MCU would not stand a chance in a court of law.
The cinematic universe has committed many sins — and giving Wanda a repetitive villain’s arc is singlehandedly enough to get it incarcerated for life — but almost all get forgiven as they have been resolved in some way or other. A completely altered Mandarin in Iron Man 3? Simple, Shang-Chi fixed it. Steve and Peggy’s tragic story? BOOM! Avengers: Endgame became the first Marvel film to give romance a future.
But what to do when the said arc never materializes and heck, the teased character never gets to set foot in the MCU — how do we forgive mistakes when attempts to fix the same were not only never made, but also repeated shamelessly?
Now, the superpowerful Moondragon, daughter of Drax the Destroyer, has not been teased directly, but even though her father’s story was subtly tweaked in the MCU, her appearance has always been a possibility. Drax says she is dead, something that his comic book counterpart also believed, only to be revealed that she survived and has been honing her psychic skills.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was expected by many to finally debut the character, but it also teased Moondragon in a roundabout manner by introducing Phyla. Now, she ain’t Phyla-Vell — the daughter of the superhero Mar-Vell and more importantly, Moondragon’s love interest in the comics. But MCU’s Phyla — who is the High Evolutionary’s creation — also possesses the ability to manipulate cosmic energy like Phyla-Vell, and appears to be one of the permanent members of the new Guardians of the Galaxy.
An ancient force, Marvel’s Mephisto is an extra-dimensional demon who has often been touted as the greatest, most evil manipulator. And WandaVision was flooded with hidden and obvious signs of his presence in the MCU, going as far as to hint that Wanda was being controlled by the entity. But as we know, the devil was so not in the details.
Well, at least there is still time for Agatha: House of Harkness. no Coven of Chaos, no no, Darkhold Diaries (hopefully third time is the charm) to swiftly right this wrong.
Jericho Drumm aka Brother Voodoo
His arrival has been awaited since his brother, Daniel Drumm, Master of the Mystic Arts and Protector of the New York Sanctum, promptly appeared and got killed by Kaecillius in Doctor Strange. As in the comics, Jericho becomes Brother Voodoo by training in sorcery after his brother died, his appearance was highly anticipated in Multiverse of Madness, to the point where rumors of the studio casting an actor matching his Haitian descent flew around.
So, along with shattering hopes of Wanda getting a sensible storyline, Marvel also drowned hopes of bringing Voodoo into the fold.
Patriot aka Eli Bradley
Apart from cementing Wyatt Russell as the U.S. Agent in the MCU, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier debuted Isiah Bradley, confirming the presence of many other supersoldiers like Steve Rodgers. The series is where we also meet Eli Bradley, Isaiah’s grandson, who in the comics goes on to become Patriot after using the illegal Mutant Growth Hormone (MGH) pills to get superhuman abilities.
But based on the done-and-dusted manner in which Isiah’s story is wrapped up — after being introduced to prove Sam Wilson indeed is the perfect candidate to be Captain America — expecting Eli Bradley to have any kind of future is as futile as his MCU introduction was.
Beta Ray Bill
There are many promises Taika Waititi has brazenly broken — that Jane Foster’s return would be worth the wait, Thor’s solo return after Endgame would be even better than Ragnarok, Gorr the Butcher would prove a soul-chilling villain (and Christian Bale did, despite how poorly the character was written), etc. But what about the statue of a Korbonite, who was most probably Beta Ray Bill, seen on Sakaar as one of the former Champions before Hulk in the 2017 Thor film?
Neither the alien race nor its most recognizable face has since been seen or even discussed in passing, not even when Thor took up Stormbreaker in the MCU, which came into existence in the comic books because of the cyborg warrior, and was wielded by him.
No, we are not stuck on Jocasta and Ultron’s connection where the robotic villain was created by Age of Ultron’s big baddie in the comics. But Marvel did what it always does and teased her in the film, but with a very different form as well as creator — Tony Stark.
It was not Jocasta but J.O.C.A.S.T.A., a user interface created by Tony, which was briefly seen when he was looking for a replacement for the destroyed J.A.R.V.I.S. For some, it is a neat Easter egg, but the wounded soul of the Marvel fandom would call it yet another lie unabashedly flaunted.
Now, this Spider-Man supervillain was not simply teased or just name-dropped in the MCU – he actually appeared in Spider-Man: Far From Home, and not at all as one would expect. We did not get to see him in his villainous avatar, or even sparingly embrace the comic book roots of his character, before it became the Chameleon. Nope, Dimitri Smerdyakov (his real name) instead debuted as the expressionless member of Nick Fury’s team and never appeared again since then.
The future of this superhero has always hung in the balance. His arrival became a big possibility when Helen Cho, the character who is his mother in the comic books, appeared in Age of Ultron and went on to survive Ultron’s deadly attack. But the MCU maintained radio silence on that front, before 2022’s San Diego Comic-Con brought forth the announcement that the upcoming animated series, Spider-Man: Freshman Year, would see Amadeus Cho making his MCU debut at last. Hercules — with whom Cho is practically best buddies in the comics — making his MCU debut just days before in Thor: Love and Thunder made the news even more perfect.
But post that, the series has not been a part of Disney’s upcoming release slate, and no information has been made available about when it will be streaming. But despite this worrying state of affairs, the recent confirmation that not only is it still in the works, but has already been renewed for a second season, is a good sign for the hero.
Not everyone is lucky like Man-Thing (seen in Werewolf by the Night) and Namor (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), who eventually got their moment in the sun after living in the darkest corner of the MCU where characters “never to debut but to be teased with abandon” reside. But still, the Marvel fandom is nothing if not tenacious. We might not be able to fly, or punch really hard, or turn green (though another disaster like Secret Invasion will leave us not needing the gamma radiation to accomplish it), but we keep faith in the MCU, however shaky its current footing.