As Marvel Phase Four heats up with the imminent arrival of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) from director Sam Raimi, it is evident that the catalog of television shows in Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe are just as important as the blockbusters that hit the big screen.
Here is the complete guide to the shows airing on Disney+ and those still to come.
What is the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe is a sprawling movie and television franchise spanning 14 years. It began with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man (2008), which introduced Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man before moving through three Phases of high-profile blockbuster movies.
Now in Phase Four, the MCU has welcomed a plethora of acting talent to take on the iconic Marvel Comics characters fans have known for years and years. From Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) to Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange), to Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Feige’s MCU has featured Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Now in Phase Four, and after wrapping the significant Infinity Saga cycle with the Russo Brothers’ duo-finale, Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), the MCU looks to take on the Multiverse. Despite the prominence of the Marvel studio’s movies, it was Michael Waldron and Kate Herron’s Loki that explored the notion of the Multiverse in detail, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
Marvel Cinematic Universe Television Shows Currently Airing
What MCU TV Shows have been released so far?
It should have been Cate Shortland’s Black Widow (2021) that launched Marvel’s Phase Four after Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) closed out the emotional Phase Three chapter, but due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the small screen brought new MCU stories to fans first.
January 2021 saw the genre-bending WandaVision release on Disney+ from director Matt Shakman and head writer Jac Shaeffer. Not only was this Marvel Studios’ first Phase Four entry, but it also marked the superhero studio’s first foray into MCU television shows. Where Lucasfilm and Star Wars got the jump on Marvel with the launch of The Mandalorian, it would be over a year later until the MCU got its hands on the Disney streaming platform.
WandaVision brought back Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany as Vision in this sitcom-style suburbia series. WandaVision also saw the debut of Teyonah Parris as Maria Rambeau’s (Lashana Lynch) daughter, Monica Rambeau and Kathryn Hahn as evil puppetmaster Agatha Harkness. These characters will be back in the MCU in the near future; Parris will join Brie Larson (Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel) and Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel) in The Marvels (2023), while Hahn will headline her own Disney+ series, Agatha: House of Harkness.
The official description of WandaVision is:
Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, “WandaVision” marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
A few weeks after WandaVision closed out, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier from Malcolm Spellman and director Kari Skogland debuted on Disney+. Following Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson/Falcon and Sebastian Stan’s James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes, the two become entangled in global espionage while also coming to terms with losing their friend, Steve Rogers.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier marked a momentous moment for the MCU when it confirmed Mackie’s Sam Wilson would become the franchise’s new Captain America, taking the mantle previously held by Rogers. The aftermath of Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) reign of terror on the Universe left Evans’ worthy hero heading back in time to live out his life with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) before handing his iconic shield over to Sam to carry on the Captain America legacy.
A second season is reportedly in the works, considering the series was not classed as a limited series like WandaVision was, but nothing concrete has been confirmed. However, a fourth Captain America movie is in production from Spellman. Mackie will star as the lead.
Marvel describes The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as:
Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience—in Marvel Studios’ “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.” The all-new series is directed by Kari Skogland; Malcolm Spellman is the head writer. Streaming exclusively on Disney+.
Tom Hiddleston’s return as the God of Mischief and Thor Odinson’s (Chris Hemsworth) brother ushered in a new norm for Disney+. After a record-breaking premiere on a Wednesday, The Walt Disney Company shuffled all its Original streaming content from Friday releases to Wednesday. Loki also saw a new record for Marvel Studios, with the Multiversal series becoming the most-watched of their TV content.
Following Hiddleston’s Loki as he comes to terms with the very real aspect of the Multiverse, Variants, and the Sacred Timeline, Loki revealed Jonathan Majors as He Who Remains — a Variant of the new MCU Big Bad, Kang the Conqueror, before his starring role in next year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).
Loki introduced Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Ravonna Renslayer, Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius, and Sophia Di Martino as Lady Loki Variant, Sylvie, as well as the mysterious Time Variance Authority (TVA) and the Time-Keepers.
The second season of Loki is in the works by directing team, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.
The official description of Loki is:
In Marvel Studios’ “Loki,” the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Kate Herron directs and Michael Waldron is head writer. Debuts on Disney+ in June 9, 2021.
Summer 2021 marked the release of the MCU’s first animated television series with Marvel’s What If…? from creator AC Bradley and director Bryan Andrews. Based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name, What If…? followed various superheroes in new situations. The series was narrated by Jeffrey Wright’s The Watcher as they documented MCU fan-favorites in different universes, exploring the Multiverse in a way only teased in Loki and other previous projects.
The series brought back many of the MCU’s acting talent, although there were some notable exceptions like Brie Larson and Tom Holland. What If…? saw Hayley Atwell return as Agent Peggy Carter, except here it was she that took the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers to become Captain Carter. In addition, the iconic “Marvel Zombies” arc was featured in the series.
Consisting of nine episodes, What If…? followed an anthology format but had moments of crossover, like in the finale when the Guardians of the Multiverse form together to take on Ultron (Ross Marquand). Bradley confirmed that What If…? Season 2 will be back this year.
Marvel describes the series as:
“What If…?” flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. Directed by Bryan Andrews with AC Bradley as head writer, “What If…?” launches exclusively on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.
After the tragic moment of Avengers: Endgame when Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) sacrificed herself for the Soul Stone on Vormir, Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton/Hawkeye returned to the MCU in his self-titled series set in New York City at Christmas time.
Renner was joined by Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez/Echo, and eventually Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova/Black Widow) and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin. The latter first appeared in Netflix’s Daredevil television series, and Hawkeye marks his MCU debut. The Marvel television shows from Netflix, such as Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, are now streaming on Disney+ after rights reverted to The Walt Disney Company.
The series follows Hawkeye and Kate Bishop confronting his past enemies from his time as the Ronin and was generally well-received by fans and critics. However, there will seemingly be no second season after Marvel Studios confirmed Hawkeye is classed as a limited series.
Marvel describes Hawkeye as:
Marvel Studios’ “Hawkeye” stars Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, who teams up with another well-known archer from the Marvel comics, Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld. The cast also includes Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James and newcomer Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez. “Hawkeye” is helmed by Rhys Thomas and directing duo Bert and Bertie. “Hawkeye” debuts on Disney+ Nov. 24, 2021.
Oscar Isaac stars in Marvel’s latest television series. From creator Jeremy Slater, who also serves as head writer, and directing team lead Mohammed Diab, Moon Knight finds Isaac’s Steven Grant/Marc Spector/Moon Knight facing a quest of epic proportions as the avatar of the Moon God, Khonshu, while also dealing with his dissociative identity disorder (DID).
Isaac is joined by May Calamawy as Layla El-Faouly and Ethan Hawke as Arthur Harrow in the six-episode miniseries.
Marvel describes Moon Knight as:
Moon Knight follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.
It was recently revealed that Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios have the next decade of the MCU planned, but as for the near future, Marvel Phase Four will include Ms. Marvel, which debuts on 8 June. The comic book series finds Iman Vellani as the titular hero, Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, as she becomes what she has always wanted to become — a superhero.
Following Ms. Marvel, Marvel will release She-Hulk (2022), Secret Invasion (TBA), Ironheart (TBA), Armor Wars (TBA), I am Groot (TBA), Loki Season 2 (TBA), Untitled Wakanda series (TBA), Echo (TBA), and What If…? Season 2 (TBA).
Dominique Thorne stars as Riri Williams, AKA Ironheart, in the Disney+ series but will make her MCU debut in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), which sees the franchise navigate Wakanda without the late Chadwick Boseman. As for She-Hulk, Tatiana Maslany will bring Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk to the screen, where she is joined by Mark Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk. When Secret Invasion lands, it will see the return of Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Ben Mendelsohn (Talos).
What is your favorite MCU television show? Let us know in the comments down below!