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Photo: Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently in phase four and it’s off to a great start with the success of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ by officially introducing the multiverse. The multiverse plot will continue to be explored in ‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness’ and fans are excited to see what characters will make a cameo in the film. The multiverse plot has been something that fans have been discussing since the title of the Doctor Strange film was released and the hype grew when ‘WandaVision’ was released on Disney+. There have already been new characters introduced in phase 4 like Shang-Chi, Yelena Belova, and the main cast in ‘Eternals’.
Marvel fans better get their eyes and brains ready because plenty of content is on its way because Marvel has to make up for lost time due to the pandemic. Since ‘Avengers: Endgame’, the Avengers are going to need new leaders and heroes to defend Earth. I hope we’re going to see Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) aka The Falcon and the new Captain America take charge and be the new leader of the Avengers because it makes the most sense and we’ll be able to see Sam Wilson learn how to be a great leader. Since Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has returned to being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, I don’t see him becoming an Avenger anytime soon because of the events that happened in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’. The only thing we can do is wait and see what Marvel does with our favorite characters and in the meanwhile, fans can theorize what happens next.
Phase 4 Films
Many think the ending of phase 3 was ‘Avengers: Endgame’ because the big battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin) is a great ending to the phase but it actually was ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’. Marvel phases are meant to introduce new characters to the cinematic universe and in the end, bring them together to fight the new big bad threat to Earth. Right now we’re in what I call the “set up” phase because we’re introduced to many new characters that will make up the new Avengers. Along with that, we’ll be sequels to past Marvel films that include ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ and ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’, these films will be releasing this year.
Phase four begins with Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) finally getting her own standalone film ‘Black Widow’ and it’s worth mentioning that fans of Natasha expressed that this film should’ve happened in phase 1 or 2 because she’s one of the main Avengers. However, the film did introduce the audience to the Red Guardian (David Harbor), Iron Maiden (Rachel Weisz), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), and villain Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko). This film was meant to give a proper conclusion to Black Widow’s character because of her death in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and of course introduced us to new characters. The next film in phase four is ‘Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings’ and it introduces us to new abilities and the main character Shang-Chi (Simu Liu). This film was a box office success and will be getting a sequel in the future, the next appearance of this character can be in ‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness’ because Wong (Benedict Wong) was seen in the end credits discussing the power of the ten rings.
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‘Eternals’ has the largest cast of characters introduced into the MCU and it introduces the audience to immortal beings with superhero powers. These characters most likely won’t appear to help the Avengers in the future because the Celestials don’t want them interfering with human affairs so their job is defending humans against Deviants.
The audience got introduced to: Ajax (Salma Hayek) the leader of the Eternals, Druig (Barry Keoghan) an aloof Eternal who can manipulate the minds of others, Ikaris (Richard Madden) an Eternal who can fly and project cosmic energy beams from his eyes, Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) an Eternal who can project cosmic energy projectiles from his hands, Sprite (Lia McHugh) an Eternal who has an appearance of a twelve-year-old and can project life-like illusions, Sersi (Gemma Chan) an Eternal who can manipulate and transform matter through physical contact and has a strong connection with humans, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) is the first hero in the MCU to be depicted as gay and an Eternal that’s an intelligent weapons and technology inventor, Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) is the first deaf hero in the MCU and an Eternal who can move at superhuman speed, Gilgamesh (Don Lee) is the strongest Eternal, and finally Thena (Angelina Jolie) is an elite warrior Eternal who can form any weapon out of cosmic energy. I wasn’t joking when I said this is the largest cast of characters introduced in the MCU.
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The latest and the most popular film in phase four is ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ and as I said in the paragraphs above this film welcomes the audience into the multiverse. No new characters are introduced in this movie unless you haven’t seen the previous Spider-Man films. Since MCU spidey is back being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, we’ll probably see the character possibly return to make a cameo in ‘Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness’ because he’s the reason why the multiverse happened and got Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in trouble. I’m not expecting Spider-Man to play a big role in this film unless they’re keeping a secret from us.
Upcoming Phase 4 Films
‘Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness’ releasing May 6, 2022, is the next film to debut for the MCU and will introduce the audience to Miss America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) who has super strength and the ability to traverse the multiverse. Her character is expected to join the Young Avengers and the part she will play in the film is still unclear. The film also plans to tie in the events of ‘WandaVision’ and the aftermath that turns Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) into Scarlet Witch. ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ releasing July 8, 2022, makes Thor the first Avenger to get 4 feature films and will bring back Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) as The Mighty Thor and Christian Bale will be playing the antagonist, Gorr the God Butcher. ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ releasing November 11, 2022, is the last Marvel film being released this year and it’s speculated that Shuri (Letitia Wright) will be the next Black Panther. I know this film is going to be an emotional rollercoaster because of the passing of Chadwick Boseman and how they will portray it in the film. Nothing is known about the plot yet so we’ll have to keep our ears open for any news about this film.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is Taking Over
I think right now the MCU is trying to get back on their film release schedule and to grow their cinematic universe because in this phase we’re going to get a diverse group of characters that are going to take center stage in the future. Marvel is definitely trying to attract the next generation of Marvel fans because they’re introducing younger characters that’ll eventually join the Young Avengers. The past phases were the foundation of Marvel and now they’re building off of it by using Disney+ to release more content to expand the universe. It’s the best time to be a Marvel fan because there’s always going to be a film or TV show to look forward to.
By Mark Raymond
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