The Infinity Saga proves that the MCU can tell a long, complex story with a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. But there are a whole lot of stories along the way that didn’t get Endgame-style closure. These are the MCU stories that were abandoned, forgotten, and axed.
Back in 2018, fans turned out by the millions to see Thanos trek around the galaxy, gathering up the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War. A year later, they returned to theaters to see how the story ended in Avengers: Endgame. While that film brought the Infinity Saga to its thundering end, there was more than one potential villain attempting to amass the universe-ruling power of the six Stones: Taneleer Tiva, also known as the Collector.
The obsessive Elder of the Universe manages to obtain the Aether at the end of Thor: The Dark World, and in Guardians of the Galaxy, he briefly gets his hands on the Power Stone, too. However, at this point, it appears that Marvel thought the Collector had done enough collecting, and his tale wasn’t worth following through on. The enigmatic fellow ends up losing the Power Stone, and then, well, Thanos shows up and that’s pretty much that. The big purple bad guy trashes his place, then uses it as a trap to ensnare Gamora. Tivan’s quest for the Stones ends there, as does his story. Is he dead? Is his collection of C-list Marvel characters gone forever? We don’t know — and we likely never will.
Killmonger. Loki. The Mad Titan himself, Thanos. The MCU has had some pretty amazing villains over the years. However, for every good villain with a great story and definitive ending, there is a baddie with a storyline that’s either never finished, or brought to an abrupt and unsatisfying end.
Take Crossbones. Brock Rumlow made a splash in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he appears as a gritty Hydra agent that knows his stuff. He features prominently throughout the movie, showing up in the famous elevator fight sequence, tussling with Sam Wilson, and generally helping to reinforce the fact that Hydra has some genuine teeth beyond an army of nameless sleeper agents and a few corrupt politicians. He even makes the shift into legitimate villain status when he shows up in full costume as Crossbones in Captain America: Civil War … until he’s casually blown up, that is. A pretty sudden ending for a guy who, in the comics, is a Red Skull’s right-hand man.
Speaking of the Red Skull, let’s talk about the vague fate that befalls Captain America’s most unrepentantly evil villain. Sure, he shows up again as a weird space ghost on Vormir, but let’s be real: that role could’ve gone to anyone. These are bad dudes that deserved decent storylines, and they’re not alone. Rather than keeping them in the mix, though, they’ve been shuffled off to atrophy on the sidelines as the MCU moves on without them.
Bruce Banner has had a long, tumultuous path through the MCU. One of few main characters to be recast, Banner’s journey started in the dark, brooding hands of Edward Norton, only to shift to the lighter, more Avengers-friendly Mark Ruffalo once the first team-up film rolled around. Keep watching the video to see all the MCU plotlines that never went anywhere!
One down, five to go | 0:17
Unceremoniously abandoned villains | 1:19
The neglected daughter | 2:33
Bruce and Natasha | 3:44
The absence of Lady Sif | 4:51
Ragnarok hits the realms | 6:12
That Sokovia Accord drama | 7:49
No love for Sharon Carter | 9:21
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