Top 10 MCU Phase 4 Films and TV Shows So Far

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Top 10 MCU Phase 4 Films and TV Shows So Far

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
The MCU's Phase 4 has had some great movies and shows so far, but which one is the best? For this list, we'll be looking at the best phase four projects that came out between “Black Widow” to “Multiverse of Madness”. If you haven't seen them all, spoilers ahead! Our countdown includes “WandaVision” (2021), “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (2021), “Hawkeye” (2021), and more!
Transcript
The MCU's Phase 4 has had some great movies and shows so far, but which one is the best? For this list, we’ll be looking at the best phase four projects that came out between “Black Widow” to “Multiverse of Madness”. If you haven’t seen them all, spoilers ahead! Our countdown includes “WandaVision” (2021), “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (2021), “Hawkeye” (2021), and more! What’s your favorite show/movie in the MCU’s Phase 4 so far? Let us know in the comments.

#10: “Black Widow” (2021)


In July 2021, Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) finally got her own solo movie when the MCU kicked off its Phase 4 with the long-awaited “Black Widow.” Taking place between “Civil War” and “Infinity War,” Natasha reconnects with her “family” after she goes head to head with Taskmaster. Florence Pugh is a scene-stealer as Nat’s little sis and fellow Black Widow Yelena Belova, a character that will keep the Black Widow name going in the MCU. David Harbour’s Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian was a treat, too, though he didn’t get to do much. Overall, it was a decent film, but we wish it came out earlier in the franchise.

#9: “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (2021)


Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie have proved they’re one of the MCU’s best duos, so fans were excited for a series all about them. Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson bump heads as usual at first. But after some interesting therapy methods, they end up working together against the unworthy wielder of Cap’s shield John Walker, Karli Morgenthau and the Power Broker. The scenes between the two heroes were often hilarious and touching. Additionally, former Captain America Isaiah Bradley’s backstory was an interesting, if tragic, part of the series. Unfortunately, Karli Morgenthau wasn’t the most compelling villain. But seeing both a dancing Helmut Zemo and Sam becoming the new Captain America made for a satisfying series.

#8: “What If...?” (2021)


The MCU’s animated anthology series “What If...?” gave us Party Thor, T’Challa Star Lord, an evil Hank Pym, and zombies! While the cartoonish nature of the series may have turned off some fans, the general consensus was that it’s just fun to watch. Exploring alternate realities gives creators limitless possibilities and opportunities to deviate from the established MCU timeline, leading to some surprising moments. Killmonger saves Tony Stark. Loki stays with the Frost Giants. Hulk pops! So much happens in the 9 episodes, and to think we almost got one more! We’re definitely looking forward to season two.

#7: “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (2022)


Speaking of alternate realities, Sam Raimi’s horror/superhero movie takes Doctor Stephen Strange on a journey through, well, madness. He goes up against one of his “friends from work,.” To try to reach her kids, Wanda Maximoff fully embraces her Scarlet Witch identity and uses chaos magic in dark ways to get what she so desperately wants. Along the way, we’re introduced to the MCU’s first Latina superhero, America Chavez. It was wonderful seeing the actress and the character make their MCU debut. But the major cameos and many moving parts distracted a bit from the core story. While it’s not everyone’s favorite, it’s undeniable that Raimi’s horror influence, the stellar cast, and insane visuals make this a fantastic entry in Phase 4.

#6: “Hawkeye” (2021)


Much like his late bff Natasha, Clint Barton got the solo treatment in Phase 4 with a self-titled Disney+ series. Jeremy Renner reprises his role as the bow and arrow superhero alongside newcomer Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop for an unexpected fan favorite just in time for the holidays. After the adventurous and reckless Kate gets mixed in with some of Ronin’s old foes, her idol Clint finds and mentors her. Their father-daughter-like banter is the highlight of the series, especially their training sequences. While we don’t know when we’ll see either Hawkeye again, Alaqua Cox’s Echo will return in her own series. Her presence, the return of Yelena, and a surprise Kingpin appearance were all major elements of the show’s success.

#5: “Moon Knight” (2022)


Before Oscar Isaac led this Disney+ series, Moon Knight wasn’t a household name to casual audiences. But the actor made a new take on the character shine. Isaac plays lovable gift shopist Steven Grant and hardened mercenary Marc Spector for most of the series. Not only do they share the same body, but they also work for the Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon. As Steven grows more aware of this bizarre arrangement, he unravels the mystery of his origins. He also manifests his own Mr. Knight costume too. His journey features a great villainous turn from Ethan Hawke and May Calamawy’s daring performance as Layla El-Faouly. And although the show gets weird, it’s still full of great adventure, gripping tragedy, and heart.

#4: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (2021)


As the MCU’s first martial arts film, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” definitely delivered on the action. But the origin story of the Asian superhero was more than awesome fight scenes. Simu Liu played the role of Shang-Chi to perfection, giving the reluctant hero a lot of heart and strength. And his best friend Katy, played by Awkafina, stayed by his side offering support and tons of laughs. Celebrated actor Tony Leung steals scenes as Xu Wenwu, the real leader of the Ten Rings. We also loved seeing faux-Mandarin Trevor Slattery and legendary action star Michelle Yeoh get her time in the spotlight. Not only is “Shang-Chi” an incredible film, it marks an important push for diverse stories in the MCU.

#3: “Loki” (2021)


What do you get when one of the MCU’s most iconic villains gets his own series? The answer: a wickedly good time. “Loki” follows the god of mischief after he’s captured by the Time Variance Authority, aka TVA. He’s given the choice to either be wiped from existence, or help them fix the Sacred Timeline. Wisely, he chooses the latter, and joins Mobius M. Mobius in tracking down the mysterious person attacking the timeline. Every cast member gives stellar performances in the show’s many heartbreaking and emotional scenes. It’s also fun to meet Loki variants like Sylvie and Alligator Loki. As a bonus treat, the season finale features a glimpse of the excellent Jonathan Majors before he stars as villain Kang the Conqueror.

#2: “WandaVision” (2021)


As the first MCU Disney+ series in 2021, all eyes were on “WandaVision.” And man did it deliver. We follow a grief-stricken Wanda Maximoff as she lives out a sitcom style existence where her deceased love Vision is alive and they live happily ever after in the town of Westview. But their ideal world holds a dark secret. As the mystery unfolds, each episode pays homage to a different tv era. Everything from 1950s black-and-white style of “I Love Lucy” to the psychedelic colorfulness of “The Brady Bunch” in the 1970s is on display. And it all works thanks to Elizabeth Olsen’s wonderful performance as Wanda. She goes through a myriad of emotions and self-discoveries while trying to be a “normal” wife and mother.

#1: “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021)


Not only was “No Way Home” 2021’s highest grossing movie worldwide but it’s become a fan favorite among MCU fans and moviegoers alike. It’s an epic story where a spell gone wrong brings in villains from across the multiverse. Although saving the superhero villain isn’t the usual goal, the good-hearted Peter Parker tries to help out anyway. His heroic journey is full of exciting highs and crushing lows. In the end, three versions of Spider-Men from different eras work together to try to cure them. Filled with nostalgia and excitement for the future, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is the best the MCU’s phase 4 has to offer…so far.
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