ByTrent Tofte, writer at
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Trent Tofte

Those familiar with Marvel's comics and cartoons know of Marvel's four major supervillain prisons: The Vault, The Cube, The Big House and The Raft. For those not familiar with each of these prisons, we're going to take a look at each of them and delve into a little of their backstories before we examine how each have already appeared in the , or how they could show up eventually.

The Vault

The Vault in 'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]
The Vault in 'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]

The Vault is a supervillain prison designed specifically to hold tech-based criminals. It also houses storage areas for any captured equipment belonging to its inmates. It was originally designed by Tony Stark, before he announced that he would no longer assist with S.H.I.E.L.D.-sponsored projects.

Have We Seen The Vault In The MCU?

Answer: Sort of, but not really. We've heard The Vault referenced, but we've yet to actually see it appear on the big screen. You might be wondering where and when in the MCU we've heard of The Vault. Well, we actually have to turn to the Spanish translation of The Incredible Hulk. In the Spanish version, a line from General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross is included that is conspicuously absent from the English dub. Immediately following the defeat of Emile Blonsky's Abomination, Ross says:

"Tell Fury to put him in the vault."

Now, this quote is important for two reasons; notably, that it is the first MCU reference to Nick Fury, and secondly, that it specifically name drops The Vault. So far, this is the only direct reference to The Vault in the MCU.

The Cube

The Cube in 'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]
The Cube in 'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]

The Cube is a prison designed to house prisoners who have been exposed to unhealthy amounts of gamma radiation, such as The Abomination or The Leader. It has also been known to serve as a headquarters to certain incarnations of The Thunderbolts.

Have We Seen The Cube In The MCU?

Short answer: Nope, we haven't. Longer answer: No, but there's a reason for that. The reason is that all of the inmates associated with The Cube in the comics either don't exist yet in the MCU, are incarcerated in other facilities, or are still roaming free. However, will we see The Cube in the future of the MCU? Don't hold your breath. Most of the MCU's gamma villains at this point appeared in The Incredible Hulk, which is widely considered to be the proverbial "redheaded stepchild" of the MCU, even though it is still technically considered to be MCU canon.

The Raft

The Raft in 'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]
The Raft in 'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]

The Raft isn't stated to be specialized for any specific type of supervillain, but known inmates in the comics range from Baron Zemo to Graviton and everyone in between. The Raft was originally designed to be the maximum-security section of the nearby Ryker's Island prison, but was subsequently repurposed by S.H.I.E.L.D. as a supervillain incarceration center.

Have We Seen The Raft In The MCU?

Answer: Yes, as a matter of fact, we have! Remember this place?

'Captain America: Civil War' [Credit: Marvel Studios]
'Captain America: Civil War' [Credit: Marvel Studios]

Yeah, that's the MCU version of The Raft. Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, we see the members of Team Cap briefly incarcerated here in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War. So, will we see The Raft again? I can answer with a definite maybe. In other words, it's possible, but not super likely.

The Big House

The Big House in  'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]
The Big House in 'Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]

The Big House is a prison designed to fit inside a small model building inside the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. The prison uses Pym Particles to shrink them down and incarcerate them in a toy-scaled building, guarded by innocuous versions of Ultron. The prison is generally housed inside the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, but has been known to appear in other locations under the name "The Lang Memorial Penitentiary."

Have We Seen The Big House In The MCU?

Short answer: No, and don't hold your breath to see it anytime soon, either. Hank Pym is currently on the outs with the remnants of the Avengers and the gradually-reforming S.H.I.E.L.D., so the only possibility of seeing The Big House appear would be if Scott Lang offers to share the Pym Particles that power his Ant-Man suit, but this isn't very likely either because Lang is currently on the run with the rest of Team Cap following the events of Captain America: Civil War.

Prison isn't a place anyone generally wants to go, especially not any of the above prisons. And while none of these locations are likely to feature prominently in any of the future MCU films, it'd be nice to see them get a passing nod.

But what do you think? Should Marvel's prisons receive cameos in the MCU? Comment below!


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