Originally Posted by Son of Coul
Yeah, this sort of led me to another thought of Marvel caring more about the material on a movie-to-movie basis, rather than in the grand scheme of things, despite the common critique that it restrains creativity for this very reason.
It mostly shines in the way they don't seem to follow through on some of the threads they set up that fans spend hours theorizing on (Stark in TIH, Stark not being accepted in IM2 (it was mentioned in Avengers, but kinda pointless to set up), The Ten Rings backstory, Justin Hammer swearing revenge, Thor's trouble getting back to Earth in Avengers, Loki manipulating Selvig by astral means, etc). They're either left dangling or quickly stitched together in a throwaway line or one-shot. Because they focus on the movie at hand, and I appreciate not locking themselves into anything with those.
Conversely, their world and mythology-building is great and very fun, putting in things like Howard Stark in CA:TFA, the "Arc Reactor Theory" linking three of the main heroes, the cube being in CA:TFA and coming back in TA, sticking the Infinity Gauntlet in Thor (2011) for a set-up that may potentially not even pay off till Avengers 3 (2018?).
Actually, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if when the Infinity Gauntlet does come up, the fact that it was in Odin's Vault will have little-to-no bearing on how it gets in the movie. Basically, while not all their set-ups may come to fruition, the ones that do have a helluva payoff, and that's what's most important when you have a movieverse with multiple concurrent franchises that constantly cycle through new creative people with their own visions.
Set-ups with good payoffs in-movie beat set-ups with no payoffs in-universe, every time. When the latter works out, it's just a healthy bonus. And for every one of them that does, it outweighs the amount that don't go anywhere or in the direction fans had hoped.