Opinion: Marvel Loses Its Familiarity With Phase 4

This article is an editorial and was written to show the author’s stance on an issue. It is not a representation of the opinion of CLHS or CCISD.


Photo by Josh Hild from Pexels

Spiderman looking out over the city at night.

Marisol Orlina, Reporter

Marvel Phase 4 began with high hopes and broken hearts. Fans had just watched their childhood stories crash and burn in the final fight. We saw victory, loss, and new possibilities.

The MCU surely lived up to Endgame’s title. It’s been almost three years since the release of Marvel’s Phase 3 finale, and Phase 4 has surprised the dedicated fanbase. We’re one third of the way into the new timeline and watchers still are unsure of what to expect.

Phase 4 began with Marvel’s introduction of live-action MCU-based TV series. This included titles such as Falcon and the Winter Solider, Wanda Vision, Loki, and now Hawkeye. Each one followed a single similar pattern; they were follow-ups to Endgame.

Marvel’s Phase 4 shows acted as in-depth plot devices to pull the characters, and viewers, through grief and purposelessness. And so far, the recovery’s been rough.

So far, every production had great reception. Nothing was terribly written, or a train wreck of random action scenes and poor plot. All in all, Marvel has carried over its great screenplay reputation into their brand-new TV. But in a universe as meaningful as MCU, there’s more to it than just the quality.

Marvel’s story had been part of millions of childhoods. It feels like home. Phase 4 just isn’t the same. If I’m stating my point of view, it’s all over the place. Just looking at the shows, a viewer can sense these upcoming plot lines are going to be like nothing we’ve seen before.

How big of a shift can the Universe take before it loses the sentimentality it once had? I’m not sure, neither are my friends, and I assume, neither are many fans.

Before finalizing conclusions, Phase 4 movies should be considered as well. These titles included Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and as of recently, Spider-Man: No Way Home.

With their new releases, Marvel has seen a wide range of reception. Spider-Man’s continuation broke box-office records. whereas the new Eternals earned a whopping 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s been inconsistent to say the least.

When I look at the upcoming and past releases of Phase 4, I see possibility. But it’s not entirely promising. What was so perfect about the first three phases was the main motivation of Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet. One single villain tied the whole universe together. But now, not only has Marvel lost Thanos, but they’ve lost multiple original characters, leading their new content to be primarily introductions. There’s such a range of characters, settings, and parallel universes, I think Marvel is going to have very difficult time tying the universe together again. In Endgame it felt natural to see every Marvel superhero together. But now, even imagining certain characters interacting is irregular.

As Marvel sheds what’s left of original characters and storylines, the company loosens its grip on familiarity. Along with that, the affect their content once had on viewers. For decades, the MCU has had major influences in millions of lives. However, they might just be losing their touch.



Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes