Next year, Black Widow’s first solo movie will introduce a new concept to the MCU: prequels. The movie is reportedly set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Natasha’s controversial death in Avengers: Endgame. We’ve had movies set prior to the main MCU timeline before, like Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain Marvel (there’s a lot of heroes with the rank of Captain in the past).
But since they both introduced us to their lead characters for the first time, they weren’t true prequels like Black Widow will be. This opens up a whole host of new avenues for the MCU. Here are 10 prequels the MCU should make after Black Widow.
10 Captain America Returning The Infinity Stones To The Past
While Avengers: Endgame gave Captain America the perfect ending to his character arc, it came at the expense of an awesome storyline. Cap went back in time and returned all the Infinity Stones and Mjolnir to their original locations before crossing the multiverse to return to his original timeline, marrying Peggy Carter, growing old, and passing his shield onto Sam Wilson.
We missed all of this, however, and just saw old Steve sitting on a bench. Cap went to Asgard, Morag, and back to the Battle of New York. What’s most important is that when he returned the Soul Stone to Vormir, he would have to confront Red Skull again. It would make a fantastic prequel if Chris Evans was willing.
9 Thanos Raising Gamora And Nebula
The brief flashback to Nebula slaughtering aliens with the unwanted assistance of Gamora in Avengers: Endgame when Earth’s mightiest heroes headed back to 2014 gave us a taste of a potential prequel that would be really exciting. Gamora and Nebula shared some of the most interesting scenes in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, so why not give us a whole movie of that?
We’ve heard a lot about how Thanos raised Gamora and Nebula, so let’s explore it visually. As it stands, Gamora is no longer a part of the MCU and the version that is comes from 2014, before all of her character development. This prequel wouldn’t feel too much like a step backwards.
8 Odin’s Past
As the MCU moves past its first chapter and heads into crazier, more experimental territory, a terrific story to explore would be Odin’s past. In raising Thor and Loki and all throughout Thor’s solo trilogy, Odin was very open about the fact that he made mistakes in his past. He also fought a lot of fantastical wars.
There are thousands of years of Odin’s history to explore in a prequel, and the character was always popular when Anthony Hopkins was playing him. It wouldn’t take any impact away from his death in Ragnarok – in fact, it would give it even more impact, because we’d know him better when he was alive.
7 Young Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne as Ant-Man and the Wasp in the ‘80s
We’ve seen a couple of flashbacks to Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne’s time as the original Ant-Man and the Wasp in the Ant-Man solo movies, but it would be great to see them get a whole movie. The 1980s is a decade that the MCU hasn’t explored in depth yet and Marvel has clearly perfected the digital de-aging technique.
It would be interesting to see Hank and Janet juggle their superhero careers with raising Hope. It could be a Reagan-era Cold War thriller following the duo as they take on a Soviet villain for the U.S. government, a little like how Captain America fought a comic book Nazi villain during World War II.
6 T’Chaka’s Reign as Black Panther
Wakanda is one of the MCU’s most popular fictional worlds and there’s clearly a lot of history to explore. T’Challa is the Black Panther that we’ve been following as he gradually comes to terms with the mistakes that his father made as king and tries to rectify them. So, why not dive back into Wakanda’s rich history and see how T’Chaka was running things in his heyday?
Unlike Iron Man or Captain America, there was a Black Panther before the one we’ve come to know and love. With young T’Challa in the mix, this prequel could still have ties to the primary Black Panther series.
5 The Ancient One’s Origin Story
There are tons of stories involving the Ancient One to explore, and since she can see the entire timeline up until her death (and she mentioned having seen her death many times when it happened in Doctor Strange), there’s probably an interesting way to tell her origin story without it feeling like a straight “prequel.”
Since she can take her astral form anywhere and she used to possess the Eye of Agamotto (aka The Time Stone), there’s a chance for an Ancient One origin story to toy with conventional narrative structure, and also justify her Celtic background, which was controversially changed from the original character’s Asian heritage.
4 Mar-Vell’s Involvement in The Kree-Skrull War
Since this would be a prequel to Captain Marvel, which is technically already a prequel, it would be a prequel to a prequel. Captain Marvel promised to bring the Kree-Skrull War to Earth, but what it really did was vilify the Skrulls, then redeem the Skrulls, then vilify the Kree, as it was revealed that the Kree-Skrull War came to Earth years earlier when Mar-Vell disguised herself as Dr. Wendy Lawson and infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. to gain access to the Tesseract.
A prequel starring Annette Bening as Mar-Vell learning the truth about the Skrulls and turning on the Kree to help them could delve back into the space opera elements that Captain Marvel only touched on.
3 How Rocket and Groot Met
The unfortunately delayed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 looks set to explore Rocket’s origin story as James Gunn strives to conclude his MCU character arc. However, it would be interesting to also see the origin story of Rocket and Groot’s relationship at some point.
While Solo: A Star Wars Story’s explanation of how Han met Chewbacca was very disappointing, Rocket and Groot have a rich history in the comics that a writer-director with a strong grasp on both comedic dialogue and comic book lore, such as Kevin Smith, could mine for a great prequel. It could even end with them arriving on Xandar at the beginning of the first Guardians movie.
2 Nick Fury’s Early Days At S.H.I.E.L.D.
We saw Nick Fury in his early days as a low-level bureaucrat in Captain Marvel, but that was really Carol Danvers’ movie. We didn’t get to see the Fury that Alexander Pierce described in The Winter Soldier: the spy racked with paranoia who didn’t play by the rules if he thought his superiors were wrong.
It would be great to see a de-aged Samuel L. Jackson play Nick Fury in a really tense, gritty, Bourne-style spy thriller. It could focus on real-world issues, like surveillance, privacy, and drone warfare. Lord knows what Nick Fury’s up to in the present day in space, but this would be a lot of fun.
1 The Secret Avengers
Between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Cap left his political asylum in Wakanda behind to carry out missions with the Falcon and Black Widow as “The Secret Avengers,” which explains why he wasn’t in Black Panther. This is when Cap grew out his beard and technically became Nomad.
It would be great to see these Avengers back in action together again, with the added twist being that while they try to help people, law enforcement agencies are hunting them down. So, they’d be chasing a villain while also being chased by the feds. Forget a cat-and-mouse thriller - this would be a dog-and-cat-and-mouse thriller.