The deleted post-credits scene in Iron Man teased the appearance of Hulk, Spider-Man, and the X-Men, but Marvel couldn’t follow through on it at the time due to licensing issues. With the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox and a partnership with Sony, Marvel now has the opportunity to include a Hulk, Spider-Man, and X-Men crossover in future MCU films. Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars could potentially see the Hulk, Spider-Man, and the X-Men coming together as a team, taking on a multiversal threat and becoming the successors to Nick Fury’s Avengers initiative.

A deleted Iron Man post-credits scene could finally be paid off during the MCU‘s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Avengers: Secret Wars. When Iron Man was released, Marvel Studios already had plans to expand beyond the character into a larger cinematic universe of superheroes, starting with the Avengers, because the company had film rights to all those characters. In the official Iron Man post-credits scene, Nick Fury visits Tony Stark to tell him about the Avengers initiative, saying, “Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet,” which was a clever nod to audiences about what Marvel was planning at the time.

However, Marvel Studios couldn’t just introduce anyone they wanted from Marvel Comics, as Fox and Sony owned the movie rights to several characters. The MCU had to be careful about which heroes it referenced because doing so would create audience expectations, something Marvel Studios could not follow through on without proper licensing. In the deleted scene, Fury makes references that would have been risky for Iron Man to keep in because, at the time, Marvel didn’t know whether or not it could follow through. Now the MCU hs the perfect opportunity to deliver on a tease cut way back in Iron Man.

Nick Fury Almost Teased Several Heroes In Iron Man’s Post-Credits Scene

In the deleted Iron Man post-credits scene, Fury references Hulk, Spider-Man, and the X-Men. He tells Tony, “As if gamma accidents, radioactive bug bites, and assorted mutants weren’t enough, I have to deal with a spoiled brat who doesn’t play well with others and wants to keep all his toys to himself.” Had Iron Man kept the scenes, it would have teased the appearance of several characters that couldn’t appear in Marvel movies until significantly later. Fury also mentions the Avengers initiative in this clip, suggesting that some or all of these characters would have been canonical Avengers in the MCU.

While exciting, this tease would have gone nowhere, as the only hero Marvel could follow through on at the time was the Hulk. Spider-Man would not be introduced until 2016’s Captain America: Civil War when Tom Holland’s iteration of the web-slinger debuted. To this day, Marvel does not own the film rights to Spider-Man and instead relies on a partnership with Spider-Man’s owner, Sony, to make his movies. And Disney, who has owned Marvel since 2009, didn’t acquire 21st Century Fox until 2019, which finally granted Marvel access to the X-Men. They will officially become MCU canon with the release of Deadpool 3 in 2024.

Avengers 5 Can Finally Unite Hulk, Spider-Man & The X-Men

Now that Marvel has these characters consolidated under the MCU, it has ample opportunity to pay off that deleted scene and include a Hulk, Spider-Man, and X-Men crossover. Considering the enormous, multiversal threat Kang the Conqueror poses to the Avengers currently active in the MCU, Phase 6 superheroes are going to have to work together in unexpected, innovative ways, which is the perfect setup for Hulk, Spider-Man, and the X-Men to come together. Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars could see the Hulk and Spider-Man, who are already Avengers, recruit new X-Men heroes for their team, making them spiritual successors to Nick Fury in Iron Man.

Key Release Dates

The Marvels

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Blade (2025)

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

 Avengers 5 and 6 can have epic hero crossovers.  Read More