Marvel are doing a very bad thing. They’re enabling you. They’re enabling you and every single one of your terrible fan theories.
Sorry, we don’t mean to offend. After all, not all fan theories are dumb and baseless. But most of them are, and yours probably is too. Unless your theory was borne out of a textual analysis of the movie in question, would help the viewer gain a deeper understanding of what they’re watching, and enrich their experience during subsequent viewings, then it’s probably not worthwhile.
But don’t worry, Marvel still have your back, and they’re now in the business of validating the, “Oh, wouldn’t it be cool if…” brand of fan theory. James Gunn got the ball rolling with some nimble retconning to appease the, “Oh, wouldn’t it be cool if all of the Stan Lee cameos were the same character,” crowd in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. No matter that it doesn’t really make sense, didn’t add anything to his movie aside from a cheap laugh, and fumbled MCU continuity in the process. There it was. The floodgates had been opened.
Step forward Kevin Feige, who recently engaged in a spot of MCU retconning that validated a prominent internet fan theory. Remember the idiot child from Iron Man 2 who thought he could defeat a real-life killer robot using his Iron Man costume, only for Tony Stark to swoop in and save him at the last second? Well Kevin Feige says that was Peter Parker. Yep, Spidey showed up in the MCU six years before his appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and we had no idea.
Of course it’s nonsense. It wasn’t meant to be Peter Parker at the time, it’s just dumb luck that it fits. But Kevin Feige probably thought, “What’s the harm,” and gave Tom Holland the go-ahead to confirm the fan theory, that serves to do little else than make us retroactively dislike young Peter Parker for being such a moron. That kid grew up to be some kind of science whizz? Really? That foolhardy simpleton? We’re not buying it.
But hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. If Feige’s happy to retcon fan theories into the MCU, then boy have we got some theories for him. Consider this a sneak peak at what will surely be MCU canon any day now.
Hank Pym’s Ant-Man has been present and correct in every single MCU movie to date, you just haven’t been looking closely enough to spot the little guy. You’ll have to do some Blade Runner-esque enhancements if you want to find him, but here are some of what we consider to be his best cameos so far.
The MCU is stuck in Doctor Strange’s Time Loop
The timeline of the MCU has started to get a little bit confusing lately. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 took place in 2014? Spider-Man: Homecoming takes place eight years after The Avengers, which we previously thought took place in 2012? It’s becoming hard to keep track of it all. But don’t worry, it’s only confusing because Doctor Strange altered the laws of time within the MCU when he created the time loop to battle Dormammu. Now the MCU is trapped in a loop that obeys the laws of Kevin Feige, rather than those of space and time. Simple.
War Machine 2.0
When Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard in the role of James Rhodes for Iron Man 2, we all just assumed that the part had been recast. That wasn’t the case. Tony Stark actually murdered his best friend shortly after the events of the first movie, and hired an actor to take his place. In fact, he used the same agency that Aldrich Killian later employed when casting the Mandarin for Iron Man 3.
Loki in Disguise
Every time a character in the MCU has acted in a way that seems confusing, then we have two options. 1) Say they were Hydra. 2) Blame Loki. Remember in Iron Man 2 when Nick Fury told Tony Stark he couldn’t be an Avenger, then recruited him straight away in The Avengers? Well we know Nick Fury wasn’t Hydra, so it must have been Loki in disguise. You can apply this rule whenever appropriate.
Captain America is the Human Torch
Remember when Chris Evans played Johnny Storm in the Fantastic 4 movies? Well it turns out that he never stopped playing that character. After the events of Rise of the Silver Surfer, Johnny Storm fell into a wormhole which transported him back in time and into a parallel universe. Sadly, the journey gave him amnesia, sapped him of his powers, and caused his body to wither. When he awoke in the MCU, he decided to go by the name of Steve Rogers, and we’ve been watching his adventures ever since.
Peggy Carter is Tony Stark’s Mother?
Have you seen this theory floating around before? That Howard Stark had an affair with Peggy Carter, and that Tony is actually Peggy’s son. It’s nonsense, of course. First of all, Peggy and Howard clearly didn’t like each other like that. And besides, everyone knows that every single superhero’s real mother is an omnipotent being named Martha, the mere utterance of whose name will quell any and all superhero conflicts.
The Battle of New York
The Battle of New York? It never happened. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!! It was all just a government conspiracy used to distract you from what was really going on.
The entire MCU is a Jacob’s Ladder Scenario
Tony Stark died in Kunar Province, all the way back in 2008. In his dying moments, he imagined a world where he survived the attack, and subsequently built an iron suit to escape his captors. His imagination went really crazy after that, conjuring up a world filled with with superheroes and the adventures that he shared with them. The MCU will eventually end with Tony briefly regaining consciousness in the middle of Afghanistan, as he draws his final breath.
Stick with us here, because this one’s probably the biggest stretch of all. But have you heard of TV shows including Agents of SHIELD, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist? Well we think that at some point the movies will acknowledge the existence of the TV shows. Sorry, we finally took this too far, didn’t we?