Let’s face it, Phase 4 of the MCU has been… messy. Even the best recent entries, such as Shang-Chi or Ms. Marvel, feel either disconnected from the rest of the universe or overburdened by expectations. The relatively clean line of the first three phases, building first to The Avengers and then to Infinity War and Endgame, appears missing among the many movies and shows added to the MCU since the end of the Infinity Saga. However, with the announcements at SDCC of Phase 4’s end this year with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and that the relatively short Phase 5 only goes from next year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania to Thunderbolts in 2024, we begin to see a clearer story developing.
Among these announcements also came the reveal that the long-awaited MCU Fantastic Four movie releasing Nov. 28, 2024 will mark the beginning of Phase 6. Which seems like a perfect way to transition into the culmination of the newly-christened Multiverse Saga.
It’s already clear to see that Phase 5 will flesh out the story of a more dystopian MCU, with an Avenger-less world torn apart with mistrust after the Skrull attack in Secret Invasion. This is why the government will try to create its own Avengers team with the Thunderbolts, featuring USAgent and Yelena Belova, while Kate Bishop and Eli Bradley could form the more virtuous Young Avengers. Out from this disruption will come the Fantastic Four, Marvel’s First Family, a game-changer at the start of Phase 6 that will see the MCU on course for Secret Wars.
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