Island Time

Captain America 4 could finally fix a gigantic Marvel plot hole

It’s time to address the Celestial in the room.

Eternals was a massive addition to the MCU. After a decade of Marvel focusing on the present day, Chloé Zhao’s epic spanned millennia as it told a story of superheroes as old as humanity. But despite its titanic finale, no one in the MCU has said a peep about Tiamut Island, the giant landmass that formed after a Celestial began emerging from the ocean.

But a new rumor surrounding Captain America: New World Order suggests the fourth Cap movie could finally explain how the world dealt with this new geographic phenomenon, and in doing so it could give rise to a new villain.

According to Marvel leaker DanielRPK, the main villain of New World Order will be President Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, who we already know has been recast with Harrison Ford. The last time we saw Ross he was a general, so it looks like he’s developed political aspirations.

The most interesting part of the rumor is just what President Ross will lead his country into: A fight over Tiamut Island, which apparently contains adamantium, the substance best known for bolstering Wolverine’s bones.

Tiamut Island after Eternals. Marvel Studios

If this rumor is true, Captain America 4 will tell a tale as old as time: A scramble between powerful countries to plant their flag in a new land and claim its rare and lucrative resources. It’s international relations at their ugliest: Greedy, imperial, and now, apparently, full of superheroes.

It’s the perfect environment for Captain America, especially since the title has passed to Sam Wilson. In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we saw Sam as a Captain America that much of America was hesitant to accept, even though (or perhaps because) he insisted on doing the right thing. A Captain America who stands against exploiting virgin territory at the world’s expense would be the next logical step for a hero who fights for what’s right, not what’s beneficial for the American state.

Sam Wilson’s Captain America needs to differentiate himself from Steve Rogers, and Captain America 4 is the perfect opportunity. Marvel Studios

This would also fix a glaring MCU oddity: As many fans have pointed out, there have been three movies since Eternals that haven’t addressed the fact there’s a giant dude sticking out of the ocean. Even Ms. Marvel, which starred an MCU superfan and namedropped an Eternal, only mentioned in passing that the Celestial had become an unclaimed island.

Hopefully Captain America 4 will not only fill this massive worldbuilding void, but also redefine how we think about its title hero. He’s a man who should stand up for what’s right regardless of what the President asks of him, even if the President looks like Indiana Jones and is named Thunderbolt.

Captain America: New World Order releases in theaters May 4, 2024.