Extremis - 2012
The US Government rebranded War Machine as the Iron Patriot, continuing to field him against potential terrorists. One particular challenge was the threat of the Mandarin, an individual blamed for a spate of terrorist attacks across America. In reality, the Mandarin was a cover created by Aldrich Killian in order to generate a climate of fear. Killian's explosives were actually the byproduct of a bioengineering process he called Extremis, one that was dangerously unstable. Although Killian managed to kidnap the President of the United States, he was nevertheless defeated by Iron Man and War Machine.
Hydra took samples of Extremis, and began using it in an attempt to create their own super-soldiers. This particular project was run by a Hydra cell that operated under the code-name "Centipede."
Sources: Iron Man 3, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1, 'Pilot'
The Convergence - 2013
Asgard used the Tesseract to repair the Bifrost, and began a military campaign to restore peace to the Nine Realms. This distracted Asgard's forces from the impending Convergence; although Thor noted that the barriers between dimensions were crumbling, he believed this was due to Loki's old dimensional jaunts. On Earth, Jane Foster stumbled across a dimensional rift and became infected with the Aether. Thor swiftly traveled to Earth, and took her to Asgard for study. He had failed to anticipate the return of the Dark Elves, awakened from suspended animation when the Aether returned to this dimension. The Dark Elves once again attempted to use the Aether and the Convergence combined to restore their own dark universe.
Thor defeated Malekith, but at a price; the Dark Elves had successfully raided Asgard's cells, meaning the Nine Realms' most terrifying villains had escaped. Meanwhile, Loki took advantage of the chaos to disguise himself as Odin, and banished the real All-Father from Asgard.
The Fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 2013-2014
Back on active duty, although with memories of his resurrection wiped, Phil Coulson began to investigate the "Centipede" conspiracy. He was placed in charge of a small tactical team, heavily supervised by Fury's agents for any sign of instability. It didn't take long for Coulson to add to the team, though, picking up the mysterious hacker Skye. Hydra agents attempted to use Skye to discover the secret of Coulson's resurrection, but their investigations resulted in the destruction of Project T.A.H.I.T.I.. Meanwhile, Captain America became an active S.H.I.E.L.D. asset, usually working alongside Brock Rumlow and Black Widow.
Hydra began to prepare for what they believed would be their masterstroke. They believed humanity was finally at the point where it would sacrifice liberty for security; to that end, S.H.I.E.L.D. funding was redirected towards the controversial Project Insight. This would allow Hydra to kill all potential opponents in one single devastating attack. When Nick Fury questioned Insight, Hydra had the Winter Soldier launch an assassination attempt. This caught the attention of Captain America and Black Widow, and they exposed Hydra.
S.H.I.E.L.D. entered a brief period of "civil war," with Hydra triggering their agents across the world. S.H.I.E.L.D. ultimately emerged triumphant, with Captain America and Falcon neutralizing Project Insight, and Black Widow dumping all S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrets on to the Internet. In the aftermath of this disaster, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra were both branded terrorist organisations, and the US Government assigned General Talbot to capture every active S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. In spite of General Talbot's interference, Coulson and his team successfully continued their war against Hydra. To Coulson's surprise, Nick Fury placed him in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the new director. Unknown to Coulson and Fury, a S.H.I.E.L.D. splinter group also formed, based on the S.H.I.E.L.D. ship Illiad.
In Sokovia, Baron Strucker resolved that other branches of Hydra could be sacrificed in order to maintain his own experiments with Loki's Scepter. He had already successfully created two "enhanced" people, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
Sources: Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 & 2; Avengers: Age of Ultron - This Sceptre'd Isle, Captain America: Homecoming, Captain America: The Winter Soldier Infinite Comic
Page 10: A New Kind of Hero
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019