At times, we as comic fans have to wonder if there is anything Marvel and Disney could do wrong. Oftentimes, we find ourselves arguing with fellow fans about what we would have done differently if we were in the writers' positions. Well, during San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel finally revealed their Phase 4 lineup. This marks the new era for a franchise that relied so heavily on the same characters for over a decade.
But there's more. Besides feature films, Marvel is using their new streaming service to usher in their new era. While there may be no more Captin America or Iron Man, that doesn't mean a new leader can't emerge. With 10 new movies or TV shows set to hit fans beginning next year, we'll take a look at what has fans excited and what has fans wondering if the right call was made.
10 Thor: Love And Thunder (Love)
Thor is back for his fourth solo movie. But there is finally a twist, and one we've all been waiting for. With news that Natalie Portman will return as Jane Foster, the San Diego Comic-Con crowd were wondering if she will be caught handling Mjolnir. And the answer to that: yes.
What does that mean going forward for the first God of Thunder? Will he make a Tony Stark-like departure or fade away in the sunset like Steve Rogers? Nevertheless, having another Thor movie will give loyal Marvel fans something to cheer about.
9 Black Widow (Divided)
With news that Marvel fans will finally get a well-deserved Black Widow stand-alone movie, it was met with cheers and a bit of head-scratching. While we can't wait to see Scarlett Johansson again, we're still left wondering why. What was the point of killing her off in Avengers: Endgame only to tease us with a solo movie?
Black Widow was supposed to challenge Wonder Woman as the next great female superhero, too, but all she will get is a single movie. And to make matters worse, it's not really an origin movie, as we're told the events of the film takes place between Captian America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
8 No X-Men (Love)
With the acquisition of Fox, Disney finally has the rights to X-Men and Fantastic 4 characters. What this means is that they can go crazy at any moment and further distance themselves from whatever DC Comics decides to release. But on a comic front, Marvel was smart to hold off any future releases or any mention that something is in the works.
While Wolverine had a great run, something went wrong with the X-Men reboot. Fans already know a reboot is coming, though, and Phase 4 was just not the right time. Although it's time for an F4 movie, the building of anticipation has been a game Marvel has mastered over the years.
7 The Netflix Shows (Divided)
For the past few years, Disney, Marvel, and Netflix have provided comic fans a taste of hard action and storylines between movies with shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, The Defenders, and The Punisher. But as each show finished with their second or third seasons, it was announced that all the Marvel comic shows would be pulled off Netflix. So what's next?
With news that Disney was launching their own streaming service, many wondered if that meant we would get more of The Defenders. But no such luck came at SDCC. Each shows' season-ending episodes left the door open, but have we seen the last of some of our favorite Marvel characters?
6 Loki (Love)
Even as a villain, Loki is a winner. His attempts to kill his brother can be seen as malicious, but he has a role to play. Besides that, Loki brings comedy relief to a scene that otherwise calls for seriousness. Over the course of his appearances, Loki has always stood out even with the Avengers around.
Loki getting his own show may come with a bit of confusion as well. In Avengers: Infinity War, Loki wasn't killed by the Thanos snap but by his hand. When the team went back in time, Loki was able to steal the Tesseract and vanish. The guess is that's where the team of writers will begin.
5 Falcon And Winter Soldier (Divided)
This show has to be done right. As the new Captain America, it's only right that Falcon should make his mark in a feature film. The same goes for Winter Solider.
Maybe they will get their shot down the line in Phase 5, but to start them off on a television show seems a bit unfair. If there was a time to lead the new phase with a familiar face or two, Falcon and Winter Soldier are those characters.
4 Shang-Chi: The Legend Of The Ten Rings (Love)
While some of the newer fans are asking who Shang-Chi is, the simplest way to put this is it's a return to Sunday afternoon kung-fu most of us grew up on in the '80s. Shang-Chi, at one point, was also a part of the widely popular Heroes For Hire and Secret Avengers teams. He's definitely no stranger to comic fans. But was this a great choice to become a feature film?
Yes, it was because it was time to shake things up a bit. Adding the kung-fu element and having an Asian character in a lead role proves that Marvel understands exactly what they're doing. But fear not: the lead villain (The Mandarin) is one Iron Man fans should know well. So, as new as the unveiling of Shang-Chi: The Legend Of The Ten Rings is, he's been around the MCU for quite a while.
3 No New Avengers Movie (Divided)
This just continues to make the point regarding characters like Falcon and Winter Solider. Fans will understand the need for new faces, but why take away what has been such a huge success? With Steve Rogers and Tony Stark either dead or retired, there are still those capable of carrying The Avengers torch.
Falcon is the new leader. Winter Soldier has proven he can handle the pressure, Spider-Man provides the comic relief that Hulk gave, and Black Panther is the new Iron Man with his tech. And we still have Wanda, who can be the new Natasha. Leaving an Avengers movie out of Phase 4 could prove to be a costly mistake for Marvel down the line.
2 What If...? (Love)
The concept of What If is outstanding. Would this work as a feature film? Maybe. But putting it on the small screen allows a bit more versatility. Even if we're given 12-13 episodes per season, this allows for a longer storyline other than 2-3 hours in one shot.
By exploring the different ideas of what could have happened if things went differently, we as fans will love to see our Marvel theories played out as well. Like what if Jane had found Mjolnir? What if Cap has stayed with Peggy? What If is such a great creative idea that a feature film would only ruin the experience.
1 No Real Leadership Movie (Divided)
While Thor gets his fourth film, he was never seen as a leader within the Avengers. Black Widow has a stand-alone movie, but we know she dies from the events in Avengers: Endgame. While some of the movies will carry their weight, there is no true leader among Phase 4. Jumping the gun and putting Spider-Man: Far From Home out this summer may have not been the best move.
Why not lead Phase 4 off with Spidey then follow that up with The Eternals or Shang Chi: The Legend Of The Ten Rings? Throwing Doctor Strange into the fold was good, but it goes back to not giving Falcon or Bucky their own movie. Each earlier Marvel Phase has had that defining movie, and Marvel is hoping Thor: Love and Thunder or Doctor Strange: Multiverse Of Madness can lead the new charge.