What does the future hold for our beloved comic book characters?

By: Isiah Huber, Staff Writer

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has come a long way since the release of its first movie, Iron Man, in 2008. Since then we have gotten 23 movies, 18 of which dove into the worlds of individual characters. The other 5 are Avengers movies, a melting pot of all the characters of the movies that came before them. More characters have been introduced after each subsequent Avengers movie.

While all the movies in phases 1-3 generally made a profit and were well received, phase 4 raises some concerns. Most of the new content being released in stage 4 isn’t even movies; many are new limited series for Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, which is set to launch on November 12th of this year. In fact, half of the 10 new releases for phase 4 are exclusive to Disney+.

On top of that, two of the movie releases take a different approach to the universes they expand on. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is said to be the MCU’s first horror film. This movie is very different from any of the other movies involving Doctor Strange. The other outlier movie is Thor: Love and Thunder, in which the audience will see Thor’s love interest from past movies, Natalie Portman, become the new Thor.

The question with all of this is whether the combination of the new Disney+ service — with its limited series — and the new movies will prove to be an issue, considering that both will be taking place in the same universe and continuing the same story.

Since many people might not want to add Disney+ to the list of streaming services they pay for, the decision to attach the limited series to a streaming service might hinder the storytelling that the MCU has done thus far. It might also cause people to stop seeing MCU movies because they assume they will be lost and confused without a Disney+ subscription.

Whether or not phase 4 will build or topple the MCU is yet to be seen. If we go off of what we have so far, we can expect high quality and good storytelling. There shouldn’t be too much to worry about.