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Looking Back At The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4: A New Era Of Heroes, Villains, And Multiverse Mayhem

By Baiting Irrelevance Dec10,2023
Marvel Cinematic UniverseMarvel Cinematic Universe

Was the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 a success or failure?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been a juggernaut for Disney. They grabbed audiences worldwide with their interconnected storytelling and iconic characters. The first three phases of Marvel Might go down as the best cinematics ever. However, since then, Marvel has been on a downward spiral. At least, this is what everyone is saying. This, as always, is more complicated than that. The Marvel Cinematic Universe started in 2008 with Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man was a huge success and earned $585.8 million at the box office.

Some argue that the MCU started in 2005 with Incredible Hulk, but it has been a massive success regardless of where it began. Phase 3 of the MCU ended with Avengers: End Game and the three phases grossed $22.37 billion altogether. With such highs, phase 4 was always going to struggle. As Phase 4 unfolded, Marvel Studios promised a new era. We got the Multiverse, and a recent controversy was born with it. Some argued that it was lazy content, while others immensely enjoyed it.

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel’s Diversity And Inclusion

When Phase 4 of The Marvel Cinematic Universe came around, there was a comment sentiment at Disney. Marvel has too many men, and they are too white. At the forefront of this battle was Brie Larson. She did plenty of interviews expressing her desire for more leading female superheroes. Since then, Marvel has been on a pivot, and the MCU became the MSheU. During this phase, we saw a new slate of superheroes, including Eternals” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Sadly, I have to say that these movies did not do much to enhance an already struggling Marvel.

The budget for Eternals was $236.2 million. The domestic box office of the Eternals was $164,87 million. Internationally, they faired better, bringing in $236,86 million. In total, they ended with a worldwide box office of $401,73 million. This was the first MCU movie that received missed reviews and also failed to turn over a profit. This failure was despite big names such as Game of Thrones Star Kit Harington being attached to the project. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings did slightly better and earned $432.2 million. They had a budget of almost $200 million, and thus, they also nearly broke even.

While we can see these movies as failures, it is worth pointing out that both grossed almost half a billion dollars. If Disney did not overspend, they would have been profitable. Sadly, Marvel grew accustomed to generating billions. This was never a sustainable average to achieve long-term.

Marvel's Diversity And Inclusion
Marvel’s Diversity And Inclusion

Marvel Goes To The Silver Screen

During the MCU Phase 4, Disney started doubling down on their streaming platform Disney+. During this time, we saw a significant spike in Superhero series. This was a big shift for Marvel, who, up until that point, had mainly focused on films. Shows like “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” and “Loki” all got released to mostly critical acclaim. WandaVision starred Elizabeth Olsen, and the series set a relatively good gold standard. On Rotton Tomatoes, the series received a 91% critic score and 89% viewer score.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was released to slightly less hype, but review scores remained high for the show. It starred Anthony Mackie as the Falcon and Sebastian Stan as Bucky. Both actors played integral parts in Captain America. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier received a critic score of 85% and an audience score of 82%. Loki is arguably the most critically acclaimed but also the most underrated. I know those two words directly contradict each other.

Loki starred Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and the storyline of this series is the direct launching pad for the next Avengers movie. This is where we first met Jonathan Majors, who plays the role of Kang, the conqueror. Not every series received this high praise. We also had She-Hulk, and I will pretend it never existed.

Marvel Goes To The Silver Screen
Marvel Goes To The Silver Screen

Marvel And The Multiverse Madness

For one of the most exciting stories, the Multiverse also turned out to be the most controversial. While many enjoy the multiverse, others believe the story is overused and lazy. The Multiverse was first teased in “WandaVision” and later explored in “Loki. ” During the MCU phase 4, the multiverse took. In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it left things started to unravel. The movie was a massive hit at the box office, grossing $955.8 million worldwide. Spider-Man: No Way Home was one of the most successful MCU movies ever. They grossed $1.922 billion and deserved every cent. The multiverse allowed Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire to reprise their roles as Spider-Man alongside Tom Holland.

This success gave Marvel the go-ahead to continue down this path, and in Loki, the multiverse was explored even more profoundly. Through this concept, Marvel can revive Loki, who died in Avengers: Infinity War. While the Multiverse has been a great box office hit for Marvel until now, fans are starting to catch on. The sentiment is growing that it is lazy writing; even South Park swiped at Disney for it. As long as the story remains good, I do not see a problem.

Legacy and New Beginnings

MCU Phase 4 was when we started to see the integration of new Marvel Characters. Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, and Scarlet Johanson all felt Marvel. With their departure came the end of Black Widow, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel. This was a transitional period as Thor and The Guardians of the Galaxy were also on their way out. Black Widow was a final goodbye to Natasha Romanoff. Thor: Love and Thunder was a disappointing send-off for Chris Hemsworth.

In return, we saw the introduction of Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel and Kate Bishop in Hawkeye. Both these characters are expected to form a new Young Avengers.

Legacy and New Beginnings
Legacy and New Beginnings

Explore Marvel Like Never Before

Phase 4 of Marvel was more significant than we had ever seen before. Not in terms of Box Office numbers but the exploration of the MCU. While Phase 3 focused on a large galaxy with the main villain Thanos trying to erase half of it, Phase 4 was even more extensive. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania explored the quantum realm for the first time, and a whole new world was opened with it. In Loki, they highlighted just how small Thanos and these infinity stones indeed were. Even Guardians of the Galaxy went to places we had never seen before.

While visiting these worlds was nothing new for Marvel, it did open an all-new realm of possibilities. This phase of Marvel was more controversial, but plenty of good movies also came from here. It would never live up to the first three phases, but we knew that from the beginning.

Marvel Movies In Chronological Order

  • I Am Groot
  • Black Widow
  • Loki
  • What If
  • Wandavision
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  • Eternals
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  • Hawkeye
  • Moon Knight
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Thor: Love and Thunder
  • Werewolf by Night
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special


What is Marvel?Marvel refers to Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a major American entertainment company known for its creation and publication of comic books and diverse media ventures, including films, television, and merchandise.
When was Marvel founded?Marvel traces its origins to 1939 when it was established as Timely Publications. It officially adopted the name Marvel Comics in the 1960s.
What is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is a media franchise and shared universe centered around superhero films and television shows produced by Marvel Studios. It features interconnected characters and storylines.
Iconic Marvel Superheroes?Marvel has created numerous iconic superheroes, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Black Panther, the X-Men, and the Avengers, among many others.
Significance in Popular Culture?The Marvel Universe has had a profound impact on popular culture, influencing entertainment globally through its characters, stories, and cinematic adaptations.
Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Information

Full NameTom Hiddleston
Date of BirthFebruary 9, 1981
Place of BirthWestminster, London, England
OccupationActor, Producer
Notable Roles– Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) – Jonathan Pine in “The Night Manager” – Captain James Conrad in “Kong: Skull Island”
Debut Film“Unrelated” (2007)
EducationDragon School, Oxford University (Cambridge University – studied acting)
Awards– Laurence Olivier Award for Best Newcomer in a Play (2008) – Primetime Emmy Award (2016) for “The Night Manager”
Upcoming Projects– “Loki” Season 2 (MCU) – “White Stork” (TV series) – “The Essex Serpent” (TV series)
Social MediaInstagram: @twhiddleston Twitter: @twhiddleston
Tom Hiddleston

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18 thoughts on “Looking Back At The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4: A New Era Of Heroes, Villains, And Multiverse Mayhem”
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