The fourth stage of the MCU does not have much contact, which is great

in the first 10 years of filmmakingMarvel Studios created something of a legend that continues to this day: “In Feige We Trust,” fans will rejoice, as if praying to ward off evil rather than Notable relationship With a man worth hundreds of millions of dollars. idea that Marvel movies They were all building for something unique that had been planned a decade in the making that was almost as important to his success as his films – and now the lack of it in his current era is noticeable.

Image of the article titled So, what is Marvel & # 39;  s Phase 4 actually?

picture: Marvel Studios

The first three stages of Marvel Studios cinematic releases –Retroactively called it “The Infinity Saga” In reference to the specific central conflict – it is all built around harassment towards a unique climatic payoff. Iron Man Samuel L. Jackson ushered in to forever change the blockbuster movie industry in a Single sequence after credits To lure Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark to join a team of the most powerful superheroes on earth. From there, slowly all the pieces were put into place, movie by movie: the Avengers formed, their greatest threat was declared Thanos, the quest for the Six Infinity Stones and the gauntlet used to manipulate their formidable power began, and it continued, Finally concluded With Avengers: Infinity War And Avengers: Endgame.

No matter how diverse a Marvel movie may be, there will be few anecdotes, either in the movie itself or as part of one of its current post-credits scenes, promising that everything was developing into something, regardless of how the movie preceded what seems unrelated to that fact. . And it was simple: Thanos and the Infinity Stones posed a singular threat, being struck over and over again until they were finally recognized correctly in the infinity war. It was one thing you could point anyone, hardcore comics, movie fan, or whole newcomer – that’s why you have to watch every movie, that’s why it’s all so important, because builds for This is amazing.

Image of the article titled So, what is Marvel & # 39;  s Phase 4 actually?

picture: Marvel Studios

Thanos and his dust are done (literally), and now in the “Phase 4” era, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is bigger than ever, scripted or otherwise. Interconnected studio releases are no longer confined to the box office – and when they are mired and dominating the challenge of a changing world shaken by years of a global pandemic, with stories debuting on screens both big and small with an onslaught of Disney+ streaming shows. The universe is now larger than ever before, too, as the stories delve into the entire multiverse concept of Marvel’s tales, alternate realities and characters spanning not just one reality, but many. latest entry in Sharia, Doctor Strange in a multiverse of madnessapparently already laying the groundwork for hinting to anyone Something big is on the horizon– The ultimate loose adaptation of the 2015 Marvel Comics soft reboot Secret warswhich saw the death and eventual steady rebuilding of the publisher’s multiverse reality.

However, stage 4 Feel It differs from what came before, and not just because of the mixed release format that includes TV and movies. If Thanos was the small, but always present driving force that drove the first decade of the MCU, a few years into Phase 4 really lacked anything of the sort. There’s no need to unite a team of Avengers, the survivors all went their separate ways after that game overbecause a unique threat still casts a shadow over all of these different stories – characters like Sam Wilson, Wanda Maximoff, and Natasha Romanoff are isolated in their individual stories. loki Introduced the idea of ​​the multiverse as a concept and Jonathan Majors Kang the Conqueror As a possible successor to the throne of Thanos, but although we know he intends to appear the next day Ant man and the wasp A movie, yet to be seen no more, as Thanos started after the first Avengers. This multi-worlds concept is the closest to the set of recent releases that got a unified buildup between them lokiAnd what if?And Spider-Man: There is no room for homeand now Multiverse of madness—but even if Dr. Gharib It’s already starting to threaten his existence, something as vague as the existence of alternate realities isn’t pulling all of these movies toward something the way Thanos and the Infinity Stones did.

Image of the article titled So, what is Marvel & # 39;  s Phase 4 actually?

picture: Marvel Studios

This sense of apathy feels alien to an audience that has, for a decade, been trained to connect the dots and figure out how each Marvel version relates to the others. It’s hard to maintain the well-designed delusion that Marvel and its producers planned the game so long 10 years in advance – and it was always an illusion, though it persists, no matter how many times the evidence proves otherwise – the illusion is hardly ever hinted at. moon knight Rank With a single explicit reference to another Marvel property, and though it appears as lokiAnd WandaVisionAnd The Falcon and the Winter Soldier All of them represented the main characters from the Marvel films, and their stories were isolated from each other and a whole broader. Threatened post-credits sequences like Thanos now instead offer isolated shots of upcoming comic book characters, and the dazzling Hollywood stars set to portray them, from eternityHarry Styles as Erosto The multiverse of madness‘s Charlize Theron as Clea. Movies and shows rarely feel like they’re in conversation with each other – no one ever mentioned it casually eternity Climax with the frozen corpse of a Giant cosmic entity Sitting in the Indian Ocean, for example, which sounds like something some people might at least discuss the way the Battle of New York was after Avengers. Dr. Gharib Captures Wanda Maximov’s story after events WandaVisionAnd, while there is a passing reference to Westview itself, it can be argued that the film re-engaged with her character in the series, for better or worse, in such a way that watching the show beforehand doesn’t really matter.

After that decade of delusional planning — and more specifically the idea that because of it, every Marvel release is so Basic Even to most casual fans, as all the parts are shaped into a larger unit – this relative disharmony may seem negative for the fan base they have, intentionally from the studioThey are trained to enjoy these connections and consume as much of Marvel’s mania as possible, no matter where it is launched. But if anything, Phase 4’s lack of coherence on this front is a benefit in the way it feels closer to the realm of comic book source material than ever before. Superhero comics, for better or worse, are a In the middle of the wilderness to enter it, only because of the sheer depth and history behind the characters who have eons of stories and formations in their names. But to read Marvel Comics in the 21st century, you don’t really have to read everything The company puts. You can hunt down characters you like, teams you care about, and individual story events that catch your eye, because while characters can navigate different titles and social circles, you don’t have to understand the entire Earth-616 to care about what’s going on with Spider-Man or X-Men. (that is the last one Excellent example From this now, upward into the age of comics that make it easier to read than ever before X-Men Comics without any care in the world what other superheroes want.) There’s something to be liberating from that, after the daunting initial idea of ​​putting your toes in such a wide center, to be able to pick and choose what matters to you.

Image of the article titled So, what is Marvel & # 39;  s Phase 4 actually?

picture: Sony Pictures / Marvel Studios

Perhaps that’s what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is evolving as Phase 4 continues to thrive. Sure, there will always be fans who follow every single show and movie, enjoying the Easter eggs and the ties that bind them all together, no matter how weak they may be. There will always be events that climax and bring these heroes and villains together across multiple films, in the same way that comic books have their own line-level events. But now more than ever, immerse yourself in the parts of the MCU that interest you more than ever, following a single show, movie, or even one character without having to know the whole bigger picture afterwards. As Marvel tries to define its own world once again in a post-Thanos universe, the real definition it needs may not be one at all. After all, it’s big multi universe Abroad.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest marvel And star Wars Releases, what’s next for DC Universe on Film and TVAnd everything you want to know about him Dragon House And The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

.