The films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are famous for their Easter eggs and post-credits stingers. A lot of the time, these teases seem to set up future movies in the franchise, but since the studio releases three movies a year and all three usually have more than one sequel setup in them, it’s not logistical to pay off every single one.
Now that a lot of the story has been paid off in Avengers: Endgame, a movie with no post-credits stinger (apart from the sound of a hammer calling back to Iron Man), the MCU has a chance to catch up with itself. Here are 10 Forgotten MCU Teases We Hope To See Paid Off In Phase 4.
Nick Fury’s map at the end of Iron Man 2 basically became the blueprint for cinematic universes. Marvel literally threw a bunch of sequel setups on the screen to see what would stick. An example of one we’ve seen pay off is Wakanda’s place on the map.
That early tease of Black Panther’s presence in the MCU has paid off in spades with an Oscar-nominated solo movie and a key role in Captain America: Civil War and two Avengers movies. An example of one we haven’t seen pay off is Atlantis’ place on the map. This suggested that Namor the Sub-Mariner would be introduced, ruling over his undersea kingdom of Atlantis.
9 The original Guardians of the Galaxy team
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 introduced MCU audiences to Stakar Ogord, the leader of the comics universe’s original Guardians of the Galaxy team from the ‘70s. Stakar was played by Sylvester Stallone, who got the team back together in a mid-credits scene.
Such stars as Michelle Yeoh, Miley Cyrus, and Ving Rhames cameoed as other members of the team, suggesting that we would see them either get their own movie or join the Guardians we know and love in their threequel. We have yet to see any follow-up on this tease, but the cast (and the characters they’re playing from the comics) are too great not to do something with them in the future.
8 The Vulture protected Spider-Man in prison
In the mid-credits scene following Spider-Man: Homecoming, we see Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. the Vulture, in prison. Mac Gargan approaches him and says he’s got some guys on the outside who are ready to kill Spider-Man if Toomes can give up his real name.
However, despite knowing that Spidey’s real name is Peter Parker, Toomes pretends he doesn’t know. Now, did he protect Peter to save him for himself or to reward him for saving his life? It’s been confirmed that the Vulture won’t be appearing in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but let’s hope this at least gets revisited in a future movie.
7 Rick Jones’ S.H.I.E.L.D. file
In one scene in The Incredible Hulk, which has been mostly discounted by MCU canon anyway, we see a S.H.I.E.L.D. file with the name “Jones, Richard ‘Rick’,” hinting at the arrival of Marvel Comics legend Rick Jones. In the comics, Jones has been a sidekick to a ton of characters – including the Hulk, Captain America, and Captain Marvel – and been involved in a few of Marvel’s biggest events.
It’s about time he came to the MCU. Jones isn’t necessarily a superhero, since he doesn’t have what Spidey would call a “made-up name,” but he is an expert in tech and hand-to-hand combat, so he still comes in handy.
6 Jonathan Pangborn’s revenge
The mid-credits scene of Doctor Strange teased a Stephen Strange cameo in Thor: Ragnarok, but the post-credits scene was more interested in setting up Doctor Strange 2. Karl Mordo strips Jonathan Pangborn of his magical powers and says there’s “too many sorcerers” in the world.
If this guy doesn’t pursue a vendetta against Strange, then the whole thing was a waste of time. We’ve been promised that a sequel to Doctor Strange is on the way in the MCU’s future, with more fans likely to care about the Sorcerer Supreme now that we know he was the mastermind behind the Avengers’ last stand against Thanos.
5 Harley Keener tipped to become Iron Lad
Harley Keener’s MCU debut in Iron Man 3 was so long ago that when the child actor who played him reappeared at Tony Stark’s funeral, moviegoers across the world thought to themselves, “Who’s that kid?” He was introduced as a plucky young sidekick for Tony, but Tony would eventually find a better version in Peter Parker.
Still, Harley Keener’s MCU stint won’t be a total waste if he becomes Iron Lad and leads the Young Avengers – which would be a great way to both diversify the cast and continue the Avengers movies without the core heroes – into the franchise’s future.
4 The Grandmaster is still alive
After the credits of Thor: Ragnarok have rolled, we see that the Grandmaster is still alive on Sakaar, begging all of his freed minions not to kill him. Realistically, the people he once enslaved wouldn’t spare his life and he wouldn’t last too long after this scene.
However, in the context of the MCU, fans love the Grandmaster – and regular moviegoers simply love Jeff Goldblum – too much for that to be the end of the Grandmaster. If Taika Watiti directs a new Thor movie, or a Valkyrie movie about the New Asgardians, then we need to see more of the Grandmaster.
3 Cosmo the Spacedog
Cosmo the Spacedog, a comic book version of the dog that the Soviet Union sent into space in the 1960s, can be seen in the Collector’s museum as a living exhibit in Guardians of the Galaxy. He is also seen later in the post-credits scene in which the Collector is having a drink with Howard the Duck.
While no one’s clamoring for a Howard the Duck movie to pay off that tease, it would be awesome to see Cosmo join the Guardians, as he does in the comics, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Giving Star-Lord a canine sidekick, as well as another animal for Rocket to compete with, could be really fun.
2 The creation of Adam Warlock
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had by far the most credits scenes of any MCU movie, with five in total. One of them saw Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign, being told that the artificial being they were creating to destroy the Guardians of the Galaxy was complete. We close in on a gold cocoon as Ayesha says she will call him “Adam.”
This teased the introduction of Adam Warlock two years ago. Some fans expected him to appear in Avengers: Infinity War, then they expected him to appear in Avengers: Endgame. If he doesn’t appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, then he’d better appear somewhere soon.
1 The real Mandarin
After Iron Man 3 controversially revealed the infamous Mandarin from the comics to be an eccentric and idiotic actor named Trevor Slattery, fans were mad. So, Marvel made a One-Shot entitled All Hail the King that revealed that the real Mandarin and his criminal group, the Ten Rings, are still out there.
But we haven’t heard anything from the Mandarin and the Ten Rings yet. In a recent Reddit AMAA (Ask Me Almost Anything), Kevin Feige was asked if we’d be seeing the real Mandarin in the MCU’s future and he simply replied, “Yes,” so fingers crossed for this one.