All Marvel One-Shots on Disney+, Ranked
They're finally on Disney+, rejoice!
You may have noticed a new collection of “Marvel One-Shots” on Disney+ while checking out Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, or starting your fifth Loki rewatch. What are the one-shots, and why is it cool that they’re streaming now? These shorts, which share a name with similarly stand-alone comic book issues, were previously released as DVD extras attached to films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Thor and Iron Man 3.
Some of them enhance the canon. Some of them … confuse the canon. If you only have a few minutes to spare, here’s a ranking to help you decide which One-Shots are worth checking out.
8. A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Thor’s Hammer
While the short attached to Captain America: The First Avenger gets style points for the musical theatre-themed title, this short doesn’t really do too much. The story is pretty simple and not all that funny. Agent Phil Coulson stops a robbery at a gas station. That’s all. It’s a fun little action scene, but a later One-Shot does the whole robbery-meets-MCU thing a lot better.
7. Team Thor: Part 2
Director Taika Waititi’s three Thor mockumentary shorts were reclassified as One-Shots when the collection dropped on Disney+. The second one, in which Thor hires a servant to get a job and pay his rent, is the weakest of the three.
6. Team Darryl
No disrespect to Jeff Goldblum, but the third Thor One-Shot in which The Grandmaster moves in with Darryl is funny, but too logically confusing even for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
5. The Consultant
The great thing about this One-Shot is that it basically eliminates the need to watch The Incredible Hulk. This short between Agent Phil Coulson and Agent Jasper Sitwell folds in the post-credits scene from The Incredible Hulk in which Tony Stark meets General Ross. It’s low-key the only part of the film that’s relevant to the MCU going forward.
Agent Sitwell is in a couple of these One-Shots, actually, making his ultimate betrayal as an undercover Hydra agent all the more devastating.
4. Team Thor: Part 1
Easily the best of Waititi’s shorts is the first one. It’s also the one that most Marvel fans, casual or not, are likely to have seen, because it answers a question that was on everyone’s lips at the time: why weren’t Thor and Bruce Banner/the Hulk in
Avengers 2.5 Captain America: Civil War?
3. Agent Carter
In theory, this One-Shot has everything. Peggy Carter kicks butt, physically and verbally. Bradley Whitford plays a misogynist creep. Howard Stark even makes an appearance at the end and wears a robe that Tony Stark wears in Iron Man 2. I’ve always loved that sweet subtle detail.
However, the canon is a little confusing. It’s supposed to take place in 1947, one year after Steve Rogers goes into the ice. At the end of the short, Peggy is asked to leave the Strategic Science Reserve and found S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside Howard Stark. But we know from other MCU installments that S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded a few years later, and the ABC series Agent Carter that was inspired by the short takes place in 1946 and 1947 with Peggy still at the SSR. Bradley Whitford’s character is nowhere to be found — but a variant of him did appear in a recent episode of What If. What “really happened,” so to speak?
For what it’s worth, this isn’t the only question I have about the validity of the canon in Agent Carter, the One-Shot or the show, especially after the events of Avengers: Endgame. The MCU can’t seem to agree on what happened to her and when — a bummer since she’s my favorite character. Whomp whomp.
2. Item 47
Bring Lizzy Caplan back to the MCU!! My personal favorite One-Shot has the Party Down star playing Bonnie and Clyde as Claire, one-half of a couple who acquire a Chitauri weapon from the Battle of New York and use it to rob banks. Claire and her boyfriend Benjamin are eventually apprehended by Agent Jasper Sitwell and recruited to S.H.I.E.L.D. or, come to think of it, maybe Hydra.
This short is truly self-contained and tells a fun story about ordinary people who come into contact with the MCU the likes of which we would ultimately see on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
1. All Hail the King
This is unequivocally the best One-Shot, though its significance did not become clear until the release of Shang-Chi in 2021. It catches up with Trevor Slattery, who after the events of Iron Man 3 is doing time at Seagate Prison, and shows how the Ten Rings broke him out and took him to the “real” Mandarin a.k.a. Shang-Chi’s father Wenwu. We see how that turned out in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The One-Shot also features character actor Scoot Mcnairy as a Ten Rings operative masquerading as a documentary filmmaker (would love to see that character return to the MCU) as well as a cameo appearance by Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer.
All Hail The King is the most like a miniature Marvel movie of the bunch. It has humor, action, and plenty to theorize about.
Which one shot is your favorite?
Image: Marvel Entertainment
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