Yeah there's not much to it as a whole, but I enjoy it weekly and am glad it exists.
So I watched the original Iron Man movie tonight. And while I think it did a lot to create the world of the MCU, I gotta say it doesn't feel like an MCU movie. The MCU is hitting on all cylinders these days (if only as a machine, Informant), and when you watch Dr. Strange or Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man, it all feels authentic to me. They introduce something strange, and I say, "yeah, that makes sense."
Iron Man shows a world that would feel a bit odd if a Hulk randomly showed up. A world that doesn't really feel like Red Skull would've fought Captain America. A world where Hank Pym had already had a lengthy career as Ant-Man.
What really drove that home was, in fact, Phil Coulson. When I saw Coulson show up, I smiled. I'd almost forgotten that his character goes back to the beginning....that he, not Nick Fury, was the introduction of SHIELD. I even forgot that Coulson says Shield first - I thought Fury was the first one to say it.
But at the end of the movie, Coulson and some agents go to arrest Obadiah Stane, and they're surprised when it happens. At the time, they were just faceless agents. But as Coulson was leading them in, I watched him with four seasons of a show under his belt, and he felt....underprepared. He felt sloppy. I don't even remember how Coulson made it out of the situation alive, and I'm fairly certain the other agents were killed or seriously wounded.
The world hadn't, quite, gotten away from SHIELD yet. It'd been decades since the Tesseract was causing problems. Hank Pym had retired already. The Hulk hadn't made himself known to the world, and he was still in hiding. No one knew about aliens or Asgardians. Spider-Man is about 8 years old. So Coulson probably hadn't faced many supernatural threats at this point in his career, but outside of a small gadget to get into a secure location, it doesn't feel like Coulson works for any SHIELD I understand.
The movie is great, though. It still might be the best overall movie in the MCU. They got so lucky that it worked out, or that Nick Fury stinger would've felt really empty.