If you are a Marvel fan, or a sucker for superheroes anyway, then 2021 has commenced your journey to binge-watch. The roster for Phase 4 and beyond was announced during the “Disney Investor Day.” Two series have already been released – WandaVision (January 2021), and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (March 2021). But that is not all. We have way more of these Disney+ shows coming right at us. They include – Loki (June 11, 2021), What If…? (2021), Hawkeye (2021), Ms. Marvel (2021), Moon Knight (TBA), She-Hulk (2022), Secret Invasion (TBA), Ironheart (TBA), Armor Wars (TBA), I Am Groot (TBA), Untitled Wakanda Series (TBA).
This huge turn to the small screen is definitely working out for Marvel and Disney+ as well. WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier – the first two installments of Marvel’s Phase 4, have surely broken records in regards to viewership numbers. And they are pulling in a lot of subscribers to the streaming services. As a matter of fact, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier went on to become the most-watched show in the world at a point in time. But is the decision to shift towards the small screen entirely correct in all aspects? Let’s talk about the things that Marvel is doing right in respect to its Disney+ series.
Here’s why the Disney+ shows are working:
Limelight to Supporting Characters
Finally, it’s time for the supporting characters to break through and shine. Characters like Wanda, Monica Rambeau, Darcy, Jimmy, Sam, Bucky, and Sharon Carter – were all given room to breathe and make their positions in the MCU more concrete.
All thanks to the elaborate series that Marvel has put out. For example, Wanda made her debut in 2015’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron, but finally, she got a moment of her own. And now, she is officially the Scarlet Witch. Moreover, Sam is the new Captain America now! Even Bucky’s character development was impeccable. The upcoming series will only do the right thing, i.e., establish a character.
Connecting To the Movies
Marvel is infamously known for connecting stories in ways that we won’t expect. This particular trait keeps the fans constantly watching their films and talking about them. And of course, there are the post-credit scenes that help them establish these connections. They are one of the many elements that differentiate Marvel from everything else.
For example, WandaVision had two post-credit scenes. The second one showed Wanda, in the hills, reading the Darkhold in the astral plane. This was a very tease to the fact that Wanda will appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Even in the Falcon and The Winter Soldier, the post-credit scene teases Sharon’s Power-Broker future, which could possibly lead to the recently announced Captain America 4. Besides these films, the two shows will also lead to other projects like Secret Invasion, Thunderbolts, Young Avengers, and so on.
Addressing To Social Issues
Marvel’s Phase 4 might just be inclined towards socially averted issues too. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier totally revolves around such a concept, i.e, Racism. When Isaiah Bradley, a black superhero in his era, was introduced to Sam by Bucky, he made it very clear this country will never accept a black man as its Captain America. For Bradley, the super-soldier serum was not glory. Even though he served his country well, all he got in return was 30 years of torture in jail. He was also experimented on. In the finale, Sam mentions in his speech that this is not a blonde white guy, with blue eyes. But still, he is ready to fight as Captain America.
In WandaVision, a major demon of society – depression, and grief are addressed. For Wanda, her life means nothing as she has lost everything. The show emphasizes the multiple layers of her grief. It is amazing to see how these issues are made relevant even to the superheroes. This in turn humanizes the heroes and makes them more relatable.
Diving In Different Genres
Marvel finally has the opportunity to not just go along with the same genres, i.e, action, and comedy. Now that the characters have their time, they can easily add drama, or lead the show with a genre that suits their character. With little to no surprise, this is exactly what we got to see. Both the shows that have been released, WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, are not similar at all.
WandaVision falls under fantasy sitcom and drama. On the other hand, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a political thriller. Upcoming Disney+ series Loki will follow the sci-fi element, while Hawkeye is an action drama. This goes on to say that Marvel is spreading out its wings exponentially and will soon have no genre that it has not covered. Truly marvelous.
Balance Between Comic Relief And The Gravity Of Plot
Fans do understand the importance of much-needed comic relief. As far in the first two series that we have seen, there has been a fine balance between comedy and seriousness. Nothing is overdone. You will neither feel overwhelmed nor distracted from the main plot. This has been done wonderfully in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier as the series has a lot of action, but the timing of comedy and drama is just perfect.
Even in WandaVision, the show takes time to set up its narrative. But it will always leave you wanting for more, with quirky jokes and sudden plot twists. Honestly, this is the same that I am expecting to see in the upcoming Loki series. I mean, it’s Loki (Tom Hiddlestone). It is impossible for me to imagine him not fooling around.
The Quality Doesn’t Drop From the Films
Marvel is all set to redefine the concept of TV series. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier reportedly had a budget of $150 million, and it way more than an average tv show! This allowed the six-episode series to deliver outstanding and crip action sequences. Speaking of WandaVision, the reported budget was $225M. Simply wow! This is why when you see WandaVision, the VFX and CGI will instantly make you believe that you are watching a big-budget Marvel movie. The final battle in WandaVision between Wanda and Agatha was epic.
But honestly, that is not just it. The way WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier have unfolded it’s beautiful. The script literally progresses eventually and does not overwhelm you with too much information. Speaking of accurate storytelling, both the shows have fit numerous Easter eggs and references in the script with no possible confusion. Both the shows are very different. But when it comes to execution, they both performed to their full potential. The same is expected from the upcoming Loki series as well.
Comic Accurate Suits
Marvel is seemingly getting inspired by the costumes in the comics. Fans have long complained that the Marvel Cinematic Universe always diverts a bit too much when it to comes deriving things from the comics. But that has been flipped upside down. With WandaVision, Marvel proved that the comics will play a much bigger role in the upcoming projects. When Wanda was introduced as the Scarlet Witch, I, for one, literally got chills. And of course, the most legendary scene in the entire series, when she is seen reading the Darkhold. Even White Vision was picked straight out of the books.
The same was proved in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Sam was finally introduced as Captain America, which was the literal point of the entire series. Well, a point made well. When he was seen in his new attire, the fans were over ecstatic about the costume as it was almost the same as what he wears in the comics. This devotion to the comics by Marvel is fitting well with the audience. And of course, the critics do not have anything to complain about as well.
Well, the excitement for the future MCU series only seems to roar higher in the sky. Which series are you really excited about? Let us know in the comments below! WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier are streaming on Disney+.