The Marvel ONE-SHOTS Move Closer to Canon
Do you remember the Marvel Cinematic Universe One-Shots? These direct-to-video short films that were included in some of the home releases of the movies in Phases One and Two of the MCU that came out between 2011 and 2014.
The Marvel One-Shots offered additional tidbits and connective narrative tissue for the MCU, but up until now, it wasn’t clear how “canonical” they were. However, it is starting to look like the answer is, “Very canon, indeed!” Prepare your theories, Marvel Blog True Believers!
The first Marvel One-Shot was “The Consultant,” and it was released in 2011 along with the first Thor.
This short is a triptych that features three conversations in dining establishments (or sleazy watering holes, as the case may be). In the first scene, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) meets with Agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) in a diner to discuss Abomination (Tim Roth), who recently tore through New York City in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
Coulson tells Sitwell that they need General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt) to refuse a request to release the incarcerated Abomination to S.H.I.E.L.D., so that he can be used on the Avengers Initiative. However, in order to sabotage this outcome, Coulson sends “The Consultant,” Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), knowing he will infuriate the general.
In the next scene, we see Stark do just that, and in the conclusive scene, Coulson tells Sitwell that the plan worked like a charm, and Abomination will remain incarcerated…
Unless someone were to let him out, Marvel Blog True Believers! But who would do such a thing?
In 2013’s “Agent Carter,” we saw the eponymous hero, played by Hayley Atwell, begin her career in S.H.I.E.L.D.
This short introduced Agent John Flynn, played by Bradley Whitford. While Carter went on to headline two seasons of her show, Agent Carter, Agent Flynn did not appear on the series.
However, in the first episode of What If…?, Agent Flynn reappeared, once again played by Whitford!
All Hail the King
Another Marvel One-Shot that is suddenly seeming very relevant to the canon is “All Hail The King,” arriving in February 2014 with Thor: The Dark World’s home video release. This short followed up on Trevor Slattery (Sir Ben Kingsley), the in-universe actor who portrayed a boogeyman version of the terrorist in charge of the Ten Rings, “The Mandarin,” in Iron Man 3.
However, as we learned in Iron Man 3, because Slattery was just impersonating the powerful figurehead, he ended up being arrested and sent to prison. There, he was approached by an actual member of the Ten Rings organization, who kidnapped him, but what happened next, Marvel Blog True Believers?
Well, we know that Kingsley attended the world premiere of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will be released in theaters on September 3rd, 2021, and for streaming on Disney+ 45 days after that… so perhaps the answer is not so far away as it seems!
More Marvel One-Shot Canon?
There are five Marvel One-Shots total, Marvel Blog True Believers. Will we see elements of the other two shorts, “Item 47” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer” in future installments of the MCU?
Let us know your theories in the comment section!