Friday, April 17, 2015

The MCU Timeline 1.0

Image Courtesy

This was originally part of my Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Episode 17, “Melinda” review.  However, the review started getting too long, so I cut this part out to publish separately.  I’m planning to update it as more information becomes available.

The episode “Melinda” on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2x17), helped to fill in a lot more of the chronology of the MCU.  In the episode we finally learn the full story of May’s nickname “The Cavalry,” along with more information about the Inhumans and how are connected to events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We’ve been able to piece a number of events into Marvel history before, but this expanded the timeline very substantially.  Here’s what we can piece together so far:

1940s – The events of Captain America: The First Avenger, up until Cap gets frozen in ice

1945 (after Steve Rogers goes MIA) – Hydra leader Werner Reinhardt (Daniel Whitehall) discovers that Jiaying, a Chinese woman, is not turned to stone by the Obelisk (“The Things We Bury,” 2x08).  However, he is unable to experiment further on her because the Howling Commandos capture him.

1946Agent Carter TV Series, followed by Agent Carter One-Shot

Later in 1946 – The formation of S.H.I.E.L.D. by Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, and the Howling Commandos.  S.H.I.E.L.D. is founded independently from the S.S.R., though most S.S.R. assets are transferred to the new organization.

1960s? – Hank Pym discovers Pym Particles and becomes the Ant Man, a top-secret S.H.I.E.L.D. asset who goes on Cold War-era missions.

July 2, 1988 – Skye is born in a small Chinese village to Cal and Jiaying.

1989 – A young Inhuman named Gordon undergoes Terrigenesis at an Inhuman refuge.  From the end of “Melinda” I think we can safely assume that the room in which Cal, Skye, and Jiaying have dinner is the same room where we first saw Gordon in “Aftershocks” (2x11).  Until shown otherwise, I’m going to assume that this room is somewhere in Lai Shi (“Afterlife”).  At this time Jiaying may already be the leader/director/overseer of Lai Shi, but I think it is more likely that she is just a Transitioner working there, given that she is directly involved with Gordon’s transformation—something she is not shown doing regularly as leader in 2015.

Later in 1989 – Whitehall is released from prison after Hydra agents discover the same woman from 1945, appearing not to have aged a day (“The Things We Bury,” 2x08).  Whitehall experiments on her, vivisects her, and discovers the key to her immortality, which he implants in himself.  Shortly afterward, Jiaying’s “dead” body is discovered by Cal, who pieces her back together.  They haven’t come out and said exactly how it worked, but my suspicion is that Jiaying has some sort of healing factor which enabled her to survive the process and regrow everything that Whitehall removed.  My guess is that Cal simply had to put the pieces back in the right places and allow her healing factor to do the rest.  Because Cal needed to help the process along to some degree, Jiaying must have a slightly-less powerful healing factor than Wolverine or Deadpool is depicted as having in the comics.  However, I think it’s still better than Steve Rogers’.  Of course, this is all assuming that she actually does have a healing factor, which is not a guarantee.

1989 or 1990 – Skye is taken by a S.H.I.E.L.D. team, two of whom survive and place her into protective custody.  It’s not clear exactly how the timeline lines up at this point, but I would guess that Skye is taken around the same time that Jiaying and Cal return to China from Austria (where Whitehall had his base in 1945, to which he probably returned).  The other option is that the same team that took Skye also took Jiaying, but was compartmentalized between loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Hydra agents so that the two loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents did not know exactly what was going on—specifically that there was another team which took the mother.  Either way, sometime around 1990 Cal and Jiaying start searching for Skye, presumably simultaneously with Cal’s decision to augment his own physiology by developing the first version of his “Mr. Hyde Serum.”

Between 1990 and 2008 – Jiaying leaves Cal to return to Lai Shi, where she resumes her role in mentoring young Inhumans before and after Terrigenesis.  I think it is before she leaves that Cal promises that he will find Daisy/Skye and bring her home to Jiaying.  My guess is that Jiaying leaving Cal happens fairly early in this 18-year period (say around 1995); there has to be enough time for her to return to Lai Shi and ascend to become its leader.

2008 – S.H.I.E.L.D. begins its preparations to start the Avengers Initiative.  Phil Coulson is one of the agents placed in charge, responsible for evaluating and recruiting potential super humans/gifted individuals for the team.  Early on, he plans to use Agent May as one of his S.H.I.E.L.D. assistants; sometime after Bahrain, Coulson must have switched from May to Romanoff (and possibly Barton).

2008 (after the other one) – The Bahrain Incident:  an Inhuman woman arranged for her daughter to undergo Terrigenesis against Jiaying’s recommendation.  The woman attracts S.H.I.E.L.D.’s attention, and Agent May is forced to deal with and neutralize the situation.  At this time Jiaying is the leader of Lai Shi and probably also one of the members of the Inhuman Council of Elders.  Gordon is assisting her closely with moving people to and from Lai Shi.  As a result of the Bahrain Incident, Jiaying establishes protocols for dealing with Inhuman descendants who circumvent the screening process.  May transfers from field duty to administrative duty.

2008, after Bahrain – The major events of Iron Man.  Tony’s captivity could have happened before Bahrain, but more than likely the rest of the events—everything from his rescue on—happened afterward.

2010 – “Fury’s Big Week”:  The major events of The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor all happen roughly concurrently.  Much of the build-up in Iron Man 2 probably predated Bruce Banner’s return to America in The Incredible Hulk by a few months, but the battle at the Expo and incident at Culver University were more than likely around the same time.  Shortly after both of those events Thor arrived in New Mexico.

2011? – Captain America is discovered in the Arctic, within a year after “Fury’s Big Week.”

2012The Avengers

Sometime in 2012 – Coulson is revived by Project T.A.H.I.T.I.  We’re not told exactly how long before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered he was revived, but the process probably started within a few months after The Avengers.

Around Christmas, 2012Iron Man 3 begins.

Summer 2013 – Coulson returns to active duty, forms his team, and the events of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. begin.

Fall 2013 – The major events of Thor: The Dark World take place.  The chronology of Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron is pretty well established by their respective tie-ins with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Spring 2014 – The major events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, including the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson’s efforts to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D.

Late 2014 – Skye and Raina undergo Terrigenesis

2014 or 2015Daredevil.  It’s not established exactly when Daredevil takes place, but we do know that it is at least 2 years after The Avengers.

Early 2015 – Coulson cuts off all but one of the six Heads of Hydra (leaving Liszt (and von Strucker) behind).

Spring 2015 – The “Real S.H.I.E.L.D.” “declares war” on Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D., perhaps leading directly to the opening battle of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Image Courtesy
So Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been filling in a lot of the gaps before Iron Man, especially with the origins of the Avengers Initiative.  There are still a few events which are a bit jumbled, particularly involving Skye’s abduction and Cal putting Jiaying back together.  Hopefully they will clear all of that up eventually, perhaps in a flashback episode centered on either Cal or Jiaying.  I’d expect that at this point Skye is a million questions she wants to ask them, all of which could lend an opportunity to fill in those gaps.

I’m really happy to see Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. building up so much of this universe and fleshing out the behind-the-scenes happenings for some of the major events in the MCU.  I think this is one of the best parts of this show, especially from a fanboy perspective—it can fill in a lot of the blanks between the movies.  That it has been doing it in such an entertaining fashion (particularly since at least the season 1 midseason finale) makes it even better.

Do you see anything I missed or misplaced?  Let me know in the comments and I will update the timeline.

If you want to get an email whenever I publish a new article, go to the top of the page and enter your email address in the box labeled “Subscribe to Mostly MCU Reviews” and click “Submit.”

No comments:

Post a Comment