There’s a new age in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Fans have much to look forward to with packed 2021 releases

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Michelle Nguyen

WandaVision released its first few episodes on Disney+ on Jan 15.

Eli Mayerson, Staff Writer

For fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), 2021 is going to be a year to remember forever.

After “Spider-Man: Far From Home” wrapped up Phase 3 in the MCU, a phase that began in 2016 with “Captain America: Civil War” and ended in 2019 with “Avengers: Endgame,” fans of the MCU were left with only vague ideas of what was to come.

What they were expecting was a 2020 full of advancements in the story of the Universe, but what they ended up with was disappointment. Like almost everything else in life, the adventures occurring in the MCU were postponed due to COVID-19.

Luckily for everyone, though, Marvel is back with a bang, having announced more than 20 new films, Disney+ original TV series and specials for Phase 4 and the future of the MCU.

One such show, “WandaVision”, a Disney+ original, has already had its first four episodes released since the show premiered on Jan. 15.

“WandaVision”

Through the first three episodes, “WandaVision” has been a comedic and wild ride.

Unlike anything Marvel has done before, “WandaVision” has lacked the usual Marvel tropes of superpowered action and intriguing plots.

But, that doesn’t mean the show has been any worse than anything put out before. While it is still not entirely clear what the show is going to be about, the first three episodes have portrayed the charming story of Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olson) and Vision (played by Paul Bettany) moving to the small town of Westview.

The show follows the supposed newlyweds as they explore their new lives. But not everything is as it seems, and that’s where the intrigue comes.

If the show’s plot progresses anything like the comics, it will soon expand into a much more classic Marvel-esque plotline.

But of course, “WandaVision” is just scratching the surface of all the Marvel content that is to come. The following shows and movies are all new content yet to come.

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”

Release Date: March 19

Starring: Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson (Falcon), Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier), Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” finds Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes teaming up as Wilson steps into his new role as Captain America. They will find a worthy enemy in Baron Zemo, the main villain in “Captain America: Civil War”.

Season one of the Disney+ original is going to have six episodes, with each being about 40-50 minutes long.

“Black Widow”

Release Date: May 7

Starring: Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow)

This movie is set before the events of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Endgame,” and explores Black Widow’s past. It introduces new characters crucial to Romanoff’s origins, and finally will shed some light into what Black Widow and Hawkeye got up to in Budapest.

It will also be intriguing to get a look into Romanoff’s history, considering the fate she fell to in “Endgame”.

“Loki”

Release Date: May 2021

Starring: Tom Hiddleston as Loki

“Loki” is set to hit Disney+ as a TV series after the release of “Black Widow”. It will follow the so-called God of Mischief after he escaped with the Tesseract during the events of “Avengers: Endgame”, and possibly set up and explore a whole new timeline for the MCU.

Fans might see a universe where Loki is not killed by Thanos, or where Thanos might not ever even come to Earth. Needless to say, the possibilities are endless and thrilling to think about.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Release Date: July 7

Starring: Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Tony Leung as Wenwu (the real Mandarin?)

The first of the new characters being introduced to the MCU during Phase 4, Shang-Chi is a martial arts expert whose past is nothing to be proud of. The exact iteration of Shang-Chi that fans will see in the MCU remains a mystery, but no matter what viewers get it’s going to be exciting.

It’s also expected that this movie will introduce Wenwu, a character rumored to be the real Mandarin, who first appeared in “Iron Man 3”. It has been suggested that the version of Mandarin in “Iron Man 3”may have been a decoy, though.

“What If…?”

Release Date: Fall 2021

Starring: Everyone from the MCU

“What If…?” is an animated series coming to Disney+. The show will explore alternate realities of what could have happened had certain events or roles been different. The actors from the movies will reprise their roles as voice actors.

Examples of possible “what if” scenarios include if Peggy Carter took the super-serum and became Captain America instead of Steve Rogers, if T’Challa (Black Panther) had become Star-Lord, and the fan-favorite from the comics “Winter Soldier vs. Marvel Zombies”.

“Eternals”

Release Date: Nov. 5

Starring: Salma Hayek as Ajak, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden as Ikaris

“Eternals” is a film arriving later in 2021, and will tackle the daunting task of covering events in the MCU from an immortal’s perspective. There may be some reference to events or characters shown in other movies and shows.

Fans should be extraordinarily excited for this one, as it covers a timeframe more massive and ambitious than anything Marvel has done so far.

“Ms Marvel”

Release Date: Late 2021

Starring: Iman Vellani

Another popular comic book character finally making its way to the MCU, “Ms. Marvel” is yet another TV series that will feature the story of Kamala Khan, a Muslim Pakistani-American teen with the ability to embiggen herself.

This show is an important addition to the MCU in more ways than one. Not only is Ms. Marvel a powerful and exciting character in the comics, Khan will be a welcome addition to the diversity of Marvel.

“Hawkeye”

Release Date: Late 2021

Starring: Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton (Hawkeye), Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop

This TV series will follow Barton as he passes down the bow to Bishop, teaching her how to become Hawkeye.

This should be an action-packed show, and it seems like for now it will only have one season. It will be interesting to see how Barton is in a mentor-type role, and Kate Bishop as the new Hawkeye will be a fascinating addition to the MCU.

“Spider-Man 3”

Release Date: Dec. 17

Starring: Tom Holland, Tobey Maquire, and Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker (Spider-Man) (!!), Zendaya, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, Jamie Foxx as Electro, Alfred Molina as Doc Ock

The cast list says it all. The third installment of the Spider-Man series in the MCU is going to be a wild one, with all three iterations of Spider-Man making an appearance. It’s going to be a wild multiverse adventure, and it will lead straight into the “Doctor Strange” sequel.

This era of the MCU has been dubbed by fans as the “Multiverse saga”, a sequel to the “Infinity Saga” of the last three phases.

Those are all set to release in 2021, but the future of Marvel doesn’t end there. There have been a plethora of movies and TV series announced for the next few years, and they will all culminate to yet another finale.

Such content includes “She-Hulk” and “Moon Knight” in early 2022, a “Doctor Strange” sequel in March 2022, another addition to the “Thor” series in May 2022, “Black Panther II” in July 2022, a “Captain Marvel” sequel in November 2022, and more coming in 2023 and beyond.

With the vast amount of new movies and TV series coming to the forefront over the next few years, now is a great time to be a Marvel fan.