MCU phase four? More like phase snore

MCU phase four? More like phase snore

Alivia Burger, Reporter

With phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) coming to a wrap, there is no better time to look back at all of the ups and downs it has. Needless to say, this phase is a roller coaster but with highs and lows of quality content. For being one of the biggest cinematic universes,(along with DC, Star Wars, and Star Trek) Marvel has had a notable decrease in quality movies. Their typical Rotten Tomatoes is 84% and they only had two of the six films they released score above that with all of the rest falling short by a bit. So why are they all getting these reviews?

“WandaVision” (2021)

Phase four started off strong with “WandaVision”, a show that expanded incredibly on its characters, had respectable plot twists, maintained relatable characters, captured different styles of TV series, and built to have an interesting story on the future. The show starts as a sweet comedy between Wanda and Vision but it slowly shows the audience things are more complicated so any plot changes are reasonable and not out of left field. The show builds on Wanda’s power and shows how she can harness them and grow in the future. It also shows her deep struggles after “Endgame.” Overall, this show was adored by the fans (shown by its 91% Rotten Tomatoes) and was a good way to start off the phase.

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (2021)

The next release is “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”. This show adds onto Sam and Bucky’s complex relationship that was previously established. They both are grieving the same person and are brought closer by this. This show not only has intense character development, but it presents morally grey scenarios that these characters have to face and address. This show includes not only political but also social issues that Marvel has never dared to tackle before. It grows on the idea that people of color have never been treated with the same respect as white people and how it is systematic. It also alludes to the snap being like COVID and implying that togetherness and support is what will make society stronger in the end. This show earned 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Loki” (2021)

The third series, “Loki,” has earned more criticism despite its 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. This series follows Loki from Endgame, therefore going back on his character development forcing it to be rebuilt. This show is the only one being renewed for another season and has gained negative comments after the finale for the romantic relationship between Loki and another iteration of himself, Sylvie. The show started off with an incredible portrayal of Loki but slowly drifted away from that in favor of creating a relationship between him and Sylvie. However the show captured perfectly how conflicts that may seem big mean nothing at all. This show was the first precursor for the build up of the multiverse.

“Black Widow” (2021)

With a low of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Black Widow” has been under more criticism than anything previously listed. It is critiqued for being too long, too predicable, and too boring. The movie is mainly under fire for this because it takes place before endgame and only serves the purpose of introducing Yelena. It does go more into depth on Natasha’s tragic backstory and it also introduces a villain that played a huge role in the Marvel comics. Overall, the movie was good but not anything to write home about.

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

Shang-Chi was one of the better movies in phase four. It includes a deep backstory, severe trauma, intense family drama, a hidden past life, and hidden family cultures. In addition to this, it has a similar way of storytelling as “Iron Man 3” did. It was all the two protagonists, Shang-Chi and Katy, telling the story to some friends and have something related to the story happen at the very end for example, Wong interrupting their dinner and asking to talk to Shang-Chi and Katy. The movie included deeply built characters that displayed varying personalities and goals in addition to forcing them to work together. Shang-Chi shows the importance of family and how somethings are forgivable but not forgettable. This movie received 91% Rotten Tomatoes.

“Eternals” (2021)

The least liked of them all, “Eternals”. With a whopping 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie was generally not appreciated by Marvel fans. In concept, it was a good idea but the movie fell short due to their motto of not getting involved in humanity in order to protect them. The only way this group helps humanity is by destroying deviants and then they go back into hiding. The problem with this is that it would lead fans to think, “Hey, these guys could have helped a lot with Thanos seeing as he did wipe out half the population for 5 years” and that would be a good thought, but that would include them getting involved. These characters in this movie were not nearly as relatable as other ones in any of the other marvel movies. This make the percentage understandable.

“Hawkeye” (2021)

With one of the higher ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, “Hawkeye”, received 92% for its incredible portrayal of found family and creating such diverse characters, something Marvel has been struggling with recently. The show also addressed that wealthy privileged kids forgot how much people struggle. One problem in the show was how Kate’s problematic actions get glossed over for the sake of dramatizing the engagement between her mother and Jack. But overall, the portrayal of Kate as a teenager was well-received as the younger audience could relate to her and understand her.

“Spider-Man No Way Home” (2021)

The third installment of the Marvel Spider-Man series was a smashing hit. The public adored it, even though it is riding on nostalgia. This movie set high expectations for the rest of the phase. This movie is more like the end to an origin story for Spider-Man than the end of a saga, leaving fans waiting for more. The characters were all equally loved, every villain could be empathized with, and they all were human and dimensional. These characters were more like people you know than one dimensional stereotypes. This solidifies the 93% Rotten Tomatoes.

“Moon Knight” (2022)

With a rating of 86%, this show was well-received. It shows the struggles that this anti-hero goes through and shows mental health in a more accurate way than “WandaVision.” Some of the major criticism on this series was the inaccuracies with Egyptian culture and the rushed ending. But the show always kept fans on edge and anticipating the next episode.

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

With a rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, Doctor Strange was not adored by fans and is in fact incredibly disappointing to the fan base. The main point of the movie is to shed more light onto the multiverse but it instead displays a poorly written villain who has so many powers with no restrictions. The character was deeply written and well developed before this movie came out and went back on her best traits. Also, the only character traits in this are powers in addition to being bland, annoying or cold. All of the guest stars were killed within minutes of appearing and the only reasoning for it is to show another character’s power. The rating given to it is definitely gracious.

“Ms. Marvel” (2022)

Coming in with 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Ms. Marvel” adds a slice of life and shows the optimistic ideals of a young teenage girl. It adds a creative twist to the narrative by showing action and events through Kamala’s point of view and expresses her dreams, ones kids commonly have, then realizing the actual weight and responsibilities of the dream of being a hero. The characters are relatable and almost everyone can relate to the situations they go through.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” (2022)

This edition of the Thor trilogy was not taken well by fans. It did not handle serious situations well and used Chris Hemsworth’s looks to their advantage and were pandering. To solve the problem of having a woman as Thor, they got rid of her. This movie is only a product of mass production of Marvel movies. It received a rating of 64% on Rotten Tomatoes.

“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” (2022)


As the first series to tackle the fourth wall, “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” addresses the audience and tries to relate to them in a way no other Marvel series has managed. The casting is incredible and the critics say the writing is incredible. There is a percentage of the fanbase that feel the characters all fall into the same stereotypes and that Jennifer cannot have any flaws. The show also got criticism for putting Jennifer into the stereotype women get put into more often now: better than men in every way and does not mess up, ever. Overall, the show got itself a rating of 85%.

While the phase is not finished yet, it has been a crazy ride for all of the fans; the highs are extremely high and the lows are extremely low. Fans are awaiting a smashing phase to take them out of the current slump.