This MCU Anthology Series Has Really Interesting Ideas

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has built out its lore through the perspective of super heroes and the characters which immediately surround them. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, Loki, Captain Marvel, Black Panther... we know how these heroes (and more), their families, friends, and enemies have been effected by the events of The Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and other movies or shows. What about the rest of the people living in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The actions taken by these heroes and the villains surrounding them would have some wild impacts on citizens of the Earth and other planets which became a major talking point on Marvel's section of Reddit. Though many of the stories seem bleak, there are some really interesting ideas for stories that could be told from civilian perspectives in the MCU.

Hawkeye provided one of the best teases of what world events involving super heroes look like from a civilian perspective when a young Kate Bishop watched the Battle of New York from her family's penthouse in the city. The events of The Avengers were shown through a super heroic lens back in 2012, then again in 2019 when Avengers: Endgame revisited the setting but never from the ground level until Kate Bishop came along in 2021. Spider-Man: Homecoming gave a look at one scenario which followed, with clean up crews and big-brained future villains capitalizing on the technology which was left behind in the fallout. Still, there have been plenty of events in the MCU which could be interesting to explore from the ground level, similarly to what those scenes provided. One Reddit user, going by SpicyLunaDog99, laid out a nine-episode suggestion list:

  1. EP 1 Battle of New York
  2. EP 2 S.H.I.E.LD.'s downfall
  3. EP 3 Battle of Sokovia
  4. EP 4 The Snap Part 1
  5. EP 5 The Snap Part 2
  6. EP 6 Westview
  7. EP 7 Celestial Birth
  8. EP 8 Statue of Liberty Fight / Multiverse Breaking
  9. EP 9 Khonshu turning back the sky

As previously noted, many of those seem like they could be fairly bleak entries to the MCU. The Battle of New York would be a terrifying place to be and we have now seen it from Kate Bishop's point of view before she became a Hawkeye herself. Looking at the rest of the list, there are certainly ways to find some more positive stories amidst the many dark moments the MCU has seen.

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(Photo: Disney / Marvel Studios' Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

The downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D., an event which took place in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, could be an interesting opportunity for a new hero to emerge. A police officer or firefighter could rescue someone from the rubble of crashed helicarriers. Perhaps, at the end, they find Steve Rogers after he was pulled ashore by Bucky Barnes! This would be a neat way to explore the ground level ramifications of such a disaster but also tie-in the major story points seen in a previous film.

The Battle of Sokovia was touched on later in the MCU, with Alfre Woodard having portrayed the mother of a young man killed in the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron for Captain America: Civil War. There is an opportunity here to follow the story of that young man Charlie Spencer as he helped others find rescue, with his day going from building houses from the poor to trying to help others survive the battlegrounds where the super heroes were trying to stop Ultron. This idea, like many, seems to fit into a category of being unnecessary but still interesting for those viewers who enjoy seeing these events from completely different perspectives, sometimes similar to what would be our own. Charlie Spencer becomes known as a hero again (building houses for the poor was already heroic), his efforts on the ground are seen, and those Marvel fans who want to see what it's like to catch a glimpse at heroes from the ground get Ultron bots or Iron Man zipping through shots and Thor's hammer in action from afar.

The Snap lends itself to any number of stories. Perhaps new business arose in the wake of Thanos snapping away half of the life in the universe. Perhaps people had to figure out how to land planes when pilots suddenly disappeared. Maybe there is a story in there about a what happened in an office building when the mean boss got dusted and a party ensued before everyone realized what had actually happened. Then, on the flip side, a new boss rose into power until the boss returned in the second Snap episode! The idea of seeing how people learned about what the Snap really was, looking to social media or news broadcasts to see the damage in real time and what their first courses of action were are exciting ideas. Seeing Monica Rambeau return to a hospital and Yelena Belova deal with disappearing and reappearing were among the highlights of WandaVision and Hawkeye, respectively.

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(Photo: Disney / Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War)

The list goes on with endless possibilities. While RuggerJibberJabber's idea of people disappearing on a cruise only to reappear in the middle of the ocean in need of rescue is interesting in its own way, a more interesting version of this anthology series seems to hinge on being in the vicinity of super heroes and their efforts which often come with collateral damage. Civilians navigating the events in real time or adapting to life and moments in real time falling their fallout would keep this idea fun to watch, with opportunities of seeing Cap's shield fly by or a Leviathan from Thanos' army crashing through a building nearby serving as worthwhile backdrops which drive the civilian characters and their short stories. It even provides opportunities for cameos by Black Widow or other Avengers we won't be seeing anymore, should such an anthology series decide to cut such checks to the actors. It could be especially fun if each anthology story featured the direct effect of one super hero who ultimately plays a small role in the episode. Still, it's all just a fantasy and one which is fun to theorize about and write our own little short stories about what life would be like a civilian near major world events in the MCU. Spoiler alert: most of them wouldn't be very fun!

What civilian stories spinning out of MCU events would you like to see in such an anthology series? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Twitter! For more Marvel chatter, including thoughts about this anthology series idea, subscribe to the Phase Zero YouTube channel for live shows centered around MCU content every Thursday.