Once upon a time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the most meticulously planned franchise in all of Hollywood.
Every new film requires at least a passing familiarity with its predecessors. Every single character introduced in the MCU including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye joined forces to confront Thanos, a large purple alien with eco-friendly but psychotic designs, at the end of a decade’s worth of flicks.
With the snap of his fingers in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Thanos wiped out half the universe’s inhabitants. And even if the Avengers were able to bring back the dead from Avengers: Endgame (2019), the victory required a heavy price.
Black Widow and Iron Man perished. Capt. America stepped down. To experience his own journey, Thor took to the skies. And so the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Phase 3” came to a close. In Phase 4, relatively unimportant people were allowed to assume the role of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios, debuted its streaming service Disney+ bevy of Marvel television shows to further the stories of the characters that will eventually make up a movie.
Mixed outcomes have been obtained. Because of its inventive storytelling, the early pandemic debut of WandaVision sparked discussion on social media. However, despite promising starts, other shows with great A-list casts, like Moon Knight, failed because compelling characters were forced into uninteresting plot lines.
Upcoming MCU Films
The majority of the series now seem more like compulsory reading for upcoming MCU films than fully developed narratives that can stand alone outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Your mind might start spinning if you have to wade through complicated theories of alternate realities to figure out how Season 2 of Loki relates to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, said that the company may be producing too much content and that a reduction is necessary.
People will notice that as Phases 5 and 6 progress. We’ll modify the release schedule for the Disney+ episodes so that they each have a chance to shine, he told Entertainment Weekly. Marvel has postponed other planned series like Echo to 2024 while Loki Season 2 has just aired and What If…? Season 2 is still slated for 2023.
The MCU live-action Disney+ series are all ranked below if you’re only interested in watching the best content available in this multiverse and have given up trying to follow every character’s complex plot.
8 Secret Invasion
n theory, Marvel should explore different genres beyond repetitive superhero origin stories. Samuel L. Jackson, a pivotal figure at Marvel Studios, has an impressive track record with 15 superhero projects. One intriguing possibility could be a paranoid spy thriller, pitting Jackson’s Nick Fury against shapeshifting aliens within the MCU. However, ‘Secret Invasion’ disappoints with convoluted plot twists and illogical revelations meant for surprise. Characters’ established backgrounds are confusingly altered, and impactful moments are undermined by predictable superhero storylines. Even the final episode’s CGI fight falls short, marking one of Marvel’s weakest visual efforts to date.” —Eliana Dockterman.
7 Moon Knight
“Despite Moon Knight boasting a stellar cast and an intriguingly offbeat premise, I’m disappointed by how it ultimately unfolded. The initial episodes held promise, introducing us to a man with multiple personalities, portrayed by Oscar Isaac, navigating a perplexing existence. As the layers peel, we discover that he’s a vessel for an Egyptian god during his blackout phases, bestowing him with superhuman abilities. Ethan Hawke adds to the intrigue as a scruffy, enigmatic figure. The potential for a departure from the typical ‘great power, great responsibility’ trope was apparent, but Marvel seemingly hesitated to fully embrace the weird or venture into darker territories. While Isaac’s portrayal and experimentation with peculiar accents were entertaining, the transition to superhero action diluted the plot’s excitement, leaving the talent underutilized.” —E.D.
6. Ms. Marvel
I commend Ms. Marvel for wholeheartedly embracing the protagonist’s journey without being tethered to typical superhero clichés. Those anticipating conventional superhero content may find themselves surprised, as the show prioritizes Kamala Khan’s (Iman Vellani) personal growth and family dynamics over showcasing her specific superpowers. It delves deep into the culture of its first Muslim American hero and her Jersey City neighborhood, offering a refreshing departure from the usual green-screened adventures. However, while the show offers a unique lens into Kamala’s teenage experiences, there are arguably better shows and movies that capture the essence of adolescence without superpowers. Unless you’re specifically invested in the Marvel multiverse, I’d recommend other productions that delve deeper into the authentic challenges of puberty. Moreover, Marvel’s historical struggle with compelling villains persists, and unfortunately, The Clandestines of Ms. Marvel don’t break this pattern. Their role primarily serves to introduce concepts crucial for Ms. Marvel’s future film debut in ‘The Marvels’ this November.” —E.D.
Racism and misogyny are bound to surface in the comments section whenever a sci-fi or fantasy project features a starring character who doesn’t look or sound exactly like Chris Evans’ Captain America. The same was true of She-Hulk. The social media remarks were a disgrace when Marvel Studios announced the show at D23 in 2019. Ingeniously, the show included them as made-up social media remarks after introducing the world to She-Hulk, making fun of them and taking away their influence. She-Hulk also used a unique style to storytelling, drawing inspiration from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Fleabag in how the programmed breaches the fourth wall and uses several time jumps.
This show is highly regarded on this list for many reasons, including the revelation that Loki is an iconic bisexual character. Although the multiverse is a crucial component of the Marvel Universe, both in the comics and the movies, many people were confused when it was first mentioned in Avengers: Endgame. The movie In Comes Loki centres on the 2012 iteration of the character who eluded capture during the Avengers’ “Time Heist.” After capturing him, the Time Variance Authority explains to Loki (and the audience) how the timelines in the Marvel Cinematic Universe function, what the “Sacred Timeline” is, and why it’s crucial to preserve it. Most importantly, the first season of the programme debuted the newest Thanos-level adversary in the MCU,
Since Hawkeye is my least favorite Avenger, I was unsure of how I would react to his stand-alone program. However, the first season provided more than enough evidence to support its position at the top of my ranking as the best Marvel show on Disney+. As Jeremy Renner’s titular character—who is prepared to hang up his bow and arrow—unwillingly takes on a new protégé in the form of the witty, skilled Kate Bishop, played with verve by Hailee Steinfeld, Hawkeye perfectly balances heart and humor while still being keenly aware of its task to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel TV Shows have become a significant component of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), offering fans a chance to explore the Marvel universe beyond the big screen. These shows, often available on streaming platforms, provide a deeper dive into characters and storylines, expanding the overall narrative and connecting to the larger MCU.