It's been a battle for over a decade: Disney vs. Fox vs. Sony (with Universal and Lionsgate in there, for some reason.) Some people own some character,s some own others, and they all try to outdo each other. Of course, everybody wants them all to come together to do a giant Avengers movie, but for some reason, despite making all three companies a buttload of money if they worked together, they don't allow the universes to crossover.
But why? We all know that these are some of America's favorite movies, and with the upcoming DC Apocalypse for Marvel, (because all DC characters are owned by one company) Marvel needs to do this if they want to beat DC, which will be hard.
Presenting, The Marvel Universe.
It all starts with The X-Men. The X-Men were the only superheroes on the planet for a while, and were hated by people for being "dangerous and scary." No one likes difference. But when Wolverine goes back in time, he changes history. He doesn't only change what people think about people with powers, he also changes people with powers. The easiest way to explain the change...
Is Bruce Banner.
Edward Norton's Banner is actually a part of the original X-Men timeline. He's told he's working on "a super-soldier serum," but he was actually working on the cure for mutations we see in X-Men: The Last Stand. Of course, science never works like we'd like it to and you have to have correct data instead of falsified data, which created the Hulk serum.
"But Tony Stark was in the Incredible Hulk!"
That's right. Tony was in The Incredible Hulk.
But Iron Man isn't
This is most likely the more serious Tony Stark that we see in storylines such as Civil War, who is the Secretary of Defense.
Of course, with the Days of Future Past changes, Tony becomes a more reckless person, making the Tony Stark we all know and love from the first Iron Man, which actually takes place after the events of DOFP.
"But what about Cap, whose story takes place BEFORE Wolverine went back in time?"
Well, before DOFP, no one was looking for anything down in the arctic, as they were studying both sentinel technology and a cure for mutation.
So, technically Captain America: The First Avenger takes place in the DOFP storyline, but really only the post credits scene.
"What about Thor, who's an ancient god?"
Technically, Thor would happen with or without DOFP, but since we see SHIELD investigating the problem, we can see that it could take place within either timeline. That's what makes Thor special. The only thing that would change in the timeline was the way people treated him.
That's how we can tell Thor takes place post-DOFP, as Jane, Eric, and Darcy all treat him kindly.
"But where do the Fantastic Four fit into all this?
Well, if you mean this Fantastic Four...
The Fantastic Four haven't even gotten their powers yet. But, in a future article, THIS Fantastic Four...
Yes, as I'm sure you've heard Fantastic Four is getting a reboot. Which might have a crossover with the X-Men.
Which pretty much raps most of it up except for the big one.
"WHAT ABOUT SPIDER-MAN?"
Well, Spider-Man just exists in the MCU already. The events in the Amazing Spider-Man movies just take place before the events of any Avengers movie (besides Captain America.)
In fact, the only reason Spider-Man wasn't approached by Nick Fury is really simple.
Spider-Man's identity is secret.
Think about it, Cap is an American icon, Thor doesn't have a secret identity, Hulk used to work for S.H.I.E.L.D., Black Widow and Hawkeye still do...
The only person who COULD have a secret identity is Iron Man, and he gives his up in the last scene of the first movie. Spider-Man recognizes the threat that not having a secret identity poses, and keeps it secret.
"If Spider-Man and X-Men already exist, then why didn't they help out in Avengers?"
Why didn't Tony help Steve in Winter Soldier? Why wasn't Thor in Iron Man 3? These question can all be answered by: Lazy writing/Not enough money.
Warning: The next paragraph contains spoilers from The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
But a more serious answer is, Spider-Man wasn't involved, because The Avengers takes place right in the middle of Amazing Spider-Man 2, after Gwen dies and Peter is "retired." He doesn't want to help because Spider-Man is done.
But as for the X-Men, and how we know they weren't involved, is this: Mutants are trying to be kept secret. We don't know if the X-Men are public, but after the events of DOFP, it's not likely.
Now, those last two answers are a little flimsy, and are mostly based off assumptions.
Of course, there's Ghost Rider, Blade, Daredevil, etc. But I like to forget those movies. They actually are their own thing.
But as for the mainstream Marvel movies, they ARE all connected. They just don't appear to be.
So, if Disney, Fox, and Sony do team up to make a movie, here's a basis for a plot.
And to DC: I'm sorry. But Justice League will still kick ass.