With the finale of Secret Invasion leaving us a little conflicted about the state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we have a lot of questions about the plan for Phases 5 and 6. There’s no confirmation on when we’ll go back to Wakanda, when Shang-Chi will appear again and whether Jonathan Majors will continue as the villainous Kang. The MCU has been able to avoid the problems that other franchises routinely run into, but it looks like the films and TV series may have finally become a victim of their own success. As we await the Oct. 6 premiere of Loki Season 2 and the scheduled release of The Marvels on Nov. 10, we’re left to wonder what’s next for the MCU?
The Excitement of Phase 1
Phase 1 was about introducing The Avengers, so we would be ready to properly freak out when they finally met and teamed up. We were still in the early getting to know you stage, so everything felt new and fun. As Phase 4 resets the franchise, we want to feel that same excitement again.
The Cosmic Universe of Phase 2
Now that The Avengers were embracing their identities as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, we needed to branch out into the galaxy so we could understand how powerful Thanos truly was. Plus, films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron still delivered surprises to the franchise. So far, Phase 5 hasn’t hit any of these elements.
The Endgame of Phase 3
At this point, we were firmly entrenched in the Infinity Saga, so we had some idea where we were going. We got a few more introductions, notably the World of Wakanda and Spider-Man, before we hit the final stretch of the fight. That “Avengers Assemble” moment in Endgame was 22 movies in the making. It was a shared experience we didn’t realize would become so important a year later when we were all stuck in our homes. We knew this scene was coming at some point and it not only lived up to expectations, it surpassed them. Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten any hints that something this special is coming from the Multiverse Saga. Here’s hoping that changes in Phases 5 and 6.
The Rudderless Ship That Was Phase 4
While Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness definitely served as post-Endgame wrap-ups, they also delivered the first teases of the Multiverse Saga. There’s no denying that with the exception of a few projects, this phase felt like it was floundering. I still have no idea where titles like Eternals, Moon Knight and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law fit into the overall franchise. Were they just post-blip distractions or is there a larger picture I’m missing?
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
As fun as it was to check in with unlikely hero Scott Lang, this movie was really about establishing the threat of Kang the Conqueror. However, the legal issues surrounding Jonathan Majors now leave the villain’s future mired in questions.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
This movie was an emotional yet entertaining ride, but it was also about saying goodbye to the Guardians more than setting up any future stories.
Skrulls took over many of the world’s governments and Rhodey/War Machine’s life. We assume the fallout will play out in upcoming projects, especially Armor Wars. But the lack of continuity and semi-truck full of questions it left behind have done more harm than good.
Loki: Season 2 - Oct. 6
The second season of this popular series will presumably find Loki, Sylvie and Mobius trying to undo the mess they created in Season 1. We’ll also get at least one appearance from Jonathan Majors’ Kang, in the form of a variant named Victor Timely. Hopefully, the time-bending series will answer some of our questions and give us a true picture of what to expect from the Multiverse.
The Marvels - Nov. 10
Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani return as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel respectively. The three heroes have to work together to figure out why their powers have suddenly become connected. Samuel L. Jackson is back as Nick Fury, so it will be interesting to see where his state of mind is post-Secret Invasion. Most importantly, Goose is also back.
Echo - Nov. 29
After captivating viewers in Hawkeye, Maya Lopez gets her own series and backstory. I cannot wait to learn more about her life, as she’s been one of the best new characters of Phase 5. However, this feels like a project that was greenlit without any thought as to how it would fit in with the overarching story. It’s another example of the widening gap between the TV series and the movies.
Deadpool 3 - May 3, 2024
Honestly, it’s anyone’s guess on whether Deadpool 3 will have any real impact on the overall story arc. These movies tend to do their own thing. We’re just here to see Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman as Wade and Wolverine.
Captain America: Brave New World - July 26, 2024
Obviously, we can’t wait to see what direction Sam Wilson’s Captain America goes in, but we’re also wondering what role he plays in the ongoing arc. Will he be the new leader of the Avengers or will he be the voice of reason against more powerful heroes like Doctor Strange and Thor? With Harrison Ford portraying President Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross, we’ll probably get more insight into the global fallout of the Skrull invasion. He can’t be happy that his son, Everett Ross, was replaced.
Thunderbolts - December 20, 2024
This has a chance to be the unexpected hit of Phase 5. The Thunderbolts motley crew includes Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes; Hannah John-Kamen as Ant-Man and the Wasp’s Ghost; Wyatt Russell as fake Captain America John Walker/U.S. Agent; Black Widow’s Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova; Olga Kurylenko’s Taskmaster; David Harbour’s hilarious Red Guardian and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Val. There’s no way that with all those crazy personalities, this isn’t a really fun movie. Of course, I have no idea how any of these people fit into the Multiverse Saga, but something tells me that’s not the point here.
Blade - February 14, 2025
At this point, I’m not sure we’ll ever get to actually see Blade. From script issues to a director change, to the pandemic, to multiple schedule changes, the project has suffered a never-ending succession of setbacks. Mahershala Ali made his vocal debut as Blade at the end of Eternals, so hopefully, the Day Walker will eventually appear on-screen in the MCU.
What If...?: Season 2
Long before we had any inkling of what the Multiverse could look like, What If…? showed us how it would play out. Some aspects of the animated series even made their way to the big screen in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. While a lot of elements of the Multiverse Saga are still unknown, we absolutely cannot explore other Earths without Jeffrey Wright’s Watcher appearing in live-action.
Her memorable debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has us on the edge of our seats to see Riri Williams bring everything she learned about being a hero back to her home. If we do get introduced to variants of Riri, I’d like to see one who stayed in Wakanda and became a true warrior.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos
You had me at Agatha. With her knowledge of the Darkhold and witchcraft, it’s safe to assume that Kathryn Hahn will be the most entertaining part of the Multiverse. If we don’t get a scene with multiple Agathas hanging out, why even have a Multiverse?
Daredevil: Born Again
If we’re lucky, the introduction of Daredevil and Wilson Fisk will lead to the inevitable debut of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Though it’s always been presented as the same universe, it’s possible the Netflix series could be retconned into alternate Earths.