15 Crazy Marvel Theories That Are Oddly Believable

The word “fan” is short for “fanatic,” and devoted followers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are nothing if not fanatical, usually in the best ways.

Marvel fans — and really, fans in general —  are so imaginative they’re often making up their own movies by coming up with “fan theories.” They like to guess what might happen in a future movie and see if they can be a step or two ahead of the filmmakers. Other times they’re trying to fill in what they perceive as plot holes. 

Whatever the reasons for their creation, fan theories are sometimes bizarre or even nonsensical — but sometimes, for all their nuttiness, they can be rather brilliant.

We found a Ranker list of Marvel theories that are so out there, we actually want many of them to be true. Sometimes they even are. 

1.  Spider-Man was in ‘Iron Man 2’

Tom Holland
Tom Holland | Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

This theory sits at the top of the list for a very good reason — it actually turned out to be true. Iron Man 2 was the third MCU movie, and it had a scene where a very young boy encounters a drone and is saved by Tony at the last second. Tom Holland later confirmed that was indeed Peter Parker.

What makes this all the more impressive/strange is that Iron Man 2 came out in 2010, when Sony still had full control of the character. This was even before Disney entered the picture. But if Spider-Man himself says he’s there, he’s there.

2. Hydra distinguishes the MCU movies from the Fox films

The whole Fox vs. MCU thing has always confounded people, but the basic deal is this: Fox owned the rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four characters. Disney owned everything else except Spider-Man.

Now that Disney has bought Fox, they own everything, except they share Spider-Man with Sony. But before the merger, the theory went that all of the differences in the MCU and Fox boil down to the existence (or non-existence) of Hydra. In the MCU, Hydra superseded Hitler, so the Holocaust didn’t happen, which rules out Magneto for starters. At Fox, without Hydra, SHIELD was never created, so bye-bye Avengers. Why didn’t Thanos think of that? 

3. Quicksilver came from the Tesseract, Scarlet Witch from the Reality Stone

Here’s why this holds water: The Tesseract is blue and Quicksilver’s key color is blue. Similarly, the reality stone is red, and red equals scarlet. However, this goes beyond colors. Scarlet Witch manipulates reality. The Tesseract is the Space Stone, which is supposed to equal super-speed. You know, quick.

Just don’t ask us how he exists in both the MCU and the X-Men universe. Maybe this will all become clearer with the WandaVision series or whenever the X-Men show up in the MCU. 

4. Stan Lee wasn’t just making cameos – they were all the same guy


Here’s another theory that was kind of/sort of confirmed – and this was by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The idea is that the creator of a great many of the classic Marvel characters was one of the watchers – celestial beings that oversaw all of the parallel universes. In his Guardians 2 cameo, Lee referenced being a FedEx delivery man, which was his cameo from Captain: America:  Civil War.

So Lee was quite literally everywhere, and the cameos paid fitting homage to the man that got this whole ball rolling. 

5. Magneto is the father of the Maximoff twins

Here we go again getting Marvel in our Fox and Fox in our Marvel, but this theory has kind of been confirmed as well. A scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past, when Quicksilver breaks Magneto out of prison, all but screams that Magneto is the father of the Quicksilver in that universe — so it stands to reason that he would be the dad of the MCU version and his sister.

Wait a second, though. If the Holocaust never happened in the MCU, as in theory 2 in this list,  doesn’t that mean Magneto couldn’t have … never mind, we’ll stop before we confuse ourselves. 

6. The Winter Soldier killed Peter Parker’s parents

We all know that the Winter Soldier killed Tony Stark’s parents, causing a major schism between Captain America and Iron Man. A fan theory that make the story even sadder is that Bucky is also the reason we never see Peter Parker’s mom and dad.

The clue is that one of the Winter Soldier’s activation words is “homecoming,” which was the title of the solo Spider-Man movie that followed. If so, it makes the bond between Peter and Tony that much more poignant, especially considering Tony’s eventual fate. 

7. The Punisher had a secret cameo in ‘Winter Soldier’


This theory proposed that a truck driver in the second Captain America film helped fight some of the fake Hydra cops who were after Nick Fury in the big car chase scene.

Director Joe Russo said that the driver had a particular set of skills, which gave fans the idea that it was The Punisher. The only thing wrong with this theory now is, with the cancellation of all the Netflix Marvel shows, that might mean those shows are no longer canon. Oh well. 

8. The ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel will be about the misuse of the Time Stone

Before the Doctor Strange sequel was confirmed, this theory posited that the second movie would have our hero using the Eye of Agamo irresponsibly to reverse the damage to his hands. Exactly why he needs to do this is not clear, since he’s a master of all things weird and trippy, but whatever the case, it was supposed to further inflame Morodo.

The second movie, coming in May of 2021 is titled The Multiverse of Madness, and Wanda is in it too, so pretty much anything seems possible. 

9. The bad guys didn’t really lose the battle of New York

The alien nasties that invaded the Big Apple in the original Avengers movie were called the Chitauri. Like the Skrulls, these guys are shape-shifters, so this theory goes that the invasion was a distraction so that other Chitauris could assume human form and wait for the right time to strike.

This theory was out there before Infinity War, and that’s not how Infinity War played out, but maybe they’re waiting for another opportunity? Did the Avengers mess up again by bringing half those guys back to life by reversing “the blip?” Probably not, but it’s fun to ask. 

10. Groot is god


OK, hear us out on this one: Everybody’s favorite talking tree who dances to the Electric Light Orchestra and has a three-word vocabulary is supposedly the supreme being. Not just a god, but The God, with a capital G.

In an ingenious or insane twist, the theory also states that “I am Groot is a variation of “I am that I am” (Exodus 3:14). The basis of this idea is that Groot is a piece of Yggdrasil, the World Tree from Thor. Makes going to church on Sunday interesting, doesn’t it? 

11. Peggy Carter is really Tony’s mother

This theory was floating around before Avengers: Endgame, and this is one of the less convincing ones. It argues that since Peggy was a minor character in the comics, the fact that she was a major character in the MCU suggested she and Howard Stark had a fling and Tony was their illegitimate child.

Possible, we suppose, since Tony inherited his womanizing, among other things, from his dad. However, this also gives the fight between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers a weird subtext. Tony’s mom was the love of Steve’s life? Ew. 

12. Nick Fury is Jules Winfield post ‘Pulp Fiction’

Remember how at the end of Pulp Fiction, Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules declares he’s giving up the hitman life and is going to walk the Earth?

This theory posits that Jules became Nick Fury. Why? Because Nick Fury’s fake tombstone in Captain America: Winter Soldier has the famous Ezekiel 25:17 speech that put the fear of God into Jules’ targets. The eyepatch is certainly a better look than the hair. 

13. Nick Fury is clairvoyant

If that were the case, why couldn’t he find out about SHIELD coming apart in Winter Soldier?

We know Fury likes to play games to keep his friends and foes on their toes, but this one is hard to swallow. Unless maybe Fury was a Skrull the whole time? Could he shape shift AND see the future? The mind boggles. 

14. Ant-Man was there the whole time 

As far as we knew, Ant-Man was that goofy-sounding hero that turned out to be really fun in 2015. However, an enterprising fan suggests that Ant-Man was fighting along with the Avengers even before getting his own movie. So we guess that means it was Hank? It’s fun to ponder, but we sure hope he used the de-aging tech that made Michael Douglas look young in the movie. 

15. Everybody died in Infinity War


Well, this kind of turned out to be half-true, didn’t it?