There is a test created by a cartoonist with such a snarky cut to the chase bit of cleverness as to become the basis for countless Annapolis level treatises on navel contemplation with regard to popular media. This Bechdel tests asks simply enough if two female characters in a film discuss anything other than their relationship to a male character.
Time is a something that can be very hard to pin down. What happens first, what happens next, these seem to be simple enough ideas, but they can get pretty muddled when we talk about fiction. There is the order in which things get introduced to us, and then there is the order in which they happen in the fictional universe we are watching.
When a work of fiction presents an extraordinary event, be it space ships or superhuman abilities, the existence of these become the reality of that Universe. It doesn’t matter if you want to say that Superman catching Lois Lane as she falls would result in physical damage to Lois when impacting Superman’s arms, that isn’t what happens, with no explanation in the
While the first MCU movie was 2008’s Ironman it was followed very quickly by the Incredible Hulk that did tie back to Ang Lee’s Hulk even if officially that movie isn’t canonical. The Incredible Hulk confirms that Banner’s work was tied to operation rebirth, making better soldiers as opposed to just better weapons, and that is where magic first enters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Of course, sometimes, the silliness doesn’t get buried and forgotten until some enterprising writer finds it again. Sometimes, they hang a lampshade right on it. For example, the weirdest super coincidence in all of comics: the identical sidekick.
It starts back in the Silver Age, and Captain America’s first meeting with a young orphan Adventurer named Rick Jones:
And that’s the thing, there is no way in the world that when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created this story, thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if one of the soldiers who shoots Hitler here was actually Bucky Barnes, who after WWII became a brainwashed assassin for the Soviets?” But, decades later, another writer can look at this history, and add a new twist on the story we all know.
We don’t know if that is what Brian Michael Bendis meant when he had Bucky say that he killed Hitler, but it is just one of many possibilities.