10 MCU Stories That Were More Rated Than You Remember

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Notice! Black Panther: Wakanda Forever spoilers follow.

With the recent release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and the treatment of Chadwick Boseman’s death, Marvel has proven once again that it’s not afraid to tackle more adult themes within its popcorn movie parameters. Dealing with grief and loss is a higher summary for a movie based on comic books and the Black Panther the sequel certainly dives right into it.

This isn’t the first time Marvel has toed the line between familiar superhero thrills and potentially mature content. Marvel Studios has struck a fairly consistent balance between the two accounts for the franchise’s continued popularity, but there have been several occasions that arguably defied conventional expectations.


terminal illness

A split image of a sick MCU Jane Foster, T'Challa and Meredith Quill is shown.

Just like in real life, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has suffered its fair share of losses from being simply human, subject to infection and disease like anyone else. Two of Marvel’s most recent offerings in 2022 show major MCU heroes suffering from a terminal illness. In the recent sequel to Thor love and thunderJane Foster battles a cancer diagnosis, until she discovers that using Mjolnir could temporarily reduce her symptoms.

Related: 9 MCU Quotes That Perfectly Sum Up Jane Foster as a Character

In the new Black Panther movie, T’Challa dies off-screen from an unspecified terminal illness despite Shuri’s best efforts to save him. In the original Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill’s mother also dies of cancer, shaping the space hero’s fate accordingly. It’s heavy stuff for the same franchise that stars Jeff Goldblum as a space techno deejay.

Marvel’s first nude scene

An image of a naked unfocused Thor is shown in Love and Thunder.

It’s a silly, gratuitous idiot, but it’s remarkable nonetheless. Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth’s decision to give the people what they wanted was fun enough and certainly revealed how much Hemsworth stays in shape to deliver the Avenger’s commanding physique.

Marvel audiences, especially female Marvel fans, were thrilled to finally see what they suspected all along of one of the sexiest men alive… yes, he’s chiseled, and yes, he looks that good underneath the cape like out of it, with a RIP Loki tattoo on his back and setting up an endless amount of Thor memes on the internet. Waititi even had several patrons of Zeus’ court, both male and female, swoon at the sight of the Norse god.

mental illness

An image of Steven Grant's Moon Knight is shown.

One of the most underrated hits on Marvel’s 2022 slate was Disney Plus. Knight of the Moon, in which Oscar Isaac delivered an incisive and compelling portrayal of a reluctant superhero who struggles not only with Arthur Harrow’s forces of evil, but also with the difficulties of dissociative personality disorder. Moon Knight’s three (so far) separate personalities of Marc Spector, Steven Grant, and Jake Lockley were often at odds with each other.

Related: 10 Funniest Things That Happened in Moon Knight Comics

His diorama often resulted in the character dealing with lapses of memory and loss of time, as well as the severe anxiety and confusion caused by such an invasive set of psychological circumstances. It’s not your typical Marvel theme, and the MCU is a better place to add more inclusive anti-heroes.

Child soldiers?

An image of Thor with powered up Asgardian children is shown.

This particular segment Thor: Love and Thunder proved decidedly unpopular with the world’s most conscious Marvel fans. Taika Waititi’s script was probably harmless in its arc of having the Asgardian children kidnapped from Gorr the Butcher of God to rise up against their oppressor and help Thor fight the forces of Gorr’s shadow creatures with his new Thor infused power.

However, some patrons and critics found the idea of ​​using children as soldiers, even Asgardians as they are, even within the confines of the fictional Marvel Cinematic Universe, a little too close to the actual use of children under the age of eighteen in military combat. situations of nationalist fringe factions found largely in West and Central Africa.


An image of Kraglin and a Love Bot on the planet Contraxia is shown.

In retrospect, this otherwise sequence is mostly familiar Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is somewhat provocative if taken seriously. Fans don’t usually get to see the more toxic or sleazy sides of the MCU, especially within one of its core comedy franchises like guardiansbut here it had become spoiled and dirty.

Related: 10 Facts Only Marvel Comics Fans Know About Adam Warlock

Yondu’s Ravagers enjoy some certainly well-deserved R&R on the planet Contraxia, taking advantage of the local cyberpunk brothel populated by what the MCU deemed “Love Bots.” Yondu’s first appearance in the sequel even has him pulling up his pants after using hand service, a brief but obvious dip into Marvel’s more adult fare.


An image from the Black Widow teaser trailer is shown.

There is a shocking amount of torture depicted throughout Marvel’s 39 movies and TV series to date. Natasha Romanoff’s conditioning in the Red Room was graphically displayed in both Age of Ultron and his solo film black widow. Bucky’s memory wipes and brainwashing scenes are among the hardest to watch in the MCU.

Thanos tortured both Thor and Nebula through the Infinity Stones to get Loki and Nebula to talk, respectively. Ebony Maw torments Doctor Strange into giving up the Time Stone on the Q-ship Avengers: Infinity War. Tony Stark’s character got into the water in the first one iron man. As is often the case in American media, it seems that moments of graphic violence are considered more palatable to younger audiences than sexual content.


An image of the gladiator Thor in Ragnarok is shown brandishing swords.

Another adult theme common to the Infinity and Multiverse sagas, various forms of slavery and involuntary servitude appear frequently in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most often in its “conscript” edition where heroes, antagonists, or entire populations are they are forced to do something by a higher power.

Related: The 10 Best Eternals Comics Stories

It was shown for comic effect a Thor: Ragnarok when Grandmaster Shanghai introduced Thor into his gladiator games, and with more serious effects black widow where Russian girls were forcibly removed from their families and put in the Red Room. In The Eternals, the Celestials created both the title characters and the Deviants to serve them in perpetuity. Slavery is alive and well across the galaxy, unfortunately.


An image of Thanos with young Gamora from Infinity War is shown.

It’s happened so many times now, these MCU end-of-the-world or end-of-the-universe stakes, that Marvel fans have grown accustomed to the many levels of otherwise repulsive cinematic horrors in the reality. Much of the time in the MCU is the Purple Titan killing off entire populations in his quest to correct the growing needs of the universe, as seen here in one of the MCU’s creepiest moments with a righteous young Gamora before his troops exterminate at least half of his world. But he’s not the only one looking to eliminate the masses.

The ego had the same idea for different reasons Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 as did the Celestials a The Eternals. Despite the fictional representation, genocide is a taboo subject even though it continues to occur around the world.

Graphic violence

A photo of Thanos strangling Loki is shown in Infinity War.

Modern movie audiences have become extremely tolerant of explicitly depicted displays of all kinds of violence, even within the relatively bloodless confines of the MCU. However, there are a handful of scenes, events and moments within Marvel’s vast tapestry that push the envelope into possible R-rated territory, like the one shown here when Thanos is graphically strangling Loki in the opening salvo of infinity war, capping off the horrific scene with a proportionally audible neck snap, much to Thor’s agony.

The execution of Tony’s parents by the Winter Soldier Captain America: Civil War it was also an unusually brutal segment, as was the murder of Wanda from the alternate universe Illuminati a Doctor Strange: Into the Multiverse of Madness.

Marvel’s first sex scene

An image of Ikaris and Sersei making love to the Eternals is shown.

While Chloe Zhao’s directorial debut in the MCU was widely dismissed as one of the less compelling entries in the Phase Four slate, The Eternals had the distinction of featuring Marvel’s first true blue love scene. Audiences had seen plenty of innuendo and a few stolen kisses here and there (mainly by Tony Stark and Thor, and a minor, much-maligned flirtation between Romanoff and Banner), but nothing too overtly sexual.

Fans were largely underwhelmed by the pairing of Richard Madden’s Ikaris and Gemma Chan’s Sersei in the way Zhao portrays it. Bad lighting, an apparent lack of heated passion, and no outright nudity were cited as detractors, but in fact there was some pushback, prompting some Marvel families to quickly bring their children to the concession

Next: Every Avengers Infinity War dust-up ranked by sadness

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