Marvel started making movies 50 years before the MCU began. Some of the Marvel movies predate the MCU by more than a decade. Only real Marvel fans know these Marvel movies exist.
Marvel Studios has sadly gotten out of the practice of making one shots. They were bonus features and specials added to DVD and Blu-Ray releases of feature length MCU movies. Item 47 is probably one of the best Marvel One-Shots, second only to All Hail The King. Mini Marvel Movies like Item 47 helped expand the horizon with new, unexpected characters. Masters of Sex star Lizzy Caplan played one half of the criminal duo who come across alien weaponry and start using it to rob banks. SHIELD soon catches up to them but instead of putting them behind bars, offer them a job. Sitwell and Coulson also make some fun cameos in the One-Shot. The general MCU fan is sadly unaware Item 47 even exists.
Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
Because of the small screen and big screen divide, it was hard for the two to team up in the MCU. Now Black Widow is dead and Daredevil is in No Way Home(meaning there’s a way for the Punisher to finally make his MCU appearance). That is some cruel irony. In the animated marvel movies department though, Black Widow and Punisher did team up for an epic adventure. Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher sees Frank Castle mess up a SHIELD operation. Fury partners him with Black Widow. The reluctant duo now must stop a global terrorist threat.
As much fun as Thor: Ragnarok was, a few fans were disappointed because it recycled the legendary Planet Hulk story arc. But that is not to say Planet Hulk did not get its own chance to shine. Animated Marvel movies were way ahead of their time. In 2010, Marvel released Planet Hulk, the animated film based on the same story arc. Popular heroes like Beta Ray Bill and Star-Lord make guest appearances. This is pure unadulterated Hulk at his finest. The movie does take a few creative diversions but remains mostly faithful to the comic book source.
The Fantastic Four (1994)
The reason this 1994 movie was made is kind of an open secret. Constantin Film and New Horizon Pictures partnered up to make the movie because the studio would have lost the rights to the superhero otherwise. Despite its general campiness and cheesy scenes, 1994’s The Fantastic Four was quite engaging. Roger Corman understood Marvel’s First Family in ways even Fox couldn’t. To be frank, there were instances when this 1994 film nailed the Thing and Doctor Doom more than their modern CGI laden disappointments that came years later. It never got a public release date but is available online.
Nick Fury: Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
This movie was basically James Bond meets the superhero genre. Before Samuel L Jackson owned the role of Nick Fury with his incredible performance in Marvel movies, it was David Hasselhoff who played the one eyed spymaster. Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. featured characters like dum Dum Dugan and Viper. people who have seen it understand how incredibly accurate it was at predicting the future Marvel movies. Hydra had turned from green and yellow clad henchmen to men in business suits. Then again, greedy men in business suits are a threat in the real world too.
Predating most Marvel movies of the present age, Ultimate Avengers shows Nick Fury at his finest. he is willing to go to any lengths to ensure he has his Avengers. From bribing to extortion, Nick Fury makes ends meet and the Avengers do assemble. The movie shows the Avengers clashing with aliens which culminates with the Hulk going out of control and the rest of the Avengers trying to pin him down.