The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is defined as a transmedia franchise, in that it seeks to push unified content fluidly across different mediums, but prioritizes the Live Action depiction of its characters as being the most important aspect, with other properties "Taking their lead from the movies..."

How successful have Marvel Entertainment been at unifying this universe into a coherent, non-contradictory continuity?

Is there any instance of a property (such as tie-in Video Games, TV and even Comics) that presents itself as part of the MCU/Earth 199999 continuity but causes conflicts within the narrative universe presented by the MCU films?

Hulk and The Incredible Hulk are often cited as two properties that (whilst officially being of different canon) could be perceived to nod towards each other in continuity; inferring but not confirming what Marvel President Kevin Feige calls "Connective tissue". Can this be substantiated, and if so is this the only instance of a 'facilitated' retcon/conflict within Earth 199999?

How 'Leaky' is the MCU?

I would have loved to have posted this to Arqade: but it's been painfully pointed out to me before that Arqade is only concerned with the discussion of consuming games, and not the culture of their production.

Considering the MCU is a primarily cinematic/TV/live-action led franchise, I can only see this question as being on topic @ M&TV...

I only draw attention to Video Games because historically this is the medium that (whilst tying itself to specific cinematic iterations of characters) is more prone to willingly disregard the licence prohibitions of the stable it belongs to, but I'm actually more interested in Live action/M&TV... and if such a conflict exists within these parts of the MCU.

Any examples are helpful, but Cinematic examples will likely be more profound.

  • 3
    Seeing that "the MCU is a primarily cinematic/TV/live-action led franchise" with "other properties "Taking their lead from the movies..."" and that you're "actually more interested in Live action/M&TV" (and the fact that we already had other good general MCU questions before), rest assured that Movies & TV seems like a perfect fit for this question.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 13:34
  • Regarding your example, to which degree is it a given that those both Hulk-movies are actually part of the MCU (in its specific meaning as a deliberately planned transmedia franchise with all this Earth 19blah stuff)? I.e. was the MCU already laid out as a concept in that way when Ang Lee's first Hulk-version emerged?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 13:37
  • @NapoleonWilson, Hulk was produced by Universal and the now defunct 'Marvel Films', the latter of which eventually re-emerged as 'Marvel Studios', who produce the MCU. So Hulk came before any proposal of a 'shared universe' strategy (and is 'officially' outside of the MCU), but there are suggestions that The Incredible Hulk carries on its continuity; albeit with a little ret-conning. No one's tried to fully substantiate this, as far as I'm aware though... Commented May 1, 2014 at 15:08
  • Is there a site/page that lists what films and TV shows are considered by Marvel as part of MCU?
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 16:48
  • 1
    @JoshDM, the question you link to is asking for instances of MCU characters appearing outside its own franchise, whereas this one is asking about inconsistencies within the franchise... Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


I think they've been perfectly successful in unifying the stories of their Cinematic Universe. But it's also important to understand that this means the movies will share common themes and events, it is not a promise from Marvel that they will be able to avoid story clashes 100%. Though, again, so far I think they have.

I don't know about the movie-games and movie-comics, but I understand them as a way to boost sales for the movies, I don't really consider their content to be part of the movie canon.

Hulk is not part of the Cinematic Universe. Hulk was released in 2003, while the Marvel Cinematic universe officially started in 2008 with Iron Man 1. The fact that they reference it is nice and it makes fans happy, but does not make it part of the new continuity they're trying to maintain.

Ps. A list of all movies considered to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are listed here, since one of your commenters asked.

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