Comic Storylines That Need To Be In The MCU

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness marks the 28th feature film in the MCU, a franchise that has now been running for over a decade and has introduced countless heroes, villains, and franchises that have taken global audiences by storm. The films have been built off the backs of the many talented writers and artists in the history of Marvel Comics, which allows the filmmakers a rich history to draw on for their films.

Notably, the MCU’s adaptations center more on Marvel characters than specific Marvel stories. Films like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War use the name of a popular comic series, but make entirely new stories out of them or, in the case of Captain America: Civil War,, take the broad outline of the story but change many of the details in them. Although the franchise has dipped its toe into classic comics storylines as the basis for their franchise from time to time: Ed Brubaker’s Winter Soldier storyline became the inspiration for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Extremis storyline was loosely adapted for Iron Man 3and Taika Waititi has cited Jason Aaron’s Thor run in the comics as a major inspiration for the upcoming film Thor: Love and Thunder.

Despite all the films and television series, the MCU is not slowing down, and is soon set to bring in even more characters like Blade, The Fantastic Four, and the X-Men into the MCU. They certainly aren’t running out of characters and there is no shortage of iconic Marvel storylines that the company can adapt and use as inspiration for the big screen. These are seven storylines from the comics that the MCU absolutely needs to draw from, adapt, or re-imagine at some point.


7 Monsters Unleashed

Monsters Unleashed was a five-issue series published in 2017, and while not a major milestone for continuity, the central premise finds Earth under attack from giant monsters all over the globe. This is a straightforward premise that would be a great foundation for a team-up movie, uniting Marvel’s various supernatural characters like Blade and Moon Knight with the rumored characters set to join the MCU like Werewolf by NightGhost Rider, and Elsa Bloodstone.

Related: Best MCU Movie Shots That Recreated Comic Book Panels, Ranked

Just as The Avengers assembled to battle Loki and alien invaders, when a group of giant monsters attacks Marvel could unite their supernatural heroes under any number of team names (Midnight Sons, Legion of Monsters, Howling Commandos) with Monsters Unleashed serving as the building block . Even if the studio just keeps the name and crafts a new story, as they did with Age of Ultron, Monsters Unleashed is a premise that sells itself.

6 The Young Avengers: The Children’s Crusade

The Young Avengers appear to be coming to the MCU, as various members of the team have been introduced in films like Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeyeand Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. One of the most famous storylines featuring the team was the 2010 to 2012 comic series Young Avengers: Children’s Crusade, which saw the Young Avengers seek out the Scarlet Witch.

Given the fate of Scarlet Witch at the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessand how integral her sons Billy and Tommy (who become Wiccan and Speed) as well as multiverse-hopping America Chavez, was to that film, it is likely that an adaptation of The Children’s Crusade and the search for the Scarlet Witch will be at the center of The Young Avengers story in the MCU.

5 Dark Reign

Not a specific comic book story or event, Dark Reign was a rebranding that ran from 2008 to 2009 and saw a shift in power in the Marvel Universe, where the villains were put into key positions of power. This idea from the villains’ perspective, of what if the bad guys won, is an interesting dynamic for the MCU to explore and could be an entire phase of stories. It could be interesting to see stories where villains have made themselves out to be heroes in the public eye, and where the traditional Marvel heroes are left at a crossroads of where to go; this might leave many of the young heroes in the MCU with a shock to the system, seeing the bad guys in charge and needing to rebel against the authoritarian power structures.

The MCU seems to be building to some approximation of this storyline, as Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has been assembling a team consisting of US Agents and Yelena Belova. This team appears to be a dark counterpart to the Avengers, very much the MCU Dark Avengers. With characters like Agatha Harkness, Abomination, and Swordsman standing in as dark reflections of Scarlet Witch, Hulk, and Hawkeye, this might be a threat many of the heroes will eventually need to deal with.

4 The Coming of Galactus

A three-issue arc in the pages of Fantastic Four that ran from issues # 48 to # 50 in 1966, the series is one of the most well-regarded stories of the Silver Age that introduced both The Silver Surfer and Galactus to the Marvel universe. The storyline was previously adapted in the 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surferbut many were left unsatisfied with the movie adaptation, namely the decision to portray Galactus as a cloud. After the Eternals introduced the Celestials to the MCU, Marvel Studios has shown they are not afraid to feature a comic-accurate Galactus.

Related: Galactus May Join the MCU Sooner Than We Think

The Coming of Galactus‘storyline, also referred to as The Galactus Trilogy, easily could be a Fantastic Four movie. Yet given the scale and stakes of the storyline, the series could be the basis for a crossover film between various heroes in the MCU, with the story playing out like a natural disaster with how to save Earth from Galactus. The story would also serve as the introduction to the Silver Surfer, one of Marvel’s most famous and recognizable characters.

3 Avengers Vs X-Men

The Avengers and the X-Men are two of Marvel’s most popular teams, having both been created in 1963. The Avengers are the face of superheroes and are beloved by the public, while the X-Men are outcasts and fight for a world that does not understand them. While allies, there are times they will clash, and the 2012 Avengers vs. X-Men storyline was the most high profile to date, and one that is fit for a movie.

It allows the studio to tell a new spin on The Dark Phoenix Saga without having to repeat the same beats as both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Dark Phoenix that audiences most likely will not want to see a third adaptation of. Avengers vs X-Men can be folded in with the Dark Phoenix storyline to tell it in a fresh way. The original comic storyline sees the Avengers and X-Men come into conflict with what to do over the Phoenix Force, with some X-Men taking on the elemental galactic force to turn the tide. The film could also allow the MCU to do classic pairings, like the Hulk vs the Wolverine or Rogue vs Captain Marvel. Once the X-Men join the MCU, audiences will want to see the two super teams come into conflict, and Avengers vs. X-Men could be a Captain America: Civil War storyline on an even more massive scale.

2 House of X / Powers of X

The X-Men movie franchise ran for 13 films over the course of 20 years, and the franchise touched on many of the series’ most popular storylines including Days of Future Past, The Dark Phoenix Sagaand God Loves Man Kills, just to name a few. That means the MCU X-Men will need to find a new angle to stand apart from the previous franchise, and instead of repeating the same stories, the MCU has a chance to make a bold start by adapting the recent House of X / Powers of X storyline.

Published in 2019 as part of the Dawn of X rebranding, the story creates a new status quo for mutant-kind as Professor X, Magneto, and the rest unite to create a mutant nation on the island of Krakoa. The series sees the mutants announce their presence on the world stage, as they create a home for all mutants and ally themselves with former enemies and chart a new path forward in an attempt to prevent their own destruction. It is a complex tale spanning multiple timelines, and it is an exciting new chapter for the X-Men. Following this storyline and setup is the perfect way to introduce the X-Men into the MCU and show how they will be different from the past versions audiences are used to.

1 Secret Wars

This one appears to be the new Endgame of the next phase of MCU stories. Published in 2015, Secret Wars was a storyline that saw all the various Marvel Multiverses destroyed but with fragments of the various universes brought together to create a new reality: Battleworld which was ruled over by Doctor Doom. Written and published at the height of Game of Thrones popularity, the series very much plays out like a Marvel version of Game of Thrones with a similar fantasy setting, where the police are the Thor Corp, and there is a giant wall at the end keeping out the hoard of Marvel Zombie and Ultron Bots. The size and scope of the story could be too massive for one film, so it could be supported by its own trilogy or a Disney + series which would be the largest one to date.

The storyline in the comics was kicked off with incursions, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness teased the first reference to incursions. With the tease of a multiversal war in Lokipast actors from previous Marvel film incarnations appearing in the MCU in Spider-Man: No Way HomeKang the Conqueror officially set to debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumaniaand the soon-to-be the arrival of The Fantastic Four, it appears that all roads will lead to Secret Wars.

This storyline could allow Marvel to tell a story even grander than Endgame, and by the end of it give their mega-franchise a soft reboot, allowing them to revisit characters like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers with new actors. Secret Wars very much appears to be the Endgame for the next phase of the MCU, and what will come after it could be an entirely different universe.

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