Avengers: Endgame is set for release and promises to close this long chapter of the MCU and herald in a new era. The unprecedented 22-film series the MCU has pulled off has been truly remarkable. These characters have been with us for the last decade, allowing us to really get to know them as heroes and it will be very hard to see some of them go.
The level of continuity the MCU has managed is truly impressive. However, there have obviously been a few times they needed to backtrack and do a little rewriting of history. Sometimes characters have certain developments that end up interfering with the overall storytelling, so changes need to be made. There are a few of the times the MCU retconned their characters.
10 Thor Stuck On Asgard
Thor’s character arc in the first Thor movie was changing from an arrogant warrior to a self-sacrificing protector. Part of his sacrifice was destroying the Rainbow Bridge to prevent Loki’s destruction of Jotunheim. This meant he could not return to Earth to see his new love, Jane Foster.
However, the sacrifice felt quite shallow when Thor showed up on Earth in The Avengers. A quick throwaway line explained that Dark Magic was used to transport him. It might be a lame excuse, but the Dark Magic was used again in Avengers: Infinity War when Heimdall sent Hulk to Earth.
9 Hawkeye’s Retirement
It could be argued that Hawkeye’s secret family revealed in Avengers: Age of Ultron was a character retcon. That development seemed to come out of nowhere and felt like an addition made to give this character a little more personality. This helped add to the feeling that Hawkeye was doomed, only for him to survive and retire to his family life.
That sweet sentiment didn’t last long as Hawkeye jumped at the chance to get back in the action in Captain America: Civil War. Apparently he was bored with retirement and that was enough reason to go back to his extremely dangerous line of work.
8 Steve Searches For Bucky
Steve Rogers relationship with Bucky Barnes has been so central to the Captain America films and the character of Cap throughout the MCU. After losing his friend in Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve and Bucky met up again in The Winter Soldier, albeit in a contentious way. By the end of that film, Hydra was taken down, S.H.I.E.L.D. was disbanded and Bucky was on the run with Steve hot on his trail.
By his next appearance, Steve seemed to have abandoned that mission to find his friend and was instead hanging out with his super friends. Even by Civil War, Steve seemed to have forgotten about Bucky until he resurfaced.
7 Rhodey’s Injury
As fantastically entertaining as Captain America: Civil War was, there was some criticism of the lack of stakes. Given the loss involved in the comic book story, fans were expecting some serious casualties. While none of the heroes died, Rhodey did suffer a pretty serious injury.
Rhodey’s paralysation was the kind of injury not normally seen in superhero films and one that could affect him for years going forward. Instead, by his appearance in Infinity War, Rhodey was back on his feet like nothing had happened. While it makes sense Stark would have the tech to help him walk, it felt like those consequences were wiped away.
6 Iron Man Destroys His Armor
Tony Stark’s growing obsession with building new armor has been a defining part of the character for years. It is also something that has led up to his showdown with Thanos as he has been preparing for the “endgame” all this time.
We see the extent of Stark’s obsession in Iron Man 3 with his army of Iron Men, but at the end of the movie, he decides to step away from that life and destroys all the armor. However, he must have immediately started building again, as he was back in the suit in Age of Ultron and has donned it several time since then.
5 Thor’s Missing Eye
Thor certainly went through a lot in Thor: Ragnarok, like losing his father, his hammer and his home all in one movie. With all that devastation, the fact that he also lost one of his eyes seems inconsequential, but like Rhodey’s injury in Civil War, it was a serious wound that could define the character in the future.
His new look was short-lived as Rocket quickly found him a replacement eye in Infinity War. While it makes sense that he could replace it, it happens so quickly it makes the injury seem pointless. Maybe, Chris Hemsworth just didn’t want to wear an eye-patch anymore?
4 Peter In Iron Man 2
Though it was a dream many fans thought would never become a reality, Spider-Man joined the MCU in Captain America: Civil War. The super popular Marvel hero fit extremely well into the cinematic universe, feeling like he had been there the entire time. But after some clever retconning, it turns out he has been involved from the early days.
Though it seemed to start as just a fun fan theory, Tom Holland confirmed that the young boy saved by Iron Man in Iron Man 2 was actually young Peter Parker. The change works really well and actually adds a lot to the sweet relationship between Peter and Tony in the later films.
3 Gamora: Last Of Her Kind
When Gamora is introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy, she is identified as being the last of her race. This detail adds to her tragic character and her sense of being a lone wolf. However, this becomes a problem when we are given Gamora’s backstory in Infinity War.
We see Gamora first met Thanos when the Mad Titan came to her homeworld to try out his theory of killing off half the planet’s population. Thanos claims the planet prospered because of his genocide meaning Gamora isn’t quite on her own.
2 Thor’s Personality
Thor: Ragnarok was a much-needed boost of energy in the Thor franchise. The character had not quite reached his full potential in the MCU and never reached the same popularity as his peers like Cap and Iron Man. Thanks to the humor Taika Waititi brought to the third film, Thor reached a new level of popularity.
While the change was a welcome one, it was a completely different Thor than we’ve seen before. Gone was his royal seriousness and Shakespearean inspired speech, and it was replaced with joking and an Australian accent. The change is never addressed and, to be honest, we don’t mind it at all.
1 Tony Stark Recruits Avengers
It stands to reason that some of the decisions made at the beginning of the MCU would have to be undone. While it was surprisingly smooth, one obvious instance they needed to backtrack was Tony Stark’s role in recruiting the Avengers.
Though largely forgotten, The Incredible Hulk was the second entry in the MCU. Its final scene had Stark meeting with General Ross to discuss putting a team together. We would later find out Stark had little interest in being involved with the team. Therefore, the Marvel One-Shot titled The Consultant was used to explain Stark was meant to be a deterrent for Ross to get involved.