Over the last few years the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gotten a lot of criticism over phase four. Many feel it was not leading up to anything or that it felt disconnected from itself. With movies like Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and Eternals as well as shows like Wandavision and Loki appearing to not connect or add to the overall MCU.
I find it odd because there is a clear goal of leading to a story called Secret Wars and almost every show or movie should have added something to the overall story thread. I think it’s because a lot of people may not have read that story or are even looking for all the clues to that end. That end being Secret Wars which has been announced as one of the next Avengers movies.
It all starts with Wandavision with Wanda herself being set up to be key to pretty much everything. Wanda vision was a interesting show doing forth wall brakes in an interesting way. It showed trauma and flushed out Wanda back story. In one of the fake commercial breaks they mention a nexus, even outright stating the world revolves around Wanda which I loved. She’s being set up to be a nexus being which is from the comics and a part of the secret war story.
The Molecule Man, who himself was a nexus being, lets Doctor Doom kill all versions of him to kick start the events. It looks like Wanda will be the stand in for the Molecule Man in some way. This is all but confirmed by Doctor Strange Multiverse Of Madness.
Next we have Falcon and the Winter Solder as well as Loki. The only thing Falcon and the Winter Solder adds is Sam becoming the new Captain America, Bucky set up for Thunderbolts and Sharon Carter as The Broker, I hope they don’t forget about that plot development, or worse, overturn it. It can lead to some great story possibilities.
Loki on the other hand broke the multiverse and introduced he who remains aka the first version of Kang the Conqueror in the MCU. Kang will be taking the place of Doctor Doom in Secret Wars. Kang is in the original secret wars but had a much smaller role. There’s also the female Loki variant named Sylvie who I think is the MCU version of the enchantress. The blonde hair and green color scheme is likely on purpose. A lot of fans dislike her but I hope for more of her continue story.
Black Widow much like Falcon and the Winter Solder only introduces the new Black widow and Taskmaster. There’s a lot of justified criticism to how they did the character of Taskmaster but there’s room to fix that. Both will be showing up in later movies but how relevant they will be is up in the air. Our new Black Widow has seen to be a fun character and it will be interesting to see what she does.
What if? and Hawkeye are both stand-alone. What if? set up Captain Carter and Hawkeye just Kate Bishop. What if? can be a great stand alone of the MCU that doesn’t alter anything so no one has to worry about continually. Hawkeye was a little uneventful but was a good ride in the end. Kate Bishop was a good character and can be used well later.
Next would seem like a stand alone but really isn’t. Shang-Chi and the Legend Of the Ten Rings turns out to be more than just Shang-Chi origin movie. The rings are shown to be connected to Kang technology. They are also sending a message out that should mean something. I do wish they would of dealt with this plot point already or at least had him show up in something.
Bigger, and I do mean bigger, would be in the Eternals which introduces the Celestials. We’ve met some before like Ego in Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 and Knowhere, aka the giant head in guardians one, but not like ones in this movie. The main one we see is closer to the comics with the ability to create and the indifference of a god like being. I can agree the movie could have been better but it doesn’t deserve all the hate. Take out two characters and make someone else the view point character and the movie would be great.
Then came Spider-Man No Way Home. More of a look into the multiverse of course but also another point where it’s broken. I disagree it’s just fan service and nothing more cuz the story is just so good. Peter learning for the other Peters and that moment when he’s about to press the bottom but MJ pulls it away was just great. No words being spoken but you understand the context.
It’s not about one thing leading to the multiverse braking but multiple leading to the full event. This was also a soft reboot to Spider-Man with the memory of him wiped from everyone mind and him left alone with no support. with a fourth Spiderman movie as well as a Miles Morales movie in development there is more to come.
Moon knight was also standalone as well as Werewolf By Midnight. both were good and setup the Marvel knights stuff which with Blade and the Black Knight could show up more later. I would love more of but in the future so let’s get that season 2 already.
Doctor Strange Multiverse Of Madness was bigger then most remember. More of the multiverse and introduced America Chavez. her being the only version of herself likely means she’s going to be important. But the biggest was when the Illuminati explained why they killed their Doctor strange. He had started an incursion. this is when one universe collides with another.
In the comic story the Illuminati are the ones dealing with it. They try to fix things first with the Infinity Gauntlet but that not only fails but destroys the gauntlet in the process. after destroying one earth they choose to just let it happen. but one member however takes things into his own hands. Its more complicated than that and is worth a read.
Ms. Marvel introduces Kamala Kane the recent Ms. Marvel. Mostly stand alone with two exceptions. changing her from an inhuman to a mutant and the bangle clearly being kang technology. Ms. marvel wasn’t for everyone but I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t not watch a season 2 but only time will tell if that happens
She Hulk Attorney At Law only matters for Skaar the son of Hulk, will that matter? We don’t know, it also kind of sets up Daredevil. This show truly angered me because I like the character and was looking forward to it but there’s just so much poor writing and poor writing choices it just can’t be redeemed.
Thor Love and Thunder has the necro sword which connects to the Venom symbiote and other things. More importantly there is Eternity, one of the most powerful beings in Marvel. The Eater of Worlds bows to him. He can turn the infinity stones off. Thor’s new daughter being a child of Eternity also could be big considering how powerful children of Eternity are in the comics.
Lastly there is Black Panther Wakanda Forever. Its villain was Namor the Submarener. His involvement in the event leading to secret war could point to his biggest and character as someone willing to do the wrong thing for the right reasons Its likely reading both the incursion event as well as both secret wars stories could change the view of phase four. its clear there’s a plan which could be bigger than Avengers Endgame. As fans we should have faith in the MCU and give the next phase a chance. Support the franchise we have loved for so long and enjoy the movies again.