The Marvel Cinematic Universe has played host to rogues of all stripes since the depths of the comics. With the debut of the Man-Thing in the Disney+ special, werewolf at nightthe stage has been set for the return of a forgotten one iron Man 3 villain.
Fans remember well the Extremis experiments that caused chaos in the world under the direction of Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. The evil organization AIM used its explosively powerful soldiers and a false flag Mandarin to make a quick buck and corner the market with terror. The clumsy Trevor Slattery has already seen a comeback and given the Mandarin new purpose, proving that the impact of iron Man 3 it’s still felt throughout the MCU. Although Pearce has expressed interest in returning to the screen as Killian, viewers could see one of his lesser-recognized minions return much sooner.
Who is Ellen Brandt in the MCU?
Ellen Brandt, played by Stephanie Szostak, was nothing more than a throwaway character on iron Man 3. She was one of Killian’s dutiful foot soldiers and was quickly met with her demise via the explosion of a microwave and some nearby power lines – in short, a real character blinking and missing it on screen. But comic book readers know her as much more.
In the comics, Ellen Brandt is almost solely responsible for the creation of the Man-Thing. She was the wife of scientist Ted Sallis while trying to recreate the Super Soldier Serum that he made to Captain America. As Sallis deepened her investigation of him, their relationship fell apart, and Ellen chose loyalty to AIM over Sallis. After a heated confrontation, she shot her husband multiple times in the back and left him to die. Sallis then fell into the swamp, consuming his experimental serum and becoming the monstrous Man-Thing.
Ellen Brandt’s return could have a multiversal impact
As Phase Four plays with the idea of the multiverse and Kang the Conqueror becomes the new big villain, the Man-Thing is becoming a potentially important character. His destiny in life is to serve as the protector of the Nexus of All Realities, an interdimensional gateway to all universes, realities, and everything in between. This is an obviously juicy goal for anyone looking to rule the multiverse, as Kang hopes to do.
Since Ellen was dosed with the Extremis serum, it’s quite possible that she survived the harrowing events of iron Man 3 and has been lurking in the background. Although most viewers, even the most vigilant, have long forgotten her presence, she is an ideal candidate to unite the Avengers with the reclusive Man-Thing. Her roots may be evil, but she’s always been an anti-hero, often working with the likes of Howard the Duck and the Silver Surfer to save The Man-Thing and reality itself. She even gave birth to Ted’s son, Job Burke, also known as The Dreamer, who has the power to manipulate and repair the fabric of reality. Though there are currently no confirmed signs of one, it wouldn’t be a surprise for Ellen Brandt to make an explosive return to the Extremis-tier screen if the Nexus of All Realities becomes the new Infinity Gauntlet.