The Marvel Cinematic Universe is heavily setting up MI-13, a fictional British spy agency frequently associated with Captain Britain. Marvel recently announced their Phase 4 plans, but there's one notable gap; last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger teased that Marvel will "try our hand at what I'll call a new franchise beyond Avengers."
Back in 2014, Marvel Studios announced their entire Phase 3 slate - five years' worth of films - at one event. Nowadays, the studio is being a lot more secretive; although they still operate to a five-year plan, at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 they only announced the next two years of it. That's probably partly because Marvel had so much to unveil - both movies and Disney+ TV shows - that they knew any longer-term plans would be drowned out.
Naturally, it means there's still intense speculation about what this mystery franchise could be; guesses have ranged from the Champions to the Thunderbolts. But, surprisingly, there's another possibility - a British spy agency called MI-13.
What Is MI-13?
In the comics, MI-13 is a covert British intelligence unit that reports directly to the Joint Intelligence Committee and operates alongside MI5, MI6, and GCHQ. It's essential the UK version of SHIELD, with a remit involving any superhuman, extraterrestrial, or supernatural affairs. MI-13 operative Pete Wisdom, a mutant who had previously served as a member of the superhero team Excalibur, set up a special unit of superhumans to help deal with crises that were too great for the agency to handle themselves. Essentially, they were the British Government's Avengers Initiative. MI-13 hasn't had a major presence in the comics, but Marvel used the "Secret Invasion" event to launch a Captain Britain and MI-13 book that ran for 15 issues.
Spider-Man: Far From Home Subtly Teased MI-13
The Shard is one of London's most notable landmarks, the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the sixth-tallest in Europe. Construction began in 2009 and completed in 2012, and it's open to members of the public, with a private viewing area that allows you to look out across the City of London. In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Nick Fury and Maria Hill seemed to have chosen the Shard of their London base of operations. No doubt Londoners will have found that quite amusing; there have been persistent urban legends that Britain's spy agencies are secretly based at the high-tech building, but there may be another reason for this. In the comics, in what's surely a nod to these popular myths, the Shard is the headquarters of MI-13. It would make sense for Fury and Hill to monitor the Mysterio situation from an allied agency who also handled this kind of crisis.
The MCU Is Introducing Two MI-13 Agents
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is always expanding, and it's notable that two major members of MI-13's metahuman unit are soon to make their MCU debut. Next year's Eternals movie will introduce Kit Harington as the Black Knight, the latest in a long line of heroes to have wielded the Ebony Blade. The Ebony Blade dates back to the time of Camelot when Merlin chose a champion to protect King Arthur from the treachery of Mordred. Ever since, the Black Knights have been tasked to serve as champions of justice, and they've been strongly associated with Britain's natural mysticism. Given that's the case, it's no surprise that the Black Knight was recruited as a superhuman asset by MI-13, and worked as part of Pete Wisdom's team.
A second member is Blade, the vampire hunter. The comic book version of Blade was actually born in Soho, in London, in 1929. His mother experienced labor complications and chose the wrong doctor to approach for help, falling prey to a vampire's bite. Blade grew up on the streets of London, unaware that his blood had been flooded with vampiric enzymes; when he learned the truth, he dedicated his life to hunting down vampires. In Captain Britain and MI-13, Blade returned to London to help MI-13 deal with supernatural threats and stuck around. Given the MCU is already introducing the Black Knight, it's certainly interesting that Marvel has also cast Mahershala Ali as Blade.
Avengers: Endgame May Have Dropped A Captain Britain Easter Egg
Meanwhile, the MCU may have already begun setting up their own version of Captain Britain himself. The introduction of the Black Knight presumably means that Merlin and Camelot will be canon in the MCU as well, and in the comics, the various Captains Britain are Merlin's chosen champions. One Captain Britain was James Braddock, a scientist who has some loose ties to SHIELD. His son, Brian, became his more famous successor and continues in this role to the present day.
In Avengers: Endgame, the heroes time-traveled back to SHIELD's base at Camp Lehigh in 1970. One scene saw Steve Rogers unwittingly hide in the office of Director Peggy Carter, and he was shocked as he watched his love through a window. It was easy to miss, but Peggy Carter was talking about someone called "Braddock." There's only one Braddock family in Marvel, which surely means Avengers: Endgame had a Captain Britain Easter egg. Of course, it's unclear which Braddock Peggy was talking about; it would make sense for it to be James, whose scientific genius would make him a natural fit for SHIELD, and that approach would allow Brian Braddock to exist in the present-day MCU.
It would certainly make narrative sense that, after the fall of SHIELD in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, every nation began setting up its own intelligence agency to monitor and deal with superhuman and supernatural threats. That process may even have been accelerated in the UK, where the British Government would have remembered the Dark Elf attack on London in Thor: The Dark World. Given that's the case, it's interesting to note the distinct MI-13-shaped pattern to Marvel's recent announcements. What's more, it wouldn't be too difficult to introduce other characters; the superhero Spitfire, for example, is another rogue vampire who's determined to do good, so she naturally becomes possible after Blade has made his debut. It really won't be difficult for Marvel Studios to unveil MI-13.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022