Phase Four of the MCU was a mixed bag to say the least. ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ is amazing, and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” might be better or just as good as ‘No Way Home.’ As a whole, Phase Four dipped in quality.
Comparing it to the other phases, Phase Four falls flat. Nothing amounted to anything monumental. All it does is introduce the Multiverse in three disconnected stories.
It’s clear why Phase Four had a weird dip in quality. It is because of Disney, or more specifically, Disney+.
Disney+ is different from other streaming services because it relies on the recognizable properties Disney has acquired, like ‘Star Wars,’ ‘The Simpsons’ and, of course, Marvel.
Many of the Marvel shows drag on for too long and would make better movies. Disney doesn’t want to do that because fans might choose to get a seven-day subscription, watch the new movies, and cancel the subscription. Fans don’t have that ability if a show releases episodes every week.
Disney is producing Marvel properties at a rapid pace, likely not giving the people working on it enough time to make quality projects.
Disney seems to prefer quantity over quality. This is why most of the Marvel Phase Four products are average.
In Phases One through Three, fewer projects were released but fans could appreciate the effort into these movies. Isn’t that want viewers want at the end of the day: a great movie that they can tell took time and effort to produce?
All of the great stories told through the MCU are amazing: stories of heroism, the triumphs and hardships these characters go though and the losses the characters have to endure. The consistent character development is strong in the first three phases.
‘Iron Man’ is about an arrogant, selfish and self-centered man named Tony Stark. The films depict his journey and how being a hero really changes him into a better person.
Ever since ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ Stark has to grapple with his feelings of guilt. He couldn’t save everyone. That’s why he signs the Sokovia Accords in ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ That’s why he never wants to put Spider-Man, his surrogate son, in any danger in ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ When Spider-Man dies in ‘Infinity War,’ Stark is devastated, so much so that he doesn’t try to bring back half of the population at the risk of putting anyone else in danger.
Star-Lord was a kid who lost his mother to cancer and was taken away in a spaceship soon after. He has to kill his father who was going to take over the universe, and the only father-figure he had left died in front of him. He acts like a child because he’s stuck in the past, always thinking about the 80’s with its songs and movies. The Guardians of the Galaxy movies have an 80’s soundtrack to feature the songs that Star-Lord’s mom gave him before she died, preserving her memory.
Complex characters like these show how much effort was put into the MCU. Even though these movies are unrealistic, the characters and stories feel real.
Today, it feels like most of these Marvel movies aren’t made with the same passion and soul that the previous phases had. Something has changed.
If the people making these movies had more time, maybe Phase Four would have been better. I miss the old MCU, and I hope Phase Five will be a return to form for the franchise.
Step up your game, MCU; not just for me, but for all of the fans.