Despite a steady flow of Disney+ content and its usual film output, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been an eerily quiet place for the last three years. They’ve given us a lot, but most of it has felt like placeholders. There has still been a nagging void of big new names and big movies after Tony Stark snapped the Infinity Saga to a close in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
Sure, we got the aforementioned deluge of series, Black Widow’s swan song, a small army of Spider-Men in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and a face-first dive into the Multiverse with Doctor Strange. But something still just felt off. Turns out it was just a very drawn-out calm before the MCU announcement storm we got at San Diego Comic-Con 2022.
We have officially exited the Limbo Saga and entered the Multiverse Saga. MCU Phases 5 and 6 will feature Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Blade, and others. And the vagaries have finally been supplanted by hard release dates and titles. Biggest of all, we’re getting the team back together again; Avengers 5 AND 6 were announced from the SDCC stage, titled Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, respectively.
A good chunk of the upcoming movies and shows were known to us, but let’s break down the new blood to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars
The Avengers have been splintered since 2019, with Cap retiring and Iron Man taking one for the universe. Hawkeye and Thor are still out there causing trouble, as well as several other now elder Avengers. Well, now the team is being called back into action to face off against presumed new big bad Kang, who we first met in the Disney+ Loki series.
Will Kang carry over to the Secret Wars installment? Or will the MCU introduce the villain from the potential source material, the Beyonder, as the new Thanos, with Kang serving as his Loki? The answers are still years away as these two films won’t assemble until May 5 and November 7 of 2025, respectively.
The Fantastic Four
The most frustrating and glaring omission from SDCC was not just an absence of the X-Men but no news on new casting. No grand entrance by a newly minted MCU actor to rile up fans and fire up the online debate and Photoshop iterations. We’re talking, of course, about the Fantastic Four.
We were only given a date in addition to the flashy new “4″ logo we got in 2021; The Fantastic Four will commence clobberin’ on November 5, 2024. Marvel’s official website states:
“Marvel’s first family arrives in theaters November 5, 2024. Production kicks off next year for the feature film that introduces Marvel’s most iconic family.”
We take it back; the vagaries continue. But hey, it’s a step in the right direction as opposed to full-on radio silence regarding Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and the Thing. Hopefully, with the production so close to starting, we’ll get news on who will take the brunt of the Cosmic Beams sooner than later.
Daredevil: Born Again
Before SDCC, Daredevil had all but officially gotten called up to the big leagues of the MCU. We got him in his day job in No Way Home, an official blessing of star Charlie Cox by Kevin Feige, and most recently, new showrunners announcing that a Disney+ Daredevil series was in its planning stages. And throw in a few planned cameos like the Echo series and a dramatic DD somersault entrance to close out the She-Hulk trailer for good measure.
But the Man Without Fear was still the man without a series until SDCC. Daredevil: Born Again will hit Disney+ in the spring of 2024, with DD coming to blows once again with nemesis Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin Vincent D’Onofrio. Born Again is a classic Daredevil comics line from legendary writer and artist Frank Miller.
In the series, Matt Murdock is pushed to his mental and physical limits by the Kingpin, ruined professionally with his alter dragged over Hell’s Kitchen pavement as well. We saw glints of the story in Daredevil’s third Netflix season, but it never went full on into the Miller lore.
Will this Disney+ rebirth give us a closer adaptation of the comics storyline? And more importantly, how much, if any, of the Netflix history will be retained in this resurgence of Daredevil? We’ll find out in 2024, but either way, it’s good to have Hornhead officially land in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Captain America: New World Order
We saw Sam Wilson officially take the shield and mantle of Captain America to cap off Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In that series, despite being hand-picked by Steve Rogers, the shield was still in play according to the string pullers. The Cap title and hardware were then handed to a mentally unstable John Walker, who killed with impunity in the red, white, and blue.
Wilson officially took what was rightfully his, and we got the usual vague tease, “Captain America will return.” Great, but when? Now we know. We’ll see Wilson spangled and shielded in Captain America: New World Order on May 3, 2024.
From the title, it seems like the film will further explore the aftermath of the failed takeover by the Flagsmashers and the other side of the despot coin. No matter who he’s fighting, it’s good to know we still have a Captain America franchise to look forward to.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
A fascinating entry in the upcoming schedule of MCU films is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The king himself, Chadwick Boseman, tragically passed away in 2020 after a battle with cancer. A life lost far too soon obviously eclipses the great work he still had in him as T’Challa, the Black Panther, but not seeing Boseman don the vibranium suit again does sting.
So where will the sequel go? It looks like Wakanda Forever will follow the power vacuum left by the MCU death of T’Challa, with his mother, sister, and other allies all pulling together to keep Wakanda afloat and safe from threats smelling blood in the water. At the end of the teaser trailer, we got a glimpse of a figure in the suit flashing the Panther claws. Will this be a flashback scene, or is it a glimpse at whoever takes over the Black Panther mantle?
The concept of Wakanda fighting the outside world (namely Namor the Submariner, featured in the trailer as well) and themselves is a great one, echoing themes such as Batman: Battle for the Cowl. This saw the Dark Knight’s allies struggling to keep Gotham in order while also vying for the Batsuit. Any return to Wakanda is a welcome one, even if it is without its king.
Blade, She-Hulk, and the Rest
The aforementioned scratches the Phase 5 and 6 surfaces, but there’s still a ton underneath. We have Blade, Guardians to the Galaxy Vol 3, She-Hulk Attorney at Law, Secret Invasion, Loki season 2, and an army of additional characters coming to theaters and 4K screens in the coming years.
Will all of these newcomers join the ranks of a new Avengers team facing off against new threats, or are they filler until we get to the big guns mentioned above? Either way, we can’t wait to see what the MCU has in store for us in the Multiverse Saga.