Guardians of the Galaxy and the Future of the MCU

From the blog  Super Connectivity

by Charlie Esser for the Nuff Said Podcast

We here at the Superconnectivity blog, often have a debate about which came first, the connection or the clue.  When they drop a reference is the plan for that reference that is later revealed in place when the reference is made, or do they go back and tie something intended as meaningless to a grand reveal when the reveal comes to their minds.

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Sometimes like the Skrull Cows, we can rest fairly certain that no one intended that to lead to the Skrull Kill Krew several decades later.  But other times, especially with the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s not quite so clear.

When Simmons remarks that Fitz is always getting Knocked out in the Lady Sif episode of Agents of SHIELD is that meant as forshadowing to Fitz’s eventual state at the end of the season or is it just a one off joke at his expense. 

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When Coulson finds the prototype shield of Captain America in Ironman 2, do they know then that the Shield was Howard’s design?  We can go back and forth and pick at certain things, but with release dates set till 2028, it is fair to imagine that someone is thinking forward with building of the MCU, isn’t it?

This brings us to the Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest money machine to hatch from the mind of Marvel, but it is generally thought to be the most disconnected film from the whole of the MCU. On the surface there is little reason to think this movie ties back to the greater MCU, aside from an end credits scene in Thor: The Dark World, the characters have never been seen before, and there has only been a single reference to the Kree and other Aliens in an off handed way in the Agents of SHIELD program.  So really what connects this film to the rest of the Universe?  To me, the answer comes to a single word: Loki.

Now from here on in, this is all spoilers, so if you haven’t yet seen GotG then you will learn many thing about it after this paragraph.  Also, what is wrong with you?  O.k. Ready? Spoilers after the picture.

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Spoilers: First, Loki makes no appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy, but as we’ve discussed in talking about Captain America, just because Tom Hiddleston’s million dollar smile didn’t make an appearance doesn’t mean his presence isn’t terribly felt.

As we have discussed, after Thor the Dark World, Loki sits on the throne of Asgard, meaning every statement we’ve received from Odin, be it the gifting of the Aether to the Collector, or the insistence that Loreli be brought back to Asgard alive in Agents of SHIELD are the orders of Loki, and if Loki gives an order, it is likely because Loki has a plan.

So when the Collector begins his plans to collect the other infinity stones this is we can imagine exactly what Loki wanted him to do.  Now, Loki knows that there is an ancient cosmic being collecting Infinity Stones known as Thanos.  Thanos wanted the Tesseract and was willing to part with the Mind Stone (theoretically) to allow Loki to retreave it.  It is unlikely that Thanos would part with one stone, unless he already had at least one other.  No matter how silver Loki’s tounge is, even Thanos wouldn’t give up his only stone just to gain another.  But if he had two, and could gain a third by trusting this simple Asgardian who only wants to rule a silly little world, why not, it’s not like Earth had a band of super human warriors to defend it…oh wait.

So Thanos is down a stone, and moves his plans into high gear requiring his henchman Ronan to acquire a replacement (he likely can’t recover the mind stone as again, clever Loki is perhaps hiding things from the many ancient and powerful beings, like Odin who always underestimate him). 

This provides us the first glimpse of why Loki gifted the Aether to the Collector.  Now, in addition to Thanos there is another ancient and powerful being bent on collecting the stones, so that no one will suspect Loki of doing the same thing. 

The Collector by manipulating Gamora sets out to Aquire the latest stone to come into light.  The Stones are said to call to one another, so only those who have a stone can find the others, one imagines, (which is why we can assume that Thanos still has one other stone) and so Thanos knows to send his men to Morag to find the stone.  But so too did someone else. 

It is possible that the collector sent his own people, the Ravagers to Morag to find the stone, but if this were the case, why also send Gamora?  You could see this as merely covering bases, but in the end, it certainly caused the collector more trouble, not less.  We know that the Ravagers were sent by the Broker and assume that the Broker was contracted by the collector as they arrive at Knowhere searching for Star Lord, but that they arrive at the same time as Ronan is perhaps too much of a coincidence.  

Did the Broker betray his customer, or did they merely pick up on Drax’s communiqué as to Gamora’s whereabouts?  Even beyond that, if the Broker were to reveal an identity of client, would he give his own client burning his name in the high end community or merely whom he knows (as the high end community is so small) Gamora likely stole the stone for?

Either way, we know how this story ends, the Gaurdians rise to the occasions, save the day, and the latest revealed stone is locked away safely in the hands of the Nova Corps.  But we should now ask, who benefits most from this outcome.   We know that Loki can move easily between worlds, he can walk into the most secure locations unseen (note his infiltration of a SHIELD base where Thor is being held) to retrieve what he so desires.  Thanos and the collector’s methods so far shown are far less subtle, and there by far less likely to achieve what they want when the time comes.

(This is Asgardian Cosplay)

(This is Asgardian Cosplay)

Now, of the stones that we know of, there are three that are out of the hands of the Collector and Thanos,  The mind stone on earth in the hands of Hydra making miracles, the space stone in Asgard under Loki and Heimdal’s watchful eyes, and now the possible Soul Stone hidden among the Nova Corps. We will assume Thanos still has one, and the Collector still has the Aether, so that is five stones accounted for, and only one more to go.

 And hidden in Odin’s treasure room which only Loki may now access is the most important piece of the puzzle. The Infinity gauntlet, the only device that can hold all six stones and allow its holder to rule the entire universe. 

Perhaps this all wasn’t Loki’s master plan, but he certainly is in the best position at the end of the GotG. It’s hard to imagine that Loki, the master of deception and planning found himself this far ahead without this being his intention all along.

Posted on August 22, 2014 .