack of a better term, "the old days" as well.
Don’t get us wrong - we still love the MCU. But we kinda miss Tony Stark as a genius, Cap as a fish out of water, and Black Widow as the master of subterfuge.
Here are ten things about MCU we'd like to see make a comeback.
Nick Fury2 of 12The fact that Nick Fury didn’t pop up in Captain America: Civil War left a lot of fans wondering just what the MCU’s top S.H.I.E.L.D. agent could be up to if not dealing with this crisis.
But more than in universe implications, there’s the need for the older, gruffer Samuel L. Jackson as a counterpoint to Captain America and Tony Stark – a man who looks at protecting the values of the past well into the future, and who is perhaps more driven or manipulative than either of them.
Jackson reportedly isn’t sure if he’s part of Avengers: Infinity War, but he better figure it out quick, as the film is currently in production.
Agent Coulson3 of 12Look, we can’t lie – we miss Agent Coulson.
OK, OK, yeah, we can still get our fill of, uh, Phil on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but there’s a big difference in him as the cyber-handed leader of his ragtag team and him as the ultimate Avengers fanboy fighting alongside his heroes.
Agent Coulson added a human element to the first Avengers film that grounded the team in a kind of begrudging friendship and gave them something literal to avenge when Loki seemingly killed him at the film’s turning point.
So if Avengers: Infinity War really is an “all-hands-on-deck” (cyborg hands included) scenario, how about bringing Coulson back for the big show – maybe as the act that rallies them together one more time.
Remember, his death brought the Avengers together - and they might not even know he's alive.
It's time for some closure.
Connectedness-ness4 of 12Right from the moment Nick Fury spoke the words “Avengers Initiative” in Iron Man, there was a sense among fans that anything was possible in the MCU. And when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season one included multiple cameos and references to the films in the wake of Avengers, it felt like fulfilling that promise in a one-two punch.
But as Marvel movies and Marvel TV have become further separated on the back-end, and a third wing of the MCU popped up on Netflix with its own continuity and its own mythology, it has started to feel like never the twain shall meet.
Yeah, they all still have interconnected references, and they’re still officially all in the same universe, but with a fourth tier of Marvel shows in the offing at Freeform, and other outlying projects, Marvel head of TV Jeph Loeb’s mantra of “It’s all connected” is getting a little bit harder to pin down.
Marvel seems to want to have its cake and eat it too, selling the premise of it all being connected without actually connecting it with anything other than lip service.
Thor's Arrogance5 of 12Thor’s hallmark has always been how his hubris weighs against his sense of responsibility. And when he landed on the MCU’s Earth, this was on full display. But after a rejuvenating teambuilding weekend in New Mexico in the first Thor movie, the God of Thunder took a much more straightforward heroic stance.
His royal badness was still on display in Avengers in his rivalry with Hulk, but even there he was becoming a much more earnest hero.
Thor is a god among men and we get he respects his human teammates, but he's taken too far a 'just one of the guys' turn for our liking.
Of course, Thor: Ragnarok will take its title character far out of his comfort zone, so maybe another personality shift is in the cards.
Haweye's Special Skill6 of 12It would be easy to write off Hawkeye a just the bow and arrow guy because he lacks superpowers, but he earned his place as an Avenger through his keen tactical awareness.
He was first introduced as a sniper guarding Mjolnir in Thor but it was in the Avengers that “Hawkeye” became more than a literary reference.
He became the all-seeing eyes of the team, particularly shining perched high above Manhattan calling out the action for the team, a unique angle on the character Marvel Comics never thought of in 40 years.
Cap will always be the strategist and leader, but we want to see more of Hawkeye calling the action.
Black Widow as a Spy7 of 12Black Widow joined the MCU undercover in Iron Man 2, and her skill at subterfuge was inherent to her role in Avengers - when she deceived Loki (and all of us) into revealing his plan (not that it ultimately did a lot of good).
Her confident coolness and willingness to play her own angles made the opening action sequence of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and MCU standout, but she's been questioning her methods ever since, and she’s been more of a straightforward (but still ass-kicking) superhero than a master spy..
Yeah, she double-crossed Black Panther (kinda) in Captain America: Civil War, but even that was for more altruistic reasons. Like her partner Hawkeye, Natasha’s got unique skills that make her who she is – so let’s not downplay them, or worse, make her doubt them.
The Avengers as a Team8 of 12The Avengers only fully existed as a team for the last third of their first film and the first sequence of Age of Ultron before nearly falling apart - and then actually falling apart in Captain America: Civil War.
But how great was that first scene of the team in Age of Ultron? You could see tactics that had begun developing onscreen in Avengers coming to fruition and expanding.
Now, we know that if the Avengers didn’t have turmoil in their ranks, it wouldn’t be very true to the comic book source material or a very compelling story, but we didn't even make it out of the first act of their second adventure before the cracks started to show.
We get breaking the team apart only to have them reunite to save the day is a tried and true story arc, but we’re hoping we don't have to wait until the last act of the second part of Avengers: Infinity War to see it.
Cap's Old Timey Conscience9 of 12Captain America’s “fish out of water” status is what endeared him to fans in Avengers, with actor Chris Evans’ earnest charm and easy confidence fitting the idea perfectly. But as time has gone by – and Cap has been through much darker times – he’s adjusted more and more to the present day.
But part of what got lost in the film Captain America: Civil War is the nature of the fundamental difference between Tony and Steve – one man living ahead of his time, and the other still trapped in the past.
So it’s not just the “I get that reference!” comedy of the situation – it’s the loss of a very specific and important point of view.
Hulk Being Hulk10 of 12We’ve argued this on Newsarama many times before – the last act of Avengers was when Marvel finally got the Hulk right after two big-screen tries.
We love the Bill Bixby TV series as much as the next guy, but the angst-ridden Banner trying to keep the monster at bay isn’t what audiences wanted to see. They finally wanted – and got – Banner embracing the Hulk and finally seeing the Green Goliath cut-loose on the side of good, rather than in self-preservation against the U.S. Military.
That’s why we were disappointed Marvel reversed course back to and in fact doubled-down on angst-y-reluctant Hulk in Age of Ultron.
Bringing Hulk to outer space and onto the gladiator planet Sakaar might just be forum to get back to letting the Hulk have a little fun, and the seemingly comedic road-movie dynamic between Banner and Thor in November’s Ragnarok seems like Marvel finally got our memo.
Iron Man's 'Innovention'11 of 12Tony Stark has no equal in the witty banter arena, and seems to also carry the weight of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on his shoulders, which seem to be increasingly his defining qualities. But what we miss (a lot) is Tony just tinkering in his lab.
A lot of the fun of the first Iron Man was him inventing the second generation armor sequences. What little fun there was in Iron Man 2 was Tony figuring out how to improve the arc reactor. And Iron Man 3 gave us Tony and J.A.R.V.I.S. playing detective and Tony inventing weapons from spare parts in a garage.
The Hulkbuster armor was supposed to be the signature set action-piece of Age of Ultron, but we would have loved to also get to see Tony conceive the darn thing.
We know he still builds, as evidenced by his role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. but we still want to see his process ... how he applies the greatest mind in the MCU.
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