As we already know by now, Marvel‘s long-term plans are insanely ambitious. Not only have they built a series of movies with a cohesive continuity that has led to a massive crossover film (with another coming out May 2015!), last year also saw a launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) first television show with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that not only continued directly from the events 2012’s Avengers but also tied into the events of 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and, more intensely, played up the consequences of this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

While all of these movies and TV shows and their cohesion have been widely publicised, many are still not aware of the additional special entries into the MCU continuity: the Marvel One-Shots.

Amounting to five entries so far, these short films can found on the MCU’s Blu-Rays and Digital Download releases and were initially meant to work as little, fun bits that offered a deeper glimpse of the intricacies of the MCU. That is, until the fifth entry was released and things got more significant than we were expecting (but more on that later). Many of these One-Shots also serve as direct explanations to Marvel’s stingers, so you might want to first read my previous article on them here.

While the One-Shots were not released in any chronological order, I’ve listed them in accordance of the timeline as set by the movies for easy viewing. The actual release details can be found below the respective videos.

Agent Carter

Found With: Iron Man 3
Year: 2013

Continuing from the events of 2011’s Captain America, this One-Shot’s popularity has had a greater impact than initially expected. Coupled with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the success of this short has convinced Disney to take a shot at a second television series featuring Peggy Carter and even promises Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark.

Howling Commandoes, please?

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer

Found With: Captain America
Year: 2011

Set during the events of Iron Man 2, this short follows Agent Phil Coulson after his departure from Tony’s estate on Nick Fury’s orders as he travels to New Mexico to inspect a mysterious object that has been found in New Mexico. If Clark Gregg’s portrayal wasn’t a already a fan favourite, this certainly gave it that extra push.

The Consultant

Found With: Thor
Year: 2011

Following the disastrous ending of The Incredible Hulk, the World Security Council desperately seek a silver lining amongst the storm clouds. What they find is the opportunity to recruit a green, gigantic monster. No, not the Hulk—the Abomination. That’s right, they wanted S.H.I.E.L.D. to recruit the bad guy into the Avengers. Fury obviously disagrees with this “stupid-ass decision” and tasks agents Coulson and Sitwell to find the solution, which leads us to the stinger in The Incredible Hulk.

Item 47

Found With: The Avengers
Year: 2012

What’s got me interested in this One-Shot (other than Lizzy Caplan) is the possible impact that may be felt in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series… and, also, Lizzy Caplan. She’s cute, sue me. Back on point, with the conclusion of Item 47 we see the would-be Bonnie and Clyde invited to join S.H.I.E.L.D. by Agent Sitwell. I’m hoping this means we get to see Lizzy Caplan them on the show soon. After all Lizzy Caplan’s Masters of Sex only shoots 12 episodes per season. And I’m sure Jesse Bradford can make it or whatever.

All Hail the King

Found With: Thor: The Dark World
Year: 2014

Ah, now this one’s the one short to rule them all. (Get it? “One short” like “One-Shot!” It’s funny, you’ll see.)

While it was somewhat disappointing for Ben Kingsley fans that he wasn’t the actual Mandarin, his portrayal of cowardly Trevor Slattery sure made for good compensation. The character was fun enough to be brought back in this short film wherein we learn that the ‘real’ Mandarin (Aldrich Killian) wasn’t Mandarin either. Bring on Iron Man 4!

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