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Stan Lee Is ‘He Who Remains’ Actor Changes Are Multiversal Rifts Deadpool Was Captured By the Illuminati Heimdall Had the Soul Stone Quicksilver Had Been Pulled From the Multiverse Killmonger Had Been Revived Mutants Have Been Hiding the Whole Time Mephisto’s Arrival Felt Like a Given Hela Is Thanos’ Love Interest Skrull Imposters Would Be More Abundant

The Marvel Cinematic Universe invites speculation and fan theorizing. It’s a huge part of the hobby, as following these connected TV shows and movies sparks interest in audiences about what’s coming next. With narrative threads left to tie up, new comic characters to introduce, and Easter eggs to explore in further detail, it’s not that surprising that fan theories help to fill these gaps until Marvel reveals what its next stage of the plan may be. Of course, fan theories are often fantastical and not grounded in any legitimacy.

Fan theories usually have narrative integrity and help to fill in plot holes or tie up those threads that never got given a conclusion. Occasionally, fan theories are based on the promotional material audiences have been given ahead of a release, without the full context of a project to truly inform the speculation. Sometimes, it’s the comics that form the concrete basis for a theory, with what happened on the page suddenly becoming a good fit for what could happen on the screen. Irrespective of the source of inspiration, these fan theories are genuinely compelling and could have taken the MCU on quite a different path had Marvel Studios moved forward with any of them.

10 Stan Lee Is ‘He Who Remains’

Vital Viewing – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Even before the MCU came into fruition, Stan Lee was making his presence known. As one of the most important creative minds in Marvel Comics’ history, Stan Lee has built a valuable reputation. His cameos are now the stuff of legend, with fans always looking out for him in unexpected places. Stan Lee crossed the Multiverse, starring in the FOX X-Men movies, the Fantastic Four films, MCU spectacles and Spider-Man adventures.

Through all of those appearances, fans speculated as to how he could be in so many places, sometimes seemingly at once. Although it was revealed in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that Stan Lee was an informant to the Watchers, a better theory has emerged. One that pits him as the god-like creator, He Who Remains. The powerful comic book entity is as mysterious as he is integral to Marvel’s make-up, and it’s hard to deny Lee could have been perfect as a whimsical version of the deity.

9 Actor Changes Are Multiversal Rifts

Vital Viewing – Loki (2021)


10 Biggest Unanswered Questions After The Marvels

The Marvels points ahead to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but still manages to leave several burning questions unanswered.

The MCU has had to change its cast on a handful of occasions. There’s often controversy linked to those shifts, but sometimes it’s just down to contractual issues or previous scheduling obligations. There are some truly high-profile changes, such as Edward Norton becoming Mark Ruffalo, which are obviously notable and could cause some continuity issues.

While the changes in performers and performance styles have largely been waved away by audiences, the advent of the Multiverse provided a new fan theory as to how this could all be explained. With Variants featured across the timelines and the Multiverse itself weakening, these changing actors could be a result of rifts in the timelines, with Variants swapping places throughout the story.

8 Deadpool Was Captured By the Illuminati

Vital Viewing – Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (2022)

One of the best MCU scenes that hyped fans in recent years was the arrival of the Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Featuring characters like Black Bolt, Mr. Fantastic, Captain Carter, and Professor X, it was a hint of what was to come as the Multiverse expanded on screen.

The cameos were exciting, but fans had already speculated on another appearance. Rumors and theories were running wild in the lead-up to Doctor Strange 2, with fans suggesting that Deadpool’s timeline meddling in Deadpool 2 might have landed him in one of the Illuminati’s cells. Although it turned out they didn’t police the Multiverse quite like the TVA do, it would have been a fun post-credit sequence to pay off the chaos from the Merc with a Mouth’s sequel.

Vital Viewing – Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are probably still some of the most highly anticipated projects in MCU history. Everyone wanted to know how the Infinity Stones would be collected by Thanos and thus began to guess where missing items, like the Soul Stone, could be hidden.

In truth, the stone was on a planet that viewers had never seen before, with a great sacrifice allowing Thanos to claim it. The sequence might have featured an unexpected cameo from the Red Skull, but fans had already theorized that it was Heimdall who held the Soul Stone. With his ability to see all the souls in the universe and the fact that his eyes glowed yellow, fans had pieced together the clues that the Asgardian would play a crucial part in the Infinity Saga. This role would have been far more suited to Heimdall compared to his sacrifice.

Vital Viewing – WandaVision (2021)

WandaVision was the first show from Marvel Studios on Disney+, and there were lofty expectations for the project. Wanda is powerful enough to destroy the universe after all, and it seemed as if the show would lay the groundwork for her villainous turn. With rumors of links to the Multiverse, the arrival of Quicksilver from the X-Men series only elevated speculation.

Fans had guessed that this version of Pietro had been pulled by the mighty Wanda from another reality and that this would be one such way the Mutants would be introduced to the MCU. While fans were excited to see further links to the past X-Men films, Marvel Studios decided to instead use the casting choice to make a lousy joke.

Vital Viewing – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)


10 Most Exciting MCU Spider-Man Scenes Fans Always Love

Spider-Man is one of the most beloved MCU superheroes. From emotional scenes to action sequences, these were his best scenes.

​​​​​Leading into Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, there was a lot of talk about how Marvel would move forward with the Black Panther mantle. Shuri was ultimately the right choice for the MCU to go forward with, and she could even factor into the Young Avengers. But Killmonger also made a brief cameo in the film, albeit in the afterlife.

Fans have always felt that the antagonist of the first Black Panther has unfinished business. Audiences had theorized that Killmonger would make a return and lay claim to the Black Panther mask, perhaps before ultimately going on to be a threat for another day. That conflict would have been very interesting for the next T’Challa and indeed Shuri to fight through. Unfortunately, Killmonger has not been revived, nor will his fight go on.

Vital Viewing – Ms. Marvel (2022)

The X-Men are so hotly anticipated by fans that theories seem to come out every day about how they might one day emerge in the MCU. From a reverse ‘No More Mutants’ storyline to an Inhumans-esque event, there have been a lot of ideas. One of the most prominent was that Mutants could have simply been hiding among the population the whole time.

It seems instead that Marvel will use the Multiverse as a way to bring in Mutants, but Namor, Ms. Marvel, and The Scarlet Witch hint toward the X-Gene, perhaps lying dormant in some. Regardless, there’s definitely not a secret school for Mutants hiding in the shadows, nor are the X-Men waiting to emerge and say they’ve been around the whole time. It would certainly make for interesting political commentary, though, about why they hid.

3 Mephisto’s Arrival Felt Like a Given

Vital Viewing – WandaVision (2021)


10 Biggest Implications From The Marvels’ Ending

The Marvels ends with a bang, dropping several major hints about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the end of the Multiverse Saga.

​​​​​Demonic, terrifying, and a linchpin of Marvel’s horror comics, Mephisto is utterly iconic. The hellish demon has been teased again and again by Marvel, but those threads have never really gone anywhere. That hasn’t stopped fans from trying to guess as to how the underworld figure might be introduced.

The best fan theory was that he had been manipulating Wanda Maximoff. In fact, it was even suggested that it was the demon who made a dodgy deal with Spider-Man to change his life. It seems that Mephisto will instead be introduced via Ironheart’s narrative, but it would have been great to see him in on the action earlier.

2 Hela Is Thanos’ Love Interest

Vital Viewing – Thor: Ragnarök (2017)

In the comics, Thanos was driven by a desire to impress death, the embodiment of the afterlife itself. While this romantic angle was great for Marvel on the page, it seemed that Marvel Studios wanted to switch things up for the MCU and focus instead on a desire to rebalance the universe.

However, when there was talk of courting death, Marvel fans assumed that it would be Hela who would serve that role. Adding the Asgardian goddess to the Avengers saga would have given even more emotional and human depth to the alien invader Thanos and a reason for him to eventually retire too.

1 Skrull Imposters Would Be More Abundant

Vital Viewing – Secret Invasion (2023)

With Secret Invasion on the horizon, fans were hoping for a few Skrull imposters to emerge from the heroic roster they’d grown to love. There were a lot of fan theories about who might have been a shapeshifting alien and what consequences that may have for the future of the franchise.

Once Secret Invasion landed, though, fans were disappointed to learn that it was only War Machine and a couple of background characters that were revealed as Skrulls. When such long lists existed of everyone who might factor into the narrative, it was an abysmal end to a controversial Disney+ show. At the very least, the likes of Sharon Carter could have been included.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

Created by Marvel Studios, the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows heroes across the galaxy and across realities as they defend the universe from evil.

 Fan theories follow the MCU around wherever it goes as audiences pour over every frame and detail. These ideas are actually better than the canon!  Read More