In the absence of characters like Iron Man and Captain America, how will the Marvel Cinematic Universe fare in phase 4
Avengers: Endgame marked the end of more than a decade of brilliant storytelling and franchise plotting by Marvel Studios. Owned by Disney, the studios solidified its foothold as the commanding force in movie franchise development across the industry.
Endgame raked over $2.7 billion at the Box Office not because it served as the summit for numerous plots. But for the MCU’s brilliantly blended drama, emotions, race diversity, comedy, and sci-fi into a thrilling 3-hour movie.
Highlights! How Marvel plans to chart phase 4 with new character arcs
- Leaping into the Multiverse
- Marvel’s Superhero Innovations
- Developing New Character Arcs
However, it’s hard to ignore the possible downside that the MCU might face as they prepare to launch Phase 4. MCU enters the new decade without a couple of characters that were pivotal in making sure the years-long storytelling narrative didn’t fall apart.
With Iron Man and Cap out of the picture along with some other Avengers. Marvel fans have been left to ponder about what phase 4 and new characters might look like. Will the MCU be familiar moving forward?
Leaping into the Multiverse
The first big announcement came from Marvel this year was the rescheduling of WandaVision, Disney+ series. The series moved up from 2021 to December, 2020. Coupled with the fact that the series is going to tie directly into the upcoming ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.’
We can assume WandaVision is going to usher in the new phase and give fans an idea of what Multiverse will feel like.
The show stars Elizabeth Olson as the red-haired witch and Paul Bettany as the Android-human. The promo images released paint an image of a classic sit-com with a mellow-dramatic touch. However, Marvel Studios has stated that WandaVision is going to take a completely different pat. One that would allow it to properly merge with the sequel of Doctor Strange, scheduled to release around March 2022.
The sequel is expected to take a darker and more twisted narrative with villains like Nightmare rumoured to appear. This would consequently lead to the multiverse and twisted world that Scarlett Witch has mentioned before.
However, this planned paradigm shift suggests that the MCU might be delving more into the mystical and supernatural parts of its universe.
Away from the more fast-paced Superhero-on-Alien galactic conflict that pretty much dominated the last decade or more. The uncertainty of how such a big move might pan out isn’t one to be taken lightly.
Marvel’s Superhero Innovations
Marvel Studios has experience in turning huge out-of-the-box narratives into Box Office blockbusters. The studio developed the Iron Man narrative in times when the superhero genre was dominated by Superman, Batman’s likes. While Iron Man was just the name of a rock band song.
The subsequent successes recorded from that gamble have been nothing short of phenomenal for the Marvel Studio.
A couple of years later, in the middle of developing individual stories for the core Avengers, the MCU released Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Which seemed quite insignificant to the developing plot. That too, however, turned out to just right move for the narrative. It served as the platform to introduce Mad Titan, Thanos.
Creator Stan Lee once stated that he tried out comic drawing only because he was tired of creating romance comics.
With a plethora of good gambling history in franchise development, there is huge faith in Marvel’s ability to deliver. Hopefully, WandaVision can set the ball rolling.
Developing New Character Arcs
That aside, it is important to note that even though Marvel made certain decisions that seemed like a gamble with the bigger narrative, turned out just fine.
In fact, these decisions helped the development of new characters. Black Panther, Antman and even Doctor Strange were safely developed under the canopy of the First-Generation Avengers.
Now with the Avenger canopy somewhat gone. The MCU has to begin a new cycle of character development. The remaining characters would develop the plot for the next phase and also help to introduce new characters to the MCU.
It is imperative for the MCU that the narrative develops and holds all pieces together in a compelling way. Fans and viewers need to find it familiar enough to stay loyal and unpredictable enough to keep them wanting more.
Although, Marvel Studios’ reputation in handling tasks like these precedes them, doing it again can always prove a daunting task. So as the new phase starts without names like Tony Stark, Steve Rogers or Natasha. Marvel prepares to chart new waters, introduce new characters and continue their unique brand of superhero storytelling.
Meanwhile, between now and December – when the next phase starts – it might not be a bad idea to binge-watch all the movies even if you’ve seen them all.