The MCU over the last thirteen years has been broken into phases, with each phase culminating in a special event that changes the scope of the franchise forever. The Infinity Saga covered the story of our first wave of Avengers which eventually culminated into the fight of the century against the Mad Titan, Thanos. It was an incredible showdown that produced two movies that surpassed the $2 billion mark at the box-office, with Endgame actually nabbing the top spot for highest-grossing film of all time.
But that was two years ago.
Now we’re onto a new era of the MCU. One that’s not only more diverse than ever but is telling stories in a way we hadn’t gotten before; through movies and television. This year we will supposedly be getting ten! Marvel Studios properties with four already having come out. In case you’re scratching your head wondering what else we have left to see this year let me remind you what the rest of the year is bringing.
August 11: What If…?
September 3: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
November 5: Eternals
December 17: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Late 2021: Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye
Yeah, we’ve still got all of that left. The thought of having so much Marvel content in so short a time is staggering but I am here for every bit of it. But today, I’m going to rank the installments we’ve gotten in Phase 4 so far. Enjoy!
4. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: 7.5/10
When The Falcon and the Winter Soldier first came out I couldn’t have enough of it…and yet it’s only been a few months since it concluded and it’s already begun to lose its appeal.
The story of Sam Wilson’s imminent turn as Captain America was a good one with plenty of heartfelt moments, and maybe even some iconic ones, but there’s something less rewatchable about this entry than most previous entries in the MCU.
The racial context at times is a bit heavy and not something I want to revisit, the story moves at a snail pace and gets a little boring, Karli/The Flag Smashers are probably my least favorite Marvel antagonists, and Sharon Carter being the Power Broker is a good development for her as a character but is still kind of a lame twist overall.
But I do have to acknowledge the stellar standout performance from Wyatt Russel as John Walker. He brought a level of insanity to the role of Captain America that was both terrifying and riveting at once.
All in all, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is good, especially for first-time viewers, but it just doesn’t hold up over time.
3. WandaVision: 8/10
If written a bit more concisely with better payoffs, WandaVision could have honestly been one of the best things ever made but when the mystery concluded, it felt like a lot of questions I had were left in limbo. Marvel Studios took it safe by choosing to have a massive action sequence finale that felt a bit hollow, especially with the blatant CGI problem.
But still, after all of these months, WandaVision has an appeal that is hard to resist. Its twists and turns are still fun to watch and Wanda’s power is so awesome one can’t help being amazed by what she can do. Plus, it’s just the beginning of her story as the Scarlet Witch, a story that will continue in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and I am excited!
2. Black Widow: 9/10
A near-perfect movie from start to finish, Black Widow was far more excellent than I was expecting it to be. It stands as the perfect standalone film/swan song for Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff while expertly passing the baton to Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova who is already considered amongst the fandom as a fan favorite.
There’s lots to love about this movie; the music which is brilliantly composed by Lorne Balfe (Mission: Impossible-Fallout), the action scenes which are delightfully gritty and infused with wince-inducing moments, the characters who are all perfectly cast, and most importantly, the heart of this film which is the family dynamic. I don’t think this movie would’ve been as good if it hadn’t perfectly weaved the dysfunctional family idea into the story.
Plus, Taskmaster is a very cool villain who I can’t wait to see more of in the future.
And 1. Loki: 9.5/10
I mean, is this even a surprise? Loki was on a whole other level from the get-go as it introduced us to the TVA, a ridiculously powerful organization operating through all of time that turns the most powerful beings into sissies and uses Infinity Stones as paperweights.
This series not only introduced us to a whole other side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that we had no idea about but it also ended in a way that will shape this phase in a really exceptional (and destined-to-be-riveting) way.
This show never disappointed. In fact, it only got better and better. Now I have to patiently wait for Season 2. 😢
How would rank the entries in Phase 4 so far? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day.