Summary

  • Be sure to watch Disney+ shows to fully understand MCU plot points like Sam Wilson becoming Captain America.
  • The TVA from Loki plays a major role in the expanded MCU, setting the stage for future multiverse threats.
  • Understanding characters like John Walker and Monica Rambeau in Disney+ shows is essential for recent or upcoming Marvel projects.

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There have been quite a few MCU shows released on Disney+ since the brand expanded to the small screen, and each contains at least a few important plot points relevant to the wider cinematic universe. Now, there is a range of how important certain Disney+ shows are. Standalone projects like Werewolf by Night, for example, haven’t had any big impacts on the MCU. Then there’s projects like The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which introduced important elements like Peter and Mantis being siblings, or Cosmo as a Guardian. However, these details were also explained in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Other Disney+ Marvel shows, however, do have bigger reveals that don’t seem like they are going to be covered too extensively in the movies. For example, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made Wanda’s entire motivation something that viewers wouldn’t fully understand if they hadn’t watched WandaVision. A lot of these big reveals came in the earlier Disney+ shows, meaning Marvel probably didn’t predict that some audiences would skip them. Disney seems to be correcting this, like how it effectively introduced Kamala Khan in The Marvels, but there are still some details from shows that are important to know.

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10 Sam Wilson Is Now Captain America

This Reveal Is From The Falcon And The Winter Soldier (2021)

Sam Wilson's Captain America with suit and shield in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Steve Rogers hands his shield to Sam Wilson and tells Sam it belongs to him. Now, this could be enough for audiences to understand that Sam would likely become Captain America, but anyone who skipped out on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier won’t really understand what was necessary for Sam to get to that point. The show makes it clear that Sam initially refuses the offer. He only takes up the mantle after doing some serious self-reflection and seeing John Walker stain the legacy that Steve Rogers left behind.

Sam’s initial reluctance to become Captain America isn’t just a plot cul-de-sac but a meaningful part of his character. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier makes it clear that it’s harder for Sam to become Cap, in part due to long-standing systemic oppression by the United States government against Black Americans. Sam worries what it would mean to be a representative of the country given this history, and meets Isaiah Bradley who has a pretty good cautionary tale against it. Audiences who are going right from Endgame to Captain America: Brave New World might miss some of this nuance.

9 The TVA Is A Major MCU Organization (& Loki Became More Important In The MCU After His Death)

This Reveal Is From Loki (2021)

Loki Season 2 Poster

Loki

Release Date
June 11, 2021

Seasons
2

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+

Showrunner
Michael Waldron

Audiences who haven’t followed the Disney+ MCU shows may have been confused when they saw the Deadpool & Wolverine trailer debut, and suddenly, people in orange body armor were coming to abduct Deadpool from the Fox X-Men Universe. The TVA, the organization after Deadpool, was first introduced in Loki. They were originally tasked with traveling to alternate timelines and destroying them if they strayed too far from what they called the Sacred Timeline, a curated series of events that kept the multiverse from falling into war.

At the end of Loki, season 2, the TVA was seemingly on a new path, searching the multiverse for threats like Kang variants. This change was precipitated by Loki, who sacrificed himself to weave branching timelines together into a new, less restrictive multiverse. This allowed the multiverse to stabilize without the need to destroy branching timelines. This has also made Loki instrumental to the continued existence of the Marvel multiverse. It is possible he will play some big role in the MCU’s future, which would be confusing if audiences had last seen him simply disappearing in Avengers: Endgame.

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8 John Walker Is A New Super Soldier Who Will Be US Agent

This Reveal Is From The Falcon And The Winter Soldier (2021)

Before The Falcon and the Winter Soldier introduced Sam Wilson as Captain America, it briefly had another character taking up the mantle. John Walker was a former Army Ranger, chosen by the US Government to take on the role of Captain America given his outstanding service record. However, Walker implies in several lines of dialogue that to earn his stellar reputation, he had to commit some terrible acts of violence, which left some deep emotional scars. When Walker finds and takes a version of the Super Soldier Serum, his temper and violent tendencies only escalate.

Walker eventually lost the title of Captain America after he decapitated a member of the Flag Smashers with Cap’s shield. Though this was the end of Walker’s time as Cap, he was approached and recruited by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine to work for the CIA under a new identity: US Agent. Walker will appear as US Agent in Marvel’s Thunderbolts alongside Bucky Barnes. In the show, Bucky fought Walker and helped Sam take the shield from him. It would be helpful to at least understand who Walker is, his powers, and his relationship with Bucky before their Thunderbolts appearance.

7 The MCU’s Shows Introduced 2 Major Kang Variants

This Reveal Is From Loki (2021)

Jonathan Majors as Kang looking serious next to focused Victor Timely and He Who Remains

Loki didn’t just introduce the TVA to the MCU; it was also the first time Kang was introduced. At the end of Loki, season 1, Loki and Sylvie meet He Who Remains, a Kang variant who explains that, if he is killed and the Sacred Timeline is broken, all the other Kangs will start a major war across the multiverse. This essentially set up Kang and his many variants as the next big threat facing the MCU.

Loki season 2 introduced another Kang variant, Victor Timely. Timely was an inventor from the 1800s who was given advanced knowledge by the TVA in hopes of replacing He Who Remains with Timely. Victor Timely also helps write the new version of the TVA handbook, meaning he is now partially responsible for the direction the organization will take in future MCU projects. With Jonathan Majors being fired by Marvel, Kang’s MCU future is uncertain. However, as of now, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty has not received an official title change, so Kang may still be an important part of the MCU.

6 Nick Fury’s MCU Mission Has Gotten Far More Complicated

This Reveal Is From Secret Invasion (2023)

Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury in the field at the end of Secret Invasion

Secret Invasion TV Series Poster

Secret Invasion

Release Date
June 21, 2023

Seasons
1

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+

Showrunner
Kyle Bradstreet

At the end of Captain Marvel, Nick Fury promises Talos and the Skrulls that he will try to find them a home. Later, Spider-Man: Far From Home revealed that Fury had been employing Skrulls for undercover work on Earth. This might leave MCU viewers with the impression that Fury has a solid plan for the Skrulls, but Secret Invasion made things much more complicated.

Secret Invasion revealed that Fury had not taken many concrete steps towards fulfilling his promise to the Skrulls. Instead, he seemed content with using their abilities for his own gain instead of trying to actively find them a home. This only becomes more complicated when Fury learns there are actually millions of Skrulls hiding on Earth that he didn’t know about. This, combined with the fact that some Skrulls are sick of waiting for Fury and want to take over Earth, means Fury’s mission to find the Skrulls a place to live has very high stakes.

5 Monica Rambeau Gained Super Powers Breaking Into Westview

This Reveal Is From WandaVision (2021)

WandaVision Poster

WandaVision

Release Date
January 15, 2021

Seasons
1

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+

Showrunner
Jac Schaeffer

Audience members who only knew Monica Rambeau as the young girl from Captain Marvel were likely a little surprised when she popped up in The Marvels with her own superpowers. The origin of Monica’s powers was only revealed in WandaVision. She was also briefly referenced in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and Secret Invasion ahead of The Marvels, but since these were also both Disney+ projects, anyone exclusively watching the movies wouldn’t have been kept up to speed with her character.

Monica gets her powers when she forces her way back into the town of Westview, which has been cut off from the rest of the world by Scarlet Witch’s powerful Hex. While pushing through Wanda’s magic barrier, it initially seems as though Monica is going to die from the power. However, she manages to force her way through, and as she does, she also gains some superpowers from the energy of the barrier.

4 The MCU Introduced Its Most Powerful Superhero In A Show

This Reveal Is From Secret Invasion (2023)

G'iah (Emilia Clarke) using her Super Skrull abilities in Secret Invasion's finale

It is revealed partway through Secret Invasion that Gravik plans to create enhanced Skrulls using DNA from some of the Avengers. This would essentially grant the Skrulls the same abilities as whatever hero’s DNA they were given. There also seems to be no limit as to how many abilities a single Skrull could possess, so one Super Skrull could have the powers of multiple Avengers.

At Secret Invasion‘s climax, two Skrulls have been given Super Skrull abilities: Gravik, the series’ main villain, and G’iah, the daughter of Talos and Soren from Captain Marvel. The two duke it out at an old abandoned factory, displaying powers from across the MCU. Powers of heroes from Groot to Captain Marvel make an appearance in the fight, accompanied by some of Secret Invasion‘s most questionable CGI. G’iah ultimately kills Gravik, but that still leaves one incredibly powerful Super Skrull in the MCU.

3 Vision Has Returned (In A New Form)

This Reveal Is From WandaVision (2021)

White Vision looking confused in WandaVision

Avengers: Infinity War included several major character deaths, including Vision, who actually had to die twice. Vision hasn’t been seen alive again in any MCU movies since, leading moviegoers to believe that he has died permanently. However, WandaVision revealed both what happened to Vision’s body after Infinity War and gave audiences a brand-new Vision who is still out there.

Following his death, Vision’s body was recovered by S.W.O.R.D. S.W.O.R.D. eventually was able to reanimate Vision’s body, and sent him after Wanda to stop her controlling Westview. Unlike the old colorful Vision, this one was all white, but that wasn’t the biggest difference. The new Vision also didn’t have any of his previous memories or personality. Luckily, before Wanda’s manifestation of the original Vision was erased, he was able to imbue the new Vision with some of his consciousness. This means there is still a Vision out there in the MCU with some unspecified amount of his original personality.

2 There Is A New Hawkeye In Town

This Reveal Is From Hawkeye (2021)

Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) pointing a bow and arrow at the screen in Hawkeye

Hawkeye
Cast
Zahn McClarnon , Fra Fee , Brian D’Arcy James , Hailee Steinfield , Alaqua Cox , Vera Farmiga , Jeremy Renner , Tony Dalton

Release Date
November 24, 2021

Seasons
1

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+

Number of Episodes
6

The Disney+ Hawkeye series didn’t just focus on one Hawkeye, but two. The show split its attention evenly between Clint Barton, the original Hawkeye, and his eventual successor, Kate Bishop. Kate is an enthusiastic but inexperienced college student whose energy perfectly contrasts with Clint’s grumpy dad energy. At the end of the series, Clint has taken Kate under his wing. When Kate is trying to suggest superhero names for herself, Clint suggests she use “Hawkeye,” officially passing on the title.

Kate Bishop has since shown up in an MCU movie in the form of a post-credits teaser. The Marvels showed Kamala Khan approaching Kate about starting a “kid superhero team,” which will likely be the Young Avengers. Anyone not familiar with Hawkeye may have thought they were being introduced to a brand-new character or else would have realized they missed something from an earlier project.

1 Kingpin Is Back And Looking To Take Over New York

This Reveal Is From Echo (2024)

Kingpin speaking to Maya Lopez about his father in Echo

Echo TV Show Poster

Marvel’s Echo

Cast
Chaske Spencer , Zahn McClarnon , Graham Greene , Alaqua Cox , Cody Lightning , Charlie Cox , Tantoo Cardinal , Devery Jacobs , Vincent D’Onofrio

Release Date
January 9, 2024

Seasons
1

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+ , Hulu

Directors
Sydney Freeland

Technically, Kingpin’s first reappearance in the MCU was in Hawkeye. However, after a brief encounter with Kate Bishop, Kingpin was seemingly shot and killed by Maya Lopez, aka Echo. It was later revealed in Echo that Kingpin had survived being shot by Maya and was intent on getting her back on his side. When this doesn’t work out, Kingpin heads back to New York, seemingly with a new plan.

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The end of the series showed Kingpin watching a news segment about New York City’s mayoral race. The scene sets up the story for Daredevil: Born Again, where Kingpin will be running for mayor. However, some believe Kingpin might not just be relegated to the Disney+ shows. There are rumors that Kingpin may become an overarching villain for all of Marvel’s street-level heroes, including Spider-Man. If Kingpin does pop up in MCU projects like Spider-Man 4, then it would be important for fans to know what he’s been up to before then.

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