Unanswered Questions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

MCU Unanswered Questions Villains by Rob Keyes

In just a few short months Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins with Captain America: Civil War. We're already a dozen movies and several TV series in with far more on both sides in development.

The focus so far has been on breaking new ground and establishing the universe, introducing new characters, worlds, and even new realms. We've only had a taste of the cosmic side for instance with Guardians of the Galaxy and are on the verge of exploring new dimensions and the concept of magic.

With that in mind, given the seeds laid for future stories and adventures, there are already dozens of questions we have, some about plot points and character revelations, others about what's to come. Without further ado, here's a deep look into the many Unanswered Questions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Jotunheim Beast in Thor: The Dark World
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27 Where is that beast on Earth from Thor 2?

Jotunheim Beast in Thor: The Dark World

In the first Thor movie, when Loki manipulates his adopted brother Thor alongside best friends Sif and The Warriors Three into attacking Jotunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants, they encounter a massive Jotunheim Beast set free by King Laufey. Thor kills the monster but in the sequel Thor: The Dark World, moviegoers are shown another which is teleported to Earth during the climatic Thor vs. Malekith portal-hopping battle across the realms.

The post-credits scene in Thor: The Dark World sees Thor inform his father Odin (actually Loki in disguise) that he is going to Earth to be with his love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and in the other scene, the Jotunheim Beast is seen chasing birds in the background. This violent, lethal, and alien monster is never shown again, and we figured it might be something the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would have to deal with, but they haven't. Perhaps Hydra captured it for future use. It's quite a thing to leave roaming around the MCU unaddressed.

26 Why don't the Avengers know about - and work with - Coulson?

Phil Coulson on Agents of SHIELD

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) keeps in touch with The Avengers, popping up at key times in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (after being presumed dead) and Avengers: Age of Ultron even after Hydra tore apart the secretive S.H.I.E.L.D. organization. That clandestine group is still around though and Fury has passed director duties to Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) who also "died" in Avengers 1.

As far as the television series and movies go, the Avengers - even genius playboy Tony Stark - don't seem to know Coulson is alive, despite operating around the world, and maintaining a relationship with Maria Hill. Will the movies reconcile this fact? Will S.H.I.E.L.D. return to the cinematic spotlight? Will Coulson return to helping the Avengers?

Before Avengers: Age of Ultron came out, Joss Whedon - who publicly said Marvel Studios wasn't too happy about him making Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - said he consider's the movie version of Agent Coulson to still be dead.

25 Where is Coulson's oversight board?

Marvel's Avengers - World Security Council

Speaking of Coulson, he may be the "Director" in name for the sake of ABC television but he still answers to Fury which makes the hierarchy of S.H.I.E.L.D. all the more confusing. We see Fury commanding a Helicarrier during the final battle of Avengers: Age of Ultron - one he got from Coulson without the film referencing the television show or character - implying that there's still a higher presence of the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. in existence.

We've met different factions of the organization in the TV series and Fury's still out there, but without oversight of the world governments (in the form of the World Security Council which was mostly killed off in Captain America: The Winter Soldier), is Coulson really just freely able to do whatever he wants without answering to anyone? And tying back to the previous question, we know he coordinates with Maria Hill (who helps operate the Avengers), but is that really enough to keep Coulson secret and avoid overlapping missions?

24 Does the Lang family still have a monstrous ant?

Ant-Man Microverse Photo - Antony on Rock
RIP Antony, another dead Ant who will be missed

Similar to the Jotunheim Beast from the Thor movies, Ant-Man decided to place an over-sized beast in the final act of the movie just for laughs, forgoing any sense of consequences of the reality of said creature's existence on Earth. This poor Ant's short existence, even if he gets a few snacks under the dinner table from Scott's daughter Cassie, is an awful one in reality.

Ants separated from their colonies live poorer lives, and according to a study by Laurent Keller and Akiko Koto, Carpenter ants in particular were shown to have 1/10th their lifespan when on their own. Ignoring the other harsh reality that giant ants can't really support their weight when their mass is enlarged, it won't be long for this poor fat ant to stop moving, begin shaking, and then die. Scott Lang is going for the opposite of father of the year by keeping that around as a pet for the family. Not even the ability to control ants can save this one.

23 Are there negative side effects to using Pym particles?

Scott Lang (Ant-Man) Pym Particles

The one issue Marvel managed to dodge around in Ant-Man is how in the story Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) chooses to hand over this technology and suit to ex-con Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) rather than his more qualified daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), avoiding controversy with a timely post-credits scene. When we visited the set of Ant-Man this was a major discussion point and it was explained that Hank doesn't want to put his daughter at risk, because of what happened to his wife (the original Wasp) in the past, not just because of the inherent dangers of a miniature-sized spy mission, but because it was hinted that their are significant negative side effects of using Pym particles.

It was the use of Pym particles which could be responsible for Hank's delusions, and to help explain why the film's antagonist Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is as inexplicably evil as he is. Will this be addressed in the sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, or is using Pym particles no big deal anymore?

More: Director Peyton Reed explains the problem with Pym Particles.

22 Is the original Wasp really still alive?

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Speaking of the original Wasp, Ant-Man made great efforts to hint at the possibility of Janet Van Dyne - Hank Pym's wife - still being alive and stuck in the Quantum Realm. When Scott Lang returned from this other dimension, Pym is shown questioning the possibility.

More: Evangeline Lilly Has Been Scanned For Her Wasp Costume

Knowing that the sequel will introduce the last original Avenger yet to appear on screen in the modern era (Wasp!), it would make thematic sense to have Scott and Hope serve as the modern Ant-Man and Wasp, while we see the reuniting of the original Ant-Man and Wasp (Hank and Janet).

21 How powerful is Scarlet Witch?

Elizabeth Olsen Scarlet Witch Civil War

Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and her now-dead brother Pietro a.k.a. Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) got their powers in a unique way, through Hydra experiments with an Infinity Stone. We know from the official Avengers: Age of Ultron prelude comic however, that these two were special, that they were the only survivors of the experiments because they're different. They're potentially Inhuman. This means that, just like in the comics, there is room for their powers to transform and that's exactly what's going to happen with Scarlet Witch in Captain America: Civil War.

More: Elizabeth Olsen Talks to Us About Scarlet Witch’s Accent, Costume & Power Set

In the comics, Scarlet Witch can alter probabilities in such a way where she can literally transform reality, and rewrite existence. She did that in the House of M Marvel Comics crossover event. In the movies, we've only seen a taste of what she can do with hex energy and telekinesis but as the "wild card' of Civil War, we might start to see her as one of the most powerful Avengers, potentially the most powerful.

20 How much will the MCU deal with time-travel?

World War 2 Captain America art by Ryan Meinerding

Of the active and ongoing comic book cinematic universes, Marvel Studios may be the first to delve deep into the cosmos, but it's the X-Men who've first played with time-travel as a plot device. Given that the key MacGuffins of the MCU are the Infinity Stones, one of the remaining stones yet to be uncovered is the Time Gem.

In the comics, time-travel is commonplace, even for the Avengers. It was even used in the modern Avengers/News Avengers runs by writer Jonathan Hickman in the lead-up to last year's Secret Wars super event, and of course, it's core to the origins of the original and rebooted Guardians of the Galaxy series. The Time Stone must come into play during Phase 3 before or during Avengers: Infinity War and with the power of altering time, we're curious how it could be used to alter history, bring back dead characters, etc., and how far Marvel will take it.

More: Marvel Comics Ends The Fantastic Four Alongside Secret Wars

19 Were the Avengers' visions of the actual past and present?

Scarlet Witch Mind Control Powers on Tony Stark

Avengers: Age of Ultron certainly had its confusing moments, and much of that surrounded the functionality of the Mind Stone, how it gave super powers to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and what Scarlet Witch's powers really are. We know only that in Captain America: Civil War, her powers will see a great transformation and she'll be even more powerful than before.

When working for Ultron, Scarlet Witch used her abilities to make most of the Avengers see traumatic visions with the goal of turning them all against one another. Some of these visions didn't seem to have that effect (looking at you, Steve Rogers), and it's unclear if these are just imagined fears, or actual visions of the past and future.

Black Widow for instance, relived actual events, real memories of the past, but Tony Stark saw a vision of a bleak future when Thanos presumably attacks Earth in Avengers: Infinity War. Normally, we'd write that off as a fear given how it depicts the fallen Avengers, but Thor was shown an Infinity Stone (which is a vision and not a fear) and Asgard under siege, with a specific reference to "hel" which if you read the latest Thor: Ragnarok rumors regarding the primary villain and Heimdall's role, seems to be an actual vision of the future.

And if these are actual prophetic visions, this offers a rather interesting theory for Captain America. What if what Rogers saw (and it wasn't a memory) of himself back in the '40s was actually a vision of his future. What if he goes back in time during or after Infinity War? The time stone must have stakes, right?

18 Where/What are the Norns and their Magic Pool?

Avengers: Age of Ultron - Thor's Norn Cave Pool

Another, even more inexplicable element of Avengers: Age of Ultron was Thor's infamous topless scene that was largely cut from the film's theatrical release. After these Scarlet Witch visions (and again, this is another reason why those may be glimpses of the past and future), Thor starts to understand that what they're facing is just the tip of the iceberg and that there are much greater, cosmic happenings at play.

Thor heads off to meet up with his Earthly science genius friend Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) to seek help. The next time we see them they're in a cave. It's not explained where this cave is, where it comes from, or how they know about it. There is however, an apparently dangerous and mystical pool within it (read: excuse to take Chris Hemsworth's shirt off) that lets Thor commune with the Norns (a.k.a. Fates) who in Marvel Comics are overseers of the Nine Realms, connected to all of them via the Tree of Yggdrasill. Think of them as the manifestation of destiny.

Anyway, in the full scene, the Norns take control over Thor and Selvig is able to ask them a bunch of questions. Somehow, this inspires Thor to go hypocritical on Tony Stark and help him give birth to Vision, and later, it makes Thor leave Earth to return to Asgard.

So... these Norns... are we going to see them again? Are there lots of pools like that on Earth? How did Thor know it was there but it never come up before?

17 Where are Betty Ross, Abomination, and The Leader?

The Incredible Hulk - Betty Ross, Abomination, and The Leader

The wonder of the MCU is that supporting characters can be utilized as connective threads between movies and television series, to exemplify the size and scale of the larger story, one that spans different time periods and different solar systems. The outsider to this successful formula however, has always been The Incredible Hulk, a film distributed by rival studio Universal Pictures who holds partial rights to the title character.

Hulk is the only lead to have been recast in the MCU and his supporting characters never seen again, until this summer when General Ross (William Hurt) returns after an 8-year absence for Captain America: Civil War. With this exciting callback, we have to ask now where the other key familiar faces of The Incredible Hulk are. What happened with Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) who became The Abomination and can he return? What about fellow scientist Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson) who began his transformation into the Hulk villain known as The Leader? And of course, what happened to General Ross' daughter and love interest of Bruce Banner, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler)?

More: William Hurt Teases "Different" General Ross in Civil War

16 Why doesn't/hasn't Star-Lord returned to Earth?

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Star-Lord (Chris Pratt)

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is half-Terran and holds on dearly to his Earthly origins, with his attire and interest in '80s pop music. Knowing he still has some relatives and fondness for his homeworld, why hasn't Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord - leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy - visited Earth in all these years while possessing his own interstellar starship?

Is it as simple as the passing of his mother turning him away from Earth, the same way Quill was fearful of opening the gift from her? Either way, we expect Star-Lord and his ragtag crew to headed to Earth sometime during Avengers: Infinity War.

15 Will Marvel's top villains return?

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1-2 Villains

If there's one key criticism consistent through many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe installments 12 movies in, it's their one-and-done, under-developed villains. Key characters who fought heroes in Marvel Comics for decades have been "killed off" or dispensed with on the big screen in minutes, all too often without their backstories, character arcs, or motivations explored or fully explained... but could that all be part of the larger plan?

When Thanos comes to Earth and assembles the Infinity Gauntlet he won't be alone. That much was confirmed and it makes sense given the number of Avengers: Infinity War characters directors Anthony and Joe Russo have teased. If you look back on the MCU, many of the key villains were intentionally depicted as being killed off as a direct result of an Infinity Stone (Red Skull, Malekith, Ultron, Ronan the Accuser) and when the Infinity Stones are assembled in the gauntlet under the command of Thanos, we wouldn't be surprised if these iconic villains return to battle the Avengers.

More: Thanos Isn’t The Only Villain of Avengers: Infinity War

14 Why are so many of the Infinity Stones on or linked to Earth?

Thor's Vision of the Infinity Stones
Thor's Vision of the Infinity Stones

There are six Infinity Stones in the MCU as there are in the comics and at the time of this writing four have been revealed, three of them linked to Earth in Phases 1 and 2. The first one introduced was the Tesseract (Cosmic Cube that houses the blue Space Stone) which was inexplicably left on Earth by Odin for centuries until Thor brought it home after the Battle of New York. Why did the Asgardians leave it here in the first place?

The next is Loki's Sceptre, a weapon powered by the yellow Mind Stone that Thanos gave to Loki when sending him to Earth. Why did Thanos hand over one of the most powerful artifacts in the universe when he's attempting to collect them? Is it part of a larger plan?

In Thor: The Dark World, the Aether (red Infinity Stone in liquid form) is revealed and it's discovered conveniently via a portal from... you guessed it, Earth.

The exception is the purple Power Stone everyone is after in Guardians of the Galaxy but even that object is lacking background in where it was housed on a ruined planet (and how it got there) when Peter Quill discovers it. There's much history to be explored in revealing how each of these objects of immense power got to where they were, how, why, and when, etc., and we hope Marvel doesn't ignore that.

13 Why are there two Infinity Gauntlets?

Marvel Phase 3 Thanos Infinity Gauntlet Tease

The Infinity Gauntlet made a brief appearance in Odin's vault in the first Thor, a year after Marvel Studios brought that very same object to display at San Diego Comic-Con for one day on the show floor. That was foretelling since everything in the MCU is leading up to a two-part Avengers event movie based around this very object. It's this gauntlet, an infamous object from Marvel Comics, that will house the six Infinity Stones when they are assembled for the first time, granting its user infinite power over the universe.

Why then, was another gauntlet shown in a post-credits scene at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron? Is Marvel really just throwing away the fact that they already showed the Infinity Gauntlet in Thor? Nope. Take note and look closely, each gauntlet is for a different hand, confirmed by Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige who told CB while promoting the theatrical release of Age of Ultron that "there are two different gloves. That was not Odin’s vault that you see at the end."

A few months later, at an event for the Avengers: Age of Ultron home video release, this came up again. Feige confirmed here that "it's not the same one," followed by producer Jeremy Latcham quipping, "Which one do you think is the real one?" According to /Film, Feige then gave Latcham a look of displeasure for potentially giving that away.

So, why are there two and which one is fake?

12 Are there many powerful artifacts not related to Infinity Stones?

Benicio del Toro as The Collector with Infinity Stones

In Marvel Comics, Cosmic Cubes (yes, there are multiple) are not Infinity Stones. They're just of many magical and cosmic artifacts or devices, but in the MCU, almost every active object of greater power seems to stem directly from these Infinity Stones, making the cinematic universe feel relatively... smaller. We did see a few others in Thor, including the Casket of Ancient Winters (from the Frost Giants), but not much else (yet).

And with our first look at Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange revealing the MCU's version of the Eye of Agamotto - which suspiciously looks to house a green stone - we're curious if and when the movies will branch away from the six Infinity Stones and introduce additional other-worldly objects of power. At least, we're getting the Cloak of Levitation in Doctor Strange as well, but we're hoping for so much more!

More: Will Marvel’s Doctor Strange Introduce Another Infinity Stone?

11 Are the relics in Odin's Vault just Easter Eggs

Odin's Trophy Room Vault on Asgard (Thor)
Odin's Trophy Room Vault on Asgard (Thor)

This one ties into the previous two. Thor: The Dark World didn't explore the wondrous objects in Odin's Vault, objects that connect to many great stories and characters from the comics, but we're hoping to see that change in Thor: Ragnarok, a movie which seems poised to lay siege to Asgard and help setup Avengers: Infinity War.

The "real" Infinity Gauntlet might be there after all, and the last time we saw the Nine Realms, Loki was secretly sitting on Asgard's throne. Will he use these objects? Was it his plan all along to fail on Earth and to trick Thor into leaving Asgard so he can freely command Asgard and its secrets?

And let's not forget what those key objects in Odin's Vault connect to. Surtur and the Fire Demons, the Orb of Agamotto to Doctor Strange, etc.

10 Is Loki still working for Thanos?

Loki Thor The Dark World

This one's been at the back of my mind ever since Loki was chosen as the primary antagonist in the first Avengers, spearheading an army supplied by Thanos. The bulk of the invaders didn't make their way to Earth because the Avengers closed the portal, but what did come through was unimpressive. Barely-clothed aliens using staffs riding sleds? How is that - even with the help of space whales - going to compete against Earth?

But look at how that played out. The result of this attack brought Loki back to Asgard where his schemes quickly led him to freedom and a place on the throne where he now sits disguised as Odin. Was that Loki's and Thanos' plan all along? Loki did want a throne after all, and as Tony Stark said, there isn't on on Earth. Them working together still would explain why Thanos would trust Loki with not only an army, but with an Infinity Stone. It is all a long-con?

Consider hypothetically, that the opposite is true and Loki isn't working for Thanos and this wasn't some sort of genius strategy. In that scenario, Marvel has made these two villains just plain idiots who consistently fail, and there's little reason to therefore fear them in Avengers: Infinity War.

9 Where's the "Real" Mandarin?

Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin in Iron Man 3 (High-Res)

If you thought Guardians of the Galaxy was a megahit at the box office with a $773 million worldwide haul, just think of how profitable Iron Man 3 was when it earned almost half a billion more than that the year prior. The biggest non-Avengers franchise Marvel Studios has was advertised on the premise of finally pitting Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) against his archenemy from the comics in The Mandarin, but it was all a ploy to play with audience expectations.

In a comedic twist "The Mandarin" was really a substance-abusing actor named Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley). The title of "The Mandarin" was used by a Think Tank to manipulate the press and the governments of the world by distracting them with staged terror attacks, but as we learned in the Marvel One-Shot All Hail The King, the real Ten Rings terrorist organization was none to pleased with their name and leader being abused and they capture Slattery, hinting at a potential future where if Iron Man 4 were to happen, the "real Mandarin" could finally be introduced. It's even possible that Slattery becomes the real Mandarin.

More: 25 Movies Marvel Studios Should Consider For Phase 4

Marvel went out there was to quell criticisms about The Mandarin by using this short to reveal that the real Mandarin is still out there. Could he be a villain for Phase 4?

8 Can Vision Live Without The Mind Stone?

Captain America: Civil War - Vision Art

If we can guarantee one plot point in Avengers: Infinity War it's that Thanos will assemble and use the Infinity Gauntlet and to do that he must acquire all six stones. Therefore, he must remove one of them from a certain Avenger's forehead.

The Mind Stone helped give birth to Vision but does he need to keep it to function? Or can it be replaced with the solar jewel from Marvel Comics?

More: Vision's Rumored Cosmic Connections in Captain America: Civil War

7 What are the other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents doing?

Marvel One-Shot Item 47 - Claire Wise, Benjamin Pollack, and Agent Sitwell
Benjamin Pollack, Agent Sitwell, and Claire Wise in Item 47

When Hydra emerged during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, many loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were killed but most were left to find other jobs by the end. Some remained within secretive still-operating S.H.I.E.L.D. cells as revealed in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series but a few characters from that show and from the Item 47 One-Shot are out there and haven't been seen since.

Specifically, where are Felix Blake, Claire Wise, and Benjamin Pollack? And for the latter two, why did Agent Sitwell recruit them if he was Hydra all along. Is it their criminal actions that attracted Sitwell into recruiting them in an effort to bring them into Hydra as well? On TV Hydra's new origins are being explored, but will that factor into the films in a significant way?

6 Are The One-Shots Coming Back?

Marvel One-Shot - Why Phase III Will Be Marvel’s Golden Age

Speaking of Item 47, the Marvel One-Shots were a resounding success. They let Marvel explore secondary characters and wrap-up incomplete story lines with additional original content. Just look at All Hail the King to see how important that is.

These materials were used to help add another layer to the marketability of film releases, to test new characters and ideas (it led to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter TV series), and according to Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito, the additional original content bolstered sales on home video releases. Additional content and features is something recent Marvel Studios Blu-ray releases have been shockingly lacking.

Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said last summer, and again in October when promoting the home video release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, that they're very interested in doing more and have a "backlog of ideas." He also hinted that it's not entirely up to him, but with major leadership changes at Marvel Studios, putting Feige in a place where he now reports directly to Disney boss Alan Horn, there's no reason not to bring these back.

Just do it.

5 What's the deal with the Agents Koenig?

Agents of SHIELD - Agent Koenig (Patton Oswalt)

Any reason to get Patton Oswalt in a project is a good enough reason, but his role(s) in the MCU are quite unusual. Oswalt played Eric Koenig, but also plays his identical brothers Billy and Sam in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. This revelation threw fans into a flurry of speculation of whether the MCU was finally introducing LMDs (Life Model Decoys) from the comics, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

The Koenigs seem to be there as comic relief and caretakers of secret bases, but is that really all there is to them? And where have they been so far in season 3? For that matter, where is Nick Fury (he popped up in Age of Ultron but will not appear in Captain America: Civil War) and is a Koenig or two still helping him out? Are there more Koenigs?

4 Who is Agent Carter's husband?

Agent Carter Better Angels Peggy Carter

We don't know if Agent Carter will get a season 3. Reviews are mixed, ratings are reportedly not great, and star Hayley Atwell was just signed as the lead for another ABC series at the time of this writing, but if Peggy Carter's period-set adventures are explored more in the future, we hope to find out who she marries.

We only know that Peggy Carter's husband was a soldier in the Allied Forces during World War II who later married Peggy Carter, and was someone Steve Rogers saved. Given her age and health in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it's widely believed that Peggy has passed away just before the events of Captain America: Civil War and that her funeral scene will be included. Perhaps here we'll finally learn more on her partner in life.

3 What is the last Guardians of the Galaxy Easter Egg?

Guardians of the Galaxy - The Collector's Museum Collection

It's been a year and half since Guardians of the Galaxy debuted in theaters and in all of that time, no one has found the last hidden Easter Egg according to James Gunn who said in September:

“They have not all been found. No one has found the big one, really.”

He reiterated that this "big one" hasn't been found since, even to me directly. How is that possible knowing that fans have gone through it frame by frame, especially if it's "the big one"? Is it a joke despite Gunn promising that it's not? Is it something abstract?

Some of the fan theories about this have commonly pointed towards Marvel Comics Thor analog Beta Rey Bill being in The Collector's vault but that's been confirmed false (in fact, no Korbinites are in the film, not even those weird skulls from the intro). Another neat theory is that some believe Odin is hidden in The Collector's collection somewhere and that this is the reason why Asgard (secretly under the command of Loki) hands The Collector an Infinity Stone (the Aether). That, we presume, would all be Loki's doing and could be a way to connect Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to Thor: Ragnarok. Or not.

2 Will the movies include the TV heroes?

Marvel Netflix Defenders Team Up Miniseries

If under-developed villains are a major criticism of the MCU, the other big glaring one is in how disconnected the film and TV divisions are, to the point where there are reported rivalries between the two. It's extremely important to develop ABC and Netflix television shows as stories that stand on their own, but it's weird and off-putting in how much the films so far have avoided even mentioning that happenings and characters from the small screen.

Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige says the movies eventually referencing the TV shows is "inevitable" but that doesn't seem to be in the cards anytime soon. Directors and brother pair Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America 2 and 3), who are returning for Avengers: Infinity War, said including the Defenders for instance, is "complicated" and just this week, Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director James Gunn said on his Facebook Q&A that the TV and Movies are "not really connected at all."

Is that #ItsAllConnected social media hashtag for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. really something to be ignored? Are the stories in that show, and its exploration of Inhumans and the origins of Hydra, all stuff that won't matter in the movies?

1 Will the Fantastic Four Join the MCU?

Fantastic Four and Ant-Man

Consider this the bonus entry in our evolving list of unanswered MCU questions, but it's a valid one based on recent events. Twentieth Century Fox holds the film licenses to key Marvel Comics properties in the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, but the former is currently dead in the water.

The deal Fox has with these characters requires them to have a film with "Fantastic Four" in its title in production every so many years otherwise the rights revert back to Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment (this is how Marvel got Daredevil back). They had big plans for the FF with the hope of eventually crossing it over with the X-Men, but the Josh Trank-directed reboot failed in every measurable way.

Fantastic Four 2 has been pulled off of Fox's release slate and in the time since, Fox and Marvel (who reportedly lost any semblance of a relationship previously) are now working together. They're co-producing a pair of X-Men live-action TV shows for the Fox and FX networks, which is a milestone moment for the two companies. If Marvel agreed to approve - and even help Fox make - new programming, is there any chance the higher-ups at each company spoke about working together on the Fantastic Four? In this day and age, is it really possible that they haven't had that conversation?

Consider that and how just a few months before Marvel and Sony announced a similar partnership for the Spider-Man franchise. Fox can't realistically re-reboot the FF on their own. The property has been buried by Marvel in the comics and merchandise/licensing, and fans are generally against Fox developing a Fantastic Four movie again. On top of all of that, the Fantastic Four characters and stories rely on characters that Marvel prime owns - to have any meaningful future anyway. So, the question of the FF and their roster of cosmic characters and villains potentially joining the MCU in the future remains one of the most interesting questions we currently have.

More: What Are Marvel’s 3 New Mystery Movies Releasing in 2020?

If have other questions for the future based on what you've seen in the MCU, share them in the comments along with your thoughts and theories on the above!

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