Review of Marvel Phase 4


Nicholas Cordova, SHS News Editor


In the past, the Marvel franchise has put out great movies with a few hiccups here and there. Phase 1 (Iron Man 1 to Avengers 1) was great, introducing us to the MCU and some of the bigger characters. Phase 2 included a total of six movies (Iron Man 3 to Avengers: Age of Ultron). Five of them were amazing, introducing new and interesting characters while also adding a lot to the overall story, and one was Thor: The Dark World. Phase 3 was the longest in the franchise with twelve great movies (Ant-Man to Spider Man: Homecoming). Phase 3 ended with an amazing two-part finale in the form of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: End Game and a movie showing their impact in Spider Man: Homecoming. If only it had ended there…

Phase 4 started off with three TV series: Wanda Vision, Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki. The first two were pretty good, showing us what some of our favorite characters did after the events of Infinity War and End Game. The first problem of Phase 4 starts with Loki. The Loki that we knew sadly died in Infinity War, so in this show, we follow a completely different version of the character. We don’t have any attachment to this character, so when something happens in the show, we don’t feel anything. This is a trend that will continue into some of the later movies and tv shows.

In the summer of 2022 Black Widow was released. It wasn’t the best, but at least it didn’t ruin this beloved character. After that came Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Twelve Rings and it was pretty good. It had very skillfully choreographed action sequences and new and exciting characters, so overall it was pretty good. Probably on par with some of the movies in phase 2. Next up is the What if…? series and it was also pretty good. Just fun, (or not so fun) small changes to the timeline and seeing what might have happened. Then we get to The Eternals. This movie has the same problem as Loki, it tries to make us care about characters that we don’t know anything about. What makes this worse is that instead of trying to get us to care about one character, they try with ten of them. Then there’s the Hawkeye show, which once again has the same problem, though on a smaller scale. While the original Hawkeye is still there, they have a different character as the main focus for most of the show and that is really disappointing. In December of 2021, Spider-Man: No Way Home was released and it was pretty great. Moon Knight started airing and it was pretty good. It started off a little slow but the last few episodes were really good.

Then we have the last four releases in phase 4; Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Ms. Marvel, Thor: Love and Thunder, and She-Hulk. I have only seen the first three but from what I’ve heard She-Hulk isn’t very good. Doctor Strange had great directing, but it completely ruins the character of Wanda Maximoff. In the show, Wanda Vision, Wanda learns to make peace with the fact that Vision is gone and her kids were never real (really depressing when you say it like that), but in this movie, she completely goes back on that. She turns from this character we feel bad for, to an evil monster who is seemingly dead by the end of the movie. Then there is Ms. Marvel. This would have been good if it was a movie instead of a show. Its story would have been a lot more solid if they ditched the filler and made it a feature-length movie. Finally is Thor: Love and Thunder which was, sadly, less like Thor: Ragnarok than we had hoped. It looks stunning with many amazing shots, but the script is either boring or nonsensical.

Overall, phase 4 has been mostly disappointing with a few gems sprinkled in. There is still one more movie set to be released in phase 4; Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Hopefully, it will be able to end phase 4 on a high note.