The launch of Marvel's Phase Four of the MCU hasn't exactly gone to plan thanks to the Covid19 pandemic, and there was a lot of trepidation thanks to the introduction of some experimental Disney+ spin off series' and a longer than planned gap of two years between Spider-Man: Far From Home and Black Widow. However with Black Widow setting a new post-pandemic record in its opening weekend, and the Disney+ series' becoming the most watched original content across multiple streaming platforms, Kevin Feige has said that fans reactions to the new characters and shows has made him "very happy."
With Black Widow being delayed a number of times while the world waited for the right time to re-open cinemas, the Disney+ offerings of WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki were called upon to bridge the gap and gauge the audience's appetite for more adventures from the Marvel catalogue following the Endgame finale of the Infinity War saga and its Spider-Man coda. As it turns out, there was little to fear as the wealth of new characters including Agatha Harkness, John Walker, and Mobius M. Mobius have all been taken to the hearts of the MCU's faithful fans.
In his interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Feige said, "Seeing audiences respond to characters that they were not expecting, or that they were not asking for - I wouldn't say there was a huge contingency of people banging down the door for Agatha Harkness to appear in the MCU, but she's a great character portrayed by a great actress. By the first few episodes, people were asking, 'Where is she gonna show up again? What else is she gonna do?'"
"I think the same thing is happening right now with John Walker from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series, and certainly with Mobius M. Mobius, as portrayed by Owen Wilson in the Loki series. So that is something that is so important to the MCU, is including new characters. The comic is filled with many lifetimes of spectacular characters, and when you find the best actors to portray them, it can quickly go from an audience never hearing of a character to then upset with us that we haven't already announced their own standalone movie. That makes us all very happy."
As well as bringing in all of these new characters who could potentially show up in future Marvel projects, the Disney+ series has introduced characters that are already set to appear in other MCU projects, such as WandaVision's Monica Rambeau, who will be taking a place alongside Brie Larson's Captain Marvel in The Marvels, and Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, who appeared to recruit John Walker's US Agent in Falcon and the Winter Soldier and has also now made an appearance in Black Widow.
With so many new characters still to come with the arrival of Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk and more, the expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is only going to become broader in terms of scope as it mines into some of the lesser known characters available in its long comic book history. We were told the universe was expanding, and Kevin Feige and Marvel are certainly delivering on what they promised.