With Marvel’s Ant-Man signaling the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) phase 2 movies, Marvel Studios approaches a crucial stage in the overall scheme of their MCU.
To recap, here is a infographic of what comprises the MCU’s phase 2
With Phase 2 concluding with Ant-Man, Marvel is faced with a tough decision on how to further broaden the scope of the MCU. While it may all seem run-of-the-mill for Marvel Studios to chug out comic book movies yearly and still rake in the dollars, the current roster (Phase 2) of heroes are leaning towards the end of the road story-wise. This is evident with the sudden push of supporting members of the Avengers all of a sudden being brought to the forefront in recent movies.
In Iron Man 3 we saw Rhodey getting ample screen time and even fighting alongside Tony Stark during the climactic showdown between Stark and the Mandarin. In the Winter Soldier, Falcon got introduced and also got ample screen time, and just recently in Ant-Man, Falcon got more screen time and what sort of felt like a big push on his character arc. The Avengers Age of Ultron also shone the spotlight on Hawkeye’s character giving him more memorable lines and screen time as well.
The Guardians of the Galaxy also introduced new characters into the fray, however, these characters have little to no contact with the current roster of MCU heroes. Ant-Man also successfully launched a new hero in the mix, but has yet to fully have the same effect as that of Iron Man or Peter Quill.
So why exactly is Phase 3 crucial to the MCU, you ask? The simple answer is the marketability of the second-tier superheroes being the main focus or at the forefront of the MCU.
Just to give you an idea of the movies for Phase 3:
As you can see, far more obscure heroes are set to get their own solo movies. The likes of Dr. Strange, Black Panther and the Inhumans, to name a few. While I do not discount the fans of these characters, the fact remains that casual comic book readers and moviegoers have very few or even no idea who these characters are.
While Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are currently pushing Inhumans with the recently wrapped-up Season 2, and the Inhumans sure to be a focal point of Season 3, the truth is, not many MCU fans tune in to watch the story unfold. As for Dr. Strange, it only takes a true fan to realize that the Quantum Realm discussed in Ant-Man was in fact alluding to Dr. Strange. And as for Black Panther, the same can be said when Age Of Ultron mentioned Wakanda.
Beyond Phase 3 also gets a lot trickier when Marvel starts to develop the new characters and shift their focus on these new heroes. Rumors have it that current MCU powerhouses, such as Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, would take the back seat in order for these new heroes to grow. The onus is now on these new batch of heroes to continue the dominance that MCU has.
The good news to this is that with the launch of Ant-Man, Marvel now has a gauge as to how fans would react to obscure heroes. And based on the box office success of Ant-Man, Marvel has a new hero to probably continue the MCU. Of course you should also take into consideration the Spiderman movie set to be released in 2017. By having Spiderman, MCU has a familiar face to bank on, and also a fairly young actor that could possibly stand-in as the MCU’s star beyond Phase 3. Also with Marvel’s Daredevil getting critical acclaim with its first season on Netflix, it is safe to say that the MCU is in capable superhero hands.
Marvel is poised to make a big splash with Phase 3, lets hope that it carries over until Phase 4 and beyond.
Gino is the Gladiators’ resident TV and Comic Book reviewer. He is a lawyer in the making at day and a full on geek by night. He believes that the lightsaber is the best weapon during a zombie apocalypse. #AgeOfTheGeek