10 MCU Plot Twists Everyone Saw Coming

  • MCU twists are often predictable due to comic book fan expectations and aggressive marketing revealing surprises early.
  • Villains like Ego and Mysterio were easily spotted due to familiar character tropes, lessening their impact in the story.
  • Despite some twists being obvious, like Loki's fakeout deaths, others like Captain America wielding Mjolnir still payoff in satisfying ways.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of plot twists, and not all of them land as hard as they should. Across the many films of the MCU, the franchise has made many attempts at sneaky plot twists, keeping things engaging for audiences beyond the performances and CGI spectacle. Unfortunately, these passes at subverting expectations are sometimes easy to spot a mile away, ultimately lessening their impact in an otherwise engaging story.
There are several reasons MCU twists aren't always as subtle as they think they are. For one, the series is constantly having to balance general audiences with comic book fans, meaning that for those familiar with the comics, certain character reveals or story beats are very much expected. Other times, the aggressive marketing of the MCU can get the better of it, with trailers or leaks frequently giving away the most exciting surprises in store for upcoming Marvel movies. Whatever the case, the MCU is a graveyard of easily-spotted plot twists.
10 Ego Wasn't The Best Father Figure After All Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 places a greater emphasis on Star-Lord's story among the spacefaring hero team's greater ensemble, exploring his past and celestial ancestry. While Kurt Russel's Ego seems to be a welcoming presence at first, Peter Quill and his friends quickly learn just how much of a menace the ancient living planet truly is. The reveal would hit a lot harder if it wasn't for the fact that most viewers figured out that would be the case essentially as soon as Ego appeared on-screen.
The very structure of the story makes it almost impossible for Ego to be a good guy -- With him on their side, the Guardians would have no worries about fending off the secondary antagonists of the Sovereign. Comic readers will also be familiar with Ego's appearance as a villain or at least antagonistic force in most stories he appears in. For the plot to progress, there's essentially no way Ego wasn't hiding some dark secret, somewhat lessening the impact of the reveal that he was the one responsible for the death of Star-Lord's mother.
9 Mysterio Having Villainous Intentions Spider-Man: Far From Home Another villain masquerading as a hero at the beginning of their introductory film, Mysterio is the antagonist of Spider-Man: Far From Home, manipulating Peter Parker with his illusion technology in order to secure access to some of Tony Stark's most sensitive tech. Jakey Gyllenhaal's phenomenal performance as Mysterio makes him closer to being a convincing hero than Ego ever gets. But in the end, the reveal of his deception isn't especially shocking when it finally does come.
Mysterio's actions at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home have some critical implications for Peter Parker in the rest of the MCU, but his status as a shady character should be easy to spot for any moviegoer. His explanation of the "Elementals" and the danger they pose is just a little too surface level, making it hard to believe that Spider-Man would buy it in the first place. Of course, Mysterio's villain status is also well-known by even the most surface-level Spider-Man fan, making his heroic aspirations difficult to swallow for anyone going in with pre-exisitng Spider-Man knowledge.
8 The Kree Vs. Skrull Twist Captain Marvel Captain Marvel formally introduced the warring alien empires of the Skrulls and the Kree, two staple extraterrestrial races in the Marvel Comics. Both are depicted as being villainous in their own way in the source material, even if they do war against one another, but the beginning of Captain Marvel tries to take things in a different direction. Early on in the film, it's established that Carol Danvers, known to the Kree as Vers, has been fighting against the Skrull on behalf of the Kree Empire for some time after losing her memories.
The ultimate reveal that the Kree are a villainous empire of colonizers isn't a shock to any comic reader, but MCU-only fans can also see the twist coming a mile away. The mere existence of Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy, described as a fanatic Kree zealot, should be enough to categorize the race's government as nefarious in nature. One suprise Captain Marvel does get away with is the assertion that the Skrull are largely peaceful, merely hiding from being hunted by the Kree with their disguises.
7 The Appearance Of Other Spider-Men Actors Spider-Man: No Way Home Custom Image By Karlis Wilde The reveal of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire's appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home is among the most cheer-worthy moments in the MCU. For as exciting as it is to see all three live-action Spider-Men united, there are few fans who didn't see the reunion coming from a mile away. This is primarily due to several factors surrounding the buildup of the film's release, although the presence of Garfield and Maguire was largely expected the moment Alfred Molina's Doc Ock appeared on-screen.
The trailers for Spider-Man: No Way Home attempted to keep the extra Peter Parkers under wraps, digitally editing them out of the final fight scenes. However, suspiciously empty spaces in the blocking made it obvious that more Spider-Men were being hidden just out of sight. One particularly obvious example came from a Brazilian trailer for the film, in which The Lizard gets punched in the face by a seemingly invisible force.
6 The Winter Soldier Being Bucky Barnes Captain America: The Winter Soldier Captain America's recognition of Bucky's face under The Winter Soldier's mask is one of the biggest emotional gut punches in his journey throughout the MCU. Thinking his former best friend and sidekick to be dead, Steve Rogers is utterly taken aback to see a familiar face in the modern age. Sadly, this reveal surprised no one upon the film's release, for a wide variety of reasons.
For one, comic readers will be familiar with Bucky Barnes' status as The Winter Soldier, making the twist yet another casualty of comic lore knowledge. Beyond that, an early cast list for Captain America: The Winter Soldier straight up gave away the titular villain's identity, crediting Sebastian Stan as "Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier." It's a shame that most audiences weren't able to experience the shock of Bucky's unmasking with the same level of gravity that Captain America himself did.
5 Captain America Wielding Mjolnir Avengers: Endgame Not every obvious twist in Marvel Cinematic Universe movies is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, everyone knowing when a certain "twist" is going to happen can actually make it more satisfying, especially if the reveal the payoff to a moment set up ages ago. Such was the case with Captain America being able to wield Mjolnir in the final battle of Avengers: Endgame.
After the party scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron in which Captain America is able to nudge the hammer, MCU fans were expectant for the all-American hero to fully wield the mythical weapon later on in the series. Avengers: Endgame finally fulfilled that promise years later with a surprise plot twist that may have been expected, but nonetheless generated record amounts of hype. While there are several theories explaining why Steve couldn't lift Mjolnir in Avengers: Age of Ultron fully, it's very likely he could have, and simply chose not to to spare Thor's feelings.
4 Loki's (Many) Fakeout Deaths Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Infinity War It's fitting that the illusory God of Mischief would have the most attempts at faking out the MCU's audiences of any character in the franchise. Dying and coming back not one, not two, but three separate times, Loki's reputation as being never truly dead starting following him closesly in the series, making it hard to believe he'd ever truly bite the dust for good. His first fakeout death came in the original Thor, as he fell into space off the Bifrost Bridge.
Knowing Loki would be the main villain of The Avengers, this ambiguous demise was met with skepticism. This made it all the harder to believe Loki was dead once again in Thor: The Dark World, quickly revealed to be a fakeout as the trickster god disguised himself as Odin to enjoy a short-lived Asgardian rule. While the original timeline Loki technically does die in Avengers: Infinity War, it would be far from the character's last appearance in the franchise, getting his own series of solo adventures with Disney+'s excellent Loki.
3 The Reveal Of The Eternals' True Purpose Eternals Yet another twist villain that was easy to see coming a mile away, Marvel's mysterious celestials that guided the Eternals in their titular film had sinister plans for planet Earth. Initially, it's explained that the Eternals were sent to Earth to protect the planet from Deviants, monstrous creatures that proliferated through the galaxy stomping out intelligent life wherever it formed. While this was half-true, their real purpose on the planet was revealed to be the heralding of a new celestial from deep within the bowels of the Earth.
Of course, this plan would destroy the Earth if completed, leaving immortal superheroes to choose between their celestial programming and their fondness for humanity after spending untold centuries on Earth. Once again, the writing on the wall was clear with this particular villainous reveal. Even worse, the minimal pop culture impact of Eternals means that few fans even experienced it, leaving the half-formed celestial Tiamat to languish in the Indian Ocean without mention for multiple MCU films.
2 She-Hulk Smashing The Fourth Wall She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Movies by no means have a monopoly on obvious twists executed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law embraces the character's comic heritage with a particularly creative scene that, while attempting to be out-of-left field, is strangely easy to see coming. From the moment Jen makes her first comments towards the camera a la Francis Underwood in House of Cards, an unequivocally silly sequence that fully smashes through the fourth wall is the only logical conclusion.
The scene wound up being a divisive one, with critical detractors lamenting the moment as too bizarre even for Marvel standards. Others appreciated the acknowledgment of She-Hulk's legacy as a character that's aware of her status as a fictional heroine. It's clear the scene was meant to be a shock, but the gradual increase of regularity with which She-Hulk speaks directly to the audience made it only a matter of time before more drastic measures were taken.
1 Obadiah Stane As Marvel's First Twist Villain Iron Man Of all the twist villains in Marvel Cinematic Universe history, one might imagine that if any of them were to be truly shocking or effective, it would be the very first. Unfortunately, this isn't the case, and Obadiah Stane's ultimate betrayal of Tony Stark is easy to see coming a mile away. From the first small moment that Stane references some small amount of possible resentment towards Howard Stark naming his brat son the successor of Stark Industries, it's easy to see where the story is going.
That's not to say that Obadiah Stane is a bad villain overall. Jeff Bridges gives a solid performance, and even if he is the first Marvel Studios villain to pioneer the trope of "evil verison of the hero," he deserves credit as holding up his side of the excellent first entry in the franchise. It's too bad that Stane sets a precedent for underwhelming Marvel Cinematic Universe plot twists, wearing his unsavory intentions on his sleeve from nearly the very beginning.
Upcoming Marvel Movies Release Date Deadpool & Wolverine July 26, 2024 Captain America: Brave New World February 14, 2025 Thunderbolts* May 2, 2025 The Fantastic Four July 25, 2025 Blade November 7, 2025 Avengers: The Kang Dynasty May 1, 2026 Avengers: Secret Wars May 7, 2027


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