Humanity has been through a ton of tragic events over the years, from freak accidents to horrific yet intentional acts – and one of the most notable has been 9/11. Since Marvel often features historical events from the real world, fans are curious to know if 9/11 took place in the MCU and why they never mentioned it.
It’s believed that 9/11 did take place within the MCU timeline, although it’s only mentioned in The Punisher TV series. The Twin Towers were shown in one of the teaser trailers for the original Spider-Man movie (2002), being excluded in later MCU releases. The 9/11 tragedy did occur within Marvel Comics, as seen with the release of Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #36.
Although there is no clear reference to 9/11 taking place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s more than enough evidence to support the idea. Below is everything you need to know about 9/11 taking place within the Marvel universe, including Marvel Comics and the MCU, as well as why our beloved heroes were unable to prevent it.
Did 9/11 Happen in Marvel Comics?
The 9/11 tragedy was indescribably catastrophic, having a massive impact on the United States as well as the world as a whole. The Twin Towers were destroyed due to a terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001, taking many lives while leaving countless civilians injured and traumatized, and it’s become one of the most well-known tragedies on an international scale.
Since Marvel creators usually add historical events to Marvel Comics timelines, it was no surprise when they released a commemorative issue that referenced the event – with the former World Trade Center being depicted as “Ground Zero” within the Marvel universe. Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #36 was released on November 14th, 2001, featuring a black cover and various panels that touched on the devastation and grief caused by the event.
Numerous scenes were included, such as depictions of the damage caused by 9/11 as well as injured and terrified civilians, as Spider-Man witnessed the in-universe wreckage of his beloved home, New York City. While no comic or tribute could capture the scope of what truly happened that day, it was certainly touching to see that the creators took time and effort when creating the issue.
Did 9/11 Happen in the MCU?
Since the MCU had not really taken off at the time of 9/11, we don’t have a full grasp of the events that took place within the MCU around the same time. Within the real world, the only Marvel movie that had been released was the original X-Men movie, which was not set in the same area and did not provide information that could be linked to 9/11.
The first Spider-Man movie came out in 2002, but one of the first teaser trailers released prior to 9/11 (seen below thanks to JoBlo Superheroes) showed Spider-Man suspending a helicopter between the Twin Towers. On the contrary, the Twin Towers are never shown again within the MCU – to the point where many fans started to believe the structure had never been built to begin with.
Commemorative statues of firefighters are featured in MCU films, but this cannot necessarily be linked to 9/11 alone. In addition to terrorism being mentioned within the MCU, such as in Iron Man 3, it’s believed that 9/11 did actually happen. Agent Madani also mentions 9/11 in Season 1 of The Punisher, which is considered to be included within the MCU timeline.
Could Avengers Stop 9/11?
In the real world, one of the best aspects of superhero characters is the concept of how the world may have changed for the better. It’s easy to imagine that heroes would have been able to prevent many real-world tragedies, in the hope that our world may have been a better place by this point.
However, Marvel protagonists were unable to stop 9/11 from happening, both in comics and the MCU. While many fans were confused by the choice in story writing, many considered this to be the most respectful way of referencing and acknowledging the event – all while reminding fans that nothing can change what’s happened in the real world or bring back the lives that were taken that day.
Still, canonically speaking, some fans have come up with theories as to why they couldn’t prevent 9/11 within the Marvel universe. It’s believed that the only heroes capable of preventing 9/11 were away at the time of the event, and many MCU characters had not yet become the iconic figures we know and love today.
It’s believed that the MCU Avengers had not been formed at the time, meaning that they would not have been in operation. Although S.H.I.E.L.D. existed and was operating, along with some characters such as Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, they would not have been able to prevent the attack, and more powerful figures such as The Ancient One would not have gotten involved for various reasons.
Here’s Why MCU Characters Never Mention 9/11
Many fans believe that, within the Marvel universe, characters would have chosen not to talk about 9/11 due to the guilt they felt. Others believe the event may not have been as notable within the context of the Marvel universe specifically – since countless devastating events took place in comics and the MCU.
Still, apart from The Punisher TV series, there are many possible reasons why characters don’t talk about 9/11 within the MCU – with the most understandable reasons revolving around basic levels of respect. Since this was a genuinely catastrophic event, it’s easy to see why MCU creators steered clear of talking about 9/11 directly, instead showing sensitivity toward the tragedy while considering the feelings and long-term trauma experienced by many of their fans and viewers.
That’s everything there is to know about the occurrence of 9/11 within Marvel Comics and the MCU. Although this event didn’t have a different outcome within the Marvel universe, many fans were still glad to see the creators showing honor and respect regarding this real-world tragedy.
What do you think about 9/11 being included in the Marvel timeline? Let us know in the comments below.