Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Full Steam Ahead: Big Changes In the Marvel Universe

Spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and all Marvel movies.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been known for pushing the limits and going bigger and bolder with every movie. As we finish Phase Two and go into Phase Three, big things could be in store for Marvel and the characters that we adore. Marvel's never been one to aim small. What might they try to do next?

Marvel's Phases: An Explanation

In October of 2014, Marvel unveiled their titles for Phase Three. For those unaware, the titles that Marvel releases have been separated into phases.

Phase One
Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers

Phase One was when the Avengers assembled and the Marvel Cinematic Universe was established. We got everyone's origin stories, which culminated with a meet-up of all the heroes in The Avengers. 

Phase Two
Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man

This is where we're currently at. Guardians released summer of 2014. Avengers: Age of Ultron is set to release May 2015, and Ant-Man will be coming along in July. Now that the Marvel universe has been established, we're able to delve even deeper into our characters with sequels. And, in Ant-Man's case, we get another origin story. 

Out of the two left to release, I'm most excited for Avengers: Age of Ultron. The trailer for that is here. (May can't come soon enough!) I'm less excited about Ant-Man, sadly. You can watch the trailer for that too, here.

Phase Three
Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 7, 2017
Thor 2: Ragnarok - July 28, 2017
Black Panther - November 3, 2017
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 - May 4, 2018
Captain Marvel - July 6, 2018
Inhumans - November 2, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 - May 3, 2019

Phase Three begins in 2016 and will end in 2019. First of all, I'll be 23 by the time we're done with Phase Three, which is pretty hard to picture. Secondly, it's pretty clear that Marvel has big plans. With the amount of movies releasing in Phase Three, it's pretty hard to imagine the Marvel universe staying the same. 

The End of the MCU As We Know It?

Even now, some big changes are happening. Robert Downey Jr. seems to be inching closer to retirement--while he will appear in Captain America: Civil War, it's likely that we won't get an Iron Man 4. Chris Evans's contract will be running out, after which he'd like to retire from acting. He guesstimates that he will be done playing Captain America in 2017. I'm not exactly sure, then, what this means for his appearance in Avengers 3, but I believe he'll be in that film.

Another big game changer will be Captain America: Civil War. It appears to draw off an event in the comics, in which some of Marvel's superheroes side with Tony Stark, and the rest side with Steve Rogers. If they stick closely to this plot event in the comics, there will definitely be a rift created between our united heroes.

I've heard several rumors about what the future of The Avengers holds. In canon, Steve Rogers died and his best friend Bucky Barnes took up the shield and became Captain America in his place. Judging by the fact that Sebastian Stan was contracted for 9 films, I'm highly inclined to believe this may be the direction they're going. (More info here. If this were to happen, I'd predict it happens in Avengers 3.) I've also read a really convincing fan theory that Tony Stark may die in Avengers 2. (Please, no!) You can read more about that here. It's possible that someone will die however, because Joss Whedon says the theme of Avengers 2 is, "death, death, and death."

To sum all this up, it's clear that once we reach 2019, we'll have a lot of new faces to keep track of, and it's possible we'll have to say goodbye to the Avengers we've come to know and love. I only hope that Marvel continues to stay golden and doesn't run itself into the ground. While I'd hate to say goodbye to the MCU, I'd rather have them bow out while we still appreciate them, than for Marvel overstay their welcome and keep churning out films with mediocre plots.

New Faces

We'll be getting some more origin stories in Phase Three. 

Doctor Strange

As the closest to release, we know quite a bit about this movie. We know that Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing him. If you'd like to read our reaction to the casting, as well as a little more about Doctor Strange's origins, you can find that here.

I'm moderately excited for the Doctor Strange film. While I wasn't initially thrilled at the casting, I've loved Doctor Strange's story and I can't wait to see it brought to life in the film.

Black Panther

Black Panther is notable because it's the first time an African-American superhero is going to headline their own movie. We've had appearances by Nick Fury, James Rhodes (War Machine) and Sam Wilson (Falcon) as secondary characters, which should not go unnoticed. But it's exciting that Black Panther will be the focus of a movie this time. Black Panther is also notable because he was the first African-American superhero created by Marvel. 

Black Panther, aka T'Challa, has had a rich comic history and was a key player in several big plots, so it makes sense that they're bringing him in. He was also a member of The Avengers, which could mean that he's in line to replace one of the original Avengers as time goes on. (My sister and I touch a little bit on Black Panther's origins here.)

While I've been skeptical about some of Marvel's latest choices (i.e., making Ant-Man into a film), I'm really behind this one. I think it's about time that he got a movie.


We've already had casting news. Chadwick Boseman will be playing Black Panther. Additionally, the character of Black Panther debuts an entire year early--we'll first see a glimpse of him in Captain America 3.

Captain Marvel

If there's any Phase 3 movie I'm really excited about, it's this one. Like Black Panther, this one is important because it's the first time a female will be headlining her own movie. While I'm a little miffed that Black Widow still hasn't gotten her own film, I'm still excited that we'll be getting another awesome female superhero.

There have been several different Captain Marvels in the history of Marvel, but this movie will be focused on Carol Danvers, previously known as Ms. Marvel. Carol Danvers is closely connected to the Kree, who first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy; she has Kree genetics that give her superhuman powers. It's safe to say the Kree will definitely be playing a role in the Marvel Universe, as Skye was injected by Kree blood in season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and now we'll be getting a story about Carol Danvers.

Carol Danvers too has had a rich backstory, and would be a perfect candidate for a movie. There's no casting news yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing how she is portrayed. 


The fact that this movie was amongst the Phase Three titles made little to no sense to me until the midseason finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where it was revealed that Skye is actually Daisy Johnson, aka Quake. While Daisy Johnson is not canonically an Inhuman, the powers-that-be have decided to mix and match her origin story, so now she is one.

The Inhumans are a race of superheroes from the comics. They're truly inhuman, as they were bred to be weapons for the Kree. They have a long lifespan and an assortment of superhuman abilities. The Inhumans are also heavily connected to Ronan the Accuser, the villain in Guardians of the Galaxy, who reveals to them that they were bred to be weapons. Now, it's no wonder that they're coming to more prominence. 

One thing I greatly hope for this film is that Skye/Daisy will be able to crossover from the TV show to the MCU. That would rock my world. I genuinely hope that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't stay isolated from the MCU, and that we'll get to see characters crossing over between both of them.

Since the powers-that-be are already messing a little bit with the Inhumans canon, it's hard to say what will make it from the comics into the film. However, you can read more about the Inhumans and who might show up in such a film by going here.


I'm excited especially for Captain America: Civil War, because we'll get to meet some new heroes (and see Steve Rogers and Tony Stark again). I do wonder whether Bucky will appear in Cap 3, or if they're putting that to rest for the time being. But I do know that there's no way that Bucky can't appear in Phase Three at some point.

I am least excited for Thor 3: Ragnarok, because I found that Thor 2 was the biggest disappointment for me out of all the Marvel movies. However, I'm a big fan of the Thor franchise in general, and getting to see Jane Foster and Darcy again will be worth it. (I only hope they let Jane Foster do something instead of be incapacitated for almost the entire film.)

I'm thrilled to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2, however. I enjoyed the first movie and really look forward to getting even more backstory on the characters. That's the one I can't wait for. 

And, of course, I'm excited for Avengers 3: Infinity War. But I'm also terrified.

The End of the Comics World As We Know It

Big news broke in the comics world when it was found out that they're basically rebooting Marvel's comic universe. It seems as if they are attempting to merge the comics with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can read more about it here.

It seems as if they are trying to drive more people to read the comics by making the comics more like the movies. I see the logic behind it. However, I don't think it's a good idea. The comics and the movie universe are two very separate things. The comic universe was exploring plots completely different from the MCU, and they were allowed to go deeper than the movies can just because of the nature of the format. Making the movies and the comics more similar completely erases all the hard work and development that's been done by the comic artists. It also leaves comic fans hanging. In my opinion, not a good move.

One caveat: I'll confess, I'm not as well-versed in the comics world as I should be. (Being a broke student has its disadvantages.) I do a lot of research when writing these posts, and while I try to cross-reference and verify everything, I may have made some mistakes. All that to say, if you know more about this, please feel free to correct me or leave your opinion in the comments.


Big things are happening in Marvel. While we've had big changes, such as the dismantling of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Cap 2, this only means that Marvel must go even bigger to outdo themselves. This does worry me slightly, as  this could mean losing some major characters. I don't like change and I don't look forward to saying goodbye to our current core team of Avengers. At the same time, however, we get new faces, like Black Panther and Captain Marvel, and we get to see the return of the characters we love for another time. Until I know what the future holds, I'll be grateful for every film we get, and every chance we get to see the Phase One Avengers on our screens one more time.

Which Phase Three movie are you most excited to see? How do you feel about the potential changes we could see in the Marvel Universe?


  1. Awesome post, Sky! I'm not well versed in the comics either, but I've become a big fan of the Marvel films.
    I'm excited about most of the Phase Three releases, but mostly Captain America, Dr. Strange (I'm a Cumberbatch fan, so that's a big reason why), the Avengers and Thor. I wasn't thrilled by the second Thor movie either, but if I get more Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, I'm pretty happy. Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't for me, so I may sit that one out. Overall, though, Marvel's third phase seems to have some awesome potential! (And impending heartbreak.)
    One last thing: I love that you included a Sherlock gif lol!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This was a super Agent-y post.

  2. lkadsjfasdkljfladskgjldskag flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh

    I'm not huge-huge on the comics (aside from maayyyybeee Captain America) but i'm excited for almost every movie!! :DDD But mainly for Avengers: Infinity Wars & Cap 3 & Black Panther & GOTG 2 & Thor: Ragnarok (sorry, huge Loki fan... and well he's kind of the reason Ragnarok happens, I believe) & a lot of other ones.

    I will be sad to say goodbye to the origin Avengers team bc I love them :) But I'm excited for new characters too. AGE OF ULTRON THOUGH. IT'S SO CLOSE AND "DEATH, DEATH, DEATH"? NO

    This post was beautiful to read. :D