- The focus of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 5 has shifted away from previously established elements, making them less important and leaving them unresolved.
- The introduction of new characters and storylines has undercut the importance of upcoming plots, creating uncertainty and chaos behind-the-scenes at Marvel Studios.
- The inclusion of characters like Daredevil and the upcoming crossover with Fox’s X-Men series in “Deadpool 3” overshadow the Netflix show crossovers and make them less significant.
The fifth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been fraught with many new plot points with universe-wide implications, retroactively lessening the importance of set-up stories from the previous phases that have yet to be resolved. The MCU has always been divided into phases; neat collections of films released successfully that act as chapters in the overarching story of the entire universe. In the past, Marvel Studios have had a clear direction for the teases and reveals that set up future entries into the franchise, but as of the MCU’s Phase 5, that direction has become muddled.
Many of the new reveals in Phase 5 have universe-wide implications that have heavily shifted the focus away from elements introduced previously, if not totally dwarfed them in importance. Other times, the introduction of new characters, often within mainline entries of another character’s story, has undercut the importance of upcoming plots. The constantly shifting focus of the MCU going into Phase 5 betrays the existence of behind-the-scenes chaos at Marvel Studios and leaves some notable plot points from earlier phases in the dust.
10 The Celestial Threat Feels Less Potent Due To The Multiverse
Making The Eternals Even Less Relevant
Few entries in the MCU have had as little of an impact on the overarching story than The Eternals. Widely considered one of the weakest films in the entire series, The Eternals set up a Celestial threat that has since been ignored. Not only has the MCU ignored the massive body of Tiamut for two years straight now, the seemingly alarming world-wide event not directly addressed by a single subsequent movie, but the introduction of Kang and the multiverse has undercut the Celestial threat to Earth entirely. When it comes to cosmic-level big bads in the MCU, it seems as though there’s always a bigger fish.
9 Captain America 4 Makes The Hulk Even Less Important In The MCU
Bruce Banner Can’t Seem To Catch A Break
For years, The Hulk has been regulated to a supporting character in other Marvel stories, the rights to a solo film forever mired in legal difficulty thanks to Universal Studios. But now, Captain America: Brave New World aims to push Hulk even further into the background, stealing iconic Hulk villains Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross and The Leader for Sam Wilson’s Captain America. Even Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross will reappear after over ten years, Dr. Banner’s love interest also folded into the Captain America story. The presence of Bruce Banner hasn’t even been confirmed for the film, as even the privilege of being able to fight alongside the actual protagonist is now not guaranteed for Hulk.
8 Establishing Ironheart Means Armor Wars Is Less Of An MCU Crisis
The Armor Wars Will Struggle To Sell A Threat
An iconic storyline from the comics, Armor Wars focused on Tony Stark’s guilt in allowing Iron Man’s technology to be widely replicated by criminals across the globe, going on a one-man crusade to eliminate every evil Iron Man copycat. With Stark’s story already concluded in the MCU, the burden of Armor Wars will fall on War Machine to bear. But with the introduction of Ironheart in Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever as a genius prodigy capable of building her own Stark-like tech, the potential of Armor Wars‘ threat has been hamstrung, Rhodey now having a powerful Mary Sue for backup.
7 Introducing Daredevil Means Spider-Man Doesn’t Need To Protect New York As Much
New York Is Quickly Becoming Crowded With Superheroes
Part of the genius of the ending to Spider-Man: No Way Home was how it reset Peter Park back to being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, with no Stark tech, no Avenger allies, and a homemade suit. But Spider-Man’s status as New York City’s sole protector has been immediately undercut by the introduction of Charlie Cox’s Daredevil into the MCU. With Matt Murdock historically being inexorably tied to Hell’s Kitchen in NYC, the town might not prove big enough to sustain two separate heroes in the MCU, possibly pushing Spider-Man out of his neighborhood once again.
6 Secret Invasion’s Evil Skrull Reveals Makes MCU’s Other Ground-Level Threats Less Imposing
Cosmic Threats Aren’t The Only Ones Being Outdone
The MCU constantly ups the ante when it comes to cosmic-level threats, going from Thanos to the Celestials to the multiversal Kang. But the more grounded threats to Earth-616 are also being outdone. Secret Invasion set up a cabal of evil Skrulls impersonating many significant figures across the globe, serving Earth-bound heroes with a much more pressing and immediate threat to the world than anything else. It’ll be hard for Marvel to justify ground-level heroes focusing on anything else, especially if they are made explicitly aware of the worldwide infiltration.
5 Gamora’s MCU Storyline Became Secondary After Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3
Course-Correcting Gamora’s Story Took Her Out Of The Spotlight
Gamora’s story has been a point of contention for different creatives across the MCU. James Gunn’s original plans for Gamora were hijacked by her role in Avengers: Infinity War, forcing the director to incorporate her alternate, time-displaced variant into Guardians of the Galaxy 3. As Gamora’s inclusion wasn’t part of the original plans for the conclusion of the Guardians’ story, she was relegated to a background role, seemingly happy as a Ravager. This lack of focus will make it hard to include Gamora anywhere in the MCU going forward, being detached from the greater world.
4 The MCU’s Most Powerful Heroes Likely Won’t Be As Powerful As God Loki
The God Of Stories Has Become The Most Powerful Hero Yet
Loki’s long journey through the MCU has finally terminated with season 2 of his eponymous show, installing him as the God of Stories and new keeper of the multiverse’s timeline. How much influence Loki will have in his new role remains to be seen, but the staggering power that comes with holding the time stream together is not to be underestimated. It’ll be harder and harder to sell any multiversal threats such as Kang as long as Loki sits on the throne at the end of time, able to utilize the TVA to prune disruptors easily.
3 Deadpool 3’s MCU & Fox Crossover Overshadows The Netflix Show Crossovers
Few Characters Remain Off The Table Going Into The End Of Phase 5
For a long time, the MCU hasn’t been the only game in town when it came to on-screen adaptations of Marvel Comics. After existing in an unclear state of canon for a long time, the characters making up Netflix’s The Defenders are finally being officially brought into the fold, with Kingpin and Daredevil having already made appearances. As monumental and important as these inductions are, they’ll be completely overshadowed by the upcoming crossover with Fox’s X-Men series as per the release of Deadpool 3, finally providing the MCU with access to the long-withheld mutant characters that play such an important role in the comics.
2 No Way Home’s Multiversal Threats Become Small Compared To Loki Season 2
It’s Hard To Be Scared Of Spider-Man Villains After Kang
The multiverse has long been heralded as the biggest avenue for new villains to reach the MCU. Spider-Man: No Way Home explored this, teasing longtime antagonists like Scorpion and Kraven The Hunter as being on the precipice of breaking into Earth-616. However, it’s hard to be scared of these street-level threats in the wake of Loki‘s second season, promising both safety under Loki’s new TVA and danger in the inevitable march of Kang the conqueror into the MCU’s main timeline.
1 The Avengers’ Successors Are Less Important Now That Other MCU Teams Are Appearing
The Original MCU Team Might Now Be The Weakest
Ever since Avengers: Endgame, the question of who will make up the team for the next Avengers film has been hot on the minds of MCU fans. But with Marvel Studios finally getting their hands on hot Fox properties like the Fantastic Four and X-Men, it’ll be hard to get audiences invested in a new crop of Avengers made up of the likes of Ironheart and Sam Wilson’s Captain America, not to mention smaller teams like the Thunderbolts and possibly even The Defenders as well. As The Avengers’ new lineup becomes populated with lukewarm characters, the exciting promise of iconic Marvel teams finally entering the MCU overshadows the franchise’s original team.