The next overarching stories of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be determined by the outcome of the currently dated projects. Having assessed how well these outcomes might go for our heroes, it becomes easier to make a projection about what overarching stories could happen across the next few years. So let’s take a look through the different power-threat levels of street, supernatural, global, cosmic and multiverse to see where we could be heading before the next major crossover.
Trails of Crime
With Hawkeye introducing more street-level characters and stories later this year, it’s easy to imagine that there might be a money trail involved in hiring the goons that are going after Clint. In the comics various mob bosses, including the Kingpin, hire Kazimierz Kazimierczak the Clown to kill Clint. So, it stands to reason there might be an overarching story of organised crime that carries through into She-Hulk and further in Echo. We’re probably only witnessing the beginnings.
In the midst of more coordinated criminal activity, more local heroes like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, as well as the Heroes for Hire will have to find ways to protect people in their neighbourhoods and eventually confront those mob bosses. Other street level heroes like Darkhawk or Squirrel Girl could join them. Maybe even Toni Masters (formerly Dreykhov) becomes involved, relying on her photographic reflexes to train low-level thugs as a way to get by on her search for her place in the world.
Whether those confrontations with the crime syndicate triumph or not, there will be multiple rivals looking to succeed the current Kingpin of Crime. It’s reasonable that in such a scenario the Kingpin might be looking towards collaboration with supportive international governments like Latveria. I wonder whether a potential successor named Parker Robbins might flourish in the Kingpin War, aftering having found a demon’s cloak belonging to Dormammu and becoming The Hood
Wanda Maximoff being enticed into using The Darkhold, we’ll likely see an uptick in supernatural events around the world. No doubt that the streets and ley lines of New York City make it a hub of metaphysical activity that the cult forces of Dracula and Lilith, Mother of All Demons will be drawn to. Heroes like Doctor Strange, Moon Knight and Blade will need to team-up with adventurers, which includes Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Elsa Bloodstone, daughter of a famous monster hunter, and Werewolf by Night, who is reported to be have a series in development, to save people from paranormal activity.
At this point, it’s only a question of time before a full explosion of demonic cults spring up. Especially as Ghost Rider might join Marvel Studios’ filmography sooner than later. Alternatively, another scenario these heroes could find themselves allied with crime syndicate boss The Hood who discovers a zombie-esque virus. It’s enacted by Dormammu to conquer Earth. Although the Cosmic Conqueror is likely to be defeated in this endeavour, as it feels like the Mindless Ones might be more of a magic threat that the Midnight Sons and the Avengers might have to team-up for.
Global Witch Hunt
Another street level meets supernatural event could be the formation of the Young Avengers. There are few events in the MCU that cause new teams to form, especially comprising street level characters and assorted other power levels. A missing Avenger might be one of those causations. It’s not hard to imagine that Cassie Lang, Kate Bishop and Eli Bradley might know each other through online Avengers tracking communities or even an early get-together with Teddy Altman. He’s hidden on earth with the Lang family, in the midst of Kree/Skrull attacks as they search for a ‘hybrid’ on Earth.
It’s not hard to imagine these young heroes might be alerted if Wiccan and Speed are on a global search for their missing multiversal-mother. It’s also possible Billy and Tommy are joined by their new friends from recent adventures with Kid Loki and America Chavez. They might need to face-off against Kree and Skrull units as they go on a children’s crusade that could take them across the globe. Perhaps it leads them to the once faded but now rising from the ashes country of Latveria. We explored the idea of an adaptation of the Children’s Crusade storyline, which you can check out here. The uniting of such an assorted team on such an adventure could possibly bring them into the sights of other global players.
New Global Avengers
From where we are now we can see that there might be two action-espionage teams forming within a global scale. While Sam Wilson has stepped up to claim the mantle of Captain America, he will likely still be put under a lot of scrutiny. Perhaps some of this could be alleviated with Sam publicly leading a team, and even getting his “Avengers Assemble’” moment. So, the question remains who this global time might consist of.
Shang-Chi seems likely to join forces with those that can help him achieve his goals. Perhaps Jane Foster’s Mighty Thor might be compelled to protect New Asgard, which has imbued her with power while her namesake is on cosmic adventures. Similarly there might be aliens like Hercules who have been chased from their homes by Gorr The God Butcher, and now want to set-up home on the planet. It could lead to the return of Sersi and Dane Whitman, who’ll get called into action due to their past.
Whether this team will be joined by a Wakandan hero on the international stage is still very much an open question. Of course this team could easily be rounded out by regulars like Bucky, Ant-Man, The Wasp, and War Machine. Rhodey will have recently tangled with the possible results of Sharon Carter’s Power Broker after she sold off Stark Tech plans. Regardless of who joins this team, it seems they will likely have a rivalry with another global team.
Rival Dark Avengers
Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is recruiting a team and we met its first true member. She tells John Walker, the slightly unstable super-soldier that “things are about to get weird.” She also refers to Baron Zemo as “our friend,” indicating she might have some plans for him as well. Yelena Belova is the final recruit knwon about, and it seems Yelena has been working for Val for some time already, jokingly asking for a raise and saying she shouldn’t be bothered on holiday.
It makes you wonder if Val knows about Agatha Harkness being trapped in Westview as ‘Agnes’ and what kind of bargain she might strike for freeing her. Whatever Val’s aims are, they seem an antagonism to our heroes, which could set up a rivalry between these newly formed teams. The only question is what would lead to them confronting each other. Is Val already looking to head off the Secret Invasion? Is a war brewing between Kree and Skrulls once again in their hunt for a ‘hybrid’?
There are many possibliites they might take with this new team. She might plan a siege on New Asgard, or other iconic locations from the comics. Perhaps a new type of humans have been steadily growing in numbers that need more control. Her machinations will surely become clearer over the next year or two. This global rivalry between these two teams will surely have to give way eventually as another global threat too big for one team alone emerges.
There are likely to be various cosmic conflicts that could coalesce into a wider galactic struggle. As there are a significant number of Eternals, it stands to reason that some of them might stay protecting Earth while others adventure off into space in search of their creators, the Celestials. The ancient Celestial experiments could become the catalysts for a wider galactic war. New Asgard can be the connection point between Earth and the Cosmos, especially now that Thor Odinson ventured out with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
It is possible that he might continue his adventures in space while Jane Foster uses a repaired Mjolnir on Earth. Gorr The God Butcher will undoubtedly interrupt this space adventure. His rampage might introduce us to other pantheons like the Olympians and Tuatha De Danann, as they are attacked and in search of new habitats across the universe. Perhaps New Asgard can become a home for all of them? Will Valkyrie and her queen be able to unite peoples beyond Asgardians?
It’s likely that similar political negotiations might fall on the heads of Nick Fury, Talos and Captain Marvel with each of the three of them having a crossover stake in the Kree-Skrull conflict that will likely engulf the galaxy. With the Skrull invasion of Earth and the Kree Empire trying to get it’s hands on Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan and Teddy Altman for various reasons suggest there will be a continued focus on Earth within the wider politics of the galaxy. It’s not hard to imagine, when taken, to extremes this might include open invasion and attacks that combined cosmic and earthbound heroes.
We might see the involvement of characters like Nova, Abigail Brand and The Fantastic Four to keep these threats at bay. The Guardians are likely to split up and some of their remaining members could pop-up elsewhere. Perhaps in the deepest quarters of space at a catina we might see the Starjammers, as we explore new locations across the galaxy. Both the exploration of Terrans into deeper parts of space and the Kree-Skrull-Earth conflict spreading across galaxies might attract the attention of cosmic threats like Galactus or Annihilus, who will require a bigger team up than just the cosmically powered heroes.
It looks like the multiverse will get more chaotic and dangerous throughout the next dimensional-timeline adventures of Loki, Captain Carter, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man. Each of these characters can suffer heavy tolls from their impending exploits. The multiverse won’t disappear and the impact of different branching timelines won’t halt after what we can see on the horizon.
As the Loki Variant L1130 witnesed the cracking of the multiverse, it seems his next adventures could involve escaping a Variant of Kang the Conquerer that has taken over the TVA while trying to find the more revolutionary version he left Mobius and Hunter B-15 with. They might form a version of the Exiles to fix the broken timelines, as different versions of the TVA face each other. Whatever the answer is, it will likely be entwined with how Loki and Sylvie heal their rift.
As Captain Carter continues to try and guard the multiverse, perhaps her further feats with Uatu might lead her to Merlyn and Roma. From there it’s easy to envisage how she might become first of the Captain Britain Corps with a duty to guard the wider omniverse. Along the way, it’s highly likely she will encounter our favourite heroes. Her actions might also echo from Strange’s upcoming adventure.
While he will tackle the various timelines intersecting, there are a few new paths before him. For one, there are likely to be new supernatural threats on the streets of New York that could require him to assemble a team. His experiences might also force him to realise that there needs to be a small cabal watching over the multiverse in the hopes of sparing their own timeline at the cost of others while saving all of them from those who might use time as a weapon. Lastly, in noticing the appearance of young heroes, it might be the time to gather those with mystical abilities to guide them through the mystic arts in a Strange Academy. It seems like the doctor is going to have a busy period.
While Scott Lang’s tussle with Kang is not likely to go well for the Lang and Pym families, it’s possible Scott and Hope will return to earthly protection and warding of the Young Avengers. The Variants of Kang may form a council and are likely to be making plans to further expand their influence across the timelines even if it means the incursions of some into others. It looks like the future is going to be quite rough.
Many Stories to Come
In view of how these stories might play out across the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse, it’s clear that the peaks of the next few years will include story threads that will lead to bigger confrontations that require multiple teams. There is an inevitability that these bigger confrontations will crossover themselves in their power levels and impact, suggesting that once the above stories have begun to play out, we might start to see a wider crossover between all the new and hold heroes of the MCU as a unavoidable threat emerges that everyone must join in to tackle.