No matter how much we all adore the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the franchise has created quite a few issues over the years due to its complicated timeline. Some dates didn't up with other events, and so on. Marvel Studios moved to clear that up with the Marvel: The First Ten Years book, which revealed an official timeline of the entire MCU to date. While this helped settle some debates, it actually might have created yet another plot hole regarding Doctor Strange.
In the timeline, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is listed as taking place in 2014, the year the movie came out. Doctor Strange is listed as 2016 to 2017, around the time it came out as well. This on its own causes no issues, but, as one Marvel fan on Reddit has pointed out, a clever Easter egg in Winter Soldier may throw this off just a little bit.
If you recall, back in Winter Soldier, Captain America joins forces with Black Widow and Sam Wilson to try and take down Hydra, which has rooted itself within SHIELD. Once they learn of Project Insight, they track down and interrogate Agent Sitwell, who explains to them what the project is, and how involved Hydra is.
"Zola's algorithm is a program for choosing Insight's targets," Sitwell says. Cap asks him what kind of targets the algorithm is looking into. "You! A TV anchor in Cairo, the other Secretary of Defense, a high school valedictorian in Iowa City, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, anyone who's a threat to Hyrda."
See how this could create a dilemma? In 2014, when Sitwell mentioned that Strange was under Hydra surveillance for his gifts, the events of Doctor Strange were still two years away. He hadn't yet become the Sorcerer Supreme at this time.13comments
This "could" create a significant plot hole for the MCU, but it doesn't necessarily have to. Bruce Banner and Captain America have abilities, and they were mentioned in the list, but the other references remain to be seen. We have yet to see what's become of the high school student in Iowa City, or the news anchor in Egypt. They could always just be highly intelligent of influential people that Hydra wants to keep tabs on. This would explain Strange's place on the list, given that he was one of the most brilliant and gifted surgeons in the entire world at the time.
Do you think this creates a plot hole in the MCU timeline? Or was Hydra simply being over-observant with Project Insight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!