The Marvel Cinematic Universe is more than a franchise at this point, it's a spectacle. Marvel has managed to create the world's first intricate, long-term shared universe, spanning across film, television, and other forms of media seamlessly.
A big thing about the MCU is that it features some of the coolest characters in comic book history, bringing together Marvel's greatest heroes and villains on the big screen — Some for the very first time.
From Iron Man, to Star-Lord, to Loki, to Thanos, the MCU is full of characters and they're still adding more! As such, a favorite pastime of many MCU viewers is searching for clues to find out which hero and/or villain will be appearing on the big screen next.
Fans have looked at past movies, future movies, and everything relating to the MCU for hints at who they'll be seeing join the likes of the Avengers and the Guardians next. But what if we've all been looking in the wrong place. What if there's one form of media that the MCU touched which we've neglected to pay attention to?
The Marvel Game That's Been Dropping Huge MCU Hints!
Back in January of 2016, Lego released another entry in its long list of tie-in video games; Lego Marvel's Avengers. The game was a spiritual successor to #Marvel and Lego's last collaboration, Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
Lego Marvel's Avengers focused mainly on the movie side of Marvel, featuring levels and characters based on those found in the #MCU, as well as various other comic book characters that Marvel had the rights to (so no X-Men or Fantastic Four).
I believe that among the 200+ characters found within the game, Marvel has been hinting that quite a few them of will be making an appearance in the MCU sometime in the foreseeable future. But where's the evidence?
The Relationship Between The Game And The MCU
You might think that there's absolutely no connection between Marvel Studios and the development of Lego Marvel's Avengers, but the two have more in common than you'd think.
Lego Marvel's Avengers features characters and events from some of the MCU's biggest movies, so it's clear that Marvel Studios had a say in what could and couldn't be included in the game.
With that in mind, it's possible that the studio and the developers of them used the game to hint at the future of the MCU. How did they do that? Well one surefire way to tease upcoming MCU movies is to fill a game with upcoming MCU characters.
While the main cast of the game consists of characters we've already seen in the MCU, future MCU stars such as Squirrel Girl also make an appearance. Just recently, Squirrel Girl was confirmed to be a main character in Marvel's 2018 TV comedy, New Warriors.
However, the buck-toothed superhero isn't the only future MCU character to make an appearance in Lego Marvel's Avengers. In fact, quite a few show up in the game as playable characters. Like who you may ask?
Chase Stein is a member of the infamous Runaways, a superhero group that often battles against their super-villain parents. Think Codename: Kids Next Door, but a bit more mature.
Chase also makes an appearance in Lego Marvel's Superheroes as a playable character. Unlike Squirrel Girl, he was confirmed as a future MCU character before the release of the game. However, hope for the Runaways movie had pretty much been destroyed when the idea was shelved after several attempts.
Luckily, the Runaways were given a second chance when it was announced that Hulu had ordered a series based on the Marvel Comics team. Chase's appearance in Lego Marvel's Avengers came in the same year that this announcement was made; meaning that it's possible he was included in the game as a means of hyping up the Runaways in case of any future MCU appearances.
After being cast in October of 2015, Mantis appeared in #GuardiansoftheGalaxy2 this year to great acclaim. Coincidentally, Mantis made an appearance in Lego Marvel's Avengers a month before she was announced to be in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Was this deliberately timed so that the character could become more well-known to fans before her official live-action announcement.
Other future MCU stars, like Hellcat (from Jessica Jones), Crystal (Marvel's Inhumans), and Damage Control (Spider-Man: Homecoming and ABC's Damage Control) have all made appearances in Lego Marvel's Avengers too. While, this doesn't mean that every character in the game is a future MCU hero or villain, it does suggest that some of them could be.
If that's true then characters such as Korvac, Captain Universe and Quasar all have a chance to join the MCU. Thanks to the words of Kevin Feige and James Gunn, we already know that the MCU is about to become a lot more cosmic, which means that it's even more likely that these kind of characters will make a future appearance!
So what do you think? Is Lego Marvel's Avengers hinting at the MCU's future? Sound off in the comments below!