When Marvel Studios brought Iron Man into cinemas back in 2008, no one had any idea that we were witnessing the birth of something the like of which has never been seen on such a scale as what the MCU has become in the last thirteen years. With multiple platforms, and now multiple universes to deal with, the fourth phase of Marvel's Cinematic Universe is setting up as a completely different beast to The Infinity War Saga that dominated the first three phases. While each of Marvel's phases have come with their own stories to tell, all leading to a climax 20 movies in the making, it is now apparent that Kevin Feige is doing exactly the same all over again, and the Marvel Studio's president, while not exactly of the belief that the MCU is really split into segments, has discussed what, if anything, Phase Four is really about.
"The definition of phases often evolved with the phase. Often, I leave up to writers and journalists to decide. That's for the film historians to tell us what the phases were about. Truthfully, Phase Four was always about continuing in new ways and new beginnings. Even with films that seemingly are concluding storylines, there are new beginnings within them. That's what was most exciting to us about the opportunity to make shows for Disney+, about all of us at Marvel Studios choosing to continue past Endgame and past Far From Home, and leaving The Infinity Saga behind to a new beginning. That, I think, is what people will be looking at Phase Four, I hope, as having accomplished."
The concept of a new beginning and redefining of what is known about some characters has been more than apparent in the first TV shows on Disney+ and in Black Widow, with the new character introductions of Shang-Chi, the Eternals, She-Hulk and more to come. We have seen Wanda Maximoff become Scarlet Witch, Loki discover himself and what he is capable of, Sam Wilson find himself and take over the Captain America mantle, and had a proper introduction to Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow. With a strong suggestion of the development of the super-teams of The Young Avengers and The Thunderbolts, the opening up of the multiverse and more, it is almost like we have gone back to the beginning of a story that will develop over the next decade.
While we have also seen confirmation that Deadpool and The Fantastic Four will be making their way into the Universe in the next few years, bringing in the Fox contingent, while we are still awaiting an official announcement about how and when the X-Men will be making their MCU debut. If this is all part of the "new beginnings" that Kevin Feige has teased, then there is no telling where or when this particular story arc will find its "Endgame" event.
The slate for the next couple of years is pretty much set now, with the pandemic mostly behind us as far as cinema releases are concerned, and with Black Widow now in theaters, Phase Four of the MCU is finally fully underway. With new Marvel content never more than a month away over the next year, there are many new stories to tell and new characters to meet. With Black Widow breaking post-pandemic records at the box office, and Loki doing the same on Disney+, Marvel have never been in a better position than they are now to continue making cinema and TV history for decades to come. This news originated at Rotten Tomatoes.