Let’s face it: everyone knows at least one person that loves to point out all of the plot holes in the movies everybody else loves. And when it comes to movie series, the Marvel Cinematic Universe are some of the most beloved films of all. So, it makes sense that people are lining up left and right to point out all of the alleged plot holes in every single Marvel movie.
Sometimes, though, these naysayers go a bit overboard in trying to find plot holes. Specifically, they think they’ve found a plot hole, but it turns out to be something with an easy explanation. Sometimes, the explanation is spelled out directly by the movie!
As annoying as it is to hear someone trying to take apart your favorite movies, nothing feels quite as good as throwing these “plot holes” back in their face and showing them why they’re wrong. Whether it’s a friend at your house or an army of trolls online, you should always be ready to put them in their place with some cold, hard facts.
Want to learn how to make these people shut their mouths before they can even finish the word “actually”? Then keep reading to learn all about 15 Huge Marvel Plot Holes (That Aren’t Actually Plot Holes) !
15. Iron Man – What is Stane’s plan after he wins?
Part of what made Obadiah Stane such a good foe for Tony Stark in the first Iron Man movie is that he was so smart. He was presented as a shrewd (if amoral) business man who was capable of running a successful worldwide business while also manipulating Stark left and right. F
or these reasons, many people think Stane makes no sense at the end of the movie: why have a major public fight with Iron Man? Wouldn’t the authorities simply arrest Stane, even if he managed to kill Stark?
This isn’t really a plot hole, though. We have already seen that Stane has friends and allies outside of the law (such as the Ten Rings organization), and he’s made a fortune illegally selling arms to terrorists. In short: he knows how to avoid the law, live outside the law, and with his new suit, outfight the law if he has to.
14. Iron Man 2 – How did Rhodey fly away with the War Machine armor?
Iron Man 2 remains one of the weirdest Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. One reason for this is that we see how Tony Stark reacts to his impending death: by becoming a drunken, dangerous jackass! When this happens during Stark’s birthday party, his buddy Rhodes has to don the War Machine armor, beat some sense into Stark, and then fly away. This left many wondering: how the hell could Rhodes do this?
At first, it seems like a good question. How could Rhodes even access the armor, much less fit perfectly inside it? However, the movie answers this seeming “plot hole,” as Black Widow points out that Stark’s safeguards would prevent any “unauthorized usage.”
The answer is simple: not only was the Rhodes authorized to use the suit, but Tony had likely been specifically designing it for Rhodes after his buddy’s disappointment that he couldn’t wear a suit in the first movie.
13. Iron Man 3 – Why is it hard to re-charge the suit?
Early on, we see how Tony Stark is able to power his suits by using the Arc Reactor within his body. Because of this, many people found the plot of Iron Man 3 (which involved Tony being stuck in a small town with a suit that had no power) nonsensical. Why didn’t he just power the suit with his Arc Reactor right away?
The movie itself provides two answers to this seeming plot hole. The first is that Tony has moved on to remote control suits: we see him greeting Pepper with one when she comes home, using one to save the President, and even using a fleet of them to fight the Extremis-enhanced goons at the end. It wouldn’t be efficient to create Arc Reactors for every single suit, so he has made sure they run off of alternative energy sources.
Another reason to do this is that Tony knows he won’t always have an Arc Reactor: at the end of the movie, he has the shrapnel removed from his chest, and he no longer needs the reactor to keep himself alive. Why build suits designed to use a power source that he knows he is getting rid of?
12. Civil War – Why blame Scarlet Witch?
The main drama in Captain America: Civil War revolved around the Sokovia Accords, which were designed to control and regulate metahuman activity. They were put in place after Scarlet Witch’s attempt to save Captain America’s life resulted in the deaths of several Wakandans.
However, many moviegoers thought it made little sense to basically judge and punish Scarlet Witch for an action (detonating an explosive high in the air rather than on a crowded street) that likely saved dozens of lives.
And it’s true: if Scarlet Witch had not lifted the bomb up, many more people would have died than when she intervened. Why, then, does she take such blame?
The movie spells this out: the people who died were visiting from the wealthy and mysterious country of Wakanda, so a higher value was placed on their lives. And this action was merely the final straw in a series of deaths and calamities that occurred around so-called “superheroes” (entire cities have been destroyed in their battles).
11. Thor – How would the Vikings know about Thor?
Part of the charm of the first Thor movie was watching people put together the pieces regarding who and what Thor actually is. One of the first people to do so was Doctor Erik Selvig, who connects the man in front of him with the assorted Viking myths about Thor and other characters. However, Thor would have been an infant when Odin and the Asgardians visited Earth, leaving many wondering how the Vikings could have known anything about him.
However, this “plot hole” has several explanations, any (and all) of which may be true. The easiest explanation is that Odin may have spoken about his young son and the great adventures he would go on, leading Vikings know to write about Thor. Also, Thor himself may have traveled to Earth over the years, having adventures we do not know about.
10. Captain America – Why does no one use Hydra technology after the war?
While Captain America: The First Avenger was set largely during World War II, the past often seemed very futuristic. This was largely because Red Skull and his Hydra forces were using super-advanced weaponry, including high-powered laser rifles. After the good guys won, many fans were left scratching their heads and wondering why seemingly nobody ended up using the super technology that Hydra left behind.
The short answer to this question: they did! We see Howard Stark confiscate the Cosmic Cube, and after he helps form S.H.I.E.L.D., they spend decades studying it. Surviving Hydra members ran away with technology and artifacts and continued their experiments, as seen in the Agent Carter television show, while others tried to create Hydra superweapons in Peru (as seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). And, of course, S.H.I.E.L.D. continued to build on this technology to make weaponry that could fight Asgardians if need be.
9. The Incredible Hulk – What’s up with Bruce Banner’s pants?
The Incredible Hulk’s one and only solo Marvel Cinematic Universe movie was something of a mixed bag. It featured solid performances from the likes of Edward Norton, and very solid action in the form of huge fights between Hulk and Abomination. However, many audiences were confused by Bruce Banner’s amazing purple pants, which managed to look normal on Banner and morphed into short-shorts on Hulk (while somehow not busting open).
This is another seeming “plot hole” that the movie goes out of its way to explain. We see Bruce Banner trying to buy some very big, very stretchy pants in anticipation of Hulking out while wearing them.
He should know his size as both Banner and Hulk better than anyone, so he knows what he’s doing. And Hulk does burst through the pants to some degree, with his legs ripping through the bottom of each trouser. This is how baggy pants become tight shorts. It turns out that Banner’s closet doesn’t like him when he’s angry!
8. The Winter Soldier – Why doesn’t Captain America hear about Hydra fighting Nick Fury?
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we get a very unexpected action scene involving Nick Fury. While he’s normally more like a behind-the-scenes General, we see Fury ambushed on the road by multiple Hydra agents. What follows is an insanely long gun battle in the streets, and Fury only survives because of his extensive experience and tricked-out car. But the question remains: why did Captain America not hear anything about this huge shootout that happened in broad daylight?
The simplest explanation for this is that Hydra controls the media. This is something that Arnim Zola later admits as he tells Captain America how careful media manipulation has led to a population that is willing to give up the very civil rights they once fought for.
It’s perfectly believable that unless Cap was on the scene, Hydra could keep him from hearing about it. Plus, Captain America was preoccupied with his suspicions about S.H.I.E.L.D. and Fury at the time— it’s not likely he was watching a lot of TV, and he doesn’t seem like someone who would regularly check social media.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy – How is Star-Lord’s Walkman still functioning?
For a movie involving lots of futuristic alien technology, the most confusing thing about Guardians of the Galaxy was straight out of the 1980s. We see Star-Lord regularly jamming out to a cassette on his vintage Walkman, leading many fans to wonder how he had continued to repair and power the thing for all these decades. Also, how did he integrate a cassette player onto his ship, the Milano?
These are actually pretty simple questions to answer. Regarding the repair of a Walkman, we see technology in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that allows characters to fix the broken parts of a super-complex spaceship by simply zapping it. If Rocket Raccoon can put an entire interstellar vessel back together in a couple of days, then fixing a Walkman would be laughable.
And so would powering it: a large part of the plot of Vol. 2 involved the theft of batteries which (presumably) could be adapted to power anything, so there’s lots in the galaxy to potentially replace Earth batteries.
As for the tape deck, it was likely created by Rocket Raccoon: he’s basically a triangle-faced MacGyver, and if he can jury-rig complex bombs and guns together, he can easily reverse-engineer primitive Earth technology.
6. Guardians Vol. 2 – Why doesn’t Ego instantly kill everyone?
Generally speaking, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a worthy successor to the first movie. It made us laugh, cry, and also moved the needle on the ongoing Marvel mythology. However, many people were frustrated by the final battle, as it took place on a planet that wasn’t just fully controlled by Ego— it was Ego! So why didn’t he just end the fight by instantly phasing everyone into the planet?
This alleged “plot hole” has a sensible, two-part answer. The first is that Ego isn’t thinking on that scale. He’s spent years thinking, feeling, and acting as a human, and despite his great power, he fights his son like a human would: angry and sloppy.
Second, he still needs Star-Lord’s power to enact his crazy plan. If Star-Lord were ever able to break from his dad’s control again, then Ego killing all of his son’s friends would be unforgivable in Star-Lord’s eyes, forever destroying the chance that he’d willingly cooperate. So, Ego either wasn’t thinking of the quick win or simply realized the quick win would upset his long-term plans.
5. Ant-Man – Why doesn’t Hank Pym tell his daughter what happened to The Wasp?
In the Ant-Man movie, we finally get to see the MCU version of Hank Pym. He’s a bit different than expected, as he’s a grizzled old man who must work with younger people, such as his daughter, to protect his scientific legacy. Hank and his daughter, Hope, work really well together, going so far as performing public “fights” to make it seem like they are estranged. Because of their close relationship, though, many fans think it makes no sense that he doesn’t want to tell her the truth about what happened to her mother.
The truth, of course, is horrifying: her mother, the original Wasp, is seemingly lost in the Quantum Realm after taking drastic measures during a mission to stop a missile. The explanation why he doesn’t want to tell Hope is pretty simple, though: Hank is ashamed because he is responsible for his wife’s “death.” She used his technology and was lost on one of his missions. And, like any father, he likely worries about the dangers of his daughter following along in the heroic footsteps of The Wasp and eventually getting hurt or killed!
4. Thor 2 – Why doesn’t Odin use the Infinity Gauntlet that he has?
On the whole, Thor: The Dark World was a pretty bad movie. However, it provided some really exciting moments that helped build up the Asgardian mythology. One of the most exciting moments was seeing that Odin has his own Infinity Gauntlet, complete with Infinity Stones. This made a lot of fans curious: why wasn’t Odin using this to fight Thanos, protect Asgard, and otherwise make his life a lot easier?
The explanation to this is simple, though it’s a bit disappointing. Since that cool cameo, Marvel executives have confirmed that while Odin does possess one of the Infinity Gauntlets, the Infinity Stones inside it are fakes that are simply meant to showcase what a completed Gauntlet looks like.
Thus, while it seems like Odin has complete power over time and space, he’s really not that different from your buddy who keeps displaying fantasy swords in his man-cave without realizing how sad all of it seems.
3. The Avengers – Why didn’t Thor take back Loki’s scepter?
If you’ll remember, all of the drama in Avengers: Age of Ultron started with Loki’s scepter. It had fallen into the hands of Hydra, and the Avengers had to scour the Earth to find and confiscate it from Baron Von Strucker. However, many consider it a plot hole that Thor didn’t just take the damn scepter back to Asgard at the end of the first Avengers movie. He took Loki, he took the Cosmic Cube – why not take the scepter, too?
However, Age of Ultron actually answers this question (albeit in a roundabout way). Part of the drama in the first Avengers movie is that S.H.I.E.L.D. was terrified of Asgard and wanted to develop weapons against them. It seems clear that Thor let S.H.I.E.L.D. study the scepter as a gesture of goodwill between their people, but then Hydra infiltrators stole it.
Strucker basically admits this when Captain America calls him Hydra, saying that he “technically” works for S.H.I.E.L.D. Thus, Thor’s attempt at interdimensional diplomacy inadvertently leads to the creation of Ultron!
2. Doctor Strange – Why have the sorcerers not tried to save the world before?
As a movie, Doctor Strange had to do an impressive amount of world-building. We had to learn how magic works in the MCU, where these Sorcerers come from, where their bases are located, and so on. However, many viewers considered it a plot hole that all of these powerful sorcerers had not intervened when the planet was previously threatened. They have a base of locations (the Sanctum Sanctorum) in New York, but no one bothers to poke their head out when Loki and aliens invade the city?
This is another alleged plot hole that has a simple explanation, though it may still annoy fans. The Ancient One, Wong, and others clearly spell out that their job is to defend Earth against mystical threats. As scary as alien invaders are, they are merely a physical threat. More importantly, they can easily be fought by Earth’s existing heroes, such as The Avengers.
1. Spider-Man: Homecoming – Why does no one notice Vulture selling stolen weapons?
As far as character reimaginings go, Spider-Man: Homecoming does an awesome job with the Vulture. He is portrayed pretty sympathetically as a contractor screwed out of his job of cleaning up the alien attack on New York. As revenge, he holds onto some of the alien technology and spends years creating advanced weapons and gadgets and then selling them to whoever has the money. It’s a neat premise, but it had many fans wondering: why the hell did S.H.I.E.L.D. not notice someone modifying and selling alien weaponry? Why did no Avengers notice, considering that this is all happening in New York?
There are a few answers to this. Regarding the Avengers, they’ve been kept pretty busy hunting down Loki’s scepter, working with (or against) the Sokovia Accords, and generally saving the world. S.H.I.E.L.D. was torn apart by Hydra infiltrators and is still re-building during this time.
Finally, Vulture goes out of his way to stay under the radar, selling his technology to small-time criminals who just want to rob banks. If any of our heroes heard about a laser-powered heist, they’d assume it was an enhanced thug and leave it to the police or to the new “street-level” heroes.
Know of any more Marvel “plot holes” that aren’t really plot holes? Or maybe you’re just itching to begin a sentence with “actually”? Be sure to sound off in the comments!
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