ByJames Ingram, writer at
Movies, TV, other assorted things. It's all happening.
James Ingram

Needless to say, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going well. Phase 2 of the movies has now completed. One of the things that fans really love about Marvel is the way that the films intersect and crossover with each other, this often occurs through the use of minor recurring characters. Think of Sitwell, Howard Stark, and now Claire Temple, these characters hold the movies and TV Shows together. However there's two characters in particular that standout as, "the glue" of the universe.

Phase 1: Phil Coulson

Whilst the appearance of Nick Fury always heralded some heavy-handed Avengers foreshadowing, it was Phil Coulson who became a fan favourite. This simple agent represented the enigmatic SHIELD, bringing mystery, humour and a sense of continuity that Marvel fully utilized. Nick Fury showed up in post credits a lot, but only received a full credit in two Phase 1 movies, whilst Coulson was credited in 4, as well as appearing in multiple one shots such as The Consultant and A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Thor's Hammer.

Coulson first introduced fans to the concept of SHIELD in Iron Man, he then reappeared in Iron Man 2, as SHIELD started to emerge from the shadows, forming a strong relationship with Tony Stark. He appeared in Thor, where SHIELD's appearance not only added some action to the middle part of the film, but he formed a relationship to Thor, tying both the Asgardian and Dr Selvig to SHIELD. It was in the Avengers where Coulson really stepped into his own element. His death at the hands of Loki made Stark, Thor and Rogers put their differences behind them, he was basically the reason that the Avengers were able to pull together and win the fight against Loki. As well as giving the Avengers something to Avenge. His death was unexpected, well executed and well timed.

Phil Coulson tied Phase 1 together, and while his return was a bit iffy and he's since been shunned from a return to the movies, his movie roles will live on through history as the foundation of the Avengers.

Phase 1 Appearances: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, The Avengers, The Consultant, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's hammer.

Phase 2: Peggy Carter

After Captain America: The First Avenger, it seemed unlikely that Peggy Carter would have that much of an impact on the future of the MCU, boy was that wrong. Peggy has appeared in 3 Movies, two TV shows and a one-shot, all in Phase 2. And whilst she was generally used in order to tie things together, Hayley Atwell's presence is never unwelcome.

Her first Phase 2 appearance came in 2013, after Iron Man 3. The one shot, Agent Carter, was the best one-shot that Marvel had put out to that date (and probably still is now). The short film showcased how Carter dealt with her life after Captain America's sacrifice, and officially confirmed fan theories that Carter was one of the founders of SHIELD. The one shot was essentially a test ground to see how much people were interested in the character. As a result of the positive feedback, Agent Carter was commissioned for a short TV series. Before that, Carter appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with a mix of CGI and makeup, Atwell appeared as her old, current day self. The appearance was restricted to one scene, but it was one of the most touching moments of the MCU so far, and in case anyone was wondering whether Steve Rogers was a good bloke, this further cements the fact that he is. Also in preparation for her own series, she popped up in season 2 of Agents of SHIELD, the much maligned, but also much improved Marvel series. Carter's appearance gave a bit of info about Daniel Whitehall, to be honest they weren't crucial appearances, but they were good fun and always refreshing for fans of the MCU.

Then Agent Carter arrived. I'll be honest, I haven't seen it as it wasn't broadcast in Australia. The series received positive reviews and also featured backstory of SHIELD, Black Widow and the Winter Soldier. By going back to the 40's, Marvel have helped explain what's happening in the current day in the universe. The series received positive reviews, and is receiving a second series next year. After this, Carter appeared in a flashback in Avengers: Age of Ultron in a flashback/vision from Captain America induced by Scarlet Witch, this flashback shows Steve the life that he could have had if he had not become frozen in ice. Carter's appearance was only a cameo, but it was nice to see her back, and it's basically the only meaningful thing that happens to Cap in that film, as he's mostly shelved in favour of the Twins, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and shit Thor stuff. Carter also popped up in Ant Man in a scene which showed the retirement of Hank Pym, this scene also featured a freshly built triskellion, Howard Stark, and a surprisingly good young Michael Douglas effects.

Carter's appearances in Phase 2 helped to fill in the history of the MCU. Kudos to Hayley Atwell for agreeing to show up in everything, she clearly enjoys being a part of the franchise. Her appearances, whilst not always completely necessary, are always good fun. The way that her actions with SHIELD throughout the decades shaped the current Marvel Universe has been fascinating to see. [Marvel's Agent Carter](tag:1119765) Season 2 is on the way and whilst she's not yet officially confirmed for Captain America: Civil War, she's certainly there, tweeting photos of herself hanging out around the set. She'll be in it.

Phase 2 Appearances: Agent Carter (One-shot), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Agents of SHIELD (season 2), Agent Carter (season 1), Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant Man, Agent Carter (season 2)

Phase 3: ??????

Obviously, Phase 3 hasn't come out and we don't know who the "glue" of this phase will be. But, from speculation and conjecture I've come up with a few guesses.

Sharon Carter

Perhaps a passing of the torch is order, from one Carter to the next. Emily Van Camp's Sharon Carter is already confirmed for Civil War. Her role may grow, potentially taking on a larger role in SHIELD which could see her part of films like Black Panther, Captain Marvel or even Avengers 3. Marvel might even be able to convince her to guest star on Agents of SHIELD, and they'll eventually need to address whether or not SHIELD is taking notice of Daredevil and the other Defenders, perhaps Carter can breeze in on The Defenders to legitimize the operation.

Great Mustache
Great Mustache

This character deserves more appearances on mustache quality alone. Ross will make a return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Civil War, making him the only actor in the Incredible Hulk (apart from RDJ) to appear in anything else since then. Ross is an army man, and it makes sense for him to be involved in Civil War. But the army could invade Wakanda, and Carol Danvers works for the Air Force, which isn't that far away, perhaps we could be seeing more from William Hurt's character.

Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock has not only not been cast yet, but he is not confirmed to be a part of any Marvel production in the future. Warlock's role could be massive though, he is a huge part of the Infinity Gauntlet comic storyline, and is heavily linked to Thanos. We've seen his cacoon in the background ofThe Collector's office several times.

My theory is that Warlock traveled to earth to give one of the Infinity Stones to The Ancient One to look after, but whilst there he fell in love with Meredith Quill. He is already theorised as the father of Peter, as the description of his dad as something ancient and powerful fits with Warlock's bio. This means that Warlock could appear in GOTG 2, Doctor Strange, Infinity War or even inhumans. However it's just as likely that he'll be in none of that.

Daisy Johnson

The second season of Agents of SHIELD drastically improves on the first, and a lot of this can be attributed to the development in characters like Ward, Simmons and Skye, who were nothing but caricatures for most of season 1. The joint revelation that Skye is an Inhuman and is actually the Marvel character Daisy Johnson, A.K.A. Quake, was handled well. Quake has been the head of SHIELD in the comics before, giving hope that she could appear down the line, graduating from TV and taking Coulson's former place in the movies. Civil War, Black Panther, Defenders; SHIELD, and by extension Quake could easily show up in all of those, as well as her natural ties to Inhumans. However no character that first appeared on a Marvel TV show has ever appeared in a movie, leaving little hope that Daisy will reach her full potential.

Martin Freeman

We don't yet know who Martin Freeman is playing, but speculation and the tiniest details say that he's some sort of official, be it for SHIELD or just the Government. Hopefully he'll be a recurring character. Martin Freeman brightens any film he's in, providing a voice of sanity of Sherlock or being criminally underused in The Hobbit, he's a great talent and one of Marvel's most exciting casing decisions. The more Freeman the better.

Honourable Mentions

  • Claire Temple, will pop up in Netflix series, but I don't see her having too much of an impact
  • Christine Everheart, has recently reappeared in Ant Man viral marketing, can always be called upon if news is needed, but won't hold the universe together
  • Baron Zemo, please don't kill him yet! Baron Zemo could be a great recurring villain for the MCU, carrying on past phase 3 if needed. Having said that, Marvel will probably kill him.

More from me...

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How important are jokes in Superhero movies?

Top 10 MCU moments so far


Who will be the glue of phase 3?

Who do you want to see as the "glue" in Marvel's Phase 3? Let me know in the comments below


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