The Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU, is as well-known as it is expansive. For a while, it even included the highest-grossing movie that wasn’t directed by James Cameron. But I think we can all admit that sometimes, it just doesn’t make any sense at all! Here at TheGamer, we’ve scoured the Internet for memes of everything from The Incredible Hulk to the upcoming Infinity War to show just how ridiculous this extensive series can get!
Movies about superhumans generally need to be unrealistic. While plots that entirely revolve around a man deciding whether or not to shave his mustache can be good, it seems a bit out place when the main character can throw a building. As a result, we get movies with unrealistically big explosions, cartoonish evil villains, and sometimes absolute nonsense. From floating cities and aircraft carriers to SHIELD’s weird branding the series is full of decisions that just don’t quite make sense!
Now, since we will be talking about the plots of some pretty late entries into the series, there will be plenty of spoilers. If you have already seen all of the movies or just don’t care, read on. Otherwise, you have been warned!
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Alright, now that that is out of the way, feel free to tell us which of them was your favorite! Are there any that you think we should have included? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!
25 Sometimes One Isn't Enough!
As demonstrated by John Goodman’s portrayal of Walter in The Big Lebowski, it was an odd choice to have Chris Evans play two Marvel superheroes. We’re currently seeing Chris Evans fulfill the roles of Steve Rogers and Captain America, but a lot of people forget that we just saw him play the roles of Johnny Storm and the Human Torch only a few years earlier! Luckily, the Fantastic Four movies (including the one that didn’t have Chris Evans) seem to have very little to do with the leading franchise, aside from Stan Lee cameos. I think it’s safe to say that we aren’t going to be seeing Chris Evans interact with himself. Though, that might make for some exciting existentialism. But you can never be too sure what Marvel is doing with the Fantastic Four property as we saw with 2015’s Fantastic Four…
24 It's Dangerous To Go Alone! Maybe Take This?
2015’s Ant-Man showed a unique blend of the classic Marvel superhero formula and an Ocean’s Eleven-style heist movie. The character of Hope van Dyne was handled a bit oddly. Dr. Hank Pym’s relationship seems strained, at best. She feels that she should be the one in the suit instead of Scott Lang, but Dr. Pym is afraid of losing her. Towards the end of the movie, he concedes to giving her her own suit. While the interaction could have come across as the end of a really satisfying arc, it was remarkably abrupt. We see Dr. Pym go from vehemently refusing to let her even wear the suit to giving her a shiny, new one over the course of minutes and it makes the viewer wonder if the deleted scenes would have held more closure.
23 Brought Cloth To An Armor Fight
We hear video games and (to a lesser extent) movies get criticized for women wearing armor that would provide little to no protection. We see it in forms like chainmail bikini. While these outfits may not be ideal, most of the characters in the Avengers have wardrobes made of little more than cotton and hope. With The Hulk’s iconic shorts and Black Widow’s jumpsuit on one end of the spectrum and Thor’s literal battle armor and Iron Man’s wearable tank on the other end, it seems that there just is no middle ground for the Avengers! Everyone’s suits seem to either be able to survive the apocalypse or tatter after a light rain. With all of the crossover titles that Marvel has been doing, seeing line-ups like this one really emphasizes the weird incongruity of the costumes in the series.
22 Be Prepared
While Hawkeye’s decision to fight aliens and robots trying to end humanity with his (admittedly impressive) archery skills in the 21st century is interesting, we’ll come back to that later. The meme here shows us just how absurd the arrows themselves are in the series. It isn’t uncommon to see Hawkeye switch to ammunition that explodes, has a tracking beacon, or even recites the “To Be or Not To Be” soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Hamlet! Well, maybe not that last one, I suppose. All this seems pretty impressive for someone with a quiver that only holds a dozen or so. He could have even inspired Overwatch’s Hanzo with his bottomless quiver and seemingly endless functionality. It’s always nice to see inspiration go both ways, so here’s to hoping that in Infinity War we’ll see Hawkeye take up Hanzo’s gravity-defying wall run!
21 Asgardian Logic
This is going to be one of the more spoiler-heavy entries on this list, but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum. For those that haven’t seen Thor: Ragnarok (and don’t mind the spoilers), Hela, Goddess of War, is coming to take over Asgard. As Thor is hurled across the galaxy, he has to race his way back to the realm of the gods to save it from his sister. When she seems unstoppable, Thor sacrifices the entire city to get rid of her.
While it does seem that their choices were limited, it definitely appears that destroying Asgard isn’t helping the stigma that superheroes had to deal with in Captain America: Civil War. In their defense, though, I doubt there would be too many people on Earth that would know if Asgard was destroyed. I suppose it was worth the tongue-lashing.
20 Bend The Fabric Of Time And Space... Just Be Careful
After that spoiler-heavy entry, this one looks to be pretty light! In 2016’s Doctor Strange, characters will frequently open portals to mirror dimensions where entire buildings bend to Inception-style scenes but leave the real world entirely unaffected. This lacks the city-destroying carnage that these movies usually have. As a result, Dr. Strange has caused what just may be the least property damage of any superhero. If we're honest, there was probably less property damage at the end of the movie than there was in the majority of films by major studios. How much property damage did we see in Titanic? The boat. What about 500 Days of Summer? Only about 30 plates. I suppose that’s what happens when you get the infinity stone of time. It’ll be interesting to see how the scores of superheroes that are used to collateral damage fight alongside Dr. Strange.
19 Consider It An Occupational Hazard
Now, we’ve talked about the collateral damage that other superheroes are known to cause. It became so intense at one point that the plot of an entire movie (Captain America: Civil War) revolved around superheroes having to deal with the fact that people are getting tired of them destroying property at roughly the rate of 1 city block every second.
While this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen a superhero series make a point of destroying cities, it is one of the rare times that we’ve seen the characters take measures to mitigate this downside of having these extraordinary individuals. I must say that I think it is quite refreshing to see that the civilians in the MCU aren’t entirely satisfied with rebuilding their homes every other month. It’s just a shame that it took them almost a decade to bring attention to it.
18 Walk The Walk
What would a Marvel list be without a smidge of shade thrown at DC? Well, I can promise that it won’t happen again! Well, maybe just one more, but we’ll get back to that. This meme is showing off the idea that Marvel went far out of their way to establish a scamming, unlikeable (literal) rodent, but he still goes out of his way to save civilians. I want to emphasize that I don’t mean “civilization” as in, something he relies on for food; I mean individual civilians that mean nothing to him.
Admittedly, they have taken a weird character incongruity and turned it into a decently satisfying arc with the recent Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I would think that it’s safe to say, however, that in the first movie it seemed weird to see a character switch between stealing prosthetics to evacuating a city.
17 I Misread That, Right?!
Wait, what? I suppose that not enough people were saying that Avengers had too many characters and now this is what we get. We gave Marvel an inch and this is their mile. I can only wish the best for the poor writers and camera crew that have to frame scenes around such a massive cast. We’ll have to just wait until May to see if this movie has to be 7 hours long to hold all of the content that it’ll need after all of this buildup.
I can’t say that I could even venture to guess who all 62 would be let alone which half will get a massive scene together. While we do know a significant number of the heroes, I’m struggling to wrap my head around the sheer scale of this cast. Regardless of who will be in it, Infinity War has a lot of expectations to meet!
16 The Greatest Super Power Of All
I’m sure that quite a few of us know about the real war involving Marvel characters. This war was focused a lot less on destroying cities and more on who got to be in the movies. One of the earlier examples was the staggering amount of effort that it took to bring Spider-Man into the MCU.
As the years rolled on, the people behind Avengers: Age of Ultron wanted to bring Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch into the MCU, but the rights of the X-Men franchise remained separate. What we got was a weird situation where there are two Quicksilvers, only one of whom can acknowledge that he’s Magneto’s son. His vague parentage leads to a scenario where he might know someone who would be useful when an army of metal humanoids try to attack Sokovia (and the world.) Oh, we can’t use that character?
15 Do Whatever You Want, You're Tony Stark
The Iron Man series contained some of the best character development, showing Tony Stark go from a spoiled prodigy to a leader to a genuine human struggling with his PTSD. In it, we see him handle the fact that the machine keeping him alive is also slowly killing him. Tony goes from accepting his fate to creating a new element to fix the problem. We later see him just remove the machine entirely instead.
While this build-up was remarkably engaging, it seemed rather odd for them just to remove the device at the end of the series. While this was played for closure with his relationship with Pepper, it still seemed to invalidate the previous character growth. The ending of Iron Man 3 also had him destroy his suits to show his full transformation. Yet, Tony Stark arrives in Avengers: Age of Ultron entirely suited up like nothing ever happened.
14 A Little Honesty With Our Divinity
Now, this may just be because you can only fire lightning at your enemies so many times before it gets boring (and I can’t say that I ever thought I’d write that), but I feel like Thor seems to have slowed down on the whole wielding-the-power-of-nature thing. He seems to resort to treating anyone he fights like a remote with dead batteries. When was the last time we saw Jane Foster make her equipment or Odin command a nation? The first Thor movie? That was 2011! Are we developing characters or just taking away their identifying characteristics? Sometimes we see Loki cause a little mayhem, but how often does that happen? Avengers? Some of Thor: The Dark World? Maybe he’d be king for more than an hour if he spent half the time executing his plans that he does moping about.
13 Treat Yo Self
When a character is entirely CGI, it makes sense that there would be a little bit of variation in the design, but looking at this side by side, we can see the weird trip he’s taken from rage monster to a bodybuilder with the wrong filter applied. While I understand that they are trying to make him look more human as they, you know, humanize him, these two don’t even look like relatives, let alone the same character! It’ll be interesting to see how he changes throughout the rest of the ever-expanding series that makes up the MCU.
To be fair, I suppose that it makes sense to change the way that The Hulk looks when he gets recast. It may seem weird to see Edward Norton and Eric Bana turn into the same exact model, but both of these Hulks are Mark Ruffalo!
12 Nothing Beats Good Branding!
SHIELD is a top-secret organization. Heck, the first time we saw Nick Fury, we didn’t even know who he was! We aren’t even talking about Coulson; we are talking about the head of SHIELD. (Well, I suppose that he was the director for a bit.) They planned to bring extraordinary people together and run the show from behind the scenes. As a result, one would think that they would keep their logo usage a bit limited and, you know, not print it on everything down to the water bottles. I suppose expecting subtlety from the group with the giant, flying aircraft carrier was our own mistake.
It started slowly; we would see the logo on a computer screen or a briefcase, but if we fast-forward a few years, we got Agents of SHIELD, where the emblem receives more screen time than the main cast!
11 Giving Back To The Community
The series is no stranger to some cameos from time to time. While there are some expected ones like the seemingly mandatory Stan Lee cameo in everything tangentially related to Marvel, from sitcoms by Chuck Lorre like The Big Bang Theory to 1990s films about friends hanging out at the mall like Mallrats, there are times where the cameo catches us completely by surprise. Sometimes we see a cameo that is logical, but a bit weird like the time we saw Captain America in Spider-Man: Homecoming. I suppose it does make sense for a character based on morality and peak physical performance to be a role model for high schoolers, but it definitely surprised me in the theater. While it was weird, it helped to shape the world of Spider-Man: Homecoming and show us how it fits into the greater universe of the series.
10 Not So Secret Identity
I promised that there would be one more little shot at DC. This one focuses on the absurdity of how some Marvel heroes, in this case, Iron Man and Captain America, are made into celebrities in or out of costume. In the universe of DC, however, characters rarely cover more than their cheekbones and, in extreme cases, just slick their hair back. Despite the lack of effort in hiding their identities, it seems no one can make the connection between the bespectacled Clark Kent and the eagle-eyed Superman.
I suppose that the few people that get close enough to interact with Superman may not know Clark Kent. I would say that choosing who you get that close to would be putting more effort into hiding your identity than literally telling the news station that you are Iron Man, but would just be my thoughts on the matter.
9 Some Tough Paint
In Captain America: The First Avenger, we got to see a few versions of what Captain America’s shield could have become, but they were all just brushed metal. It makes sense that the metal wouldn’t scuff when Peggy shoots it, but when they slap a coat of paint on it and it never even more than a bit of grime.
We’ve seen the same metal (vibranium) used many times before, but it is rarely painted at all so we can’t compare how different paints scuff or anything like that. However, if my car paint fades after being in the sun for a few years, what is he using that can take alien death lasers for almost a decade?! All I’m saying is that this must be the apex of SHIELD’s top secret tech. Well, I suppose this or their sweet leather jackets.
8 That's One Strong Spider
Now, at first, this may sound a bit ridiculous, right? Bucky Barnes gets his punch stopped by a high schooler in spandex? When we watch the scene from Captain America: Civil War that this comes from, it doesn’t look like Peter even breaks a sweat when he grabs Bucky’s fist. Well, if the theme song is as accurate as it is catchy and Peter can do whatever a spider can, that would mean that he could lift twenty times his body weight. Depending on his weight, that would mean that he could lift somewhere in the range of three or four thousand pounds! I can’t think of a time that we’ve seen Spider-Man in any property showing off his strength except occasionally lifting a car or webbing a train. Balancing the agility and strength of Spider-Man is something we want to see more of!
7 Rocket's Arsenal And Appeal
I’ll be the first to say that the Guardians of the Galaxy is a bit over the top and that’s a huge part of the appeal! What sounds easier to pitch: “A billionaire makes a suit to escape a foreign prison” or “a team that includes a vicious raccoon with guns, a tree that kicks bottom, and a former WWE superstar all have to break out of an alien prison… and that’s just the beginning!”
While Iron Man (which is where I got that first description if you didn’t notice) was a fantastic series, the utterly ridiculous nature of Guardians of the Galaxy took a reasonably obscure team from the Marvel archives and brought it into the MCU. In just a few months, that same absurdity will be bringing them to Infinity War with one of the largest central casts in film.
6 What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
I’ll be honest, I tried to justify quite a few of these, but this… what can I do with this? Avengers showed us a scene where Nick Fury asks his superiors to send reinforcements, but they decide to send a nuke. Following this, he takes the command decision to fire on the jet with the nuke, not with a gun to dismantle the engines or anything, but with a full RPG! I suppose that trying to blow up a nuke as far away from the city as possible worked in The Dark Knight Rises, but I think we should remember that that nuke was heading away from the city.
So I just went on for a bit about how crazy it was that he decided to fire at the nuke, but that’s operating under the presumption that it was any less ridiculous for the council to decide to send it in the first place. I mean, no big deal, right? Only a few million people, right?
5 Gotta Stay Relevant
Studios (especially Marvel) are no stranger to making supplementary media for their popular franchises. I mean, heck, there is a show about Tangled that premiered last year. For context, Tangled came out in 2010! Typically when we see spin-off media like that, it takes on a bit of a life of its own, like the 6 Evil Dead video games that came out between 6 and 33 years after it’s initial release. So when a series starts and stops so quickly and then is replaced by something so similar, but named so differently, usually people would assume that it was a failure and not just awkward marketing.
While the second series is still going on to this day, the first only lasted a mere two seasons, making the whole thing feel like the world’s roughest rebranding instead of what could have been some quality promotion.
4 Maybe There Was An Easier Solution
We know superhumans destroy towns, but sometimes it is justified. Like when a massive alien portal is looming over one of the most heavily-populated cities, but other times, I guess it is just because it looks cooler. Tony Stark versus an effectively feral Hulk, however? The whole fight seems a bit unnecessary. I understand that Tony has a bit less muscle mass than the Hulk, but come on! If he can make a massive suit, he can make an enormous paralyzer!
All I’m saying is that all the Hulk can do is use his muscles, and you can paralyze them. (Not that I’m calling the Hulk weak; I haven’t even benched since high school.) As a result, it seems like a lot of misplaced effort to build the entire Hulkbuster when even The Secret Saturdays were able to utilize something like that!
3 The Truth Will Set You Free... Or Get Your Apartment Blown Up
It might be kind of sacrilegious to compare this scene to the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, but a considerable part of the movies was Peter having difficulty balancing his lives and trying to keep them separate. As a result, when someone finally found out, it put people at grave risk.
In pretty stark contrast, there was a scene in Iron Man 3 where Tony gives his address to the villain. I don’t mean as in some metaphor; I’m saying that he looks into a news camera and tells them the street, number, and zip code of his house. When Tony challenges the Mandarin, he responds by firing missiles at his property until the entire thing is under water. In a scene that perfectly showcases Tony’s hubris, we are shown that the writers were able to handle the scenario well, the character… not so much.
2 30 Seconds To Hold Us Over Until Next Year
How many of us have gone to see a new Marvel movie and when the credits start rolling, maybe a third of the theater gets up, and the rest stay for 10 minutes of just white text scrolling to the top. Can we just talk about how ridiculous this is? It’s a bit weird to think about how the company has trained us to sit and stay.
Some of these post-credit scenes have been stellar. A personal favorite of mine was the brief Howard the Duck cameo after the credits of Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor at the end of Doctor Strange. While the idea of staying for these scenes is ridiculous, punctuating the viewer’s experience like this sets the stage for the next movie perfectly.
1 It's My Movie, And I'll Do What I Want!
Looking at these, we see something that uses foreshadowing and character development interestingly, but it can feel a bit awkward. By explicitly telling the character not to do something, we almost guarantee that he or she will. As a result, this acts as a very clumsy example of foreshadowing. Where this technique shines, however, is in showing the viewer that the character has grown to a point where they can do what once seemed too dangerous to attempt. This can either show that our lead has become more powerful or just more arrogant and either can be used to achieve a fantastic effect.
Despite how useful it is to emphasize a character arc, it doesn’t excuse the clumsiness of the foreshadowing. Seriously, I would challenge you to find a more obvious example of foreshadowing than telling the character not to do something.